Aaron Timbrell sneaked off the iSV products stand for a quick look round....
The RISC OS South West show, organized by John Stonier, took place in early February at the Webbington Hotel near Loxton in North Somerset. Usually I do this show in one day driving down in the morning. However this year I decided to stay over night. One thing I have discovered about hotels is that the only thing worse than a bar shutting at 11pm is one that stays open till the guests go to bed. However at about 1 o'clock Roy Heslop from RiscStation, Dave Holden and myself finally gave up and went back to our rooms.
So what was the show like? Well it wasn't manic, but it was continuously busy, from just after 10 a.m. when the show opened to 3 p.m. in the afternoon we had a steady stream of customers. Once the show slowed down a little I abandoned Chris Bazely on the iSV stand and went for a look round.
The Usual suspects
All the familiar faces were in evidence, Nick Van Der Walle was demonstrating what will hopefully be the final beta version of Vantage so some very interested customers. The prototype Nucleus machine was also on the stand with some rumours of a 32bit, 1Ghz versions available earlier than some might have thought. The problem of running older 26bit code is being worked on using a JIT (Just In Time) application. However since we don't have a 32bit operating system I am a little sceptical.
Just along the same aisle Paul Vigay was doing a brisk trade in his AntUtils suite. Word is that he hopes to be able to get hold of the original team that wrote Fresco and get some updates done, good news I think. Dave Holden at APDL was surrounded by eager customers buying second hand (pre - cherished?) Risc PC computers and brand new CD Writers, both for really quite small sums of money. Also on show were the new versions of Easy C++ and Sleuth 3.
Round the corner Paul Beverley of Archive was selling some rather nifty looking modem protection units, ideal for use during thunderstorms. Customers were also queueing to renew their Archive subscriptions. CJE Micros had stocks of the viewfinder graphics card, and just about everything else. Chris Morrison was also present with the ever popular Organizer software. Moving along David Snell was showing ProCAD+, which really does look like a killer application these days.
On the games front R-Comp were selling a new CD with Gods and SpeedBall II. Apparently RISC OS 4 compatible versions of Lemmings 1 and 2 were also available. iSV was selling quite large numbers of the new StarFighter 3000 other Worlds CD. Chris Bazely was demonstrating how well he can fly a StarFighter and showing a number of the games hidden levels, including one with what looked suspiciously like the Starship Enterprise.
The new Surftec card readers made an appearance, and were generating a,lot of interest. The new Photodesk Ltd were also on hand with a range of Canon printers which could produce amazing results using the Photo real printer drivers.
Castle, RISC Station and RISC OS Ltd were also on hand, although for some reason half the RISC OS Ltd stand seemed to have charity stuff on it. The odd thing was that the normal Archive charity stall had more stuff and at cheaper prices!
There were many other exhibitors but I didn't get a chance to catch up with everyone. So that was RISCOS South West, busy with some new (mainly Games) releases. Next time its the premier show of the year, Wakefield, now what new things do you think we might see there?