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32bit analysis: Your guide

By Chris Williams. Published: 17th Oct 2002, 15:54:19 | Permalink | Printable

MOV R0, #riscos.info

32bit coverage on drobe.co.uk While we recover from this morning's startling and warmly welcomed 32bit hardware news from Castle that effectively tore down all the public pondering and wild speculation about a 32bit RISC OS system, it would be wise now to step back, take a deep breath and consider all the issues that a 32bit RISC OS carries and what impact it's likely to have. It's not everyday that a platform like RISC OS embraces a new architecture and like everything in life, things aren't always as simple as we'd first hope.

To spell it out for us, Peter Naulls of programming resource site riscos.info, has written up a full analysis of RISC OS and 32bit in the clear, no nonsense style we've come to expect from Peter. As well as presenting a mildly technical guide for programmers, the document also gently invites users to understand and appreciate issues arising in the wake of recent 32bit related developments.

"There has been a great deal of confusion over 32-bit in RISC OS over recent months. Not least, because of its technical nature, and secondly, because of the spin put on it by various parties", explains Peter in the guide. "This document is in the same nature as my previous document - The RISC OS Browser Issue. In short, to bring together information which is already available, and to cut through the issues and make them clear and easily understood by everyone."

Time for some Positive Education.


32bit guide on riscos.info

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Next: chocky.org at South East Show


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I've got to get the first comment :)

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 17/10/02 3:59PM
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 is a RISC OS Userian on 17/10/02 4:22PM
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Now you'll be totally clued up on 32bit compatibility and other issues and be able to inject fact into the newsgroups and so on ;)

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 17/10/02 5:54PM
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And what about bits 0 and 1 of the IP? PN's article does not cover them! ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usermaus on 17/10/02 6:24PM
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Read the ARM ARM :p

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 17/10/02 6:38PM
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Very good article, Peter

The switch to 32bit seems not to be quite as daunting as some have suggested.

I haven't looked at Microdigitals Newssite recently I wonder if they mention any of this ????

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 17/10/02 9:02PM
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Great article, Peter. As AMS says, it does appear less daunting than we have been lead to believe...

-- Andrew Harmsworth, Cambridge. www.gcse.com owner and author

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 18/10/02 1:07AM
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Good stuff. It was about time someone who actually knew what they were talking about outlined the situation and the possible solutions. Let's hope that this puts a stop to to witless newsgroup chatter. (not a chance :-)

Dave -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 18/10/02 9:01AM
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I thinks it's worth looking at this site: [link] ooo-ar to have a slice of hardware with this label :)

 is a RISC OS UserJoshuaC on 18/10/02 1:28PM
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Whilst Peters site explains 32bit, it still too techy for most users.

Anyone doing a simpler guide?

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 18/10/02 1:46PM
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That's "Peter's". No one's had problems except you, so no. Explaining it in simpler terms would simply not do the subject justice.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 18/10/02 2:03PM
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quartermass: The issue of 32bit and RISC OS involves reaching into the realms of computer science that cover microprocessors. If you're familiar with how processors basically work then Peter's article covers all you need. If, however, you don't know your program counter from your conditional flags then you might have a problem.

I'll look into it.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 18/10/02 2:41PM
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None technical version, ignore the why, just look at the how: If your program is BASIC with no assembler it will work.

If it's a C program you'd need a recompiled version, so you'd either need the source or get an upgrade from the author

If it's got assembly in it'll most likely need altering, either by hand or (semi)automatically. Or it could be emulated; apparently an emulator is being tested.

Written correctly a 32bit compatible program will also work on older 26bit OSes, and even on 26bit only cpus like ARM3 in the A5000. So authors only need to have 1 version of their code.

ROS Select has a system to stop you running 32bit C programs though for some pointless reason so you'll need to patch it or wait for a new version of Select.

Let's hope ROL and Castle work together to make a 32bit Select version, then again, maybe they didn't in the first place so that Castle would be the only people selling machines with a 32bit OS

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 18/10/02 3:25PM
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I think you'll find that the reason why the SharedCLibrary in Select is protected is far from pointless. The issue is currently being resolved, you should wait till the CD release is made.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 18/10/02 5:29PM
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First, I should have guessed when I placed my above comment that several of you may think it's myself that has a problem with understanding it.

Sorry, no.

I'm getting emails from puzzled people who are just Users and quite rightly have no idea they had a 26bit OS in the first place.

These people really don't want their life made any more complicated. I just tell them, if they buy a new RISC OS computer next year. They'll need to have 32bit badged software on it.

Mrchocky, you say no one had problems except me. I find that hard to believe unless you asked everyone first. Which seens unlikely. :-)

The 32bit page is very good. But a Jargon buster at the end of the article would have helped perhaps? Not everyone knows what GCC or a Register is?

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 21/10/02 9:58AM
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I am _not_ a service for Cybervillage readers. I have received many emails about the document, none of them confused in the manner in which you suggest. If none of them have contacted me, then frankly, there's nothing I can do.

The document took a very considerable time to put together, with no clear reward for the effort. If at such time Cybervillage wishes to _pay_ for such documents, then it can rightly complain that it doesn't address the needs of its users.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 23/10/02 9:04AM
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Here is a simple run down for users.

new 32bit OS based machines will not run all the programs you currently own until they are updated. But some will work, just not all of them.

When they are updated they will run on your old machines and your new ones.

If they need any more info, chockys thing will probably have it in.


 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 23/10/02 10:21AM
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