RISC OS is the superbly efficient operating system designed in the 1980's by Acorn Computers, and its latest incarnation is used by thousands of people around the world. However, many may never have even heard of RISC OS - so if you're one of them, you've come to the right place.
Pre-dating both Windows and Mac OS to use a task bar or 'Dock', RISC OS includes many revolutionary features which are only just being copied by other systems. Its anti-aliased font technology is still the envy of the computer world and its drag 'n' drop, stackable windows GUI, flexibility and ease of use make it arguably the most productive computer system in the world today.
Thousands of applications and utilities are available, often developed by small companies and individual users, mean that you should be able to find software on RISC OS to cater for all your computing requirements. It is hoped that new developers will come on board to help promote and enhance RISC OS even more.
RISCOS.org seeks to not only introduce newcomers and experts alike to this wonderful system, but to act as a resource centre and help forum for existing users around the world. Our software database is probably the most comprehensive repository of RISC OS links anywhere on the internet, and we update it frequently with new releases.
News Headlines from other RISC OS Portals
Some news summaries maybe truncated. This is a limitation with GoogleGroups RSS feed and beyond our control unfortunately.
BBC4's Micro Men: an interview and review
Ahead of tonight's Micro Men programme, which charts the rivalry between Sir Clive Sinclair and Acorn Computers in the early 1980s, drobe.co.uk spoke to the film's producer, Andrea Cornwell, to find out more about the show - and now you can read our review of the film
'Threaded' Firefox for RISC OS build released to test
An experimental build of the RISC OS port of Firefox that promises a smoother experience has been released for people to test. You'll need the latest 18.104.22.168 version and then replace its executable with the one from here. The technical bit: developer Peter Naulls has moved the browser's polling for user interaction into a separate thread to aid multitasking with the rest of the RISC OS desktop.
In brief: Acorn World show this weekend
Archive editor Jim Nagel summarises what to expect at the retro-themed show. Official website here [Update 2] A report by iconbar.com's Phil Mellor of the sell-out show is here - with pictures
RISCOScode.com webzine publishes autumn issue
Drobe man Martin Hansen has updated his personal web publishing endeavour, RISCOScode.com, with a new issue for the autumn. It includes interviews with an organiser of the inaugural London RISC OS show, to be held in October 2009, and Richard Hallas, plus more bits and pieces. Go check it out. It's free.
Tanks a lot! Double USB toy driver joy
RISC OS USB guru Dave Higton has released drivers for two remote-controlled gadgets: an 'executive mayhem' tank and a mini car. Get ready to order your armoured, missile-firing kit into position and destroy your office colleagues, or instead swap your computer's circuits for your own race track with a remote-controlled banger. The source code is available and the software should work on Simtec and Castle USB stacks.
Time for a round-up of recent games news.JASPP to release more classics
Aemulor/Spellings.net account details posted online
According to an email sent out by Neil Spellings this evening, the usernames and hashed passwords of all registered users on the old aemulor.com and newer buyit.Spellings.net websites have been posted online.
Wakefield Acorn & RISC OS Show, 25th April 2015
This year's Wakefield show is due to take place on Saturday the 25th of April, at the usual location of the Cedar Court Hotel near Wakefield. With the doors open from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, this will be the show's 20th anniversary, a major achievement for the Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club who are responsible for organising the event.
First impressions of the new RaspberryPi
A few weeks ago, the RaspberryPi foundation surprised most of us with a new version of the RaspberryPi (creatively named the RaspberryPi 2). So I ordered one from Cjemicros (they have them in stock!) and here are some observations for you on the new device...
RISC OS SouthWest Show 2015
Saturday the 21st of February, a little under 10 days from now, is the date of this year's SouthWest show, to be held at its usual location of the Webbington Hotel near Weston- super-Mare.
ConfInfo 1.14 released
ConfInfo is a PD application that collects lots of configuration and status information about a RISC OS computer by running various commands and putting the output into a text file, so that this can be provided to people or organisations offering technical support.
Charm version 2.6.2 released
Charm version 2.6.2 [32 bit] the set of high level language tools and demos for RISC-OS computers and emulators is now freely available under the terms of the GNU GPLv3 license.
Charm version 2.6.0 released
Charm version 2.6.0 [32 bit,VFP] the set of high level language tools and demos for RISC-OS computers and emulators is now freely available under the terms of the GNU GPLv3 license.
Charm version 2.5.8 released
Charm version 2.5.8 [32 bit] the set of high level language tools and demos for RISC-OS computers and emulators is now freely available under the terms of the GNU GPLv3 license.
Charm version 2.5.6 released
Charm version 2.5.6 [32 bit] the set of high level language tools and demos for RISC-OS computers and emulators is now freely available under the terms of the GNU GPLv3 license.
RISC OS Open
Raspista vanhan ajan kotitietokone
It’s always great to hear of RISC OS users from far flung places – it’s a useful reminder of the importance of internationalising applications for non native English speakers.One recent example of this is the 5 page review of RISC OS Pico which features in the Skrolli computer magazine. RISC OS Pico was put together to coincide with the 50th anniversary of BASIC and recapture the halcyon days of MODE 7 home computing. The article Raspista vanhan ajan kotitietokone recounts home computers from the 1980’s and how well the feature of the built in BBC BASIC and its built in assembler compares with those original machines.Ex pat user Kevin, who tipped off ROOL about this article, was pleased to add the Finnish for all sorts of RISC OS concepts to his vocabulary – they don’t tend to crop up in water cooler conversations.For 9 euros you can buy a copy to read if you’re fluent in Finnish, but the example graphic program from the article (listing 1, listing 2) will run regardless.The only complaint cited was that the MODE 7 character set didn’t cover the full Finnish alphabet. MODE 7 is emulated in software by the RISC OS kernel rather than using the SAA5050 chip as the BBC Micro did. Although German/Swedish/Italian/Belgian variants of the chip were produced, implementing a Finnish version in software is left as an exercise for the reader.
Important software compatibility notice
Starting from tomorrow, July 5th, the Iyonix, OMAP3, OMAP4 and Raspberry Pi development ROM images will be making use of “zero page relocation”, a change to the RISC OS memory map which moves the kernel’s “zero page” workspace away from address zero and up to the high end of the memory map. This greatly increases the system’s resilience to a common type of software bug known as a “null pointer dereference”. However, there is a catch: because the OS has always had memory mapped to address zero, large amounts of RISC OS software contains cases of “harmless” null pointer dereferences where the code reads from page zero and then does something insignificant with the result (usually ignoring it completely). With the new memory map, these programs will most likely cease to operate, exiting with a data abort as soon as they try to access page zero.Since relocating zero page is very beneficial to the stability and security of the OS, the goal is to have the feature enabled for all future stable releases, starting with RISC OS 5.24. But due to the large amount of buggy software out there we can’t simply turn it on and be done with it – we need to have a transition period in which developers can fix their code without worrying about the fact their compilers, text editors, etc. are buggy too. We also need a way for regular users to get involved with the testing process.With that in mind, we are putting into effect a two-phase testing process:Phase 1 of the testing process begins tomorrow. Zero page relocation is enabled, but a compatibility/logging module (“ZeroPain”) is provided to you in order to allow most buggy software to continue to run unmodified. ZeroPain traps most attempts to read page zero and emulates the operation, providing a safe level of compatibility with the old memory map. And for any page zero access which it emulates, it adds an entry to a log file so that the user/developer is aware of the issue.Phase 2 of the testing process is due to begin on 1st Jan, 2016. ZeroPain will refuse to run on any ROM built on or after that date. This will help to ensure that any previously unnoticed bugs are found and fixed prior to the release of RISC OS 5.24.ZeroPain can be found within each ROM download archive. Make sure to install it before installing the new ROM, otherwise your system may not boot correctly. Please help ROOL make RISC OS a better OS by testing all your software and reporting any issues you find to the developers.High processor vectors and IOMD supportModern ARM CPUs support a feature known as ‘high processor vectors’, whereby the processor vectors are moved from their old location at &0 to a new location at &FFFF0000. Zero page relocation within RISC OS makes use of this feature – without it we would still need some memory mapped to address zero in order to contain the processor vectors. Although high processor vectors is currently a requirement for zero page relocation, this is likely to change in the future, in order to support zero page relocation on the IOMD (RiscPC/A7000/RPCEmu) build of RISC OS.OS_PlatformFeatures 0 can be used to determine whether high processor vectors are in use (flag returned in bit 20). Software which needs to interact with the processor vectors directly should use this to determine their location. The address of the processor vectors should not be used to infer the address of the zero page workspace, and vice-versa.Apart from the change in location, the processor vectors continue to operate as normal – so for FIQ handlers, you can still rely on having 228 bytes of space available for your handler code (from &FFFF001C to &FFFF00FF inclusive). Also, for future compatibility, code should not assume that the processor vectors are readable from user mode – regardless of whether high processor vectors are in use or not.Unaligned loadsAnother change that is planned for RISC OS 5.24 is to re-enable support for unaligned loads/stores on ARMv6+. For the past few years this feature has been disabled by default, to protect you against potential compatibility issues with software which assumes the older ARMv5 “rotated load” behaviour is in effect. But we believe the time to re-enable the feature is drawing near – expect to see it happen sometime during the zero page relocation testing process. By re-enabling support for unaligned loads/stores the performance of some OS operations will be improved, and third-party software aimed at ARMv6+ can more easily make use of the feature.
A nuttier pie
At the start of May, we updated the contents of our Nut Pi SD card to include newer versions of a range of components.The Nut Pi is a great collection of some of the best commercial RISC OS software available – including the ROOL Desktop Development Environment (DDE). It represents a fantastic deal; the total retail value of the bundled software is around £600 but the Nut Pi is available for just £35 plus VAT, P&P – that’s cheaper than the DDE on its own!One of the key changes in this update was to ensure that everything functions correctly on the Raspberry Pi 2 but we also took the opportunity to refresh many of the titles with newer versions. One significant update is the bundled DDE has been updated to the very latest release version.Most of the included applications are built specifically to run only on the Raspberry Pi range of computers. The Nut Pi is available in micro-SD and full-size SD form factors.Please note: there is no discounted price available to existing Nut Pi owners, due to the already heavily discounted price.
RISC OS 5.22 stable is now available
RISC OS Open Limited (ROOL) are pleased to announce the much anticipated latest stable RISC OS release, it incorporates a massive 454 changes for the Tungsten platform (used in the IYONIX pc from Castle Technology), 484 changes for the OMAP3 platform (used in the ARMini from RComp), and 423 changes for the IOMD platform used in the Acorn Risc PC/A7000/A7000+.For the first time the stable release includes the OMAP4 port, a Cortex-A9 processor used in the PandaRO from CJE Micros and ARMiniX from RComp.This software is subject to continual improvement and work has already commenced on RISC OS 5.23! Using the convention of even numbers for stable editions and odd numbers for development editions, users can feedback any issues seen to make it into the next version.Show your supportPutting together this latest release takes considerable time and effort, not just on the coding, but the testing, co-ordination, documentation and other administration that nobody ever sees. Downloads also use the bandwidth allocation for the server that this website runs on.Please consider making a small donation to show your appreciation:
RISC OS Open at Wakefield 2015
RISC OS Open look forward to seeing you at the 20th Wakefield show, this Saturday 25th April 2015.
And maybe of interest....
VMware eyes hyperconverged model for private clouds
Cumulus Networks to provide switch OS for EVO software-defined data centerWith VMware planting its flag in the burgeoning hyperconverged market in a four-way deal with Cumulus Networks, Dell, and Quanta Cloud Technology, The Register speaks to Cumulus.
Human sacrifice. Android Wear syncing with iPhones. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria!
Google app gives Apple gear a wristjobGoogle has released an app to allow Android Wear smartwatches to sync with Apple iPhones.
Printer drivers ate our homework, says NSW Dept of Education
Failing project passes half-billion markA half-billion-dollar IT rollout in the New South Wales Department of Education in Australia has turned into a disaster - with a department official blaming incompatibility between operating systems and printers.
Better crypto, white-box switch support in Linux 4.2
Penguinistas pulling a long, cold draught of codeLinux 4.2 hit the wires yesterday, marking the end of its cycle of eight release candidates.
Hypervisors are sooo 2005. For hip containers, you need a 'Microvisor'
So says VMware as it reveals tiny hv and new cut of vSphereVMworld 2015 VMware has created a new hypervisor and a new variant of its flagship vSphere product, both aimed at containerised computing and "cloud-native apps."[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Star Wars : Star Wars Wall Decor
Advice from experts. With the look of stone, these Star Wars Wall Decor pieces measure 2 ft. tall each. Choose Boba Fett, Darth Vader, or Emperor Palpatine. $69.99
Geek Toys : DC Teddy Plushies
Soft, huggable superheroes. You don't see that very often. These teddy bears and bunnies are all dressed up and ready to join you in defending the world against villainy. Have you prepared the pillow fort for a Justice League meeting? $19.99
Geek Toys : Ninja Gaiden 3 Ryu Hayabusa
The Singular Super Ninja. This Limited-Edition Ninja Gaiden 3 Ryu Hayabusa Statue is limited to 300 worldwide total. $299.99
Home & Office : Star Wars Darth Vader Light and Sound Wall Decor
Did you hear something? This wall-mounted, battery-powered Star Wars decor piece features Darth Vader's mask. When activated, Vader's eyes light up red, and he cycles through three different phrases, with his signature breathing in between each. $29.99
T-Shirts & Apparel : Captain America Ladies' Dolman Cardigan
Comics and fashion don't go together? Says who? In fact, we here at ThinkGeek World Domination HQ believe that comics, fashion, and comfort can all three go together. Don't believe us? Then you have to try this and tell us if we've changed your mind. $49.99
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