Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by Ray Dawso » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 23:14:44

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,

OK then. Why not use a fully portable running VirtualAcorn under Windows?
That gives you all the advantages of RISC OS with the portability of a

Not sure about that. Does the A9 have a 2.5" hard drive etc?

With having to power a monitor as well, you might be in the comical
situation of the battery pack being bigger than the computer :-)

Let me rephrase that. Can you use a memory stick from another member to
swap Word files with him and display them on your computer? Probably not.

I'm not saying he's wrong if he wants to use an A9. I was merely quering
the reasons John gave for justifying his position. To my mind they didn't
hold water and were based on misconceptions.

I have thought very seriously about buying an A9 to run the RISC OS apps
which I will continue to run. It would certainly make my desk space a lot
clearer if I could get rid of the Risc PC. I had previously considered
buying an Iyonix but decided not to for two reasons.

1. One particular application I use on the Risc PC is 26bit and will
never run 32 bit.

2. The Arfer Daly factor. I wouldn't buy from a company who never
delivered on a promised Oregano upgrade and caused a lot of unrest in
the RISC OS market with scurrilous attacks on the competition.

Number 2 certainly doesn't apply to STD as I have every confidence in
them as a company. Unfortunately, number 1 still applies. Although the A9
is relatively cheap, I can't justify the expense to just clear my desk -
although I am sorely tempted.


Ray D


Ray Dawson
MagRay - the audio & braille specialists

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by John M War » Wed, 14 Dec 2005 23:48:53

n article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,
Ollie Clark < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote:

Noted. I had a feeling it would end up here if the thread continued the
way it had been going...

It works far more responsively in a live (real-time) situation such as
the meetings in which I participate. It's just how it is, and there
really is no way I could do what I do on any other system I know.

As far as MS-Windows systems are concerned: I have worked with these for
well over a decade, and I *know* that it would be a serious handicap to
be limited by any of them. Indeed, I'd almost certainly have to return
to paper-based working.

Hmm. Hardly a conscious part of the original design concept, so that
everything fits in well with it, then... Nope, not for me. While there
are *some* facilities that can be bolted-on afterward by third party
addons, the basic handling of the user environment is not one of them.

I have tried emulating that by using Virtual-RPC's extended display
capabilities, whereby the actual display at any moment is a window of
the monitor's maximum size onto part of a "virtual screen" of the larger
size. Specifically, I set 2560 x 2048 which is exactly double the
linear capability of the portable's built-in TFT display, giving me four
times the effective screen area.

It worked OK, but needed a lot of scrolling as I went along, and was a
much more clumsy method than the standard RISC OS way.

It really is primitive, and is as out-of-date conceptually as the
original Apple Mac's one-button mouse, which they touted at the time as
being made that way "so that computer-shy executives wouldn't be able to
press the wrong mouse button, as there isn't one".

The world has moved on since those days, and users are now catching up
with much of what RISC OS users have found essential within the standard
OS. There is lots of material here for my memoirs...

Yup: works with any version of RISC OS with the later font manager, so
that's RISC OS 3 upwards, I believe.

Not a need in my situation, though I have freebie utilities to do that
in case of need. The filer action "faster" option is a boon here,
though, as I can find just about anything within a few seconds (as
indeed I did last Thursday evening at full Council, for this very

No; especially as I don't have a "My Pictures" directory. All my
pictures are stored in the place where they are relevant. For instance,
the photos of the River Admiral's Annual Inspection are stored where I
keep files relating to that kind of event (Councillor.Events , and then
by date) but pictures of my cats are kept in a suitable sub-directory of
my "Home and Family" folder.

Imagine if offices stored documents in filing cabinets the Microsoft
way: all contracts (regardless of to what they refer) in one drawer, all
letters (to everyone and about anything) in another, and so on.

In some ways; but being able to pause, accelerate and decelerate filer
actions, and even skipping "open" files during copy and move operations,
is vastly superior to the MS way. How many times have we all (I
imagine) been forced to abandon copy or move operations as soon as the
system found one of its vast number of open files?

We have very few files held in a state that prevents their copying or
moving, but when we do, we can either close them (for example, Impact
databases) and select Retry, or -- if we find that the file

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by John M War » Thu, 15 Dec 2005 00:18:51

n article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,
Ray Dawson < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote:

That's how I operate at the moment, but it is a big (and heavy!)
machine, because I needed a large display in order to read off it when
standing to speak. If I were sitting down insead it wouldn't be so
important. Again, it's a matter of knowing what I am doing, and I am
the only one who knows my exact situation and how things work here.

I have just now spoken to Matt Edgar at Advantage 6 (who supply the
A9home) and it looks as though lightweight roll-up displays /might/ be
with us soon -- but as he acknowledges, there have already been a few
false starts as regards these becoming available for purchase.

Ah! Now that's different. Hmm... If another member were ever to
present one to me (and none of them seems to even know what they are or
to have seen one before) then there could be a problem. Fortunately, I
always have at least one of my pen drives with me so can provide the
means for transfer.

For example, after presentations I generally ask the presenter if I can
take a copy of the (typically Powerpoint) file onto my pen drive. They
tend to be too large to email, and not everyone is comfortable with (or
has the facilities for) burning to CD, so it is a way that works.

I can't see your scenario arising for the foreseeable future, though;
and by the time it did we'd no doubt have solved the underlying problem
somehow -- which is caused by loosely-defined mass storage standards
under USB, not a RISC OS deficiency of any kind.

It has a nice, cooling fan on a flexible shaft (so I no longer need my
Japanese fan, presented to me ny the Mayor of Ito), and a little blue
light ;-)

What a surprise!

More to the point, I'm not obsessed with trying to find some (as you
clearly are) -- especially as I am doing all that I need to do, and far
better than any other member can achieve at our council and other such
meetings. I'm not going to become a saddo trying to look for "problems"
that aren't there -- I'm too busy getting on with the job in hand.

[the rest snipped as I have nothing new to add on top of my other reply
to that part.]

John Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered & A9home!
Acorn/RISC OS web page:
Read my "Councilling RISC OS" series in Qercus, starting in Issue 276

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by Ben Shimmi » Thu, 15 Dec 2005 00:57:32

John M Ward < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >:

[massive snip]

John, you've just posted over three hundred lines to a computer advocacy
group, and used (in all seriousness, I might add) the word `trailblazer'
in reference to yourself -- how can you possibly not be a `saddo'?!


Enjoy responsibly. <URL: ;

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by Ollie Clar » Thu, 15 Dec 2005 01:21:54

ay Dawson wrote:

You could do, yes. TBH, if I needed a portable, I'd probably get a windows
one and run VA on it but that's because I work on windows. (Well, I mostly
work on Linux and eXceed on windows but that's another story). If I mainly
worked on RISC OS then I'd get an A9 just for the geek factor. Granted not
a great reason. ;)

It has a 2.5" hard drive. I'm not sure what the etc. refers to but it has
networking, USB, sound, serial (apparently, I don't remember seeing a
serial port on the models I've seen). It draws 2-3W so it could run on 3
NiMH AA batteries for about 5 hours...

Yep. Once you factor in the monitor it's not going to be much better than
a notebook. I wonder if the board from it could be shoehorned into a
notebook case with a suitable screen though. I assume not as noone's done
it or tried it.

Dunno. It's far from certain that memory sticks work in windows boxes
though. We get one or two a week here that can't be read/written
(university comp sci dept. around 500 students.) As for reading Linux
formatted ones on windows or vice versa...

Well, apart from the fact that he could run VA (which AFAIK he is at the
moment), if he want's to run RO natively, vaguely portably he's got a
choice of the A9 or an A4... :-/

I take it it wouldn't run under Aemulator.

I can't justify the expense at all really. It'd be nice to have a faster
RO box, with decent graphics but I don't /need/ it. I'll have to have a
look at the old bank balance in the new year but I wouldn't hold my breath
Castle and STD. :(


Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by John M War » Thu, 15 Dec 2005 01:48:51

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,

All I was doing was ansering the points raised by others -- simple
"cause and effect". As with a good doctor treating an illness, look to
deal with the *cause* first and foremost.

John Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered & A9home!
Acorn/RISC OS web page:
Read my "Councilling RISC OS" series in Qercus, starting in Issue 276

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by Steven Pam » Thu, 15 Dec 2005 02:37:07

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,

Microdigital didn't produce Oregano.

Steve Pampling

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by Steve Frya » Thu, 15 Dec 2005 08:12:51


And nor do Castle.

Steve Fryatt - Leeds, England

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by Harriet Ba » Thu, 15 Dec 2005 12:32:42

On 13 Dec 2005 as I do recall,


Eh? I've *never* seen a RISC OS hard disc with a $.Images directory,
user-created or otherwise. Not that I've seen that many of them, but

This Iynonix certainly doesn't have one (and I don't think I deleted it
on arrival), and Christopher's Mico didn't. I don't think
Martin's RiscPC does either. If there was a period when that was part
of the 'hard disc image', it must have been a window of a few years

Our norm seems to be a $.Graphics directory containing image-related
programs, with subdirectories for actual file categories, but I don't
think the computer came that way as I have a vague memory of moving
ChangeFSI to a more 'logical' location inside it. I think it was just
in $.Apps - which is fine so long as you only have a handful of apps,
but not very handy in practice!

Harriet Bazley == Loyaulte me lie ==

Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by pv » Thu, 15 Dec 2005 16:20:10

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,

I thought the original poster was referring to "Omega" and put Oregano as a
typo. The paragraph makes more sense in that context.

As you say, Castle don't produce Oregano, and I don't believe Genesys
Developments have ever promised an Oregano upgrade.

Their stand was next to mine at the last Southeast show and Richard was
very careful to say that O3 would be available when he's happy with it, and
not make any promises as to a precise date!

Plus Ray is well known for spreading FUD around these parts! ;-)

Paul __\\|//__ Life,
(` o-o ') the Universe -----ooO-(_)-Ooo------ & Everything ------
(email address is genuine, to fool junkmailers)

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by Steven Pam » Thu, 15 Dec 2005 16:49:57

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,

Come to think of it neither do ROL.

So what machine that Oregan were developing was Ray thinking of not buying
and does it run RISC OS?

Steve Pampling

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by Steve Frya » Fri, 16 Dec 2005 03:47:03


True: I'd forgotten the, um, 'technical analysis' of the Iyonix when it
was released. ;-)

They haven't.

Steve Fryatt - Leeds, England

Are any Westminster MPs using RISC OS

Post by John M War » Fri, 16 Dec 2005 04:52:12

n article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,
Steve Fryatt < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote:

I think you failed to do so ;-)

Ah! I might try that out on the A9home.

Ah, I think you missed what I meant. All documents of all types
relating to a particular topic are stored in the same place here.
Pictures are segregated from other file types. For example, where we
got a vandalised 'bus shelter replaced, I have a dir with "before" and
"after" photos, but also containing the communications (emails etc).

I never thought of it like that: it had just the SlideShow images in it
on arrival, as I recall. That's all now in my Demos dir.

Well, I can't see any harm in that; but for topic-specific files there
are better ways to store them. Unfortunately I do not see a great deal
of evidence of that happening on users' MS-Windows systems, from
inspections of many. Occasionally, though, which is at least slightly

All, including XP. All one needs do is to have a file loaded (perhaps
"minimised" so it isn't so obvious that the file is "in use" s it says)
when copying, say, My Documents to a backup medium, and whenever it gets
to that )which is unpredictable as it doesn't work alphabetically) and
the error is generated.

All one can do at that point is click OK and that's the end of the copy
operation -- there is no other possible way to proceed. Is there?

John Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered & A9home!
Acorn/RISC OS web page:
Read my "Councilling RISC OS" series in Qercus, starting in Issue 276