Using the IBX-100


Going on-line...

This is simple. Choose the "World Wide Web" option from the main screen...

This is where my next gripe comes. It isn't a big thing though. The unit is silent!

As a person who is used to flashing lights for Rx, Tx, CS, TR, CD, AA, and loads of other two-letter acronyms, and also used to burr-bee-bih-burr-bee, followed by a blast of noise, I find the Bush box very disconcerting.
There is NO noise. The only indicators are the status messages (usually Dialling..., Connecting..., Verifying...) and a single red ON LINE indicator!

That said, there is no noise at all. It won't play embedded WAVs or MIDI, nor can it play MP3's. Though it was been said that the RISC OS desktop machine with the same processor fitted is not fast enough to cope with most MP3s, despite the on-board floating point. And, who in their right mind would fetch a 1-2Mb MP3 just to play on a web box? :-)

Recently, on comp.sys.acorn.misc, somebody reported getting sound from their IBX-100 by patching in the required components from the 16 bit sound card (used in the older generation of RiscPCs) and then softloading the sound modules. It is possible, and there is space on the motherboard for it...

When connected, you will be taken to the Bush website (advertised on the packaging as being produced by Virgin, but appears to be 'produced' by ITV digital now), however it is simple to call up the toolbar to enter another URL...

Going to another URL

Hit the Enter button, and off you go!


Tables and frames

Visiting my website

If the page provides embedded information, you can use the Info option to view this additional information. It'll work with this page, so why not try it in your browser?

Viewing page information
(I wonder why it says encoding Windows 1252
when I've set the charset to ISO 8859/1?)

You will notice cog wheels on the bottom right (no, not in these pictures, if you are using the Bush box). This is your indicator that the unit is still fetching web pages and resources. The unit appears to be much slower than my RiscPC, because I do not normally fetch images.
However I gave it a whirl, using Fresco with images, as the systems are about the same: ARM710 vs ARM7500FP, Fresco vs NCFresco, 33k6 vs 33k6. Honestly, it seemed about the same. But if you're a need for speed freak, you may find yourself held up by the images!

Anyhow, time to try a friend's site. But, it is fairly easy to mistype on the little keyboard.

Who can't spell?!

So, call up the GO TO option again, so you can enter the correct URL. It'd be nice if the unit did this for you, placing the previous (failed) URL in the icon. It is a pain retyping a URL for a one-letter mistake! Still, it isn't that bad, but you must watch the screen in case you miss any letters - this can happen due to interference with the infra-red link, or obstructions, or weak batteries, or the user being a moron (like me!)...


Now, we have this box so we might as well make use of it. What better than to check out the news?
Actually, this shows up a small problem. There is no option to kill the colours set up in the document and use defaults. This becomes necessary when we visit Fox News...

(I love the way the image has been snipped:
"Passenger Jailed in Salt Lake
Man used lavatory before landing
Oh no! How heinous! Panic! Panic!)
Half of it is just unreadable - dark blue on black. However, Fresco and Browse both showed the exact same problem. I am guessing either an incomplete set of colour tags, or a very bizarre implementation of style sheets are being used.

But, in the spirit of competition, if one news source is hard to read, just find another!

JPEG; 24K   JPEG; 20K and


After the news comes the weather report...

(I prefer to look at the satellite images)


We've seen that it copes with tables (from my site). Time, now, to see how it copes with frames.

The short answer is Yes. And, even better, when you come to print it will ask you which frame you would like to print from.
Printing from a framed document
I guess it'd be logical to print the entire page as-seen, but due to the nature of frames very few browsers bother to implement such a facility (you lose information, ending up with what is essentially a copy of the screen!).


The next test is for Flash...

Sadly, the box does not support Flash.
Neither, does it support Java, although hooks are provided, if, say, you boot from Zip disc or suchlike.


Overall, the display quality is good. Some sites may require you to bump up the text size for ease of reading, but this is not a problem - the options are available on-line.

Alyson (in willow)
The above image is, sadly, a little bit misleading. Firstly, it is connected to the computer digitiser with composite video rather than RGB, and the digitiser can only store one field (that's every other line of the TV picture). On my 14 inch television, via SCART, the picture is clearer. Actually, the RISC OS font renderer along with other tricks and tweaks makes the box extremely usable on a television. You'll notice the gold text isn't that bad, but the fuchsia is really blurry. That is most likely a fault of the digitising, not of the box...
(actually, it is an 'issue' with PAL and red, but we'll skip over that)


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Copyright © 2002 Richard Murray