Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Sep 2008 16:20 UTC, submitted by teigetje
RISC OS A huge blow to the already small RISC OS market and community: Castle Technology has announced that the Iyonix range of ARM-based RISC OS computers will be taken off the market after 30th September. Support will continue through the Iyonix website, the dealer network, and by email. This leaves Advantage6 as the only manufacturer of RISC OS hardware with its A9Home computer.
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sad
by poundsmack on Mon 29th Sep 2008 16:47 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

it is sad but honestly no suprise. These is little to no money for Castle in these systems, as even though the markup is higher than your standard PC they don't move nearly enough of them to turn a real profit. Sad to see RISC OS Fading away, I hope Advantage6 can keep in the game as far as hardware is concerend.

Reply Score: 3

killer app
by project_2501 on Mon 29th Sep 2008 16:53 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

what they need is a killer app. if riscos is so great they it must do a particular job better than say linux.

i remember back in the day when people bought acorn riscos machine spurely to run Sibelis music software.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibelius_notation_program

Reply Score: 1

RE: killer app
by sbergman27 on Mon 29th Sep 2008 18:12 UTC in reply to "killer app"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

what they need is a killer app.

That doesn't work anymore. Sure, it did back in the Visicalc days. But today, if the killer app is FOSS it quickly gets ported to other, more popular platforms. And if it isn't FOSS, the huge development community that exists today quickly clones it. The phenomenon of a "killer app" popularizing a platform is long dead. On PC hardware, at least.

Edited 2008-09-29 18:14 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: killer app
by Athlander on Mon 29th Sep 2008 19:30 UTC in reply to "RE: killer app"
Athlander Member since:
2008-03-10

"what they need is a killer app.

That doesn't work anymore. Sure, it did back in the Visicalc days. But today, if the killer app is FOSS it quickly gets ported to other, more popular platforms. And if it isn't FOSS, the huge development community that exists today quickly clones it. The phenomenon of a "killer app" popularizing a platform is long dead. On PC hardware, at least.
"

I think this is true. The reason Sibelius was a "killer app" back in the day had a lot do with how well it used the hardware as well as the lack of competition. At the time, an Acorn machine could easily hold its own against a PC and Apple. Certainly, the earliest versions were coded in assembly, and for the time was blindingly fast. I recall that a reason cited by the programmers for switching to PC was the lack of decent C (or C++) tools, as they had moved away from assembly language. I'm pretty sure they also looked at the numbers, and decided that the PC market would be more lucrative, just as Computer Concepts/Xara did.

I'm a fan of RISC OS and the old Acorn machines. In the days of floppy disks, 1gb drives, and 8mb of RAM, they were in many ways better than PCs and, debatably, a match for Macs, Amigas and STs. The desktop world is different now, and I don't think most people care about the features that still distinguish RISC OS from other operating systems.

I genuinely believe there's a future for RISC OS, but any commercial attempt to expand the userbase would need a lot of capital and be willing to begin as a loss-making enterprise because, to be honest, 600GBP for a kit Iyonix to 1100GBP for a monitor-less system was only ever going to appeal to die-hard fans.

Edited 2008-09-29 19:31 UTC

Reply Score: 3

They can start selling
by fithisux on Mon 29th Sep 2008 17:19 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

beagle boards. Cheap arm9 boards.

Reply Score: 2

mbpark
Member since:
2005-11-17

I would really like to see RiscOS opened up and ported to another ARM platform.

There are two out there which are well-documented, which are the GumStix or BeagleBoard platforms.

The Beagleboard itself would be the perfect platform for RiscOS, IMHO, as it has 256MB onboard NAND flash, 128MB DDR RAM, and a ton of documentation on how to build drivers for the platform due to Linux running on it. The GumStix platform wouldn't be so good, as it doesn't have full VGA support.

RiscOS was always known as an OS that could run out of flash, and this would enable it to do so on a more modern platform.

Reply Score: 2

JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

I would really like to see RiscOS opened up and ported to another ARM platform.

There are two out there which are well-documented, which are the GumStix or BeagleBoard platforms.

The Beagleboard itself would be the perfect platform for RiscOS, IMHO, as it has 256MB onboard NAND flash, 128MB DDR RAM, and a ton of documentation on how to build drivers for the platform due to Linux running on it. The GumStix platform wouldn't be so good, as it doesn't have full VGA support.

RiscOS was always known as an OS that could run out of flash, and this would enable it to do so on a more modern platform.


If you think Beagleboard is perfect, check out Pandora.

http://www.openpandora.org/index.php

Now THAT would be perfect for RiscOS.

Edited 2008-09-29 23:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

madcrow
Member since:
2006-03-13

Granted the code dumps are FAR from complete and given that Castle seems to be closing up, may never get fully finished, but there's now enough there to build a working ROM image, although its currently lacking a video driver and a USB stack...

Edited 2008-09-29 19:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

mac version of emulator
by bhuot on Mon 29th Sep 2008 19:58 UTC
bhuot
Member since:
2008-09-18

There is now a Mac version of the Acorn emulator, but it costs about $250. This is probably the best way to run it as you get the power of a modern PC processor with the efficiency and easy of use of RISC OS.

http://www.virtualacorn.co.uk/

Reply Score: 1

"dead horse about to get flogged"
by kaiwai on Tue 30th Sep 2008 07:01 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm always surprised and puzzled how they have not turned this into the ideal NetBook operating system/hardware combination. The desktop is lost to Windows and MacOS X - but there is still alot of jockeying for positions. Linux is really getting in there - going hard at it. Microsoft has made a come back with Windows XP. RISCOS is in a perfect position - only if someone took it by the horns and did something with it.

Reply Score: 1

steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

IMHO, as a former RISC OS developer, I'd say that RISC OS just doesn't cut it.

The great parts of RISC OS were the innovative UI, BBC BASIC, and the font manager.

The really bad parts of RISC OS are the kernel, multi-tasking system, and memory model. These are all the same problems which plagued Mac OS 9. Unfortunately RISC OS never was a modern operating system, not even when it first came out.

Anybody suggesting that Apple should have turned to Mac OS 9 as the OS for the iPhone and/or iPod would be rightly ridiculed. Similarly I can't take suggestions that RISC OS should be repurposed for NetBook-class computers seriously either.

FYI, in Acorn's dying days they had a NetBook-class of computer in development which never saw the light of day. After the death of Acorn, RISC OS Ltd attempted to port RISC OS to the Psion netBook.

Edited 2008-09-30 12:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Like anyone in their right mind would have loaded RISC OS over EPOC32r5 ;) I would have strangled anyone that suggested that to me.

I honestly don't see what is so great about RISC OS. I used to own a RISCPC700 and used it quite a bit... The OS wasn't that wonderful.

Reply Score: 2

madcrow Member since:
2006-03-13

I honestly don't see what is so great about RISC OS. I used to own a RISCPC700 and used it quite a bit... The OS wasn't that wonderful.

Actually, RISC OS was quite innovative in many ways. It was the first OS to offer subpixel anti-aliasing of fonts (all the way back in 1990) and had a very good universal implementation of drag and drop. Technically speaking, the kernel wasn't all that hot, but it got the job done for the much more innovative desktop environment.

Reply Score: 2

quatermass Member since:
2005-08-03

I disagree.

The ability to use that 3rd mouse button to keep menus open to quickly select a different option on say a drop down menu made it really productive.

I liked being able to have several windows open, often overlapping, and being able to read from one and type into the back window without the OS trying to bring the back window to the front. It didn't interfere with the way I'd work.
Once more RISC OS made me productive.

The ability of the OS to replace any part of itself by the use of internal software vectors meant that it was trivial to upgrade an application or the OS without having to reboot.

I loved the ability to reorganise the hard drive contents to the way I thought was best for me.
I'd like to have all my Apps organised by tasks.
Moving an App was as simply as dragging and dropping a single App folder from one drive to another. So I had folders called Graphic Tools, DTP Tools, File Tools, etc. Simple and neat.

When I'd work on a graphic, I'd load a desktop full of my graphics shortcuts. When I'd do DTP I'd change the desktop to show DTP things.

RISC OS made me very productive.

I only left when it became apparent that the CPU being made for RISC OS wasn't going to get any faster and JPEGs were getting bigger due to digital camera.

I still miss it.

Reply Score: 1