The Acorn Cyber-Village is a place of mystery and legend. You can visit where it used to be at any second of the day or night, but there is little to indicate that it ever was. However, like Brigadoon, it is rumoured that if you visit at the right time, inbetween where there is nothing, you'll be welcomed as an old friend to a party in full swing. Last night was the night. Did you miss the invitation? It was on all the news groups. Perhaps you slept. How long for? There are those that say the space in which we sleep and cyber-space are like two hoops in a Venn Diagram. Those hoops have an overlap. Your problem is that sometimes it's hard to remember a dream. I can help.
At the party in the Acorn Cyber-Village last night there was a speech. I'm going to recount it to you. Perhaps then you will remember what a lovely evening we all had in our very own RISC OS Brigadoon.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thank you for your kind applause.
Welcome to the RISCOScode New Year Awards 2012.
I can tell from your candlelit faces that you are as excited as I am to be here tonight, at this dinner in the Acorn Cyber-Village to celebrate all that is RISC OS. As you probably saw a moment ago, Peter Shawbury has handed me 'the' golden envelopes. He assures me that they contain the details of who should receive these rather splendid glowing green and blue Acorn Trophies sitting on the table beside me.
Before we begin, I'd like take a few moments to set the scene for this year's awards. The planning began in a panic when Peter pointed out that there was no Awards event a year ago. I'm sure you all remember the splendid job Chris Williams did in organizing the annual event for many years at Drobe. Three years ago, Chris moved on. I have two brilliant pieces of news regarding Chris. First, he's now working as sub-editor on the most-read sci-tech website in Britain and Europe, The Register. Second, he's here tonight! A round of applause for Chris Williams.
The IconBar took over the awards for one year and I can see several of the IconBar team at that rather rowdy table towards the back. Hello, Jeffrey; keep the volume down, please.
Now, as I said, there were no Awards a year ago. Rather than let this happen again, Peter rustled up an article announcing that RISCOScode would run the event this time around. We did not have enough time to ask for nominations and so agonized amongst ourselves to try to include all obvious candidates. I then set about publicising the event and asking for people to vote. We had a great response, mostly by email but also via twitter. Seriously; thank you very much for your votes.
So, the moment is here to announce the first result. Without further ado, let's get to the first envelope. This is for Best Commercial Software of 2011, and the nominations were;
O.K. In the envelope is a note from Peter. It says, "All nominations received votes. In this category everything was counted twice. It was not possible to separate out a single winner". Ladies and Gentlemen, we have two winners. They are ArtWorks and R-Comp's Fireworkz Pro. Runner up is TechWriter. A round of applause please as Martin Würthner & Andrew Rawnsley collect their Acorn Trophies.
Now to the nominations for Best Non-Commercial Software of 2011...
I'm opening the envelope. NetSurf ! Wow! NetSurf is the winner and the runner up is Digital CD. Yes, up here John. Ladies & Gents, John-Mark Bell collecting an Acorn Trophy for the NetSurf team.
Although I let Peter run the competition, we did discuss a few issues that arose. One was a suggestion that Raspberry Pi should have been in the next set of nominations. However, for Best Hardware of 2011, I felt that until RISC OS users physically have a Raspberry Pi in their hand, running RISC OS, it's not a candidate. I can see some of you reaching for the mince pies. Please, don't throw them at me. Next year, Raspberry Pi will get its chance, I'm sure.
Another issue revolved around the German version of ARMini which is known as BeagleBoard in a box, or simply BIK. There was a view expressed that in the UK we undervalue the contribution from abroad. The BIK came first, with the German designed case being imported and used in the ARMini. To try to preserve harmony, a few days ago RISCOScode published an article on RISC OS from the German perspective. I hope that article and my comments now are making it clear that BIK and ARMini are related products.
Here then, are the amended nominations for Best Hardware of 2011...
Ouch! Paper-cut! O.K. Yes. The clear winner is the ARMini / BIK. Runner-up: USB interface for BBC Micro. Well done Andrew Rawnsley from R-Comp on picking up a second Acorn Trophy this evening. And here come the German BIK developers, Raik Fischer and Detlef Thielsch. Yes, we have an Acorn Trophy for you too.
Before we get to the nominations for Best Show of 2011, I have some related news to announce. There have been a few rumours going around the Acorn Cyber-Village this evening that there will be no South West show this year. Paul Middleton could not be here tonight but I have been passed a note, which I'll now read to you. It's been written by Jim Nagel. He says, "Paul Middleton of RISC OS Ltd told me he usually learns a date at the last minute when the hotel offers special deals, so stand by." Thank you for that Jim. I'm glad you could make it this evening and stop that rumour getting out of hand.
Right, to the fourth envelope. The nominations for Best Show of 2011...
The winner is London, with Wakefield as runner up. Representing the ROUGOL (London) team, please acknowledge Bryan Hogan as he collects an Acorn Trophy.
Peter's written on the outside of this next envelope that the votes for Best New Development of 2011 were very evenly spread out between the nominations. Let's remind ourselves of exactly what those nominations were;
Let me open the envelope... The winner is RISC OS Open USB sticks, the runner up RISC OS Open Bounties Scheme. ROOL scoop both. Excellent! Ah, Steve Revill is coming up to collect the ROOL prize.
Now for the final Award that you were expecting. The nominations for Best Online Resource of 2011 were;
I'm opening the last envelope. Oh, my. ROOL have done it again. Winner is the RISC OS Open forum. Joint runners up, RISCOScode news archive 2011 and Comp.Sys.Acorn.Announce. Ah, that's cool, this time Ben Avison to collect ROOL's second Acorn Trophy of the evening.
I'm not quite done yet. As I talk now, the champagne is being served. There is a reason for that. Just hold back from having that first sip for a moment. As you can see, we have one Acorn Trophy still on the table. Even Peter does not know what is coming next.
There have been several extraordinary advances in the RISC OS world over the last few years. Many of them centre around one person. In some respects, he has single handedly rescued RISC OS from oblivion. There have been many heroes of RISC OS. Many have received a small acknowledgement for their efforts this evening. Of course, it's impossible to honour them all. But I could not possibly conclude this event tonight without paying tribute to this one man.
In the past, it has taken teams of engineers to get RISC OS running on new hardware. In this respect, when the BeagleBoard first emerged, this man was a team of one. He's here tonight. He continues to nurture RISC OS, and many of you have exchanged words with him via his prolific postings on the ROOL forums. I hope you will understand when I say he's Phlame Thrower and Hot, hot, hot, hot. For his Outstanding Contribution to the RISC OS Community it gives me great pleasure to present this final Acorn Trophy to Jeffrey Lee.
Surely you remember now. That bit about Jeffrey Lee. Wasn't it a great finish to the speech? You were there. I saw you. It was real. Tell you what, look around the winners' websites in a few days time. By then they will have lifted the category banners to display their achievements to the world, as they are entitled to do. Listen to me: As you are giving me such a hard time over whether the Acorn Cyber-Village really exists in these sideways moments between the seconds, next year, we'll go together. Until then, take care.
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