Drobe.co.uk turns 10 years old - and takes a new direction

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Chris Williams

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Sep 21, 2009, 4:03:50 AM9/21/09
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Dear all,

* Closure

On Monday, September 21, drobe.co.uk will turn 10 years old, marking nearly
a decade of online and freely available news publishing for the RISC OS and
Acorn kit-using platform. And, for many reasons and after much deliberation,
it's time to take a new direction.

Drobe's RISC OS news service, which launched in October 1999, will sadly
cease from Monday. Running the site has been so much fun over the years and
the experience has been very rewarding - from the investigative pieces and
tabloid tomfoolery to the libel writ threats and meeting up with users after
shows. However, all good things must come to an end - if you'll forgive the
cliche - and it's time to formally move on.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the site, you've been invaluable.
Thanks go to the thousands of people who have visited the site and posted
comments. And thanks must go to Drobe founder Peter Price for launching the
site in the first place and to Ian Hawkins who has overseen hosting and
administration of the website's servers since I took over as editor in 2001.

No more comments can be posted on articles and no articles will be altered:
all the content will remain frozen online as an archive of the RISC OS
platform's history after the breakup of Acorn. A collection of early
articles were lost a long time ago during a redesign, but certainly the
2,400-odd articles published since the start of 2001 will remain online. The
site is completely searchable via the revamped search box or via
google.co.uk.

* Future

Rather than let Drobe die off completely, I'd like to turn the site into a
useful resource for people who still use RISC OS. The first step is to keep
all the old content online as well as the collection of datasheets and other
technical documentation available from the website, plus the web-based BBC
Micro emulator. If anyone would like to help out building up Drobe's online
resources, please get in touch. It's quite likely this work will need to be
done in collaboration or consultation with other online reference sites,
such as riscos.info.

Webspace provided for users will continue as-is; users are welcome to login
and upload software and other RISC OS-related material for others to
download or view. We have a number of interesting sub-sites created by
users, such as jeffd.drobe.co.uk, adrianl.drobe.co.uk and
stoppers.drobe.co.uk.

Any updates relating to Drobe will be posted on the site's homepage and can
be followed via twitter.com or an RSS reader. Anything interesting that's
RISC OS or Acorn related might make it onto the feed, but it is not
primarily a news service.

Finally, I'm planning to open a message board, which will use the existing
threaded comments system, on the site so that users can continue to discuss
RISC OS-related issues, ask questions and generally interact.

* Where to go now for RISC OS news?

Online, there's still www.iconbar.com and www.arcsite.de for news coverage.
Offline, Archive magazine (www.archivemag.co.uk) is still publishing and
well worth a read.

* Contact

It feels odd to become a story when the number one rule of journalism is not
to become the story, but if anyone has any questions, drop me an email to
ch...@drobe.co.uk. If there is a problem with an article or a page on the
site, let me know so I can fix it.

[Hat-tip: thanks to tlsa, gerph, jmb, rjek, kinnison and the rest of
#NOTsurf for feedback and encouragement during the development of the
archives site.]

All the best,

--
Chris Williams | http://www.diodesign.co.uk/

--
n.g.b...@durham.ac.uk, Backup Moderator of comp.sys.acorn.announce
Submissions to <URL:mailto:cs...@owlart.net>
Related mail to <URL:mailto:csaa-r...@owlart.net>

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