Simon Wilson has released the first public version of his 3D graphics driver for Iyonix users. The software library, ported from BeOS and compatible with the popular OpenGL interface, employs the Nvidia PCI graphics card used in the XScale powered Iyonix. OpenGL based applications built with Simon's port should enjoy hardware accelerated graphics, thanks to the modest GeForece 2 MX card which, until now, has been left unutilised under RISC OS.
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The idea of porting RISC OS to x86 comes up regularly, and although it sounds like a good idea, it's not. This article discusses the problems, and why in reality, it's simply not a good use of resources.
Some interesting newsbits from the RISC OS world in the last few days. First of all, "Drobe webmaster Ian Hawkins has unveiled The RISC OS File Repository, an online software database for RISC OS software." Secondly, "Castle has updated their range of RISC OS 5, XScale powered Iyonix computers, with the addition of a Aria Cube and X300 series of cases." And lastly, the A9 takes priority.
Hardware accelerated 3D graphics on RISC OS took a step closer to reality, thanks to Simon Wilson. He claims to have ported Mesa 3.2, a 3D graphics library that sports an OpenGL software interface. More importantly, he says he has also ported an Nvidia graphics accelerator from BeOS to harness the GeForce2 video card in the Iyonix to plot graphics fast in hardware.
RISC OS users have crowed for years about the intuitiveness of their operating system's GUI. But that vaunted usability is of little utility in this modern world without a modern web browser to go with it. So you'll understand the importance of the RISC OS Firefox port released today.
The Icon Bar has got a live show report from the floor of this weekend's RISC OS show. So far seen there is the A9 Home machine, which runs RISC OS on an ARM9 processor, VirtualRiscPC for MacOS X, allowing MacOS users to run RISC OS on their Macs amongst other things.
Castle logoCastle have provided a beta ROM image of RISC OS 5.09 for Iyonix users, prior to an official post-Wakefield roll out of the new version. The beta release includes "updated USB" support.
Memory ProtectionOne common complaint or feature request for RISC OS improvement is to add "memory protection". This is largely a result of the relative ease of which single programs can take out the entire operating system, combined with a misunderstanding of what precisely memory protection is. In this article, Peter Naulls will try and cover some of the issues around memory protection, and why RISC OS is often so susceptible to breakage and some of the measures which can be taken to improve the situation.
After the disbanding of Acorn, an idea aired many times was the dream of getting RISC OS apps to run natively under Linux or other Unix-based operating systems. Peter Naulls contemplates the possibilities. Also, a large software corporation is exploring the possibility of using RISC OS in mobile appliances, a source has revealed. Yesterday, Drobe received videos and photos of the OS in action on mobile phone hardware, showing RISC OS booting up and running applications.
There are two main strands of RISC OS. Version 5 and Select. Many consider the latter to be the most feature rich version, and therefore preferable for desktop use. Interestingly, the Iyonix, currently the platform's fastest machine, uses RISC OS 5. Drobe looks at the exciting prospect of a new RISC OS Select machine.
A German RISC OS dealer managed to get some local TV coverage. It's not often you'll see mainstream TV coverage of any alternative operating system.
The porting process on a large scale introduces many new problems - and also opportunities for automation and removal of tedium. In this article Peter Naulls discusses the ideas behind a RISC OS "autobuilder".
Porting large numbers of programs to RISC OS introduces many new problems - most notably, how to keep them all up to date. In this drobe.co.uk article I discuss the development of an autobuilder for RISC OS ports, and encourage people to contribute to it.
Amidst uncertainty over Select support for the Iyonix, RISCOS Ltd. have today announced a brief list of features intended for RISC OS Select 4.
On drobe.co.uk, Chris Williams again investigates the role of RISC OS and RISC OS machines in the real world. At stake is traditional claim of platform fans that running a RISC OS system is cheaper than other systems - something that may have been true during the 90s, but perhaps now has the platfom at a disadvantage. Decide for yourself in Chris' article.
drobe.co.uk editor Chris Williams has been out in the field to investigate the continuing role of RISC OS machines in education. Once upon a time, Acorn, with their BBCs and later RISC OS machines were very significant in British education. Today, that role is much reduced, but they hang on in certain niches. Read about Chris' findings in his article.
Castle have announced a promotional offer which will bring the cost of a RISC OS 5 computer below the £1000 UK mark for the first time ever. This will no doubt allow many more eager users to upgrade to the 32bit version of the operating system running on brand new, fast hardware.
Over on drobe.co.uk, issues involved in migrating to ELF from the native RISC OS object format, AOF are being examined. This includes the problems in moving to binutils and adding AOF to the bfd library.
Castle have announced RISC OS support for NeoMagic's MiMagic 5 processor range. The MiMagic application processor is a 220MHz 32bit ARM9 core wrapped in a host of I/O and LCD monitor interfaces, and is aimed at wireless PDAs, handheld information appliances and other embedded kit.
Castle today released a slight update to its RISC OS 5 for Iyonix machines, version 5.08. This is a bug fix release, addressing issues seen by a few users.