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The RISC OS operating system
Current versions:
  • 3.70 (SA compatible, Risc PC and A7000)
  • 4.02 (RISC OS 4 for Risc PC and A7000)
  • 4.03 (Specific version of RISC OS 4 for the new hardware, such as Kinetic, Mico and RiscStation)
  • 4.29 RISC OS 4 Select (Subscription from RISC OS Ltd needed)
  • 5.xx (XScale compatible, specific version for IYONIX pc, 32-bit)

Older versions
  • 1.xx This is Arthur, the first RISC operating system for the Acorn A305 and A310.
  • 2.xx First version of RISC OS, used on A300, A400, A540 and A3000.
  • 3.10 This has been used for a long time on many Acorn computers, such as A5000, A4000, A3010, A300, A400, etc.
  • 3.50 Special version for the Risc PC and A7000.
  • 3.60 Improved version of RISC OS 3.50.
  • 3.61 Special version for the Online Media SetTop Box and XAT MediaBox.

*) SA: Intel StrongARM (originally from Digital)
Advantages RISC OS 4
RISC OS 4 is the next logical step from RISC OS 3 and offers a number of important improvements and enhancements. Except some cosmetic changes, RISC OS has also been improved 'under the surface', which has resulted in a faster and more efficient Kernel. RISC OS 4 is almost fully backward compatible with previous versions of RISC OS, but you may find some software titles that won't run without an update. When in doubt, please contact your supplier prior to purchase.

Some highlights of RISC OS 4:
  • New and improved Kernel
  • Improved look and feel
  • New icons (256 colours)
  • Newer versions of Paint, Edit, Draw, etc.
  • New window (WIMP) manager (with nested windows)
  • New configuration utility
  • New screen saver (which allows third party plug ins)
  • New filer, allows more that 77 files per directory and long filenames
  • Boot application, allows you full control of the Boot sequence
  • On average 25% faster compared to RISC OS 3.70
  • New version of CDFS (Compact Disc Filing System)

On top of that RISC OS 4 offers the same advantages as the previous versions, such as:
  • Multitasking
  • Operating System in ROM (4MB)
  • TCP/IP stack in systeem ROM as standard
  • WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers), also known as the Desktop
  • Software Paint, Edit, Draw, etc. in systeem ROM as standard
  • Very short boot to desktop time
  • No problems after power-cut
  • Very stable and reliable
  • Can be used in 24-hours, 7-days-a-week applications
  • Modular build operating system
  • Build-in (very fast) BASIC interpretor, with in-line ARM assembler
  • Fully documented (PRM's - Programmers Reference Manuals - available separately on CD)
  • Large choice of very good software (both commercial and free)
  • Assemblers, C/C++ compilers, BASIC compilers and other programming languages available separately

RISC OS 5 is currently under developement and intented for use on the new IYONIX pc, that can only run 32-bit software. Any software on this website that is known to be 32-bit compatible, will be marked with this symbol:  . As soon as more information is revealed, we will provide more details on this page.
Installing a new version of RISC OS
RISC OS consists of two ROMs (Read Only Memory, or fixed memory) containing the full operating system as well as some frequently used programs. It also needs a new Boot structure on your harddisc that is supplied on a CD.

RISC OS can be installed by yourself. If you follow the guidelines in the installation manual, this should not be a problem. However, if you don't have any experience in the removal and insertion of computer chips, or if your computer is still within warranty, it is better to let your dealer carry out the upgrade for you. Please note that some costs may be charged by your dealer for this service.
    ROM patch voor RISC OS 3.60, 3.70 en 3.71
    This is the latest official Acorn patch for RISC OS 3. This patch MUST be present on your machine. You can check for the presense of the patch by looking in the Task manager under Dynamic areas. Here you should see someting like ROM patches 3.71/1 or higher.

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Last changed: Friday, 13 February 2004 - 13:01 CET.
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