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 184.108.40.206 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
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.
Pico now even smaller
First introduced to celebrate 50 years of BASIC last May, Pico is a tiny cut down version of RISC OS which runs on the Raspberry Pi which boots straight to the interpreter prompt and can be used on ordinary FAT format media.As it predated the model B+ and mark 2 hardware it has previously only been available in large SD card format for the original model B.Now, all that instant boot-into-BASIC goodness has been shrunk down to micro SD card size and enhanced to work on the more recent versions of the Pi. You can order a copy through the store or bag a 10% discount when ordering a class pack for groups of 10 or more.Users have been finding all kinds of ways to make use of this non desktop version for embedded control of anything from a robot
And maybe of interest....
Indian mobe networks don't want 700MHz - because they're too poor
Still counting the penniesWhile most telcos are baying for more radio spectrum to stuff with mobile internet broadband, the Indian operators are asking their government to hold off.
21st century malware found in Jane Austen's 19th century prose
Oh, Mr Darcy, was genius Pride and Prejudice author also a time traveler, pray tell?Cisco's 2015 Midyear Security Report has revealed that at least one group of malware-spreading scum has a literary bent.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Record-breaking $502m in sales, net loss of $136m - OF COURSE IT'S TWITTER
Who else, who else could turn half a billion dollars into nothingTwitter's share price lurched upward on Tuesday after the microblabber site posted revenue that well outperformed analysts' estimates.
Hacked US Census Bureau staff to get anti-phishing 101 lessons
What was that about horses, stable doors and bolts?The US Census Bureau has asked for additional IT security training for its staff - including tips on how not to fall for phishing emails - in the wake of last week's server breach.
Slashdot, SourceForge looking for new owners after parent dumps them on the web's doorstep
Maybe a media and software company might like them betterDHI Group, the company formerly known as Dice Holdings, has announced that it's selling off its Slashdot Media division following two successive quarters of declining revenue.
T-Shirts & Apparel : Ant-Man Ladies' Pocket Tee - Exclusive
Discovery of a new pocket dimension! If you ever watched ants on a hot summer day, you know they're crazy strong and crazy organized. They probably all installed their own Elfa systems. $19.99
Tools : Live Long & Prosper: Spock Car Decal
LLAP! Enhance your car with this Live Long & Prosper decal in the shape of the Vulcan salute. $7.99
Tools : Vampire Hunter Sword Duo
Double your fun. With black curved blades fashioned from stainless steel, the Vampire Hunter Sword Duo looks like a formidable dual-wielding sort of pair. Their secret is that those unassuming handles hide a peg and hole system that allows you to connect the two together. $24.99
T-Shirts & Apparel : Rainbow Dash Bodysuit - Exclusive
20% cooler than other babies. Do you have the bravest, strongest, fastest, most radical, awesomest infant in Ponyville? If so, maybe you've got a little one who can rock this bodysuit. $19.99
Geek Toys : Kotobukiya DC Batwoman - Bishoujo Statue
I've found my way to serve. This bishoujo take on Batwoman comes from Kotobukiya. She's 9" tall (1:7 scale) including the stand, which is non-removable, probably because of her pose. $69.99
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