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New RISC OS 4.05 ROM set for March

By Chris Williams. Published: 13th Jan 2003, 18:35:10 | Permalink | Printable

Spun off from Embedded RISC OS development work

It was a tip off from a drobe.co.uk reader that brought this item to our obviously keen attention. According to a press release published on RISCOS Ltd.'s website, RISC OS 4 is now able to support interlaced PAL and NTSC screen displays. Useful if you're, say, Millipede or someone else using RISC OS for broadcast graphics. However more importantly, the press release reveals one or two other very interesting developments.

It would appear that RISCOS Ltd. are engaged in work described by them as "Embedded RISC OS" and as such, a new set of RISC OS ROMs have been produced, ready to replace the current RISC OS 4.02 set. 'Embedded' means taking a computer system and targetting it specifically for a particular dedicated task, such as a PDA or a train information display. For example, RISC OS is already employed by Millipede Professional Graphics systems to power quiz shows like 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' (we do). It'd be interesting to find out what else RISCOS Ltd. have up their sleeve in terms of their "Embedded RISC OS" work.

"As a spin off from the development work on Embedded RISC OS, we will shortly be releasing a new version of the RISC OS 4 ROM sets - RISC OS 4.05", explains the RISCOS Ltd. news section.

As announced, RISC OS 4.05 will contain:
RISC OS 4.05 is aiming for an early March 2003 release and existing RISC OS 3.7 and RISC OS 4.02 users will be able to swap their ROMs for these new ones. RISCOS Ltd. are the desktop developers of RISC OS 4 and (while on the subject) recently called again for developers to participate in their RISC OS Filetypes Database plan.

Links

RISC OS 4.05 and Interlaced screen modes

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Discussion

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So, other than the new stuff today, what is the benefit for us who are already using either Select or 4.02 with the patches applied? Also, does this apply to folks using any of the 4.03 varients?

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 13/1/03 9:41PM
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This aint for general release - only for ppl with Millipede boards. Calm down and hush and just buy Select.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 13/1/03 9:45PM
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Already got it and are running it. Have been since before Christmas. Nothing to write home about though.

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 14/1/03 4:08PM
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But none of us value your opinion at any level, anyway.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 14/1/03 6:51PM
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TTBOMK RO 4.05 only came in to being last week. Paul's never let facts get in the way of his boasting, tho. ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userian on 14/1/03 6:55PM
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I think Paul was talking about Select. He's been running it since christmas and it /is/ nothing to write home about. Cheers!

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 14/1/03 10:38PM
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I see. You'll be one of the gullible ones who like going back to 1997 to use RISC OS 5 then? If you don't think Select 2's worth it, that really does show you're a spoon.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 14/1/03 10:49PM
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Surely for some people, the speed increase with the IYONIX is worth the trade-off in features?

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 15/1/03 9:01AM
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We all know that Ian is just grumpy because he is still waiting for his Omega. :-)

-- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 15/1/03 9:30AM
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Chris, irrespective of what value you place on a persons opinion and Ian, I have zero idea what you're babbling on about (re my boasting), the point is that I am running select and the question still stands - what benefits does it hold for those running OS 4.02 with the patches or the 4.03 variants?

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 15/1/03 10:03AM
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Actually Paul, I was refering to just you. So what are you trying to stir up today? Select vs. 4.03 or 4.05 vs. 4.xx ? Place your bets now!

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 15/1/03 10:44AM
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Spriteman, you really think I'd buy a nonexistant machine from those buggers who slated me so crudely on their website? They're liars (No Omega by Christmas), they're /extremely/ rude both on their website, on the newsgroups and in person and judging by newsgroup comments by Mr Atkins I think he's actually a little unhinged -- even if Omega was available right now, I don't think I could be happy buying 1300quidsworth of kit from someone like that.

As for you, Noddy, the question certainly doesn't "still stand". RISC OS 4.05 is only for folks with Millepede hardware, so there's nothing to answer. Your comment certainly does imply that you're referring to 4.05 though.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 15/1/03 10:55AM
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nodoid dude, you suck.

Select rules the joint so far as RISC OS is concerned. I for one wouldn't be using RISC OS if it wasn't for the fabtastic features in Select. DHCP, for example, makes life so much easier.

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 15/1/03 11:30AM
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I'm getting a dump valve for my SmartCar. It's really cool.

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 15/1/03 1:14PM
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Nodoid, the benefit is having a ROM-loaded machine with all the new patches applied, for example a machine without a hard drive or a machine with little memory. Though for the price of the ROMs you could easily get more memory or a hard drive.

Ian, it appears that 4.05 is for general release as the RISCOS Ltd press release states that it is for existing 3.7 and 4.02 users. I know of many users who will not buy Select simply because it is soft-loaded.

Snig, RISC OS 5 has working DHCP. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 15/1/03 2:10PM
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I have RISC OS 3.7, does this mean I can upgrade to 4.05 for the exchange price of 60? (DHCP would be good)

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 15/1/03 2:26PM
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em2ac, I don't think RISC OS 4.05 has DHCP (it apparently only has patches to the operating system), but you could always ask them. The 60 UKP exchange price is only valid if you already have RISC OS 4 - the price is 120 UKP for RISC OS 3.7 upgrades. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 15/1/03 2:30PM
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Damn, thought so!

was worth a try tho - lack of money due to being a Uni Student

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 15/1/03 2:33PM
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diomus : I'm not stirring anything. I asked a question, ian says buy select, you say you basically couldn't give a floating crap in the Mersey about my opinions and I come back saying that I have a legal copy of Select, running on 3 machines and it's not the wonderful.

Mine and yours are opinions. Okay, yours is personal and mine is related to ians comment, but none the less they are opinions.

So why bother with the what am I stirring up? Why start a difference between 4.03 (RiscStation flavour) vs 4.03 (Kinetic flavour) vs 4.03 (Mico flavour) or 4.02 vs Select question when it goes nowhere and basically just looks very silly and unbefitting one of the editors of this fine portal?

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 16/1/03 12:18AM
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Yawn. I'm really glad you think this site is splendid, we really do try our best. But as Select users, we really boggle comments like 'it's nothing to write home about'. That just isn't true.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 16/1/03 6:08AM
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Select is nothing to write home about. It wouldn't even work on my machine and I got zero support from ROL. Which is why I chucked their numerous begging letters in the bin. I felt like writing back and saying "I'm not buying because of this, this and this. What are you going to do about it?". But I doubt if I'd have got a reply. Maybe I'll put pen to paper after my exams are over.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 16/1/03 10:55AM
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I didn't buy it 'cause it didn't actually provide any features I wanted/felt I needed. Of course, it's totally unfair and wrong to call anybody who doesn't buy it a spoon. What everybody wants is different, you see. Otherwise life would be more dull and interesting than it already is.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 16/1/03 12:23PM
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Fortunately, I have found Select to be well worth the money. It has made RISC OS easier to configure and manage as well as providing some visual improvements. I have side-stepped the softloading issue by using a CompactFlash card from which to boot the Operating System. For me, this works just as well as having RISC OS in ROM.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 16/1/03 5:24PM
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rob: maybe your machine is busted.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 16/1/03 7:32PM
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I thought of that, but decided that this couldn't be the case because:

RO3.7 always worked reliably 4.02 always works reliably 4.xx sometimes works, but will then fail at the softload stage, and keep on failing.

Tried new memory modules. Tried formatting the drive and starting again. Always the same result. Therefor the problem is with Select and not my machine.

Never have any problems using 4.02, no crashes, no random lock-up, no boot-up failures. TBH my main gripe is that nobody at ROL seems to give a toss about customer support. You get "minimal support" via the Smartgroup and, errr, that's it.

In addition, I didn't think that Select 1 made a heck of a lot of difference. Perhaps I'll re-subscribe if I get rich or ROL make some commitment to better support.

Not good enough for 120ukp of student loan.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 16/1/03 7:52PM
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Afaik, developers now don't read the smartgroup - it's full of crap anyway. Care to describe what you mean by "fail at the softload" in a bit more detail? I've had Select on dozens of boxes, innumerable configurations and never seen such an issue.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 16/1/03 8:43PM
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I've needed to call on ROL's "technical support" twice. First time, I could only describe it as absolutely diabolically crap. Second time I didn't even bother approaching them. Having spoken to others, I'm not alone, either.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 16/1/03 11:45PM
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How nice. You moan the ROL can't support you when you didn't even talk to them? That's plain ridiculous.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 17/1/03 8:05AM
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As is your reading of my comment.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 17/1/03 10:55AM
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Ian: So now ROL don't even give "minimal support via the mailing list". Well that's just fantastic isn't it Makes me even happier I didn't give them my money this time around.

As for the failing at softload, it would boot to

RISC OS 4.xx 60MB Simtec IDEFS

Then at the beep it would flick to the softload screen. Choosing to boot from the hard drive would result in "disc not understood". Any other option produced the helpful error message "Boot failed".

Now here's the rub. Manually altering the softload file to revert to 4.02 resulted in the machine booting perfectly and running reliably 100%. Attempting to use Select would on 95% of occassions result in the problem described above. Occassionally, Select would boot - and when it did it ran stably and didn't crash.

I have it's a feeling it's something to do with the way Select allocates memory upsetting the IDE card. The only response I got from ROL was an indirect posting giving RAM module recommendations and pointing you towards a company that stopped supporting Acorn kit years ago.

So there you go. It doesn't work on my machine and the people who took my money didn't seem to give two hoots. Maybe I should sue.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 17/1/03 11:20AM
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So, it crashes after initialising a 3rd party module (Simtec IDEFS) ? Have you asked Simtec about this?

 is a RISC OS Userian on 17/1/03 12:30PM
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I have over the 50ns memory and have yet had no responce at all. The only way I can get it to work is to remove it and boot it after Select has hit the desktop.

A bit of a PITA that.

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 18/1/03 12:47AM
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No, I didn't think it would be a good idea to go blaming 3rd parties before getting a response from ROL. Which I never got.

TBH I've given up on RISC OS now and won't be spending any more money on anything RISC OS related. The whole thing has just disgusted me - it seems all ROL are bothered about is getting your money. If Select works and your happy, that's great. If you have a problem, well just pretend you don't. They have made no effort (AFAICS) to investigate this problem (and many others for that matter).

It's an absolute disgrace and a shambles. At least with Mac and PC you get some support for software, OS etc.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 18/1/03 11:58AM
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PS - In any case the Select boot-reset-softload-boot obviously breaks something as the IDEFS module doesn't crash with any other version of RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 18/1/03 11:59AM
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You're really looking at it the wrong way. Select was restructed quite a bit -- Select 2 even moreso. The published APIs were adhered to more closely and in several situations had to be deliberately changed to be (effectively) broken so that applications that had made poor assumptions or used "dirty" knowledge about the innards of RISC OS could continue to work (you honestly wouldn't believe!). It's a distinct possibility the same has happened here and if you've not even bothered to contact Simtec and ask "Does my IDEFS card need an upgrade to work with Select" then you really should stop moaning I think.

 is a RISC OS Userian on 18/1/03 12:09PM
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It's flashed with the latest modules. In any case the whole question is academic now because I shall not be buying from ROL again because in my opinion their treatment of paying customers is disgusting.

Perhaps if someone had actually bothered to expalin what you just have things might be different. But as far as I'm concerned I'd be throwing good money after bad. To think that's how I was rewarded for being amongst the first 30 to subscribe to Select in the first place.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 19/1/03 10:32PM
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Simple...

If someone writes a piece of software based on some undocumented feature and that undocumented feature is changed, then it is quite possible that said software will fail.

It is not ROS Ltds fault if that happens

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 19/1/03 11:46PM
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Doesn't alter the fact that ROL give zilch technical support.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 21/1/03 9:29PM
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No one said it did - simply that a broken app which is bust due to someone relying on an undocumented feature and that feature then changing is not ROS Ltds fault

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 21/1/03 10:50PM
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But for all I know it may not be relying on an undocumented feature. ROL may have broken something with Select.

I'm not saying this is what's happened, just that it's a possibility which ROL don't even seem to acknowledge.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 23/1/03 12:17AM
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Is it more likely that the company with all of the documentation, sources and associated bits and pieces have screwed something up which breaks the odd application, or the original author who does not have the sources to the OS, full documentation etc etc etc but relies on something they know is there, but it's not been documented which then breaks with the new OS is at fault?

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 23/1/03 9:21AM
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Or is it no coincidence that products from the company who don't like to acknowledge the existence of Select, don't work with it?

 is a RISC OS Userian on 23/1/03 8:09PM
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Maybe Simtec haven't been asked to create a Select compatible version. Afterall, despite what many people seem to think, Simtec are not RISC OS developers per se, they contract their services to people who pay for them.

It's highly unlikely that Simtec have deliberately created an IDEFS module that doesn't work with Select. If that was the case I suspect Select on RiscStations would never have been possible given that Simtec were responsible for making just about every aspect of the RiscStation hardware work with RISC OS.

I think there is a general misunderstanding of what the procedure should be in these situations. It's unclear as to whether the machine is a RiscStation, but if it is the first place of call should have been RiscStation. If it's a Simtec upgrade for another machine then Simtec would be the people to contact. If ROL have broken something with Select then it would probably be down to Simtec to prove they have, not the other way around. It's the same if a developer thinks there is a bug in a compiler. They have to prove the bug is in the compiler and not in their code. No one in the Windows market yells at MS when a new version of Windows prevents their hardware from working. Instead they look to the hardware developer for a new driver.

ROL haven't helped by not acknowledging the original cry for help but I rather suspect they would've just pointed you at Simtec. As I say a good initial assumption to make is that the OS works and the upgrade doesn't regardless of whether this turns out to be the case or not.

Simtec have always been incredibly helpful both to me and friends in the past, and usually prompt when answering email and the like.

 is a RISC OS Userjohnstlr on 24/1/03 10:18AM
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ian : if you're on about Simtec not liking the acknowledge the existance of Select, you're off mark there - it was Simtec who helped ROS Ltd out in getting Select to work with the RiscStations.

As I've said, the only thing I can't get to work on my RiscStations is the 50ns memory code, but only when it's run from within !Boot - outside of !Boot it's happy.

Question is, is that down to Simtec's code or ROS Ltd - hard one to call.

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 24/1/03 11:04AM
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I would say that if the problem is the 50ns memory code the first people to contact would be RiscStation as it's "their product". Simtec would be next on the list.

Note if you email RiscStation you may have to wait a little while for a reply. A recent (less important) query of mine took about a week.

 is a RISC OS Userjohnstlr on 24/1/03 11:39AM
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Paul: Fine perhaps it is Simtecs problem (I don't know).

But if that's the cash why the heck did ROL try to convince me that it was my RAM at fault?

Or could it be that they couldn't be arsed to even read the query properly and give a decent response to it?

Or is that too cyinical?

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 27/1/03 9:47PM
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johnstlr : Yes, the product is RiscStation product, however, it is the Simtec lads who do the work. It makes sense to therefore approach Simtec (given that all RS will do is pass it straight over, they won't pass it back to me ;-p, it saves time). Hmmmm, I'll have to see if Roy has a copy of Select.

rob79 : Six of one more likely. The 50ns memory code done some pretty whizzo things for memory interogation. It is not impossible with any changes to memory handling that something would go wrong. I just wish one of them would sort it out - they managed it over the ViewFinder after all...

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 28/1/03 12:32AM
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