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How Arthur OS will save us all

By Chris Williams. Published: 23rd Jun 2004, 22:30:21 | Permalink | Printable

Especially RISC OS

Editorial After six months of inactivity, Drobe Launchpad is excited to announce that it has acquired the rights to Arthur OS, the operating system developed by Acorn in 1987, prior to the development of RISC OS. It is our intention to bring the OS up to date and market it as RISC OS 6.

The venerable OS was bought for an undisclosed sum from the merchant bank who oversaw the break up of Acorn, which kept hold of everything that wasn't sold off to other companies - for example, Arthur.

Arthur OS screenshotFive million pounds
However, Arthur OS has its limitations, such as a GUI written in BASIC and a mountain of bad, bad bugs, but what do you expect for a hasty ARM port of Acorn MOS 1.2? We estimate that our design arm will need around 5 million quid to add modern features, such as stability, PMT, full multitasking, networking support, fading menus, virtual memory, buzzwords and easter eggs that involve 3D racing games. Don't knock Stunt Racer 2004. It's too cool for words, which is why it's confidential.

Recently Drobe was forced to pursue legal action against King Arthur, also known as the Knight of the Round Table (clearly an authorised title), for very little reason other than just the very existence of his name is too much competition for us to handle without crying a river. Plus, he helped keep the kingdom going for years while we cooked up this scheme and no one likes a hero. King Arthur also markets a news reporting system, called News Surprise!, the surprise being that you don't know what articles have been published until you've bought it.

Last year, Drobe's legal team dispatched cease and desist letters to King Arthur and his loyal knights, instructing them to give up and go away, but Arthur reckons we're wrong. Bzzt, wrong answer Arthur - we're right, and if you disagree with us, you're wrong. Also, one of King Arthur's knights reckons he's found stolen Microsoft WindowsNT source code in Arthur, but that's also incorrect. The crap program code he found was based on stolen source code, which you can download from any file sharing network. Fool.

The big plan
Having stuffed Arthur OS with an abundance of features, like a fat Christmas turkey, we intend to relaunch it as RISC OS 6, ready to run on the latest ARM devices (you know, those latest ones, the ones that have crap MHz speeds but like, they're new), inside cool gadgets like pocket sized PDAs to provide breaking news reports 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - and not just RISC OS news. We believe RISC OS 6 is ready for the big time, as we'll cover all news. Which is why we need these new features. Obviously. But please, we really won't forget about RISC OS news, we just feel that by covering all worldwide news, RISC OS desktop users will benefit immensely.

Our first PDA will be called the ARM Reporter - its features will be added over time, in the form of irregular updates, but we can't decide on the exact features now. If you email us with ideas, we'll pretend to consider them, though.

"It's an amazing breakthrough for RISC OS," chimed Drobe publisher Berg Blunderberg. "We're delirious with happiness because we're damn good and everything else smells and is useless. We want no part of anyone else, yet everything belongs to us. You. Your thoughts. Your mother. Ours. And yeah, we're good at news reporting too, which is what counts at the end of the day.

"Don't bother asking any further questions, our PR spinster says silence is the best publicity idiocy can buy. And believe me, we have a lot of idiocy."

In response to our plans, bitter rivals MySarcasm launched a PDA powered by Linux but it fact runs Acorn MOS 1.2 in userspace to provide breaking news. We'd quote head editor and 1980s pop legend Paul Hardcastle, but he was kidnapped in broad daylight, bundled into the back of a clearly marked van and driven to a disused warehouse unavailable for comment. Plus he's a mate of King Arthur, which just isn't cool. The editor of Betla Magazine said she'd get back to us, once she'd thrown an exclusive after-Wakefield-show party for her informed anonymous sources: wine plus rumors equals fact.

And as for the future, well, this is where everything gets interesting. For instance...

Article terminated by Lawyer Ant 417 due to confidentiality reasons


News? Comments? Satire?

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How to p*** off the owners of RISC OS in one easy article. Can we have one suitably taking the p*** out of ROL next please?

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 23/6/04 10:48PM
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Berg Blunderberg ? Doesnt this chap play for germany ;-]

Although i do think that the only way forward is arthur on a mobile phone though... or wait my combi micro wave...

 is a RISC OS Userrdenk144 on 23/6/04 10:57PM
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I know it sounds nuts, but will we see a relaunch of Brazil? It'd make an ideal OS for a PDA device you could use on the tube.

 is a RISC OS Usercmj on 23/6/04 11:08PM
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It's not nuts to consider this stuff. The revival of BBC MOS may even make sense; 6502 designs are available free now, and people I know producing new mpeg4-based cameras are looking for such small processors (6502,8051...) and suitable 8bit MOSses to run on them to run the basic control logic there. Maybe CTL can backport RISC OS as 8bit? :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 23/6/04 11:11PM
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As one of King Arthur's Knights we do not need lawyers as we find a sword or lance has far better results.

And if you insist on using lawyers against us we will use swords and lamce to defend us. :biggrin:

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 23/6/04 11:13PM
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SparkY: "Can we have one suitably taking the p*** out of ROL next please?"

No of course you can't, it might not fit with the accepted and "allowed" beliefs.

I don't see what's new about any of this - everyone knows Castle own the rights to Arthur, and I myself asked Jack Lillingston if he was willing to make Arthur open source, a month or two ago ;-)


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 23/6/04 11:17PM
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cmj: Who's going to suggest the revival of ARX, eh?

I have a working copy of PanOS here, but would I really recommend using it?


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 23/6/04 11:19PM
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"the ARM reporter - its features will be added over time, in the form of irregular updates"

As an Iconbar writer, I'm going to sue your ass - we did that first!

Is it true that Arthur 2 was renamed RISC OS 2 because of a Dudley Moore film released around the same time?

Also... when can we get Virtual Arthur?

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 24/6/04 12:23AM
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This is a great article. Really funny :laugh:

But somehow I feel guilty for finding it sooo amusing.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 24/6/04 12:39AM
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A further $120 will get you Arthur Adjust which adds a graduated backdrop and round buttons ;)

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 24/6/04 12:40AM
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ARX ? Dave Walker told me once someone still has the sources. I still wonder who this might be... Any ideas?

Just curious (as usual)

 is a RISC OS Userscl4c0rn on 24/6/04 1:09AM
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Perhaps a future update should be "Arthur Ad-just in time", a better-than-real-time system that allows Drobe to report the news *before*it*happens*? ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 24/6/04 1:12AM
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No, that would be Arthur TOSS.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 24/6/04 1:34AM
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Hey, one way to get the 5 million is to get the OS sponsored by Jerry Bruckheimer, as a certain film is coming out this summer... ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 24/6/04 2:35AM
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Wow, has Drobe bought licensing rights to "Candid Camera"? It's like another fairy tale! Drobes own news based RISC OS 6. While Castle's "Iyonixs" is a RISC OS 5 so then what's RISC OS 6.... "King Arthur" ? I hope the licensing's up to scratch otherwise we'll end up with King Arthur not in his Castle, but in exile. Or rather, if Arthur was developed around 1987 before RISC OS, then wouldn't the owner of Arthur (before RISC OS) be the true licensee of RISC OS but PACE didn't tell Castle? :blush: Dear me, not again!!! :angel:

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 24/6/04 2:53AM
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"Also, one of King Arthurs Knights reckon hes found stolen Microsoft WindowsNT source code in Arthur". Ahh! I disagree there Drobe! The knight would have found the crap source code if he had of looked up the rear end (parallel) port hole! Well, where else would MS be hiding!! Cheers, Steve.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 24/6/04 3:06AM
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And some people said that drobe.co.uk were pro-Castle. :)

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 24/6/04 7:31AM
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Look at that screenshot. Arthur had garish colours years before Windows XP :)

 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 24/6/04 7:40AM
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Not only garish colours I noticed but the desktop in "old" Arthur still looks easier to use than a "new" Windows XP.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 24/6/04 8:31AM
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Will Drobe license VirtualArthur?

 is a RISC OS UserMartinD on 24/6/04 8:46AM
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What an odd article! Is this the Register?

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 24/6/04 8:47AM
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"Don't bother asking any further questions, our PR spinster says [...]"

Which I mis-read as "our PR sphincter says [...]" *cough*

 is a RISC OS Userjms on 24/6/04 9:03AM
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lmao I agree with flypig, Very funny, yet feel guilty thinking so! ;)

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 24/6/04 10:18AM
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scl4c0rn: There is a Operating System "Arx" that works on ARM7 and StrongARM actively being developed: [link]

MartinD: VirtualArthur? [link]

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 24/6/04 10:57AM
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> [link]

"Arthur is an Operating System (OS) that was used on early Acorns from about 1987 until RISC OS 2 was available. It ran on early Archimedes machines, and I believe the Master Compact."


 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 24/6/04 11:04AM
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dgs: "I myself asked Jack Lillingston if he was willing to make Arthur open source, a month or two ago"

But then doing so would presumably give away far too many "trade secrets", I suppose, such is the sorry record of RISC OS development.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 24/6/04 11:29AM
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Castle v RISCOS Ltd Soap opera, comedy or tragedy ? I sense another Icon Bar poll coming on.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 24/6/04 11:31AM
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I don't :P and since I'm the only one who seems to change it... Also... If I used your suggestion you might sue me :|

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 24/6/04 1:21PM
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"How to p*** off the owners of RISC OS in one easy article."

Surely you don't think Castle are that fragile?

"Can we have one suitably taking the p*** out of ROL next please?"

There may be little opportunity for that if Castle destroy them.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 24/6/04 1:46PM
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In response to matin : I'm thinking more 'real-time' thriller, with Kiefer Sutherland to play Jack Lillingston - can ya see it? The big explosions, the epic twists, the unnecessary filler episodes, the gripping climax - I did put in a request for the miniseries rights back at the start of the legal ramblings :-)

Regards, Ryan

 is a RISC OS Userdrjones69 on 24/6/04 2:33PM
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In reply to egel:

I was aware of this website but... is this really the same ARX? Maybe I should send them an e-mail to find out.

 is a RISC OS Userscl4c0rn on 26/06/04 9:09PM
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No this a completely different company/thing.

 is a RISC OS Userepdm3be on 02/07/04 11:55AM
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 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 06/12/06 05:00AM
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