The Long Gap is almost over – the London Show is almost upon us

So what’s in store for you lucky RISC OS users this year?

The Long Gap is the period between the annual Wakefield Show, which usually takes place in April, and the London Show, which takes place a whole six months later (that’s half a year, doncher know), towards the end of October.

It’s October now (and has been for a week and a day), which means the Long Gap is almost over, and the London Show is imminent – it takes place on Saturday the 28th – so it’s time to take a look at what’s in store for anyone making the trip and, hopefully, encourage those on the cusp of deciding whether to visit to make the right choice!

There are twenty five exhibitors currently listed on the show website, a range that represents not only modern RISC OS, but also the retro scene – and the following are just a few small highlights of what can be expected.

A new mystery product is set to be revealed by Elesar Ltd, which Rob Sprowson has informed me consists of both a software and hardware component, with the hardware taking the form of a small circuit board. This suggests some kind of add-on (or in) device, though whether that’s just for the Titanium, or for other RISC OS systems as well remains to be seen. Rob has also informed me that the now regular option for users to save on postage costs by ordering for delivery at the show will be in place – he expects that it should be possible to place orders for this up to noon on the 27th.

Games fans will be more than covered, with the return of the games arcade, run by Jon Abbott and the Archimedes Software Preservation Project. The arcade will feature a selection of classic games, and they will be running on a mixture of real Archimedes computers, as well as on the Raspberry Pi using ADFFS. There will also be an enhanced version of Zarch, running on a big screen – easy to watch for bystanders who aren’t actually playing, though the true arcade experience involves a small group of people huddled around a small screen while one person plays!

As well as classic games, there will also be new games – two of them, in fact, on the AMCOG stand, and I’m reasonably sure that one of them will involve zombies; I’ve been pestering AMCOG’s Tony Bartram to write a zombie game for a while, and I believe he has been working on exactly that in the run up to this event. Along with the new games, the full range of Tony’s older games should be available, either individually or as part of his compilation, and he’ll also have his game development kit, and will be demonstrating his sound synthesiser module, RDSP.

Moving neatly from synthesisers to sequencers, Quincy Coleman of 3rd Event Technologies will be demonstrating AMCS, the Advanced Music Creation System – a free MIDI music sequencer that comes with its own operating system, and was originally developed to run on an A3000.

And in a not so neat change of direction – but to something that involves navigation (see what I did there?) – Chris Hall will be showing off the latest version of his Raspberry Pi-based GPS solution, PiGPS, which features PaPiRus and OLED displays, and some neat battery saving features. The latest version is even small enough to drop into a jacket pocket.

For those more interested in the retro scene, check out RobC’s VideoNuLA, an add-on board for the BBC Micro that upgrades the computer’s palette from its original eight colours to a slightly bigger range – 4,096 to be precise – or Robert Lazarus’ Soundblaster synthesiser add-on, BeebOPL, also for the BBC.

Less retro and more historical, Paul Emerton will again have a BBC Media Preservation exhibit, based around the computers and software he acquired from the BBC Special Projects department. These systems were used to generate on-screen graphics for various shows during the 1990s, and some of them have been restored and will be in action on the day.

And, of course, the bigger names will also be present – CJE Micro’s, R-Comp, RISC OS Open Ltd – and many smaller, regular exhibitors.

Entry to the show is £5.00 per person, with those under the age of 16 getting in for free. It will be open from 11:00am until 5:00pm, on Saturday, 28th October, at:

The St Giles Hotel,
Hounslow Road,
TW14 9AD.

Well served by public transport, the hotel is just a few minutes walk along the road from Feltham Station, and Heathrow Airport is within shouting distance, and served by a number of buses that stop right outside the venue. For those coming by car, there is car parking available at the hotel, but if the car park becomes full there is also the option of parking at Feltham Assembly Halls. Please refer to the show website for more details on all of these options.

You may also wish to discuss mutual travel arrangements with others, plan to meet up with people at the show, or just generally discuss the event or anything related to it – all of which you can do via the Shows and Events discussion list.

However you choose to travel, though… I’ll see you there!

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