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Mysterious new product to be announced at London Show the day before London show

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 19:30, 23/10/2015 | , , ,
In a surprise announcement, ROOL have revealed the existence of "Titanium", a new RISC OS machine based around a dual-core Cortex-A15 SoC. No - it's not CJE's dual-core Cortex A15 IGEPv5 machine - it's an entirely new board design produced by Elesar Limited, and utilising TI's 1.5GHz AM5728 (a cousin of the also-1.5GHz TI OMAP5 used in the IGEPv5). And unlike the IGEPv5 or the Wandboard (as used in R-Comp's ARMX6), which are technically meant to be for embedded or developer/prototyping markets, the Titanium board seems to be aimed squarely at the desktop PC and server markets - it utilises the standard ATX form factor and power connector, has dual DVI video output, dual gigabit Ethernet, four SATA ports, eight USB 2 ports, and even two PCI-E slots.

It's unclear exactly how much of the hardware is currently working under RISC OS, apart from SATA, which is called out as using a new version of ADFS developed by Piccolo Systems (previously known for the RISC OS 5 SDFS driver and related disc management utilities). However with the machine launch expected to be only a few weeks away, and with pre-production units being on display at the London Show tomorrow, expect to see much more information about the new machine appear over the next few days.

The Titanium board is available to pre-order now through Elesar's website (with choice of RISC OS or Linux as the OS) - however that will only get your the bare board. Users are encouraged to wait for news from CJE and R-Comp, who are both on board with the project (if you pardon my pun) and will be announcing their own plans for fully cased consumer units within the near future (quite possibly at the London Show tomorrow).

Also, have we mentioned that it's the London Show tomorrow?
3 comments in the forums

ROUGOL & London Show news

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 18:15, 13/9/2015 | , , ,
Bryan Hogan of ROUGOL has got in touch to let us know the details of some upcoming events.

RISC OS Open at this month's ROUGOL meeting - Monday 21st September

First up is news that Rob Sprowson will at this month's ROUGOL meeting, talking about all the things that ROOL have been up to recently, and some of their plans for the future. The meeting is due to start at 7:45 PM at the groups usual hangout of the Blue Eyed Maid pub in London SE1. Admittance is free.

For more details of the event and venue, make sure to check out the ROUGOL website.

RISC OS London Show 2015 - Saturday 24th October

The second bit of news is that this years London Show is due to take place on the 24th of October, at the usual location of the St. Giles Hotel in Feltham. The show runs from 11 AM to 5 PM, with tickets being 5 at the door (and under-16's free). Details of the theatre presentations are yet to be announced, but so far there are 25 exhibitors confirmed as taking part, and the list is still growing. Highlights this year are likely to be:

Remember to check the show website for all the latest details.
4 comments in the forums

Games news

Posted by Michael Drake on 20:25, 7/7/2015 | , , , , , ,

Time for a round-up of recent games news.

JASPP to release more classics

Jon Abbott of the JASPP software preservation project has recently announced that they have acquired the rights to distribute games previously developed/published by Artex Software, Eterna, Minerva and Visions of the Impossible.

These games include such classics as: Ballarena, Botkiller, Exodus, Poizone, Prime Solver & SunBurst. The games are being released through the JASPP forum, so keep an eye out for updates there.

No mention was made of Artex Software's later games Ankh and TEK, or the never released for RISC OS Iron Dignity, with its impressive 3D rendering engine.

The announcement does mention that JASPP are looking to update some of the titles by Artex Software and Visions of the Impossible to run natively on 32-bit systems. The first to get such treatment will be VOTI's SunBurst. Whether this news will lead to a 32-bit multitasking desktop WIMP conversion of Super Foul Egg, or Exodus running natively on the Panda Board is unknown at this time.

Star Fighter 3000 released for free

This happened a while back, but the full Star Fighter 3000 game has been released for free. This is the latest souped-up version, which features improved rendering distances, desktop play, and a host of other improvements. It runs on RISC OS machines from the latest dev-board hardware, right back to the old Archimedes systems it originally appeared on. To run it on an old Archimedes system at full frame rate, you'll need to make sure you have the nested WIMP installed, reduce the game's graphics settings and force it to run in fullscreen mode.

New game: Overlord

Anthony Vaughan Bartram of Ambiguous Contrasts Games has produced Overlord, a space shoot-em-up on available PlingStore. The latest version, 1.40, has just been released.

RailPro-like game progressing

In other news, James Shaw has been keeping us informed of his progress on the development of a RailPro-like game.

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Aemulor/Spellings.net account details posted online

Posted by Andrew Poole on 18:08, 1/5/2015 | , , ,
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.

The leak, which contains just under 1200 email address and password hash combinations, appears to have been obtained through an SQL injection attack on some "very old" PHP code from the original aemulor web store and was posted to the Pastebin website on Thursday evening (29 April).
People who have accounts with the Spellings.net website are advised to change their password and also change the password on other sites that they use the same password on.

You can view the full email sent to registered users of the Aemulor/Spellings websites by clicking here.
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Wakefield Acorn & RISC OS Show, 25th April 2015

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 20:20, 14/4/2015 | ,
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.

This year the list of exhibitors is set to include:For all the latest show updates, don't forget to check the show's website.
15 comments in the forums

First impressions of the new RaspberryPi

Posted by Mark Stephens on 13:52, 22/2/2015 |
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...

The new machine is pretty much the same size as the old model (so you can use all the old cables and just plug it in place of the original box). The headline change was the upgrade in memory (now 1gig) and a much more powerful CPU (it is 20% faster and has 4 cores in place of the original single core). The machine also has 4 usb ports (up from 2) and uses the microSD card. I have the original RaspberryPi where the old SD card would stick out and actually managed to break a couple of those cards moving the box. In the new model, the Micro SD card sits snugly and safely inside the box..

The big reason for upgrading the Pi was that I wanted to run Raspbian (the official Pi version of Linux) as a GUI on the box. On the original machine, it struggles and Epiphany (the new web browser) is painful. I would not recommend it for general usage and I got fed up with the CPU meter being more of less stuck on 100% usage. Raspbian is able to use all four cores and it is really usable on the new device. Firing up Epiphany showed a usage of 10%.... If you want a cheap, simple machine to run Linux on, the new RaspberryPi is a really nice device..

RISC OS is not able to make use of the additional cores but it does benefit from the faster CPU (and more memory is always useful). Having 4 USB ports is also really nice. I use a USB key for backups and file transfer so the old machine needed a hub as the 2 ports would be used by keyboard and mouse. Some speed tests have shown that some things are actually slower on the new machine (see figures on ROOL forum by Chris Gransden). Speed was never really an issue for RISC OS on the old machine. In practise, both are pretty usable RISC OS devices.

ROOL was in on the secret development so the latest version of RISC OS runs on the new RaspberryPi. It actually uses a slightly different ARM chip and has some minor hardware changes so some tweaks were needed. The software installer (NOOBS) which allows you to install different operating systems does not yet have this latest version of RISC OS so you will need to install RISC OS directly or await the update..

In conclusion, if you want to run Raspbian as a desktop Operating system, upgrade now. If you would like a generally faster RISC OS device and some free USB ports, it is also worth the upgrade. I will probably keep my original Pi for RISC OS and use the Version 2 Pi for running other Operating Systems. Now I just need a switch box.....

What are your experiences with the new machine or will you be upgrading?
3 comments in the forums

RISC OS SouthWest Show 2015

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 21:10, 11/2/2015 | ,
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.
A joint venture between R-Comp and Orpheus Internet, exhibitors are set to include:The big attention grabbers this year are likely to be R-CompInfo themselves, who are set to officially launch their new "ARMX6" computer (formerly known as the ARMini.MX). Based on the Freescale i.MX 6 SoC, by all accounts it's set to take the crown of the most powerful RISC OS computer currently available. Or for those working on a budget, it's also expected that there'll be plenty of Raspberry Pi 2's available from CJE - a perfect machine to take along to the Raspberry Jam area within the show.
Check out the show website for further details.
1 comment in the forums

Voting open for RISC OS Awards 2014

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 12:20, 8/12/2014 | ,
Vince Hudd of RISCOSitory and Soft Rock Software has announced that voting for the 2014 RISC OS Awards is now open.

Unlike with previous years, each category no longer has a set of pre-selected options which the voters must choose from. Instead, voters are given the full freedom to vote for whomever or whatever they wish. There are also several new categories to vote for, including best foreign language resource, and the "broken cog" award for the biggest failing/disappointment.

The polls are due to close at the end of January, but there's no reason why you shouldn't vote now if you've already made up your mind.
2 comments in the forums

Mysterious new product to be announced at London Show

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VirtualRPC gets a Spring clean

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RISC OS London Show 2014 [Updated]

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You wait ages for ONE browser update for your Raspberry Pi...

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RISC OS Midsummer MUG Show 2014 - Saturday 12th July

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Getting FAT32FS working on a RiscPC with a Castle USB Card

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