Help with rights holders

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ad...@acorncomputers.info

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Feb 1, 2010, 11:16:51 AM2/1/10
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Looking to find the rights holders for the following:

BBC MOS
BBC Basic
DFS
ADFS

Tried the usual suspects but have had no luck. Any help would be
appreciated :)

Thanks
Andy

Peter Naulls

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Feb 1, 2010, 11:23:09 AM2/1/10
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Instead of yet another stab in the dark/guessy approach, why don't
you tell us exactly *who* you have approached and what the result
was, and why you weren't able to proceed. Also, those items
have many versions, some of which might have different ownership -
you'll need to be much more specific about what you're after.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, this will demonstrate you've actually
done some of your own homework, rather than just relying on
others to do stuff for you.

ad...@acorncomputers.info

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Feb 1, 2010, 11:47:48 AM2/1/10
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Ah, hello Peter.

OK, the people that I have tried has been Broadcom (brought E-14) also
where Sophie Wilson works. No Answer.
Pace, had a lovely chat about RISC OS and who they sold that to.
However they are unsure as to who "owns" the rights to any of the
above.
I spoke to Prof. Steve Furber CBE however he is not sure but thought
Sophie might know.
I have left several messages for Sophie, Hermann and Chris. But have
not heard back.
I spoke to Richard Russell a while back and he doesn't hold any of the
rights to BBC MOS or Basic and can not help any further.
and there was another chap. Name escapes me at the minute. But he
couldn't help either.
I also spoke to Steve at ROOL, about the Basic in RISC OS. He says
Castle might be able to help although Jack seems to have disappeared.
Was this enough homework ;)

The versions of all the above are for the 8bit systems. Atom,
Electron, BBC B & Master.
They indeed have different version, but as I am trying to track them
all any help with any of them would be appreciated.

Peter Naulls

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Feb 1, 2010, 12:07:55 PM2/1/10
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ad...@acorncomputers.info wrote:

> The versions of all the above are for the 8bit systems. Atom,
> Electron, BBC B & Master.
> They indeed have different version, but as I am trying to track them
> all any help with any of them would be appreciated.

Right, then perhaps you should produce a precise list of what "versions
of all of the above are". If nothing else, this might be a useful
reference for other purposes.

ad...@acorncomputers.info

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Feb 1, 2010, 12:29:17 PM2/1/10
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> Right, then perhaps you should produce a precise list of what "versions
> of all of the above are".  If nothing else, this might be a useful
> reference for other purposes.

Fair enough.

BBC MOS Version 0.10- 1.20 (Electron, BBC)
BBC MOS Version 1.20R2 (BBC B+)
BBC MOS Version 3-5 (BBC Master)

Atom Basic (Atom)
BBC Basic 1 (Early BBC Micros)
BBC Basic 2 (Electron and BBC B+)
BBC Basic 4 (BBC Master)
Hi Basic (BBC with second processor)

ADFS 1.11 - 1.53

DFS Acorn 0.9
1770 DFS
Watford DFS

I think that was all of them.

Mr John FO Evans

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Feb 1, 2010, 3:19:12 PM2/1/10
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In article
<2a205de7-2111-406f...@n7g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>,

ad...@acorncomputers.info wrote:
>> Right, then perhaps you should produce a precise list of what "versions
>> of all of the above are". =A0If nothing else, this might be a useful
>> reference for other purposes.

Perhaps one could add the Challenger DFS. I only have 1.01 now but I think
there was a later one which, from memory, solved the file extension problems
of DFS. If anyone has a copy I would like to see it.

John


--
_ _________________________________________
/ \._._ |_ _ _ /' Orpheus Internet Services
\_/| |_)| |(/_|_|_> / 'Internet for Everyone'
_______ | ___________./ http://www.orpheusinternet.co.uk


Chris Evans

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Feb 2, 2010, 6:22:09 AM2/2/10
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In article <2a205de7-2111-406f...@n7g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>,

All the above belonged to Acorn Computers Ltd
If they weren't sold to Pace then they now belong MSDW Holdings who bought
Acorn

MSDW holdings I'm sure have no idea that they own it so won't want to sell
it as they would want to be sure.
If they thought they did own it, I suspect they would not consider a deal
that involves less than four noughts.

It is a pity that the rights to many pieces of software not just Acorn's are
now left in limbo.

Chris Evans

--
CJE Micro's / 4D 'RISC OS Specialists'
Telephone: 01903 523222 Fax: 01903 523679
ch...@cjemicros.co.uk http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/
78 Brighton Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 2EN
The most beautiful thing anyone can wear, is a smile!

Chris Hughes

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Feb 2, 2010, 7:41:11 AM2/2/10
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In message <ant02110...@client.cjemicros.co.uk>
Chris Evans <ch...@cjemicros.co.uk> wrote:

> In article <2a205de7-2111-406f...@n7g2000yqb.googlegrou


> ps.com>,
> <URL:mailto:ad...@acorncomputers.info> wrote:
>>> Right, then perhaps you should produce a precise list of what "versions
>>> of all of the above are". �If nothing else, this might be a useful
>>> reference for other purposes.
>>
>> Fair enough.
>>
>> BBC MOS Version 0.10- 1.20 (Electron, BBC)
>> BBC MOS Version 1.20R2 (BBC B+)
>> BBC MOS Version 3-5 (BBC Master)
>>
>> Atom Basic (Atom)
>> BBC Basic 1 (Early BBC Micros)
>> BBC Basic 2 (Electron and BBC B+)
>> BBC Basic 4 (BBC Master)
>> Hi Basic (BBC with second processor)
>>
>> ADFS 1.11 - 1.53
>>
>> DFS Acorn 0.9
>> 1770 DFS
>> Watford DFS
>>
>> I think that was all of them.

> All the above belonged to Acorn Computers Ltd

Watford DFS did NOT belong to Acorn Computers Ltd. It belonged to
Watford Electronics - who have now gone.

Some of them belong (as in copyright) to certain people apparently.

Some things went to Element 14 (BroadCom) and might not have been sold
on to Pace. - this is where things became a mess in the rush to beat
the Tax deadlines, no one cared where everything went as long as Acorn
Computers was no more by a certain date to beat the tax liabilities.

Basically its a mess and probably always will be. No one can afford
the legal bill to sort it properly.

[snip]

> It is a pity that the rights to many pieces of software not just Acorn's are
> now left in limbo.

I would agree.


--
Chris Hughes

Andrew Hodgson

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Feb 2, 2010, 10:46:48 AM2/2/10
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> All the above belonged to Acorn Computers Ltd
> If they weren't sold to Pace then they now belong MSDW Holdings who bought
> Acorn
>
> MSDW holdings I'm sure have no idea that they own it so won't want to sell
> it as they would want to be sure.
> If they thought they did own it, I suspect they would not consider a deal
> that involves less than four noughts.

Hadn't thought of MSDW. Spoke to them, I think it was June time about
Acornsoft, for a game I was looking at doing. They were very
unhelpful.
Might me worth having another go though.

Rob Kendrick

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Feb 2, 2010, 10:53:59 AM2/2/10
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On Tue, 2 Feb 2010 07:46:48 -0800 (PST)
Andrew Hodgson <andyho...@googlemail.com> wrote:

> Hadn't thought of MSDW. Spoke to them, I think it was June time about
> Acornsoft, for a game I was looking at doing. They were very
> unhelpful.
> Might me worth having another go though.

The bit of paperwork that describes what they have the rights to is
most likely not only too vague for them to be sure about, but also
hidden in a box in a filing cabinet in a basement toilet cubical with a
hand-scrawled sign on the door, saying "beware of the leopard".

Nobody you'll be able to contact at MSDW will be bothered enough to go
and look for it for you. Not unless you arrive in a flashy suit and a
suitcase of used 20s. Then they might look for it, but then refuse to
say either way, because everything's so vague.

B.

Andrew Hodgson

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Feb 2, 2010, 10:55:35 AM2/2/10
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[snip]

>
> Watford DFS did NOT belong to Acorn Computers Ltd. It belonged to
> Watford Electronics - who have now gone.

Surely the copyright is still owned by someone, even if it went to the
crown.
I would have thought copyright wouldn't end when the company did,
would it not be classed as an asset
and sold. Not sure on the details of Watford closing.


>
> Some of them belong (as in copyright) to certain people apparently.
>
> Some things went to Element 14 (BroadCom) and might not have been sold
> on to Pace. - this is where things became a mess in the rush to beat
> the Tax deadlines, no one cared where everything went as long as Acorn
> Computers was no more by a certain date to beat the tax liabilities.

I think Paul Middleton was saying something similar when they licensed
RISC OS


>
> Basically its a mess and probably always will be. No one can afford
> the legal bill to sort it properly.
>

So what stop people from using it anyway. If no one can be sure, how
can anyone defend it.

> [snip]
>
> > It is a pity that the rights to many pieces of software not just Acorn's are
> > now left in limbo.
>
> I would agree.

I third that.

My main interest, apart from the information for the site. Is the ADFS/
DFS, as I have a small project that could use it.
One of the other parties, is interested in Basic/MOS as they wanted to
create some sort of educational software.
Then there are several people in the 8bit community that would like to
do some add on things, but can not because of the mess.

Bryn Evans

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Feb 2, 2010, 10:45:22 AM2/2/10
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In a mad moment - Chris Evans mumbled :

>> DFS Acorn 0.9
>> 1770 DFS
>> Watford DFS
>>
>> I think that was all of them.

> All the above belonged to Acorn Computers Ltd

Watford Electronics ?? I don't think so!

--
|)����[
|)ryn [vans mail to - Bryn...@bryork.freeuk.com


Rob Kendrick

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:00:56 AM2/2/10
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On Tue, 2 Feb 2010 07:55:35 -0800 (PST)
Andrew Hodgson <andyho...@googlemail.com> wrote:

> > Basically its a mess and probably always will be. No one can afford
> > the legal bill to sort it properly.
> >
> So what stop people from using it anyway. If no one can be sure, how
> can anyone defend it.

Principles? A sense of right and wrong? Caring? On the other side,
any business or enterprise that operates with the express purpose of
exploiting this IP is on astonishingly shaky ground, and the directors
of such may be held personally liable should any of the possible owners
highlight the infringement.

B.

Andrew Hodgson

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:03:47 AM2/2/10
to
[snip]

>
> The bit of paperwork that describes what they have the rights to is
> most likely not only too vague for them to be sure about, but also
> hidden in a box in a filing cabinet in a basement toilet cubical with a
> hand-scrawled sign on the door, saying "beware of the leopard".
>
As long as they don't blow up the planet to make way for a hyperspace
express route through the solar system ;)

> Nobody you'll be able to contact at MSDW will be bothered enough to go
> and look for it for you.  Not unless you arrive in a flashy suit and a
> suitcase of used 20s.  Then they might look for it, but then refuse to
> say either way, because everything's so vague.
>

Do they also give the 20s out as well.

So how does anyone know what belongs to them.

Andrew Hodgson

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:06:30 AM2/2/10
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> > So what stop people from using it anyway. If no one can be sure, how
> > can anyone defend it.
>
> Principles?  A sense of right and wrong?  Caring?  On the other side,
> any business or enterprise that operates with the express purpose of
> exploiting this IP is on astonishingly shaky ground, and the directors
> of such may be held personally liable should any of the possible owners
> highlight the infringement.
>
> B.
Sorry wasn't saying anyone should do that :) just find it hard to
believe that several large companies could make such a mess.

Rob Kendrick

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:06:06 AM2/2/10
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On Tue, 2 Feb 2010 08:03:47 -0800 (PST)
Andrew Hodgson <andyho...@googlemail.com> wrote:

> So how does anyone know what belongs to them.

They don't, and for the most part they don't care unless there's a
significant amount of cash involved. And for the items you're looking
for, there is no significant amount of cash involved. I'd be surprised
if anybody ever manages to sort the mess out, or legally redistributes
the IP.

A great benefit of open source, of course. None of these issues have
anywhere near the same effect.

B.

Rob Kendrick

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:10:43 AM2/2/10
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On Tue, 2 Feb 2010 08:06:30 -0800 (PST)
Andrew Hodgson <andyho...@googlemail.com> wrote:

> Sorry wasn't saying anyone should do that :) just find it hard to
> believe that several large companies could make such a mess.

You've just won csa.*'s naïvety award for 2010. Impressive, given it's
only Feburary :)

B.

Andrew Hodgson

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:14:57 AM2/2/10
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On Feb 2, 4:10 pm, Rob Kendrick <n...@rjek.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 2 Feb 2010 08:06:30 -0800 (PST)
>
> Andrew Hodgson <andyhodgso...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> > Sorry wasn't saying anyone should do that :) just find it hard to
> > believe that several large companies could make such a mess.
>
> You've just won csa.*'s naïvety award for 2010.  Impressive, given it's
> only Feburary :)
>
> B.

Wow, an award already.

I'd like to thank my agent, by family and friends for helping me win
this award... :)

Andrew Hodgson

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:27:57 AM2/2/10
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Just heard back from Pace. They say they do NOT have the assets, BBC
MOS or BBC Basic. They only brought assets to do with the set top box
and multimedia terminal.
So that would suggest, despite previous theory, that it is with either
Broadcom (E-14) or MSDW. Bugger comes to mind. :)

Chris Evans

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:33:44 AM2/2/10
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In article <20100202155...@trite.i.flarn.net.i.flarn.net>,

I couldn't have put it better myself.

Andrew: any time or money you have would be better spent elsewhere.

Chris Evans

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:38:47 AM2/2/10
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In article <8de644e3...@o2.co.uk>, Chris Hughes

I missed the watford item, which would now belong to the reciever or whoever
bought the assets. Again a forlourn hope in extracting rights, I'd say.



> Some of them belong (as in copyright) to certain people apparently.
>
> Some things went to Element 14 (BroadCom)

Element 14 Inc. were granted various rights to use, licence etc but
ownership remained with Acorn -> e14 ltd -> MSDW or Pace

> and might not have been sold
> on to Pace. - this is where things became a mess in the rush to beat
> the Tax deadlines, no one cared where everything went as long as Acorn
> Computers was no more by a certain date to beat the tax liabilities.
>
> Basically its a mess and probably always will be. No one can afford
> the legal bill to sort it properly.

I'm sure you'r correct



> [snip]
>
> > It is a pity that the rights to many pieces of software not just Acorn's are
> > now left in limbo.
>
> I would agree.
>
>

Chris Evans

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:42:00 AM2/2/10
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In article <b82d6a88-5874-42f8...@23g2000yqy.googlegroups.com>,

Andrew Hodgson <URL:mailto:andyho...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> [snip]
> >
> > Watford DFS did NOT belong to Acorn Computers Ltd. It belonged to
> > Watford Electronics - who have now gone.
>
> Surely the copyright is still owned by someone, even if it went to the
> crown.
> I would have thought copyright wouldn't end when the company did,
> would it not be classed as an asset
> and sold. Not sure on the details of Watford closing.
> >
> > Some of them belong (as in copyright) to certain people apparently.
> >
> > Some things went to Element 14 (BroadCom) and might not have been sold
> > on to Pace. - this is where things became a mess in the rush to beat
> > the Tax deadlines, no one cared where everything went as long as Acorn
> > Computers was no more by a certain date to beat the tax liabilities.
>
> I think Paul Middleton was saying something similar when they licensed
> RISC OS
> >
> > Basically its a mess and probably always will be. No one can afford
> > the legal bill to sort it properly.
> >
> So what stop people from using it anyway. If no one can be sure, how
> can anyone defend it.

If something became a money spinner, they (MSDW Holdings) I'm sure would
take action. But money spinner in their eyes would have lots of noughts!



> > [snip]
> >
> > > It is a pity that the rights to many pieces of software not just Acorn's are
> > > now left in limbo.
> >
> > I would agree.
>
> I third that.
>
> My main interest, apart from the information for the site. Is the ADFS/
> DFS, as I have a small project that could use it.
> One of the other parties, is interested in Basic/MOS as they wanted to
> create some sort of educational software.
> Then there are several people in the 8bit community that would like to
> do some add on things, but can not because of the mess.

Chris Evans

Message has been deleted

Rob Kendrick

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Feb 2, 2010, 12:13:39 PM2/2/10
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On Tue, 02 Feb 2010 17:04:28 +0000 (GMT)
Stuart <Spa...@argonet.co.uk> wrote:

> If they can't prove they own it they would have a hard time in a
> court of law trying to sue you.

There's a big difference between not being bothered enough to find out
if they own something because some hobbyist has asked them, and finding
out if they own it so they can see if they can sue him back to the
stone age. And in any case, I suspect many companies involved in this
whole mess (although not any ones that'd identify themselves as RISC OS
companies) could quite easily keep a company tied up in legal limbo,
hemorrhaging resources as they secure injunctions while they try to
prove their ownership, simply on the basis that the organisation
they're suing has admitted they don't.

B.

Chris Evans

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Feb 2, 2010, 12:19:19 PM2/2/10
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In article <b8100215-db69-44c2...@3g2000yqn.googlegroups.com>,

Andrew Hodgson <URL:mailto:andyho...@googlemail.com> wrote:

Everything that Acorn had that had not been sold to someone else.
Pace only bought RISC OS and related bits so all 8bit stuff will be with
MSDW (I'm sure I've said this before!)

Chris Evans

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Feb 2, 2010, 12:19:13 PM2/2/10
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In article <e83a3f80-3964-44eb...@a5g2000yqi.googlegroups.com>,

Andrew Hodgson <URL:mailto:andyho...@googlemail.com> wrote:

Not Broadcom (E-14 inc) . Explained previously.

As a director of RISCOS Ltd at the relevant time I know these as facts not
just conjecture.

Andrew Hodgson

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Feb 2, 2010, 12:28:12 PM2/2/10
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[snip]

>
> Not Broadcom (E-14 inc) . Explained previously.
>
> As a director of RISCOS Ltd at the relevant time I know these as facts not
> just conjecture.
>
> Chris Evans
Sorry Chris, didn't mean to imply that it is otherwise. I think it was
Richard Russell that said he thought that the BBC Basic may have been
part of the Broadcom deal, so it could stay with Sophie.

Andrew Hodgson

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Feb 2, 2010, 12:32:57 PM2/2/10
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On Feb 2, 5:04 pm, Stuart <Spam...@argonet.co.uk> wrote:
> In article
> <b82d6a88-5874-42f8-9ede-fce5652e0...@23g2000yqy.googlegroups.com>,

>    Andrew Hodgson <andyhodgso...@googlemail.com> wrote:
>
> > So what stop people from using it anyway. If no one can be sure, how
> > can anyone defend it.
>
> My thoughts exactly.
>
> If they don't know whether they own it or not then no-one is likely to
> notice if you do something with it. Ignorance is bliss.

>
> If they can't prove they own it they would have a hard time in a court of
> law trying to sue you.
>
> --
>
> Stuart Winsor

Again, I wasn't suggesting any right minded company would do this. A
single person might get away with it, but you would have to ask
morally if it was right.

Peter Naulls

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Feb 2, 2010, 1:11:24 PM2/2/10
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Chris Evans wrote:

> Everything that Acorn had that had not been sold to someone else.
> Pace only bought RISC OS and related bits so all 8bit stuff will be with
> MSDW (I'm sure I've said this before!)
>

No dispute from me. But dealings of this sort making any
kind of progress don't really depend on what you know, but
who you know. That is, someone high up in the company taking
an interest in Acorn material, and being able to "clear the
air" legally and even more importantly, politically. Such
contacts are not impossible to come by, but they usually
happen by chance as a result of other dealings in the field.

I suspect that Andrew has so such contacts, or he would
not be posting here. Chris, OTOH might, being such,
an er, veteran of the industry, but obviously he's in the
best position to comment here.

Alternatively, waving a large amount of cash can clear
the air very quickly.

Paul Stewart

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Feb 2, 2010, 1:24:06 PM2/2/10
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In message <b8100215-db69-44c2...@3g2000yqn.googlegroup
s.com>
Andrew Hodgson <andyho...@googlemail.com> wrote:

> So how does anyone know what belongs to them.

Wait for the lawsuit when you start to make megga bucks!

Regards
--
Paul Stewart - Winslow, Buckingham, England.
(msn:pauls...@phawfaux.co.uk)


Andrew Hodgson

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Feb 2, 2010, 1:35:00 PM2/2/10
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I might know a couple of people that could help. Never thought of
asking them as I was under the impression that Pace had it.

Rob Kendrick

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Feb 2, 2010, 1:42:29 PM2/2/10
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On Tue, 02 Feb 2010 18:24:06 GMT
Paul Stewart <pauls...@phawfaux.co.uk> wrote:

> > So how does anyone know what belongs to them.
>
> Wait for the lawsuit when you start to make megga bucks!

Precisely.

B.

Richard Travers

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Feb 3, 2010, 6:03:12 AM2/3/10
to
In article <ant02160...@client.cjemicros.co.uk>,
Chris Evans <ch...@cjemicros.co.uk> wrote:

> If something became a money spinner, they (MSDW Holdings) I'm sure would
> take action. But money spinner in their eyes would have lots of noughts!
>

It might be worth checking out the law on this. I suspect that if MSDW are
approached about the rights and decline to act on the request, then they
would have great difficulty in claiming infringement at a later date -
provided the approach and response is fully documented, of course. With
rights come responsibilities!

Something similar applies to written material, though I can't for the moment
trace my reference for that.

Worth checking out.

R.

--

Richard Travers
rich...@uwclub.net

Aaron

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Feb 3, 2010, 6:34:42 AM2/3/10
to
On Feb 2, 4:27�pm, Andrew Hodgson <andyhodgso...@googlemail.com>
wrote:

I don't normally follow these groups anymore. However someone pointed
this posting out to me. Once I had stopped laughing I thought I should
make an observation.

If Pace, as they have said, "..only brought assetts to do with the Set
Top
Box and Mutimedia terminal." then, it would be somewhat difficult for
them to have sold RISC OS (which they didn't own) to Castle Technology
Ltd
"lock stock and barell" (to quote Peter Wild).

No wonder Castle stopped trading and disapeared...

Aaron

Jim Lesurf

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Feb 3, 2010, 5:50:10 AM2/3/10
to
In article <50e35d01...@argonet.co.uk>, Stuart
> Andrew Hodgson <andyho...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> > So what stop people from using it anyway. If no one can be sure, how
> > can anyone defend it.

> My thoughts exactly.

> If they don't know whether they own it or not then no-one is likely to
> notice if you do something with it. Ignorance is bliss.

> If they can't prove they own it they would have a hard time in a court
> of law trying to sue you.

IANAL However my impression is that if anyone *did* decide to take action
against you and make 'copyright' claims against you using the material
they'd have to deal with some additional points.

By contacting the companies well in advance and asking them if they owned
the copyright you can be said to have acted with due diligence and care.

If they failed to say when asked in advance that they *did* claim the
copyright then you could use that in court. Both to show you actively tried
to avoid any copyright breach, and that gave them a chance to know what you
planned and speak up in advance. Hence if they didn't give you a clear
reply at the time, any failure of diligence was theirs. You clearly wanted
to deal with the situation properly.

Copyright is based on the civil approach where they have to notify you or
take you to court in the event of a dispute - and then show that they have
been damaged. If you aren't making vast fortunes, given the above, I doubt
that they'd get much in the way of damages even if they *did* establish
clear ownership - which they could be said to have implicitly conceded was
doubtful by their previous failure to respond appropriately when you took
the care to *ask* them. Hence it might end up being a waste of time and
money on their part, and a bit of a 'punt' which risks showing they *don't*
own rights they might like to claim for other purposes at other times.

So even if they noticed and bothered, given the circumstances I'd suspect
they would either ignore it, or try to come to a simple agreement with you.
Then use that as 'evidence' that they had useful copyright for any future
uses of the works in question.

However I have no clue how reasonable or rational they are. Nor, indeed,
how rational a judge might be. 8-]

Slainte,

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/intro/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

Rob Kendrick

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Feb 3, 2010, 6:55:21 AM2/3/10
to

I think you've jumped to the wrong conclusion, Aaron. Andrew is after
the BBC Micro-era software, which Pace would have had no interest in
and Castle already said they don't have. And they have nothing to do
with RISC OS.

B.

Chris Evans

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Feb 3, 2010, 6:46:52 AM2/3/10
to
In article <hk9pse$24p$1...@news.eternal-september.org>, Peter Naulls

Unfortunatly I don't think anyone from the Acorn/Community has any contacts
within MSDW they would have dealt only with a few directors of Acorn who were
business men not really enthusiastic RISC OS devotees.



> Alternatively, waving a large amount of cash can clear
> the air very quickly.

Chris Evans

David Holden

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Feb 3, 2010, 7:49:55 AM2/3/10
to

On 3-Feb-2010, Jim Lesurf <no...@audiomisc.co.uk> wrote:

> IANAL However my impression is that if anyone *did* decide to take action
> against you and make 'copyright' claims against you using the material
> they'd have to deal with some additional points.
>
> By contacting the companies well in advance and asking them if they owned
> the copyright you can be said to have acted with due diligence and care.

This would certainly be a mitigating point against any damages claimed.
Especially if you stated your intentions clearly and asked if they objected.
Just asking if they own it doesn't do too much, they are under no obligation
to tell you even if they do own it. There would still be a liability if they
didn't reply or said 'we don't know' or 'we might, but we can't be bothered
to check'.

There would still be liability even if they said they didn't own it but they
really do. The fact is that *someone* owns the rights. Whether or not the
owner even knows they own them or if they could be bothered to check or take
action is another matter. I doubt if they could be bothered, but whether the
risk is worthwhile is a different question.

--
David Holden - APDL - <http://www.apdl.co.uk>

Chris Evans

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Feb 3, 2010, 7:57:03 AM2/3/10
to
In article <e33c9850-7fcd-4e3b...@21g2000yqj.googlegroups.com>,

I suspect they would say 'RISC OS' was part of the "assetts to do with the


Set Top Box and Mutimedia terminal."

Richard Porter

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Feb 3, 2010, 5:30:19 AM2/3/10
to
The date being 2 Feb 2010, Andrew Hodgson
<andyho...@googlemail.com> decided to write:

> Sorry wasn't saying anyone should do that :) just find it hard to
> believe that several large companies could make such a mess.

The bigger the company, the bigger the mess.

--
Richard Porter
rich@ / www. richardporter.me.uk
"You can't have Windows without pains."

Jim Lesurf

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Feb 3, 2010, 10:01:24 AM2/3/10
to
In article <7st9nm...@mid.individual.net>, David Holden
<Spa...@apdl.co.uk> wrote:

> On 3-Feb-2010, Jim Lesurf <no...@audiomisc.co.uk> wrote:

[snip]

> > By contacting the companies well in advance and asking them if they
> > owned the copyright you can be said to have acted with due diligence
> > and care.

[snip]

> There would still be liability even if they said they didn't own it but
> they really do.

Yes. Showing you had tried to find the owners wouldn't mean you would be
immune to being required to deal with the copyright holders once they
stepped forward. But your reasonable efforts in advance would be likely to
count in your favour in any later arguments. Beyond that it would, of
course, be a matter of coming to an agreement, or having a court rule.


> The fact is that *someone* owns the rights.

Probably so. Although I guess it is possible for a rights owner to die or
wind up without their 'property' passing to anyone. Maybe thus to 'The
Crown' or to similar, but I'd doubt that would have any practical meanings
as they'd be unlikely to even be aware of this.

This issue of copyright seeming to pass beyond ken is a real PITA at times.
There really should be some kind of general law that allows it to lapse
after a given time if some set of due steps are taken first to try and
uncover it.

I have often found it a real annoyance that an old journal/magazine article
contains useful info. But can't be copied to provide to those who might
find it useful because it is impossible to find out who owns the copyright
when the journal ceased decades ago and no-one now has any idea where the
copyright owners might be!

Similarly a pest when the known owner refuses to allow copying even when
they have no intent of ever republishing themselves. For technical and
academic information this can be a real impediment at times to progress.

Ollie Clark

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Feb 3, 2010, 11:31:34 AM2/3/10
to

Not sure how this follows. If they bought assets to do with the STB and
MM terminal then that would have included RISC OS. Otherwise they'd
have bought some hardware designs with nothing to run on them.

Rob Kendrick

unread,
Feb 3, 2010, 11:36:59 AM2/3/10
to
On 03 Feb 2010 16:31:34 GMT
Ollie Clark <use...@ollieclark.com> wrote:

> > If Pace, as they have said, "..only brought assetts to do with the
> > Set Top
> > Box and Mutimedia terminal." then, it would be somewhat difficult
> > for them to have sold RISC OS (which they didn't own) to Castle
> > Technology Ltd
> > "lock stock and barell" (to quote Peter Wild).
>
> Not sure how this follows. If they bought assets to do with the STB
> and MM terminal then that would have included RISC OS. Otherwise
> they'd have bought some hardware designs with nothing to run on them.

Don't let facts get in the way of a good partisan rant and mock session.

B.

church

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Feb 3, 2010, 11:41:24 AM2/3/10
to
In article <slrnhmj976...@greedy.zen175545>,

Ollie Clark <use...@ollieclark.com> wrote:
> Aaron wrote:
> > On Feb 2, 4:27#pm, Andrew Hodgson <andyhodgso...@googlemail.com>

It can happen. Allegedly the MOD did that, with the helicopters they
bought years ago for Iraq and Afghanistan and which therefore still
aren't in service. 8-(

Michael Harding
Rev. Preb. M.D. Harding ris...@mdharding.org.uk

Dave Symes

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Feb 3, 2010, 10:55:41 AM2/3/10
to
In article <4cc1bce...@user.minijem.plus.com>,

Richard Porter <dontu...@address.uk.invalid> wrote:
> The date being 2 Feb 2010, Andrew Hodgson
> <andyho...@googlemail.com> decided to write:

> > Sorry wasn't saying anyone should do that :) just find it hard to
> > believe that several large companies could make such a mess.

> The bigger the company, the bigger the mess.

Think of it in terms of Mouse or Elephant poo.

Dave

--

Dave Triffid

Chris Hughes

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Feb 3, 2010, 11:58:45 AM2/3/10
to
In message <slrnhmj976...@greedy.zen175545>
Ollie Clark <use...@ollieclark.com> wrote:

> Aaron wrote:
>> On Feb 2, 4:27?pm, Andrew Hodgson <andyhodgso...@googlemail.com>

NC OS (Network Computer OS) <> RISC OS

Pace wanted On-line Media - which was part of the Acorn Computers
GROUP, NC OS shared parts of RISC OS it needed for the STB work., this
was all documented long ago. Both before and after the breakup of
Acorn.

--
Chris Hughes

Peter Naulls

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Feb 3, 2010, 12:09:55 PM2/3/10
to
church wrote:
> In article <slrnhmj976...@greedy.zen175545>,

>> Not sure how this follows. If they bought assets to do with the STB
>> and MM terminal then that would have included RISC OS. Otherwise
>> they'd have bought some hardware designs with nothing to run on
>> them.
>
> It can happen. Allegedly the MOD did that,

[snip]. Hopelessly, hopelessly, off-topic.

There's already a pointlessly long off-topic there here presently,
let's not start another.

Meanwhile, on the question of rights, it's estimated
that 75% of books remain effectively out of reach
due to vanished or unidentifiable owners and where
the copyright has not yet expired:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain

We are rapidly reaching a situation where software is
the same. Look at the situation with the various
RISC OS CDs for similarities:

http://www.riscos.info/index.php?title=Special:AWCforum&action=st/id146/RISC_OS_CD_Archiving_runs_into_Copyright_Hot_Water

And who for example, has ownership of Paul Vigay's
software (well, his next of kin, I presume, but do
they even understand what they own?)

I suspect that the situation may be too far gone
for the 8-bit material that Andrew is after, and
even for some RISC OS software from the 1990s, the
situation is perhaps murky. As such, now is the
time to try and chase all these items up, and if
possible, try to liberate them into OSS licenses,
etc.

I still have hope that the RO licensing situation
might one day be resolved, but it will take effort
from all the parties to let bygones be bygones, and
not endlessly wash past dirty laundry as Aaron
currently feels compelled to do.

Graham Thurlwell

unread,
Feb 3, 2010, 12:12:59 PM2/3/10
to
On the 2 Feb 2010, Andrew Hodgson <andyho...@googlemail.com>
wrote:

<snip>

> Hadn't thought of MSDW. Spoke to them, I think it was June time about
> Acornsoft, for a game I was looking at doing. They were very
> unhelpful.

I thought Acornsoft were eventually bought by Superior Software or BT.

--
Jades' First Encounters Site - http://www.jades.org/ffe.htm
The best Frontier: First Encounters site on the Web.

nos...@jades.org /is/ a real email address!

Chris Evans

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Feb 3, 2010, 1:11:52 PM2/3/10
to
In article <hkcal5$lvi$1...@news.eternal-september.org>, Peter Naulls
<URL:mailto:pe...@chocky.org> wrote:


> Meanwhile, on the question of rights, it's estimated
> that 75% of books remain effectively out of reach
> due to vanished or unidentifiable owners and where
> the copyright has not yet expired:
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
>
> We are rapidly reaching a situation where software is
> the same.

I think it worse for software on two grounds
Software is of diminishing use at time goes by and it does so much
quicker than books etc.

Also the man years to create some software can often be much greater than
say one book and it is more problematic to rewrite from scratch software
than rewriting articles/books. I'm thinking about not being able to
replicate 'look and feel' 'file compatibility' etc because of copyright.

I did think some years ago that maybe there should be a law governing
'orphaned' software, but it would be very difficult to draft such a law
fairly!

Chris Evans

unread,
Feb 3, 2010, 1:01:04 PM2/3/10
to
In article <c49ee1e3...@d.thurlwell.btopenworld.com>, Graham Thurlwell

<URL:mailto:nos...@jades.org> wrote:
> On the 2 Feb 2010, Andrew Hodgson <andyho...@googlemail.com>
> wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> > Hadn't thought of MSDW. Spoke to them, I think it was June time about
> > Acornsoft, for a game I was looking at doing. They were very
> > unhelpful.
>
> I thought Acornsoft were eventually bought by Superior Software or BT.

I doubt they bought Acornsoft Ltd more probably just certain rights
(Licence?) including use of the name.

Alan Dawes

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Feb 3, 2010, 1:52:12 PM2/3/10
to
In article <slrnhmj976...@greedy.zen175545>,
Ollie Clark <use...@ollieclark.com> wrote:
> Aaron wrote:
> > On Feb 2, 4:27#pm, Andrew Hodgson <andyhodgso...@googlemail.com>

Just because a company owns a licence that allows them to use copyright
material does not also mean that they own the copyright eg Apple still
have the right to use RISC OS going back to when Acorn pulled out of
Exemplar but don't own the copyright.

Alan

--
alan....@argonet.co.uk
alan....@riscos.org
Using an Acorn RiscPC

Tim

unread,
Feb 3, 2010, 2:25:16 PM2/3/10
to
In message <50e3bfc3c...@uwclub.net>
Richard Travers <rich...@uwclub.net> wrote:

> In article <ant02160...@client.cjemicros.co.uk>,
> Chris Evans <ch...@cjemicros.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> If something became a money spinner, they (MSDW Holdings) I'm sure would
>> take action. But money spinner in their eyes would have lots of noughts!
>>
> It might be worth checking out the law on this. I suspect that if MSDW are
> approached about the rights and decline to act on the request, then they
> would have great difficulty in claiming infringement at a later date -
> provided the approach and response is fully documented, of course. With
> rights come responsibilities!

By analogy:

If someone approaches you about buying your garden and you decline to
"act on the request", you would have great difficulty in claiming
infringement at a later date when they build on it.

Does this seem likely to you? If yes please keep the address of any
garden you may own very carefully hidden.

--
Tim

Steve Fryatt

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Feb 3, 2010, 2:25:59 PM2/3/10
to
On 3 Feb, Ollie Clark wrote in message
<slrnhmj976...@greedy.zen175545>:

> Aaron wrote:
>
> > I don't normally follow these groups anymore. However someone pointed
> > this posting out to me. Once I had stopped laughing I thought I should
> > make an observation.

Yawn.

> > If Pace, as they have said, "..only brought assetts to do with the Set
> > Top Box and Mutimedia terminal." then, it would be somewhat difficult
> > for them to have sold RISC OS (which they didn't own) to Castle
> > Technology Ltd "lock stock and barell" (to quote Peter Wild).
>
> Not sure how this follows. If they bought assets to do with the STB and MM
> terminal then that would have included RISC OS. Otherwise they'd have
> bought some hardware designs with nothing to run on them.

Don't feed the trolls, please.

--
Steve Fryatt - Leeds, England

http://www.stevefryatt.org.uk/

Peter Naulls

unread,
Feb 3, 2010, 2:42:14 PM2/3/10
to
Alan Dawes wrote:

> Just because a company owns a licence that allows them to use copyright
> material does not also mean that they own the copyright eg Apple still
> have the right to use RISC OS going back to when Acorn pulled out of
> Exemplar but don't own the copyright.

Really? I don't deny it's possible, and I may have seen some discussion
about this before, but please provide a reference for this claim - and
what versions do you think they have the rights to use?

Steve Fryatt

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Feb 3, 2010, 3:16:14 PM2/3/10
to
On 3 Feb, Tim wrote in message
<33bbede...@lynndene.demon.co.uk>:

> In message <50e3bfc3c...@uwclub.net>
> Richard Travers <rich...@uwclub.net> wrote:
>
> > It might be worth checking out the law on this. I suspect that if MSDW
> > are approached about the rights and decline to act on the request, then
> > they would have great difficulty in claiming infringement at a later
> > date - provided the approach and response is fully documented, of
> > course. With rights come responsibilities!
>
> By analogy:
>
> If someone approaches you about buying your garden and you decline to "act
> on the request", you would have great difficulty in claiming infringement
> at a later date when they build on it.

Surely the better analogy is: "If someone approaches you about buying your
garden and you STATE THAT YOU DON'T OWN IT, you would have great difficulty
in claiming infringement at a later date when they build on it"?

> Does this seem likely to you? If yes please keep the address of any garden
> you may own very carefully hidden.

No; the closer analogy might, though -- I don't know.

Andrew Hodgkinson

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Feb 3, 2010, 6:01:13 PM2/3/10
to
On 03/02/2010 16:58, Chris Hughes wrote:

> NC OS (Network Computer OS)<> RISC OS

What makes you think that?

--
TTFN, Andrew Hodgkinson
Find some electronic music at: Photos, wallpaper, software and more:
http://pond.org.uk/music.html http://pond.org.uk/

Rob Kendrick

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Feb 3, 2010, 7:33:36 PM2/3/10
to
On Wed, 03 Feb 2010 23:01:13 +0000
Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> > NC OS (Network Computer OS)<> RISC OS
>
> What makes you think that?

I'm not sure what makes him think that :) To my mind, the only
note-worthy differences are the name and CacheFS.

B.

Johann 'Myrkraverk' Oskarsson

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Feb 4, 2010, 1:47:56 AM2/4/10
to
Hi all,

I'm going to butt into this thread without any context at all. Call
me a troll if you will.

Depending on the willingness of the company to be considered "fair"
and or "nice" to the minory public at large interested in something
obscure they own, they might just give it away.

See: ACCESS Co. Releases BeBook and Be Newsletters
at http://bit.ly/c4rdgq

They have also not seen any reason to interfere with a freely
distributed version of BeOS called BeOS Max. See

http://vbeosa.blogspot.com/2007/04/going-on.html

Though I might point out that BeOS Max is pretty mich defunct by now.


}- <()> -- <()> -{

The moral of this story: Lobbying and asking nicely *can* pay off.
Doing the "right thing" can, quite surprisingly, result in positive
responces.


Johann -- who stops trolling the thread now.

David Holden

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Feb 4, 2010, 3:32:14 AM2/4/10
to

On 3-Feb-2010, Steve Fryatt <ne...@stevefryatt.org.uk> wrote:

> Surely the better analogy is: "If someone approaches you about buying your
> garden and you STATE THAT YOU DON'T OWN IT, you would have great
> difficulty in claiming infringement at a later date when they build on
> it"?

Not al allt. It would merely be something the offender would try to use in
mitigation of the damages. The fact is that they had usurped someone's
rights. They would still be completely in the wrong.

In general the only time a person is obliged to admit ownership of anything
is if someone else might have some sort of claim against the owner. eg. 'Is
this your lion, it just ate my Albert".

Aaron

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 5:53:26 AM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 8:32�am, "David Holden" <Spam...@apdl.co.uk> wrote:

<snip>

> In general the only time a person is obliged to admit ownership of anything
> is if someone else might have some sort of claim against the owner. eg. 'Is
> this your lion, it just ate my Albert".

Ouch. I bet that hurt.

Or is "my Albert" a reference to an individual, rather than a piece of
male
adornment?

Aaron

Andrew Hodgkinson

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 6:07:04 AM2/4/10
to
On 04/02/2010 00:33, Rob Kendrick wrote:

> > > NC OS (Network Computer OS)<> RISC OS
> >
> > What makes you think that?
>
> I'm not sure what makes him think that :) To my mind, the only
> note-worthy differences are the name and CacheFS.

Something like that. Even so, merging to trunk was a fairly epic task for
those involved thanks to all the very un-RISCOS like "conventions"
adopted by some module APIs from branches aimed at embedded devices.
There was a rather unfortunate "them and us" culture within the company
at the time AFAICR, with the more 'traditional' Desktop / ART engineers
perceiving something of a careless attitude on the "other side".

The NC guys wanted to be coding for Unix, I think, but if that was really
the case they should've gone and worked for a company that dealt in it!
As a result we even had modules which returned unallocated error numbers
in R0 with the V flag clear. The basic overview of error handling in PRM
1 was apparently too much trouble. I hope the guys writing the more
baroque APIs had good reasons for doing so; they aren't here to defend
themselves, so this is a very one-sided anecdote.

Part of the reason some of us were internally proud of DSL 4000 was that
the core OS inside was (mostly) sane and RISC OS like again, resulting in
a relatively stable box still in use in homes today. For me, reviewing
the technological path which got us there highlights just how strange
arguments over desktop / embedded / STB IP really are. Most customers who
took STBs also took at least one Desktop machine to manage or develop STB
content from time to time. The two are deeply interlinked in both a
technical and philosophical sense. Argue over rights to sell into
specific markets if you really must, but attempting to make distinctions
based on the technology itself is an invalid approach IMHO.

trevj

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 6:22:41 AM2/4/10
to
On Feb 3, 4:41 pm, church <chu...@mdharding.org.uk> wrote:
>
> It can happen. Allegedly the MOD did that, with the helicopters they
> bought years ago for Iraq and Afghanistan and which therefore still
> aren't in service.  8-(

Off-topic, it looks like the allegations weren't unfounded.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6808604.ece

Chris Hughes

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Feb 4, 2010, 6:15:45 AM2/4/10
to
In message <4B6A0039...@rowing.org.uk>
Andrew Hodgkinson <ahod...@rowing.org.uk> wrote:

> On 03/02/2010 16:58, Chris Hughes wrote:

>> NC OS (Network Computer OS)<> RISC OS

> What makes you think that?

Because as explained back at the time, various magazines, etc,
including Acorn themselves said NCOS does not requires bits of RISC OS
since there was no need for some of its facilities in a STB. It was
also stated a bit later that the NC OS stream would feed back changes
they (as in Online Media) made to the main RISC OS stream. I assume
that happened, and is probably why NCOS is considered to be equal to
RISC OS.

I should add that most of this was also stated at one of our meetings
IIRC by Peter Bondar and Chris Cox.

--
Chris Hughes

David Holden

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 7:08:21 AM2/4/10