RISC OS 4 kernel caught on IyonixPublished: 27th Sep 2006, 13:15:14 | Permalink | Printable
Smoke and mirrorsDespite RISCOS Ltd's controversial decision to put its Iyonix Select port on the backburner, there has been a surprising breakthrough today. Adrian Lees has managed to run RISC OS 4, from its kernel to the desktop modules, on his XScale-powered Iyonix - albeit with a little helping hand from RPCEmu.
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After the Microsoft Windows RiscPC emulator was open sourced in March, various ports to other platforms come waltzing in. Now Aemulor and Geminus developer Adrian has ported the application to run on RISC OS itself. The project is at an early stage of development, and needs further work to accept keyboard and mouse input.
Porting a RiscPC emulator to RISC OS isn't as crazy as it sounds - it could allow third party programmers to test their software inside the emulator from their RISC OS desktop without fear of crashing their computer. As various areas of the RISC OS memory map are still unprotected - mainly for compatibility reasons - it's sometimes too easy for a badly written or buggy application to trash the system. Running alpha and beta quality programs in the emulator could save coders from reaching for the reset button every five minutes.
It might also offer some respite to Iyonix users who want to see a port of Select to their Castle Iyonix machines. Although RISCOS Ltd have demonstrated some components of Select running on an Iyonix at shows, they have said Select 4 must be finished before they can work on porting the heart of RISC OS 4 to the Iyonix.
Branding his latest efforts as "cool", Adrian joked: "Hurry up RISCOS Ltd. The Iyonix can now officially run RISC OS 4, courtesy of RPCEmu.
"There's no input at the moment, and the screen drawing is as crude as any first version, with no clipping to visible window region etc. All of that's easy to add, though. It should be usable given a few hours later this evening."
• Keep an eye on the new Picodrive site, which is due to be launched soon. It is set to feature Adrian's port of a Sega Megadrive emulator targeted at ARM-powered portable gadgets and PDAs to RISC OS. A spin off from this development work is a new library that offers DMA-accelerated video plotting for Iyonix and A9home users.
RPCEmu and Arculator website
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