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The Icon Bar: News and features: RISCOS Ltd. Second Annual Report
 

RISCOS Ltd. Second Annual Report

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 19:42, 12/7/2001 | ,
 
Just about to go home for the evening and this pops into my mailbox, so I'll just post the URL and let y'all make your own minds up.

http://www.riscos.com/news/news_items/AnnualReport2001.pdf

It's in PDF format, so if you need a PDF viewer go here.
 

  RISCOS Ltd. Second Annual Report
  This is a long thread. Click here to view the threaded list.
 
Nathan Message #88872, posted at 22:21, 12/7/2001
Unregistered user Nice to see where our money is going to.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Daniel Barron Message #88873, posted at 03:14, 13/7/2001, in reply to message #88872
Unregistered user Pitty there is no firm commitment to 32-bit.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Nathan Message #88874, posted at 07:49, 13/7/2001, in reply to message #88873
Unregistered user Sounds more definite that we won't have 32-bit.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Graham Message #88875, posted at 09:05, 13/7/2001, in reply to message #88874
Unregistered user To be fair, it seems quite clear that they cannot make a commitment to 32bit at the moment. :(

Unfortunately, things are getting to the stage now where people are put off from spending money in a market which is getting increasingly close to collapse. (This of course only hastens things to come)

One lottery win should do it! :D
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lee Johnston Message #88876, posted at 13:59, 13/7/2001, in reply to message #88875
Unregistered user Well I'm trying not to take the report too negatively but it's difficult.

As regards commitment to 32bit then unless something drastic happens I'm not sure they'll ever be able to make the commitment. This isn't a slight at RISC OS Ltd, just facing facts - judging from the sales figures then the market isn't growing. It's sad that the hardware companies can't get together to help fund the work on a 32bit OS. I guess they either think they can manage or aren't interested in a mutually beneficial partnership. Of course they could be interested and not had a reasonable partnership description put on the table.

It does seem that a lot of potential sales are being bottled up by Omega. This is a shame really but also realistic - people want faster machines. For the most part money is spent by people with the top kit (although there are exceptions - myself included).

Other interesting areas include the comments about Evolution not coming to market. When Evolution was first demoed (2 yrs ago) the only thing stopping it were VIDC and IOMD dependencies. John Kortnik has shown that the VIDC dependencies can be solved, which leaves IOMD. Unfortunately it's just hardware sitting on a shelf gathering dust. It's a shame that these problems haven't been looked at. Judging by MDs and Millipedes approach it seems the hardware manufacturers have been forced to implement hardware solutions for, arguably, software problems. I guess RISC OS Ltd simply didn't have the resources, or weren't asked, to solve these problems.

I think who owns what shares is interesting. If you notice none of the hardware manufacturers are listed although CTA Direct could be a front for RiscStation, Richard and Sigrid Jozefowski are listed (Millipede) and Jack Lillingston and John Balance could be interpreted as representing Castle's interests. What gets me is that CTA have considerably more than the others, although as a dealership their income could arguably be greater.
No Microdigital though.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Chiswell Message #88877, posted at 14:57, 13/7/2001, in reply to message #88876
Unregistered user Unfortently, I have to agree that everybody I know is leaving the RISC OS platform (including myself).

Main reasons: Internet compatibility (I have to confess IE is coming the 'top' browser, Opera next, Netscape and then Browse/Fresco), Range of software available, pricing (okay, Win2k costs 200UKP (roughly) off the shelf, RISC OS 4 costs 100UKP - but which machine is cheaper when it includes the OS), hardware compatibility (printer drivers anyone?).

My work laptop came with Win2k installed with Office 2k (costing - IIRC - 500UKP) - cost around 13000UKP. For that I can word processes (Ovation Pro costs 150UKP), make spreadsheets (what is the RISC OS equilivant), databases using Access (ditto), presentations (although I've never needed to do this - the cheapest RISC OS version is around 30UK), quite good Email client called Outlook (RISC OS has either got messenger [37UKP] or ANT Marcel [100UKP for the package]), internet connectivity (either ANT INS at 100UKP or DialUp at 23UKP]), web browser (IE, Netscape, Opera, Amaya etc etc on PC, Fresco/Browse or WebsterXL on PCs - costing any thing from 30UKP upwards) and various other facilities.

Including the cost of hardware, and PC's (unfortently) work out cheaper. I used to use RISC OS 24/7 (practically), but since Acorn's collapse the market has been without direction and development has seriously detiorited (and I wish MS IE had a spell checker). It's all right going on about quantity vs price etc., but if a 1000UKP machine needs replacing after 3 years (which, I believe is a common lifespan for a PC), but a 1500UKP machine needs replacing after 4 because it just can't cope either software or hardware wise - which would you choose?

Sorry to offer such a downer, but that's my (and other PC->Risc OS users) view :=(
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #88878, posted at 20:44, 13/7/2001, in reply to message #88877
Unregistered user Suggestion for The Iconbar, as I can't find quickly an email address to send it to:

I often find it hard to remember if a comment has been added or not to a news article by simply looking at the number of comments currently there. May I suggest that you either put a 'last comment added' time/date next to the news article, or alternativly use cookies or logins a la drobe to put a 'new' image or similar next to it if new unread comments have been left.

Just an idea.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Tim Fountain Message #88879, posted at 22:29, 13/7/2001, in reply to message #88878
Unregistered user We have a generic suggestion form at http://www.iconbar.com/suggest.php3 which will email the suggestion to the relevant person, but you're right there doesn't seem to be a link to it for general site feedback on the front page. There's the site comments forum as well.

Good idea though, I've been thinking about simply making the comment link bold if there's been a new comment since your last visit (by checking the last visit cookie used for the forum, so this would only work for registered users). Would that be acceptable?

(probably best to reply by email as this isn't relevant to this news item)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Simon John Message #88880, posted at 22:57, 13/7/2001, in reply to message #88879
Unregistered user I've just moved to California and brought my Win2K laptop and SA-RPC with me. As my Linux boxen have only just arrived, I've only been able to use the DSL on the laptop (did I mention the lack of DHCP?)

Anyway, I've been surfing etc. using Windows and frankly am amazed on what we've been missing out on.

I've been listening to streaming radio (RealAudio and MP3) from the UK, watching Quicktime trailers of all the movies, using dyndns, talking to my family using ICQ/IRC etc.

I've also got my laptop running as a web server with MySQL, PHP and Perl, I've been downloading goodness knows what using Gnutella (stuff Napster!), I've been turning my air-con on/off and dimming my lights using X10 kit, next I'm going to setup an MP3 jukebox, WebCam and maybe an internet phone.

Now I've got my Linux boxen I'll probably do all that on those instead, but what I'm saying is that we can barely even use Flash/Java websites, let alone all this jazz - jees we've only just got MPEGs with sound!

Truthfully though, I haven't turned the RPC on for 5 weeks.....

The only thing that RISC OS has going for it ATM, is its Email/newsreaders - Pluto2 is a dream when you've been struggling with Outlook Express and DejaNews, oh and I suppose Zap is nice too, although UltraEdit and XEmacs are catching up (gotta try this new ViewFinder software though!)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Duffell Message #88881, posted at 23:56, 13/7/2001, in reply to message #88880
Unregistered user Um, you can use shoutcast/streaming mp3 from RISC OS, there's a dyndns client for RO, an ICQ client, and excelent IRC client (LIRC). You can /buy/ WebJames webserver which does a lot, but I don't think you 'd want to serve anything from RO :-/
RiscSter is in development, um, user port anyone ;-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Stubbs Message #88882, posted at 01:48, 14/7/2001, in reply to message #88881
Unregistered user Haven't any of you people seen the specs for Oregano 2 which is without doubt on the way?

Have you not considered what Pace are working on?

No point arguing I suppose. There seems to be a group of people who are always claiming the end of the market, ranting on about how bad everything is and this has been going on for years. Yet the market is still here and developments continue.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Gerbracht Message #88883, posted at 08:50, 14/7/2001, in reply to message #88882
Unregistered user I can`t understand people leaving the market now. The Omega is able to run 32 Bit software on the XScale. Sorry, but for me RISC OS itself is fast enough on my RISC PC. And if Omega has some kind of graphic accelaration, a faster IDE and maybe FP, I can´t understand why people see the end of the market.
The only thing I´m really interested in is what the other hardware companys plan. What abuot the RiscStation laptop. What happend to Imago, what about castle? Not a good time to be so quiet I think.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
flounder Message #88884, posted at 09:17, 14/7/2001, in reply to message #88883
Unregistered user The laptop should still appear, they are waiting for the case to be completed and approved.

The Imago board still has problems, so Castle are still churning out variations on the Kinetic.

What are Pace up to?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Doug Message #88885, posted at 11:43, 14/7/2001, in reply to message #88884
Unregistered user I've read the report a few times now and there seems to be both positive and negatives in it.
For me the positives are that RISC OS 4.5 is on the way and if they do it right then this will be 32bit ready.
If PACE have done the other 75% then Select may be one way that RISCOS Ltd are able to get the remaining desktop stuff 3
2 ready.If faster Xscales are not going to be available till the end of the year then this will also help RISCOS Ltd cash flow.
The negative is that the three manufactures haven't, as far as the report states, agreed any common standards for sound/
video drivers and this needs to be sorted.Also RISCOS Ltd seem not to be in to good financial state and this is also a danger to the market.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lee Johnston Message #88886, posted at 12:29, 14/7/2001, in reply to message #88885
Unregistered user Just to offset some of my negativity

Simon John

The DHCP issue is being addressed. I'm surprised it has taken so long (although it's also a non-trivial task) but I wouldn't mind betting that Pace have had it for some time.

Also XEmacs isn't that good - too complex for an editor (JEdit kicks its butt) oh and there's nothing on the PC that can match the Easi/TechWriter family...and I say this as someone who chose it and Citation over Word and Endnote for writing his thesis (latex is a step back to the 8bit days IMHO).

For me this was enough to warrant buying an RS Scorcher. I realise this isn't enough for most people though.

As for the Internet stuff - perhaps RISC OS Ltd should consider integrating the Flash, IRC, dyndns and ICQ clients with their upcoming Internet Suite. Certainly it would solve some of the "we can't do this" when actually we can but people don't know about it problems.

Michael Stubbs

So what are Pace working on and will we see it? Remember they have no obligation to release their work to RISC OS Ltd.

Doug

The issue of a standard for sound and video drivers seems relatively easy to solve. According to Acorn User a few months back there is an initiative at work for standardising a sound system. Video needs something to augment the current facilities provided in the OS - OpenGL is the route chosen by Microdigital and, IMHO, the other hardware developers would be mad to do anthing else.

Finally I hope MD can deliver Omega, and do it fairly soon - same with the RISC OS laptop from RiscStation. I can imagine that both will kick some life back into the market.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #88887, posted at 13:31, 14/7/2001, in reply to message #88886
Unregistered user Simon - I've been running an MP3 jukebox of my RPC for some time now, including being able to skip tracks, pause, change volume etc. via telnet, custom desktop app and web browsers from any room in the house. You can click on an auto-updating screen grab of the MP3 player to control it, it even works in ArcWeb running on an A310 (in a less stylish fashion :) Adding a wireless keyboard (like my old NC keyboard) also gives regular IR remote control.

http://www.houseofmabel.com/personal/choons.html
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #88888, posted at 15:09, 14/7/2001, in reply to message #88887
Unregistered user Simon - California eh?
See if there are any graphics artists there in its modest population and if they would like the honour, thrill and privilege of contributing towards some RISC OS games.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
mark quint Message #88889, posted at 16:10, 14/7/2001, in reply to message #88888
Unregistered user you should offer them smiley face stickers, as a little incentive for them ;)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guy Inchbald Message #88890, posted at 09:34, 16/7/2001, in reply to message #88889
Unregistered user For me, the depressing thing is how little control anybody seems to have of RiscOS Desktop (ROD?) development any more. ROL are at the mercy of Pace and the bank manager. Pace aren't talking and bank managers are not great venture capitalists.

Why should I spend good money on whatever crumbs fall from Pace's table, when Linux is so alive and growing? I really want to know.

IMHO, we need to persuade Pace that the ROD license revenue stream needs a little more openness about future plans.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Chiswell Message #88891, posted at 09:47, 16/7/2001, in reply to message #88890
Unregistered user After that rant, it seems Explan's Solo has got on the international, high-traffic, 'well respected' techy news site Slashdot - <a href="http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/07/15/0237239&mode=nested">http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/07/15/0237239&mode=nested</a> .
Explan's webservers will be taking a hell of a bashing now because of it...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Nathan Message #88892, posted at 13:05, 16/7/2001, in reply to message #88891
Unregistered user Why are we all on this market again? I seem to fire up my PC far more often.

I don't feel that ROL are doing this platform any good at all. Instead of bowing to Pace and taking bits of RO why the heck don't they say to Pace, "Hey, lets get RO widely known instead of us sitting on our butts waiting for people to come to us."
Amazing that they identify reasons why people don't have RO4 but not do anything about it. Jeez, seems a mutiny would be a good idea :)

Enthusiasm in our market is basically dead, why? If Pace don't rave about it (why should they anyway?) and ROL just seem like a charity rattle box then what chance has anyone else.
I am very teed off because the market I love(d) is getting defunct quickly and we have these bickering piddly arguments on usenet or Iconbar to make ourselves feel better but serve no other purpose. It's a pity that the number of people leaving is so great but it reflects badly on the parent company but are they doing anything? Tchyer right.

To those people who are market blind then realise that a lot of people are leaving because they are sick of the doldrums we are in. If you don't like it then just keep your mouth closed as the "Bog off" statements are irritating.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guy Inchbald Message #88893, posted at 17:27, 16/7/2001, in reply to message #88892
Unregistered user I see that Samsung are gunning for a '64-bit' ARM 10:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/3/20399.html
while ROL can't hack 32-bit.
Remember when "ARM Workstation" meant "A5000, raw power or what!"?
Nathan is right - the old ROS *is* in the doldrums and my enthusiasm *is* fading.
If Explan or anyone else can find a new market for ROS, I for one will be very happy.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
James Walkerdine Message #88894, posted at 20:08, 16/7/2001, in reply to message #88893
Unregistered user I think the last thing you said is basically what it comes down too.

If none of these new commerical efforts (Solo, Omega, Vantage, etc) take off, then RISCOS is basically dead.

I can't see there being another chance.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Steve Scott Message #88895, posted at 02:41, 17/7/2001, in reply to message #88894
Unregistered user Be patient guys. Considering the pasting the IT industry is getting worldwide, it's amazing RISC OS Ltd is still going. We should be thankful for that. Things will get better. My only worry is that I've not used my RPC for over a year, and I've been solely PC based since then (due to work reasons). I'm worried I'll miss things like Flash, Shockwave, games etc...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Nathan Message #88896, posted at 08:20, 17/7/2001, in reply to message #88895
Unregistered user The number of negatives with RISC OS now largely outways the positives and the PC platform can nail us easily if we did a cost-benefit analysis. If you don't believe this so then you aren't in the real world. Back about 10 years we could argue with the best of them the virtues of RISC OS but nowadays I find it increasingly difficult.

We hardly support any industry filetype on our machines, they are too slow, the OS doesn't have many of the bells and whistles evident on other platforms. The list goes on.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #88897, posted at 09:13, 17/7/2001, in reply to message #88896
Unregistered user Loyalty, a nice GUI and pleasant in-built languages for programmers are amongst the small number of factors which keep people with the platform I'd think.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
David McEwen Message #88898, posted at 11:10, 17/7/2001, in reply to message #88897
Unregistered user The RISC OS market as it is is hampered by various things. Firstly there is no road map for the platform - something, which should have been set out after Acorn's demise. Going from the report a 32bit version of the OS is way off and this is really damaging as we need to be getting new high end machines asap. Too many hardware projects have failed to meet deadlines or come anywhere close to them and this is damaging. The hardware companies really need to stop their petty bickering and get together if they want any future market. Surely the companies could all invest an equal sum to get a 32bit OS. They would all benefit...

Secondly the platform needs a proper dev suite. If you want to develop a decent scale app the advantages of a structured environment are immense. Combine this with a debugger and I'd be much much happier.

Then there are issues with access to 'industry standard' file formats. If we had some sort of direction and can show them that there is some viability in supporting the platform things may be different. As for Flash I heard something about Flash 5 and Oregano 2... maybe there will be another option... maybe...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guy Inchbald Message #88899, posted at 13:38, 17/7/2001, in reply to message #88898
Unregistered user I wonder if Pace have a roadmap they are keeping to themselves.
Or not.
...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Nathan Message #88900, posted at 14:20, 17/7/2001, in reply to message #88899
Unregistered user Pace will have a roadmap but I severely doubt it will involve any aspect of the desktop market. They'll leave the bad management to ROL.

All IMHO of course ;)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Steve knutson Message #88901, posted at 21:12, 17/7/2001, in reply to message #88900
Unregistered user Just over 5000 copies sold including AMS licences (doesn't look like many new machines with RO4 have been sold). I guess everyone is waiting for new gear. Still they sales have been "steady".

So what about all those people that once used RISCOS, have fond memories but now have PC's and don't read Acorn related magazines...I notice that Cerilica are about the only RISCOS company who actually have a "Marketing" person.

Bring on Oregano 2 and the Omega!

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
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The Icon Bar: News and features: RISCOS Ltd. Second Annual Report