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'RISC OS Mobile' plans leaked

By Chris Williams. Published: 1st Apr 2005, 00:05:00 | Permalink | Printable

RISC OS on mobile phone [Updated] Midday disclaimer

A large software corporation is exploring the possibility of using RISC OS in mobile appliances, a source has revealed. Our insider, a drobe.co.uk reader, couldn't believe his luck when he was recently assigned to a top secret software R&D team and witnessed first hand Adjust32 running on various ARM powered mobile devices. It's understood that the gadgets are development models, provided by hardware partners to software companies to produce products and upgrades for.


Browsing the web on a pre-release mobile phone powered by RISC OS


Yesterday, we received videos and photos of the OS in action on mobile phone hardware, showing RISC OS booting up and running applications. Earlier this year, rumours were rife that the developers of RISC OS had won a substantial six figure deal to produce an evaluation version of "RISC OS Mobile", an extremely minimal version of Embedded RISC OS as seen on other hardware products.

The well placed source, who refused to divulge precisely who he worked for, said: "This is the real deal. So far, management has shown a lot of enthusiasm for RISC OS Mobile, and having come from a Windows CE background, it's a joy to be coding for RISC OS again. A lot of my fellow developers are pretty glad that we're considering a platform that's no fuss and no bloat."


Amusingly running Ovation, ironic given that it's a desktop publishing application


Explaining that the success of RISC OS Mobile relies on the recent efforts to abstract hardware support from the OS, he added: "It's amazing what can be done on such small devices. The anti-aliased fonts, modest licensing cost and low processor overhead make it ideal. The toolchain is lacking somewhat, but I'm looking forward to persuading my boss to let me take my RiscPC into work."

Although RISC OS Mobile is understood to be running a minimal build of RISC OS 4.41 with wireless and compact media device drivers, our source managed to enable enough modules to reach the familiar desktop, allowing him to browse the web and run selected software.

The developers of RISC OS were unable to immediately comment on RISC OS Mobile, although one programmer told us to wait and see at May's Wakefield.

Media
Download the MPEG video of the development mobile phone booting up, noticeably fast and running some familiar software (works in KinoAmp on RISC OS and other mainstream players)

Our insider insisted that the final end user product version will be a lot more polished, and will probably not feature the words 'RISC OS' any where for PR reasons - punters aren't expected to endear to a product with 'risk' in its name. The video was recorded hastily whilst at work, we believe, so apologies for the jerkiness. Below are some stills from the video:



Update at Midday, 1st April
Read our midday disclaimer

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Discussion

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Wow, they even have firefox by the looks of it, perhaps Peter needn't bother....

 is a RISC OS UserRimmer on 1/4/05 10:20AM
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Maybe he was involved ;)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 1/4/05 10:25AM
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The company involved asked for an early cut-down version to try on their phones. You can come see it yourself at my talk on the 12th.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 1/4/05 10:44AM
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Wow, that video was pretty exciting. Great how Firefox managed to load instantly as the desktop appeared, and all that other software too. Did they ever actually press the buttons? OK, not too difficult to put an mp4 video on an Orange SPV and play it full screen, is it? Good video though (also, that screen looks good).

Sorry if I spoilt it for someone, but this is obviously an April Fools!

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 1/4/05 10:51AM
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It wouldn't be that difficult to get an app starting from a 'frozen' state (remember !Freeze?). They're doing something like that from what we've managed to glean so far.

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 1/4/05 10:57AM
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Personally, I always thought RO might have more a place in the mini-tablet market than on mobile phones, given the lack of keyboard navigation, also geez whats with the sticky tape, nice try though :)

 is a RISC OS UserNoMercy on 1/4/05 11:11AM
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Would this be using the new 4G standard for porcine carriers, PDMA?

 is a RISC OS Usercaliston2 on 1/4/05 11:14AM
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Very exciting to see RISC OS on a mobile phone.

For PR & exposure it certainly looks the right place to see RISC OS here.

Firefox too, that's even better news?

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 1/4/05 11:32AM
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Shame the new Tonto phone isn't yet UMTS. Nice to see the kind of relaxed workplace where you feel able to stick your used chewing gum to the prototypes :-)

 is a RISC OS Userxyzzy on 1/4/05 12:04PM
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I am feeling seasick after the video though. I'm going to have to lie down.

 is a RISC OS Userxyzzy on 1/4/05 12:06PM
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Well, I must admit you got me (again!!). If only it was true...

 is a RISC OS UserWalks on 1/4/05 12:12PM
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Does the phone come ready wrapped with the rather fetching tape or do you have to supply your own? ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserMart on 1/4/05 12:36PM
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nice on Drobe - I think that this is the best 1st April you have done yet :-D

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 1/4/05 1:01PM
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talking about video, is there an ogm / ogg vorbis/theora player for risc os yet?

I have had video running on an old 133 MHz PC in DIVX format this wouldnt play on that comupter

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 1/4/05 2:32PM
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There has been an ogg vorbis player for quite some time. Both my ogg123 port and DigitalCD do it. Not that that's video of course.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 1/4/05 2:38PM
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They did a good job with the boot screen.. ??? 940T RISC OS 4.41

Booting from internal flash...

Radio: rh0: CSR Bluetooth module Radio: rh1: Dualcomm GSm/GPRS Radio: rh2: Dualcomm GPS/a

least thats what it looks like in the video :) to blurry to be 100% sure.

 is a RISC OS Userhelf on 1/4/05 4:44PM
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Qualcomm actually - nice touch, that's the company I work for!

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 1/4/05 4:49PM
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MrChocky:

ah the Theora codec is most important to the video ;) - ive been using ogg123 and Digital CD for my music for some time now ;)

as far as the hoax goes...nice one, im my delirous state this morning i actually believed it. :P

now if only such efforts went into he real thing ;)

WinCE is crap to say the least that orange phone with it on keeps crashing.....but the RISC OS one looke pretty usable at that res!

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 1/4/05 4:59PM
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I don't understand the comment in the disclaimer on how it was done - can someone explain a bit more please?

 is a RISC OS Usersenduran on 1/4/05 8:06PM
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em2ac: I've had my Orange SPV C500 Windows Smartphone since January, and it's been rock solid. What are you doing to it to make it crash?!

 is a RISC OS Userjonesd98 on 1/4/05 9:00PM
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senduran: I guess they wrote some kinda Java applet or similar to do it all, and pretend to be RISC OS?

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 1/4/05 9:08PM
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Pity that this article appeared on the date it did :-(

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 2/4/05 12:51AM
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senduran: The disclaimer page now includes details on how the joke was created.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 2/4/05 3:50AM
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SimonC

I thought it was more a pity some did not play along a bit more seriously to catch others out!

Surely the RISC OS community couldn't be that hard to fool? Maybe not then? :-)

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 2/4/05 6:56AM
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Wow, i didn't realise that much work has gone into it. I'm impressed, although wouldn't a video had been easier? lol

It's a shame that RISC OS is running on Windows *again* lol. Will we never be rid of emulators?

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 2/4/05 8:26AM
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I do not know, who invented this joke, but actually it should be possible. Another nice gadget would be a RISC OS wristwatch.

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 4/4/05 12:56AM
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Another nice gadget would be a RISC OS Wrist Watch.

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 4/4/05 12:59AM
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I saw another one like that on April 1st, a full airfield lighting control system working on a mobile phone!! All you need is a phone with a camera.

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 4/4/05 8:50AM
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