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Article archives

Mysterious new product to be announced at London Show

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 20:21, 23/10/2014 | ,
 
Lots of announcements have been coming in in the past few days in the run-up to this weekend's RISC OS London Show. However I think it's safe to say that the most-talked about news is that of a major new product that's due to be revealed at the show. Said to have been development by a coalition of parties for a year, details of exactly what it is or who is behind it are surprisingly stark. However some sleuths over on the RISC OS Open forums believe they have found the answer, hidden in a series of cryptic messages from R-Comp: A new computer based around the Freescale i.MX6 SoC. Could it be true, or is there another?
 
With only a couple of days left until the show, I guess we don't have too long left to find out.
 
6 comments in the forums

VirtualRPC gets a Spring clean

Posted by Mark Stephens on 17:20, 14/10/2014 |
 
There is now an update to VirtualRPC for Mac and Windows (a commercial program which has been around for over a decade now). There is a selection of free and commercial emulators on offer for Windows and Mac to 'upgrade' your machine into a RISCOS machine. So what is on offer in the long-awaited update for this commercial package…
 
I already have a copy so sent off my 15 pounds to get the upgrade (you also need to send your old disk back). I received the new disk back and installed the Mac version. The old installer no longer worked on my Mac so it is very nice to have the ability to install the software. The disk also acts as a key on the product as you need the code from the disk to activate the software. The product version is now 1.7.5 (my old version was 1.6.6).
 
Installing the software is painless and gives you a new installation with a Mac application, some help files to remind you on the security settings on your Mac (which may cause some problems) and a HardDisc4 folder with a full RISCOS 4.39 installation. A selection of software comes with the installation although some of it is quite old (Netsurf 2.1 from 2009). There are also some additional zips containing additional public domain software.
 
If you have an existing installation you can copy across the HardDisc (or the new VirtualRPC binary) and the software works without issue. Nothing internally has changed so all the configuration is inside a file called va.cfg inside the VirtualPRC application. This includes the type of Arm processor emulated, whether the user sets this on startup, control on mouse emulation for 3 buttons and memory allocation.
 
The software runs smoothly on the latest Macs (including retina displays) but does not appear to offer any major new functionality.
 
If you are new emulation on Mac, VirtualRPC offers the most polished emulation (with a nice full-screen toggle between a Window and fullscreen).
 
I had upgraded my old installation to RISCOS Six, and this runs pretty much as before with the new version.
 
I was intrigued that there is no mention of upgrading to RISCOS Six, which is now owned by 3QD developments. It would be nice to see this as an official option as it has five more years development over 4.39
 
So overall, very nice to see the software being updated and working properly/installing on the latest Macs. Does very much what it says on the tin and turns your Mac into a Virtual RiscPC running RISCOS 4.39.
 
More details http://www.virtualacorn.co.uk/
 
12 comments in the forums

RISC OS London Show 2014 [Updated]

Posted by Bryan Hogan on 07:40, 4/10/2014 | , ,
 
***** STOP PRESS *****
 
With just two weeks to go ROUGOL have heard that a major new product that has been in development for a year will be announced at the show.
 
However we are not allowed to say what it is yet! So get yourself along to the show and don't miss out on the chance to be one of the first to see this exciting development in action smile
 
**********************
 
This year’s RISC OS London Show is on Saturday 25th October, open 11am-5pm, at its usual venue of the St Giles Hotel, Feltham, TW14 9AD. Entrance is £5 with under 16s free.
 
http://www.riscoslondonshow.co.uk/
 
The exhibitors list is still growing, but already has lots of regulars and new faces.
 
http://www.riscoslondonshow.co.uk/exhibitors.php
 
We'll have on display the biggest ever RISC OS desktop with a 3840x2160 resolution on a 40inch ultra-hidef 4K TV.
 
Also a first chance to see an early port of RISC OS running on the ARM Cortex-A15 based IGEPv5 board.
 
Plus for retro fans, there will be some new Beeb games to play smile
 
Then there are the usual suspects:
  • ROOL with RISC OS 5 running on a variety of hardware, including the new Raspberry Pi B+
  • RComp with the ARMini and ARMiniX, plus the latest updates to their software collection
  • CJEInfo with the PandaRO and RaspberryRO, along with an extensive set of accessories
  • Archive and Drag n Drop have new issues for your reading pleasure
  • RiscDJ and 3rd Event will be tickling your ears
  • Riscy Robots will have a Pi controlled model railway
There will also be a theatre programme of talks throughout the day.
 
Keep an eye on the website for the latest news – http://www.riscoslondonshow.co.uk/
 
Bryan.
 
2 comments in the forums

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

Posted by Mark Stephens on 19:02, 4/9/2014 |
 
In my personal computer usage, the web browser has always been the weak link on RISC OS so it is really nice to see an update to Netsurf appearing with NetSurf 3.2 being released at the end of August. It looks like essentially a bug-fix and code tidy release, with some incremental improvements to support for CSS handling, but always welcome features. You can get the RISC OS release from here
 
One of the really cool features of the Rasperberry Pi is the ability to run the NOOBS software which allows you to install several different Operating Systems. With multiple SD cards ,swtiching between Linux and RISC OS is as easy as rebooting with a different card. Raspbian works well but its bowsers have been slightly disappointing (there is lots of choice with NetSurf, IceFox, experimental builds of Chrome but I have found them all either under-powered or sluggish).
 
So it is really great to see the release of Epiphany ( a new browser heavily optimised for the Raspberry Pi ). This is easily installed on your existing Linux SD card. You can read the official announcement here. It is especially interesting to note the heavy involvement of Ben Avison (one of the key memebers of RISC OS Open) in the development.
 
 
Happy browsing on your Pi...
 
5 comments in the forums

RISC OS Midsummer MUG Show 2014 - Saturday 12th July

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 20:32, 4/7/2014 | , ,
 
The RISC OS Midsummer Mug Show 2014 takes place on Saturday 12th July 11:00am - 16:30pm at St John's Church Hall, 205 Warwick Road, Kenilworth CV8 1HY.
 
Entrance fee is £1.00 and free for children
 
Exhibitors include CJEInfo, RComp, RISC OS Open Ltd, Orpheus Internet, Sine Nomine and many more.
 
RISC OS and Raspberry Pi what better summer combinations can you find in one location so why not come and see the future with hopefully a good dollop of Raspberry Pi's running your favourite operating system along with RComp's ARMini plus RISC OS running on a variety of machines and through emulation.
 
There will also be a charity stand run on behalf of Tools with a Mission, a charity sending tools across the world. Donations can include old handtools and also working PC's less than 5years old, Flat screen monitors and printers etc.
 
So come along and support the RISC OS community and when you have finished and spent nearly all your money then why not take in the best that Kenilworth has to offer and take a stroll around this delightful Warwickshire town which includes a CastleInfo and many fine restaurants and pubs or perhaps have a picnic in the Castle Grounds, weather permitting of course unless you're of the hardy variety.
 
For more details visit:
 
http://www.mug.riscos.org/show14/MUGshow.html
 
Comment in the forums

Getting FAT32FS working on a RiscPC with a Castle USB Card

Posted by Jon Robinson on 13:57, 28/6/2014 | , , , ,
 
I have a RISC OS 4.39 RiscPC with a CastleInfo USB card and Compact Flash card reader attached. This uses Castle‘s !SoftSCSI to access the flash cards.
 
For a long time, I have been frustrated by its inability to mount any flash card larger then 2 GB in size. I really wanted to use a single flash card, to back up my 40 GB hard drive, as having to use a pocket full of 2 GB cards is a real pain.
 
I had been put off experimenting with Jeff Doggett‘s FAT32FS before, because I had read somewhere that it only works with the USB stack on the Iyo.
 
But, as it‘s the only solution, I did have a go at trying to get FAT32FS working on my RiscPC, recently. And, luckily, it turns out that the USB podule card on the RiscPC, is sufficiently similar to the one in the Iyonix, that it does, in fact, work.
 
It did take a bit of experimentation, however, to work out how to do it.
 
 
Continue reading "Getting FAT32FS working on a RiscPC with a Castle USB Card" | Comment in the forums

Latest Archive is dropping onto a door step near you....

Posted by Mark Stephens on 16:44, 13/5/2014 | ,
 
It has been a while since we flagged up Archive magazine (which continues to be published regularly and has a very 'retro' website). So the recent arrival of the latest release seems a good excuse to review it... 
 
Archive magazine easily wins the battle to be the longest running RISC OS magazine, and the only paper magazine still in print. It was originally started by Paul Beverley and is now run by Jim Nagel (the man who flew the flag for Acorn during the 'glory days' with his Acorn column in Computer Shopper). Jim has changed a few things (there is no longer a personal column of faith which Paul used to included) but the design and layout will be very familiar to any 'lapsed' readers (there used to be a offer of a free copy if you wanted to try the magazine before subscribing). One innovation added by Jim is that all the articles have a small snippet about each author and a picture.
 
So history lesson over, what is in the latest 48 page issue....
 
Archive has always been written by its readers and so it reflects a wide range of interests in the RISC OS community and is both both nostalgic and forward looking. This is probably the key to its longevity and it means that each edition is usually very varied and has something for everyone.
 
The news section has seen a revival with the Raspberry Pi and each month includes news of Raspberry Pi developments, shows and also software developments (this month featuring the !Store developed by RComp for distributing both free and commercial software).
 
Archive's readership has always included some fairly technical people and there is a very good article from Jim Lesurf on USB audio for RISC OS and some recommendations/reviews on USB devices you can plug into your machine. There is also another hardware article from the developer of a rather cool Raspberry Pi case and the latest instalment in the regular series from Rob Johnston on using GCC on RISC OS.
 
Many Archive users use other machines and you will find a Windows Column on the final demise of XP (with advice for RISC OS users using Windows to run an emulator on), a Mac column (bemoaning Apple's 'upgrading' of Samba which breaks !Lanman access) and a very snazzy proof of concept laptop design from Oracle using the Raspberry Pi. Finally, longtime regular Gerald Fitton ('Mr Pipedream/Fireworkz') has an article on setting up RedSquirrel to provide a free Windows emulator.
 
Archive has members at all the shows and the latest edition has detailed reports from the London and South-West shows (including the talks) .
 
There are regular articles from users as they explore various machines about their 'learning' journey and this month John Schild has an update on his experiences with the Panda board.
 
Lastly you get articles on a software update to !Keystroke and a new application to bring OpenStreet data to RISC OS with an application from Sine nomine software.
 
Speaking personally I enjoy being able to read a printed RISC OS magazine (much safer in the bath!) which appears on a semi-regular basis. Have you read it? Do you think there is still a real for a printed RISC OS (or any other computer) magazine in 2014?
 
1 comment in the forums

The Icon Bar needs YOU

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 21:40, 24/4/2014 | ,
 
  • Are you tired of looking at the front page and seeing those same old articles from over a year ago?
  • Have you noticed we haven't done anything new for April Fools day for several years?
  • Have you noticed how most of our show announcements are dangerously close to being made too late?
  • Do you have a keen interest in RISC OS?
  • Are you capable of forming basic sentences?
  • Do you enjoy working long hours for no pay and little reward?
If you answered YES to all of the above, then good news! We're looking for new writing staff to supplement the current lot, most of whom left the RISC OS scene behind a long time ago, or are far too busy with other things to update the site on a regular schedule.
 
At The Icon Bar we're primarily interested in delivering original content in the form of news, articles and reviews, rather than just regurgitating press releases all the time. So if that fits your bill then feel free to get in touch, either via the contact form or by posting in the thread below. And if you're lucky, we'll get back to you before you die of old age!
 
2 comments in the forums

Chris Jordan, Music500, ArcElite @ ROUGOL on 21 Apr 2014

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Wakefield Acorn & RISC OS Show, 26th April 2014

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Acorn port of Acorn imminent

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SouthWest show reminder

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RISC OS London Show, Saturday 26th October 2013

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Software preservation project bearing fruit

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