Home > RISC OS > New RISC OS Machine; The Iyonix PC New RISC OS Machine; The Iyonix PC Submitted by Peter Naulls 2002-11-29 RISC OS 32 Comments OSNews reader Peter Naulls writes about the new Risc PCs and RiscOS 5: “This machine, IYonix, is extremely important to RISC OS users – it’s the fastest new RISC OS machine in eight years since Acorn’s (RIP) flagship RiscPC product.” About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 32 Comments 2002-11-29 12:54 pm Anyone has any RiscOS 5 screenshots? BTW, I tried to get in touch with the company that does RiscOS a few months ago, and I never got a reply from them. Either they are clueless about marketing and about the fact on how much we can help them to bring the word out about this interesting OS, or they just don’t want to… sell. OSNews has relationships with all well-known OS companies, and RiscOS is not one of them, and we are definately the one relevant web site that can help them become more popular (serving more than 80,000 pages per day these days). If anyone can put us into contact with these people, please send us and them an email (no need to reply here). 2002-11-29 1:44 pm i was reading the site thinking, i want one! cool machines, finally a good successor to the old riscos3 machines.. until i saw the price. eesh. _1200_ POUNDS! (Special deal before xmas!). dont wanna know the price after xmas. too bad. 2002-11-29 2:00 pm Specially for RISC developers… 😉 2002-11-29 2:36 pm Very nice. I have also been interested in Acorn RISC PCs since I saw one on an Amiga fair in Cologne some years ago. What I find interesting is that those guys obviously have drivers for NVIDIA cards which is quite uncommon for such an obscure OS. 2002-11-29 2:40 pm is there anyway to install an other os like linux on this machine ? 2002-11-29 2:41 pm Has RiscOS5 been released yet? I thought RiscOS4.x is the latest version. 2002-11-29 3:32 pm http://www.aemulor.com/screenshots.php heres some ss’s of some random progie running under 5 probably more, just go to the lyonix page and -> software 2002-11-29 3:49 pm Risc OS is by far away one of the nicest operating systems to use, its a shame it never got further, it uses some clever techniques to ensure its a doddle to use and unlike Windows/Mac/etc it doesn’t try and hide more and more functionality buried deep in menus because it doesn’t need to, the system *is* simple to use as it is. Nice to see it still going. 2002-11-29 4:32 pm After I had used BBC-B’s for various projects. Hmm Sturdy, lot’s of external interfaces…, The archimedes with riscos was a huge dissapointment. Alomost no software (if you look at the 32 bit software page that hasn’t rally changed) butt ugly graphics (if you look at the screen shots that hasn’t changed either) The machine itself was very capable & fast. The real clincher for me was the unbelievably brain dead file system. 32 file limit per directory ? . (dot) as a directory separator ? ls dir and cat all mean not what you would think it means ? Oh brother. They drive on the left side of the road in england too 🙂 2002-11-29 5:27 pm From http://www.riscos.com/risc_os_4/Features.html “One of RISC OS 4’s most exciting features is support for large hard discs, long filenames and a practically unlimited number of files per directory. The maximum limit on size of hard disc is now 256 Gb (although only 18Gb has been tested), and the maximum filename limit is 1024 characters, although the desktop filer imposes a 200 character limit. There will ultimately be no limit on the number of files which can live within one folder, and the filer will sort these properly. In practice a limit of around 3,500 to 5,000 (depending on filename lengths) files per directory applies at present.” 2002-11-29 5:36 pm Gigabit Ethernet, 64Bit PCI? Sounds like Enterprise for me. Can anyone shed some light on this? What were they targeted for up to now? regards, Stephan 2002-11-29 5:42 pm I looked at the site seems that this machine runs ARM32 (XScale). Why would someone want an ARM based PC? ARM is good to embedded use (because of low power consumption), but I don’t think anyone would call it powerfull CPU. It flushes TLB on context switch and has many other problems. ARM32 is a RISC indeed, but it’s not same quality as PPC or HPPA by far. If I need a simple OS for RISC development (personally I cross-compile), I can use NetBSD. If I need production environment, I could use same NetBSD or WinCE. If I need an OS for a smart phone, I got Nokia. When would I want to use RiscOS? 2002-11-29 6:35 pm With the future in mind. 2002-11-29 6:52 pm This was in England in about 1993/4 and I am pretty sure they had Microsoft apps and Windows 3.1 running as a hosted OS – tho the memory is vague, I may be wrong. Is it possible that my school was running Windows under emulation or as a sort of terminal server? 2002-11-29 7:44 pm Yes it’s quite possible because Archimedes had an intel x86 based accelerator, similar in concept to Amiga’ s ppc accelarator…you could actualy run W95 as a hosted os, under RISC-OS…… back in the day… 2002-11-29 8:06 pm I understand the difference with RISC architecture as a developer point of view. But what is the gain for a user point of view ? Why a Joe would want a RISC machine instead of a typical x86 or Motorola architecture ? 2002-11-29 9:08 pm the price of this machine makes a dual PowerMac 1 GHz look better and better 2002-11-29 9:15 pm Simple RISC OS is a positive joy to use (ok I am biased but unless you’ve used it it’s hard to appreciate just how easy and intuitive it is to use). The thing boots (from cold – NOT standby) in seconds, the OS supports high quality sub-pixel antialiased scalable fonts (so the user gets crisp high quality text EVEN at very small point sizes), the OS is in ROM, so even with no HDD or Floppy you can still get the thing up and running so you can diagnose problems (it’s also a bit more difficult to corrupt the OS in ROM !) It also can natively (and transparently) handle disks from many other OS’s (DOS, Atari to name two, Mac as well (although you need to purchase software for the latter !)). The OS ROM (4MBytes) even has some commonly used Apps included (an editor, bitmap editor and vector graphics system (as well as a smattering of fonts) and a fast structured BASIC interpreter. A lot of the stuff is written in handcrafted ARM assembler – so runs really quick. The system works with drag and drop (and all apps know how to do that as the protocols are built into the OS). The apps available are high quality – AND CHEAP (and there’s plenty of shareware too !). So your hypothetical user saves money, gets a quick responsive OS that looks good, that won’t have them tearing their hair out, and all this with a shallow learning curve – what more could you ask for ????? 2002-11-29 11:23 pm the OS is in ROM… Do you have to get a new ROM chip to upgrade the OS? 2002-11-30 1:05 am I imagine you can just flash upgrade it. 2002-11-30 2:10 am After residing in US for some years, my UK family have to keep reminding me that HW & US made SW prices are usually 50% more. Therefore this 1200 Pound Risc PC price compares with a Wintel PC model thats valued $1200 in the US. Worse, ave per capita income is about 70% of US (CIA world data book). Thats two whammies of about 50%. I remember seeing a parametric 2D CAD tool being demo’d on an archimedes PC about 12 years back at a SVGA like res. Its parametric feature ie any drawing object could kinematically move any linked object just blew me away. RiscOS reminds me of BeOS, goBe, GeoWorks, Amiga for being years ahead in innovation. I wish this RiscPC well. 2002-11-30 7:48 am On an emotional level I feel a little hurt that RiscOS never took off with the mass market. It was fast, simple, and innovated in a number of areas. Given that Windows suffered from long and painfull installs, was bloated, and crashed often, it’s my subjective judgement that RiscOS won the battle and lost the war. I’d really like to see RiscOS produced as a fully 32/64 bit modern OS with a graphical makeover. In this age of cross platform development kits and virtual machines, I don’t see why it couldn’t still succeed. At least it would provide another alternative to the abuse people have suffered at the hands of the Windows monopoly. 2002-11-30 12:10 pm I’m kind of glad to see ‘Acorn’ computers going into production again, it is always good to have a varity of platforms in existance. It never made sense that Acorn pulled out from the computer scene, but they did make mistakes. I remember thinking that Acorn seemed to be showing that they didn’t believe in their product, and I suppose in retrospect they didn’t. It’s kind of understandable that this new computer costs so much: it must have a (relatively) very low production-run motherboard, and they would feel they must charge alot for it at this time to avoid risking incuring losses. The prices should drop once the production levels increase, so long as they have competition It is kind of disappointing it has only a poor-quality graphics card. I suppose putting in an AGP port to handle a better one was something that would’ve been in the too-hard basket. I’m surprised they’re taking such a low-end approach to the Ram in these computer too. There really is room in the computerworld for another desktop OS. Linux is a dog on the desktop nomatter how anyone tries to pretty it up, MacOSX… well not everyone wants that, and there isn’t really anything else of note of the desktop yet, apart perhaps from Amiga. Whenever I talk to computer enthusiasts on IRC about Acorns, they’re all “ohhs” and “ahhhs” about this strange OS & platform they’ve never heard of. “OS in rom!”, “easy to program!”, “quick bootup!”, etc. If they want to make money selling Acorn clones, they need to be trying to sell them to new users who don’t already own a system, or else it’ll be a stagnant market which will become unviable with time. They’d do well to make available a package with a motherboard & CPU + goodies on CD for those interested in putting together a system themselves. People would buy it, even if it’s expensive, but they won’t buy a whole system. 2002-11-30 2:32 pm I believe Acorns are/were quite popular in the academic/scientific world in the UK. 2002-11-30 3:56 pm even though it’s not quite the same Acorn we veterans know. This particular workstation is fairly priced,IMO, and a very interesting approach. The graphics card, even if it’s not the top, it’s, I’d say, more than enough for anything you can do with this computer. 2002-11-30 4:08 pm And that’s the question What’s it for? 2002-12-02 2:37 am Microdigital is another company that has an XScale based RISC OS system. Check out http://www.microdigital.co.uk Someone asked what you use RISC OS for… -Desktop Publishing using Ovation Pro -Graphic Design using Vantage or ArtWorks -Music Publishing using Sibelius -Word Processing using Techwriter or Easiwriter -Email, Newsgroups, Web Browsing well that’s just a start, but you get the idea 2002-12-02 2:25 pm No kidding? I know Sibelius, great notation software, but I thought it only runs on Win32. A rather pricey package though. I went with Finale Allegro instead, even though I see that the bugs just keep increasing there… 2002-12-02 7:04 pm Yes, Sibelius was orginally developed for RISC OS. The Windows version came along a lot later. It’s a pretty awesome piece of software. 2002-12-02 9:24 pm How’s this: current version of Sibelius on Win32 is 2.0, while the available versions for RiscOS are 6 and 7 ?? And the downloads are about 700 kb for these RiscOS versions, while the Win32 demo comes on a whole freaking CD??? 2002-12-03 12:54 am Version 2.0 for Windows is newer than version 7 for RISC OS. Basically the RISC OS versions development stopped at 7 (but it is a very good application and can do just about everything the Windows version can. RISC OS applications are usually a lot smaller for several reasons: – RISC OS is very efficent – RISC OS apps don’t need piles of DLL files. – ARM code is small You can get a fully featured RISC OS word processor that will read / write MS Word documents on a single floppy disk too 🙂 2002-12-08 11:04 pm It’s really neat seeing a new RISC OS computer, I switched to Macs nearly 10 years ago but even with the release of Mac OS X, RISC OS is still my favourite. Back when the Archie and RISC OS were released Acorn made by far the best home computer. Very fast for the price with the best GUI I have ever used and high quality software. I still can’t believe that they weren’t more of a success, you would think such a great machine would sell even with incompetent marketting. Having said all that, I doubt I will get this new machine even though I’m tempted. DTP and graphics software for RISC OS are surprisingly good, but I need to have Photoshop/Illustrator/MS Office file compatability for work. Then there’s the lack of some multimedia and internet tools that I need. I just can’t justify paying £1200 on a new machine that would mainly be a toy for me. I hope it’s a success, but I wonder if the existing RISC OS user base will be enough of a market for the manufactures to make a profit. Other than upgrading Acorn users who want some more speed, I can’t see who else would buy it.