Proposed free RISC OS show in Portsmouth

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Is this the furthest South mainland UK show yet? How about Lizard Point next, please?

With the growing number of low-cost Raspberry Pi systems now in the hands of end users, or even slightly more expensive options such as the BeagleBoard and PandaBoard – which are still relatively cheap compared with RISC OS computers of old – there are more and more people out there who could potentially start using RISC OS on those systems. It is therefore important that our operating system of choice is given as much exposure as possible: The more people who read and hear about it, the more who might try it out – and the more who try it out, the more people who try it out, the more who might actually stick with it, use it, develop software for it, or even contribute to further developing the OS itself.

With that in mind, RISC OS Open Ltd have announced that they “have teamed up with Innovation Warehouse Portsmouth to create an unique opportunity to hold a free RISC OS show on Saturday 20th July 2013 in the heart of the great waterfront city of Portsmouth.”

The idea is that this event, should it go ahead, will be free for both exhibitors and visitors alike. The format will be largely the same as other RISC OS shows, but it will be marketed more widely, with the goal of attracting people to the show who might not already be regular users of the operating system, faces new to the community – “especially those who want to develop projects and businesses using RISC OS.”

Exhibitors to the show don’t necessarily need to be selling anything – the floor is also open to anyone willing to bring along something innovative and interesting to demonstrate. The point of the event is to get RISC OS seen, to show people what can be done with it, and why the system could be a good choice for their own projects.

Steve Revill said in the announcement, “We’re very excited about the possibility of increasing the exposure of RISC OS, so please get in touch as soon as you can” – if enough exhibitors can be confirmed over the next couple of weeks, the date will be finalised and a more definite announcement will be made.

On the whole, this proposed show is a very good idea, but I do have reservations about the suggested date, and how that might impact other would-be exhibitors: Specifically, it is precisely one week after this year’s Midlands Midsummer Mugshow, which takes place in Kenilworth on 13th July.

It is perhaps no surprise that I have already expressed my own interest in appearing, representing both Soft Rock Software and RISCOSitory, and in my email I raised my concern about the date, and also asked for a little further information about how this idea and collaboration came about. I had hoped that a reply might have appeared before posting – but given the limited amount of time to ensure there is enough interest from exhibitors, it seems prudent to publish sooner, rather than wait.