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The Icon Bar: News and features: RISC OS interview with Gavin Smith

RISC OS interview with Gavin Smith

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:00, 3/7/2020 |
Archive magazine has a new editor. We tracked down Gavin Smith to find out more about him and his plans...

Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hello, I'm Gavin Smith and I run a software business building custom apps for businesses, as well as publishing a few of my own, such as Server Ranger. But more importantly than that, I'm the new editor of Archive Magazine!
How long have you been using RISC OS?
My first Acorn machine was an Electron but I first used RISC OS 2 as a teenager at school. I really wanted an A3010, mostly for the green keys but, alas, I couldn't afford it. A couple of years later, I bought a RiscPC and later an Iyonix.
What other systems do you use?
I use a Mac for my programming work. I usually build apps in Xojo, for which I'm an MVP. (I confess that the photo is about 15 years old at this point.)
What is your current RISC OS setup?
It's a Raspberry Pi 3B+ hooked up to a 27" display, with Elesar's WiFi HAT. I've a Pi 4 here too, and I know there are workarounds, but I'm waiting until the USB ports are working properly before I move over. Honestly, RISC OS feels so nippy on a Pi 3 already.
What do you think of the retro scene.
I admit to be very nostalgic about Acorn's past and I still wish we had been able to hold on to the Acorn nut as a logo for RISC OS, but I'm far more interested in the future of RISC OS and where it's going, especially now it's open-sourced and available on so many hardware platforms.
What do you use RISC OS for in 2020 and what do you like most about it?
I use it for most things. It's clean and simple and I'm in control of it, rather than the other way around. It keeps out of my way and I'm not badgered with endless notifications and other distractions. Over many years, I have customised it just how I like it.
What would you most like to see in RISC OS in the future?
In the past, I'd probably have said "a more capable browser" but that's becoming less of an issue, thanks to Chris Gransden's Otter port and RISC OS Development's Iris. There's so much work being put into RISC OS at the moment but if I had to pick a couple of things, WiFi support would be an obvious one and I'd like to see us all paying more attention to the Style Guide. There are many programmers among us, but not many designers, so I'd rather RISC OS and its apps followed the Style Guide as closely as possible. Clean and simple. Focused apps.
I've two more desires! I'd love to see a new printed edition of the PRMs from ROOL. And it would be great to be able to use both HDMI ports in the Raspberry Pi 4, for dual displays.
Favourite (vaguely RISC OS-related) moan?
I'd like to make sure that we're as welcoming as a community as we can be. There are so many wonderful people in the RISC OS community but many of us have been here since Acorn's early days, and we forget that some people are literally just finding us today, in 2020. We should be as welcoming and generous as possible to these people.
Can you tell us about what you are working on in the RISC OS market at the moment?
Sure! Archive Magazine :) I'm really honoured to be taking on Archive. I know it's something special to our community, and I'm going to do my best for it.
Any surprises you can let us about or dates to tease us with?
I'm determined that Archive will return to a regular as clockwork schedule, published bi-monthly. In the next few weeks, I'll be able to talk more about my plans.
Apart from iconbar (obviously) what are your favourite websites?
RISCOSitory and the ROOL forums (where I mostly lurk). I used to really enjoy Sion's articles on the RISC OS Blog and was disappointed when that ended.
What are your interests beyond RISC OS?
I'm married with four young children and a big dumb labrador, so my options are limited, but I love exploring the USA, I've driven many thousands of miles through the States over the years. Back at home, if the weather is good, you'll find me beside a BBQ.
By the way, I'd love to hear from anyone regarding Archive. Opinions, questions, hopes, or just to say hi. I'm on Twitter and Telegram (via !ChatCube) at @gvnsmth. Or email me at gavin AT archivemag.co.uk
You can read lots of other interviews on Iconbar here
  RISC OS interview with Gavin Smith
  Bucksboy (12:49 4/7/2020)
George Greenfield Message #124899, posted by Bucksboy at 12:49, 4/7/2020
Posts: 91
Glad to see Archive has landed in enthusiastic hands - all the best of luck to you Gavin!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]

The Icon Bar: News and features: RISC OS interview with Gavin Smith