Show round-up: Wakefield 2015

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The StarDot room, with all sorts of retro hardware on show

Saturday saw the biggest show of the RISC OS calendar unfold at the Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield. Although I was unable to attend, quiet a few snippets summarising the show’s most notable points were generously sent in and it seems like, although the Wakfield Show is now two decades old, the event is still going strong.

The most notable exhibitors missing this time round were Martin Wuerthner, who I believe was on holiday with family rather than taking a deliberate rain check. The Netsurf developers were not present either, most likely due to the fact the browser currently has no active maintainer of the RISC OS version. Steve Fryatt was in attendance at the event, but wasn’t exhibiting like in most previous shows.

As always, R-Comp‘s stand was a beacon of activity, selling their latest ‘PiFi’ software solution which turns your Raspberry Pi into a RISC OS compatible USB/WiFi dongle. Their !Store Collection CD was also on offer, with a large range of software available on it including the likes of DeleGate, ChartWell etc. As in previous years, the CD sold our remarkably quickly, but all software can still be obtained digitally from the Pling Store.

Hardware-wise, R-Comp Interactive were exhibiting their vast range of wares, with their new RISCBook Essential the main headline. The machine consists of a decent spec Windows 8.1 laptop running Virtual Acorn to provide RISC OS emulation.Their native RISC OS ARMX6 machines were on sale, as well as an ARMX6 DIY kit for those brave enough to build one for themselves. The kit includes a Wandaboard circuit board, 8GB SD card containing a licensed RISC OS image, CMOS widget, real time clock for the price of £325 excluding VAT.

RISC OS Open released their latest stable version of RISC OS 5 at the show, which includes the first stable release for OMAP4 (Pandabord and the like). ROOL were also selling a brand new edition of their 950 page printed Desktop Development Enviroment manual for the reasonable sum on £54, these sold out pretty quickly, but can be purchased from here.

Flax Cottage
The Flax Cottage stand

The Flax Cottage Educational Archive had an interesting range of retro hardware running educational software, mostly on BBC Micro’s. There was a great deal of programs written in BBC Basic all the way back in the 1980s, all interesting stuff to bring out the nostalgia in any child that would have been working on these computers in school all those years ago.

CJE Micros were selling their usual wide range of goodies, both old and new as well their PandaRO range of native RISC OS computers based on the Pandaboard.

Amcog Games were in attendance previewing their upcoming commercial release Overlord, a retro-style space shooter. The game’s launch is coming up very soon so keep your eyes peeled.

Sine Nomine released a new version of their mapping software RiscOSM, which now includes Ireland. Archive Magazine launched a new issue of the print magazine at the show. North One Communications launched a new version of Organizer, which now includes a Diary Planner as well as a number of new features.

Pictures for this little round-up were pinched from Retro Software, who had a good deal of involvement in the show. One of the biggest attractions from their stand was the launch of a CIRCUS (1977) arcade game clone/simulator which has been written for the BBC Micro.

Below is a video (again, courtesy of Retro Software) featuring its developer ‘Tricky’ going into detail on the development of the game’s BBC Micro revival:

Video footage of all theatre talks from the show can be found on the RISCOSitory’s YouTube page.

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