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1995 Fools: Acorn announce RISCWatch?
From email@example.com Wed Mar 29 18:03:52 EST 1995 Article: 47779 of comp.sys.acorn Path: bigblue.oit.unc.edu!concert!gatech!howland.reston.ans.net!math.ohio-state.edu!jussieu.fr!oleane!pipex!warwick!yama.mcc.ac.uk!marlene!stl From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Stuart Tyrrell) Newsgroups: comp.sys.acorn,comp.sys.acorn.tech,comp.sys.acorn.hardware,comp.sys.acorn.misc Subject: Acorn announce RISCWatch? Date: 27 Mar 1995 10:20:06 GMT Organization: Dept. of EE&E, UMIST Lines: 71 Message-ID: <email@example.com> NNTP-Posting-Host: marlene.sn2.ee.umist.ac.uk X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2] Xref: bigblue.oit.unc.edu comp.sys.acorn:47779 comp.sys.acorn.tech:15719 comp.sys.acorn.hardware:232 comp.sys.acorn.misc:273 Acorn announce wristwatch computer. ==================================== In a hastily organised meeting last week, Acorn gathered together a select group of hardware and software developers to give them pre-release details of their latest product. Looking like it should be in a sci-fi movie rather than a meeting room in Cambridge, the Acorn RISCWatch measures 40mm by 50mm. The front of the watch comprises of a colour LCD screen (as used in some camcorder viewfinders), and three moulded buttons. There are also four similar function buttons on the side of the watch - two each on the left and right of the body. The screen (which is one of the "new generation" LCD screens recently released on the open market) is capable of resolving 240x200 pixels in full colour. This has enabled Acorn to implement a cut-down version of the RISC OS desktop, although the relatively poor resolution and hardware differences between the RISCWatch and the desktop machines will require modification to many existing applications. "You can see the obvious problems that Acorn have had with the user interface," commented one developer, "It's difficult enough providing mouse movement with a limited number of buttons. Having said that, I'm very impressed with the implementation, and we expect to release many of our products in 'WatchWare complient' form as soon as we can". The RISCWatch is based around a version of the new ARM7500 processor. "We've worked hard with ARM to develop this custom version of the ARM7 chipset." an Acorn spokesman said, "We have retained certain functions of the ARM7500, such as the full ARM7 core and the LCD driver, but there are obviously sections of the device which were not needed, for example much of the input/output circuitry. This has resulted in a smaller die size, and allowed us to include a ROM macrocell on the device, thus reducing the number of external components. RAM is currently in a seperate package within the watch, although we expect to integrate all of the logic onto one die in the near future." Obviously the watch was not designed to be a word processor (although there were some mad souls using !Chars and !Edit), so communication with a desktop machine is vital. The watch is supported by an inductive loop coupling system - you place the machine on a pad which has an electrical coil underneath. Signals in this coil are received by a similar coil within the watch. Apparently, Acorn did investigate the "flashing screen" technique used by another recent watch release, but opted for the inducive approach as communication is bi-directional, and there is no need for connectors or trailing wires. The release of the RISCWatch came as a suprise to most of the people attending the meeting "We had heard rumours that Acorn were looking into developing a new portable machine, but this... it's amazing! We were only expecting a colour version of the A4!", commented one. "Aha! So this is project Looflirpa - We'd wondered what the Medusa team was doing these days" said another. "Where can I get one? Do you think they've counted them all?" whispered a few fools. The official release of the RISCWatch, scheduled for April 1, will be accompanied by a concerted advertising campaign (the first for some time from Acorn). Although coverage will be by paper media initially, it is hoped that strong sales of the RISCWatch will finance a series of television advertisements scheduled to begin 1 April 1996. The slogan? "The Acorn RISCWatch - Put an ARM on your arm!". +---------------------------------------------------------------------+ | This article is (c) Stuart Tyrrell / Illusions Disc Magazine | | Subs: Illusions,22 Wray Close,St Anns,Nottg'm NG3 2FS. 0115-9507466 | +---------------------------------------------------------------------+ Posted by Stuart Tyrrell firstname.lastname@example.org