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The Icon Bar: News and features: Have I Got Old News For You
 

Have I Got Old News For You

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:20, 2/8/2011 | , , ,
 
Here's a quick round up of all the interesting things that have happened over the past few months that we didn't find the time to report on.

ROOL bounty scheme

ROOL officially announced their bounty scheme, and then followed up that announcement by beginning a process of doubling-up the first 1000 worth of bounty payments - for every pound you contribute towards a bounty (except the ROOL admin bounty), ROOL will also contribute a pound.

Although none of the bounties are yet to reach their (hidden) donation targets, it's worth noting that the biggest bounty so far has over 300 allocated to it. So although the bounties aren't likely to come close to the average hourly wage of a professional programmer, they're certainly not going to go for chump change either.

And also

Jim Lesurf has announced that he is offering a 300 bounty prize to the first person to add USB audio support to RISC OS.

BBC Domesday site

No more hunting down rare laserdisc players - the BBC have launched a new section of their website containing the content of the 1986 Domesday system.

Show videos

Proving that online videos of Acorn shows aren't just a modern thing, Mike Cook has pointed us towards this video he uploaded of the 1985 Micro User show. Ah, the memories.

More news sites emerge

In what's possibly an attempt to plug the gap left by our lack of updates, several new news sites have sprung up:

  • Vince "One C or two" Hudd has turned RISCOSitory into a news site, which he looks to be updating on a fairly regular basis.
  • For those who despise reading and just want a list of links, Martin Hansen has just the thing for you - he's added a section to the RISCOScode website that he's using for quickly linking to newsworthy things.
  • And then there's the newest contender, riscos.blog.com, which seems to be updating at a faster rate than RISCOSitory but with shorter articles as a result.

GCC 4.1.2 crawls closer to release

With the first prerelease being over a year ago, you'd be forgiven for thinking that we'd all be using GCC 4.1.2 by now. But to prove that good things come to those who wait, it was only in April of this year that work began on the release preperations. The GCC team are still no doubt after your feedback, so if you're maintaining a RISC OS program that relies on GCC, please have a go with the latest version and report your findings.

RISC OS 5 development

Apart from the bounty announcement, plenty of other things have been happening with RISC OS 5 recently:

  • Tom Walker has sneakily sneaked some sources into ROOL's CVS: A S3C2440 HAL and a S3C6410 HAL, targeting the Mini2440 and Mini6410 respectively. Although the ports are very rough around the edges, what's interesting is that (a) the S3C2440 is the same SoC as used in the A9home, and (b) the S3C6410 is the first ARMv6 device to natively run RISC OS.
  • Not to be out-sneaked, Willi Theiss has recently announced that he's been working on a port of RISC OS to the PandaBoard, a development board closely related to the BeagleBoard but with a cutting-edge dual-core Cortex A9 processor instead of the BeagleBoard's ageing Cortex A8. Although the port is currently only using one core, early benchmark results suggest that the out-of-order execution and improved VFP hardware are enough to deliver a significant performance boost over current hardware.
  • TBA software have been keeping themselves busy by releasing a test version of an updated BBC BASIC with VFP/NEON assembler support.
  • Chris Wraight has released test version of his revamped Calc/SciCalc application.
  • Rik Griffin has also been hard at work on an improved Filer_Action module.
  • And finally the IOMD (i.e. RiscPC) version of RISC OS 5 has also seen a few improvements recently, making it much more usable on real hardware (although there's still plenty left to be done)

 
  Have I Got Old News For You
  trevj (17:09 5/8/2011)
  VincceH (11:57 6/8/2011)
    alexsingleton (07:56 28/8/2011)
      qUE (10:58 28/8/2011)
      trevj (16:17 28/8/2011)
 
Trevor Johnson Message #118425, posted by trevj at 17:09, 5/8/2011
Member
Posts: 659
Nice round-up. Are any of Angus Deayton, Ian Hislop or Paul Merton familiar with RISC OS?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
VinceH Message #118428, posted by VincceH at 11:57, 6/8/2011, in reply to message #118425
VincceH
Lowering the tone since the dawn of time

Posts: 1561
which he looks to be updating on a fairly regular basis
Which suddenly turned into a very irregular basis over the last couple of weeks because I've been so busy. (All I've done is updated the diary a couple of times).

The same is likely to be true over the next couple of weeks as well - in particular, with some redecorating and rearranging going on (including resiting the internet connection and router), I may be offline for a small part of that period.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Alex Singleton Message #118507, posted by alexsingleton at 07:56, 28/8/2011, in reply to message #118428
Member
Posts: 11
What I find remarkable is that:

(a) significant projects like RISC OS on Pandaboard are being done, 13 years after Acorn pulled out of making computers

(b) hardly anything is being said about them

[Edited by alexsingleton at 08:56, 28/8/2011]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
qUE Message #118508, posted by qUE at 10:58, 28/8/2011, in reply to message #118507
qUE

Posts: 150
What I find remarkable is that:

(a) significant projects like RISC OS on Pandaboard are being done, 13 years after Acorn pulled out of making computers

(b) hardly anything is being said about them

[Edited by alexsingleton at 08:56, 28/8/2011]
a) Hobbyists, they exist!

b) Probably because if there is only one if not a few people working on it and they've only got so much time spare to do so, a project like that can quite easily halt for a bit and if a big song and dance is done about it, it'll look a bit silly when progress slows.

[Edited by qUE at 12:00, 28/8/2011]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Trevor Johnson Message #118509, posted by trevj at 16:17, 28/8/2011, in reply to message #118507
Member
Posts: 659
(b) hardly anything is being said about them
Alex, I've got a few ideas for an article about Raspberry Pi and the RISC OS potential there. I'd been planning to ask TES if they'd be interested in publishing it for the start of the new term... however the timescales now look to be against me - and I expect the new term stuff is planned some considerable time in advance anyway.

But would you have any free advice you could please offer about enticing journalists to the London show on Sat 29 Oct? (I know a Saturday is far from ideal.)

Probably because if there is only one if not a few people working on it and they've only got so much time spare to do so, a project like that can quite easily halt for a bit and if a big song and dance is done about it, it'll look a bit silly when progress slows.
Yes, I think that's wise. Maybe collectively we could analyse some data about forum users, numbers of posts, ROOL code commits etc. The main players could also be asked for comments and then the combined info could be offered as a press pack.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

The Icon Bar: News and features: Have I Got Old News For You