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The Icon Bar: News and features: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Leave RISC OS
 

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Leave RISC OS

Posted by John Hoare on 18:33, 30/11/2006 | ,
 
Last month, I thought I left RISC OS. After 19 years of using Acorn or Acorn-derived computers, my love affair is no longer. I sit here writing this on my Mac Mini, and very happy I am with it too. My Iyonix lies abandoned - still sitting under the desk here, but not connected. And not actually used for some time. And it's weird - because, in some strange way, I thought I would be using RISC OS forever. In January 2005, I said: "There's people who annoy me on the RISC OS scene, and I still wouldn't think of leaving. The nice people more than cancel it out, and besides - I just couldn't really do without using RISC OS."
 
So what changed?

I first used an Acorn machine in 1987 (I was six!), when my Dad brought home a brand spanking new BBC Master 128. Cassette-only when we first got it, I spent many happy hours failing to win Seventh Star, learning BBC BASIC, and getting yelled at because the loading music of Ghouls was loud and annoying. Like many of today's RISC OS and ex-RISC OS users, playing around with Acorn's 8-bit machines were what got me interested in computing.
 
My next computer was in 1995, when I bought a Risc PC 700. I'd been aching for a 32-bit machine since I first read about the Archimedes in Acorn User. Believe it or not, I managed to pay for that machine using my paper round - after school and weekends every day, for two years, for 12 a week. We weren't a rich family - literally paying for it myself was the only way. I fell in love with that machine more than any other computer I've owned, and speak to most RISC OS users, and it's the same - their eyes glint when you mention the Risc PC. Such a beautiful machine.
 
Why have I given you this reasonably boring potted history? Well, quite apart from me being a self-obsessed arse - to try and paint the kind of person who I was; probably best described as an "interested user". I certainly wasn't a programmer (bar some dodgy RISC OS multitasking stuff that is long-lost on an old hard drive - oooh, a CD player, that's original), but I enjoyed mucking about with various things on the side. And I loved the machines partly for what they were - as well as for what I could do with them.
 
My homeless IyonixFinally, I finally got an Iyonix in the autumn of 2004. A machine I spent a considerable amount of money on. And yet, last month I finally lost my patience with RISC OS. Why?
 
At the South-East show in Guildford in 2004, Paul Middleton and Jack Lillingston stood in front of the crowd. They said that ROL and Castle had sorted out their differences, and that RISC OS 4 and RISC OS 5 were going to be merged. That ROL were going to concentrate on developing the desktop aspects of RISC OS, and Castle were going to concentrate on the hardware, and RISC OS for the STB market. Everyone was friends again.
 
This has not panned out.
 
Now, I don't know what happened. I have no idea. All I know is that the deal was gone back on. And here's the rub - we've heard nothing official about it at all. Rumours have flown around, but there's been no official statement from either company about what happened. Nothing. Now, as a user, I find it that simply insulting. In fact, I feel I was lied to.
 
Meanwhile, the forked OS goes on. We still have two competing USB stacks; we still have two HALs, and still we have two completely different 32-bit versions of RISC OS. All that dual effort, wasted. Who knows where we could be now, if all that effort had been put into different things? We'd still be in trouble, no doubt about it, but perhaps not quite so much. I simply don't buy the fact that competition in these circumstances is good. Competition is good when a market is at a certain level. The RISC OS market just isn't at the size where this kind of competition is helpful. If everyone had been working towards one goal, then I think we'd all be a lot better off. As it is, we've had over the past few years a huge duplication of effort. And the result is two versions of the operating system, that are going further and further apart. I can't see how this is helpful to anybody - it's completely pointless.
 
And the thing that really pushed me over the edge? This piece, in the RISC OS 6 FAQ:
Is there going to be a RISC OS 6 version for the Iyonix?
 
We have always been committed to providing RISC OS 4 (and now RISC OS 6) on all desktop RISC OS capable machines... The facts are however that our resources are limited, and priority has been given to working with partners who actively want RISC OS Select features on their products.
The thing is, I don't care whose fault all this is. It could be Castle's. It could be ROL's. It could be both. But we have a situation here where the two main companies promoting RISC OS can't work together, when this is desperately what is needed. I find it beyond pathetic. When what's needed is solutions to get RISC OS out of the mess that it's in, all we get is companies leap-frogging version numbers. Playground politics at its finest. It makes me not care whether RISC OS lives or dies - because I don't think the platform deserves to survive if the people in charge can't work together. You can afford that kind of indulgence when a platform is in great shape - or even when it's ticking over - but when you're in dire situation, you need everyone cooperating. There's just no evidence of this at all. And no, "OK, I won't sue you" does not constitute cooperation.
 
These were my thoughts, as I went through my temper tantrum. I do realise that a lot of people don't feel the forked nature of the OS is a problem. People who know a lot more technically than me think it's fine. What can I say - I disagree with you, for the reasons I give above. And I would point out to people who don't think that it's damaging RISC OS that Paul Middleton and Jack Lillingston think it's a problem - otherwise they wouldn't have attempted what they did in 2004 at Guildford. And yet, whilst I think it's a major problem, it's not actually why I left - at least, not directly.
 
Because the truth was - I'd already left. Two years ago. I just hadn't quite realised it. The situation I describe above made me angry enough to sever the emotional connection, but in practical terms, I was long gone anyway.
 
As I said, I bought my Iyonix at the end of 2004, intending to use it as my main machine. Not because I thought it was the most appropriate machine for me to buy, but simply because I wanted to support RISC OS. This was a big mistake - because it's been virtually unused. Oh, I've fired it up a bit to do the odd bit of graphics work, but to all intents and purposes, it was a waste of money. And the reason is simple - computing using RISC OS just got too difficult for me, for what I need to do. Browsing? Slow and frustrating. Getting screengrabs from DVDs? Impossible. Encoding MP3s? You're having a laugh. And much as I dislike Flash sites or Realplayer, would never use them for my own site, and appreciate the licensing and programming issues involved - it doesn't alter the fact that I have to be able to view them in my day-to-day life. My job is writing and developing websites - and whilst graphics are lovely to do on RISC OS, developing the kind of sites I have to do becomes a nightmare. The list goes on and on.
 
Of course, I do other things - write the odd letter, listen to MP3s, play Angband - all of which could be done on my Iyonix. But what's the point in swapping computers to do these tasks, when my Mac Mini can do them equally as well? Much as I love RISC OS, there has to be a reason for me to use it. I'm a sentimental bastard at the best of times, but I have my limits.
 
(Incidentally, I certainly don't mean to pour scorn on Peter Naulls' Firefox port, or the Netsurf guys. Both are impressive pieces of work, and both are good solutions for some RISC OS users. But not me, I'm afraid, considering the amount of web browsing I do, and the sites I visit, and the development work I need to do.)
 
I'm sitting here writing this on my Mac Mini. OS X is fine, but the GUI just isn't as nice as RISC OS. But it can do everything I need it to do, and pretty quickly and easily. And there's just a sense of fun around OS X that I haven't felt for RISC OS in a long time - in both development, and the general community feeling. And using it has become pretty much second nature to me, in a way that Windows never did.
 
I love RISC OS. I don't think I'll ever fall in love with a computing platform in quite the same way again. But love counts for nothing if you realise that, through no conscious choice, you've hardly used a computer you spent over a thousand pounds on. The only thing I still do on my Iyonix is vector graphics work - and that's only because I don't have the software on my Mac Mini. I may as well just sell my Iyonix and use the money to buy a decent package for OS X. It's almost certainly going on eBay in the next few weeks.
 
There was a time when I felt proud of my RISC OS machine. I'd show it off at the first opportunity. And there was a time when RISC OS and Acorn's machines were superior to anything else on the market - at least, for what I used them for. Now... I'm afraid my Iyonix just makes me feel vaguely embarrassed. How quickly a computer shuts down starts meaning less when you can't use it for your basic, day-to-day tasks.
 
How relevant the forked OS issue actually is to the apps situation is up for debate. I think there's a link; I'm sure others will disagree. But in the end, however that debate goes, the inarguable truth is - I've left RISC OS because it no longer does what I need it to do. And the same is true for many, many others.
 
I don't write this article because I want to cause a flamewar. (I'm sure I will be accused of this, but honestly - I'm not.) I don't write this article so everyone goes "Yeah, he's right. I'm leaving RISC OS immediately." Hell, I don't write this article because I have some vision that it will change things in any way. It clearly won't. I suppose part of the reason I've written it is as a kind of therapy. RISC OS has been part of my life for so long; to let it go is a wrench.
 
But... I don't know. I just thought, if I've left RISC OS, maybe I should say why. Just slipping away just means the userbase has one less user. In an odd way, I almost feel like I owe it to people to explain. To tell you why I left. Even though I'm of no importance whatsoever - I'm still one less user of RISC OS, and that's a bad thing for everyone left in the RISC OS market, because it's one less person spending money. I'm well aware that some people will simply see me as a whinging bastard who hasn't done much for RISC OS anyway; that's certainly their perogative. I wish I'd contributed more. But a platform can't survive on developers alone - you need the users too.
 
Of course, I'll still keep an eye on RISC OS land. I'm now a writer for The Icon Bar again, so it'd be a bit difficult for me to avoid it. But it'll be a bit like an old girlfriend, who you hang around on street corners watching, and stalk occasionally, before getting arrested, charged, and given a restraining order. You all know what I mean, yeah?
 
So, that's my story. Rather predictable, perhaps - but the truth, with no spin attached, and no interests to protect. If you're an ex-RISC OS user, what is it that made you stop using the platform? And if you're still a RISC OS user - what is it that makes you stay?
 
  How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Leave RISC OS
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Jeffrey Lee Message #108990, posted by Phlamethrower at 19:47, 10/12/2008, in reply to message #108989
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15057
Looks like a bit of tabloid sensationalism on the part of drobe, to me. Judging by ROL's & ROOL's comments, there's never been any attempt for ROL to block ROOL and people are just panicing over nothing.
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Phil Mellor Message #108991, posted by monkeyson2 at 23:38, 10/12/2008, in reply to message #108990
monkeyson2Please don't let them make me be a monkey butler

Posts: 12380
Looks like a bit of tabloid sensationalism on the part of drobe, to me. Judging by ROL's & ROOL's comments, there's never been any attempt for ROL to block ROOL and people are just panicing over nothing.
Doesn't stop it being harmful, though. OSNews has picked up on it now too.
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richard cheng Message #108992, posted by richcheng at 12:56, 11/12/2008, in reply to message #108991

Posts: 653
I guess someone at Pace thought it was a pretty hilarious joke. Can't blame him.
smile
Seeing such an already small community fall prey to legal bickering and infighting just makes me cringe - the men and women in charge there need a serious beating with the cluestick: if you guys don't start working together, harmonising the various different versions, moving towards a unified, single RISC OS, then you guys are done for.
Bit late for that, I think. unhappy
It's sad and pathetic at the same time.
Quite.

It's these two bits of Drobe's article:
Well-placed sources say ROL ... believes the free distribution of such a ROM image from ROOL would be a breach of ROL's exclusive rights to develop and market the operating system
It is understood ROL is happy to allow ROOL to continue turning out Iyonix-only ROM images but may put the matter to a company shareholder vote on whether or not to take action to attempt to halt the distribution of RiscPC-compatible RISC OS 5 ROMs.
...which led me to believe that someone at ROL actually had a problem with ROOL. I think it was a pretty irresponsible article if that turns out not to be the case (as the comments from all parties seem to suggest).

If I hadn't given up hope on it all about a year ago (much later than most of you lot, I know) I would find all of this terribly depressing.

Yeesh.
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Simon Willcocks Message #108993, posted by Stoppers at 13:14, 11/12/2008, in reply to message #108992
Member
Posts: 278

It's these two bits of Drobe's article:
Well-placed sources say ROL ... believes the free distribution of such a ROM image from ROOL would be a breach of ROL's exclusive rights to develop and market the operating system
It is understood ROL is happy to allow ROOL to continue turning out Iyonix-only ROM images but may put the matter to a company shareholder vote on whether or not to take action to attempt to halt the distribution of RiscPC-compatible RISC OS 5 ROMs.
...which led me to believe that someone at ROL actually had a problem with ROOL. I think it was a pretty irresponsible article if that turns out not to be the case (as the comments from all parties seem to suggest).
I'd be interested to know; if there was a vote on whether to do something about RPC ROMs, how would you (all) vote, and why?

How about A9 ROMS?
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Jeffrey Lee Message #108994, posted by Phlamethrower at 13:47, 11/12/2008, in reply to message #108993
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15057
I'd be interested to know; if there was a vote on whether to do something about RPC ROMs, how would you (all) vote, and why?

How about A9 ROMS?
At the moment I don't think there's much point running a RISC OS 5 ROM on a RiscPC or A9. It would be useful if it were possible, since it could provide a free upgrade for some users (I'm not intending to pay to upgrade my RiscPC from RISC OS 3.7 - it hardly gets used now that I've got an Iyonix). I'm not sure how the situation is with the A9 (Does it still suffer from sound problems and hard disc corruption?), but a free ROM for that would only be any good if it fixed those issues, otherwise it would be a step back from the functionality RISC OS Select contains.

But once ROL go out of business (which I'm assuming is just a matter of time due to the shrinking market), free ROMs will be the only way to go if the OS is to be developed any further. And the best way of doing that would be if ROL were to hand over the Select/OS 6 codebase to ROOL to allow it to be merged in and the fork to be fixed. Otherwise any users of free ROMs may still stand to lose out on functionality, or OS developers will waste time re-implementing features instead of trying to move the OS forward.
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Jason Togneri Message #108995, posted by filecore at 19:56, 11/12/2008, in reply to message #108994

Posts: 3867
Or it could all be tied up in petty squabbles and personality-vendettas until it's lost completely and even the most hardcore of RISC OS advocates would lose interest. That's the way it seems to be heading, at least. And it wouldn't be the first OS/interesting project to die that particular death. I wish they'd all get their heads out of their arses and realise just how small and relatively meaningless their consumer market is, these days.
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John Hoare Message #108996, posted by moss at 20:57, 11/12/2008, in reply to message #108995

Posts: 9346
Every single time something like this happens, it vindicates the decision I took two years ago.

Good fucking riddance.
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Simon Willcocks Message #108997, posted by Stoppers at 21:58, 11/12/2008, in reply to message #108994
Member
Posts: 278
But once ROL go out of business (which I'm assuming is just a matter of time due to the shrinking market), free ROMs will be the only way to go if the OS is to be developed any further.
I expect their idea is to try not to go out of business. big smile

Perhaps they think they are entitled to a cut of any commercial desktop (as in WIMP) computer product based on RISC OS, which may occur because of ROOL's work, and they are simply staking their claim up front.

Anyway, which way would you vote? (You can probably assume that all shareholders have given up hope of getting their money back.)
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James Lampard Message #109002, posted by Lampi at 15:26, 13/12/2008, in reply to message #107163
Lampi

Posts: 190
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.acorn.apps/msg/794bec2fa4e7d4c9

"...as we hope to
make some Select features available to Iyonix users during 2008"
The phrase "Way too little, much too fucking late" springs to mind.
As it's now mid December, I guess this isn't going to happen.

[Edited by Lampi at 15:27, 13/12/2008]
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Eric Rucker Message #109946, posted by bhtooefr at 05:53, 3/5/2009, in reply to message #105356
Member
Posts: 336
Posting in an old, old article's thread, but it seems to be one that gets bumped fairly often, so...

I am one of those retro-nerds. In fact, in my case, I don't even have the nostalgia factor in play - I grew up on Apple IIs, and the first Acorn machine I've ever used, or seen in person, for that matter, is my RiscPC, which I got less than three weeks ago. (Comes from living in the US - the only Acorn we got was the BBC B, and it was a complete and total flop here, seems the BBC name just doesn't have much sway here. wink)

Do I find the platform a very interesting platform? Yes. (I wouldn't have gotten the machine if I didn't find it interesting, after all.)
Is it nice to use? Yes.
Is it capable of being used every day? Yes. (And I do use it in some way every day, even if it's something as simple as running it as a streaming radio box.)
Is it PRACTICAL to use every day as a main machine? I'll preface this with saying that I've not used an Iyonix or even an A9home, but I'll go ahead and say no. It's a toy, like others have said. A very fun toy, that's nice to use, and I do use it often. But still a toy.

(As for my main machine... it's a PC laptop running Windows XP, and I'm posting from it right now, although admittedly I could be posting from the RiscPC. I don't exactly get along with Linux in daily use (although I run it on my personal server,) and I haven't successfully gotten OS X running on this machine (and I hate Mac hardware.) That pretty much leaves Windows, and I'm not running Vista, or a pre-release version of Windows, so XP is it.)

Now, do I think the platform could live on, as something other than a retro-nerd life support patient? I don't know. I could see RISC OS possibly being useful in deep embedded applications, especially once the OMAP3530 port is ready...

I doubt it could work on the desktop, simply because you're joining the crowd of niche OSes that, if they have something to bring to the table over the existing mainstream OSes, they have major flaws. (Read: Welcome to the AmigaOS, Haiku, and eComStation (among many others) crowd.)

Just thought I'd toss in the perspective of someone new to the platform, and who didn't grow up with Acorn.
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keith dunlop Message #109957, posted by epistaxsis at 16:31, 4/5/2009, in reply to message #109946
epistaxsis

Posts: 159
Posting in an old, old article's thread, but it seems to be one that gets bumped fairly often, so...
Actually this is an article I may be writing a riposte to in a couple of months (see below) smile

I am one of those retro-nerds. In fact, in my case, I don't even have the nostalgia factor in play - I grew up on Apple IIs, and the first Acorn machine I've ever used, or seen in person, for that matter, is my RiscPC, which I got less than three weeks ago. (Comes from living in the US - the only Acorn we got was the BBC B, and it was a complete and total flop here, seems the BBC name just doesn't have much sway here. wink)
heh - Acorn's inability to market itself strikes again

Do I find the platform a very interesting platform? Yes. (I wouldn't have gotten the machine if I didn't find it interesting, after all.)
Is it nice to use? Yes.
Is it capable of being used every day? Yes. (And I do use it in some way every day, even if it's something as simple as running it as a streaming radio box.)
Is it PRACTICAL to use every day as a main machine? I'll preface this with saying that I've not used an Iyonix or even an A9home, but I'll go ahead and say no. It's a toy, like others have said. A very fun toy, that's nice to use, and I do use it often. But still a toy.
Actually I am in the unusual situation of using a RISC OS computer (an A9home) at work and not at home right now!

So for me, it isn't a toy - it is a brilliant tool.

Yes it is the usual killer apps Artworks and Techwriter that are doing it.

I am a couple of months away from switching on my Iyonixes again unhappy

(As for my main machine... it's a PC laptop running Windows XP, and I'm posting from it right now, although admittedly I could be posting from the RiscPC. I don't exactly get along with Linux in daily use (although I run it on my personal server,) and I haven't successfully gotten OS X running on this machine (and I hate Mac hardware.) That pretty much leaves Windows, and I'm not running Vista, or a pre-release version of Windows, so XP is it.)
Boo Hiss wink

Mind you having now lived with ubuntu on this EeePC for months I find it almost as unfriendly as Windows <-- spot the RISC OS user "I wanna be in control!"

Now, do I think the platform could live on, as something other than a retro-nerd life support patient? I don't know. I could see RISC OS possibly being useful in deep embedded applications, especially once the OMAP3530 port is ready...
The Cortex A8 work is very interesting and important - OK the beagleboard has pants graphics (max res 1280 x 1024 I think) but it is a start to something new big grin

I doubt it could work on the desktop, simply because you're joining the crowd of niche OSes that, if they have something to bring to the table over the existing mainstream OSes, they have major flaws. (Read: Welcome to the AmigaOS, Haiku, and eComStation (among many others) crowd.)
Actually despite the lightweight nature of RISC OS it is by far the nicest OS to use in very high resolutions!

I only have to switch between my XP box and the A9home at work to see which one works best at 1600 x 1200!

Just thought I'd toss in the perspective of someone new to the platform, and who didn't grow up with Acorn.
It was well put - there is no doubt that your use of "toy" applies to a lot of the users.

Just not for me big grin
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Jeffrey Lee Message #109958, posted by Phlamethrower at 17:12, 4/5/2009, in reply to message #109957
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15057
The Cortex A8 work is very interesting and important - OK the beagleboard has pants graphics (max res 1280 x 1024 I think) but it is a start to something new big grin
The OMAP3530 isn't capable of particularly high pixel rates, so the max resolution really depends on how forgiving your monitor is. For most monitors you should be able to get 1280x1024 at around 50Hz, but if you've got a monitor/TV with HDMI input then you might find it's perfectly happy with 1920x1080 at around 30Hz (Which is something I still need to try out with my monitor!)

So it's not fantastic, but I suppose you can't really complain when you take into account the fact the chip was designed for portable devices with integrated screens instead of massive non-portable 24" ones wink
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Eric Rucker Message #109959, posted by bhtooefr at 19:24, 4/5/2009, in reply to message #109957
Member
Posts: 336
Actually despite the lightweight nature of RISC OS it is by far the nicest OS to use in very high resolutions!

I only have to switch between my XP box and the A9home at work to see which one works best at 1600 x 1200!
I am running my RiscPC at 1600x1200 (yep, on the VIDC, no Viewfinder or VPod here,) versus 1400x1050 on my ThinkPad, and ROS certainly isn't bad at high-res.

However, my (somewhat poorly worded) point was more towards the fact that Windows, Linux, and OS X are too entrenched for an OS like RISC OS to REALLY work on the desktop, for a decent quantity of users. RISC OS is probably one of the more viable platforms of those "hobby" platforms that I mentioned, for daily use, though. When I said that it wasn't practical for use as a main machine, I didn't mean that it couldn't be done, just that it wasn't practical - and I should've said that it wasn't practical in my situation. (Partially because I do watch a fair amount of videos on sites like YouTube. Yes, I know about Murnong. Half an hour to transcode a 5 minute video isn't exactly practical. But, it is surprisingly useful online, even with just NetSurf - to the point that I'd be interested in using a Win32 port of NetSurf as a secondary or possibly even primary browser - I haven't been bothered to see if I can get it going in Cygwin or something, though.)
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Andrew Duffell Message #109964, posted by ad at 17:35, 5/5/2009, in reply to message #109957
ad

Posts: 3229
Yes it is the usual killer apps Artworks and Techwriter that are doing it.
What does Artworks have over Xara Xtreme that makes it a killer app? Does RISC OS *really* have any killer apps?
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Blind Moose Message #109965, posted by Acornut at 18:02, 5/5/2009, in reply to message #109964
Acornut No-eye-deer (No Idea)

Posts: 487
Yes it is the usual killer apps Artworks and Techwriter that are doing it.
What does Artworks have over Xara Xtreme that makes it a killer app? Does RISC OS *really* have any killer apps?
Guessing, approx 40-50Mb less disk space clutter.
Tighter, more efficient coding.
Quick and easy to use.
Haven't made it hang up yet! naughty
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keith dunlop Message #109970, posted by epistaxsis at 20:36, 5/5/2009, in reply to message #109958
epistaxsis

Posts: 159
So it's not fantastic, but I suppose you can't really complain when you take into account the fact the chip was designed for portable devices with integrated screens instead of massive non-portable 24" ones wink
Indeed - will be interesting to see how good the ARM powered UMPCs are at doing HD content.

This EeePC judders quite a bit when playing HD content even from the BBC!
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keith dunlop Message #109971, posted by epistaxsis at 20:43, 5/5/2009, in reply to message #109964
epistaxsis

Posts: 159
Yes it is the usual killer apps Artworks and Techwriter that are doing it.
What does Artworks have over Xara Xtreme that makes it a killer app? Does RISC OS *really* have any killer apps?
For me they are killer apps.

I have tried Xara Xtreme on Linux and Adobe Illustrator on Windows and just didn't get on with them at all.

As for Techwriter - well what do we have Open Office? or Word?

OK I am biased smile but as I said I find my work RISC OS computer as an invaluable tool to do certain things.
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keith dunlop Message #109972, posted by epistaxsis at 20:59, 5/5/2009, in reply to message #109959
epistaxsis

Posts: 159
Actually despite the lightweight nature of RISC OS it is by far the nicest OS to use in very high resolutions!

I only have to switch between my XP box and the A9home at work to see which one works best at 1600 x 1200!
I am running my RiscPC at 1600x1200 (yep, on the VIDC, no Viewfinder or VPod here,) versus 1400x1050 on my ThinkPad, and ROS certainly isn't bad at high-res
You are a very lucky person to get a Risc PC to work at that resolution - I went through 2 motherboards trying to get there before getting a viewfinder!

However, my (somewhat poorly worded) point was more towards the fact that Windows, Linux, and OS X are too entrenched for an OS like RISC OS to REALLY work on the desktop, for a decent quantity of users. RISC OS is probably one of the more viable platforms of those "hobby" platforms that I mentioned, for daily use, though. When I said that it wasn't practical for use as a main machine, I didn't mean that it couldn't be done, just that it wasn't practical - and I should've said that it wasn't practical in my situation. (Partially because I do watch a fair amount of videos on sites like YouTube. Yes, I know about Murnong. Half an hour to transcode a 5 minute video isn't exactly practical. But, it is surprisingly useful online, even with just NetSurf - to the point that I'd be interested in using a Win32 port of NetSurf as a secondary or possibly even primary browser - I haven't been bothered to see if I can get it going in Cygwin or something, though.)
Agreed - for that sort of stuff a RISC OS computer can't do it right now.

And yes it is surprising how far you can get with NetSurf - which of course includes that greatest of RISC OS tricks where an adjust click (RH mouse button) just launches into a new window helped by a WIMP that properly understands how to handle multiple open windows <-- yes I know that old argument again smile

As I said before I found your comments interesting and, as I said, you are probably accurate in your conclusions for a home / hobby user.

I just wanted to point out that I actually get paid for having a tiny blue box on my desk - and I work in building controls! big grin
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Andrew Duffell Message #109973, posted by ad at 22:18, 5/5/2009, in reply to message #109965
ad

Posts: 3229
Yes it is the usual killer apps Artworks and Techwriter that are doing it.
What does Artworks have over Xara Xtreme that makes it a killer app? Does RISC OS *really* have any killer apps?
Guessing, approx 40-50Mb less disk space clutter.
Is that really an issue in this day and age? I have a 1TB disk in this computer, and nowhere near fill it. I have a 160GB disc in my netbook, and the same applies there.


Tighter, more efficient coding.
Sounds like speculation.

Quick and easy to use.
As a user of both, I find them so similar (being based on the same origins) that I wouldn't say one is easier to use than the other. If anything, the extra features that Xara has over Artworks makes it quicker and easier for some tasks!
Haven't made it hang up yet! naughty
I haven't made Xara Xtreme hang yet! Maybe the Linux version is less stable?? I use the v3.2 Windows version.
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VinceH Message #109974, posted by VincceH at 22:23, 5/5/2009, in reply to message #109965
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1583
Haven't made it hang up yet! naughty
You aren't being rude enough to it on the phone.
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Jason Togneri Message #109975, posted by filecore at 23:37, 5/5/2009, in reply to message #109973

Posts: 3867
Is that really an issue in this day and age? I have a 1TB disk in this computer, and nowhere near fill it.
You'd be surprised. I have 4x 1TB drives in this box, and at the moment, their amount of free space looks like this:

264GB
553GB
509GB
81GB

So, out of 4TB of storage (well, really 4x 931GB = 3.724TB), I have 2.317TB in use and 1.407TB free, although these numbers are increasing and decreasing respectively all the time. Don't go telling me that 1TB is more than enough wink

EDITED to remove the B)/Cool Dude code clash. Also to point out that yes, 50MB is nothing in this day and age, even on a 100GB drive... but still.

[Edited by filecore at 00:39, 6/5/2009]
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Eric Rucker Message #109976, posted by bhtooefr at 23:40, 5/5/2009, in reply to message #109972
Member
Posts: 336
You are a very lucky person to get a Risc PC to work at that resolution - I went through 2 motherboards trying to get there before getting a viewfinder!
Worked first try for me, although the MDF that could hit that resolution and worked with my original monitor (a Dell P780) could only run at 59 Hz, and the P780 supported 61 Hz at that resolution. Close enough.

I've now got a Dell P991 (the P780 crapped out yesterday,) and it supports 85 Hz at that resolution... a new MDF might be a nice thing to have, but it's working at 59 Hz, and I can't figure out !MakeModes. (I was playing with it in RPCEmu, just to see if I could get one made to transfer over.) But, that's a topic for another thread.
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jess hampshire Message #121372, posted by jess at 18:05, 31/10/2012, in reply to message #95462
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Posts: 20
"And, yes, before someone comes along and explains why a laptop is unlikely to happen, I know, I know, yadayada!"

It's taken its time, but I now have a RISC OS laptop, and for a fraction of the price I would have expected.
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Eric Rucker Message #121374, posted by bhtooefr at 12:17, 1/11/2012, in reply to message #109976
Member
Posts: 336
Given that this thread has now been bumped by someone else... turns out, extended use at 152 MHz is not how to treat your VIDC20 if you want it to live. wink (Tempted to replace the RiscPC with an A3020, actually, given that the RasPi acts as a much better "modern" RISC OS machine.)

Anyway, regarding the whole RISC OS laptop thing... now I'm kinda wondering how hard it'd be to make an Atrix-shaped case for the Raspberry Pi, so you can just drop the Pi in just like an Atrix.

Not the optimal solution, but...
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jess hampshire Message #121383, posted by jess at 16:52, 2/11/2012, in reply to message #121374
Member
Posts: 20
There is a piece of plastic that comes with the device that could be used, however, I think the idea of the Atrix wobbling on the edge of the device is far nastier than a Pi velcro'd onto the back of the screen.
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Evert Jan Henken Message #123732, posted by Evertjan at 22:00, 27/10/2015, in reply to message #94860
Member
Posts: 1
This isn't a reply to fwibbler, but i don't know how to start a message by my self.

I'am not a Ex RISC OS user, but a NEW RISC OS user. I'm typing this on my iMac because i don't use netsurf for Internet. I started with RISC OS on my Raspberry Pi because i was curious. I started my computer career with a ZX 81, than a Commodore 64, a Tulip MSDOS (Dutch computer), Windows XP... Windows 7 then a Mac Mini and iMac, a Raspberry Pi with Raspbian, put Linux on my Mac Mini and wanted something else just for learning and to go back to my ZX 81 and Commodore 64 time and to learn some programming. I like RISC OS because it is the perfect example as a programmers model of the way things should be done. Written as a series of modules, so every facet and feature of the Operating System is available to the user. I'am glad that it isn't a multiuser system like Linux and OSX and that i don't need superuser rights to do anything with the OS. And when it crashes, so what just put my backup image back to the SD card. Of course i noticed ROOL and RISCOS Ltd. Because i have a Raspberry Pi i'm using RISCOS 5.21 (RC14), but i can find a lot information on the site of RISCOS Ltd. (manual RISCOS 6). I learn more because i can see the different point of views on both sites. I noticed the lack of unity in the RISCOS community. I think RISCOS need a Linus Torvalds or maybe a Steve Jobs. It's a pity that the RISCOS community not so strong is as the Raspberry Linux community. I think that the ROOL Open source way the way for the future is. Why can't we blossom like Raspbian? I know that debian the father from Raspbian is. I think that the 'kissebisse' between ROOL and RISCOS Ltd. typical British is. Linus Torvalds is a finish American, Steve
jobs was a American. Michiel de Ruyter was a Dutchman. Come on guys (and girls) RISCOS is potentially the best OS for Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black and so on. Put Scratch on it and we have the best learning tool in the World for Kids. Let us call it RISCOSPi. Let Britain RO(O)Le the world again. Hurrah...

PS. I am a Dutchman and not a programmer but an user and learner. My RISCOSPi is a hobby and learning computer. I use my iMac to translate computer books from english in dutch (to learn)
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Richard Walker Message #123733, posted by richw at 20:40, 28/10/2015, in reply to message #123732
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Posts: 32
I would suggest that you ignore RISC OS Ltd and their products. It is all one person.

If you forget about Aaron, then the RISC OS world looks a lot more joined up.

Or have I missed anyone?
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