Steve Drain – RIP

RISCOSitory is sad to report that Steve Drain has died. Martin Avison broke the news on the RISC OS Open forum on Monday, explaining that Steve’s death occurred on the last day of 2022. Check out the subsequent thread for other people’s memories of and tributes to him.

Steve was well known in the RISC OS community for software, and has released a number of small tools and utilities, with the most recent covered in the latest Snippets post – with one of the two items only having been announced at the end of November. However, his more significant entry in the RISC OS hall of fame would be Basalt, a module that extended BBC BASIC by making features available to programmers not found in the language as supplied with RISC OS computers.

He didn’t stop at software, though, and would occasionally exhibit his hardware projects at RISC OS shows. Steve had taken a number of Raspberry Pis and modified them in order to make their form factor even more compact, and squeeze them into very small cases, naming them Raspberry Pips. These could be attached to devices like the Atrix Lapdock, a laptop-style keyboard and mouse designed for a Motorola mobile phone, but looked neater than just attaching a bare Raspberry Pi – and even though, technically, it was a more hacky solution than just connecting a Pi as is, to the untrained eye of the average person, it probably seemed less so!

Steve, it was always interesting talking to you at shows – even when you weren’t actually exhibiting. Here’s to you.

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