In this new, hopefully regular, column we collate the interesting, informative and funny comments posted on all the RISC OS web sites and newsgroups throughout the week. Our telescreens are everywhere, and we are always listening.
RISC OS allocations service
Castle's announcement that RISC OS Open Ltd. will handle future allocation requests for module names, filetypes, etc. led to discussion of whether this would lead to conflicts with RISCOS Ltd.
Martin Wuerthner pointed out that "Up to now, RISCOS Ltd have only acted as a front-end (in parallel with Castle) and it has always been Alan Glover of Pineapple Software who did the work. " John Cartmell said that "Alan [Glover] has had a thankless task - and it's about time we thanked him properly."
Meanwhile, after a light refreshing argument, Steve Fryatt called for calm: "This is *not* an area for yet more of the yah-boo-sucks style of politics which seems to be favoured by certain posters around here. There can only be one set of master records, and if we ended up with two sets of data because ROL weren't prepared to accept ROOL or vice versa, things would descend into chaos. It looks as if a decision has been made. Let's wait and see what comes out of it, and then get on board, shall we?"
What came of it was a happy ending, obviously. Drobe quoted Paul Middleton saying "we are delighted that RISC OS Open Ltd have offered to assist RISCOS Ltd by stepping in to handle things on a trial basis. We are in the process of finalising the paperwork that's required."
In-car Risc PC
It's hardly a stunt you'd see on Top Gear, but Michael Emerton is "intending to convert an SA RiscPC into a car entertainment unit". When asked how it would be used whilst driving, he responded "Ah! its called a modified keyboard, (and full one) as a uni project, we managed to munge a keyboard, into some touch-plates which you could attach to the steering wheel! ... They attempted to use Windows, but on average by the time they booted it up, short journeys were over!"
Druck thought an A9 would be more suitable than a Risc PC. "If someone comes up with useful and good looking in car system based around and A9 and a small LCD display, they might be able to make quite a few pennies by selling it to others. Its something I've considered."
Rob Kendrick suggested: "You might want to talk to Advantage Six directly on that one: I seem to recall that the SM501 video chip-set has an LCD controller built-in, and you may be better off using that output rather than then VGA. (I'm assuming that the LVDS is sent to a pin-out somewhere.) Thus, you'd want A6 to make you A9s with this exposed on the casework to avoid voiding any warranties."
Which brings us to our...
RISC OS typo of the week
"I cannot use the Ogg player from Peter Nulls"
New Microdigital support group
Source: Microdigital Google Group
Julian Zimmerle has set up Google Group for discussions between users of Microdigital's RISC OS computers. Currently there are only two members including Julian; Mike Morris is the other half, who writes "I see there aren't many of us on this group so far - maybe others will join in due course. ... Thanks for setting up this group, Julian, and thanks for running the previous forum for so long."
The old support forums at microdigital.info are closing. Julian said that "After several years of running this forum (and paying for traffic, domain-fees, etc.) the time has come where I can no longer justify the work that goes into it ... So I'm taking the interactive parts of it down. A static image of the current state of the forum will remain (created by wget --mirror) as a resource for all you brave RISC OS users." All the postings of the previously invitation only forums are now publically available.
RISC OS logo and branding
Drobe's South West Show report led to discussions on the suitability of the RISC OS logo and branding. Adam Weishaupt thought "In my opinion the current RISC OS logo, the cogwheel, is fine. It's the ROL logo (which incidentally has probably been done using Draw by a non-designer in a few minutes) and their particular usage of the riscos.com domain that annoys me, personally. If they can't properly keep it up-to-date and an accurate resource, they should pass it on to someone who can."
stevef said "If you read the explanation of how the RISC OS cog came about, it seems a lot more thought went into it than is being suggested here. I suspect that Richard Hallas might be a bit miffed at being described as a 12 year old, too. As for changing the logo again: why? The cog is universal now: it appears in the RO4, RO5 and RO6 logos, ROOL's logo, and in a lot of the platform's publicity. As more logos get redesigned, it's replacing the Acorn as the standard symbol of the platform, regardless of supplier."
Rob Kendrick remained unimpressed. "Whenever I see the cog logo, I see a bad copy of the KDE logo. A shame."
History of Acorn
Kid Penfold sent us a link to an article he doesn't agree with. He writes: "Tom Hornby at Low End Mac has, for some reason, put up an article about Acorn and the BBC Micro. However, it’s wildly inaccurate in many ways! I would respond to the article, but I’m a) too lazy; and b) too going on holiday to do so? Perhaps one for you guys..."
I'd respond to Kid, but I'm a) too lazy; and b) that's it. Perhaps one for you guys...?
RISCube: no ordinary PC?
Source: The Icon Bar
Finally, in our own forums, R-Comp's Andrew Rawnsley discussed his PC/Virtual Acorn products. "It is a popular misconception that our machines are just some PCs with VA stuck on em. ... It takes approximately 12-15 hours of work to do a 'cube or book. Actually building the hardware of a cube takes about 1hr due to the care that goes into the assembly. Each item is adjust to ensure best fitting, cable flow, minimal air blockage, acurate positioning (so that things pop open correctly, and so on) ... The rest of the time is software work. We utilise a lot of our own custom software to allow smooth booting into RISC OS or Windows at user's choice. Over an hour of time is spent just customising RISC OS - VirtualAcorn does not ship in an optimal state ... The choice of a particular driver can make HUGE differences to performance, and often non-public drivers give significant benefits ... They are funding RISC OS development"