Wakefield's August speaker was Andy Marks from RISCOSbits talking about his current systems and future ideas. As usual the talk was on Zoom with around 30 attendees.
Andy started with a presentation on FAST (what is it, what it does, benefits, etc).
FAST stands for Fast Access Storage Technology. Uses SATA rather than USB and ADFS not SCSI. Based on Raspberry Pi Computer Module 4, overclocked at 2GHz. Potential for dual screen and wireless networking.
Needs a custom RISC OS ROM currently (has to remove USB 3 driver as there are none on CM4). Has its own tweaked HAL. Up to 4 releases a year promised for users.
Possibly the fastest current RISC OS machine according to some tests. Filecore appears to be limiting factor, so NVMe may not be much faster. 4K screen resolution. System can be upgraded by changing CM4, hardware acceleration for graphics and can offer Linux options.
Currently CM4 boards in short supply - RISCOSbits has them in stock. Pricing of CM4 makes in not cost-effective to develop custom boards.
Recent developments include Big Discs (up to 2TB). This currently needs to be setup by RISCOSbits. HATs 'nearly working' and OTA firmware updates incoming.
Looking at support for ATX PSUs and PC cases, onboard Real time clock and Fan control, improved eMMC support and a small footprint system.
5 versions of system ranging from just software and SATA hardware device (99 pounds) to monster machine with 1TB drive, optical drive and 4GB RAM (499). The default name for the 1TB drive is Turnips as it was implemented with a 'cunning plan'.
Andy then fired up his FAST machine to show it in action with RiscOSM rapidly redrawing maps, running Iris from disc and rendering PDF files. General File operations, such as copying large files, are lightning fast.
New systems are the PiRO Cube which is 55mm x 55 mm x 43 mm (still has full ports) and can run Linux and can take power from USB port. Smaller than the Fortress.
Pi Harder eMMC is a smaller, more compact version of Pi Hard. Up to 4x faster than SD based systems. Can also run Linux. Has an OLED screen which can be used to show information.
In the pipeline, Chimera has separate hard drives for RISC OS and Linux. Can have up to 3 SSDs. Have gigabit networking and can be re-equipped as NAS, storage array.
ECOS (Easy concurrent Operating System) wil run RISC OS and Linux at the same time (EDOS runs one or the other). Simple options for shared data. Can run Linux Applications in their own windows.
Looking at a MultiPi FAST system with multiple heads. May use faster boards than Pi boards.
Aim to make also systems support EMMC and as user upgradeable as possible.
At the end there was time for questions.
Details on all meetings (and email address to ask for a Zoom link) can be found on the WROCC website