Welcome to My RISC OS Page
This site was constructed using a variety of software packages many of which are still supported today. Machines that run RISC OS* natively are the Beagleboard, Pandaboard and the Raspberry Pi series. The Beagleboard and even the Pandaboard are beginning to show their age in this rapidly changing market. Early this year the Raspberry Pi 2, model B was released featuring a 900MHz, quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM which can be purchased for around 30 UKP.
Users who require a ready built fully operational RISC OS computer can purchase the latest high-speed ARMX6 featuring a Cortex A9 quad-core processor (RISC OS can only use a single core at the present) with 2GB RAM, SATA compatible solid-state-disc, dedicated gigabit networking, HDMI high-resolution video and a DVD writer. Information about the ARMX6 can be found on RComps website.
The other high-speed ARM machine is IGEPv5 from CJEMicros.
Alternatively RISC OS can be run on a PC or a MAC using Virtual Acorn*.
Software Used to Develop This Site
- A rather tedious operation is writing a lot of text. This is best handled by a document processor. EasiWriter handles this extremely efficiently and contains a text to html converter. EasiWriter will also interpret most Microsoft WORD files. This is a 2-way process - documents typed in EasiWriter can also be converted to WORD files.
- A text editor to enable the HTML code to be compiled. StrongED* is my preferred editor.
- HTML Macro editor. For the small amount of HTML I produce I use Richard Goodwin's HTML³. Despite the lack of program development it still produces HTML that most browsers can render.
- A multi-format viewer. Recommended is PrivateEye by David Thomas.
- Image manipulation software is somewhat behind the Adobe competition. Although rather dated Photodesk is still very useable - if you are prepared to go through the long learning curve (the same is true however with Adobe's Photoshop). Copies may be obtainable from CJEMicro's. Photodesk is still being developed - the latest version has reached 3.09. Some rather nice features have been included a few of which are...... a permanent on-screen magnifier, a new set of air and paint brushes, new stamps, cropping improvements and better support for long filenames.
- The excellent open-source web-browser.... NetSurf*.
- A simple to use animation program - the latest ARMv7 compatible version is available from InterGif.
- The powerful filename renaming program....Rename by Nick Roberts.
Software Used to Develop the Graphic Images
My main area of interest is graphics. ArtWorks 2 has now become the definitive vector drawing package for RISC OS graphic users. A brilliant software author - Martin Würthner has extensively improved this easy to use and superb vector based drawing package originally conceived by a Hertfordshire based company - Computer Concepts Ltd. Sophisticated drawings can be created due to its clear interface and intuitive behaviour. If you would like some idea of its capabilities then please go to the thumbnails index page.
Some of the Features
- Rapid production of simple graphic illustrations.
- Real-time graduated fills.
- Multi-stage blends.
- Object distortion and perspective.
- Advanced printing options - example colour separations.
- Graduated transparency.
- Dynamic clipping enabling objects to be filled with bitmaps.
- Advanced polygon processing.
- Advanced text options including text area handling.
- Rotatable text.
- PDF import and export for multi-platform users.
- Multi-page documents.
- Sprite and PNG export with alpha masks.
- Shadow tool. Supported in 2.X.00
- Paste attributes facility. Supported in 2.X.00
- ARMv7 compatibility. Supported in 2.X1.00
- Style panel implemented. Supported in 2.X1.00
- An important and fascinating tool for creative artists - Artistic Lines has been implemented in 2.X2.00
Miscellaneous Graphic Software
- DrawLots programmed by Rosemary Miskin has been used extensively in the graphic designs on this site. This software has been around for many years now but still provides some excellent editable shapes.
- DrawRot. Also by the same author and used in conjunction with DrawLots some quite complex and extraordinary shapes can be created.
- Cogs. Martin Bazley's excellent spirograph generator is a must have if you like geometric graphic design. He has recently released a new version which permits wheels within wheels. A useful StrongHelp manual accessible from the iconbar also accompanies the program. Thumbnails 10 shows some of the possibilities with Cogs2 - ArtWorks 2 has been used to embellish the designs.
As with all things there are some important issues where RISC OS performs less well......
- No up-to-date video manipulation and 3-D software.
- Unsuitable for modern graphic intensive games. However an old classic Star Fighter 3000 has just been released which operates on most modern ARM based hardware.
These are simply a result of insufficient financial resources being available for developing RISC OS software. Unlike MAC OS, UNIX/Linux or the ubiquitous Microsoft windows, all software is written by dedicated "one man bands" for sadly a rather small market. Having said this the OS is very efficient - don't dismiss it because it runs in a negligible 4Mb of ROM. It is intuitive, free from viruses, and malware and offers high reliability with the latest RISC OS OPEN* downloads.
* development on-going
Last updated Saturday the 1st of April, 2017
Links checked Thursday the 25th of June, 2015
New material added