On with the showBy Chris Williams. Published: 7th Jul 2003, 16:50:15 | Permalink | Printable
Castle promises online FAQ, answers our questionsA lot of questions of have been asked over the weekend after Castle Technology relieved Pace of RISC OS on Friday. Today this lunchtime, Castle informed us that they're preparing an online FAQ which should clear up most of your queries when published. In the meantime, we had a few burning questions that needed answering and Castle's Managing Director Jack Lillingston was on hand to help.
Firstly, Jack assured us that Castle now owns all of RISC OS. All previous licences with Pace are preserved which means RISCOS Ltd. still have a licence to develop and distribute RISC OS 4 and as such RISCOS Ltd.'s sub-licences with companies like MicroDigital are safe. The position seems more clear now - if you want RISC OS 4 (which is 26 bit), you talk to RISCOS Ltd. and if you want RISC OS 5 (which is 32 bit), you talk to Castle. On the subject of emulators and RISC OS, Jack mentioned that he wasn't aware of any written agreement between VirtualAcorn and Pace although Castle haven't got a problem with the emulation of RISC OS hardware to run RISC OS, if that's your cup of tea.
Jack revealed that Castle and RISCOS Ltd. were in talks at a meeting last Friday and Castle are very keen to work closely with RISCOS Ltd. Jack spoke highly of RISCOS Ltd.'s work and described them as "experts" when it comes to RISC OS on the desktop. Therefore, we should expect active integration of RISC OS Select with Castle's RISC OS; RISCOS Ltd. have already spoken of this - the exact details on how such a merged version will be released to the public are still being worked on. Castle would like to see, from a maintenance and stability point of view, a single fundamental version of RISC OS which contains all the essential core modules which can be used in an embedded form and then functionality specifically for desktop users (hello, Select) can be used on top.
You see, Castle are very keen on entering the consumer electronics market and producing embedded RISC OS powered gadgets in order to push RISC OS forward. ARM are shifting more and more processors a year and Castle want to be a part of that, we were told - you may recall Castle's Neuron products. Remember that Pace produced more RISC OS powered kit than Acorn produced RiscPCs, so with any luck we may see RISC OS cropping up in places we wouldn't have thought possible. In order to get RISC OS onto newer hardware, this is where Tematic comes into the frame, a company made up of many ex-Acorn and ex-Pace engineers with whom Castle are delighted to be working with.
With this in mind, are Castle the next Acorn? Unfortunately, Castle don't own the Acorn nut logo although they were allowed to use it with their RiscPCs and A7000s but Castle would prefer to remain as just Castle, rather than Acorn Mark II.
Jack also added that he was very glad to see work like Simon Wilson's PCI TV Card project. Castle have produced an Iyonix Technical Reference Manual, which is at the printers as I type this, we're expecting news on that later this week. Castle being Castle, Jack wouldn't give out details of any future projects so we'll have to sit tight.
Finally, we asked if Castle were going to follow in RISCOS Ltd.'s footsteps and opensource some components of the OS, seeing as Castle had already published their HAL and EtherY software under the GPL. The answer was no.
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