At Christmas, we like to interview some familiar and not so-familiar faces in the RISC OS world. Our first victim needs no introductions and the chances are you use some of his software every day....
Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Adrian and I've been programming on RISC OS since I was 15 and an Acorn Electron before that. I'm mostly known for Aemulor and perhaps the Geminus project which brought multi-monitor support, substantial graphics acceleration and portrait mode support to the IYONIX pc.
These projects were originally published with Neil Spellings, and in an earlier life I also freelanced for RISC Developments/BEEBUG throughout university.
How long have you been using RISC OS?
Far too many years!
What other systems do you use?
Ubuntu Linux, macOS and Windows 10 on various machines
What is your current RISC OS setup?
Primarily the i.MX6 WandBoard supplied by R-Comp but I also use a selection of Raspberry Pi devices and an ARMbook.
What do you think of the retro scene?
I have a fascination with achieving more using less, so I am very impressed by projects that push old hardware to new levels. The fascinating thing about software is that one can never really know what is attainable on any given hardware with a change of perspective/approach.
Do you attend any of the shows and what do you think of them?
Yes, chiefly the London Show because it's the most accessible for me. It's often good to meet and talk with people to maintain/increase the motivation to develop for RISC OS
It's also perhaps the only time that my desk gets a proper tidy up and clean because I've removed kit to take to the show ;)
What do you use RISC OS for in 2019 and what do you like most about it?
Software development. Some light web browsing but the Ubuntu box sitting alongside does any serious web usage.
RISC OS is very responsive and efficient compared to other operating systems, has a productive and uncluttered user interface and on a technical level is much simpler/easier to understand than other operating systems.
What is your favourite feature/killer program in RISC OS?
That's a difficult question. I suppose the program I miss most when using other platforms is StrongED which has some very powerful features; for example, it still is not nearly as simple/easy/possible to edit multiple lines simultaneously on other text editors.
What would you most like to see in RISC OS in the future?
Multi-core support, preemptive multitasking and greater robustness
against accidental program misbehaviour.
Favourite (vaguely RISC OS-releated) moan?
It's more of a moan about other systems; the inefficiency of modern software and the fact that the programmers writing it have no idea just how much of the hardware performance is being squandered, because they never use a lean system like RISC OS alongside whichever operating system(s) for which they advocate.
Can you tell us about what you are working on in the RISC OS market at the moment?
Primarily an application to draw together multiple machines on a network and make them usable from a single keyboard/monitor setup; it was developed as a prototype under the nickname 'TheBorg' and now is known as Evince. I have a lot of test machines and other devices on my network!
Any surprises you can't or dates to tease us with?
I have ongoing development work on a couple of other RISC OS projects too; development tools and graphics acceleration primarily.
Apart from iconbar (obviously) what are your favourite websites?
OSnews, AnandTech and I'm a big fan of the geeky web comic xkcd.
What are your interests beyond RISC OS?
I swim a lot, watch a lot of documentaries and read on all manner of subjects from architecture through medicine, science and technology.
If someone hired you for a month to develop RISC OS software, what would you create?
I think a single month isn't really long enough to create anything very substantial from scratch, so it would be better expended augmenting one or more parts of the operating system with additional features or improving performance.
Any future plans or ideas you can share with us?
No, sorry. I'm not given to declaring something until it's at least viable and fairly close to release, and then it's usually to solicit feedback or suggestions as to how to make it more useful to people.
Any questions we forgot to ask you?
Why do you choose awkward/unpronounceable names for your products? ;)