RISC OS is the superbly efficient operating system designed in the 1980's by Acorn Computers, and its latest incarnation is used by thousands of people around the world. However, many may never have even heard of RISC OS - so if you're one of them, you've come to the right place.
Pre-dating both Windows and Mac OS to use a task bar or 'Dock', RISC OS includes many revolutionary features which are only just being copied by other systems. Its anti-aliased font technology is still the envy of the computer world and its drag 'n' drop, stackable windows GUI, flexibility and ease of use make it arguably the most productive computer system in the world today.
Thousands of applications and utilities are available, often developed by small companies and individual users, mean that you should be able to find software on RISC OS to cater for all your computing requirements. It is hoped that new developers will come on board to help promote and enhance RISC OS even more.
RISCOS.org seeks to not only introduce newcomers and experts alike to this wonderful system, but to act as a resource centre and help forum for existing users around the world. Our software database is probably the most comprehensive repository of RISC OS links anywhere on the internet, and we update it frequently with new releases.
News Headlines from other RISC OS Portals
Some news summaries maybe truncated. This is a limitation with GoogleGroups RSS feed and beyond our control unfortunately.
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Arculator updated to add A4 emulation and more podule support
Archimedes emulator Arculator has been updated to version 2.1 with some very nice new features. The emulator can now emulate an A4 laptop or the A500 prototype and can also emulate more podules, including the Aleph One 386 and 486 podule, meaning you can now run DOS and Windows in the emulator.
TextEase updated to 5.99
Since moving to its new home at Elesar, the RISC OS version of !TextEase has seen regular new releases and an updated manual. v5.97 was released January 2021 (read our review), v5.98 is February and the latest version is 5.99 (August 2021).
August News round-up
Some things we noticed this month. What did you see?
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RISC OS Open
ROOL recognised in annual RISC OS awards
All of us at RISC OS Open are very proud and thankful to everyone who voted in the RISC OS Awards. In keeping with the delay of a year to these awards, its taken us a while to spot the fact we’d actually been both nominated and had some success!Thanks also to Vince Hudd / Soft Rock Software for organising this event.ROOL’s resultsBest new developmentAnd the winner, with 44% of the vote, is: RISC OS 5.28, from RISC OS Open Ltd and contributors.
Ping! Another one fully cooked
Portable Network Graphics, with file extension PNG and often pronounced Ping, is a common bitmap graphics format which offers lossless compression for faster transfer over the internet. PNG sits somewhere between Sprite, which is uncompressed, and JPEG used for photos, which uses lossy compression (throwing some information away) to shrink the file even smaller.What do we gain?There are two aspects to the new PNG support:Being able to save directly from Paint as a PNG graphicBeing able to convert anything ChangeFSI can open and write it out as a PNG graphicUnderneath this there’s a new support module, called CompressPNG, which does the real work and which other applications will be able to make use of.If you are a developer and you’d like to add PNG export to one of your own applications it’s simply a case of making a few system calls from whatever language you prefer to use. It’s very similar to the CompressJPEG module which has shipped since RISC OS 3.60, so much so that Paint has also gained the ability to save out as JPEG via that same approach.
Going round in circles, quickly
There are a few areas where the potential for speed-ups are huge yet to date RISC OS has been unable to harness them. One such area is where the more complicated floating point mathematical operations are used, like sine and cosine, rather than simple add/subtract/multiply/divide – but that has all changed in our nightly RISC OS 5 ROMs from July 2021 onwards.
Bounties earn 10 year merit badge but want 3 more
It’s hard to believe, but the RISC OS Open bounty scheme was launched in ten years ago and in that time has delivered £39,249.91 of improvements to the OS, with a further £13,990.72 currently work in progress.How does it all work in practice?You can see how we select bounties and what the current status of those running are at any time by clicking on the ‘More information’ link beneath the totaliser.Each of the currently active bounties also include an overview of what they are trying to achieve, as well as a guide target amount. The target is based on costing a rough project plan as a way of comparing one with another; so a high target is more work than a low one, rather than a guarantee that a developer claims it the moment it reaches 100%.
ObjAsm becomes self-aware in latest DDE update
The assembler tool, one of the cornerstones of the Desktop Development Environment (DDE), has taken on a life of its own in the latest update which was made available to eligible developers today. The main changes include:The addition of support for instructions from ARMv8.0 to the very latest ARMv8.6Support for the IEEE half-precision floating point instructions in the VFP instruction setA new data type for BFloat16More thorough rules checking around ‘IT’ blocksA number of bug fixes and improvements to warning and error textThe table of known CPUs to target has been updated, right up to the Cortex-X1Extra built-in variables to allow conditional assembly for a given target
And maybe of interest....
Microsoft's Azure Virtual Desktop now works without Active Directory - but there are caveats
General availability of Azure AD-joined VMsMicrosoft has declared general availability for Azure Virtual Desktop with the VMs joined to Azure AD rather than Active Directory, but the initial release has many limitations.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
It's bizarre we're at a point where reports are written on how human rights trump AI rights
But that's what UN group has doneThe protection of human rights should be front and centre of any decision to implement AI-based systems regardless of whether they're used as corporate tools such as recruitment or in areas such as law enforcement.
Aviation-themed phishing campaign pushed off-the-shelf RATs into inboxes for 5 years
Not all promises of international flight itineraries are real, warns Cisco TalosA phishing campaign that mostly targeted the global aviation industry may be connected to Nigeria, according to Cisco Talos.
RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81
From pocket calculators to ZX Spectrum and beyondSir Clive Sinclair died on Thursday at home in London after a long illness, his family said today. He was 81.
The age of the Service Pack is over. The time of the Modern Servicing Model has come
It's CUs and GDRs here on out for Microsoft's SQL ServerIt's the end of an era. Microsoft has finally released its very last SQL Server service pack.
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