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The Icon Bar: News and features: New RiscStation laptop pic - well, kinda.

New RiscStation laptop pic - well, kinda.

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 12:38, 1/2/2001 | , , ,
The RiscStation website has a "last updated" datestamp of, well, either today or tomorrow (Friday 1st - Friday's the 2nd of February isn't it?). The only major change I can see so far is the picture of the portable:


It's shown running RISC OS, but looking at the jaggies around the windows, and especially the top of the screen, it's a crude mockup (hardly suprising as the site's designed using "NetObjects Fusion 2.0.2 for Windows" ;). What this means about the current state of readiness of the machine I'll leave for you to speculate. However, it's interesting to see a sticker bottom-right of the keyboard sporting ARM and RISC OS 4 logos in an "Intel inside" style though.

  New RiscStation laptop pic - well, kinda.
  This is a long thread. Click here to view the threaded list.
DB Message #88263, posted at 17:45, 1/2/2001
Unregistered user I hope we don't have to wait for "More Details late October" before we are told which dealers will be stocking them!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
jess Message #88264, posted at 23:04, 1/2/2001, in reply to message #88263
Unregistered user Could the jaggies be an artifact from a digital camera and the pixelated screen?
Site could be worse, another developer of RISC OS machines springs to mind :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Sendu Bala Message #88265, posted at 08:43, 2/2/2001, in reply to message #88264
Unregistered user One wishes they could just rip the motherboard out of a new PowerBookG4 and replace it with theirs :).

Frankly I don't see the point of a portable I can't carry around because it's just too damn big. I want an ultraslim and I want one now! :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Richard Goodwin Message #88266, posted at 10:15, 2/2/2001, in reply to message #88265
Unregistered user jess - they seem t have made a decent fist of getting the machine itself smooth (like it's the original picture) but look at the tearing along the top of the screen. FAKE! :)

Done much better work myself with Phoodesk <fx: sniff> ;)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Jake Monkeyson Message #88267, posted at 11:00, 2/2/2001, in reply to message #88266
Unregistered user <optimist>
Maybe the screenshot is stuck on because it wasn't very clear in the photograph (TFT screens can be highly dodgy viewed at an angle)...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
mentat Message #88268, posted at 11:14, 2/2/2001, in reply to message #88267
Unregistered user <BS>
Yeah, that must be it.

(looks like there's some kind of monkey on the screen too! ;-)
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Rob Kendrick Message #88269, posted at 22:22, 3/2/2001, in reply to message #88268
Unregistered user I;m sorry, but that looks nearly identical to the Windows98 laptop they had with a RISC OS screenshot on it at the RISCOS 2000 show. There's no real new news there, and it still horribly overpriced. And ho ho, it's still an overclocked 7500. A friend's Sony Viao can already emulate a A5000. It won't be long before PC laptops an emulate something faster than an 7500. Oh well, what a waste of time and effort for both Simtec and RiscStation. I'll stick with my A4, thanks.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Daniel Barron Message #88270, posted at 02:16, 4/2/2001, in reply to message #88269
Unregistered user I have to agree with the last comment.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Rob Kendrick Message #88271, posted at 22:12, 4/2/2001, in reply to message #88270
Unregistered user I'm glad somebody does.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
[mentat] Message #88272, posted at 01:21, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88271
Unregistered user All so very pessimistic, which is a shame, but not surprising in this case.

Have a look at:
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
[mentat] Message #88273, posted at 01:23, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88272
Unregistered user The price is too high, the chip is too slow, but I still want one ;-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Michael Stubbs Message #88274, posted at 02:36, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88273
Unregistered user If they don't hurry up, the 7500FPE chip will be extinct. It has to be asked as well, why on earth did they go for a 7500FPE chip? IMHO, they ought to have gone the StrongARM route with custom chips to support the need for VIDC etc and produced a super-duper portable with a decent screen resolution. And the price is way over-the-top at the moment. Grumble, grumble...

Still, if it comes out soon, it will be nice :)

Personally, though, I'm saving up for the next batch of high powered desktop machines :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Click Here Message #88275, posted at 04:07, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88274
Unregistered user Click on "Click Here" to compare the FakeStations...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
[mentat] Message #88276, posted at 04:09, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88275
Unregistered user No no no, that won't work. Just follow the link in my post above.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
fred oak Message #88277, posted at 04:11, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88276
Unregistered user Ha Ha! One difference is that one has a monkey on it's "screen"! I wonder if they're trying to tell us something...? :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Marco Frissen Message #88278, posted at 06:41, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88277
Unregistered user Hmm, I didn't pay any notice before, but where has the 3rd mouse button gone? I thought the 3rd button was essential in riscOS (dunno if the A4 had one though).

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Lee Johnston Message #88279, posted at 09:18, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88278
Unregistered user <rant>

Why am I getting a sense of deja-vu here? Oh I see, first we had these conversations with Phoebe. Recently the newsgroups have been rife with criticism concerning the Omega and now it would seem that it is RiscStations turn.

Why do people keep asking why they didn't go down the SA route? We all know the answer lies in RISC OS' dependency on VIDC and IOMD. Ok so the possibility of custom chips has been put forward. This might work for desktop machines but (and lets be honest) how many laptops do you think RiscStation are going to sell in comparison to desktop machines? Even in the PC world the difference in sales between the two is large. Judging by the comments here RiscStation aren't going to sell more than one or two. Custom chips would put the price through the roof and I've yet to see proof of a custom chipset working with RISC OS. Don't point to Omega because I haven't seen it, I don't care what people on the inside say. Then again they claim the delay is BECAUSE of the custom chipset. Finally what's the point of creating a super duper screen resolution when the LCD can only physically cope with 800*600?

It does seem to have taken an inordinately long time to bring the laptop to market though.

What's worse about some of the comments being made is that they're made by certain people who are advocating a machine from a company which hasn't even announced it yet - and people think the laptop is vapourware - sheesh.

As for the third mouse button there was never going to be one. I've never seen a laptop case with three buttons and RiscStation were upfront at the start saying they were going to try things like use the menu button to bring up the menu or something.

Don't judge ANY machine until you've seen it. Then, if you don't like it, don't buy it. It's not hard.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Richard Walker Message #88280, posted at 12:21, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88279
Unregistered user Folks,

For notebooks, it's only the integrated chips which make any sense - and the only one we have is the 7500FE. Yes, it's as slow as a 486, but that's just the way it is.

More worringly, it looks like MicroDigital are developing custom IOMD/VIDC-compatible HARDWARE for Omega (like Millipede with Imago). And RiscStation have put Evolution 'on hold'. It seems to me that they don't want to club together and help RISCOS Ltd. make RISC OS work without VIDC and IOMD. This is a MASSIVE shame, 'cos it means we can't go anywhere. :-(
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Lee Johnston Message #88281, posted at 15:51, 5/2/2001, in reply to message #88280
Unregistered user Slow as a 486? I can see where you're coming from. I suspect it'll be nippy for normal tasks but I wouldn't expect to do heavy crunching, top end net access or development on one. However just being able give a presentation in lovely AA fonts would cause a few mouths to drop open. Sadly I can't justify one now I have a PC laptop unless I find myself in a situation where mobility overrides performance.

I think the custom chipsets aren't a question of not wanting to help RISC OS Ltd remove VIDC / IOMD dependencies. Instead I think it's because of the desire to bring machines to the market now. Evolution being on hold is a bit of a downer but that happens. It would be nice to see a combined effort though.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Gary Hughes Message #88282, posted at 02:51, 6/2/2001, in reply to message #88281
Unregistered user As a long time user of an A4 I find that it does almost everything I want it to. OK, it could be a bit faster and have a little more memory. However, failing a simple way of replacing the processor and adding some extra memory, it looks to me as though Riscstation's portable would be quite up to the tasks I would be using it for. Hey, I'd be quite happy with a Psion-like device.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Richard Walker Message #88283, posted at 13:27, 6/2/2001, in reply to message #88282
Unregistered user I don't know about presentations... as it won't be able to display 32 thousand colours at any respectable resolution and speed.

The system will NOT be upgradable. I can asure you all of that.

Oh, and, having said all that, yes, one would be quite cool, but not at 1249ukp + VAT. No way!!!

I'd like some kind of Psion-size/shape/price device which could run RISC OS...
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Lee Johnston Message #88284, posted at 17:19, 6/2/2001, in reply to message #88283
Unregistered user Jeez Rich what kind of presentations do you give? IIRC correctly even if it takes time to render the screen this isn't a problem on NoticeBoard Pro as it'll render to next slide off-screen. I dunno about you but most people tend to spend more than a few seconds on each slide. Once you've got it rendered off-screen doing a fancy transition is childs play.

Also most projectors I've seen only cope with about 800x600 so the resolution issue is a bit of a moot point. Given that the laptop will allegedly only be updating the screen at 25Hz the bus bandwidth consumed by the VIDC should be negated somewhat. Before you ask ExPLAN also claim to run their new LCD monitor at 60hz to get the same effect (if slightly reduced).

I don't believe anyone commented on the upgradability of the laptop either. Anyone buying any laptop should be aware that it's basically a one shot purchase. Minor things might be upgradable (memory etc) but it'll always be expensive.

As I said before if you don't like the machine don't buy it, but there's no need to knock it either. Afterall selling it is RiscStations problem, no one elses.
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Michael Stubbs Message #88285, posted at 12:18, 8/2/2001, in reply to message #88284
Unregistered user Not only does Richard infiltrate csa, he is here as well, disagreeing, being annoying etc etc.

He is a monkey! :monkey:

If RiscStation had not announced the portable until there was a definite launch date in sight, then they would not be facing this criticism, would they. If Acorn hadn't leaked Phoebe, they would not have faced criticism for it being yellow (a pathetic thing to moan about) and would not have seen RiscPC sales drop. Castle don't get this flak because they wait for a product to be a saleable item before announcing it.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
ams Message #88286, posted at 19:57, 9/2/2001, in reply to message #88285
Unregistered user There are alternatives to full custom design. Imago uses FPGA's (reprogrammable ones) and plenty nippy. It should be possible (given the VHDL specification for IOMD and VIDC) to implement it on a (fairly) low cost FPGA.

All it has to do is to better the performance of the ARM7500FE (with most modern FPGA's that's relatively easy) and then tag on an SA-110 as the processor and hey presto you have a portable. The target would be a performance similar or slightly better than an RPC.

I'd imagine the real problem holding up the development of a portable is no money will be spent developing it until certain sales are made, but no-one will buy on spec until they see the portable (a veritable chicken and egg situation). So we have "mocked" up images to gauge the potential for sales and lots of skeptics spotting the obvious "forgery" which only makes people more dubious and less likely to buy.

An announcement on the lines that RiscStation are building a portable based on the SA-110 equipped with a VIDC/IOMD replacement for something around £1500 would sell - an ARM7500FP portable for £1200 would more likely not. And next time no "dubious" photos please !!!!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
William Black Message #88287, posted at 21:22, 9/2/2001, in reply to message #88286
Unregistered user Agreed!
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Anon Message #88288, posted at 23:09, 10/2/2001, in reply to message #88287
Unregistered user Oh please.
Sometimes I wonder why the people driving this market don't just get fed up, say "screw you" and go and sell PC's. They'd certainly make a lot more money for a lot less hassle.
I mean honestly, RiscStation have said that a new portable machine is coming out soon. OK, it's maybe a little later than their original estimates, but what's the big deal? Would you rather have something that didn't work properly, but was rushed through development to satisfy people who whinge on here and the ng's?
I thought not.
Just remember that by rights the whole sceneshould have died when Acorn died. We are very, very fortunate that other companies have picked up the mantle.
I'll bet half of you don't even bother making enquiries. If you did there wouldn't be all this mindless specualtion and counter-speculation going on.
It's very tiresome.

Please stop it.

Just a little patience is needed. Come back in a few months and see if there is anything to whinge about then...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
William Black Message #88289, posted at 02:09, 12/2/2001, in reply to message #88288
Unregistered user Strange you should remain anon!

I think the general complaint is announcing products before you can sell 'em. This is what causes discussion just like this one.

It's quite easy to get it right:

1. Design product
2. Make a production run
3. Annonce product

At least one company does this. That's why they receive no flak.

All this argument over components is down to the fact that nothing has appeared yet. If they had announced it when it was ready, there would be no time to bitvh over components.

We are indeed lucky to have the manufacturers that we do have and things are looking up. But that doesn't mean that basic rules of business should not be applied, including avoiding vapourware.
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Lee Johnston Message #88290, posted at 09:39, 12/2/2001, in reply to message #88289
Unregistered user I partially agree about not announcing products before they are ready but the companies were in a difficult position and perhaps they've overstepped the mark slightly. AIUI Omega is apparently ready but has been delayed for reasons beyond MDs control. Should they have announced it when they did? Tricky one that. The laptop does seem to have taken an age to arrive though.

The problem with the Castle approach is simple. From the minute Phoebe was announced (ok more vapourware) and even before that I felt that the RISC PC was overpriced and no longer a justifiable purchase. Without some announcements I would've gone down the PC route a long time ago (and I have both Windows and linux installed on my laptop). If I had done that then nothing Castle could have done would've won me back because I don't think Windows is that bad (if you know what you're doing) and I wouldn't have had the cash to change back again (resell values of PCs being as bad as we all know they are).

As it is I'm still about to offer my services to VOTI and Coders Cauldron (and comment on here ;)). I needed hope and the Castle approach doesn't offer this. It is also why I refuse to condemn companies for pre-announcing products and wait to reserve judgement.
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William Black Message #88291, posted at 12:05, 12/2/2001, in reply to message #88290
Unregistered user Indeed it's a difficult one. There's the need to reassure customers which Castle fail to do. However, they don't disappoint as the others currently are doing. Because they don't announce products until they're ready, even if they suffer delays, we don't know about it. They deliver the goods. That's why I am going to wait on their developments.

As for MicroDigital, it's true that the delay is down to waiting for custom chips from the manufacturer. But they kept Omega a secret for so long, why couldn't they just wait for the first production run to be in progress?
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Anon Message #88292, posted at 18:27, 12/2/2001, in reply to message #88291
Unregistered user Not so strange I should remain anon at all...

Somebody said that Castle don't disappoint because they don't pre-announce things. Well, that does disappoint me to some extent.
Why do they refuse even to acknowledge what the likely specs of the new machine are? They say they are doing something, one assumes it's going to be better than Kinetic, so the point of view that they'll lose out on sales of Kinetic if they announce stuff early doesn;t really hold water.
Loike I say, I respect them for sticking to their policy, but really it's better when compainies lay their cards on the table.
If that's how Castle want to play it thent that's fine, but I'm saving for an Omega now. Castle are going to have to come up with something very impressive to tear me away from it. Oh and they've said they are going to keep using that silly Risc PC case. They must have a job lot of them or something. People moan about proprietry chips costing a lot of money. That case must cost a heck of a lot, and it's really poorly laid out inside.
As another said, he'd have moved to new PC's if it hadn't been for pre-announcing.
Says it all.
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The Icon Bar: News and features: New RiscStation laptop pic - well, kinda.