RISC OS : Zerro Below

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Useful RISC OS:

It may be that I use a number of other Operating Systems, though it will always be true that RISC OS is my main OS with many reasons for sticking to this great OS. Now that RISC OS is truly Open Source there are even more reasons to stick to the best OS around.

This site does not go into teaching how to use RISC OS. For those new to RISC OS that wish to learn how to use RISC OS a good place to start is RISC OS - HowTo

One issue that has always hurt me in using RISC OS is that emulating Atari 68K and Macintosh computers has always been restricted in usefulness do to the copyright on the ROM's and related things. Now it is possible to emulate Atari 68K computers very well (without ethernet), though still the Macintosh ROM has yet to completely be replaced with an open source alternative. Back in the 1990's I wrote my first working (though limited) Macintosh LC Emulator, and could not justify distributing it except to a few friends do to the ROM and System Software license terms from Apple (The System Software can only be run on a computer with a licensed ROM from Apple, the ROM had a steeper license).

One of the things I always liked about ARM Computers and RISC OS has been and continues to be how easy it is to emulate other computer systems in software. This was true even when the ARM was only Little Endian, with fast emulation of Big Endian CPU's (and even faster Emulation of Little Endian devices). Today one of my main uses of RISC OS (besides day to day stuff) tends to be Emulating Macintosh, Atari, DTACK Unlimited, and Apple IIgs Computers (the later two with limitations). Getting a working network emulation for the Atari with STiK / STiNG proved to be a bit difficult, and beings as the best browser is Netsurf (which requires MiNT, thus unused on the Atari for me), I deal with HighWire. It would be nice to get NetSurf to compile with AHCC (or PureC) on the Atari 68K systems using STiK / STiNG and Single TOS as well as Geneva.

Enough talking about emulation, some of that is better in the Atari and Macintosh sections of this site.

RISC OS Contents:

RISC OS pages on this site:

  • RISC OS : Overview : A quick overview of RISC OS.
  • Emulating Others : One of the Strong points of ARM and RISC OS put together.

RISC OS in the USA:

Back in the 1990s when there were some RISC OS users in the USA things were a bit different for us than it was for those on the other side of the Atlantic pond. Here we enjoyed creating and sharing Open Source freeware (though we did not say Open Source as that phrase was not popular yet). Most of what we created was shared at various computer gatherings. There were few enough of us that the gatherings were never dedicated to RISC OS, though just general computer gatherings.

Many that knew about the ARM based computers from Acorn wanted one, especially once they saw the real abilities of these systems. Those of us that were lucky enough to have these computers (including myself) in the USA held a unique set of bragging rights over here. Most knew about the RiscPC and wanted one, before that many knew about the A series (Archimedes and other ARMv2 systems) wanted one before the RiscPC came to be.

In that time frame most Computer Users were geeks, at least as we saw it. There were business people and gamers that interfaced with computers, though never really used them (like many today), though we never called them Computer Users (I guess not much has changed, there are just more people that interface with computers without ever using them today).

In the USA we never registered any piece of software we wrote, that was not our way. Still today this is true for the most part. We had thousands of titles unique to the USA, most of which were freeware with an open license allowing any to modify and redistribute even in modified form.

Great OS for Great HW :

RISC OS and the ARM based computers on which it runs are great in ability in ways no other OS can match. RISC OS provides just the perfect balance of everything it does, and is very much a pleasure to program for as well as to use. For more detail on why RISC OS is great see my Overview of RISC OS page.

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