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Foundation DVD leaves ROS 5 behind

By Chris Williams. Published: 21st Feb 2005, 17:02:45 | Permalink | Printable

Magazine celebrates five years in publishing

Foundation DVD coverFoundation RISC User magazine's new DVD-ROM release has highlighted the gap in features between RISC OS 4 and 5. The disc, which features 16 issues of the CD based publication, can right now only be read on RISC OS computers with a DVD drive and Select or Adjust.

Editor Richard Hallas added: "Ironically (given that the DVD was actually created on an Iyonix, and is compatible with it in software terms), it is not currently possible to use this DVD on an Iyonix PC because RISC OS 5 cannot read DVDs. In the future, however, this is likely to change: once DVD-handling capabilities have been added (either by a future RISC OS upgrade or via the forthcoming third-party Cino product), the FRU DVD will work very nicely on the Iyonix."

The DVD has been launched in conjuction with issue 16 of Foundation RISC User, a quarterly magazine published by RISCOS Ltd. The magazine is formatted in HTML, and is said to contain over 1GB of data or around 1 million words. Bringing back warm memories of Acorn User CDs (the good ones), the DVD also includes 'RISC OS only interactive features', a load of free software and an archive of news announcements dating back to 2000. The disc's ISO9660 image was crafted on a Iyonix and then burnt on an Apple Mac computer. It's believed that WSS's 32bit CDROMFS can also read DVD discs.

The developers of RISC OS 5, Castle, were unavailable for comment.


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Pardon me for being ignorant, but if the DVD just contains ISO9660 format data (which the Iyonix can read when it's on a CD), and if CDROMFS can supposedly provide the missing link (indicating it's not a driver issue), what's stopping the Iyonix reading DVDs already? Image size?

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 21/2/05 6:51PM
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I must have missing something how do you connect a dvd drive to a riscpc and what software controls it?

 is a RISC OS Userpmcd on 21/2/05 7:17PM
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See Steffen's post here: [link] I think the key is UDF support.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 21/2/05 7:19PM
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Sounds like another good excuse to buy that Macmini:-)

 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 21/2/05 8:18PM
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I am /not/ spending any more on this Kinetic! What with ViewFinder(1&2), several hard drives of increasing size (currently 37Gb), Select 4.37 (not sure if 4.39 is Kinetic-friendly), Unipod with all bells & whistles (USB, Net100, IDE), I really feel that any further upgrading is throwing good money after bad. So well done chaps, but does it really make sense to give people like me another excuse to delay investment in new hardware?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 21/2/05 8:31PM
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It is certainly difficult for developers and users to invest in current RISC OS (a merry go round situation?) while there may be many like myself waiting for the computer gear we want?

The gear I want is fourth gear, not too worried about overdrive or automatics.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 21/2/05 9:39PM
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Out of curiousity just how many RISC OS computers were sold WITH a DVD player? IIRC Castle were selling RiscPC's for a while with DVD players.

At least there is now a reason to lobby for Select/Adjust on the Iyonix.....so that we can all then buy DVD players, subscribe to Foundation RISC User, and read the compilation DVD.....;o)

Or wait for Cino/DVDFS........or just buy a 'real' computer.....I'm overwhelmed with all these choices ;o)

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 22/2/05 7:14AM
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Does anyone know what version of Select you need to read the DVD? I have Select 2 (RISC OS 4.33) -- will that work?

 is a RISC OS Userben on 22/2/05 9:10AM
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seems to suggest it will work with Select 1i5 or newer.

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 22/2/05 9:44AM
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Oh for goodness sake people. The computer market (and that includes RISC OS) has a long history of providing new hardware, software or other resources that require people to upgrade their machines. Heck, look at the Windows world. I bought my RiscPC so I could do high colour stuff. (oh, the lovely demos in *info). Now you are having a good old moan over a 12 quid DVD drive? Oh please. -- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 22/2/05 9:52AM
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From the link above, to Steffen Huber's post, I understand the situation to be that any computer with plain CDFS would read ISO9660 format DVDs, and CDROMFS will add read compatibility for ISO9660/UDF bridge format and other formats.

Select and Adjust, I assume, just have some or all of the formats supported in CDROMFS.

Is this correct?

 is a RISC OS Userajb on 22/2/05 10:18AM
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ajb: CDROMFS supports UDF. The Select CDFS supports UDF.

All other versions of CDFS don't support UDF.

AFAIK etc.

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 22/2/05 10:26AM
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Looking at Steffens aforementioned statements a ISO9660 DVD would have been fine.

Question arising ist if the Foundation DVD is plain ISO9660 or if ROL decided to hassle everybody not having Select? ... or CDROMFS, as Steffen suggests.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 22/2/05 11:45AM
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Hi folks,

I thought I should answer a few of the points raised here - though if you read my press release (to which the article links), it should answer most questions, including various points that have been touched on by some comments.

1. The DVD is in standard ISO9660 format. It was created with CD-Burn in exactly the same way as I create normal FRU CDs. There is roughly 1.1Gb of data on the disc, though, so you'll need a DVD drive in order to read it. The only non-RISC OS bit was the physical burning of the disc, which I did on my Mac because it has a DVD-writer and my Iyonix doesn't. But the image itself was created on RISC OS and is a regular ISO9660 disc image - just a larger one than will fit on a CD.

2. I would expect that the DVD would work with CDROMFS on any RISC OS machine, including the Iyonix. But you still need a DVD drive in order to be able to read the disc in the first place. As CDROMFS is a third party commercial product, and because Iyonix users would still need to buy a DVD drive, and because I haven't been able to test this combination myself, I thought it would over-complicate an already long press release to mention this possibility. If anyone can confirm that the DVD is readable on an Iyonix via CDROMFS with a DVD drive, though, that would be useful information.

3. The systems on which the DVD has been tested are the ones mentioned in the press release (i.e. RPC with DVD drive and Select, and VRPC on a PC with a DVD drive). My own native RISC OS machines (Iyonix and Risc PC) do not have DVD drives, so I was not able to test a physical DVD with them myself. RISCOS Ltd tested the DVD with the two systems mentioned and assured me that it works fine. Hence those are the systems mentioned in the press release... and they're also the systems that most users are likely to have at their disposal. But I don't say that they're the /only/ systems on which the DVD could theoretically work. I'd hope that the number of systems able to cope with the DVD will increase in the future (notably the Iyonix; possibly all it needs is a DVD-ROM drive, for users who have bought CDROMFS). Of course, if you have networked machines, that's another way of getting the data across to a machine without a DVD drive.

4. The DVD *is* usable on a PC or Mac with a DVD drive. You can read all the article content, but what you lose is the interactivity. FRU has unique RISC OS-only features that let you run software resources (stored in Zip archives on the disc) by clicking links in articles. E.g. click on an illustration of an ArtWorks graphic, and the original vector file loads into ArtWorks. Those features can only work on RISC OS systems because they rely on RISC OS software (provided on the disc) in order to work.

5. By all means buy a Mac mini on which to read the DVD (Macs are really good these days)... but I'd suggest that it'd be a /lot/ more economical just to buy a DVD drive for your existing RISC OS computer! ;-) (And you wouldn't then lose the use of the RISC OS-only interactive features.) Of course, Virtual Risc PC for Mac OS X would be a big help here...

6. For a while, Castle supplied Risc PCs with DVD drives fitted. The company took the correct decision to advertise them as being 'for use as CD drives'; had it not done so, it'd undoubtedly have come in for vast amounts of flak from users demanding free support for DVD movie playback etc. But anyone who has such a Risc PC, and has installed Select or Adjust, should now be able to take immediate advantage of that drive by using the FRU DVD with it.

7. I haven't the slightest intention of deterring anyone from investing in new RISC OS hardware; quite the reverse, in fact. It's unfortunate that there isn't a straightforward way of reading the FRU DVD in an Iyonix at present, but the same could be said of a RiscStation or an Omega etc... unless you happen to have a Risc PC with a DVD drive in it already, a DVD drive is something that most users will have to buy. And we can expect that DVD accessibility will come to the Iyonix sooner rather than later. When it does, this DVD will already be suitable for use on the Iyonix (it was created on one, after all), and there are lots of features of interest to Iyonix users in FRU. (Indeed, FRU published the most complete and extensive coverage of the Iyonix of any RISC OS magazine in the issue following the Iyonix's launch.)

8. Similarly, there's nothing remotely 'political' about the production of this DVD. (I'm as fed up with politics as everyone else.) This is my product, I'd like as many users as possible to be able to read it, and there's nothing to be read into it about 'hassling' everyone to get Select or whatever. The plain fact of the matter is that you need Select in order to be able to read DVDs, because Select has an enhanced version of CDFS which supports more formats and more drives, but I'd hope to see similar access appear on the Iyonix, either via RISC OS itself (whether that's from Castle or RISCOS Ltd) or some third party product such as Cino or, indeed, CDROMFS. But Iyonix machines have all, to date, shipped with CD rather than DVD drives, so existing users will still need to fit a DVD drive.

9. The motivation for creating the DVD was the compilation aspect: every fourth issue of FRU is a compilation, and up to issue 12, it was possible to fit everything on a single CD (though, when it came to issue 12, it was extremely tight and a few less important resource files had to be omitted). Issue 16, though, required 1.1Gb of space for all the data (incidentally, all the software and resources are in Zip-deflated archives, and hence would require very much more space than that if expanded). So the CD version of issue 16 is a compilation of issues 13 to 16. The DVD edition seemed like a nice thing to create as an optional extra for those people who could actually use it. Now, it happens to be a fact that only Select-equipped machines can read DVDs at present (at least, without investing further money in a third-party product). That doesn't imply any intention to 'hassling' people who haven't bought Select or who have an Iyonix or whatever. There is no such intention; it is merely a fact that, for the moment, Select and a DVD drive is what's necessary in order to be able to read the DVD.

10. In producing the very first RISC OS DVD, I hope that it will help to give a bit of a boost to other products, and maybe kick-start a potential market. Until now, no RISC OS users have had any reason at all to want a DVD drive in their machines, as it would have been totally wasted. But now, there's a really high quality DVD (says he immodestly) - albeit only one! - with which to use a DVD drive. Its existence may help inspire people to buy products such as Cino in due course, and the more people who fit DVD drives to their RISC OS machines, the more incentive there is for other third parties to make DVD-ROMs. I'd imagine that other magazines, for instance, might like to be able to publish one DVD rather than multiple-CD compilations etc; a single disc is easier to create than several, from a maintenance point of view, and is more convenient for the user. Yes, it may mean that users have to buy a new drive (though they're not very expensive), but the same situation is true in the Mac and PC world: if you want to use certain software, you need a machine with a DVD drive, and they're still not standard even on all Macs and PCs.

What this boiled down to was: should we create this DVD at all, in the knowledge that not everyone would be able to use it right away, or should we just ignore the possibility because there wasn't enough support for it? I felt that it was a good thing to do; if we don't introduce new possibilities to the platform we'll never get anywhere.

 is a RISC OS UserRichardHallas on 22/2/05 3:02PM
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Has anyone tried connecting a DVD drive to Unipod's IDE interface? Did (Can) it work?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 22/2/05 3:35PM
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I am confused.

In para. 1 you state that the DVD is in standard ISO9660 format.

However, Steffen Huber states that plain CDFS will read a standard ISO9660 format DVD, and you used CDBurn to create the file.

Has anyone tried to read the DVD on any computer without Select or CDROMFS, ie. using just CDFS ?

 is a RISC OS Userajb on 22/2/05 3:50PM
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What does VA do with DVDs? I've never had a reason to consider trying before.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 22/2/05 6:03PM
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where or how would u connect a dvd drive to a unipod most are usb 2 how would they work? The external drive I have has connections for IEE1394 and usb 2. How do u connect to a riscpc select 4.39 with unipod?

 is a RISC OS Userpmcd on 22/2/05 7:29PM
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ajb: I tried the DVD myself with VRPC running RO 4.0x and it didn't work; I just got an odd error and it wouldn't catalogue the disc. I'm afraid I don't know enough about the workings of CDFS to say what the problem is. All I can say is that the Select version of CDFS is required to read the disc successfully. (Or, presumably, CDROMFS, though I haven't been able to test that with this DVD myself.)

 is a RISC OS UserRichardHallas on 22/2/05 8:11PM
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In reply to pmcd the unipod also has an IDEF an network interface on it.

To enable IDEFS on your unipod if not already enabled you will need to contact STD and pay them 25.00

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 22/2/05 9:04PM
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The statement I made earlier was not "the whole truth", mainly because describing the whole truth about CDFS interaction would require an encyclopaedia.

While it is certainly true that plain CDFS is able to read any logical ISO9660 format no matter how big it is, this does not mean that a specific CDFS/CDFSSoft*/DVD reader combination is able to read such a DVD-ROM containing only a plain ISO9660 format. The same effect could be seen with some CD-ROM drives that didn't operate correctly with CDFS, but worked just fine with CDROMFS, despite working through exactly the same CDFSSoft* driver.

Someone who is able to extract the image file from the Foundation DVD on plain RISC OS 4 might like to try to mount that image file with CDFaker/FakeCD - I would expect to see CDFS reading that DVD image just fine.

Maybe now would be the right time to produce the "CDBurn CD Reader"...

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 23/2/05 11:30AM
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There is nothing insurmountable about reading (on a sector by sector basis) a DVD (non-encypted) on an Iyonix (I've done this using CDFS/MMC calls from some homebrew code and a DVD-ROM reader (a Liteon) and two different DVD writers - a Pika One (1004, a BTC derivative) and an LG GSA-4120B).

I have managed to read a DVD-R (generated on a PC) and copied its data off (reading sector by sector) and wrote the resulting image ON AN IYONIX to a DVD+RW (+RW's are easier as according to the standards they don't require you to set up write mode page parameters and can do background formatting and all sorts of niftiness). The resulting image could be read on a PC.

So please let no one go away here with the notion that there is something inherently deficient in the Iyonix that prevents it from using a DVD Reader (or for that matter Writer) given the appropriate software.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 24/2/05 1:57PM
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To Richard Hallas: You write "RISCOS Ltd tested the DVD with the two systems mentioned and assured me that it works fine". Well, I'm a bit surprised that ROL didn't try it on an IYONIX pc; since they state that they are committed to offer Select32 for the IYONIX pc in near future I assume that they have an IYONIX pc and it shouldn't be that difficult to (temporarily) put one of their DVD drives into that one to check if the new DVD they offer works with it... but perhaps I'm wrong with my assumptions alltogether.

To hubersn: Yes, the "CDBurn CD Reader" would be a good idea assuming it can read DVDs too :-)

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 24/2/05 4:14PM
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Well that's the DVD drive ordered

& a fanless PSU :blush:

- now wonders if WSS still exsist as they are so arcane you can't order over the internet :rolleyes:

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 24/2/05 7:23PM
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For Info: RO5 CDFS will read ISO9660 images from DVD, as long as you are using a compatible DVD reader. E.g. Sony or Lite-on (who I believe make the Sony badged drives).

CDFFSoftATAPI expects drives that work predictably. Work I did on CDFSSoftATAPI_CT, as licensed to ROL and shipped in RO4, was more tolerant of misbehaviong CD drives.

I have chosen NOT to import this can of worms into the Iyonix CDFSSoftATAPI since :<li> 1: we ship known good make(s) which work, and <li> 2: it had become a major maintenance burden encouraging CDFSSoftATAPI_CT to continue to support each new drive found.

n.b. There is nothing to stop 3rd parties making further CDFSSoft drivers available. Indeed I would be more than happy to talk to 3rd parties about doing something with CDFSSoftAtapi_CT ... Cheers


 is a RISC OS Userjb on 18/5/05 9:02AM
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