Oh boy... RISC OS on Pi!!!


18 posts
by skywalker » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:12 am
Raspberry Pi is awesome.
Raspberry Pi with RISC OS is… awesome ^ 2!

A big thanks to ROOL and friends for bringing us RISC OS on the Pi.
For me this is some kind of heaven.

I use various Unixen every day at work, and certainly Linux on the Pi is cool.
Linux is of course the most robust, complete and universal option for an OS, but RISC OS just seems 'right'.

While I'm still just getting started exploring, RISC OS on the Pi seems really fast and fluid. I love the ease of use of the GUI/Desktop, which is so much more 'spritely' than most Linux desktops, especially at the moment on the Pi.

Finally of course there's BBC Basic. This is a fantastic tool for prototyping and experimenting. Whereas you have an embarrassment of riches in the Linux world for scripting, BBC Basic is just such a cool standard and ever-present option to have around. I haven't really got my teeth into how the Pi's hardware might be addressable in Basic, but I'm hoping that it's going to be as easy to drive some simple IO as it was on the BBC micros of yore, which were close to being the perfect experimenters machine IMO.

I feel like a kid in a candy store again. Woohoo…!
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by JollyRoger » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:58 pm
I'll echo skywalker's sentiments. RiscOs won't replace Raspbian as my main distro on the Pi (I really like Raspbian with the Enlightenment desktop), but Riscos is certainly fast and cool - Netsurf on Riscos runs at a real lick, faster than Midori et al on Raspbian. And I like the idea of playing with BBC Basic again - I wish I had never got rid of my old BBC micro manual in that spiral binding!

I could never get previous releases of Riscos to work properly with my TV, but this one works perfectly. It will be really nice to explore something totally different to Windows and Linux - a decrepit 73-year-old like me needs something new to keep his brain ticking over! Congrats and thanks to the RiscOs on Pi developers.
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by Vanfanel » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:02 pm
@JollyRoger & Skywalker

I share your excitement about this great OS being available for the Pi! It's just what a DESKTOP OS should be.
I've been an Amiga user all my life, then after a brief period of Windows suffering I learnt how to craft my own lightweight Linux systems from scratch (no distro was good enough for my needs) so I know how great Linux can get if you manage your resources perfectly.
However, Linux is not a desktop OS: it's graphical architecture is clunky to say the least...maybe Wayland will improve things).

Now Risc OS IS what a desktop PC is meant to look and feel like. Just like Amiga OS in real hardware. I'm impressed of how awesome it is on the Pi, what a great computer it makes now, and after I finish some personal Linux projects I have right now, I'd like to put my C knowledge in Risc OS.

@JollyRoger: I feel proud of having a true, original 80s Risc OS user on board, sir! Always keep learning!! Thats the best way to keep young and awake!

(Sorry for my strange english, it's not my main language :) )
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by poglad » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:00 pm
I just booted up RiscOS for the first time this evening... wow it's fast. Bloomin' eck it's fast, isn't it? I mean... wow. :o :lol:

Haven't written any BBC Basic since 1986, but I seem to recall there being an inline assembler back in the day. So I guess we can get real down and dirty where it counts, and get quite close to the performance of bare metal!
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by SEDev » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:18 pm
poglad wrote:Haven't written any BBC Basic since 1986, but I seem to recall there being an inline assembler back in the day. So I guess we can get real down and dirty where it counts, and get quite close to the performance of bare metal!

Indeed you can and the built-in assembler is quite powerful too. The StrongED editor that is part of the distro is produced using the built-in assembler.
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by SiriusHardware » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:45 pm
poglad wrote:I just booted up RiscOS for the first time this evening... wow it's fast. Bloomin' eck it's fast, isn't it? I mean... wow. :o :lol:

Haven't written any BBC Basic since 1986, but I seem to recall there being an inline assembler back in the day. So I guess we can get real down and dirty where it counts, and get quite close to the performance of bare metal!


Um... I'm guessing (in fact I know) that the inline assembler included in BBC model B Basic was for the 6502 processor, since that was the core of the machine. If it's still a 6502 assembler you won't be able to write much ARM code with it, alas...

But maybe Archimedes /etc BASIC changed that to inline ARM? What is the actual situation, anyone know?
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by tank » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:51 pm
SiriusHardware wrote:
Um... I'm guessing (in fact I know) that the inline assembler included in BBC model B Basic was for the 6502 processor, since that was the core of the machine. If it's still a 6502 assembler you won't be able to write much ARM code with it, alas...

But maybe Archimedes /etc BASIC changed that to inline ARM? What is the actual situation, anyone know?


Quick answer Yes!! BASIC includes in-line ARM assembler.
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by NigelJK » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:07 pm
Better yet is that because of the way it works it's specific to the processor being addressed.
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by MegaGumbo » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:26 pm
I am currently enjoying that wonderful tutorial on ARM assembley language by the University of Cambridge. But I'd like to do it using Risc OS. Is there a good resource on how to get started using the inline assembler of BBC BASIC? What tools / methods for writing assmbley language on Risc OS does the experienced user prefer? I'm curious, so any hint is highly appreciated.

P.S.: last time I did assembley language was 20 years ago on an Intel 8085 based training system. Not much left of that knowledge though :oops:
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by NigelJK » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:29 pm
The basic principles of the in-line assembler should be the same. The code will obviously be different as you are addressing a different processor.
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by Tide » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:39 pm
Have a look here for a short introduction to the inbuilt assembler
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by drgeoff » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:34 am
Tide wrote:Have a look here for a short introduction to the inbuilt assembler

That page would be much easier to read if it had a plain background.
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by MegaGumbo » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:49 am
Tide wrote:Have a look here for a short introduction to the inbuilt assembler


Thank you very much, this helped a lot. Just as NigelJK stated, the basic principle is the same but one must of course use at least ARMv5 assembler, better ARMv7 assembler. I found a page listing all available mnemonics for each ARM generation up to ARMv5. I'm also beginning to understand the concept behind SWIs and am deeply impressed. Yet I'm still a beginner, when it comes to ARM assembler / Risc OS. But I enjoy learning.
Last edited by MegaGumbo on Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by sawdust » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:03 pm
If you plan to publish any software you write, then please consider using ARM v7 as it will expose your work to a larger audience and give it a longer shelf life.

Sawdust.
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by MegaGumbo » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:17 pm
sawdust wrote:If you plan to publish any software you write, then please consider using ARM v7 as it will expose your work to a larger audience and give it a longer shelf life.

Sawdust.


ACK, changed my previous posting accordingly. But I think "Hello World" is OK even with ARM v5 ;) . Do you know a good online resource for the ARM v7 mnemonics?
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by theom » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:36 pm
RISC OS folks and Linux folks mean different things when they talk about 'ARMv7'.

ARM assembler is ARM assembler. It should run on any machine from a 1987 ARM2 up to the latest. There are, of course, some caveats.

RISC OS on older ARMs (up to StrongARM) used '26 bit addressing'. This doesn't work on anything newer. So make sure your book/whatever is using '32 bit addressing'. If it talks about the MRS and MSR you're fine. If it does MOVS pc,r14 you aren't (the S being the important bit).

Over the years ARMs have changed their behaviour as to what happens when loading a word (LDR, LDM) from an address that isn't divisible by 4. ARMv7 wasn't compatible with previous versions. This is what RISC OS folks mean by 'ARMv7 compatible' - it won't crash on an ARMv7 processor. Load your words from addresses divisible by 4 and you have no problems on any machine.

Over the years ARM has added various extensions to the instruction set (different flavours of floating point, and other instructions). Linux folks tend to compile their code for the most recent they can get away with, so you can't run them on older machines. When they say 'ARMv7', they mean 'compiled using instructions only available on ARMv7 and later'. RISC OS folks tend to compile their code for the oldest they can get away with (people are still using 25 year old ARM2 machines) so has no problem in this respect.

The moral of the story: grab a book on general ARM programming written anytime after 1993. Don't use any extensions or any tricks, and you should be fine.
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by RoliPi » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:04 am
I recently tried RISC OS on my Pi, of pure curiosity, how does it look and feel.
And i fell instantly in love with it :-)

Although we never had here the Acorn-RISC-culture as you guys in the UK, but it very much reminds me to the Commodore-era.

So i only use RISC OS now, despite the obvious limitations (it doesn't support our accented letters, but i'm really happy for now with Ctrl-Shift-F9 for my hobbyist programming projects in Basic).

I like it because it's small, terribly fast (the Raspbian is a lame duck compared to it), much more professional in several ways as Windows or even Linux (the mouse and window-behaviour is excellent).
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by Tide » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:32 pm
Hi RoliPi

Glad you're enjoying RISC OS :-)
You can switch to Latin2 via *alphabets but that probably won't help you as there's no keyboard support for Hungarian, at least it's not listed in *countries. There are of course !Chars !XChars and a few variations of foreign character supporting apps like !MoreKeys but it's not exactly unicode.
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