RISCOS Ltd has released a preview build of RISC OS 6 Select 4 for Select subscribers to download. The release came just in time for the Midlands 2006 show this weekend after the company pulled out all the stops to finish the preview package. Copies of the operating system were available on CD from the event in Wolverhampton. The preview version is expected to be the forerunner to a full bug fixed Select 4 release, which will only be available to users who have continued to renew their Select subscriptions. An announcement sent out on Friday evening read: "RISCOS Ltd are pleased to announce the immediate availability of RISC OS 6 Preview for Select subscribers. The RISC OS 6 Preview release gives RiscPC, A7000 and VirtualRPC-Adjust users an opportunity to experience recent developments within RISC OS through the Select scheme."
RISC OS Archive
A whole flurry of RISC OS news the last few days. A port of Gnash is in the works, while a survey showed that users of the RISC OS word processors TechWriter/EasiWriter want .doc support. Meanwhile, RISC OS got transparent windows. Drobe also has a short article on re-writing RISC OS.
The next release of the RISC OS Firefox port will be Iyonix-only, developer Peter Naulls revealed today. Although the updated port, dubbed Firefox 2, is said to be working, Peter, pictured, will first need a further five grand in cash donations from users - even though the revised port may ship without https support, which is crucial for online banking and shopping.
RISCOS Ltd have called for coders and beta testers to step forward and contribute to the company's flavour of RISC OS. Users were also welcomed to pitch ideas and feature suggestions - provided they weren't web browser-related. The company said this weekend it was 'looking at ways of increasing the involvement of users in the future development of RISC OS Select'. While it's not quite the same as Castle's plans with RISC OS Open, ROL have previously drawn upon a close circle of third party programmers to top up its features list, rewarding them with beta and alpha test builds of RISC OS and free Select subscriptions.
"Launched in 2005 for developers to beta test, the A9home went on general sale in time for the Wakefield show in May this year. The machine is still missing a few features, but seeing as it is mostly complete, it's high time a review was published. Having ditched his aging RiscPC for an A9home, Paul Stewart reveals his first impressions with AdvantageSix's ARM9-powered computer and its 32bit build of RISC OS 4."
"Following the talks given at this month's South East RISC OS show in Guildford, Surrey, Leo White has kindly uploaded the video recordings he made of the theatre presentations. If you have a web browser with a recent version of Flash installed, you can go watch them now on Google Video. The three pieces, which cover RISCOS Ltd, Castle, RISC OS Open and RISC OS Now, are fairly good quality, and it's pretty clear what the speakers are saying."
The high street bank today apologised to NetSurf users for locking them out of their web bank accounts, and re-enabled their access. HSBC said it now recognises NetSurf and RISC OS, adding: "We welcome all standards compliant browsers and platforms." The move was welcomed by punters, who were amazed that a global corporation had responded positively to the needs of a niche platform.
NetSurf users are reeling from HSBC's shock decision to suspend their accounts because their RISC OS computers are allegedly infected with spyware. The high street bank has confused the open source browser NetSurf with a strain of PC malware going by the same name, and has locked their customers out for security reasons, it is believed. Punters say they were forced to turn up at their local branch with photo ID and sign a form promising to use Microsoft Windows XP with anti-virus software installed before they could access their money again.
Drobe.co.uk has photos of the upcoming RISC OS 6/Select 4 in action, as well as an outline description of the operating system's new features, along with more details of the announcement. "The key features of RISC OS 6 include a highly modularised operating system to aid portability, stability and maintenance of the OS; legacy support components; and updated graphics, toolbox, programming library, networking, and desktop components."
RISCOS Ltd have today announced RISC OS Six on the Glasgow leg of their northern road show. RISC OS Six is built from a completely 26 bit / 32 bit neutral source, and the move away from the RISC OS 4 brand is because 'RISC OS 4 has always been linked with 26 bit computers'. The name RISC OS Six is also said to have been chosen due to links with Advantage Six. ROL 'hopes that everyone will soon see the advantages of RISC OS 6'.
"A fortnight after announcing plans to share the RISC OS 5 source code, developers Castle have slapped a 69 quid price tag on their latest OS upgrade. The news has lead to some confusion over the future direction of the operating system, and fuelled concern that crucial components of RISC OS 5 will remain closed source as chargeable updates."
Web monkeys and source code jockeys are being recruited by RISC OS Open to help coordinate the 'shared source' RISC OS 5 project. Recruit is used loosely here as ROS Open say the open source-ish initiative will be run purely on a "voluntary basis". The team is hoping to hear from charitable people who know their makefiles from their wildwildwikis. Company secretary Revill asked for anyone "interested in helping out with the RISC OS shared source project" to visit the RISC OS Open website. In another article, author of the RISC OS article for our contest explains how to improve RISC OS's look.
Yesterday, we reported on the news that RISC OS would slowly be open sourced via a dual licensing scheme. Independent programmers have so far viewed the announcement with mixed opinions. While some say it is hard to judge the impact of this new initiative without seeing a formal license, others have warmly welcomed the news and pledged to take up development.
"Castle Technology and RISC OS Open Ltd are pleased to announce plans for the opening-up of RISC OS source code. This step is a further major landmark in the development of the highly respected software platform. A primary objective is to bring RISC OS software to a wider community and to encourage growth in both the RISC OS user base and the developer community. This will be augmented by more rapid development of the software base and removal of critical barriers to use, normally associated with proprietary platforms."
The RPCemu emulator has been ported to run on the Iyonix, enabling RISC OS 4 to run inside RISC OS 5. This allows for a greater deal of compatibility and lets certain RO4-only enhancements become available to Iyonix users.
Being a RISC OS user is an odd experience. It's normally baffling to non-believers why so many (mostly British) computer users persist with the eccentric beast. It's easy to list reasons why no self-respecting geek would trouble with it: many old or under-developed applications, poor streaming media support, lack of compatibility with key standards and technologies, limited hardware support, and there are many more. For most, RISC OS is a thing of the past, a curio, a once-promising minority OS trampled on by the juggernauts of Windows, MacOS and Linux.
"The new Acorn Computers Limited have sneaked the first details of their range of notebooks onto their website. The new Nottingham-based company will be assembling notebooks locally using current Intel and AMD x86 mobile processors. The notebooks are said to be designed with close co-operation from nVidia, ATi and Microsoft." Ok, so they have no relationship whatsoever with the original Acorn machines, but seriously, now you can outshine Apple's glowing logo with a much cooler one.
RISC OS cannot be saved by simply open sourcing it, said RISCOS Ltd boss Paul Middleton. He added that Castle's wish to open source RISC OS "would have no effect on RISCOS Ltd's products". Paul told subscribers over the weekend: "Making RISC OS open source, or free as some people want, is not the panacea for suddenly taking RISC OS forward. No operating system can be developed solely for free."
"Screen savers have always been a staple free software for RISC OS, with the likes of the venerable Out to Lunch, AlphaSave, and the now GPLed Delirium all acting as saviours of the CRT for many years. However, it was not until RISC OS 4 that graphical screen saver capabilities shipped as a standard part of the OS." More here. Additionally, RPCEmu has been ported to the Mac OS X platform, allowing RISC OS 4 to run alongside Apple's shiny desktop.
RPCEmu has been ported to the Mac OS X platform, allowing RISC OS 4 to run alongside Apple's shiny desktop. An experimental port of the open source RiscPC emulator was checked into its source code repository over the weekend after the emulator was adapted to run on Apple computers that use PowerPC processors. The port can run RISC OS 4 and 3.7 with mouse and keyboard support. The emulation of IDE hard discs and higher resolutions needs further testing, and the user interface needs more work. The emulator manages around 5 MIPS on a modest 800MHz G4 iBook - which makes the desktop fairly usable.