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The Icon Bar: News and features: The South-West Show Report 2018

The South-West Show Report 2018

Posted by Mark Stephens on 20:58, 24/2/2018 |
The exhibitors were generally upbeat, despite a 5am fire alarm at the hotel.
User groups were well represented with stands from Southampton, London and Bristol showing off projects and publicising their upcoming events.
Adrian Lees was demonstrating Aemulor and a new version of Geminus he has just started working on for new machines.
Sine Nomine were showing off the new map packs and also had their full range of software to discuss.
Drag'N'Drop were selling the new edition of the magazine (will be available next week) and had their range of fonts and books.
R-Comp had their usual selection of monitors, machines and software (see their talk).
Richard Brown (when not on door duties or making announcements) was showing off his very nice widescreen monitor and talking about Orpheus Internet services (I use them for work and home and can heartily recommend them).
Martin Wurthner was back at the show showing off the 2017 release of !ArtWorks and his other range of products.
Likewise, the Organizer stand was showing off their latest version and taking ideas for new features. They have now fixed the annoying broken line which used to appear on their website.
Jim Nagel was promising a release of Archive magazine once the show reports are added in. He was also offering back copies of previous editions.
AmCog games were showing off their games (and very nice new RISC OS desktop theme) and talking code.
RISC OS Bits had their range of interesting named storage devices and cases. They have not run out of puns yet....
John Norris had his bell ringing rig setup and RISC OS software to help you to practise. He shared a stand with Tasty Treats (who had the most inviting hardware purchases of the show!).
Ident Computer had their old and new range of cases (with Tom doing a talk about the changes and future plans).
Vince was providing sound support for the theatre and also promoting Bristol RISC OS group and his range of software. He also had a range of Vibe graphics demos running, updated for new machines.
Chris Hall was selling !FamTree and demoing his GPS hardware and software. He also did a talk.
Steve Fryatt had his range of software on show including the almost completed CashBook 1.40
Richard Keefe was showing off his work with Impression and talking about his priorities for future development. He gave a very full interview in Iconbar about his plans at Christmas.
Lastly the charity stand was raising money from secondhand software and hardware. Always worth a rummage....
The talks
There were three talks at the Show. All were filmed and will hopefully appear on youtube in the near future.
Tom Williamson
Tom told us about his background in media and broadcast. He is still actively involved in several projects and he told us about his WiFi sheep technology show.
His computer journey had started as a preservation and education project and demand for his homemade computer cases had led him into production. MicroOne was first product and the current release is mk4 - the last few were on sale at show at a special discount.
This is being replaced by a 'range' of CE machines which allows Ident to provide a RISC OS solution and and also target Linux and Retro gamers (2 much bigger markets).
Ident has its own version of RISC OS 5 (licensed from Castle) which includes some extra applications, has been reskinned to be more appealing to his target markets and nicely setup to use with a simple application to access BBC BASIC and a set of emulators. This is supplied with the RISC OS versions only.
Taking inspiration from the RISC PC, there is a two slice version, which Tom demoed with one slice running Linux and the other running RISC OS, viewing the Linux side via !Avalanche.
It all looked very impressive, and Tom has invested in some 3D printers to allow him to product several of his products.
Andrew Rawnsley
Andrew started with R-Comp updates.
The big recent software release is Netfetch5 with improvements for security and ssl. Lots of testing has been taking place in Germany. It also allows multiple servers - needed for spf which many Internet providers use to eliminate spam
The R-Comp hardware has received recent software updates. ARMX6 has new colour modes, and hardware floating point support (which your BBC BASIC code will be able to use). There was also an experimental build to allow developers to start experimenting with multi-core support. TiMachine has dual head support allowing it to display higher resolution screens on a suitable monitor.
A new Quake release allows the game to run on modern hardware and also provide higher resolution on machines which handle handle it.
Lastly Andrew, showed off the R-Comp ultra portable Windows solution to run RISC OS.
As ROOL were unable to attend, Andrew also provided a brief update on developments (and had some ROOL software available to buy on his stand). The big development will be RISC OS 5.24 (hopefully for Wakefield). Andrew was genuinely enthusiastic about the current developments for RISC OS.
With his RISC OS developments hat on, Andrew reported that they had been working with ROOL and had provided funding for bounties to improve the RISC OS networking.
Lastly, he provided a quick demo of the new version of Geminus Adrian Lees working to speed up window redrawing on the latest machines.
Chris Hall
Chris started with a demo of his new !FamTree software, showing how easy it is to create and edit family trees. These can then be dropped into other applications for further use or processing. The software can produce some fairly large A0 page and Chris recommended trying some print bureaux (who will generally charge more for the postage than the printing itself).
Chris also brought along his GPS software/hardware and showed it seamlessly integrating with Sine Nomine's mapping software. The talk turned into really nice demo of the software and its features (hopefully the videos will be out on youtube in the near future).
Next year
Richard and Andrew have been discussing some ideas about changing the venue or date to make the show more accessible. I am sure they would welcome any feedback from the Community.
Final thoughts
Personally, I thought it was a really upbeat and interesting show - well worth my early start and trek from Kent.
The show seemed to have just the right level of 'busy-ness' - I got to talk to everyone I wanted after a small wait. Lots of the developers have some really interesting ideas for future features and products. There was a good selection of stands, and we even received a free slice of cake...
The show in pictures
  The South-West Show Report 2018
  arawnsley (12:27 25/2/2018)
  VincceH (13:43 25/2/2018)
    markee174 (13:58 25/2/2018)
  markee174 (13:57 25/2/2018)
  jeff-doggett (09:01 26/2/2018)
    arawnsley (10:32 26/2/2018)
      adrianl (17:09 26/2/2018)
        VincceH (18:59 26/2/2018)
          markee174 (15:10 2/3/2018)
Andrew Rawnsley Message #124251, posted by arawnsley at 12:27, 25/2/2018
R-Comp chap
Posts: 595
For accuracy, it is the networking bounty, not the USB one that we are funding. Don't want people thinking that I was taking credit for something else!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
VinceH Message #124252, posted by VincceH at 13:43, 25/2/2018, in reply to message #124251
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1600
Although I suppose it's technically correct to say I provided sound support, that makes it sound like more than what it was.

I simply made use of an ultra cheap (£19.99 IIRC) portable amplifier. It's not designed for that type of set up (better for a small hall, with no background noise). I pulled it out and used it last year because the mic provided by the hotel seemed unreliable, and therefore used it again this year.

(I just don't want to get people's hopes up, expecting a level of audio quality that they won't get when I get around to editing/uploading the videos!)

That said, thanks for putting your report up so quickly Mark. I've posted a link to it (and the photos) into the Twitterverse - and, of course, if it takes me ages to get around to writing my own report for RISCOSitory, you've provided me with suitable notes to crib from. wink

And thanks to Richard and Andrew for organising the show again. It was an enjoyable day (a cold, 5am start aside), and I came back with less of my own stuff than I went with - which is always good.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Mark Stephens Message #124253, posted by markee174 at 13:57, 25/2/2018, in reply to message #124251
Does all the
work around here

Posts: 144
Thanks for pointing out. Corrected in main article.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Mark Stephens Message #124254, posted by markee174 at 13:58, 25/2/2018, in reply to message #124252
Does all the
work around here

Posts: 144
They were good talks so it would be great to see them online.

History always benefits from a little perspective on a report...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Jeff Doggett Message #124255, posted by jeff-doggett at 09:01, 26/2/2018, in reply to message #124251
Posts: 21
My day job is writing software for fire alarm systems. So depending on the brand of alarm in the hotel, it's entirely possible that you were struck by the curse of Jeff Doggett without me even being there.

[Edited by jeff-doggett at 09:02, 26/2/2018]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Andrew Rawnsley Message #124256, posted by arawnsley at 10:32, 26/2/2018, in reply to message #124255
R-Comp chap
Posts: 595
Jeff - suddenly it is hard for me to be grumpy about icy-cold 5am wakeup! You just saved the webbington... Hulk no longer smash!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Adrian Lees Message #124257, posted by adrianl at 17:09, 26/2/2018, in reply to message #124256
Posts: 1637
Jeff - suddenly it is hard for me to be grumpy about icy-cold 5am wakeup! You just saved the webbington... Hulk no longer smash!
Icy cold is good for me - long story - but it did interrupt my coding smile It was a hell of a long journey back, and I had to doze for an hour in a service station car park, but it was a good day. Thanks all.

Maybe in future I shall take the train...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
VinceH Message #124258, posted by VincceH at 18:59, 26/2/2018, in reply to message #124257
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1600
Icy cold is good for me
Hmm... Note to self for future reference: Adrian Lees is actually Mr Freeze!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Mark Stephens Message #124260, posted by markee174 at 15:10, 2/3/2018, in reply to message #124258
Does all the
work around here

Posts: 144
I am glad the show happened last weekend and not scheduled for tomorrow. I think attendance tomorrow would be very low....
  ^[ Log in to reply ]

The Icon Bar: News and features: The South-West Show Report 2018