International use of RISC OS

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This article is intended to collect information for usage of RISC OS machines outside of the UK.

Contents

Software

Time zones

RISC OS supports changing the time zone from British time using several different methods.

Command line (RISC OS 3.00 and newer)

Use the following command: *Configure TimeZone [+/-]<Hours>[:<Minutes>]

For example, if you live on the east coast of the United States, you would use: *Configure TimeZone -5:00. Daylight savings time (if your time zone advances the clock by one hour for summer) is set using *Configure DST, and standard time set using *Configure NODST.

TimeSetup (RISC OS 4.39-4.42, 6.02 and newer)

However RISC OS 5 does it

Keyboard mapping

*Countries

From a command line, issue *Countries to get a list of available keyboard layouts. Issue *Configure Country <country name> to set the keyboard layout.

!IKHG

!IKHG, or International Keyboard Handler Generator, creates custom keyboard handlers that replace the normal keyboard handler. Only use this if the ROM doesn't supply the correct keyboard layout.

Select's way of doing it

Does the Iyonix do it another way?

Hardware

Power

If you live in a country that uses 220-240 VAC, then all RISC OS machines should function without any issue on your power.

However, if you live in a country that uses 100-125 VAC, then you will need to either carefully select your RISC OS machine, be prepared to do some modifications or replace some parts, or purchase a step-up transformer.

Machines that will work without modifications

IYONIX pc (some models)

Some Iyonixes have switchable-voltage power supplies, allowing use on 110-125 VAC power. Special order fixed-voltage 110-125 VAC power supplies were available for models that did not ship with switchable supplies.

RiscPC (some models)

Some RiscPCs have switchable-voltage power supplies, allowing use on 110-125 VAC power. If the switch is present, it will be hidden by the rear panel of the machine.

A7000, A7000+

The A7000 and A7000+ have autoranging power supplies, allowing use on 110-240 VAC power. Simply plug the machine in.

A5000

A5000s have switchable-voltage power supplies, allowing use on 110-125 VAC power. The switch is hidden by the rear panel of the machine.

A4000

A4000s have autoranging power supplies, allowing use on 110-240 VAC power. Simply plug the machine in.

A4

A4s have autoranging power supplies, allowing use on 100-240 VAC power. Simply plug the machine in.

Machines that require minor modifications

IYONIX pc (some models)

Some Iyonixes have fixed-voltage 220-240 VAC power supplies. Replacing the power supply with a commonly available Micro ATX power supply available from almost any retailer that sells computer parts should work, although some power supplies have trouble with the low power consumption of the Iyonix.

RiscPC (some models)

RiscPCs using fixed-voltage power supplies can be upgraded to switchable-voltage power supplies. However,

A3xx, A4xx/R140, A540/R2xx, A3000

These models have switchable-voltage power supplies, allowing use on 110-125 VAC power, but the case of the power supply must be opened. There is a jumper to select voltage. Double the value of the fuse.

Machines that require major modifications

A3010, A3020

The power supplies on these models do not support operation below 220 VAC. As the power supply is integrated with the motherboard, major modifications are necessary, to avoid using a step-up transformer. Either the power supply will have to be physically disconnected from the motherboard, and another power supply that provides the necessary voltages added, or the 230 V to 23 V step-down transformer on the motherboard will have to be replaced with a 115 V to 23 V step-down transformer, and fuses upgraded. The easiest option, however, is a step-up transformer.

Unknown

A9home

What does it come with?

Keyboards

Recent models (that is, the RiscPC and all newer machines) use normal PS/2 or USB keyboards, so keyboards can be sourced locally. No special keys are needed - a normal 101/102-key keyboard will work fine.

Models released before the RiscPC use proprietary keyboards, so purchasers of these models will want to make sure the keyboard is included. The A3000, A3010, A3020, and the A4 laptop use built-in keyboards.

Mice

All models newer than the RiscPC (including the A7000, A7000+, and clones) use PS/2 or USB mice. Make sure the mouse has at least three buttons. (Scroll mice usually count, as clicking the scroll wheel is treated as a middle button press.)

The RiscPC and all older models use quadrature mice. It is recommended to make sure a mouse comes with these machines, as the pinout is specific to RISC OS machines. If a mouse is not included, however, there are adapters to connect a PS/2 mouse. Also, many optical mice have quadrature outputs on the optical decoder chip, meaning that with some soldering, such a mouse can be connected.

Monitors

RiscPC and newer

RiscPC and newer machines will function well on any VGA monitor, although some display modes may only display at half height. Machines other than the Iyonix and A9home may require a custom Monitor Definition File to be written, although using the Acorn AKF85 MDF is usually a good starting point.

A3010, A3020, A4000, A4, A5000

These models should function satisfactorily on any VGA monitor, although in some cases, you may need to connect a monitor capable of displaying 15 kHz signals. See the A3xx, A4xx, A3000 section for more.

A540

With a VGA monitor, only limited mode selections are available. Having a monitor capable of displaying 15 kHz signals is recommended. See the A3xx, A4xx, A3000 section for more.

A3xx, A4xx, A3000

These models are less likely to be able to drive a VGA monitor without both modifications and very careful monitor selection. It is best if a monitor capable of displaying 15 kHz signals is used. While the optimal monitor for this situation is one that can sync to both 15 kHz and 31 kHz signals (allowing the use of VGA modes on machines that support them,) these are normally uncommon, and on these machines, 15 kHz-only monitors were normal. If an Acorn monitor is unavailable, or shipping is too expensive, Amigas, Atari STs, and Apple IIGSes all used 15 kHz analog RGB monitors, and therefore can be adapted to these machines.




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