f



Was Acorn the first?

I occasionally like to reminisce, and it has seemed to me that a lot of
what is now accepted as standard stuff I first saw on Acorn computers. 
Now, knowing that my experience isn't as great or diverse as that of some
here, I thought it might be worth asking if anyone knows of earlier
versions of:

(a)  an icon bar or equivalent pre August 1988 when RISC OS 2 was first
shown at a public exhibition (the PCW Show);

(b)  a button bar or equivalent prior to ArcWriter's release in late-1988;

(c)  anti-aliased screen display font technology before the Archimedes'
bitmap (later outline) font technology?

I'm sure there are others I could mention, but I didn't want to make too
big a thing of this, at least not at the outset.

-- 
John M Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered!
Acorn/RISC OS web page: www.argonet.co.uk/users/johnward/john/computers
0
john6145 (907)
11/16/2004 12:02:14 AM
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John M Ward wrote:

> I occasionally like to reminisce,

Ah, nostalgia ain't what it used to be!

> and it has seemed to me that a lot of
> what is now accepted as standard stuff I first saw on Acorn computers. 
> Now, knowing that my experience isn't as great or diverse as that of some
> here, I thought it might be worth asking if anyone knows of earlier
> versions of:
> 
> (a)  an icon bar or equivalent pre August 1988 when RISC OS 2 was first
> shown at a public exhibition (the PCW Show);

Didn't AMX do something similar 'a desktop' for the BBC B?
(no idea now how practical it was...I'm guessing not very.)

This is also pretty blooming impressive for 1980:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Xerox_star_desktop.jpg

> (b)  a button bar or equivalent prior to ArcWriter's release in late-1988;

Surely something Macintosh and/or GEMish did that first?
The AMX mouse stuff for the beeb also used these I'm sure.

> (c)  anti-aliased screen display font technology before the Archimedes'
> bitmap (later outline) font technology?

There are demos of this in Foly, vanDam et.all attributed to 'YODA
display' (Satish Gupta, IBM T.J.Watson Research Centre'). Google on
that returns dates circa 1986 so we were pipped at the post.

I think Acorn were definitely the first to put it into a mainstream
computer operating system though.

Incidentally, Dave Clare once told me that they (Clares) were involved
in creating the specifications for the Acorn fontmanager (having done
something fontish in the last days of the BBC B) but I don't know all
of the details or who did the work. I'd buy him a pint for sure...

This might be of interest: http://www.truetype.demon.co.uk/ttalias.htm

> I'm sure there are others I could mention, but I didn't want to make too
> big a thing of this, at least not at the outset.

Somebody really should be writing a History of Acorn - while most of
those who were involved are still with us...


Rob.
-- 
Maple Glen  http://www.mapleglen.co.nz/
Images      http://www.pbase.com/mapleglen/
0
rdavison (177)
11/16/2004 12:47:37 AM
On 16 Nov 2004 Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:
> > (a)  an icon bar or equivalent pre August 1988 when RISC OS 2 was first
> > shown at a public exhibition (the PCW Show);
> 
> Didn't AMX do something similar 'a desktop' for the BBC B?
> (no idea now how practical it was...I'm guessing not very.)

It was an Apple style menu at the top of the screen.

---druck

-- 
The ARM Club Free Software - http://www.armclub.org.uk/free/
The 32bit Conversions Page - http://www.quantumsoft.co.uk/druck/
0
news5843 (7461)
11/16/2004 1:29:12 AM
druck wrote:
> On 16 Nov 2004 Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:
> 
>>>(a)  an icon bar or equivalent pre August 1988 when RISC OS 2 was first
>>>shown at a public exhibition (the PCW Show);
>>
>>Didn't AMX do something similar 'a desktop' for the BBC B?
>>(no idea now how practical it was...I'm guessing not very.)
> 
> 
> It was an Apple style menu at the top of the screen.

You've prompted me to have a dig around as I'd made one of their
programs (purely for mine own personal amusement you understand!)
run on the Archimedes in mode 18.

Zicon it was called. A 3D editor.

http://www.pbase.com/image/36404262/original

Looks a fair bit like an iconbar to me.

Running inside an emulated A310 on an Iyonix it must still be several
dozen times faster than the original - and isn't that one *seriously*
cool jet? ;-)

I'm now very tempted to mess around and make it run native on an
Iyonix with lovely antialiased lines...


Rob.
-- 
Maple Glen  http://www.mapleglen.co.nz/
Images      http://www.pbase.com/mapleglen/
0
rdavison (177)
11/16/2004 4:38:16 AM
Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote in
news:K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz: 

> John M Ward wrote:
> 
>> (c)  anti-aliased screen display font technology before the
>> Archimedes' bitmap (later outline) font technology?
> 
> There are demos of this in Foly, vanDam et.all attributed to 'YODA
> display' (Satish Gupta, IBM T.J.Watson Research Centre'). Google on
> that returns dates circa 1986 so we were pipped at the post.

There was also research in the Cambridge Computer Lab - the Rainbow
group and the Rainbow terminal. I've attached a bibliography - there was 
a lot of much earlier work than 1986.

Nobody used anti-aliasing correctly then, many still don't - in
particular items such as sub-pixel placement of characters within a
rendered string and a filter which matches the transfer characteristics
of the monitor (most notably being based on a Gaussian decay and having
knowledge of the different behaviour horizontally and vertically) are
hard. (Thank you to David Seal for deriving the filter coefficient
values for me...)

> I think Acorn were definitely the first to put it into a mainstream
> computer operating system though.

Yes, I do too. :-)

> Incidentally, Dave Clare once told me that they (Clares) were involved
> in creating the specifications for the Acorn fontmanager (having done
> something fontish in the last days of the BBC B) but I don't know all
> of the details or who did the work. I'd buy him a pint for sure...

Anti-alias design: me. Anti-alias coding me, Neil Raine. Bitmap font work 
for ARX: me. Bitmap font work for Arthur: Neil Raine (I think - I'm a bit 
vague on this - I know I wrote !FontCtrl). Outline font work: Neil Raine, 
William Stoye and I - DTS came along later and helped on specific hinting 
measures. Font manager interface: Neil Raine, William Stoye and I and 
some of the early ISVs - I don't remember Clares specifically being 
involved, but it seems quite likely - GST certainly were. I think I'm 
mostly responsible for the notion of "paint with erase".

> This might be of interest: http://www.truetype.demon.co.uk/ttalias.htm
> 
>> I'm sure there are others I could mention, but I didn't want to make
>> too big a thing of this, at least not at the outset.
> 
> Somebody really should be writing a History of Acorn - while most of
> those who were involved are still with us...

Much too late for that.

--Sophie

> Rob.

Bige83    Bigelow, C. and D. Day, ``Digital Typography,'' Scientific 
American,
          Volume 249, Number 2, August 1983, pp. 106-119.

Blac46    Blackwell, H. R., ``Contrast Thresholds of the Human Eye,'' 
Journal
          of the Optical Society of America, Volume 36, 1946, pp. 642-
643.

Bruc86    Bruckstein, A. M., ``On Optimal Image Digitization,'' 
Electrical
          Engineering Publication Number 577, Faculty of Electrical
          Engineering, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, 
Israel,
          February 1986.

Buck77    Buckler, A. T., ``A Review of the Literature on the Legibility 
of
          AlphaNumerics on Electronic Displays,'' Technical Memo 16-77, 
U. S.
          Army Human Engineering Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, 
Maryland,
          May 1977.

Catm79    Catmull, E., ``A Tutorial on Compensation Tables,'' Computer
          Graphics, Volume 13, Number 2, August 1979, pp. 1-7. SIGGRAPH 
1979
          Proceedings.

Corn70    Cornsweet, T. N., Visual Perception, Academic Press, New York, 
1970.

Crow78    Crow, F. C., ``The Use of Grayscale for Improved Raster Display 
of
          Vectors and Characters,'' Computer Graphics, Volume 12, Number 
3,
          August  1978, pp. 1-6. SIGGRAPH 1978 Proceedings.

Goul84    Gould, J. D. and N. Grischkowsky, ``Doing the Same Work with 
Hard
          Copy and with Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT) Computer Terminals,'' 
Human
          Factors, Volume 26, Number 3, June 1984, pp. 323-337.

Gupt81    Gupta, S. and R. F. Sproull, ``Filtering Edges for Gray-Scale
          Displays,'' Computer Graphics, Volume 15, Number 3, August 
1981, pp.
          1-5. SIGGRAPH 1981 Proceedings.

Kaji81    Kajiya, J. and M. Ullner, ``Filtering High Quality Text for 
Display
          on Raster Scan Devices,'' Computer Graphics, Volume 15, Number 
3
          August 1981, pp. 7-15. SIGGRAPH 1981 Proceedings.

Koba80    Kobayashi, S. C., ``Optimization Algorithms for Grayscale 
Fonts,''
          B. Sc. Thesis, Department of Electrical Engineering and 
Computer
          Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge,
          Massachusetts, June 1980.

Lele80    Leler, W. J., ``Human Vision, Anti-Aliasing, and the Cheap 4000 
Line
          Display,'' Computer Graphics, Volume 14, Number 3, July 1980, 
pp.
          308-313. SIGGRAPH 1980 Proceedings.

Naim85    Naiman, A. C., ``High-Quality Text for Raster Displays,'' M. 
Sc.
          Thesis, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto,
          Toronto, Ontario, 1985.

Negr80    Negroponte,  N., ``Soft Fonts,'' Proceedings, Society for
          Information Display, 1980.

Prat78    Pratt, W. K., Digital Image Processing, John Wiley and Sons, 
New
          York, 1978.

Schm83    Schmandt, C., ``Fuzzy Fonts,'' Proceedings of the National 
Computer
          Graphics Association, 1983.

Seit79    Seitz, C., et al., ``Digital Video Display System with a 
Plurality of
          Gray-Scale Levels,'' United States Patent Number 4,158,200.

Shol82    Sholtz, P. N., ``Making High-Quality Colored Images on Raster
          Displays,'' Computer Science Research Report RC9632 (#42528), 
IBM T.
          J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, October 
1982.

Shur80    Shurtleff, D. A., How to Make Displays Legible, Human Interface
          Design, La Mirada, California, 1980.

Warn80    Warnock, J. E., ``The Display of Characters Using Gray Level 
Sample
          Arrays,'' Computer Graphics, Volume 14, Number 3, July 1980, 
pp.
          302-307. SIGGRAPH 1980 Proceedings.

0
11/16/2004 1:40:26 PM
Sophie Wilson <sophie.wilson@bigfoot.com> wrote:
> 
> There was also research in the Cambridge Computer Lab - the Rainbow
> group and the Rainbow terminal. I've attached a bibliography - there was 
> a lot of much earlier work than 1986.

Sophie's given a more than comprehensive bibliography - the only relevant
local reference I can find easily is:

A Soft-edged Character Set and its Derivation, A.J. Wilkes and N.E. Wiseman,
Computer Journal, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp 140-147, February 1982.

which is basically talking about super-sampling mostly high resolution bitmap
fonts to low resolution displays, though it does briefly mention vectors.
Was the Arthur font manager based on downsampling high resolution bitmaps,
or did it just store antialiased characters directly?

Theo

Rainbow Group, University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory
(speaking personally)
0
news539 (2440)
11/16/2004 6:54:43 PM
Sophie Wilson wrote:

> Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote in
> news:K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz: 

[Anti-aliased fonts]

>>I think Acorn were definitely the first to put it into a mainstream
>>computer operating system though.
> 
> 
> Yes, I do too. :-)

Who'd argue with that? :-)

>>[...]but I don't know all
>>of the details or who did the work. I'd buy him a pint for sure...
> 
> 
> Anti-alias design: me. Anti-alias coding me,

Correction: her a pint! :-)

Something else we owe you for.

[...]

>>Somebody really should be writing a History of Acorn - while most of
>>those who were involved are still with us...
> 
> 
> Much too late for that.

I suppose not enough people would buy it now to make the task
commercially viable. There were some wonderful stories and
fascinating characters involved though - and I only heard
(and met) a very few of them.

Thanks for the bibliography.


Rob.
-- 
Maple Glen  http://www.mapleglen.co.nz/
Images      http://www.pbase.com/mapleglen/
0
rdavison (177)
11/16/2004 7:06:47 PM
Sophie Wilson <sophie.wilson@bigfoot.com> wrote:

<snipped very interesting info>

Thanks for telling us this, and it's good to see you on here again :-)

-- 
Squidge
0
bungee (219)
11/16/2004 7:10:08 PM
In message <K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz>
          Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:

> This might be of interest: http://www.truetype.demon.co.uk/ttalias.htm

It was, but someone should ask them to update their links, when the new
riscos/riscosdevelopments websites come online.

http://www.acorn.co.uk/

http://www.art.acorn.co.uk/technology/datasheets/013-RISC_OS/home.html

Don't exist any more.

-- 
Eiffel and RISC OS - Better alternatives.
0
11/16/2004 7:11:48 PM
In article <9dsmd.2900$9A.110299@news.xtra.co.nz>, Rob Davison
<rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote then responded to Sophie Wilson's
comment:

> >>Somebody really should be writing a History of Acorn - while most of
> >>those who were involved are still with us...

> > Much too late for that.

> I suppose not enough people would buy it now to make the task
> commercially viable. There were some wonderful stories and fascinating
> characters involved though - and I only heard (and met) a very few of
> them.

If anyone thinks they could put together a series of articles on the
subject then we may well be interested in publishing them.

-- 
John Cartmell editor Qercus  - editor@qercus.com  www.qercus.com
	Qercus: a fusion of Acorn Publisher & Acorn User magazines
	one magazine for all RISC OS users
	Finnybank Ltd 30 Finnybank Rd Sale M33 6LR  == 0161 969 9820
0
editor605 (623)
11/16/2004 7:38:20 PM
In message <5909e10e4d.simonwillcocks@home.invalid>
          Simon Willcocks <simon.willcocks@t-online.de> wrote:

> In message <K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz>
>           Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:
> 
> > This might be of interest: http://www.truetype.demon.co.uk/ttalias.htm
> 
> It was, but someone should ask them to update their links, when the new
> riscos/riscosdevelopments websites come online.
> 
> http://www.acorn.co.uk/
> 
> http://www.art.acorn.co.uk/technology/datasheets/013-RISC_OS/home.html
> 
> Don't exist any more.
> 

I always understood that a lot of the groundbreaking stuff was done by
Xerox at their Palalto (sp?) labs at the time that everyone else was
doing text displays and the Atom was quite advanced.

I saw a graphical display WP machine from Xerox in Circa 1975 as a
business show in the NEC (my mother taught business studies at the
time).  I also avidly read Personal Comuter World which described this
and more.

IIRC the mouse (with three buttons), pull down and pop up menus,
windows and icon bars were all developed by them.  Apple adapted some
parts but Acorn more closely followed the Xerox Model in RISC OS. (again
reported in PCW at the time)

M$ designers probably don't know what they are really working
towards/away from!


-- 
Mark Foweraker
0
mark8824 (88)
11/16/2004 7:39:26 PM
On 16/11/04 19:11, Simon Willcocks wrote:
> In message <K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz>
>           Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:
> 
>> This might be of interest: http://www.truetype.demon.co.uk/ttalias.htm
> 
> It was, but someone should ask them to update their links,

I dropped them a line. (But it looks like the page hasn't been updated 
in a long time, so I'm not holding my breath.)

Adam

-- 
Adam Richardson
Email me at: monkeyadam~but.not.this.monkey~@ntlworld.com
Carpe Diem
0
see102 (507)
11/16/2004 7:54:54 PM
In message <9dsmd.2900$9A.110299@news.xtra.co.nz>
          Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:

> Sophie Wilson wrote:
> 
> > Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote in
> > news:K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz: 
> 
> [Anti-aliased fonts]
> 
> >>I think Acorn were definitely the first to put it into a mainstream
> >>computer operating system though.
> > 
> > 
> > Yes, I do too. :-)
> 
> Who'd argue with that? :-)
> 
> >>[...]but I don't know all
> >>of the details or who did the work. I'd buy him a pint for sure...
> > 
> > 
> > Anti-alias design: me. Anti-alias coding me,
> 
> Correction: her a pint! :-)
> 
> Something else we owe you for.
> 
> [...]
> 
> >>Somebody really should be writing a History of Acorn - while most of
> >>those who were involved are still with us...
> > 
> > 
> > Much too late for that.
> 
> I suppose not enough people would buy it now to make the task
> commercially viable. There were some wonderful stories and
> fascinating characters involved though - and I only heard
> (and met) a very few of them.
> 
> Thanks for the bibliography.
> 
> 
> Rob.
I've followed the Acorn sagas since 1981 - it would make a best seller
in terms of anecdotes and economics and business... if only ...
-- 
Dave Wisnia, Leeds
0
dswis (522)
11/16/2004 8:16:19 PM
In message <b8f1e60e4d.dswis@freeserve.net>
          David <dswis@freeuk.com> wrote:

> In message <9dsmd.2900$9A.110299@news.xtra.co.nz>
>           Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:
> 
> > Sophie Wilson wrote:
> > 
> > > Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote in
> > > news:K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz: 
> > 
> > [Anti-aliased fonts]
> > 
> > >>I think Acorn were definitely the first to put it into a mainstream
> > >>computer operating system though.
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Yes, I do too. :-)
> > 
> > Who'd argue with that? :-)
> > 
> > >>[...]but I don't know all
> > >>of the details or who did the work. I'd buy him a pint for sure...
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Anti-alias design: me. Anti-alias coding me,
> > 
> > Correction: her a pint! :-)
> > 
> > Something else we owe you for.
> > 
> > [...]
> > 
> > >>Somebody really should be writing a History of Acorn - while most of
> > >>those who were involved are still with us...
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Much too late for that.
> > 
> > I suppose not enough people would buy it now to make the task
> > commercially viable. There were some wonderful stories and
> > fascinating characters involved though - and I only heard
> > (and met) a very few of them.
> > 
> > Thanks for the bibliography.
> > 
> > 
> > Rob.
> I've followed the Acorn sagas since 1981 - it would make a best seller
> in terms of anecdotes and economics and business... if only ...
To add to my last post ... and technology!
-- 
Dave Wisnia, Leeds
0
dswis (522)
11/16/2004 8:20:13 PM
On 16 Nov 2004 Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:
> druck wrote:
>> On 16 Nov 2004 Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:
>> 
>>>> (a)  an icon bar or equivalent pre August 1988 when RISC OS 2 was first
>>>> shown at a public exhibition (the PCW Show);
>>> 
>>> Didn't AMX do something similar 'a desktop' for the BBC B? (no idea now
>>> how practical it was...I'm guessing not very.)
>> 
>> 
>> It was an Apple style menu at the top of the screen.
> 
> You've prompted me to have a dig around as I'd made one of their programs
> (purely for mine own personal amusement you understand!) run on the
> Archimedes in mode 18.
> 
> Zicon it was called. A 3D editor.
> 
> http://www.pbase.com/image/36404262/original
> 
> Looks a fair bit like an iconbar to me.

I've not seen that before. I was thinking of the original AMX ROM with AMX
Art and AMX Pagemaker applications, these were inspired by the Apple look
and feel, as there obviously wasn't anything else about to copy at the time.

---druck

-- 
The ARM Club Free Software - http://www.armclub.org.uk/free/
The 32bit Conversions Page - http://www.quantumsoft.co.uk/druck/
0
news5843 (7461)
11/16/2004 8:39:57 PM
In article <gemini.i7ad8w003gj0w01kg.bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk>,
   squidge <bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> Sophie Wilson <sophie.wilson@bigfoot.com> wrote:

> <snipped very interesting info>

> Thanks for telling us this, and it's good to see you on here again :-)

My RPC is called Sophie!

Stuart

-- 
Stuart Winsor formerly of Argonet

From is valid but subject to change without notice if it gets spammed.

For Barn dances and folk evenings in the Coventry and Warwickshire area
See: http://www.barndance.org.uk
0
SW_NOSPAM (1409)
11/16/2004 8:58:26 PM
In article <861be90e4d.druck@druck.freeuk.net>,
   druck <news@druck.freeuk.com> wrote:

> I've not seen that before. I was thinking of the original AMX ROM with
> AMX Art and AMX Pagemaker applications, these were inspired by the
> Apple look and feel, as there obviously wasn't anything else about to
> copy at the time.

I once used a mouse on a regular basis on my old Elk using a Project
Expansions prototype User Port in the Plus 1.

I also tried one of the Jessop (something like that and not to be
confused with the high street camera shifter) Turtle, having tweeked DART
to use the different Elk I/O addresses.  Had to supply the drive power
from other sources though as the Elk could not manage that. All a long
time ago now.

Also had that old Elk running a robot car around a classroom under the
control of a Big-Track like program using the keyboard for input, once
again using that User Port.

Lionel

-- 
    ___          ______
   /  /         /  ___/       4 children         | Sea Vixen for pugnacity
  /  / ionel A.|   \ mith     8 grandchildren,   | Hunter for elegance
 /  /____     __\   | no wonder life is a breeze | Phantom for clout 
/_______/    /_____/  http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/lionels  |  ZFC B+4+4

From an OS that Windows is too young to remember. ;-)
0
lionels (537)
11/16/2004 10:06:35 PM
In article <Xns95A38B19AF66Dsophiewilson@130.133.1.4>,
   Sophie Wilson <sophie.wilson@bigfoot.com> wrote:

> I've attached a bibliography - there was  a lot of much earlier work
> than 1986.

Brilliant stuff. Thanks.

> Much too late for that.

Maybe. Maybe not. :-)

Lionel

-- 
    ___          ______
   /  /         /  ___/       4 children         | Sea Vixen for pugnacity
  /  / ionel A.|   \ mith     8 grandchildren,   | Hunter for elegance
 /  /____     __\   | no wonder life is a breeze | Phantom for clout 
/_______/    /_____/  http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/lionels  |  ZFC B+4+4

From an OS that Windows is too young to remember. ;-)
0
lionels (537)
11/16/2004 10:07:43 PM
In article <4d0eeacccdSW_NOSPAM@dsl.pipex.com>,
   News <SW_NOSPAM@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> In article <gemini.i7ad8w003gj0w01kg.bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk>,
>    squidge <bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> > Sophie Wilson <sophie.wilson@bigfoot.com> wrote:

> > <snipped very interesting info>

> > Thanks for telling us this, and it's good to see you on here again :-)

> My RPC is called Sophie!

That's what Colonel Potter called his horse, wasn't it? ;)

(Mind you, I can't talk too much! Not with Miyuki and Madoka on my desk!)

-- 
 //\  // Chika <zvlhxv@penfuarg.bet.hx. - ROT13>
//  \//  Guess what? Google *doesn't* own Usenet! Boycott Google now! 

.... Hailing frequencies open Mr. Worf. - Hi, this is Steve Wright on 1 FM.
0
miyuki1 (1402)
11/16/2004 10:26:53 PM
On 2004-11-16, Qercus editor <editor@qercus.com> wrote:

>>>> Somebody really should be writing a History of Acorn - while most of
>>>> those who were involved are still with us...
>>> 
>>> Much too late for that.
>> 
>> I suppose not enough people would buy it now to make the task
>> commercially viable. There were some wonderful stories and fascinating
>> characters involved though - and I only heard (and met) a very few of
>> them.
>
> If anyone thinks they could put together a series of articles on the
> subject then we may well be interested in publishing them.

I'd certainly be interested in reading them!

If anyone knowledgeable feels like taking up the challenge, the Wikipedia 
article on Acorn (<URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Computers_Ltd>) 
might benefit from some expansion.

Cheers,

N.

-- 
I assume he was descended from apes like all the rest of us, but clearly in
his case it had been a fairly gentle slope.
  -- Bill Bryson, "The Lost Continent"
0
n.g.boalch (268)
11/16/2004 10:39:42 PM
In article <4d0ef2e58cmiyuki@no.spam.here>,
   Chika <miyuki@spam-no-way.invalid> wrote:
> In article <4d0eeacccdSW_NOSPAM@dsl.pipex.com>,
>    News <SW_NOSPAM@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> > In article <gemini.i7ad8w003gj0w01kg.bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk>,
> >    squidge <bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> > > Sophie Wilson <sophie.wilson@bigfoot.com> wrote:

> > > <snipped very interesting info>

> > > Thanks for telling us this, and it's good to see you on here again
> > > :-)

Agreed!

> > My RPC is called Sophie!

A nice tribute.

> That's what Colonel Potter called his horse, wasn't it? ;)

> (Mind you, I can't talk too much! Not with Miyuki and Madoka on my
> desk!)

My desks are all too full to be able to accommodate even a petitie
Japanese lady...

-- 
John M Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered!
Acorn/RISC OS web page: www.argonet.co.uk/users/johnward/john/computers
0
john6145 (907)
11/16/2004 11:14:37 PM
In article <2f91e3e4d%Mark@homecall.co.uk>,
   Mark <mark@foweraker.com> wrote:

> I always understood that a lot of the groundbreaking stuff was done by
> Xerox at their Palalto (sp?) labs at the time that everyone else was
> doing text displays and the Atom was quite advanced.

Palo Alto - was it  called "X windows"?

RogerH

-- 
Roger Hird
roger.hird@argonet.co.uk
http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/roger.hird
Running Voyager 2.07 and RISCOS 4.02 on an Acorn StrongARM RiscPC 

0
roger.hird (106)
11/17/2004 12:43:34 AM
In article <4d0ef74a08john@acornusers.org>,
   John M Ward <john@acornusers.org> wrote:
> > (Mind you, I can't talk too much! Not with Miyuki and Madoka on my
> > desk!)

> My desks are all too full to be able to accommodate even a petitie
> Japanese lady...

It's because of my two "Japanese ladies" that my desk is full. Well...
almost!

The picture shown at http://crashnet.org.uk/lurker/gfx/gen/madoka.jpeg is
a bit out of date, as Mads now sits where the BJC printer used to be, an
amplifier sits where Mads used to be and Miyuki sits under a (now 17") CRT
on the left of the desk. The rest is just as cluttered, and there is now a
tower PC sitting down the side of the desk nearest the wall on the left
too.

If you can imagine how that looks, you can then work out why it is that I
tend to lose things... :)

-- 
 //\  // Chika <zvlhxv@penfuarg.bet.hx. - ROT13>
//  \//  Guess what? Google *doesn't* own Usenet! Boycott Google now! 

.... What can you do at 3 AM?   Psssttt - got a modem??
0
miyuki1 (1402)
11/17/2004 10:26:46 AM
Roger Hird <roger.hird@argonet.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <2f91e3e4d%Mark@homecall.co.uk>,
>   Mark <mark@foweraker.com> wrote:
> 
>> I always understood that a lot of the groundbreaking stuff was done by
>> Xerox at their Palalto (sp?) labs at the time that everyone else was
>> doing text displays and the Atom was quite advanced.
> 
> Palo Alto - was it  called "X windows"?

No.  X came from MIT, circa 1984 (1986 is when it went outside MIT, and the
date of the Computer Journal paper on it).  The Xerox Alto (1973-6) was much
earlier.  Whilst MIT had an Alto, Project Athena at MIT was funded by DEC
so I'd imagine a PDP was one of the targets though it was aimed at disparate
machines)

Theo
0
news539 (2440)
11/17/2004 11:32:56 AM
In article <a0B*62Szq@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>, Theo Markettos
<theom+news@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> No.  X came from MIT, circa 1984 (1986 is when it went outside MIT, and
> the date of the Computer Journal paper on it).  The Xerox Alto (1973-6)
> was much earlier.  Whilst MIT had an Alto, Project Athena at MIT was
> funded by DEC so I'd imagine a PDP was one of the targets though it was
> aimed at disparate machines)

If it was 1984, it would more likely have been a VAX that was being
targeted, probably running ULTRIX or something like that. The PDP's were
being run down by that time (the PDP-11 was still in production, though
the range was shrinking by then - most of the post PDP-11/70 Unibus
systems were produced in cabs that could also house VAXes, for example the
PDP-11/44, 11/84 and 11/94).

Having said that, the notes at MIT say that the project started on a
Berkeley Unix platform, so a PDP-11 could have been in there somewhere, at
least during development.

<http://www-tech.mit.edu/V119/N19/history_of_athe.19f.html>
-	Project Athena: MIT's computing environment has grown from an experiment
to an impressive, ubiquitous network

-- 
 //\  // Chika <zvlhxv@penfuarg.bet.hx. - ROT13>
//  \//  Guess what? Google *doesn't* own Usenet! Boycott Google now! 

.... "I'll be back ;-)"
0
miyuki1 (1402)
11/17/2004 11:51:58 AM
In article <pCb*8mPzq@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>, Theo Markettos
<URL:mailto:theom+news@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> Sophie Wilson <sophie.wilson@bigfoot.com> wrote:
> > 
> > There was also research in the Cambridge Computer Lab - the Rainbow
> > group and the Rainbow terminal. I've attached a bibliography - there was 
> > a lot of much earlier work than 1986.
> 
> Sophie's given a more than comprehensive bibliography - the only relevant
> local reference I can find easily is:

How do you find such references? a specialist Academic database? 


Chris Evans

-- 
CJE Micro's / NCS / 4D           'RISC OS Specialists'
Telephone: (01903) 523222          Fax: (01903) 523679
chris@cjemicros.co.uk      http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/
78 Brighton Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 2EN, UK.

0
chris8168 (2937)
11/17/2004 2:51:13 PM
Theo Markettos <theom+news@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote in
news:pCb*8mPzq@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk: 

> Sophie Wilson <sophie.wilson@bigfoot.com> wrote:
>> 
>> There was also research in the Cambridge Computer Lab - the Rainbow
>> group and the Rainbow terminal. I've attached a bibliography - there
>> was a lot of much earlier work than 1986.
> 
> Sophie's given a more than comprehensive bibliography - the only
> relevant local reference I can find easily is:
> 
> A Soft-edged Character Set and its Derivation, A.J. Wilkes and N.E.
> Wiseman, Computer Journal, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp 140-147, February 1982.

Yeah, I think I saw that some time. But the real design process was to go 
and talk with John Warnock at Adobe. And then spend a lot of time thinking
about it and experimenting - the anti-aliasing was all designed during the
ARX project: first implementations of the filter were in BBC BASIC, as were 
first implementations of something that painted characters on the screen. 
Very embarrassingly for the Modula 2 team, when they first wrote a font 
painter routine it was slower than the BBC BASIC implementation... (They 
had overlooked some of the hints for run-time optimisations built into the 
font file format.)

> which is basically talking about super-sampling mostly high resolution
> bitmap fonts to low resolution displays, though it does briefly
> mention vectors. Was the Arthur font manager based on downsampling
> high resolution bitmaps, or did it just store antialiased characters
> directly? 

It had high-ish resolution anti-aliased fonts. They were designed off-line. 
The design process was basically converted en-mass to make the outline font 
manager (draw from outline applying hints into high resolution monochrome 
bitmap, then supersample it with the chosen filter getting 4 X and 4 Y sub-
pixel positionned versions). The outline font manager caches (subsections 
of) fonts and converts on demand. The outline font manager first went out 
with the DTP package.

--Sophie
0
11/17/2004 4:24:44 PM
Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote in news:9dsmd.2900
$9A.110299@news.xtra.co.nz:

> Sophie Wilson wrote:
> 
>> Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote in
>> news:K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz: 
> 
> [Anti-aliased fonts]
> 
>>>I think Acorn were definitely the first to put it into a mainstream
>>>computer operating system though.
>> 
>> 
>> Yes, I do too. :-)
> 
> Who'd argue with that? :-)
> 
>>>[...]but I don't know all
>>>of the details or who did the work. I'd buy him a pint for sure...
>> 
>> 
>> Anti-alias design: me. Anti-alias coding me,
> 
> Correction: her a pint! :-)
> 
> Something else we owe you for.

I'd kind-of-assumed that Neil's writing of the font manager and my design 
of the anti-aliasing stuff was well known.

> [...]
> 
>>>Somebody really should be writing a History of Acorn - while most of
>>>those who were involved are still with us...
>> 
>> 
>> Much too late for that.
> 
> I suppose not enough people would buy it now to make the task
> commercially viable. There were some wonderful stories and
> fascinating characters involved though - and I only heard
> (and met) a very few of them.

When talking of Neil it is important to remember that he not only did all 
that font work, he also wrote the WIMP. And, of course, Planetoid... I 
mean - who would you want to write a high performance window manager and 
font system but a renowned computer games programmer?

--Sophie
0
11/17/2004 4:28:36 PM
Sophie Wilson wrote:

> Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote in news:9dsmd.2900
> $9A.110299@news.xtra.co.nz:

>>Something else we owe you for.
> 
> 
> I'd kind-of-assumed that Neil's writing of the font manager and my design 
> of the anti-aliasing stuff was well known.

Perhaps we should have guessed...

Do you know who came up with the idea of drag-to-save?

>>[...]

> When talking of Neil it is important to remember that he not only did all 
> that font work, he also wrote the WIMP. And, of course, Planetoid... I 
> mean - who would you want to write a high performance window manager and 
> font system but a renowned computer games programmer?

Who better to handle moving things around the screen and plotting
things quickly? :-)

Planetoid was my first purchase. I still have the tape somewhere.


Rob.
-- 
Maple Glen  http://www.mapleglen.co.nz/
Images      http://www.pbase.com/mapleglen/
0
rdavison (177)
11/17/2004 6:33:31 PM
Chika <miyuki@spam-no-way.invalid>:
> The picture shown at http://crashnet.org.uk/lurker/gfx/gen/madoka.jpeg is
> a bit out of date, as Mads now sits where the BJC printer used to be, an
> amplifier sits where Mads used to be and Miyuki sits under a (now 17") CRT
> on the left of the desk. The rest is just as cluttered, and there is now a
> tower PC sitting down the side of the desk nearest the wall on the left
> too.
>
> If you can imagine how that looks, you can then work out why it is that I
> tend to lose things... :)

<URL:http://bash.org/mess/accepted/382128_PinkFuzzyBunny> is the definitive
messy desk, I think.

Nothing to do with me, I hasten to add.  My desk is meticulously tidy.

b.

-- 
Ben Shimmin (bas@bas.me.uk)                            <URL:http://bas.me.uk/>
                                finger gpg@bas.me.uk | tail -30 | gpg --import
0
bas352 (47)
11/17/2004 8:21:36 PM
In article <slrn.2004-11-17.20-19-51@rialto.bas.me.uk>,
   Ben Shimmin <bas@rialto.bas.me.uk> wrote:
> <URL:http://bash.org/mess/accepted/382128_PinkFuzzyBunny> is the
> definitive messy desk, I think.

Reminds me of my old desk at the London Borough of Hemhem! Ah, now those
were the days...

> Nothing to do with me, I hasten to add.  My desk is meticulously tidy.

Sign of a sick mind, so I hear! :)

-- 
 //\  // Chika <zvlhxv@penfuarg.bet.hx. - ROT13>
//  \//  Guess what? Google *doesn't* own Usenet! Boycott Google now! 

.... If you want something done properly, kill Baldrick first.
0
miyuki1 (1402)
11/17/2004 8:38:13 PM
In article <slrn.2004-11-17.20-19-51@rialto.bas.me.uk>,
   Ben Shimmin <bas@rialto.bas.me.uk> wrote:
> Chika <miyuki@spam-no-way.invalid>:
> > The picture shown at
> > http://crashnet.org.uk/lurker/gfx/gen/madoka.jpeg is a bit out of
> > date, as Mads now sits where the BJC printer used to be, an
> > amplifier sits where Mads used to be and Miyuki sits under a (now
> > 17") CRT on the left of the desk. The rest is just as cluttered,
> > and there is now a tower PC sitting down the side of the desk
> > nearest the wall on the left too.
> >
> > If you can imagine how that looks, you can then work out why it
> > is that I tend to lose things... :)

> <URL:http://bash.org/mess/accepted/382128_PinkFuzzyBunny> is the
> definitive messy desk, I think.

Makes me feel I'm not so bad after all...

> Nothing to do with me, I hasten to add.  My desk is meticulously
> tidy.

You realise that you'll now have to prove that  :-)

-- 
John M Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered!
Acorn/RISC OS web page: www.argonet.co.uk/users/johnward/john/computers
0
john6145 (907)
11/17/2004 9:45:15 PM
In article <4d0f72f214john@acornusers.org>,
   John M Ward <john@acornusers.org> wrote:
> > <URL:http://bash.org/mess/accepted/382128_PinkFuzzyBunny> is the
> > definitive messy desk, I think.

> Makes me feel I'm not so bad after all...

As I remember it, your desk is positively tidy by comparison! (But maybe
my memory isn't what it was!)

-- 
 //\  // Chika <zvlhxv@penfuarg.bet.hx. - ROT13>
//  \//  Guess what? Google *doesn't* own Usenet! Boycott Google now! 

.... Violence is a lousy substitute for drugs and sex
0
miyuki1 (1402)
11/17/2004 10:29:37 PM
John M Ward wrote:

> (a)  an icon bar or equivalent pre August 1988 when RISC OS 2 was first
> shown at a public exhibition (the PCW Show);

The NeXTstep Dock and Wharf were in some ways similar, at least 
conceptually.

I believe NeXTstep actually shipped in 1988 but there were demos a year 
or two before, I think.

> (b)  a button bar or equivalent prior to ArcWriter's release in late-1988;

The canonical example cited here is the toolbox in MacPaint, which was 
released along with the Macintosh in 1984, but had been shown earlier. 
It was a novelty then, TTBOMK, but it wasn't really the same thing as a 
button-bar, as is now common across almost all GUIs.

> (c)  anti-aliased screen display font technology before the Archimedes'
> bitmap (later outline) font technology?

I wouldn't /dare/ contradict Sophie on this, but for one not included in 
an OS, might Adobe Type Manager perhaps qualify? Those were the first AA 
fonts I ever saw being rendered onscreen, I think.

-- 
Liam Proven
Home: http://welcome.to/liamsweb * Blog: http://lproven.livejournal.com
AOL, Yahoo UK: liamproven * ICQ: 73187508 * MSN: lproven@hotmail.com

0
lproven (5)
11/17/2004 11:25:21 PM
In article <4d0f76fbf2miyuki@no.spam.here>,
   Chika <miyuki@spam-no-way.invalid> wrote:
> In article <4d0f72f214john@acornusers.org>,
>    John M Ward <john@acornusers.org> wrote:
> > > <URL:http://bash.org/mess/accepted/382128_PinkFuzzyBunny> is the
> > > definitive messy desk, I think.

> > Makes me feel I'm not so bad after all...

> As I remember it, your desk is positively tidy by comparison! (But
> maybe my memory isn't what it was!)

Well, the pictures just uploaded today to my personal website might
give a clue or two...

http://www.horsted.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/personal/john/computers/html/my_setup.html

-- 
John M Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered!
Acorn/RISC OS web page: www.argonet.co.uk/users/johnward/john/computers
0
john6145 (907)
11/17/2004 11:57:41 PM
In message <K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz>
          Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:

> > (a)  an icon bar or equivalent pre August 1988 when RISC OS 2 was first
> > shown at a public exhibition (the PCW Show);

As someone else suggested I suspect this was probably first done on the
Xereo Star machines - though they hardly count as a commercial item.

> 
> > (c)  anti-aliased screen display font technology before the Archimedes'
> > bitmap (later outline) font technology?
> 
> There are demos of this in Foly, vanDam et.all attributed to 'YODA
> display' (Satish Gupta, IBM T.J.Watson Research Centre'). Google on
> that returns dates circa 1986 so we were pipped at the post.

I had one of those back when I was an IBM Research Fellow! Neat board,
amazing dispaly for the time. You could display characters that seemed
impossibly small but they would be quite readable. My recollection is
of a 4 pixel high 'e' for example. Boy did it ever get hot though; and
I think it was actually two boards, a bit like the 370 coprocesor I
also had for a while.

tim
--
Tim Rowledge, tim@sumeru.stanford.edu, http://sumeru.stanford.edu/tim
Useful random insult:- IQ = dx / (1 + dx), where x = age.
0
tim7363 (81)
11/18/2004 6:49:13 AM
In message <2f91e3e4d%Mark@homecall.co.uk>
 
> 
> I always understood that a lot of the groundbreaking stuff was done by
> Xerox at their Palalto (sp?) labs at the time that everyone else was
> doing text displays and the Atom was quite advanced.

Yup, a bunch of friends of mine did most of this. A large fraction of
it was produced as part of the work of the Learning Research Group that
made Smalltalk. As it happens, many members of that group are now
working on Squeak Smalltalk (available for RISC OS from my website) and
OpenCroquet (which isn't because it needs OpenGL) and are part of the
HP labs team for now.
> 
> IIRC the mouse (with three buttons), pull down and pop up menus,
> windows and icon bars were all developed by them.  Apple adapted some
> parts but Acorn more closely followed the Xerox Model in RISC OS. (again
> reported in PCW at the time)
Mouse - Doug Englebart, possibly the most important person in the field
of making computers actually useful. He's still alive, still working,
still a frigging genius and an amazing guy to hang out with. LRG/Parc
used a mouse because they couldn't get tablet digitisers that were
practical for their uses.
Pop-up menus - yup, part of Smalltalk then and now. All theway back to
about 1972.
Pull-down menus - not sure since they weren't a Smalltalk thing.
Icon bar-ish stuff - probably Star.
BitBLt - yup, Dan Ingalls for Smalltalk in '72 or thereabouts. Extended
to colour and alpha-channel for Squeak.
Overlapping windows - yup, used in Smalltalk but first mentioned so far as I
recall in Alan Kays PhD thesis in 69. Which lead to Smalltalk.
Laser printers - another Parc invention. If any dickwit ever tries to
tell you that Xerox never made any money from anything invented at Parc
just mention these. Billions and billions as Carl Sagan might have
said.
Menubar across the top of the screen - Mac, Jef Raskin. I still think
it's a dumb idea and Jef pretty much agrees these days, see stuff about
'The Humane Interface'. Jef & I were arguing about it just this weekend
as it happens.

tim
--
Tim Rowledge, tim@sumeru.stanford.edu, http://sumeru.stanford.edu/tim
Strange OpCodes: SDR: Shift Disk Right
0
tim7363 (81)
11/18/2004 6:49:14 AM
Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote in
news:_PMmd.3274$9A.125677@news.xtra.co.nz: 

> Sophie Wilson wrote:
> 
>> Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote in news:9dsmd.2900
>> $9A.110299@news.xtra.co.nz:
> 
>>>Something else we owe you for.
>> 
>> 
>> I'd kind-of-assumed that Neil's writing of the font manager and my
>> design of the anti-aliasing stuff was well known.
> 
> Perhaps we should have guessed...
> 
> Do you know who came up with the idea of drag-to-save?

I assume it was William Stoye, but it could have been any of us.

--Sophie


0
11/18/2004 9:29:23 AM
Sophie Wilson <sophie.wilson@bigfoot.com> writes:


> I'd kind-of-assumed that Neil's writing of the font manager and my design 
> of the anti-aliasing stuff was well known.

Which reminds me: I have long thought that the RISC OS font manager
would be a big boon for PDA's and mobile phones.  Has anyone tried to
port it to, say, Symbian or Palm OS?

        Torben
0
torbenm265 (288)
11/18/2004 2:39:46 PM
Chris Evans <chris@cjemicros.co.uk> wrote:
>> Sophie's given a more than comprehensive bibliography - the only relevant
>> local reference I can find easily is:
> 
> How do you find such references? a specialist Academic database? 

That particular one was a bit of local knowledge.  I work in the lab that
did that research, so we've got all the journals in the library.  I happened
to know that Neil Wiseman (alas no longer with us) was the oldest member of
the group and likely to have been around at that time.  I pinched the
reference from his webpage:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/Rainbow/people/neilw.html
(a quick trip to the library turned up the paper - no electronic format in
1982 - which did turn out to be relevant)

But in general in computer science I don't use the academic databases
(WebSPIRS, web of science/knowledge etc) as Google is better.  I just type
the name of a paper, author or topic into Google and it usually comes up
with better results.  There are some places to get papers which aren't
publically available for which we have subscriptions, but often the author
puts a prepress copy on their webpage which Google picks up.

No more afternoons photocopying in the library for me - though this is
sometimes necessary for the older articles we only have in paper format. 
This makes actually doing research /so/ much easier.

Theo

-- 
Theo Markettos                 theo@markettos.org.uk
Clare Hall, Cambridge          atm26@cam.ac.uk
CB3 9AL, UK                    http://www.markettos.org.uk/
0
news539 (2440)
11/19/2004 9:08:38 PM
In article <K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz>,
   Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:
> John M Ward wrote:

> > I occasionally like to reminisce,

> Ah, nostalgia ain't what it used to be!

Indeed: and this has been a most interesting thread -- possibly the
best I have ever started, at least in this area.  Several posts within
it have now been permanently stored in my "Computers - reference"
Pluto external box.

I very much like the idea of a definitive history of Acorn and its
part in what has turned out to be a fascinating period of some twenty
or more years all told.  It might work best as a CD publication rather
than on (old fashioned) paper, showing once again -- as with the
Domesday Book and other projects -- how this corner of British
innovation led (and to an extent still leads) the way to the future.

-- 
John M Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered!
Acorn/RISC OS web page: www.argonet.co.uk/users/johnward/john/computers
0
john6145 (907)
11/19/2004 10:37:53 PM
Now the more detailed response...

In article <K6cmd.2621$9A.97613@news.xtra.co.nz>,
   Rob Davison <rdavison@xxttrraa.ccoo.nnzz> wrote:
> John M Ward wrote:

> > I occasionally like to reminisce,

> Ah, nostalgia ain't what it used to be!

> > and it has seemed to me that a lot of what is now accepted as
> > standard stuff I first saw on Acorn computers. Now, knowing that
> > my experience isn't as great or diverse as that of some here, I
> > thought it might be worth asking if anyone knows of earlier
> > versions of:
> > 
> > (a)  an icon bar or equivalent pre August 1988 when RISC OS 2 was
> > first shown at a public exhibition (the PCW Show);

> Didn't AMX do something similar 'a desktop' for the BBC B?
> (no idea now how practical it was...I'm guessing not very.)

What has now been posted to this thread included a link to a
"snapshot" of this, and it seems to have been quite interesting.  I
recall it only vaguely as I hated the AMX mouse, and took little
interest in it.  I got a Wigmore megamouse  :-)

> This is also pretty blooming impressive for 1980:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Xerox_star_desktop.jpg

Yes, and just goes to show that innovation often comes in pieces that
are finally put together in a workable form.

> > (b)  a button bar or equivalent prior to ArcWriter's release in
> > late-1988;

> Surely something Macintosh and/or GEMish did that first?
> The AMX mouse stuff for the beeb also used these I'm sure.

I'm not sure it falls into the same category, but certainly is similar
in its own market.  I was thinking more of the now-common Bold,
Italic, left-align etc button-bar, which to me is not the same as a
Draw-style pane (or other such arrangement) in a graphics package.

> > (c)  anti-aliased screen display font technology before the
> > Archimedes' bitmap (later outline) font technology?

> There are demos of this in Foly, vanDam et.all attributed to 'YODA
> display' (Satish Gupta, IBM T.J.Watson Research Centre'). Google on
> that returns dates circa 1986 so we were pipped at the post.

That is interesting, though slightly disappointing...

> I think Acorn were definitely the first to put it into a mainstream
> computer operating system though.

That seems to be beyond dispute, I notice from the thread as it has
evolved...

> Incidentally, Dave Clare once told me that they (Clares) were
> involved in creating the specifications for the Acorn fontmanager
> (having done something fontish in the last days of the BBC B) but I
> don't know all of the details or who did the work. I'd buy him a
> pint for sure...

Clares were of course closely involved especially in the early days of
the Archimedes, as were Minerva to a lesser degree.  Their
contributions really *must* be documented so that the parts they
played will never be forgotten.  They are part of history, no less.

> This might be of interest: http://www.truetype.demon.co.uk/ttalias.htm

Thanks for the link -- I have checked it and saved some material.

> > I'm sure there are others I could mention, but I didn't want to
> > make too big a thing of this, at least not at the outset.

> Somebody really should be writing a History of Acorn - while most of
> those who were involved are still with us...

That would be something I'd treasure.  Frontier work has so much
greater impact and feeling of achievement than what goes on in the
mainstream industry nowadays.  It is also good to remind ourselves of
where much of what we have today originated and how.

-- 
John M Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered!
Acorn/RISC OS web page: www.argonet.co.uk/users/johnward/john/computers
0
john6145 (907)
11/19/2004 10:50:44 PM
In article <4d108090ccjohn@acornusers.org>, John M Ward
<URL:mailto:john@acornusers.org> wrote:

[snip]
> 
> Clares were of course closely involved especially in the early days of
> the Archimedes, as were Minerva to a lesser degree.  Their
> contributions really *must* be documented so that the parts they
> played will never be forgotten.  They are part of history, no less.
> 
I attended a dealer bash hosted by Acorn and Kelator (a distributor),
high up in the Peak district, not long after the Archimedes' launch.
Memory is a bit hazy (due to excessive alcohol at the time, and a long
time lapse since). However, Minerva demonstrated Atelier, which was
stunning, Acorn talked to us about DTP, and Charles Moir blew us all
away talking about Impulse, which was going to be a proper OS for
Archimedes, rather than the flaky Arthur thing.

Cheers

Mike
-- 
Michael Gilbert: in his own write
http://www.lewisgilbert.co.uk/archiology for old Acorn software items
http://www.lewisgilbert.co.uk/access for Acorn peer-to-peer tools
http://www.lewisgilbert.co.uk/ebay.html for old Acorn hardware items.

0
mgilbert (427)
11/19/2004 11:57:50 PM
In message <ebaaa40f4d.rowledge@Gravious.shaw.ca>
          Tim Rowledge <tim@sumeru.stanford.edu> wrote:

> In message <2f91e3e4d%Mark@homecall.co.uk>
>  
[snip]
> > 
> > IIRC the mouse (with three buttons), pull down and pop up menus,
> > windows and icon bars were all developed by them.  Apple adapted some
> > parts but Acorn more closely followed the Xerox Model in RISC OS. (again
> > reported in PCW at the time)
> Mouse - Doug Englebart, possibly the most important person in the field
> of making computers actually useful. He's still alive, still working,
> still a frigging genius and an amazing guy to hang out with.
[snip]

And (in case it's of interest) interviewed just last Thursday in Guardian
Online:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,1353194,00.html

Cheers,

David
-- 
Website: http://www.flypig.co.uk
0
11/20/2004 2:29:30 AM
On 20/11/04 02:29, David Llewellyn-Jones wrote:

> http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,1353194,00.html

I liked this question:
"Any thoughts on the Microsoft/Macintosh duopoly?"

Duopoly my pants!

-- 
Adam Richardson
Email me at: monkeyadam~but.not.this.monkey~@ntlworld.com
Carpe Diem
0
see102 (507)
11/20/2004 11:35:42 AM
In article <308og3F2u005hU1@uni-berlin.de>,
   Adam <see@sig.invalid> wrote:
> Duopoly my pants!

You can get treatment for that on the NHS! :)

-- 
 //\  // Chika <zvlhxv@penfuarg.bet.hx. - ROT13>
//  \//  Guess what? Google *doesn't* own Usenet! Boycott Google now! 

.... This Tagline is for sale.  Call 1-800-TAG-THIS!
0
miyuki1 (1402)
11/20/2004 12:17:57 PM
Chika <miyuki@spam-no-way.invalid> wrote:

> In article <308og3F2u005hU1@uni-berlin.de>,
>    Adam <see@sig.invalid> wrote:
> > Duopoly my pants!
> 
> You can get treatment for that on the NHS! :)
>
What is this NHS? Is it any use? If so, where can I find one?

-- 
Squidge
0
bungee (219)
11/20/2004 12:35:21 PM
In article <gemini.i7h9mw00cf3og06we.bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk>,
   squidge <bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> Chika <miyuki@spam-no-way.invalid> wrote:

> > In article <308og3F2u005hU1@uni-berlin.de>,
> >    Adam <see@sig.invalid> wrote:
> > > Duopoly my pants!
> > 
> > You can get treatment for that on the NHS! :)
> >
> What is this NHS?

There have been many sightings of the mysterious NHS over the many years
since the end of the Second World War, though its shabby exterior and its
distinctive cry of "we need more funds" are a more recent phenomenon.

> Is it any use?

A good question. Some my even say "yes". The trouble is that there is no
definitive answer, the question having driven more than one person mad.

> If so, where can I find one?

Go into any town in the UK and you will probably find a building somewhere
with the letters emblazoned on it, though what you do next is often down
to luck. For example, my nearest hospital is Harold Wood, which is built
on a tiny road that often jams up and has no emergency or casualty unit
anyway. The next nearest is Oldchurch, which was converted from a
Victorian workhouse, but is due to be replaced. 

I'm not sure how readily they interface with a RISC OS unit, but one can
always try... :)

-- 
 //\  // Chika <zvlhxv@penfuarg.bet.hx. - ROT13>
//  \//  Guess what? Google *doesn't* own Usenet! Boycott Google now! 

.... :.::: ::..: ::.::.  :..:: Tagline in Braille
0
miyuki1 (1402)
11/20/2004 2:17:09 PM
In article <gemini.i7h9mw00cf3og06we.bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk>, squidge
<URL:mailto:bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> Chika <miyuki@spam-no-way.invalid> wrote:
> 
> > In article <308og3F2u005hU1@uni-berlin.de>,
> >    Adam <see@sig.invalid> wrote:
> > > Duopoly my pants!
> > 
> > You can get treatment for that on the NHS! :)
> >
> What is this NHS? Is it any use? If so, where can I find one?
> 
It's where you go if you fancy experimenting with MRSA


0
11/20/2004 4:22:03 PM
On 20-Nov-2004, squidge <bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> Chika <miyuki@spam-no-way.invalid> wrote:
>
> > In article <308og3F2u005hU1@uni-berlin.de>,
> >    Adam <see@sig.invalid> wrote:
> > > Duopoly my pants!
> >
> > You can get treatment for that on the NHS! :)
> >
> What is this NHS? Is it any use? If so, where can I find one?

Go to any private hospital for an operation. If things go wrong (as
they often do) then you'll probably wake up in intensive care in an
NHS hospital and *still* be expected to pay for the private treatment.

-- 
David Holden - APDL - <http://www.apdl.co.uk>
0
news5974 (817)
11/20/2004 6:12:10 PM
In article <309fnsF2sm3mnU1@uni-berlin.de>, news@apdl.co.uk says...
> 
> On 20-Nov-2004, squidge <bungee@erodin.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> 
> > Chika <miyuki@spam-no-way.invalid> wrote:
> >
> > > In article <308og3F2u005hU1@uni-berlin.de>,
> > >    Adam <see@sig.invalid> wrote:
> > > > Duopoly my pants!
> > >
> > > You can get treatment for that on the NHS! :)
> > >
> > What is this NHS? Is it any use? If so, where can I find one?
> 
> Go to any private hospital for an operation. If things go wrong (as
> they often do) then you'll probably wake up in intensive care in an
> NHS hospital and *still* be expected to pay for the private treatment.

And probably be treated by the same consultant/surgeon.

-- 
Greg Harris (Norwich, UK)
0
greg1 (566)
11/20/2004 8:25:05 PM
In article <cno93i$nc6$1$8300dec7@news.demon.co.uk>,
   Greg <greg@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote:


> And probably be treated by the same consultant/surgeon.

Well I had the same consultant do an exploratory (up through the groin)
into heart arteries in a NHS hospital who later fitted a stent in an
artery in a private hospital but under NHS treatment. The meals there
were incredible by comparison. This particular hospital was later
threatened with closure.

Lionel

-- 
    ___          ______
   /  /         /  ___/       4 children         | Sea Vixen for pugnacity
  /  / ionel A.|   \ mith     8 grandchildren,   | Hunter for elegance
 /  /____     __\   | no wonder life is a breeze | Phantom for clout 
/_______/    /_____/  http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/lionels  |  ZFC B+4+4

From an OS that Windows is too young to remember. ;-)
0
lionels (537)
11/21/2004 3:01:16 PM
Lionel Smith <lionels@argonet.co.uk> wrote:

> In article <cno93i$nc6$1$8300dec7@news.demon.co.uk>,
>    Greg <greg@nospam.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> 
> 
> > And probably be treated by the same consultant/surgeon.
> 
> Well I had the same consultant do an exploratory (up through the
> groin) into heart arteries in a NHS hospital who later fitted a stent
> in an artery in a private hospital but under NHS treatment. The meals
> there were incredible by comparison. This particular hospital was
> later threatened with closure.
> 
> Lionel

Obviously doing too good a job :/ 

-- 
Squidge
0
bungee (219)
11/21/2004 3:42:50 PM
In article <4d115d4793lionels@argonet.co.uk>,
   Lionel Smith <lionels@argonet.co.uk> wrote:
> Well I had the same consultant do an exploratory (up through the groin)
> into heart arteries in a NHS hospital who later fitted a stent in an
> artery in a private hospital but under NHS treatment. The meals there
> were incredible by comparison.

Ah, the legendary products of NHS kitchens.
Patients get the stuff free...

0
11/21/2004 4:21:50 PM
In article <4d1164a7e2steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com>,
   Steven Pampling <steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> In article <4d115d4793lionels@argonet.co.uk>,
>    Lionel Smith <lionels@argonet.co.uk> wrote:
> > Well I had the same consultant do an exploratory (up through the groin)
> > into heart arteries in a NHS hospital who later fitted a stent in an
> > artery in a private hospital but under NHS treatment. The meals there
> > were incredible by comparison.

> Ah, the legendary products of NHS kitchens.
> Patients get the stuff free...

Obviously, its the only way to get rid of it.

Jochen

-- 

 ------------------------------------ 
 If you like to learn about the Roe Valley
 and some of its history, try:
 http://www.binevenagh.com
  

0
jochenlueg (26)
11/21/2004 5:44:32 PM
In message <4d116c3a5ajochenlueg@freeuk.com>
          JochenLueg <jochenlueg@freeuk.com> wrote:

> In article <4d1164a7e2steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com>,
>    Steven Pampling <steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> > In article <4d115d4793lionels@argonet.co.uk>,
> >    Lionel Smith <lionels@argonet.co.uk> wrote:
> > > Well I had the same consultant do an exploratory (up through the groin)
> > > into heart arteries in a NHS hospital who later fitted a stent in an
> > > artery in a private hospital but under NHS treatment. The meals there
> > > were incredible by comparison.
> 
> > Ah, the legendary products of NHS kitchens.
> > Patients get the stuff free...
> 
> Obviously, its the only way to get rid of it.
> 
> Jochen
>

Unfortunatley they also sell it to the staff.

-- 
John Sandford   West Herts   UK

Hemel Hempstead Risc OS User Group email info @ hhrug.org
0
11/21/2004 7:39:22 PM
In message <4d116c3a5ajochenlueg@freeuk.com>
          JochenLueg <jochenlueg@freeuk.com> wrote:

> In article <4d1164a7e2steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com>,
>    Steven Pampling <steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> > In article <4d115d4793lionels@argonet.co.uk>,
> >    Lionel Smith <lionels@argonet.co.uk> wrote:
> > > Well I had the same consultant do an exploratory (up through the groin)
> > > into heart arteries in a NHS hospital who later fitted a stent in an
> > > artery in a private hospital but under NHS treatment. The meals there
> > > were incredible by comparison.
> 
> > Ah, the legendary products of NHS kitchens.
> > Patients get the stuff free...
> 
> Obviously, its the only way to get rid of it.

No. It give the rest of us the opportunity to put into practice; 'Healer,
heal thyself.

-- 
Fred
0
Fred
11/21/2004 8:50:32 PM
In message <4d1164a7e2steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com>
          Steven Pampling <steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:

> In article <4d115d4793lionels@argonet.co.uk>,
>    Lionel Smith <lionels@argonet.co.uk> wrote:
[...........]
> 
> Ah, the legendary products of NHS kitchens.
> Patients get the stuff free...
> 
Having spent 7 weeks in Manchester Royal Infirmary earlier this year, I
found the meals quite reasonable, if you made the right choice from the
menu.   Mind you, anything is reasonable if you are prevented fron
eating for nearly 4 weeks ;-(

-- 
Dave
0
dave928 (79)
11/22/2004 8:07:44 AM
On 21-Nov-2004, fornewsgroups@ntlworld.com wrote:

> In message <4d116c3a5ajochenlueg@freeuk.com>
>           JochenLueg <jochenlueg@freeuk.com> wrote:
>
> > In article <4d1164a7e2steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com>,
> >    Steven Pampling <steve.pampling@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Ah, the legendary products of NHS kitchens.
> > > Patients get the stuff free...
> >
> > Obviously, its the only way to get rid of it.

> Unfortunatley they also sell it to the staff.

Perhaps that goes some way towards explaining the shortage of nursing
staff - too many of them become transformed into patients  :-)>

-- 
David Holden - APDL - <http://www.apdl.co.uk>
0
news5974 (817)
11/22/2004 8:33:17 AM
In article <ant192350fc49GWx@riscpc.local>,
   Michael Gilbert <mgilbert@eclipse.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <4d108090ccjohn@acornusers.org>, John M Ward
> <URL:mailto:john@acornusers.org> wrote:

> [snip]
> > 
> > Clares were of course closely involved especially in the early
> > days of the Archimedes, as were Minerva to a lesser degree. 
> > Their contributions really *must* be documented so that the parts
> > they played will never be forgotten.  They are part of history,
> > no less.
> 
> I attended a dealer bash hosted by Acorn and Kelator (a
> distributor), high up in the Peak district, not long after the
> Archimedes' launch. Memory is a bit hazy (due to excessive alcohol
> at the time, and a long time lapse since). However, Minerva
> demonstrated Atelier, which was stunning, Acorn talked to us about
> DTP, and Charles Moir blew us all away talking about Impulse, which
> was going to be a proper OS for Archimedes, rather than the flaky
> Arthur thing.

I too have memories of those days, but only from the more limited
viewpoint of an ordinary user.  I never saw the early "demo" versiobn
of Impulse but heard some interesting things about it, and how it was
abandoned when RISC OS 2 was unveiled.

I also recall Atelier, though I already had Artisan by that time so
didn't go for it (I wasn't any kind of artist anyway).

Bearing in mind how long ago all that was (1987 to 1988) there was
some amazing stuff going on, and not only in our part of the market. 
Even the early Amiga and Atari ST had some good things going on, as
did the Apple Mac, though I still feel that the Arc' always showed the
greatest /overall/ potential.

-- 
John M Ward : RISC OS computing since 1987, now Iyonix-powered!
Acorn/RISC OS web page: www.argonet.co.uk/users/johnward/john/computers
0
john6145 (907)
11/22/2004 8:44:47 AM
Reply: