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RiscPC emulator ported to Linux

By Chris Williams. Published: 13th Mar 2006, 21:57:15 | Permalink | Printable

Some months away while PDA version rumoured

Linux trademark Tux mascotFreely available RiscPC hardware emulator RPCEmu has been ported to Linux. Author Tom Walker released his program under an open source licence to Peter Naulls, who then crafted a Linux version and added in HostFS support from ArcEm - enabling RPCEmu to access files stored by the host operating system. RPCEmu, originally built for Windows users, is distributed with its source code included for other programmers to tweak and experiment with.

University student Tom said: "Peter was actually the second person to tell me he'd got it running on Linux. What surprised me was when I found out there was a PocketPC build in the works, although not by Peter."

Tom has added StrongARM processor handling to his emulation software, and also Video RAM support. He rewrote the emulation of the video system, allowing 32,000 colour modes to be supported - unlocking Replay video playback and high end demos, such as Zero. Various updates have also been made to the emulation of the keyboard, mouse and disc hardware. These will be available in the next public release, according to Tom.

"StrongARM support is merely a few more instructions - there is no real speed gain, except on things like AMPlayer which gain a lot from the multiplication instructions," said Tom.

"VRAM was more tricky. It was easy to get working on RISC OS 4, but 3.x do some strange things, like put all the memory management unit tables in VRAM at one point. It also really required a rewrite of the video code to support 16 and 32 bit modes. It's probably the most rewarding improvement so far."

On his website, Peter noted that a stable release of the Linux port is "some months" away, although coders interested in contributing to the project can contact him to access the latest source code.

Peter said: "When Tom Walker released the sources to RPCEmu, his RiscPC emulator for Windows in January, I was quickly able to turn around a port for Linux and much a bunch of other improvements - such is the nature of open source software. Now, this Linux port is very immature, so don't go asking me for a release. All I will say is that it works, but needs lots of things done to it."

He added: "Of course top marks to Tom for doing this in the first place, and agreeing to place it under the GPL after a number of suggestions I made to him about possibilities for clarifying source ownership."


RPCEmu website

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Brilliant News! Now at last (hopefully!) I'll be able to run RiscOS on my laptop natively (no more struggling get VA to run under wine! - and one more reason to finally obliterate the last lingering XP partition on there!), and at last a way to run a newer OS (although kudos to Peter for having ArcEm running under linux also!).

Now of course I suppose the only last thing to be said is... Gimme gimme gimme!! ;-)

Regards, Ryan

 is a RISC OS Userdrjones69 on 14/3/06 10:11AM
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Suddenly, the world of emulating RISC OS machines seems a much more complex and varied place! I mean that in a good way!

Perhaps we'll need an article describing the major differences between them?

Congrats to everyone involved - good work!

 is a RISC OS Userkrisa on 14/3/06 11:13AM
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Come on whats the rumor about a PDA version?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/3/06 11:28AM
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Like Druck, I want to know about the PDA version - especially as there are competing PDA OSs. I use a PalmOne PDA and would like a RISC OS emulator for that - I deliberately avoided buying a WinCE PDA!

 is a RISC OS Usercables on 14/3/06 12:16PM
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Well, a quick and dirty port of rpcemu involves ripping out the win32 stuff, just as it does with Arculator, but I guess that rpcemu needs RISC OS 3.7 or later, given the register dump I get when running it. Comparing Arculator with ArcEm in terms of CPU usage and usability, ArcEm still reigns supreme, though.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 14/3/06 12:25PM
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If RISC OS ltd had any sense they would sell ROM images for this.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 14/3/06 1:18PM
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Revin Kevin: Sense? Nah... ;)

Ofcourse, since emulation does have some substantial advantages* over currently available native hardware, this is good news. Bad news is that it's potentially hurting Castle's and Advantage Six's market. But if, like many people now, you don't care about that, well than it's okay I suppose... Just my view on this, in general I really like the progress being made here.

*Emulation allows RISC OS (and its applications) to take advantage of its Windows / Linux / UNIX host and generally superior hardware, like some software already does for VRPC. Not to mention allowing RISC OS to run at speeds currently just not possible on either Iyonix or A9home.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 14/3/06 2:39PM
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Can emulation under Linux rival the speeds achieved either by VRPC/Windows or native hardware? Doesn't VRPC rely heavily on the graphics and disk access acceleration available under XP to run as fast as it does? Archive magazine benchmarked VRPC against an Iyonix and its Dhrystone rating was just over one third of the Iyo's; the HD read/write speeds were 10x-15x faster however :-0

I don't wish to belittle the efforts of either Tom Walker or Peter Naulls by the way, and I appreciate that this development is at an early stage, whereas as VRPC is relatively mature.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 14/3/06 4:05PM
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bucksboy: "VRPC is relatively mature"

Well, ArcEm predates VRPC by a long time - the original copyright statement gives 1995 as the earliest date. The difference is that VRPC uses various proprietary (but not particularly novel) techniques to speed up the emulated system.

As to whether you get a fast emulated system, the most significant question is this: why would you want one? Sure, there were some nice applications available for RISC OS in their day, but the people with the expertise to make a nice, open, fast emulator/virtualiser are more likely to be spending their time/effort on much more useful stuff than extending the lifespan of old, proprietary software. Here, "useful stuff" typically means "applications for contemporary platforms", as seen with Jonathan Marten's DrawView developments, for example.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 14/3/06 4:26PM
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bucksboy: Due to the method used in emulation, interpreting each instruction as opposed to 'Just in Time' compiling, RPCemu and arcem run at a slower speed than VARPC. However you should rememeber that even VARPC started out in life as an interpreted system called Red Squirrel. The method's for HD access are not CPU bound and even interpretted systems will offer stagering speeds compared to native RO hardware. The 'disk acceleration', you talk about is nothing more than the underlying OS caching recent files in free memory, a feature that would provide a huge speed boost to native RO if Castle/ROL even get around to it.

As for Video Acceleration, VARPC/Red Squirrel use DirectX which provides a hardware independant way of using more advanced features of graphics cards (with software versions of the same code, if the hardware doesn't support it). A common accelerated feature that I believe is used in VARPC is Blitting, very rapidly copying a section of memory (representing the RPC's screen graphics) into the video cards VRAM, and thus the screen. Tom would be able to use DirectX himself if he wants similar graphics performance, but at the moment he's using the Allegro graphics library that has a few advantages too, including multi OS support and a simpler programming API.

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 14/3/06 4:45PM
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Does anyone else see Virtual Acorn ported to the PDA market as being a worthy market? I I could use RISC OS on a mobile or handheld, I'd be as happy as the proverbial pig...

With my (very limited) knowledge of Windows Mobile, I'd see it's similarity accross a multitude of hardwares a major bonus and a good market for Virtual Acorn, although I'm sure people will correct me if I'm wrong...

My desire would be a Psion 5mx form factor (with colour screen) running RISC OS, or even fruitiion of the RON Project, and given the many (PPC) forum comments about Microsoft's Origami Project, it looks like I'm not the only one. I'd even sacrifice the keyboard for a decent handheld PDA... decent colour screen, battery life, and portability in one: so, a Jornada 720/728 with Virtual Acorn...

So, what about it? A Windows Mobile version of Virtual Acorn - anyone want it?


 is a RISC OS Usermetallicat on 15/3/06 12:03AM
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Flibble: thanks for the informative reply. Guestx: so why use RO at all? Answer, because it's still more pleasant to use than other OSes, and apps like Artworks and Ovation Pro offer enough power and unrivalled intuitiveness. Also, enough has been done by the small army of mostly volunteer coders and porters to provide improved functionality in vital areas like web browsing (Firefox, Netsurf), common file format reading and creating (GView, JClean, SwiftJPEG), and cross platform compatibility (ViewXLS) to keep RO usable on a daily basis. Thirdly, RO is mercifully free from the remorseless round of security maintenance that afflicts Windows users.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 15/3/06 9:20AM
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RISC OS running on a Psion5 like clamshell and keyboard PDA with hi res screen (such as the i-Mate JasJar I have infront of me [link]) would be great. However it would have to be quite a different beast to the normal emulators, as ARM on ARM instruction level emulation would give you around ARM2/3 speeds even on a 533MHz XScale.

Dynamic recompilation (nee JIT) would obviously give great results, but unfortunately is far too memory intensive to be used on devices which currently only have 48MB of available main RAM - indeed even the simpilest emulator is going be severly constrained by this. Running RISC OS code directly in user mode and provding emulation of SWIs would how I would approach it, assuming I had a vast amount of development resources to be able tackle the implementation.

But realistically if you don't have the performance differential of a desktop or good laptop system, emulation isn't an option on a PDA, running RISC OS natively is the only practical solution. People have reverse engineered the boot loaders and written drivers to get Linux running on PDAs, so theres no reason why a HAL implementation and drivers couldn't get RISC OS running natively too.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/3/06 9:28AM
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druck: Would it be ridiculously optimistic (certainly in comparison to my usual pessimistic stance) to think that if that could be done then it could be an area where RISC OS could really shine? A nice "new" OS for such devices, with an existing software base, and you wouldn't have people going on about it being underpowered compared to the alternatives. Perhaps ROL or Castle should be looking at doing this.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 15/3/06 10:15AM
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In reply to Guestx : Apologies if some of these have already been address, I was so incensed by the post I felt a need to reply immediately ;-)

As to why would someone want a RISC OS emulator on Linux, no software worth using you say? Allow to me to suggest a couple of apps and perhaps you can demonstrate what I could use under linux instead...

OvationPro - and anyone who even contemplates saying Scribus obviously hasn't extensively used the 2 packages! ArtWorks - OK Inkscapes pretty good, and XaraLX is coming along nicely, so expect this one to moot pdq. TechWriter - Nothing (and I do mean nothing) on any platform comes close to TW for Technical WP, and it's structured approach to standard WP is by far my prefered method of document processing (although the later is more subjective than the former) Photodesk - Again perhaps not top compared to Gimp, but massively easier to use (and imho far more fun to use)

And that's not to mention smaller apps - like stronged, draw etc..

That's just a few off the top of my head, I still believe there are many more - and looking at the list perhaps MW and DP should join forces and single handedly take of Document and Drawing solutions on all platforms across the globe ;-)

Regards, Ryan

 is a RISC OS Userdrjones69 on 15/3/06 10:54AM
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Forget RON, what we want is ROZ - RISC OS on Zaurus! New model just out with a 6GB hard disc, see [link] , you coulds store every RO application ever written on there! Drivers for all the hardware are open source, so there's none of the normal problems of trying to get information out of another company that isn't interested in our small market. But, RO Ltd barely has enough resource for its current commitments, so who is going to do it? :-(

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 15/3/06 11:31AM
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gotta agree with drjones, i'd really love impression on my linux boxes (never used ovpro+) i really don't like scribus, and i'd prefer a port to an emulator.

does anyone know if xara is actually doing this free xaralx project, or if it was a load of bull, last time i looked they hadn't even updated the 2nd alpha, which was essentially little more than !awviewer. inkscape is crap imho, but better than draw. i really liked xarax on windows, it killed illustrator for ease of use.

techwriter, well i prefer it to word, but i've never really used it technically, i used to use the publisher+, tablemate, equasor (sp?) combo. oowriter is plenty for me for invoices, cv's etc.

photodesk - hmm, i'm getting into the gimp, and find it easier than photoshop, photodesk was always a bit limited for me, simple dropshadows seemed to require too many steps.

as far as stronged goes, you have to be kidding, linux is *the* text editor platform, kate, xemacs or nedit totally p*** all over stronged - i always preferred zap anyway ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 15/3/06 11:49AM
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drjones TechWriter - Nothing (and I do mean nothing) on any platform comes close to TW for Technical WP.

What about Scientific Word and Notebook by MacKichan Software. They produce LaTex, PDF etc not sure Techwriter does LaTex which is what all real tech/math professionals use.

 is a RISC OS UserJwoody on 15/3/06 10:33PM
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One question I have is will Peter Naulls ever finish anything? Yes I know nothings ever finished, but he does seem to flit from project to project and not really completing anything. Its like things get tough or he gets bored and moves onto the next thing. Firefox is still work in progress. The emulator is work in progress. I am sure he doing a great job, but it would be nice if he saw a few things through to completion. Not just Alpha and Beta versions

 is a RISC OS UserJwoody on 15/3/06 10:42PM
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In reply to drjones.

Photodesk and GIMP. Well I don't like GIMP. I bought Pixel32. Completely cross platform. Win, Linux, BeOS, MacOSX, SkyOS etc etc. OK No RISC OS but you compared apps on Linux. Pixel32 is great, looks and works like photoshop and is only 32 dollars.

Cheers Bob

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 16/3/06 9:34AM
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simo: What's wrong with Scribus? It's a damned fine piece of kit and yes, XaraLX is coming along quite nicely.

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 16/3/06 10:58AM
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Not to drag out comparisons on the smaller apps - but linux has always dissappointed me with GUI text editors - yes I use kate on a daily basis, but even on this <smug> Dual 2GHz Operton with more ram than is polite to mention</smug> machine I have at work, it doesn't feel anywhere near as responsive as StrongEd, and really crawls when a largish (2+Mb) is thrown at it - I tend to always find responsiveness preferable over features (which granted isn't for everyone).

On the TW/LaTex front - again I was thinking in terms of putting together documents quickly and easily, more along the lines of 80-100 page undergrad dissertation (inc 200+ equations/inline tech comments) - rather than full blown professional theses - last time I knocked out such a doc took a little over 2 days and was actually fun to type up - imho considerably faster than I could have done it just in LaTex (but those comparisons are a little subjective I suppose).

Anyway suppose I should be getting back to work - interesting discussion this thread btw - fwiw I feel a lot of these apps we're discussing would have a real chance if native Linux versions were made available.

PS. in reply to Simo last time I checked XaraLX was starting to shape up quiet nicely, although oddly one can use most of the tools only if you open an existing document first - rather than just on a new blank page. (www.xaraxtreme.org)

 is a RISC OS Userdrjones69 on 16/3/06 11:02AM
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Jwoody> I believe the intention is that anyone can help "finish" these ports. The source code is available for developers to tinker with.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 16/3/06 12:56PM
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drjones69: "As to why would someone want a RISC OS emulator on Linux, no software worth using you say? Allow to me to suggest a couple of apps and perhaps you can demonstrate what I could use under linux instead..."

Well, let's see. Ovation Pro is an interesting case because the Scribus team seem to be regularly scoring own goals, messing around with the interface (going back to ancient Quark/Pagemaker-style story editing), and generally not coming through very quickly. Meanwhile, Inkscape (and other tools) are coming along to at least rival ArtWorks; Photodesk is arguably surpassed by a bunch of Linux applications; TechWriter may be nice, but my sources suggest that it isn't up to it for certain kinds of documents and that the now-mature LyX is a much better choice.

As for text editing, I don't think anything on RISC OS touches the range of tools available on UNIX-like systems. Draw was a classic application that provided a good compromise between ease-of-use and features, and I do miss it on Linux, but then stuff like OpenOffice's drawing application can be pretty good replacements.

But there are a number of differences between the RISC OS apps and those on Linux: most of the RISC OS ones are commercial, and the underlying GUI libraries and frameworks on X11-based platforms are moving forward all the time. Yes, RISC OS had good solutions for some of the problems only now being standardised on other platforms, but that's another big difference: widespread, free (in all senses) standardisation. None of that makes it a great idea to run old apps in an emulator forever. Perhaps MW and DP should join forces after all...

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 16/3/06 3:17PM
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On my Windows 2000 and XP machine RPCemu has RISC OS 3.71 roms from my A7000+ but the mouse keeps playing up on each computer, it's totally unusable, any help?

 is a RISC OS Userriscosmad on 16/3/06 3:18PM
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Hmm, LyX looks interesting (even if the screenshots on their website are broken according to Mozilla), especially since I've spent much of the past week cursing Word's primitive style editing features and wishing it was a bit more intelligent like Techwriter.

As for text editors, I've long stopped hankering after Zap on other platforms since I discovered Vim ;)

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 16/3/06 4:59PM
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I agree with many of the comments here in regarding how nice some of the RISC OS software (still) is compared to other software on other platforms.

Although on RISC OS in some or many ways are getting behind or lacking a few useful features that need attention, abviously a hard battle for such a small number of us in a small part of the world.

Talking about word or text editing etc., one of the BIGGEST features RISC OS lacks that I would find most useful is the "Encoding" ability found in the PC's.

The big plus for RISC OS is the "standard" Vector ability of our computers, while PC's for years are left with their "standard" (what come with the computer - not including extras to buy that is) of Metafiles, Paint and horrible set packs of WordArt that every "Man and his Dog" has and uses.


 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 16/3/06 7:48PM
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I'd like to explore a few new options that this project could bring.

A lot of people still use a RiscPC as their main machine. No, really ;) A lot of these people are ready to upgrade to new hardware, but refrain from doing for two reasons. Firstly, they want Select. Secondly, they find an Iyonix is simply not worth the cash. Some of us simply don't have the financial freedom to justify an Iyonix to ourselves, considering it's still lacking Select (by default) and is 3 years old.

VARPC enables people to run RO Select on a PC - on the condition that Windows is installed. However, many of us don't like Windows, for whatever reasons. The RPCEmu project allows us (in theory) to continue using RO Select but now on Linux and probably Mac OS X too. Not yet, but in theory.

Furthermore, RiscPC users do not need to pay anything to get there. RPCEmu is Open Source and AFAIK it's quite legal to extract RO4 from the ROMs in our RiscPC's and use them on the emulator.

There is no reason why RPCEmu cannot eventually run as fast or capable as VARPC. The main difference is that VARPC remains a polished, finished product on the condition you use Windows. Well, for me Windows is not an option and so the RPCEmu project offers a way out for me.

PS: I haven't mentioned A9home for two reasons. Firstly it's still not officially released and secondly it's not particularly a desktop computer, which the Iyonix clearly is. I think the A9home fills a special niche.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/3/06 2:32PM
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hEgelia: you seem to be pretty confident you know what most people want, but if you are suggesting they would be better off with a non JIT (slow) emulator just because it runs Select, rather than far faster native hardware supplied with a version of the OS where enhancements and bug fixes didn't dry up almost 2 years ago, then you aren't giving very good advice.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/3/06 3:58PM
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Don't get me wrong, druck. Normally I don't reply to people getting something quite different from what I intended, but since I respect you and most of your comments, I will.

I am not "pretty confident" about "what most people want"! Where did I mention "most people"? Where did I give that idea? I am talking about a certain group of RiscPC users that are very real, certainly not the majority of them.

"if you are suggesting they would be better off with a non JIT (slow) emulator just because it runs Select, rather than far faster native hardware supplied with a version of the OS where enhancements and bug fixes didn't dry up almost 2 years ago, then you aren't giving very good advice."

Amazing, how did you manage to extract that suggestion? But, I do know how we do that kind of stuff in the Netherlands, we smoke pot. Were you smoking pot, druck?

Like I said, I'm only exploring new options. And yes, in my experience (in the Netherlands) a lot of people are still around using RiscPC's and finding it hard to justify buying an Iyonix for the reasons I mentioned. These people like Select and want to continue running it, albeit on faster hardware. Unfortunately VARPC is still Windows only, and since RPCEmu is Open Source I went wacko with my theory.

The theory I explored was that people could buy another computer, a pc or mac, and eventually run RO4 Select on that via an emulator and not having to pay a dime for it.

That does not in any way suggest that the Iyonix is 'bad value', OK? I like the machine, but I can't justify its cost for what I get and so do quite some other people in the forgotten market called "The Dutch RO users".

I am now very sorry I haven't mentioned the technical "non JIT (slow)" bit before. I think I ommitted that for the sake of the exploration of a theory of mine. Yes, exploring of options via a theory. But now I think it was simply stupid to theorize about it. Sorry to disappoint, I am not so much the technical savvy one in that area.

Druck - don't forget; I respect the efforts of Castle and I sure as hell respect them for revitalizing the market by bringing the Iyonix, keep on working on its OS and not having treated their customers as ROL did.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/3/06 5:38PM
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In reply to Druck: Enhancements and bug fixes to ROL's version of RO have not dried up. As you know ROL have simply been 32bitting their version, which was part of their mission statement when ROL was founded. ROL have also stated that the beta version of Select 4 will be available to subscribers who's subscriptions have lapsed no earlier than 31 of August 2005. They have also stated they are expecting Select 4 to be available Wakefield 2006.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 17/03/06 7:11PM
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RISC OS emulated on a PC running windows *or* linux in my humble opinion has the potential to *damage* the native RISC OS market. I've said this regarding VA several times - and the same thing applies to RISC OS emulation under Linux.

The *only* differences between the two IMHO are (i). The Linux option does *not* put you at the mercy of Microsoft (ii). Linux as an OS is arguably more stable and less prone to "security" issues than Windows and (iii). The cohort of users likely to use ROS on Linux emulation are likely to be the sort of people who'd have stuck with RISC OS rather than used RISC OS emulated on Windows - but who would happily accept RISC OS running on a Linux based emulator if that were available.

In short I believe the *larger* damage was done by VA - and that some loss to Linux will occur from this new development - but not likely involve as many people, unfortunately it may well be those who are more technically capable and who are therefore more likely to make meaningful contributions to our platform - their loss I feel would be regrettable.

Whether all of this amounts to "another nail in the coffin" or a potential for broadening RISC OS availability to other users outside the traditional market remains to be seen.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/03/06 3:05PM
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AMS: Emulation has kept people using RISC OS who would probably have abandoned it. If it's prevented some people from buying new ARM based hardware because the emulator can run it quicker and cheaper then so be it - to be blunt, if that's the case it doesn't really deserve to survive, because it makes no sense to buy it.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 18/03/06 3:39PM
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SimonC>According to VA some 3,000 people licensed VA (this was reported here in the past) - when Drobe conducted a poll of users a relatively small number of those 3,000 responded. Do I really have to join the dots here ? *If* VA kept some people using RISC OS for a while it only did so temporarily and I strongly suspect these are now fully paid up Windows only users.

Emulation makes it a more risky proposition for hardware developers to produce *native* (that is ARM based non-windows dependant machines) primarily because the manufacters can't easily gauge how many likely purchasers they're going to get and may be less likely to risk it when faced by a compeditor who has much lower development costs - and hence one who has a lesser risk.

As to assertions that Emulators are *faster* than native - for the most part that is groundless, where VA *has* a speed advantage (disk access) this is largely due to Windows caching writes in RAM. And I don't know about you I'd much rather have my data safely tucked away on my HD rather than floating in some volatile fashion in RAM (even if the former is slower).

As to the dubious "faster cheaper" argument for PC's emulating RISC OS first off [and my appologies for reshashing this] PC's have higher running costs (power, AV updates, maintainance time), faster is arguable (and if you're a "fan" of VA chances are any comments I make you'll ignore anyway), finally emulation is just that - an *approximation* of real hardware. This means you can't be *absolutely* certain that it's performance will exactly match with real RISC OS/ARM hardware in any event.

Besides I'd argue it the other way, if there were no RISC OS native hardware I'd see no real point in emulating it under Windows (or Linux for that matter). Once the only way of running RISC OS is under emulation then it's arguably no more a "live" platform than an emulated Sinclair Spectrum..... and Linux and Windows based apps do enough to be useful without resorting to the "fiction" of running a RISC OS app under emulation.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/03/06 4:29PM
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 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 19/03/06 01:12AM
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What?! I spent ages typing a reply out, and just get "(nt)" appearing? I'm not going to go through it all again :(

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 19/03/06 01:13AM
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In reply to Simon:

It is much safer to compose your reply using your favourite text editor and to drag the text file to the text box of your browser.

 is a RISC OS Userscl4c0rn on 19/03/06 10:17PM
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Stefaan: unfortunately this sound technique does not seem to work with RO Firefox: the text has to be entered directly in the reply box.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/03/06 11:26PM
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Works in Netsurf ;-p Or Browse :)

To add an (arguably) more constructive comment, Simon's comment about native hardware not deserving to be made available if there are better altervatives, surely the same can be said for the OS? Namely, what windows emulation gives RISC OS users is an exposure to Windows. If we are losing users this way surely it can only be because they find the Windows alternative to be 'better'.

I hope it's not that simple. We should bear in mind that emulating RISC OS penalises the OS in that one of the big things about RISC OS for me is the bootup time, getting me up and running while I still have the idea that caused me to turn the computer on in the first place in my head. An emulated RISC OS is always going to be slower to boot than the same machine running Windows almost by definition, even if Windows is getting much speedier to boot up these days.

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 20/03/06 01:56AM
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