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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: VirtualRPC gets a Spring clean
 

VirtualRPC gets a Spring clean

Posted by Mark Stephens on 17:20, 14/10/2014 |
 
There is now an update to VirtualRPC for Mac and Windows (a commercial program which has been around for over a decade now). There is a selection of free and commercial emulators on offer for Windows and Mac to 'upgrade' your machine into a RISCOS machine. So what is on offer in the long-awaited update for this commercial package…
 
I already have a copy so sent off my 15 pounds to get the upgrade (you also need to send your old disk back). I received the new disk back and installed the Mac version. The old installer no longer worked on my Mac so it is very nice to have the ability to install the software. The disk also acts as a key on the product as you need the code from the disk to activate the software. The product version is now 1.7.5 (my old version was 1.6.6).
 
Installing the software is painless and gives you a new installation with a Mac application, some help files to remind you on the security settings on your Mac (which may cause some problems) and a HardDisc4 folder with a full RISCOS 4.39 installation. A selection of software comes with the installation although some of it is quite old (Netsurf 2.1 from 2009). There are also some additional zips containing additional public domain software.
 
If you have an existing installation you can copy across the HardDisc (or the new VirtualRPC binary) and the software works without issue. Nothing internally has changed so all the configuration is inside a file called va.cfg inside the VirtualPRC application. This includes the type of Arm processor emulated, whether the user sets this on startup, control on mouse emulation for 3 buttons and memory allocation.
 
The software runs smoothly on the latest Macs (including retina displays) but does not appear to offer any major new functionality.
 
If you are new emulation on Mac, VirtualRPC offers the most polished emulation (with a nice full-screen toggle between a Window and fullscreen).
 
I had upgraded my old installation to RISCOS Six, and this runs pretty much as before with the new version.
 
I was intrigued that there is no mention of upgrading to RISCOS Six, which is now owned by 3QD developments. It would be nice to see this as an official option as it has five more years development over 4.39
 
So overall, very nice to see the software being updated and working properly/installing on the latest Macs. Does very much what it says on the tin and turns your Mac into a Virtual RiscPC running RISCOS 4.39.
 
More details http://www.virtualacorn.co.uk/
 
  VirtualRPC gets a Spring clean
  nunfetishist (23:10 15/10/2014)
  CJE (10:35 16/10/2014)
    nunfetishist (11:48 16/10/2014)
      adrianl (15:40 16/10/2014)
        nunfetishist (16:43 16/10/2014)
          adrianl (17:26 16/10/2014)
            nunfetishist (19:10 16/10/2014)
              richw (19:40 16/10/2014)
                VincceH (20:36 16/10/2014)
                  hubersn (21:26 16/10/2014)
                    richw (06:54 17/10/2014)
                    hzn (07:46 18/10/2014)
 
Rob Kendrick Message #123398, posted by nunfetishist at 23:10, 15/10/2014
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
So you paid for an upgrade with no new functionality?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Chris Evans Message #123399, posted by CJE at 10:35, 16/10/2014, in reply to message #123398
CJE Micros chap
Posts: 198
Having it actually working on a later system is added functionality to me!
Anyway what he said was "...does not appear to offer any MAJOR new functionality."
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #123400, posted by nunfetishist at 11:48, 16/10/2014, in reply to message #123399
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
Having it actually working on a later system is added functionality to me!
Anyway what he said was "...does not appear to offer any MAJOR new functionality."
Ah, yes, the old installer no worked. So he paid £15 for a bug fix.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Adrian Lees Message #123401, posted by adrianl at 15:40, 16/10/2014, in reply to message #123400
Member
Posts: 1565
How is that a bug fix? Your TV manufacturer would not freely install a set top box to convert DTV to what they supplied. Programmers have mortgages too. The idea that software should be free, ie. zero financial pay out, is extremely damaging, because to produce quality software requires an huge investment from highly-skilled individuals. The essentially zero cost/effort that it takes to copy or recompile software does not accurately reflect the amount of time and effort that you would have to put in to build a comparable equivalent.

[Edited by adrianl at 16:41, 16/10/2014]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #123402, posted by nunfetishist at 16:43, 16/10/2014, in reply to message #123401
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
How is that a bug fix? Your TV manufacturer would not freely install a set top box to convert DTV to what they supplied. Programmers have mortgages too. The idea that software should be free, ie. zero financial pay out, is extremely damaging, because to produce quality software requires an huge investment from highly-skilled individuals. The essentially zero cost/effort that it takes to copy or recompile software does not accurately reflect the amount of time and effort that you would have to put in to build a comparable equivalent.
It's tricky to see how you could get an installer wrong on OS X; it has some built-in infrastructure if you really see the need and the apps tend to be self-contained like on RISC OS.

But oh, it has some silly DRM scheme that only annoys legitimate customers, doesn't it? So it was £15 to fix the broken DRM you don't want anyway?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Adrian Lees Message #123403, posted by adrianl at 17:26, 16/10/2014, in reply to message #123402
Member
Posts: 1565
Tell me the perfect solution to protecting all the work that goes into software, and reaping even a fraction of the rewards that effort deserves, and I will gladly adopt it. Truly. My XP installation collapsed before my one purchase of VRPC did.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rob Kendrick Message #123404, posted by nunfetishist at 19:10, 16/10/2014, in reply to message #123403
nunfetishist
Exposing morons since 1981

Posts: 484
Tell me the perfect solution to protecting all the work that goes into software, and reaping even a fraction of the rewards that effort deserves, and I will gladly adopt it. Truly. My XP installation collapsed before my one purchase of VRPC did.
There are plenty of people who make perfectly good livings out of selling software without annoying misfeatures. A huge indie game scene, for example.

So it sounds like a misfeature that no customer wanted anyway (and its existence does not affect people who did not pay) was broken and they then asked the customers to *pay* to fix it?

Sorry if that sounds unreasonable smile
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Richard Walker Message #123405, posted by richw at 19:40, 16/10/2014, in reply to message #123404
Member
Posts: 32
Must admit, I thought the same when I read the review... there is no difference in the product (except installer), and it cost £15. In fact, forget the cost... I just wouldn't have the energy to try it.

You'd at least think there would be some new functionality - perhaps even on the RISC OS side. Maybe include the 'latest' version of RISC OS, 'Six'?!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
VinceH Message #123406, posted by VincceH at 20:36, 16/10/2014, in reply to message #123405
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1583
IIRC, the announcement claimed there were "over 200 improvements" - although (IIRC) the way I read the announcement, it sounded like that was a reference to the Windows version, and the fact that there was a new Mac version was mentioned in passing.

I suspect, though, that a fair old number of those "over 200 improvements" may refer to newer versions of individual pieces of free RISC OS software shipped with the new version than were shipped with the old versions. Which would be a bit of a cheat, really - though they then become as relevant to the Mac version as the Windows one.

As for the DRM itself, I'm damned sure I remember someone (probably Aaron, possibly Dave) claiming that it was a contractual stipulation in order to licence RISC OS 4.x from ROOL - in which case it should no longer be needed. Yet still is. Odd that.

Having said all of that, I'd like to be able to run VRPC on my Windows 8 (aka Elephant Turd Edition) laptop - but despite my best efforts, I completely failed to do so when I tried back in February.

However, I can't find my installation disc - haven't seen it in years, so for me it'd be a case of purchasing another copy. Which may not be a bad thing, really - it means I can keep the existing installation on my old XP laptop, which is handy.

Meanwhile: 3rd October, 2014 item! smile

[Edited by VincceH at 21:37, 16/10/2014]
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Steffen Huber Message #123407, posted by hubersn at 21:26, 16/10/2014, in reply to message #123406
Member
Posts: 69
Aaron once claimed that the comparatively high price of V-RPC was only due to the extremely expensive RO4 license.

Aaron also claimed that the braindead protection method was only because it was required by Pace for the RO4 license.

Since both of these problems have been solved, we are holding our breath to welcome the unprotected, cheap V-RPC.

In the mean time, we could do a lot worse to start using RPCEmu, which after all is not only a RO4 emulator, but a RiscPC emulator capable of running everything from RISC OS 3.5 up to RISC OS 5.xx.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Walker Message #123408, posted by richw at 06:54, 17/10/2014, in reply to message #123407
Member
Posts: 32
Well, quite. I'd certainly not be happy paying money out for something so 'protected' - you never know when it will fail. Similarly, this nonsense with optical media and sending things in the post. Not going to happen, I'm afraid... anyone heard of the Internet, which supports payments and secure downloads?

RPCEmu is amazing, and gets better all the time. Shame the Mac OS X port isn't as prominent.
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Herbert zur Nedden Message #123409, posted by hzn at 07:46, 18/10/2014, in reply to message #123407
Member
Posts: 10
Aaron once claimed that the comparatively high price of V-RPC was only due to the extremely expensive RO4 license.

Aaron also claimed that the braindead protection method was only because it was required by Pace for the RO4 license.
But why change that and drop the potential income they now probably get per copy.

Any why move forward to RISC OS 5 since with RISC OS 4 they have a stable, static OS (emphasis on static) and thus loose the "argument" to keep the copy protection and high price?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: VirtualRPC gets a Spring clean