After a 2 year hiatus, the Wakefield Show returned today as an in-person event in Bradford (the usual Wakefield spot being unavailable this year). The new venue was very easy to reach by car and there is a large car park. Entry was a very reasonable 2 pounds for adults.
The show format was very familiar from previous years with a show room and a theatre next door for the presentations.
As usual, this is a personal perspective on the show and all errors, misunderstandings and omissions are mine.
We also have some pictures of the show for you.
First stand by the door was WROCC who were selling raffle tickets and also membership of WROCC. You do not need to live in Yorkshire (or even be a Yorkshireman) to join and the talks and lots of useful resources are available online to members. First year membership is a fiver (and my first investment of the day).
Archive magazine had the latest edition and back issues. Colin Piggott (the Retro column author) was standing in for Gavin who was unable to be there. Colin also had some other retro magazines to show.
Retro Hardware had an interesting selection of retro hardware for both Archimedes and BBC including a cross-compiler and the blitz interface.
The MUG stand had information on both their regualr meetings and the online summer show in July.
Soft Rock software had their range of games and Raspberry Pi cases. There was an updated version of Escape from Exeria and plans for more updates for Drop Rock and a new game in thw works for London Show (no pressure Vince).
Amcog games had their full range along with a new release. 3D Pingu is a fast paced 3D platform game complete with extensive sound track and lots of levels. As usual, you get the game source code if you want to tinker.
North West Computer Musuem is launching soon in an old converted mill. They had a selection of retro machines and games on display along with a nice selection of mugs to purchase. You can also buy an annual membership.
CJE Micros had brought along the usual wide selection of items and special offers. Good selection of monitors to work with older machines.
Richard Brown was representing Genesys and ROD. With his Genesys hat on, there is lots of exciting developments for anyone looking for an Internet provider (I use Orpheus for my own business because on the very rare occasion there is any issue, Richard is usually ringing me to say it is sorted before I am even aware of the issue). You get unlimited access and speeds up to 1 gig if your connection can handle it. VOIP is in the works.
The charity stand was the usual Aladdin's cave of equipment, discs, CDs and books with the money raised going to charity.
RISCOSbits had its full range of hardware and cases including the new PiRO Noir, ITX board and the Pi Harder. If you already have a FOURtress, the BUTT is a really nice extension to add USB ports at the front.
Flax cottage has several BBC machines, lots of peripherals and educational software to play with.
Sine Nomine had some enhancements to RiscOSM to show on thier stand and lots of ideas for new projects to discuss.
Chris Hall had his range of projects on his stands. These include the updated Impression manuals and a SatNav Hat for purchase.
R-Comp had their full range along with the new hardware (4te2, Sidekick) and new Messenger Pro 9 and PiTool releases to play with. There was also a PineBook Pro with RISC OS and the ITX motherboard for a Pi.
ROOL had their full range of merchandise (software, books and even branded shirts) and you could chat to the ROOL team about their plans and ideas.
Overall, it was great to be back in person and there were lots of interesting people to talk to and things to see. I was very excited to win the Pi400 in the raffle!
The talks were all recorded and should be online soon.
RISC OS Open
Steve Revill kicked off the talks. His talk was similar to the London talk with Steve also reflecting on Why we are all involved and attend shows, contribute, etc. RISC OS Open have been considering their purpose and role in the Community. It is a voluntary organisation with a passionate belief in openess and transparency and facilitators. They define their role as 'Safeguarding the past, present and future of RISC OS for everyone'.
RISC OS Open has guided the move of RISC OS to a truly open source OS. It aims to be the active hub of the Community. 9 bounties and six stable releases (every 18-24 months). Created ePic software bundle to provide funds back to developers. Published lots of books on programming RISC OS. Improved DDE and reduced the cost. Maintained backwards compatability (RISC PC second largest download base after Raspberry Pi).
Currently 5 Open bounties to improve RISC OS including Filing system improvements, toolbox reunification, Paint, Git and TCP/IP. Will be starting ramp up to 5.30 stable release.
Work on ABC 5.00 (BASIC Compiler) to improve floating point speed. riscos.fr are still giving away free copies to developers.
New toolbox gadgets (tabs and TreeView) toolbox gadgets being added to source tree.
Beta of disc-based parts of !Internet (ROOL keen to get testers and feedback).
For the future, working on GUI for Git client. Ongoing work on multiple monitor support and improvements to BBC BASIC (structured support). Plans for large physical extensions, multi-core processing, Vector floating point and end of 32 bit ARM.
There was a question from the audience on the RISC OS Developments TCP/IP stack. This will be hosted on ROOL website and the 2 versions address different issues. ROOL and ROD working closely together to try to avoid any duplication if possible.
RISC OS Developments
Richard Brown gave a very spontaneous talk on developments.
30th April, the TCP/IP stack went live for anyone to download, 18 months after announcement. It replaces the 35 year old Acorn network stack with something modern which may not look exciting but is critical to RISC OS growing. This is just the first release. Second release due very soon based on user feedback. It is running on RPCEmu now as well.
PinBoard 2.0 has now reached its second Beta release. It provides a much more functional drop-in replacement for PinBoard.
Iris has just gained a much slicker bookmark manager. The limiting speed factor on demoing it was the slow hotel wifi. Hopefully we might see a general release in second half of the year.
Ideas for LanMan98 on roadmap for the future.
70% of PRMs now online thanks for Gerph.
With his Genesys hat on, Richard is moving over to a set of new servers (replacing some of Paul Vigay's old servers). This will allow much better SSL support, VOIP and some other exciting new developments. Considering offering a cross-platform cloud service.
Matthew Phillips looked up the Bradford hotel and explored the local area in RiscOSM. You can now zoom out to have maps to the whole of the UK. There are some nice selection tools and you can do searches within a specific area.
Reece has been improved over the last year and can access Weather data and other data sets of Geographic information. Matthew added a road collisions overlay.
APIS so other applications can talk to RiscOSM.
Buswatch is a freebie which will be available shortly to add live bus data. You can even follow a bus with the map updating and even recording.
Working at idea for Impact to add attachments to emails using new version of ImpEmail.
Lots of ideas for future developments so looking for feedback if you are interested. Ideas include Reece may be able to provide information directly without going via RiscOSM, more advanced search modes, more open access to tags and data from other applications.
New hardware including the new 4te2 (which was used for the demo). 4te needed a redesign due to parts shortages. New release of 4te Tools (also generic version available called PiTools). Lots of options to change screen displays, update the firmware, overclock the hardware and password lock the machine.
Sidekick (or unibox) is a tiny Windows computer designed to supplement your RISC OS machine. It is silent, comes with USB and HDMI if you want. It was originally created to run UniPrint software (which is included), but it can be used as a file sharing and Windows system and comes preconfigured to support printing. It only costs 250 pounds for a complete computer.
Messenger Pro moves to version 9 with lots of improvements to its email support.
Recap on new Fireworkz Pro released in lock down.
For the future, there will be the PineBook Pro laptop with RISC OS.
CJE Micros still unpacking boxes after their move.
Commented on prices of printers has gone up recently.
Still developing interfaces for RISC OS machines.
Since last physical show, several new products including an A7000 backplane with a realtime clock, Archimedes keyboard adaptor which will allow a PS2 mouse and keyboard.
Nice selection of monitors which will run on older machines.
Raspberry RO4 systems built around a Raspberry Pi.
Looking at the Compute module 4 which can be used under RISC OS.
Helped to make the RISC OS User guide freely avaiable by soritng out required font license.
Noticed in pandemic people had more time for playing with retro hardware. If you have old kit, looking for a new home, CJE Micros happy to help.