Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 7th Dec 2008 22:07 UTC, submitted by teigetje
RISC OS Always wanted to try out RISC OS, but were you set back by the fact that you had to buy a new computer? RISCOS Ltd. has released a very cheap ROM image of RISC OS 4.02 which you can use in a free emulator like RPCemu. At only 5 GBP, this image, dubbed "Virtually Free" by the company, is the easiest way of trying out RISC OS. "RISC OS "Virtually Free" is a fully licensed complete package. It consists of a single 4 MB zip file containing a RISC OS 4.02 ROM image with the !Boot structure and other necessary applications and utilities. It is designed to be unzipped and installed in the emulator itself with most of the work being done from within the host environment." It will be available from RISCOS Ltd.'s sales page starting December 8.
Order by: Score:
Odd
by Michael on Sun 7th Dec 2008 22:28 UTC
Michael
Member since:
2005-07-01

I can't see them getting very rich off of this. Maybe they should do what everyone else does - give it away "actually free" to build up a bit of interest and worry about making money out of it later.

It doesn't fill one with confidence that sales.riscos.com is currently a blank page...

Reply Score: 8

RE: Odd
by Kasi on Mon 8th Dec 2008 00:49 UTC in reply to "Odd"
Kasi Member since:
2008-07-12

Bandwidth is not free. Maybe they are worried that there is an overwhelming population of people that are just dying to get a chance to run their OS. The financial burdens could be astounding if the entire population of slashdot decided to download it just to see.

Either that, or they actually think its worth it to someone. I know my parents would always buy fundraising candy from me in grade school.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Odd
by Alex Vancina on Mon 8th Dec 2008 03:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Odd"
Alex Vancina Member since:
2006-09-24

Bandwidth is not free. Maybe they are worried that there is an overwhelming population of people that are just dying to get a chance to run their OS. The financial burdens could be astounding if the entire population of slashdot decided to download it just to see.


Um, BitTorrent? Obviously they must think they have a good reason to charge for it, but there's really no reason to assume that bandwidth is the problem. Many small Linux distros and OSS projects manage to distribute their software just fine over P2P without running up massive bandwidth bills.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Odd
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 8th Dec 2008 06:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Odd"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Um, BitTorrent?

Exactly what came to my mind. If the only reason for them to charge is for bandwidth costs, then BitTorrent would suit them perfectly. However, I doubt that's the case.

Anyway, "virtually free" is not enough. I will not pay for something I would likely get no use out of except possibly as a toy. It's also ironic how, as someone else mentioned, their "sales page" is completely blank. Or should I say... virtually nonexistant.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Odd
by Kroc on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Odd"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"I will not pay for something I would likely get no use out of except possibly as a toy."

Then don't pay for it and don't play with it. Some of us have better reasons to pay.

Don't act like a cat that has to be given everything to play with, because it's too lazy to go get it itself.

It's not your right to demand that things be given to you for free, just because you're not actually all that interested in it.

I should go into electronics stores and try that attitude out, putting loads of stuff in the basket and then saying at the checkout that they shouldn't charge me because I've only got a five minute attention span and won't seriously use any of this stuff.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: Odd
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 8th Dec 2008 10:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Odd"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Then don't pay for it and don't play with it. Some of us have better reasons to pay.

Uh, I do believe I said that I was going to do just that. But that doesn't mean I can't speak my opinion. FYI, I have purchased upgrade copies of Windows 98, 98SE, and XP Pro in the past, as well as plenty of software to run on them. Did I have to? Hell no, but at the time there were at least some good reasons to do so.

Don't act like a cat that has to be given everything to play with, because it's too lazy to go get it itself.

Wait--so now I'm being accused of not buying something for the sole reason that it costs money? Sorry, but there are reasons other than that such as, oh, I don't know, it wasn't designed for my hardware and in other words needs an emulator to run? Kind of limits its usefulness a bit (if it has any to begin with). Sorry, but I don't think that's worth any price when I can find so many more useful OSes out there that don't need an emulator to run, and could be installed on bare hardware *or* a virtual machine. No emulation needed, and far more modern. If they did some proper porting, then I would rethink my conclusion. Well, maybe.

It's not your right to demand that things be given to you for free, just because you're not actually all that interested in it.

Did I mail off a letter to the RISC OS developers/company with a bomb attached demanding a free version? No, I didn't even send them an e-mail. I'm just stating my opinion. Don't like it? Good for you.

I should go into electronics stores and try that attitude out, putting loads of stuff in the basket and then saying at the checkout that they shouldn't charge me because I've only got a five minute attention span and won't seriously use any of this stuff.

Dude, it's called not picking stuff up, and I do it all the time. Just like what I'm "virtually" doing right here by choosing not to buy this.

Edited 2008-12-08 10:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Odd
by Kroc on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:25 UTC in reply to "Odd"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

This is a dying operating system and the company is trying to stay afloat and produce new versions -- especially in the current climate.

£5 is not in the slightest wrong to ask, especially considering RISC OS 4 has retailed for £88.

Nobody has to give their crown jewels away for free, no matter how free it costs to do so. There's probably a large enough administration cost to giving away RISC OS that ironically they have to charge.

Personally, I feel this is fantastic of them to do this. It'll allow many more people to remember RISC OS and many to play with it for the first time.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Odd
by Moochman on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Odd"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree that it's necessary for them to stay afloat; however I honestly think they would get more customers by releasing the ROM for free. After all, no one is going to be using this ROM in an actual embedded product, it's basically just a "demo". 5 pounds for this demo is *not* going to keep them afloat, whereas the money they could be gaining by reaching out to customers in the embedded space would.

You're absolutely right that 5 pounds isn't a lot to ask, however it's all about the psychology. People are simply much more likely to try something out if it's free. And RISC OS Ltd needs those eyeballs. End of story.

Edited 2008-12-08 08:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

riscos...
by RubasznyRumcajs on Mon 8th Dec 2008 00:46 UTC
RubasznyRumcajs
Member since:
2008-12-08

i didn't know that its still alive...
anyway- good luck with this way of earning money ;p

Reply Score: 1

Blank page
by djohnston on Mon 8th Dec 2008 01:28 UTC
djohnston
Member since:
2006-04-11

The sales link, http://sales.riscos.com/ , points to a blank page. Never a good sign.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Blank page
by DrillSgt on Mon 8th Dec 2008 04:18 UTC in reply to "Blank page"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"The sales link, http://sales.riscos.com/ , points to a blank page. Never a good sign."

Well, they did say it will not be available until Monday the 8th of December..which is tomorrow. I'll look back then out of curiosity.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Blank page
by koen.lefever on Mon 8th Dec 2008 16:01 UTC in reply to "Blank page"
koen.lefever Member since:
2007-07-05

Now the http://sales.riscos.com/ site says: "We are sorry but due to technical issues the RISCOS Ltd sales website cannot currently process orders online. Orders can be placed by telephone 0772 044 6921 or by fax 02920 213156 or by email sales@riscos.com with free postage and packing until the problems are resolved. We apologise for any inconvenience and delay this may entail"

Reply Score: 1

Crap
by AbuHassan on Mon 8th Dec 2008 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Blank page"
AbuHassan Member since:
2008-08-26

I emailed the address given on their sales page a couple of hours ago and requested to purchase the OS, but have had no reply yet.

Customer service doesn't seem to be a priority for these folks. :/

Reply Score: 1

RE: Crap
by sbergman27 on Mon 8th Dec 2008 18:25 UTC in reply to "Crap"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Customer service doesn't seem to be a priority for these folks. :/

After waiting 20 years, what's a few hours? ;-)

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Crap
by frood on Tue 9th Dec 2008 07:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Crap"
frood Member since:
2005-07-06

This sucks. It's now the 9th and the site is still not working. I was all set and ready to pay my £5 too.

By the time they get it sorted I'll have forgotten all about it.

Reply Score: 1

Cool
by twm_bucket on Mon 8th Dec 2008 03:11 UTC
twm_bucket
Member since:
2008-10-09

I'll try it. See? They just got a customer they never would have had else wise.

Reply Score: 5

Open-source
by Moochman on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:23 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Out of curiosity, what ever happened to that plan to gradually open-source RiscOS? Is it still going on?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Open-source
by Kroc on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:30 UTC in reply to "Open-source"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Yes, that's RISC OS 5, not 4. Different companies. It gets complex, very complex. A bit like Amiga history.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Open-source
by Soulbender on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Open-source"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You know that you're on a slippery slope when you get compared to Amiga.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Open-source
by Kroc on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Open-source"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

As far as confusing histories goes, RISC OS has passed BeOS (with the Zeta and Yellow Tab thing), but not passed Amiga, whose history would look something like this: http://camendesign.com/blog/files/geos/dependencies.jpg

Reply Score: 1

RE: Open-source
by Moochman on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:30 UTC in reply to "Open-source"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Wait, answering my own question:

Only RISC OS 5 from Castle has been opened up. Apparently as of October it's possible to nearly build the whole thing from the sources.

Meanwhile RISC OS 4 and RISC OS 4 Select (aka 6), from RISC OS Ltd, are staying closed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RISC_OS

...what's really confusing is that what RISC OS Ltd now calls "RISC OS Select 4" is actually RISC OS version 6!! Wierd!

Edited 2008-12-08 08:39 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Why???
by Snake007uk on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Open-source"
Snake007uk Member since:
2005-07-20

Why would you want to use/try an old os apart from seeing what it was about?

If it was that good why havent others jumped on the bandwagon.

I dont count copying the interface or other GUI features?

what I want to know is "if" there is a following for RISC OS, Why?

I remeber using it once at school (1992-1996) but now with all the modern OS's why would you even care about it?

Reply Score: 1

Too little, too late
by deb2006 on Mon 8th Dec 2008 08:30 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

Seriously, selling a ROM image for 5 Pounds is a joke. Nowadays even Solaris is open source. So either release this ROM image as open source or die. It's either this or that.

Edited 2008-12-08 08:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Bright side
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 8th Dec 2008 09:36 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Look at it from the bright side - with this costing actual, real-world money, only the people who are really interested in RISC OS will now try it out, meaning no whiny crybabies who are going to clog OSNews up with "omg my windows don't wobble this sux0rzzz".

I'd say clever move by ROL.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Bright side
by Johann Chua on Mon 8th Dec 2008 10:56 UTC in reply to "Bright side"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

I think people are more likely to complain about stuff they actually pay for.

Reply Score: 4

And this is how they compete...
by madcrow on Mon 8th Dec 2008 13:24 UTC
madcrow
Member since:
2006-03-13

... with the fact that the other main line of RiscOS went semi-open source? A $10 download? Are there even any programs that run on RISC OS 4 any more?

Reply Score: 5

v pointless...
by cspot on Mon 8th Dec 2008 13:51 UTC
RE: pointless...
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 8th Dec 2008 14:05 UTC in reply to "pointless..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

how interesting is a commercial closed source OS that requires exotic hardware?


Apparantly, interesting enough that there are still a few companies producing the operating system, and applications for it (and up until a few weeks ago, hardware). It's doing better than BeOS, Haiku, Syllable, and SkyOS combined.

A lot of things are pointless in this world, but this certainly isn't one of them.

also "virtually free" is a bad joke - where is that 5 pound emulator?


Virtually free is a very adequate description of what's being asked here. I mean, I'm sure 5GBP is like 10000 USD these days, but here in Europe, it's round and about 5.80 EUR. That's nothing. The emulator, by th way, is free.

Also, it's a good pun.

Edited 2008-12-08 14:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: pointless...
by Jokel on Mon 8th Dec 2008 14:16 UTC in reply to "pointless..."
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

Free emuators? Here you are:

http://www.riscos.info/index.php/RPCEmu_Linux_Guide

You want a Windows emulator? The best is this one:

http://www.red-squirrel.org/

And it won't cost you a dime....

Yes - there are commercial ones too. A little easier, but not much...

Edited 2008-12-08 14:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

mbpark
Member since:
2005-11-17

Cloanto has been making a good business selling legal AmigaOS ROMs for years as part of the Amiga Forever package.

Yet I do not see anyone ripping on them here for providing a service.

I would rather purchase my ROMs from a vendor like this than try my luck with BitTorrent, and have done so before.

I applaud ROL for doing this.

Reply Score: 1

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

mbpark pointed out...

Cloanto has been making a good business selling legal AmigaOS ROMs for years as part of the Amiga Forever package.

Yet I do not see anyone ripping on them here for providing a service.


Except it is still possible to buy a new machine running RiscOS. Please show me where one can purchase a new AMIGA running the same software demonstrated in these roms. This is the difference here.

--bornagainpenguin

PS: I say this as a purchaser of Cloanto's Amiga Forever, so please don't misconstrue what I've written above as a slam against Cloanto, it isn't; I'm just pointing out where I see your comparison as flawed.

Reply Score: 2

madcrow Member since:
2006-03-13

Except it is still possible to buy a new machine running RiscOS. Please show me where one can purchase a new AMIGA running the same software demonstrated in these roms. This is the difference here.

--bornagainpenguin

PS: I say this as a purchaser of Cloanto's Amiga Forever, so please don't misconstrue what I've written above as a slam against Cloanto, it isn't; I'm just pointing out where I see your comparison as flawed.

There's an even more fundamental difference too: Amiga Forever is marketed primarilly at people who want to play old games and watch old demos without dusting off the old A500. RiscOS simply doesn't have the massive games library and demoscene of the Amiga and thus provides no actual reason for anyone to buy it...

Reply Score: 3

steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

The difference that I see is that Cloanto have (as you say) been doing a good business selling Amiga ROMs - i.e. the market is large enough and the price high enough, for them to actually make a profit from selling it. I don't see that with the size of the market they can possible make a profit selling it for £5, I don't imagine it covers the extra expense involved in selling it (it'd be a lot simpler (and cheaper) to give it away).

Perhaps it is the way the way it has been worded 'Virtually Free'. IMO it comes across quite negative, virtually free has very few of the benefits of actually free. It implies that if they try the tiniest bit harder, they could have made it actually free. 'Incredibly low priced' is a much more positive phrase which has a much nicer impact (though not enough to encourage me to buy it, but then I have no interest). Perhaps it was meant to be some sort of a pun, given that it is only licenced for use on an emulator.

Reply Score: 1

How about a preview
by Dirge on Mon 8th Dec 2008 23:52 UTC
Dirge
Member since:
2005-07-14

When can we expect the OS News review. You should be able to swing a promotional copy to demonstrate RISC OS and its inherent value.

Reply Score: 1

Netbook
by Gone fishing on Tue 9th Dec 2008 05:54 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

I have fond memories of RISCOS - I think in its day (mid 90s) it was superior to most OSes certainly I'd rather use RISCOS than Windows 3.1.

However, history seems to have passed it by - although you can by a new RISCOS machine http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/micros/products/iyonix/index.shtml I tend to agree that opening the code would probably encourage more development. I also cant help feeling that a lightweight ROM based OS on a RISC processor based machine would make an ideal netbook. I could see an updated RISCOS having a future on netbooks - although I'm not going to hold by breath.

Reply Score: 2

Truth is stranger than fiction...
by bornagainenguin on Tue 9th Dec 2008 18:35 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

We are sorry but due to technical issues the RISCOS Ltd sales website cannot currently process orders online.

Orders can be placed by telephone 0772 044 6921 or by fax 02920 213156 or by email sales@riscos.com
with free postage and packing until the problems are resolved.

We apologise for any inconvenience and delay this may entail.


...I don't think they expected there to be this much interest in the RiscOS roms and all the people looking to buy a legal rom image have crashed their site. I'd also imagine the international make up of potential customers is much larger than predicted.

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 3

Comment by nick8325
by nick8325 on Wed 10th Dec 2008 20:08 UTC
nick8325
Member since:
2005-10-06

The site is working at last. Hooray!

Reply Score: 1