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Cheap ARM ATX/MiniATX motherboards that can run RiscOS (RiscPC)

category: general [glöplog]
I was surfing internet and RiscOS seems to be sweet platform.
Post here some cheap ATX or MiniATX motherboards that can run RiscOS.
I want to make RiscPC...
Oh, you'll probably not find anything even reasonably priced, if it exists at all. Your best bet is to keep an eye on eBay. My housemate has two RiscPC's (we're working on a demo for Sundown, got a few effects down but we're still a loooong way to go).

From what I understand the Acorn Hardware scene is a bit of a mess much like the Amiga is, what with licensing and disputes and trademarks etc.

Expect to pay around UK£799 for a new Iyonix RiscPC or just get a classic RiscPC from eBay, I see there is one with a few small issues for ~UK£60 with two hours remaining to bid.

If you want to just develop for ARM, however - there are many many options.

Alternatively you can opt for Emulation. I personally use RPCEmu, but it's a bit flakey, your mileage may vary of course. VirtualAcorn is supposed to be pretty spot on - Redsquirrel which is the free no-longer-developed version, is sort of ok. You can buy Acorn Risc OS 4 roms legally for around UK£5 online.

Hope this helps. :)
Ahh 800 Euros for new RiscPC thats nonsence...

OK I will buy old one. Can you write me optimal configuration for demos...
BTW I am muzax so are there any trackers on RiscPC (sample based or synth trackers)???

60-65 Euros will be fine...

This model is good or to much old??? (I am newbie :P)
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Yeah, stated above, Ebay is going to be your best bet.

http://computers.shop.ebay.co.uk/items/Vintage-Computing__W0QQSystem94815e4fZA corn3c2a769QQ_dmptZUKQ5fVintageComputingQ5fRLQQ_flnZ1QQ_fromfsbZQQ_sacatZ4193QQ_s sovZ1QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em282

As for demos, well as the RiscPC is almost 20years old now, there are no dedicated GPUs or anything, so the CPU does all the work. To get anything approaching decent speed you will need to get a StrongARM RiscPC (default: 200Mhz, overclocked ~300 Mhz). 16 bit sound card is optional, it comes with 8 individual channels of 8-bit sound as default, so playing Amiga Mods isn't a problem. Also free software to play XMs, IT's available.

Minimum Requirements
Main Memory => 16 Megabytes
VideoRam 2Mb (1mb absolute minimum)

There are a few sample based tracker programs out there for the RISC OS. Digital Symphony was commercial software, but I believe its free now although I think you need to turn off the cache before loading it, then turning the cache back on afterwards if I recall correctly (Its been a while since I used it).

Others: !Tracker, !Coconizer (available on pouet.net)

There are no synth based trackers on RISC OS :(

There are some people working on porting RISC OS to the Texas Instruments OMAP 3xx hardware, of which the Pandora Console is one device that uses it. So hopefully is a few months time there will at last be some cheap and powerful native ARM hardware available, but until then, either get a cheap RISC PC, or Virtual Risc PC emulator.
added on the 2009-03-11 11:40:22 by nx nx
Is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle_Board compatible with PANDORA??? 150USD... same cpu as PANDORA... :)
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This looks awesome for me... I can buy mini ITX case... So is this compatible with PANDORA ???
You're probably better off buying this kit:

http://www.ebv.com/index.php?id=102&no_cache=1&tx_ebvproductfe_pi1[uid]= 456

as the Beagle requires 2 stupid non-standard cables and a bunch of peripherals to work. Also, someone makes a nice clear acrylic case specifically for it.
tinctu, I know that people are using the beagle board (and the QEMU emulator of this hardware) to get the RISC OS port working at the moment. See the pandora thread for details;


Not sure if its compatible with Pandora, but it certainly uses the same chipset as the Pandora device.
added on the 2009-03-11 12:16:48 by nx nx
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Well I will check RISCOSOPEN.ORG
EvbBeagle plus OpenRiscOS looks like new nice alternative to LINUX ,WIN and MACOSX...
And is not so overpriced as IONYX PC...

Well acrylic case is OK... I am case moder... so no prob...
I imagine it'll be sometime before non native RiscOS is very usable, but nonetheless it's great to know it's happening.

One thing to bear in mind - you will find using Risc PC's as a desktop a bit irritating, from what I gather it still is co-operative multi-tasking. There is a port of Firefox which is no longer maintained (I think the guy who ported it got annoyed with the general Acorn scene being dicks, or so I heard) which can help you access the web but bear in mind running it on a 200Mhz StrongARM it is no doubt VERRRYYY SLSLLLLOOWWWWwww.

Be sure to set your expectations appropriately. :)
There still seems to be a couple of companies selling full RiscPCs and spare parts. I tried to contact this one, but haven't received an answer yet. I'd go with a StrongARM-based model too.
added on the 2009-03-11 16:53:10 by Marq Marq
Just following up on rc55 comments.

RiscPC's are veeeery slow compared to todays standards so don't expect too much. Multitasking is indeed co-operative rather than pre-emptive, and Peter Naull's did the port of Firefox 2 to the OS a few years back. He still updates it, but I believe there is quite a bit of work to get FireFox 3 to work. Netsurf is a Opensource RO browser that is pretty damn good browser though. But I use Windows for all my internet access due to the speed.
And Paul did sort of stop/slow down on the RISC OS scene due to a lot of pettiness and lack of apprecation for what he accomplished.

However, with the OS source now available to the public, porting to new up and coming ARM platforms/netbooks, the OS still hasn't died :)

Still really pleasant to use.
added on the 2009-03-12 00:43:25 by nx nx
@rc55 and nx>
Its OK I am ATARI fan and I had AMIGA too...
Now 8bit Ataris and Sega Megadrive...

So for net browsing and another boring stuff I have modern notebook...
Well I want just have alternative platform like modern AMIGA or ATARI on steroids you know what I mean and 600Mhz ARM sounds fuc**** good...
And I can still use linux distribotion with LILO or something... on that boards.
Just want to mention that the Omap3 on the beagleboard does not only has a Cortex-A8 (running at 600 Mhz if overclocked. the nomial speed is closer to 500).

It also has a c64x+ DSP that is roughly twice as fast as the ARM on the chip (clocked even lower, but it executes up to 8 instructions per cycle).

If anyone here feels the urge to order a beagleboad: Do yourself a favor and wait a month or two until the C-series comes out. The current Beagleboard still runs engineering-sample Omap-Chips and has some nasty bugs. The new revision will have twice as much memory, working high-speed USB and hopefully the core bugs will be fixed as well.
added on the 2009-03-12 02:29:18 by torus torus
@torus> Thank you. I will wait until summer. For RiscOs port plus better version... thanks for infos
no problem, tinctu..
added on the 2009-03-12 03:38:12 by torus torus
Many Ti DSPs, such as the c64x+ series, are severely ARSE!:

They're based on VLIW and depend on the compiler for instruction scheduling. As a result, assembler coding is not fun, unless you like to spend lots of effort figuring out the timing dependencies.

Any architecture that allows NOP to have an argument is a silly piece of ******.
added on the 2009-03-12 12:19:28 by trc_wm trc_wm
silliness has it's virtues tho :P
added on the 2009-03-12 12:22:30 by havoc havoc
TRC_WM: Most of the time you can ignroe the VLIW nature of the C64x+ and just use the TI-compiler (a wonderful piece of engineering). Even for code not written with VLIW in mind the compiler gets an average parellelism of 6 instructions per cycle.

The multicycle NOP is a godsent because it allows you to keep the code small. A good thing if you only have 16kb of instruction cache. And where do you really need them? In loop prologs (to deal with the memory-access latency of the first loop iteration) and sometimes in branch heavy code.

It's a very thought out architecture. I've written a lot of code or this thing over the last two years (down to the assembly level).

Btw - noone except a bunch of TI guys and me write pre-scheduled assembly for that DSP. If you can't convince the compiler from generating good code you can still use linear assembler (which hides all the scheduling madness for you).

If otoh the C64x+ is to hard for you, go and code a Java demo about it :-)
added on the 2009-03-12 13:40:37 by torus torus
For all those who play with the idea of getting a beagleboard:

Revision C is out. Seems like most of the prototype bugs have been slayed, and they added a raw LCD output option (very nice if you don't want to spend 500€ just for a display).

Here's the official blurb change-list:

  • USB HOST (EHCI) will be operational on revision C2.
  • Add interface for raw LCDs (mockup)
  • It will use updated OMAP3 revision. BeagleBoard revisions B4+B5 uses OMAP3 ES 2.1 (engineering sample), while BeagleBoard revision C2 is supposed to use ES 3.0. OMAP3 ES 3.0 will fix minor issues: updated ARM Cortex A8 silicon (r1p3) fixing a very rare NEON issue that has not been seen in real code
  • Power measurement feature
  • Will use TPS65950 (power control and audio ADC/DAC)
  • Three additional PWM signals on the expansion connector added as pin mux options to existing pins (message)
  • Revision detection (to be able to identify C2 board from older boards by software, e.g. for different pin mux)
  • Will have 256MB ram (message) (and still 256MB NAND like rev B)
  • Price will remain the same as Revision B.

There is also a clone of the board available. Comes with all the cables you need.. http://www.ebv.com/en/products/categories/details/product/ebvbeagle-board
added on the 2009-03-27 17:56:14 by torus torus
Btw - I still stick with the original board simply due to the fact that the PCB of the TI-board has exactly the same color as the good old Gravis Ultrasound. :-)

This gives warm retro-feelings..
added on the 2009-03-27 18:00:07 by torus torus
Is the ebv board revision C? And do revision B really only have 128mb RAM?
As far as I know the EVB board is a direct clone of the C2 Beagleboard, so it ought to have 256mb of ram as well.

If this is important for you, better write a email to the evb support and ask.

I'm happy with the 128 megabytes btw. I don't use the board for desktop computer tasks. For my audio-processing needs 128mb are more than I ever need. I rarely allocate more than 32mb.
added on the 2009-03-27 18:23:56 by torus torus


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