posted by Michael Reed on Thu 7th Dec 2006 12:07 UTC
IconIn common with a lot of people who used to use RISCOS, I don't use it now and that is the focus of this article: Why don't I use it any more and what would it take to make me use it again? Of course, an article of this sort still has worth as there is bound to be some degree of correlation between my feelings, experiences and hopes in relation to the platform and those other people.


This article constitutes both an assessment of the current state of the RISC OS operating system in addition some speculation about its future. The article doesn't strive to maintain an objective view as, instead, I am documenting my personal relationship with the issue. Make no mistake, this is a 'me-centric' and partly speculative article.


Part 1 of the article contains an overview of RISCOS. It serves as both an introduction to some of the interesting features of the OS coupled with some exposition and opinion regarding the current issues affecting the OS.

Part 2 builds on this will some investigation into the issues that stop users such as myself from actually using RISCOS.

Part 3 Is the most fanciful section as I propose some possible, hypothetical solutions that would, for me, make the platform viable again.

Note About The RISCOS User Scene

This is largely an opinion piece and I welcome commentary, criticism and counter-opinion. The commentary for and against the points that I raise really are the thing that makes the effort of writing an article of this sort worthwhile. However, there exists amongst the RISCOS faithful a minority who can see no wrong in anything RISCOS related. I think that I can safely say that, if it were discovered that RISCOS gives you cancer, some RISCOS users would claim that they like having cancer.

I remember reading on a forum in the late 90's a RISCOS user telling people that he liked the 77 files per directory limit because it encouraged him to organise his files properly. I might add that the 77 files per directory limit no long afflicts RISCOS. Let's hope that user is still with the platform now that one of his favourite 'features' has been removed

Some of these people probably consider themselves part of a back-bone of loyal, patriotic, true supporters of the platform but I hold the opinion that if you are truly a fan of something, you can accept criticism of it. You don't have to be loyal to something that is genuinely good.

I remember some quarters of the Amiga-faithful of the late 90's telling everyone that they don't see the need for more 256 colours, greater than 8 bit sound or access to this new-fangled internet thingy. To me, these users who automatically preferred anything that they were given contributed to the decline of the platform.

Table of contents
  1. "Introduction"
  2. "Part I: RISC OS Features"
  3. "Part I: RISC OS Features, Continued"
  4. "Part I: The OS Split; Hardware"
  5. "Part I: Hardware, Continued; Emulation"
  6. "Part II: Barriers to Adoption"
  7. "Part III: What Would It Take to Drag Me Back?"
  8. "Part III: PDA Port of RISC OS"
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