Entry fee was paid and into the first show of the year I went!
Exhibitors List for this year;
Initial impressions were of a smaller layout than the preceeding year. All of the previous traders were there, less Advantage 6. But there seemed to be less Item's on offer or rather less size to each individual companies stands.
Fairly quiet at the 10am opening time, but starting to feel more alive within the first 20 minutes. This year I did not have anything specific I was after, but just went allong to see what was on offer and potentially catch my eye. Also, to sit in on a couple of the theatre presentations, but more of that later.
Castle Technology Ltd
As I was gazing at said monitor, Jack Lillingstone came up to me and we had a very good chat regards monitors in general and then the Iyonix and Risc OS itself.
I am growing very fond of the Iyonix, but in my mind, as I explained to him, I am still sat on the fence trying to decide on which path to take for the future. This I think is what most users are facing.
So i bought the first issue, I have only had a quick scan through its pages and have found a few errors that were pointed out via Louie on the portals etc. but I have to say for a first issue its pretty damn good.
People will always try to find fault with every aspect of a new product just to be picky. These things happen as with all first off the line Items.
RISC OS Ltd
Having had a lengthy discussion I was assured that the next issue which was 281 was on track and issue 282 was going well. So I took out a years subscription for 50UKP, this was a deal at the show which included the then current issue (280), three previous issues and a further eleven to follow.
Qercus is supposed to be a monthly but the subscription works on the basis of twelve issues, this being one a month or even if it takes 2-3 months per issue you will still recieve twelve. Unfortunately, as with all magazines of all flavours and interests these days, by the time you get the magazine the news is probably a month late. This is now a result of the internet and the popular news portals online. It is still good to have a Hard Copy magazine to referre to, but unfortunatly it takes some of the eager waiting and anticipation that there was waiting for the latest copy of say Acorn User to appear on the newsstand back in the 80's or 90's. But saying that, with the size of the RISCOS market now, it is still a great to be producing such a magazine in the current times.
So thanks to John Cartmell & Co and keep up the good work.
There were 5 presentation during the day;
Iyonix Ltd , Jack Lillingstone "Iyonix Matters"
Paul Vigay & Louie Smith - past/Future of RISCOS & RISCOS NOW
Dr Graham Shaw - RISC Packaging Project.
RISCOS Ltd , Paul Middleton - RISCOS 4, The Next Steps.
John Cartmell - QERCUS
I attended the following two presentations;
IYONIX Ltd , Jack lillingstone - IYONIX Matters
During the last twelve months Castle has re-organised its business model and the way it is going to approach things in the future. Castle purchased RISCOS from PACE Microtechnology several years ago and until now Castle has been produsing the Iyonix Computer hardware and software as a complete solution. At the end of last year the company was split up with RISC OS being retained by Castle, and Castle Licencing RISC OS out to a number of commercial companies, and an innitiative developed by some people who are ex-Acorn / Pace / Castle employees have put together a company with the aim of releasing all of the RISCOS source code to the RISCOS community.
So, Castle will licence RISCOS on a commercial basis and RISCOS Open Ltd will provide free access to its sources to commercial companies and endusers with the only stipulation castle putting onto it being, if you use it to make money out of, their will be a small royalty fee due to Castle to offset running costs of open sourcing and intial purchase price. This summs up what Castle is doing at this time.
Iyonix Ltd is run by Jack Lillingstone and John Ballance who joined Castle back in 1993 and Iyonix ltd will carry on developing the Iyonix range of computers and also developing some more hardware as well.
Jack went on to give a quick rundown of the latest Iyonix products, he started with giving details of the new 5.12 ROM upgrade for the Iyonix which includes four years of development and bug fixing.
It includes new drivers for a wide range of Nvidia cards upto and including the FX6200 and also sets up for moving on beyond that card.
USB 2.0 has been added in ROM, which opens up access to a wider range of Pen Drives and Cameras and gives a faster Bootup.
USB 2.0 is completely software driven.
Jack was also promoting special offers at the show including 22" wide-screen LCD displays along with inkjet printers of the parallel port variety.
The shared source innitiative.
Jack went on to say how they would like to make RISCOS more attractive to people in the Far East for example and other areas. So, the development of a community of people developing RISCOS will hopefully take RISCOS forward at greater speed. Control must still be maintained so that many different versions of RISCOS do not appear, so a new business model was created to assist this. You can take any of the open sourced code and develope it for your own use but if you are going to make money out of it then royalties will have to be made. Then main aim being to protect and control the development of RISCOS, and producing a licence that allows people to develope Items and bring back the developments to a central repository and then release an official release version for the masses. So you can download the source, amend it and pass it on to the others provided you do not charge for it, you must also make the ammended code available to others to download from a website. Which enables ROOL to grab developments and bring it back into the repository.
So, ROOL will be the publishers of RISCOS and maintain the website.
ROOL will have expences and they will be looking for volenteers for running the website and donations for the bandwidth on the website.
Jack then took questions from the audience and recieved a good round of applause on closing the presentation.
RISCOS Ltd , Paul Middleton - RiscOS 4, The Next Step.
RISC OS Six allows the swapping of video output from the onboard VIDC to the ViewFinder and vice-versa without the need for a re-boot. Clicking on the icon for the ViewFinder indicated that the device was numbered 1, with Paul informing us that there is the potential to have multiple ViewFinder cards installed.
Risc OS Six is not a new name for Select 4 but is just the next version of Risc OS.
The Select Scheme is the Softload version and the Adjust Version is the ROM version.
Another tool included with RISC OS Six is a DeBugger, so that if an application falls over then it will produce a log file of what and where the problem occurred, thus providing a source of information to programmers for a fix.
Another good day out, lots to see and many people to talk to regards the latest developments for the OS in both Hardware and Software.
I would very much like to see STD back for next years show with a fully featured and hopefully re-cased A9 Home ie in a case with built in Optical drive or the like. Even stick it in one of those small cube PC boxes. Yes it will make the machine bigger but I ampartial to a box that has the potential for upgrades and expansion. Another good idea would be to mount the A9 into the base of a monitor like Apple have for a nice compact and complete solution.
On the Open Source front, I am not convinced myself. It's early days and to those who think that opening up the sources will revolutionise RISC OS overnight are greatly mistaken. It will take years, just look at how long it has taken Linux to get to the quality it is now.
Come on, you know it makes sense.
Rich - Classic Acorn