Re: Simtec v Castle USB

In message <4dd386e82bRay@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Ray Dawson <Ray@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> In article <MPG.1dfb280e892cdc939896af@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
> <greg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> We're not talking about the latest 2GB flash drives here. Most of the
>> 64-128MB drives don't/won't work (3-4 year old technology).
> But even the new ones work out of the box with 2 year old Windows XP -
> and they don't need any drivers. They work with the XP USB stack as it
> stands. Drivers are usually only needed for Windows 98 - a 7 year old OS.
> There is no excuse for the Simtec or Castle USB stack working with
> virtually all USB devices out there. That they don't is due to the
> inadequacy of the system - not any non-conformity of the device.

That's complete rubbish, and is quite insulting to those developers
who have done the work on RISC OS USB systems.

The fact that not all USB devices work with the Castle and Simtec USB
cards is probably partly to do with the RISC OS implementation and
partly to do with the implementation of the device you are trying to
plug in and use.

There are specifications for different classes of USB devices, some of
which are public, some of which are proprietary. The RISC OS stacks
will have implemented most of the public specifications. There may be
a few areas where the specifications are not totally clear, and where
behaviour of a device on RISC OS is not the same as on a Windows XP
machine. Or maybe some of the specifications, which can be quite
complicated, have not been fully implemented on RISC OS.

Those areas might be considered to be within the power of RISC OS
companies to sort out. However, the most common reason that a device
does not work on RISC OS, I would have thought, is that the device
uses special drivers. You say that new devices work straight out of
the box with Windows XP, without any drivers. But have you considered
that many proprietary drivers from manufacturers are supplied with XP
already, and new devices might well use one of these older protocols
which is already supported by XP?

Of course USB devices work on Windows XP: it's about the only thing
the manufacturers will test on, and they're bound to make sure they've
got it right. Even if a manufacturer is using one of the open USB
classes for their device, they may well have only implemented
sufficient of the specification to get it working with Windows XP, and
RISC OS may be relying on different features of the same
specification. You cannot blame RISC OS developers for not
implementing USB in precisely the same way as Windows XP: they haven't
got access to Windows source code, you know.

Matthew Phillips

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