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PC card software to be open sourced

By Chris Williams. Published: 11th Aug 2005, 12:23:08 | Permalink | Printable

Vintage 486 toasters rejoice

Aleph1 logoMaker of x86 co-processor kit, Aleph1, is to re-release its !PC application as open source, according to Peter Naulls.

The software in question drives Aleph1's range of hardware upgrades that feature sub-200Mhz PC processors, allowing users to run programs and operating systems built for the x86 platform - usually Microsoft Windows 95 and 98. Also thrown in to the open sourcing rampage is Network Links, a driver that allows software running on the PC processor to access a network card in the host RISC OS machine.

"It may prove interesting for some people to play with, even though the practicality of a PC card for most people has long since passed," said Peter earlier today. He added that he hopes someone will volunteer to maintain the package.

The source code should appear on riscos.info within the next few weeks and Peter is currently flogging a few suitable PC podules on ebay. It's reported that Aleph1 have requested that they are not contacted by end users, as they wish to be unshackled from providing support.

Links

!PC/!PCPro software

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Discussion

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It would be interesting to get the source to see why the PC card stopped working on my Kinetic + ViewFinder system a few years ago - although it will probably be just as long again before I get time though.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/8/05 1:19PM
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Chris seems to have ommited to mention where he obtained this information. Here's the link: [link]

HTH.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 11/8/05 1:31PM
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This is excellent news, i always found the PC card great fun to play with and hopefully some clever bod can update the software a bit now.

A screen shot of my card in action: [link]

 is a RISC OS UserFuzzy on 11/8/05 1:38PM
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Fuzzy: there's a problem with that image; there's a noticable lack of ducks. Were you having an off day?

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 11/8/05 1:50PM
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In reply to Chocky: The image is duck free so as not to scare any of the straights who may look at it ;-P

 is a RISC OS UserFuzzy on 11/8/05 1:58PM
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Fuzzy: What is your name? Your web site has pictures of you and the name (and pictures) of many of your friends! Are you shy? :-)

 is a RISC OS UserCJE on 12/8/05 12:01PM
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This is pretty good news, IMO! I still know of some people that use their PC cards occassionally and one of them would really appreciate the Network Links software, although I can't see any direct benefit over Select and modern software. Probably something Microsoft only ...

Anyway, I do hope someone enthusiastic about the PC card will step forward to take a look at the source and perhaps invest some effort into maximizing its potential.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 13/8/05 9:40AM
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It would be good if this was the start of a pattern, with old software that is no longer being developed made open source.

There must be oodles of software like this in the RO market that isn't benefitting the original developer any more, but could greatly benefit users in the future.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 13/8/05 1:39PM
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It has already started; look at the work done by Spellings recently. However. there isn't often a whole lot of financial incentive to do so with no real income from such projects. It often depends on the companies in question and their view towards open source.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 13/8/05 8:09PM
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I think it is true to say that there is a general trend towards making redundant software available in this way. Even if there is no immediate financial return, it is good PR.

 is a RISC OS UserRickCB on 14/8/05 12:14AM
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Any chance this can be used to get a standard of the shelf PCI processor board working in the Iyonix? (I am more interested in a ARM board than a PC board though)

 is a RISC OS UserJaco on 14/8/05 12:42PM
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No; you can't randomly apply software given for a very specific CPU setup on a custom bus to any abitrary card - certainly you'll have to name a card that you think you want to use, and certainly not an ARM board which will have a completely different architecture. Even then, it might not even physcially fit, due to voltage requirements.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 14/8/05 1:55PM
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Although the idea of a PCI PC card for the Iyonix is fairly interesting, what use will it serve? I think people nowadays buy a RISC OS computer to specifically run just that, RISC OS. The RiscPC was built as a machine capable of running multiple OS's on multiple CPU's. That was 10 years ago and really impressive. Now things are different.

My opinion is if people really need a PC or Windows with their RISC OS machine they should buy VRPC or simply two seperate machines. Native machines are for the dedicated users that really care for the platform and just don't need to run Windows on it. And yes, I know some of those machines VRPC runs on are more powerful than anything native we've got... I don't care.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 14/8/05 2:15PM
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I agree there is not much use in putting a processor board in your computer, but it could be fun. Just like sticking with an outdated OS has not much use but we do it anyway. I don't care for windows on my Iyonix but I like to muck about with a board like this one with multiple ARM processors [link] but then I need at least an example on how to run something of that board.

 is a RISC OS UserJaco on 14/8/05 2:41PM
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