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The Icon Bar: News and features: Castle Press Conference [updated^2]
 

Castle Press Conference [updated^2]

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 20:44, 21/6/2004 | , , , , , , , ,
 
The 2-hour 'phone conference is over, and I'm continuing to miss the England match to keep you lot informed! The audio recording can now be downloaded (see below), but it's a large file with sound problems due to a dodgy line, so I'll bulletpoint it for you.

Obviously everyone was most concerned with the recent cancellation of RISCOS Ltd's license by Castle Technology Ltd.

  • Castle alleged that ROL have been in breach of the license bewteen them since day one of Castle taking it over (which is almost a whole year now).
  • Castle say they bought RISC OS lock stock and barrel, down to various bits of software on floppy discs.
  • The terms of the license being broken are many, not just to do with payment; the only one they would be drawn on was the availability to third parties of !Printers. Castle say they have not changed the payment for existing licenses.
  • RISCOS Ltd. have been using delaying tactics - not replying to requests for meetings, not giving information over that they should be, and not paying the bills.
  • Castle feel that they have done everything possible (they didn't wish to make things public at all), and can't see how they could have proceeded differently.
  • The rumours that Castle might buy out ROL circulating at the recent show weren't completetly without merit - it seems that Castle have at least thought about buying out a controlling interest, but as they can't get financial records from ROL, this is fraut with problems (such as buying into existing debts). Getting ROL wound up and buying Select etc. from the receiver is very much a last resort.
  • Due to confused copyright issues, Castle cannot offer RISC OS 4 as-is to ROL's existing licensees (such as A6). VirtualAcorn is not licensed at all, under the current license between Castle and ROL. However, RISC OS 3.7 or 5 are on the table, and possibly an earlier version of RISC OS 4.
  • Castle actually praised ROL for what they have been able to achieve with limited means, but say that it's not really commercially viable. It was mentioned that 8-10 million UKP would be needed to really get RISC OS up to scratch, instead of making small changes.
It will be interesting to see how RISCOS Ltd. responds to all of this.

In other areas, there was a solid "no comment" for any future hardware projects such as laptops, but as Castle gave PDAs as one example of embedded and desktop RISC OS overlapping, a laptop doesn't seem too far-out an idea. Nothing will be said until any project is nearing completion however.

As for future hardware, it seems unlikely that 26bit support is on the cards. 32bit processors running RISC OS 5 are the future according to Castle, and there are no plans for instance to work with ARM7500s. They do say they think desktop RISC OS is still a very important part of their business.

Thanks to Mike Williams, who kept things running smoothly with an impartial hand on the tiller, and of course Jack Lillingston and Peter Wild for answering the questions. And Chris McDrobe for the mention of the TIB poll!

Update:
I've uploaded the full audio of the conference; it cuts out annoyingly, it's poor quality, I've re-encoded it to the lowest setting on this MP3 converter, and you're still looking at a 27MB download. Don't say I didn't warn you.


 
  Castle Press Conference [updated^2]
  rich (20:57 21/6/2004)
  ad (23:19 21/6/2004)
    flibble (00:00 22/6/2004)
      Q (00:47 22/6/2004)
        Q (00:52 22/6/2004)
          Mendip (09:46 22/6/2004)
            rich (09:59 22/6/2004)
              Mendip (11:38 22/6/2004)
                rich (12:02 22/6/2004)
                  ad (13:35 22/6/2004)
                    ad (13:44 22/6/2004)
                      ad (13:46 22/6/2004)
                        rich (14:01 22/6/2004)
                          adrianl (14:40 22/6/2004)
                            rich (15:56 22/6/2004)
                              Mendip (16:14 22/6/2004)
                                ad (19:26 22/6/2004)
                                  Q (00:15 23/6/2004)
                                    john (12:47 23/6/2004)
                                      rich (10:03 24/6/2004)
                                        mavhc (10:11 24/6/2004)
 
Richard Goodwin Message #93036, posted by rich at 20:57, 21/6/2004
Rich
Webmaster
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Posts: 6766
It's already 2-1 to the England, and I'm finally getting something to eat for the first time today. It's not all fun and games running a news website! ;)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Duffell Message #93037, posted by ad at 23:19, 21/6/2004, in reply to message #93036
ad

Posts: 3229
Intresting stuff. I can't wait to listen to the recording :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Peter Howkins Message #93038, posted by flibble at 00:00, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93037
flibble

Posts: 865
Thanks for your dedication Rich.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Cartmell Message #93039, posted by Q at 00:47, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93038
Member
Posts: 37
Clearly Castle want to be "seen to do good things" before going for Venture Capital but instead find themselves in the middle of a mess with no way out apparent to them.

Having heard the explanations tonight I'm convinced that none of the speculation here, on Drobe, or on the newsgroups, is of any validity.
There are simply two questions. One is legal and is about Castle's claim that ROL breached their contract - but I'm convinced the critical part has no connection with any previous speculation.
The second question is how much Castle need to get out of the present mess. If it's important enough they will find the means to escape the condemnation that will otherwise follow the loss of third party developers.
As Castle say they need such developers "Our future is in licencing...The current licence holders are the best start we can have" then they will find a way to ensure the developers get RO4Select/Adjust and get it soon; else future partners may question their ability to cope with the problems that follow £10m investment.
Castle will surely have to come to an agreement with ROL in order to get that in place - in days rather than weeks.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Cartmell Message #93040, posted by Q at 00:52, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93039
Member
Posts: 37
And about your poll...
I want to say that I support RISC OS (ie not ROL nor Castle). It's not quite the same as being neutral!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Tim Wye Message #93041, posted by Mendip at 09:46, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93040
Member
Posts: 3
Thanks for the detailed reporting. Very interesting reading.

A plea though, please get the spelling of licence right. It's pet-hate of mine and really gets my goat ! Noun: Licence Verb: License. It's quite simple :o)

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #93042, posted by rich at 09:59, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93041
Rich
Webmaster
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Posts: 6766
Actually, it's the American spelling for both. Which makes it even simpler to remember.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Tim Wye Message #93043, posted by Mendip at 11:38, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93042
Member
Posts: 3
I know it's the American spelling for both. Therefore it's wrong :-)

(Having two different spellings actually makes it easier to read because you know what is implied, be it a verb or a noun.) Anyway, like I said, it's a pet-hate.

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Richard Goodwin Message #93044, posted by rich at 12:02, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93043
Rich
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Posts: 6766
There was a little matter of a football match to be taken into consideration :p
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Andrew Duffell Message #93045, posted by ad at 13:35, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93044
ad

Posts: 3229
Mendip: Get over it, or write a program to auto correct spelling and grammer before webpages are fed to you.
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Andrew Duffell Message #93046, posted by ad at 13:44, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93045
ad

Posts: 3229
/me can hear Rich okay, but everyone else is a struggle.
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Andrew Duffell Message #93047, posted by ad at 13:46, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93046
ad

Posts: 3229
Castle are putting together a transcript of the conference. I assume we will all be sent copies...?
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Richard Goodwin Message #93048, posted by rich at 14:01, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93047
Rich
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Posts: 6766
It'll be out RSN. I'm also trying to find a better quality recording.
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Adrian Lees Message #93049, posted by adrianl at 14:40, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93048
Member
Posts: 1571
There's one question that I felt the conference recording didn't properly address - whose dogs were they? (Corollary: and which company were they arguing for?) :P
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Richard Goodwin Message #93050, posted by rich at 15:56, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93049
Rich
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Posts: 6766
Who let the dogs out? (woof, woof, woof woof!)
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Tim Wye Message #93051, posted by Mendip at 16:14, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93050
Member
Posts: 3
Yes, thanks for your input, Kinetic. Like I said, it's a pet-hate, and I was being light-hearted about it. Football match, Rich ? What football match would that be ? ;-) Many thanks for your hard efforts - I'm going to start downloading that file now and have a listen.
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Andrew Duffell Message #93052, posted by ad at 19:26, 22/6/2004, in reply to message #93051
ad

Posts: 3229
sorry, ppl being pedantic about spelling and grammer is one of my pet hates :P
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John Cartmell Message #93053, posted by Q at 00:15, 23/6/2004, in reply to message #93052
Member
Posts: 37
To AdrianL & Rich:
Let me introduce you to Dougal & Gem. Small, black, very friendly and rooting very strongly for RISC OS as a whole.
Not to mention biscuits and cheese slices...

I apologise if their welcome to my daughter - who came round to watch the football with me! - marred your listening pleasure. ;-)

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John D Message #93054, posted by john at 12:47, 23/6/2004, in reply to message #93053
Member
Posts: 261
Poor spelling or grammar is a distraction for the proficient reader. If the writing is good, it is invisible and only the meaning is visible.

However, on a three-line comment there's not much to remember.

FWIW, the easiest way to remember licence/license if you have trouble and want to be right is to swap in advice/advise in your head. Same with practice/practise.

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Richard Goodwin Message #93055, posted by rich at 10:03, 24/6/2004, in reply to message #93054
Rich
Webmaster
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Posts: 6766
Anyone want to comment on the actiual news article rather than their own inability to get over the use of American spelling?
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Mark Scholes Message #93056, posted by mavhc at 10:11, 24/6/2004, in reply to message #93055
Member
Posts: 660
> Anyone want to comment on the actiual news article?

Isn't that what drobe's for?

Amusing that Castle instead of ROL are saying VA aren't licenced now

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

The Icon Bar: News and features: Castle Press Conference [updated^2]