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A75 is ARM7500FE ruggable

By Chris Williams. Published: 11th May 2004, 17:17:27 | Permalink | Printable

The power of ARM7

photo of A75The moderately hyped A75 machine from STD has been revealed as being an ARM7500FE based computer, running RISC OS Adjust and 'Embedded RISC OS Adjust'. Measuring 44mm x 214mm x 250mm, STD claim, "the A75 is designed to withstand the rough-and-tumble of industrial life."

"There are a range of options, and some other interesting tidbits: for instance, two units can be fitted side-by-side in a 1U rackmount enclosure - it's as wide as a single magazine page and just slightly taller than my USB mouse, according to an ad in Qercus," writes Iconbar, which broke the news earlier this afternoon.

The A75 features the usual I/O ports, including USB and networking, and can also be made fully solid state by using Flash based memory. STD believe that RISC OS, coupled with BASIC V, will provide a "rapid solutions development" system and the machine is ideal for engineers and contractors who want to bring a reliable computer to a site to perform work and other tasks.

Earlier this week, STD refused to comment on exactly what applications the A75 would be used in.

"Based around a similar environment to that of the BBC microcomputers used for many years in education, a significant proportion of current practicing engineers will find that they already have the skill-set to develop simple solutions to complex problems using the A75," STD, aka Advantage Six, argues.

Explaining that perhaps the A75 isn't completely suitable for home desktop use, STD's website continues: "The A75 is the first ARM-based machine to integrate a custom build of Embedded RISC OS Adjust (4.39). Standard RISC OS Adjust (4.39) is also available. The pricing of the A75 is dependant on quantity, options and configuration. The A75 is available to OEM customers, direct from Advantage Six."


The A75 website

Previous: RISC OS web developers' group opens
Next: RiscPC breaks 1.5GHz barrier


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But the BBC had (and was very well utilised) a User Port which could do output as well as 'input'. Coupled with the parallel port on the old Beeb this gave you lots of stuff to play with (more or less an entire 6522, Analogue port, etc).

All the useful I/O I can see on this one is just the 'general purpose input', which seems intentionally vague. (Let me guess, this means the 'analogue' port?)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 11/5/04 5:24PM
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"... BASIC V, will provide a rapid solutions development system....ideal for engineers"

I just blew my morning coffee all over my monitor when I read that!

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 11/5/04 5:47PM
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Any idea what embedded RISC OS could look like? What might be the difference between the normal and embedded RISC OS?

 is a RISC OS Usermaikl on 11/5/04 6:41PM
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Embedded RISC OS is I think a bitsa RISC OS.

You say I want this and this but not that. Amd get charged for what bits you have.

For a better explanaiton go here:


 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 11/5/04 6:53PM
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Does it being "ruggable" mean that it has a mat finish?

 is a RISC OS Userlibrarian16 on 11/5/04 7:17PM
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In reply to librarian16:


Perhaps it means it won't get swept under the carpet?

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 11/5/04 7:31PM
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They say you can fit two into a 1U rack mount space - will they actually supply rack mounts for the computers? And I still don't get how the power gets into them, or do they have an external power supply?

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 11/5/04 7:35PM
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ruggedised .... does this mean protected against dirt and spills and vibrations or is it just a tough box

 is a RISC OS Userzito99 on 11/5/04 10:37PM
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It can be made to order with a variety of power options including internal battery and power over ethernet. One of the benefits of low power ARM based hardware over x86 systems.

The A75 certainly appears to have plenty of appeal for many applications. With good marketing and partnership development it has tonnes of potential.

In many cases engineers want a quick, easy and reliable way to control external devices. BBC BASIC is actually very good for that sort of thing. Of course you could also use any other RISC OS programming language if BASIC isn't perferred option. For many applications lower CPU performance is not a big issue but things like size, power consumption and heat are.

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 11/5/04 10:47PM
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"CPU performance is not a big issue but things like size, power consumption and heat are."

... Which is why people tend to design their own boards, and put them inside the hardware, and not bother with 'a nice looking orange box'.

I'm a little confused as to what STDs target market is for this.

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 11/5/04 11:21PM
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Is the motherboard small enough for laptop use? I can imagine a bigger market for this if a laptop could be made out of it. A portable like this is a great idea, but to many a screen is essential!

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 12/5/04 12:30AM
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I like it. I might just have to have one.

 is a RISC OS Userdavehigton on 12/5/04 7:59AM
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Ah - the USER PORT! What a joy that was! Sad thing is that ALL our BEEBS just failed PAT tests and we can no longer use them. That and a pile of RiscPCs and A7000s, although one A7000+ passed... :(

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 12/5/04 8:14AM
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"... Which is why people tend to design their own boards,..."

Most companies do not have people who can design microcontroler boards, or even can create there own hardware. A simple robust system with BASIC and lots of I/O would be great, especially when you can turn off the power any time.

 is a RISC OS UserPeter on 12/5/04 8:23AM
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Audio input as well as output. I wonder how good the audio input quality wil be?

 is a RISC OS Userdavehigton on 12/5/04 8:30AM
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What did they fail on?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 12/5/04 8:32AM
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Yes. Looks rugged and in a durable case. But what about the (external) monitor and keyboard as opposed to a (hinged) internal monitor and keyboard in a durable designed "Laptop"? I imagine a laptop design for the above shown would be more portable and appealing to engineers and likewise? Steve

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 12/5/04 10:43AM
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In PAT tests don't they put 15 AMPs to earth from any exposed metal? If that was a podule back I'd imagine they would be likely to fail. However all the live bits are in the PSU, the rest surely is considered to be sufficiently insulated?

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 12/5/04 11:13AM
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ksattic: I should imagine that if someone turned up on Advantage6/STD's doorstep with a guarenteed supply of laptop cases that they wanted motherboards for, I am sure they would be more than happy to make a deal. This is the best piece of news I have seen in the past few weeks, maybe it will be the turn of the tide against emulation.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 12/5/04 3:15PM
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Interestingly, the man that inspired me to play with Acorns in the first place was an inventor at a company with its own foundary and machine shop. The kilns, and many of the machines used for casting/pressing, were all run by BBC B+ machines (later A3000s with expansion ports used). I think there are still two major kilns (we're talking thousand of tonnes of molten metal here) run by an A3000.

Oh, and it was all written in a mixture of BASIC and 6502/ARM. So maybe, just maybe, STD are onto something here.

Of course, in the IT field, they're stuffed.

 is a RISC OS Userheds on 12/5/04 3:56PM
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JWCR: The problem is to find that kind of supply for a nice price. But is it alway good to have nice dreams.

Maybe it is simpler to make a first-world SOLO from it. Build it in the back of a touchscreen with an on-screen 'soft' keyboard.

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 12/5/04 4:39PM
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In reply to harmsy: What did they fail the BEEBS for ?

 is a RISC OS Userchod on 15/5/04 9:13AM
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how on earth can your RiscPCs and your A7000s fail a PAT test?

It was the last test we used to perform on them before they went out the door...

what has your school being doing to them? ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 15/5/04 6:15PM
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