The Icon Bar is the longest running RISC OS portal. The sensibilities that Acorn instilled in us still influence our interests and writing.
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Posted by Andrew Duffell on 13:29, 7/3/2013
| RISCOS Ltd, RISC OS
20 comments in the forums
3QD Developments have confirmed the acquisition of RISC OS from RISCOS Ltd
. In a statement, Aaron Timbrell of 3QD Developments stated "3QD Developments Ltd has purchased the rights to all versions of RISC OS developed and marketed by RISCOS Ltd. This purchase has been made with the assistance of a number of RISCOS Ltd shareholders, customers and developers."
Aaron went on to confirm that it is "unlikely that RISCOS Ltd will be able to continue beyond the short term." The purchase of RISC OS by 3QD Developments will ensure the supply of products such as VirtualAcorn which relied on ROM Images from RISCOS Ltd.
Aaron moved to reassure current RISCOS Ltd customers, stating "The effective change for RISCOS Ltd customers should be zero and I had already discussed matters with the two other commercial customers before our purchase."
"Sales of physical stock, such as ROMS for RiscPC/A7000, books, upgrade CDs etc will be handled by APDL in London."
"Digital downloads will continue to be available from the riscos.com website." Note:
The acquisition of RISCOS Ltd's branch of RISC OS has no impact on the work of RISC OS Open Ltd
's shared source version of RISC OS. Links:
Posted by Andrew Poole on 12:42, 21/1/2013
| Acorn, RISCOS Ltd, RISC OS
1 comment in the forums
Justin Fletcher has recently started posting some very in-depth and interesting articles on his website detailing various developments within RISC OS during his time as a developer for RISCOS Ltd
. The articles cover a range of topics and offer a unique insight into some of the inner workings of both RISC OS and RISCOS Ltd. as well as some other RISC OS related topics, such as the RISC OS ports of the games Doom, Heretic and Hexen.
Currently, Justin is posting an article each weekday (and has been since the beginning of December).
You can take a look at the articles on Justin's website
Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 21:00, 17/10/2011
| RISC OS, Random stuff, RISC OS Open Ltd, Shows, RISCOS Ltd
39 comments in the forums
Here's a quick roundup of everything that's happened over the past few weeks.
New software releases
Version 2.8 of the NetSurf browser was released last month. The major new features in this release are a new cross-platform system for handling frames and iframes, and an improved image cache.
Peter Nowosad's Charm programming language also saw a new release last month. Version 2.4 is the first version of the language to be 32bit compatible, so if you're looking for something a little bit different from your programming languages then now's a good as time as any to give it a go.
A new version of StrongHelp was released to the StrongED mailing list, featuring several bugfixes, mainly for ARMv7 compatability. Download it here.
CDFaker now 32bit
Steffen Huber has released a 32bit version of Andy Armstrong's CDFaker utility, which allows you to mount ISO images and read their contents via CDFS. Apart from being 32bit compatible, this release is also fully ARMv7 compatible.
Martin Weurthner's popular InterGIF utility has also seen an update. The main focus of this release was to make the utility ARMv7 compatible.
Music player DigitalCD and related modules (TimPlayer, DiskSample) have been updated to add support for more tracker music formats, along with a few bugfixes.
New C/C++ tools release
And last but not least, RISC OS Open have released version 22 of the C tools package. The main development focus for this release was on improving objasm, to add support for the full ARMv7 instruction set, and to add support for some features offered by the assembler available in ARM's RealView package (which has a shared heritage with objasm and the other 'ROOL' tools).
For purchasing information, see ROOL's announcement.
RISC OS 5 news
OMAP4 ROM now available to download
As mentioned in the previous news roundup, Willi Theiss has been working on porting RISC OS to TI's OMAP4. This work has now found its way into ROOL's CVS, allowing them to add a (Pandaboard-compatible) OMAP4 ROM image to the downloads page. However as this is a first release, expect to see a fair number of bugs and missing features.
Raspberry Pi port on the cards
Veteran developer Adrian Lees has expressed an interest in porting RISC OS to the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer. Previously the possibility of a port was put into doubt by the question of whether anyone would have access to the required hardware documentation, but since Adrian works at Broadcom alongside Raspberry Pi Foundation members it sounds like lack of documentation will be the least of his issues.
Bounty pot reaches £1K
The amount of money available to developers through the ROOL bounty system has now reached £1000.
However none of the bounties have yet hit their (secret) target values, so it looks like any budding programmers will have to wait a bit longer before they're able to take on any of the tasks listed (unless they want to do it for free!)
Correction: As has been pointed out by ROOL, bounties don't have any target funding values. Instead, interested parties merely need to get in touch and say that they're starting work once they feel that the money in the pot has reached an acceptable value. For more info on the workings of the bounty system, see here.
On the subject of bounties, developer Rob Sprowson has recently had a go at analysing all the different filesystem wishlist items and boiling them down to a list of defined bounties, which can be found here. It's probable that this list (or something close to it) will be adopted by ROOL and added to the bounty area of their website in the near future. Not to be content with just making a bounty list, Rob has also had a go at fixing a few filing system bugs recently, mainly focusing around making sure FileSwitch and the filer are happy with files between 2G and 4G in size, as well as fixing a couple of bugs in RPCEmu that stopped large files from working there.
London show approaching
And finally, this is your official reminder that the 2011 RISC OS London show is here in just under two weeks time, on the 29th of October. Apart from the usual names on the exhibitors list it's worth pointing out that there'll be a pre-release version of the Raspberry Pi board on show. And if Adrian hasn't got it running RISC OS natively by the end of the show, it sounds like the RPCEmu team will be there with a copy of the RPCEmu emulator as a fallback. Unfortunately one notable absentee from the exhibitors list is RISCOS Ltd, who are unable to attend due to a clash with another commitment.
Posted by Jon Robinson on 23:30, 21/7/2011
| RISC OS, RISCOS Ltd, Tutorials
What is Unicode?
Continue reading "Getting Unicode Working With RISC OS 4 (and 6?)"
| 20 comments in the forums
Unicode has been developed as a standard way of representing the characters in all the world’s basic languages.
It was designed to make it easier to exchange files, between computer users who write using different alphabets, and to make documents that do not use the Western, Latin alphabet, readable all over the world, regardless of which program, or operating system is used to view them with.
Before Unicode was introduced, people used standard eight bit (one byte) fonts, which allowed the representation of only 256 different characters. When creating complex documents which included, for example, special symbols and foreign-language characters, you would have to use several different fonts to get all the required characters.
The problems would start when you emailed this to somebody else, and they didn’t have the same fonts installed on their system, that you had used to create it with. Parts of the document would be unreadable.
A further problem arises when two different encodings are used for the same set of characters.
For instance, Cyrillic web pages are often encoded in either KO18-R, or Windows 1251, which both have the same characters, but in different positions in the font table. If you sent a KO18-R document, or email, to somebody whose system was set up for Win 1251, they might not be able to read it.
Unicode was designed to get around these problems by using more than eight bits to represent a character. By using more than one byte, virtually every symbol, or character that exists in any language, can be allocated its own, unique number (or code point), so that the character can be represented by the same number, whatever operating system, or program you are using anywhere in the world.
If your system supports Unicode, a word processor or web browser that loads a Unicode document, will check all the code points in the document against a look up table, which tells it whether that character is defined in any of its installed fonts. If so, it retrieves the character’s details, and renders it to the screen.
Unicode makes the sharing of documents and web pages, across national boundaries, much easier, and is a God-send to those who regularly communicate with people who don’t use our alphabet, or are interested in studying foreign languages.
So how does RISC OS bear up to the challenge of supporting this international standard ?
Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 19:00, 7/11/2009
| A9, Flamewars, Open source, Opinion, RISC OS, RISCOS Ltd, RISC OS Open Ltd, Shows, Writing
Continue reading "What is the point of RISCOS Ltd?"
| 197 comments in the forums
After hearing the news that videos from the recent RISC OS London Show are now available online
, I decided to take a look at what RISCOS Ltd
had to say in their presentation. The results I found to be quite shocking... Disclaimer:
Although I've obviously been doing a lot of work for RISC OS Open recently, I am not a member of ROOL, nor am I speaking on behalf of ROOL (or The Icon Bar). The opinions expressed below are mine and mine alone, and any likeness or resemblence to any other person's opinions is entirely coincidental.
Posted by Andrew Poole on 22:57, 30/4/2007
| RISC OS, RISCOS Ltd, Software
27 comments in the forums
Paul Middleton just emailed to let us know that RISC OS Select
4 Issue 2 is now available to download to any RISC OS Select subscriber who renewed their subscription on or after January 1st 2006.
In the PR, Paul Middleton says: "Select 4 and its underlying RISC OS Six technology represents over 10 man years of development which has taken RISC OS 4 from its 26 bit version to its new fully 32 bit neutral source version."
CDs are being sent to subscribers within the next week or so, and those of you impatient enough to not want to wait can download it from the RISCOS Ltd
RISC OS SIX website now. Links:
- Press Release
- RISCOS Ltd.
- RISC OS SIX and Downloads
- RISCOS Ltd.
Posted by Phil Mellor on 12:00, 3/3/2007
| Columns, RISC OS, RISCOS Ltd, RISC OS Open Ltd, Emulation, Hardware, MicroDigital, Acorn
Continue reading "RISC OS - the week in comments"
| Comment in the forums
Or: we read the newsgroups so you don't have to.
In this new, hopefully regular, column we collate the interesting, informative and funny comments posted on all the RISC OS web sites and newsgroups throughout the week. Our telescreens are everywhere, and we are always listening.
Posted by Andrew Duffell on 16:39, 18/10/2006
| RISC OS, RISCOS Ltd, Acorn, Advantage 6
25 comments in the forums
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 "hope that everyone will soon see the advantages of RISC OS 6."
A preview version will soon be available for as a softload for existing Select subscribers, and also for those who last subscribed to the Select scheme after May 31st 2004. Link: RISC OS Six
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