RISC OS FAQ

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===Is there a version of RealPlayer for RISC OS?===
===Is there a version of RealPlayer for RISC OS?===
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Not really.  There is a player for very early RealAudio files (pre-1996) by Kira L Brown, but these are seldom found today and it is unable to cope with streamed audio.
+
Not really.  There is a [http://www.vigay.com/thirdparty/realaudio.html player for very early RealAudio files] (pre-1996) by Kira L Brown and Justin Fletcher, but these are seldom found today and it is unable to cope with streamed audio.
In 1995/6 Acorn and Warm Silence Software cooperated to port the then-current RealPlayer as part of the Network Computer project.  Acorn are said to have loaned a Risc PC to Progressive Networks (now Real Inc) to allow them to compile the core routines without releasing them outside the company.
In 1995/6 Acorn and Warm Silence Software cooperated to port the then-current RealPlayer as part of the Network Computer project.  Acorn are said to have loaned a Risc PC to Progressive Networks (now Real Inc) to allow them to compile the core routines without releasing them outside the company.
However it is said that Progressive Networks asked for a five or six figure sum to allow release of this version, and so the project was canned.
However it is said that Progressive Networks asked for a five or six figure sum to allow release of this version, and so the project was canned.
-
In circa 2002 Real Inc performed a partial release of the RealPlayer source code through its HelixCommunity website.  The source to Helix Player, a player frontend, is available for fairly unrestricted download.  This does not contain source to the RealPlayer decoders.  They, including ARM-optimised variants, are available at zero-cost but under a more restrictive licence arrangement.  Essentially a prospective porter has to submit a proposal to Real that they intend to port the codecs.  By agreeing to the Research and Development licence they gain access to the source.  After examining the source they must then submit a plan stating the timescales by which they intend to port the code and what work needs to be done.  Once the port is complete, Real's commercial distribution licence requires a royalty of US$0.25 per copy.
+
Circa 2002 [http://www.real.com/ Real Inc] performed a partial release of the RealPlayer source code through its [https://helixcommunity.org/ HelixCommunity website].  The source to Helix Player, a player frontend, is available for relatively unrestricted download.  This does not contain source to the RealPlayer decoders.  They, including ARM-optimised variants, are available at zero-cost but under a more restrictive licence arrangement.  Essentially a prospective porter has to submit a proposal to Real that they intend to port the codecs.  By agreeing to the Research and Development licence they gain access to the source.  After examining the source they must then submit a plan stating the timescales by which they intend to port the code and what work needs to be done.  Once the port is complete, Real's commercial distribution licence requires a royalty of US$0.25 per copy.
The misapprehension that performing a port requires many thousands in licence fees still circulates.  However at present the barrier to porting is financially lower but requires a degree of commitment from the porter.  To date no-one has publically stated such a commitment.
The misapprehension that performing a port requires many thousands in licence fees still circulates.  However at present the barrier to porting is financially lower but requires a degree of commitment from the porter.  To date no-one has publically stated such a commitment.

Revision as of 14:49, 26 October 2006

This is a collaboratively driven RISC OS FAQ, designed to replace the dated comp.sys.acorn.* FAQ. In this format it can be easily kept up to date by multiple contributors.

Guidelines for adding items:

  • Only entries that are relevant to machines from RiscPC onwards and the versions of RISC OS in those machines, unless a comparison is being made. This FAQ is in reference to current information and versions of RISC OS. For historical information, see the csa.* FAQ.
  • The item really should be a "Frequently Asked Question". If it's obscure or not asked often then it might be better in an article of its own on riscos.info.
  • Lengthy items too, should be on their own page, then provide a link in this FAQ to them.
  • Be as accurate as you can. Names, places, dates and people all help, as do external references. Check your spelling.
  • Items must be current. Try to avoid references to legacy software that isn't being developed and to websites which haven't been updated in a long time.
  • Sub-topics deserve their own FAQ. There is already a RISC OS C Programming FAQ.
  • If you have a question, but don't know the answer or don't feel confident to provide, give the question anyway. Someone else may be able to provide a response.

Guidelines for citing:

  • When citing the Wiki version of the FAQ, please include the date and time of the revision to which you refer. This information remains static even when the FAQ is updated, which means others can find the information you were referring to even if it is later edited or vandalised.
  • To provide a link to a specific historical version of the FAQ, click on the history tab, and copy the link you require from the history page. For example, the FAQ version as of 17:46 22 Sep 2006 may be selected with the following link: http://www.riscos.info/index.php?title=RISC_OS_FAQ&oldid=1407

Contents

About RISC OS

What is RISC OS?

There are many summary and introduction pages to RISC OS around, but Wikipedia give one of the best overviews.

What RISC OS versions are there?

Peter Howkins provides a database of RISC OS versions, components and modules which lists major versions. However, the main versions you will see in use with current machines are:

  • RISC OS 3.5, 3.6, 3.7: RiscPC, A7000(+). StrongARM RiscPCs require at least RISC OS 3.7. 1994-98
  • RISC OS 4, RISC OS Adjust/Select: RiscPCs, A7000(+), MicroDigital Omega, MicroDigital Mico, VirtualRiscPC, RiscStation R7500+ (Lite). 1999-present
  • RISC OS Adjust 32-bit: Advantage 6 A9: 2004-present
  • RISC OS 5: Castle Iyonix. 2002-present

3.7x variants exist, especially for ARM7500-based machines, as do point versions of other versions - in particular, RISC OS 5.11 is the latest version for the Iyonix, and Adjust is also known as RISC OS 4.39.

All versions for the RiscPC apart from Select, come in a two chip ROM package. RISC OS Select is softload. For the Iyonix and some of the other machines, RISC OS exists on flash ROM.

RISC OS Hardware

What RISC OS hardware is available for purchase?

New Hardware

Second hand

The following machines are generally found on eBay, or the comp.sys.acorn.hardware newsgroup

  • RISC PC
    • 600/700 - manufactured 1994-96. Usually have not been upgraded beyond original purchase specification
    • StrongARM - manufactured 1997. Available in 202MHz or 233MHz, usually with RISC OS 3.7 or 4. Occasionally with Select/Adjust. Often come with IDE or Ethernet upgrades.
    • Kinetic - manufactured by Castle Technology Limited. StrongARM overclocked up to 300MHz, and coupled with DDR RAM for faster memory access.
  • A7000 - Usually RISC OS 3.6 or 3.7. 32MHz or 40MHz processor, 4MB base RAM
  • A7000+ - Usually RISC OS 3.71, occasionally 4. 56MHz processor with Floating Point, 8MB base RAM. A much nicer machine.

Other more unusual machines worth considering

  • RiscStation - These are basically a more advanced A7000+. They use the same processor clocked at 56MHz but have faster bus and memory and ISA support. RISC OS 4.03 and above.
  • Microdigital Mico - this is similar to the RiscStation but also has Microdigital's Microbus interface. RISC OS 4.03 and above.
  • Microdigital Omega - This is based around the same StrongARM as many RiscPC's but has the processor clocked at 300MHz and much faster bus, memory and also PCI support. RISC OS 4.03 and above.

What emulation solutions exist?

  • RPCEmu - Open source RiscPC Emulation for Linux, Windows and MacOS X. (Requires RISC OS ROMs)
  • VirtualRiscPC - Commerical RiscPC emulator for Windows.

RISC OS Software

Is there a list of "must have" RISC OS software?

riscos.info maintains a list of recommended software.

Is there a version of RealPlayer for RISC OS?

Not really. There is a player for very early RealAudio files (pre-1996) by Kira L Brown and Justin Fletcher, but these are seldom found today and it is unable to cope with streamed audio.

In 1995/6 Acorn and Warm Silence Software cooperated to port the then-current RealPlayer as part of the Network Computer project. Acorn are said to have loaned a Risc PC to Progressive Networks (now Real Inc) to allow them to compile the core routines without releasing them outside the company. However it is said that Progressive Networks asked for a five or six figure sum to allow release of this version, and so the project was canned.

Circa 2002 Real Inc performed a partial release of the RealPlayer source code through its HelixCommunity website. The source to Helix Player, a player frontend, is available for relatively unrestricted download. This does not contain source to the RealPlayer decoders. They, including ARM-optimised variants, are available at zero-cost but under a more restrictive licence arrangement. Essentially a prospective porter has to submit a proposal to Real that they intend to port the codecs. By agreeing to the Research and Development licence they gain access to the source. After examining the source they must then submit a plan stating the timescales by which they intend to port the code and what work needs to be done. Once the port is complete, Real's commercial distribution licence requires a royalty of US$0.25 per copy.

The misapprehension that performing a port requires many thousands in licence fees still circulates. However at present the barrier to porting is financially lower but requires a degree of commitment from the porter. To date no-one has publically stated such a commitment.

RISC OS Forums and mailing lists

What mailing lists exist for RISC OS?

Iconbar maintains a list of RISC OS mailing lists.

Are there any usnet groups related to RISC OS?

Yes, for historical reasons they come under the 'Acorn' name. They are:

  • comp.sys.acorn.advocacy
  • comp.sys.acorn.announce
  • comp.sys.acorn.apps
  • comp.sys.acorn.extra-cpu (Quiet)
  • comp.sys.acorn.games (Quiet)
  • comp.sys.acorn.hardware
  • comp.sys.acorn.misc
  • comp.sys.acorn.networking (Quiet)
  • comp.sys.acorn.programmer

These groups can be accessed using your own usenet software, or via the Google Groups web interface.

I prefer online forums - are there any of those?

Online forums are not so popular amongst the RISC OS community. However, the least quiet ones can be found on the Iconbar.

RISC OS Publications

Which online and offline publications exist for RISC OS?

Online

Offline

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