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New Arculator and RPCEmu Mac ports released

Published: 17th Aug 2007, 23:47:13 | Permalink | Printable

When old-gen meets next-gen

Arculator on an Apple MacThe latest versions of Tom Walker's Arculator and RPCEmu have been ported to the Intel and PowerPC Apple Mac platforms. Coder Jon Welch has brought the two freely available emulators across to Apple's shiny and expensive computers - allowing punters to run Tom's Archimedes emulator on Mac OS X and his RiscPC emulator on new Intel Macs for the first time.

But Jon warned: "There are still things which need tidying up so the software isn't ready for general release yet."

The RPCEmu port uses a just-in-time compiler to convert ARM code into x86 code, locking it to Intel-powered computers for the moment. There is also no sound or CD-ROM support at the moment, but the emulator can reach the RISC OS 4 desktop. The Arculator port, pictured, will work on both Intel and PowerPC Apple Macs, can reach the RISC OS 3 desktop as well as play games and sound support works.

Jon said: "I have made a start in getting both RPCemu and Arculator running under Mac OS X. Initial findings are good and both programs are now booting to the desktop and running software."

He has also set up support mailing lists and has called on people to help test drive his work to iron out any remaining bugs and problems. The programs can be downloaded from the links below.


Apple Mac Arculator port and its RPCEmu cousin Arculator and RPCEmu homepage

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Arculator works on my G3 with Panther. Slow, but that's to be expected. A G5 should work OK. Useful info: the roms have to have a .ROM file extension. ctrl-option-apple brings up menu

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 18/8/07 8:53PM
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I have now got RPCEmu working on Power PC Mac's (although rather slowly).

I have made a few other tweaks and also got CD-ROM support working.

You can download the new version from the above links.


 is a RISC OS Userg7jjf on 19/8/07 6:47PM
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I've got it running on a iBook, a bit slow but better than not having anything! Thank you!

 is a RISC OS Userstevek on 20/8/07 7:18AM
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> Apple's shiny and expensive computers

[Boggle] And this is different to an Iyonix how, exactly?

Iyonix: £999 Mac mini: £399

(sources: [link] vs. [link] )

Mac: dual-core 64-bit 1.83GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, 80GB hard disk, CDRW/DVD. Rich, superbly simple & easy to use 64-bit UNIX OS, with web browser, email, diary, address book, audio-video chat, image editing, video editing, word processing, DTP, spreadsheet, presentations, all provided as standard for free. Supports IMAP, Flash, Java, RealPlayer, Windows Media, PDF, out of the box. Supports Ethernet, USB2 & Firewire out of the box. Massive 3rd party software range, plus most Linux GPL apps, and and can run Windows via optional free add-on package.

Iyonix: more than twice the price. Single-core 32-bit system, less than one third of the speed. OS provides GUI, text editor, simple vector drawing app, simple music app. No Internet client as standard, I believe? Partial incomplete Flash support a paid-for 3rd-party extra. Offers no Java, no Real, no Quicktime, no Windows Media. Comes with no productivity apps, I believe? OS can be brought down by a single misbehaving app or frozen by one taking all available CPU time. Small selection of 3rd party apps, mostly commercial, little Free or GPL software.

The Iyonix is much slower, much lower spec, does less, offers less, and costs more than 200% of the Mac's price to buy and yet more to run.

I'm not an Apple advocate here - I'm typing on a generic several-year-old PC running Ubuntu - but come *on,* play fair!

Apple alone currently sells one-sixth of all notebook and portable computers in the USA. I realise the comment was at least in part facetious, but it's not even slightly factual.

RISC OS has its uses, but it is a *very* /seriously/ expensive option today.

You can buy an entry-level Sun Ultra 20 workstation with Solaris for £600. Thw world has moved on. Macs are price-competitive, small cheap PCs are £300, professional high-quality kit starts from six or seven hundred quid. A cheap PC today is a couple of hundred quid. That's with a screen and so on.

 is a RISC OS Userlproven on 29/8/07 6:55PM
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I understand where you're coming from, and the comment in the article did leap out as a bit dangerous. But it's worth pointing out that the Iyonix does come with a bit more than you give it credit for. Looking at your list, it's fair to say that the Iyonix (as standard) comes with:

Superbly simple & easy to use OS (for those that like it), with web browser (Oregano 2), email (Messenger LITE), word processing (Writer+), spreadsheet (Fireworkz Pro) etc.. all provided as standard for free. Supports Gigabit Ethernet, USB2.

(source: [link] )

I'm not disputing that a Mac will be better value for most people (although it doesn't necessarilly follow that Macs aren't expensive), but the Iyonix has always included a surprisingly complete set of productivity apps for free.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 29/8/07 9:26PM
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In reply to flypig and lproven, I think it's easy to compare the Mac and Iyonix, and have them come up fairly even, but the reality, as always, is a bit different. Say for example, IMAP email clients, the Mac, as standard comes with a full featured IMAP client, for RISC OS, you simply cannot buy a full featured IMAP email, for one does not exist. I speak as someone who bought Messenger Pro 4, it only supports one IMAP connection at a time, and as I have both a work account, and a home one, that's pretty useless.

Same goes for web browsers, I'd love to get a fully supported, standards compliant XHTML/CSS browser for RISC OS, but again, it just does not exist.

As someone who bought an A9Home, I actually don't think that RISC OS machines provide anything like a reasonable set of productivity apps, I really cannot think of any at all. There are apps which seem OK on first glance, but reality often turn out next to useless for a lot of people due to RISC OS developers not really living in the 21st century.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 29/8/07 10:05PM
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lproven: Apple's computers are shiny and expensive. The Iyonix is distinctly dull and expensive, certainly now it's such an old design.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 29/8/07 10:31PM
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Sure, but I just wanted to point out the factual point that the Iyonix does come with a load of software. Whether the software is comparable to that you get with the Mac is a different matter.

Having said that, I do disagree that the there aren't some good productivity apps on RISC OS. Invariably I suspect for many people, file compatibility is the major hurdle, but that isn't necesarilly a reflection of their features overall.

TechWriter, Zap, GCC/Unixlib all spring to mind amongst others. Fireworkz does useful things you can't do with Exel (at least until the most recent version).

Just to be clear, I'm not denying your experience, just saying that it may not be universal. There are programs on RISC OS that I personally have yet to find a suitable replacement for on another platform.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 29/8/07 10:43PM
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Indeed, the Iyonix does come with more apps than lproven mentions. Furthermore, I think that with "word processing, DTP, spreadsheet, presentations" lproven refers to iWork '08, which is bundled only as a demo, which ofcourse lacks some essential functions of the full version. Last I remember, the Mac does not come with RealPlayer and Windows Media compatibility out of the box. It is, however, fairly straightforward to install that, at no cost. The Mac mini, being the compared Mac, doesn't come with either a mouse, keyboard or a screen.

Still, I must be frank - the Mac is an extremely attractive computer, which comes as standard with software which is very advanced and extremely pleasant to use. It's among the finest PC's sold today, with a price-tag I can only describe as 'worth every penny'.

The RISC OS software bundled with the Iyonix is a bit embarrassing, certainly when compared to the Mac software equivalents. It's lacking in function and outdated. Gigabit Ethernet is certainly nice, but there's no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth option, which both come as standard with every Mac. USB support on the Iyonix is rather lacking, in several ways. The 'productivity apps' bundled with the Iyonix are actually rather incomplete, to be honest. So, generally speaking the Iyonix is rather bad value for money, only interesting to existing RISC OS users with money to spare. The A9home is ..., interesting to even less existing RISC OS users with money to spare.

The Mac is not expensive, not anymore. The usual Windows PC's are actually inferior where it matters the most - the software / interface/ experience. Certainly, one can build equally specced PC's for less than the cost of an iMac. But the complete iMac solution as sold by Apple blows away the equivalently specced PC offering, because of the integration of hard- and software, design of the computer and bundled software class. Mac OS X puts Windows (Vista) to shame, in many, many ways. Indeed, those are the very reasons why Acorn was the better choice back in the early 90's. If Acorn were successful, I'd bet their current machine would be a great choice and I'd be using one.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 29/8/07 10:54PM
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lproven: Liam, aren't you missing the point that this article is about emulators on other platforms? Therefore the "shiny and expensive" comment was in comparison to the Windows PCs that the emulators are usually run on, not the native RISC OS hardware.

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 31/8/07 2:14AM
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Or it could be that "shiny and expensive" was merely a sarcastic gag. But at least it generated some discussion.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 31/8/07 11:12PM
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Well with you writing it, we could just assume that about every sentence! Back sort of on topic, I do have RPCemu running under Xubuntu on my still fairly shiny and very expensive when I bought it 7 years ago laptop. Crashes quite often though :-(

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 1/9/07 5:20PM
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