At the recent South-West Show, I was lucky enough to meet the person behind both RISC OS Developments TCP/IP stack and Pinboard2. So naturally, I ambushed him and asked him to introduce himself...
Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi! I'm Andy Vawer. I was previously a veterinary surgeon but now do freelance IT work, run a property management company and am a Parish Councillor.
How long have you been using RISC OS?
I have used it ever since my parents' A440 was upgraded from Arthur 1.20. I started on a BBC 'B' before that. In those days we had pretty much the full range Acorn machines at school as well.
What other systems do you use?
My main other system is a Linux-running laptop. There are several Linux and FreeBSD servers about the house doing various jobs. There is a Windows VM in case I have to run software that won't run under Linux or WINE.
What is your current RISC OS setup?
I am currently mostly using an R-Comp 4te and an iMX6 server. They share a KVM switch with the laptop. I also have an ARMbook. My trusty RiscPC is currently in storage (minus its CMOS battery).
What do you think of the retro scene?
It's great that people still have an interest in the older tech and keep it going rather than throwing it away.
Do you attend any of the shows and what do you think of them?
I've been to the London and South-west shows. It's great to see that people are still using RISC OS for various purposes and also the 8 bit machines. It is a shame that there aren't so many people there any more - I still remember the Acorn World shows of the past.
What do you use RISC OS for in 2023 and what do you like most about it?
I mainly use it for programming now. It's nice and compact without the huge sprawling libraries and things that clutter up other systems. It's still at a level where you can have a good idea of what is going on inside.
What is your favourite feature/killer program in RISC OS?
My favourite program is Elite (if that counts). I have spent way too much time working on my rating...
What would you most like to see in RISC OS in the future?
Bluetooth and USB3 support would be nice. Some form of killer application or use would be great to make it more widely used in the world.
Favourite (vaguely RISC OS-releated) moan?
Why hasn't someone done [insert latest hardware thing here]? Sadly, there aren't enough of us to keep up!
Can you tell us about what you are working on in the RISC OS market at the moment?
I have been working on the RISC OS Developments TCP/IP stack and Pinboard2.
Any surprises or dates to tease us with?
Not yet... but there are other projects going on that could be exciting...
Apart from TIB (obviously) what are your favourite websites?
The Register, especially the BOFH. And The Daily WTF to make sure I know what not do to.
What are your interests beyond RISC OS?
I love SciFi / Fantasy. I do a fair bit of DIY at home. I do like getting out and about with the family for some fresh air. I am also trying to help stop the powers that be from concreting over our entire neighbourhood.
If someone hired you for a month to develop RISC OS software, what would you create?
There are lots of things I'd be keen to create if hired, but they would take far longer than a month to do, sadly. It would mostly be related to working on the core OS itself.
Any future plans or ideas you can share with us?
There are definitely future plans, but they it's too early to talk about them yet. Watch this space!
Any questions we forgot to ask you?
Mine's a pint (of diet cola). With ice, please.
Many thanks to Andy for taking the time to talk to us.
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