Feb 092019
 

And in a new, easier to reach venue, so you now have one excuse fewer if you don’t come!

As of today, it is now just one week until the 2019 Southwest Show, which takes takes place on Saturday, 16th February – in a new, more accessible venue in Bristol. The change of venue has been known about for some time, but even as late as a few days ago, I saw a comment expressing surprise, so dealing with that important point first, the new location is:

The Arnos Manor Hotel,
470 Bath Road,
Arnos Vale,
Bristol, BS4 3HQ.

As noted above, one of the benefits of the Arnos Manor hotel compared to the old venue is accessibility. The hotel is in a not-quite central part of Bristol, but not too far out from the centre, on a major road artery through the city. It is not particularly far from Temple Meads Railway Station, which is only a short bus trip away – and if you’re feeling fit, it’s quite walkable. And for those coming in by car, rather than public transport, it’s only a couple of miles away from Junction 3 of the M32 motorway, and I’ve put together some rough directions that should cover the main routes, with dash-cam images to support them.

The doors will be open to the public from 10:30am until 4:00pm, with an entry fee of £5.00, and the current list of exhibitors can be found on the show website, but with R-Comp‘s Andrew Rawnsley (who jointly organises the show with Richard Brown of Orpheus Internet) having put out a last minute call for more smaller exhibitors at a low-cost, the list may yet expand. (And, indeed, I had an email this morning from one of the RISC OS user groups on this very subject.)

Meanwhile, here are a few highlights visitors can look forward to:

Bigger names amongst those listed unsurprisingly include R-Comp themselves, who expect to have a number of new developments, along with their new ARM-powered laptops, as demonstrated at the recent London Show (for which I will get a report written soon eventually – promise!).

The second ‘obvious’ exhibitor will be Richard Brown, who will be representing both Orpheus Internet and RISC OS Developments Ltd. In the latter case, Andrew has hinted that they “might have something interesting to show, too” – but the only way you’ll know for sure (until show reports get written!) is to come and find out for yourselves!

RISC OS Open Ltd, who were sadly missed at last year’s show, are making a welcome return for this one. As ‘custodians’ of RISC OS since Castle first opened up the sources via their ‘shared source’ licence, they remain so under RISC OS Developments’ new ownership of the operating system, and its new fully open source licence. They will be able to tell you about the progress on active bounties, as well as progress on that change of licence and the move to versions 5.26/5.27.

I will be there in a triple hat-wearing capacity, representing Soft Rock Software, RISCOSitory, and Bristol RISC OS Users. Amongst other things, I will have a very limited number (you can count them on the fingers of just one hand) of RiscPiC-standard Raspberry Pi cases for sale, as well as a stock of RiscPiC-mini cases, and the Soft Rock Software Collection on USB flash drive or CD.

I won’t be alone representing one of the various RISC OS user groups – both the RISC OS User Group of London (ROUGOL), and Southampton RISC OS User Group (SROUG) will be on hand to entice visitors that have come from their respective directions to boost their memberships.

Games galore will be available on the AMCOG Games stand, where Tony Bartram will be showing off and selling the many titles he has written so far since coming to RISC OS only a few years ago – including a games development kit, and RDSP, a virtual sound chip extension for RISC OS. He will also be showing off some ‘concept art’ for his next game.

There are also new exhibitors, such as Bristol-based 3rd Event, who have previously only ever attended the London Show, with their Advanced Music Construction System (AMCS). This is a ‘Music Production Operating System’ for modern ARM hardware – and it really is an operating system; it replaces the existing operating system on those platforms it targets to make them entirely dedicated to music production.

Making a (for me, unexpected) return visit to the show is Ident Computer. Ident were previously selling Raspberry Pi cases, including the (newly launched at last year’s show) IdentCE, but since came to a licencing and supply arrangement with RISCOSbits. This time around, that arrangement in place, Ident will be promoting Wi-Fi Sheep, their online social media tech channel, fronted by the company’s Tom Williamson – which means they will only be showing content, not offering any products or services for show visitors to buy. However, keep an eye out for Tom (and/or partner Anna) wandering around with a camera, because they will be recording new content for the Wi-Fi Sheep channel at the show!

And speaking of RISCOSbits, they will have the usual range of amusingly named hardware available, including docks to complement R-Comp’s mini.m computer, which include an mSATA drive and USB hub. The company will also have a number of refurbished portable devices for sale, including a rare Lapdock.

And, importantly, John Norris (Bell ringing) and Tasty Treats will be exhibiting – with Tasty Treats being the important part because I have no jam in my larder, and that’s what Mary Norris will be selling (along with that other stuff, chutney – including a Really Interesting Specially Constructed Old Style chutney!) John, meanwhile, will have his mini-dumbbell for visitors to try their hand at ringing, as well as a number of bell-ringing programs to demonstrate.

So, all in, all manner of RISC OS interests are catered for – so if you are interested in RISC OS, you now know where you need to be next Saturday!