Skip to comments.RISC OS for Raspberry Pi - Archimedes reborn
Posted on 11/22/2012 10:07:07 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The Acorn Archimedes range of computers was moderately popular, especially in schools, around the time of the Atari ST and Amiga home computer reign. However these ARM powered computers were quite a lot more expensive than those 16-bit favourites, also no killer app(s) to entice people to move over to the platform left Acorn Archimedes owners to remain a minority.
Most 16-bit friends I remember moved to the PC because of Doom, flight simulators and Word. More arty types gravitated to the Apple Mac with its Quark Xpress and Pagemaker and sometimes played Myst. Determined not to follow the pack, I owned an Acorn Archimedes for a few months in the early 1990s just to give it a go. However as I bought a cheap used model it didnt really work out, I soon found out it would be uneconomical to upgrade my A310 to use many modern and popular Archimedes programs that existed. I was stuck on an old RISC OS version with the wrong kind of expansion backplane or VIDC or something like that.
So I was happy to find out that RISC OS is now available for the little Raspberry Pi. Luckily the Raspberry Pi has more than enough CPU power and RAM to make the RISC OS really fly along. RISC OS for RasPi can be downloaded free of charge from the RasPi downloads page alongside the Debian and Arch Linux ARM distributions. The Raspi blog suggests new users have a browse though a PDF about RISC OS here. Apparently quite a few old programs for the Archimedes wont be compatible with this RISC OS (version 5.19 RC6) for RasPi as they werent written with 32-bit clean code, unfortunately that includes Elite...
The RISC OS OPEN website offers a suite of commercial RISC OS apps on an SD card for £35. While this is more than you paid for a RasPi, the software prices would have added up to over £600 individually, it says. However youve got BBC Basic built into right into the OS to play around with among many other utility apps and a browser. Here is a page to guide you through your first hour or two using RISC OS on your RasPi should you decide to give it a go.
I have never even heard of the ACORN Archimedes!! lol
May have been mostly a limey thing.
Apparently, and from that Wiki article mostly Limey schools to boot.
My old Tandy had a 25mhz processor but it also had a (1x) CD player. (and a whopping 100 MB HDD), lolz
I remember signing up for a year of dial-up internet for $100... and the internet service had to mail me a diskette with the Netscape 1.22 on it... as I had no browser.. lol.
I was so far behind the times.
That might have been the early days of AOL which peiggybacked on Prodigy.
I never saw RiscOS before, and I find no compelling reason to do it now. Perhaps someone who has lots of software for it has such a need. But nowadays people are familiar with Windows (until Win8 came to existence) and with Linux. Both Windows and Linux have lots of free software - a far wider choice, I'd say, than the OS that was extinct for decades. From any practical point of view, this development is not very useful. It may be good from some educational point of view, but I cannot judge that because it may be that someone, somewhere must familiarize himself with this OS to save Earth, or something :-)
But even from the educational POV, offering BASIC for learning when C# and .NET (or Mono) are freely available... that doesn't look like a good advice. R-Pi can be used for learning, but I personally would recommend to learn modern technologies instead of those that failed, decades ago, to survive in the marketplace. If someone walks up to me today and asks "what do I do to learn programming" I would probably recommend to get a PC, an Android phone, and an Android SDK. This is something you can make a difference with.