So, the Raspberry Pi is a British computer. It is ARM-based. Since we’re using UK hardware, let’s use some UK software as well. I am thinking about the operating system RISCOS.

RISC OS is a computer operating system designed in Cambridge, England by Acorn. First released in 1987, its origins can be traced back to the original team that developed the ARM microprocessor.

So, one could say, this is *the* OS that *should* run on ARM-based machines, like the Raspberry Pi. And since both are from the UK… do I need to say more?
Installing…. well… just download and extract the image and write it to the SD card. It’s a quite trivial task, right? Well…. I did something stupid there, well, with the ArchLinux image. I wrote it to the wrong SD card….. the SD card in my BeagleBoard in stead of my laptops SD card. Oops.

However, that’s out of scope regarding to this post. RISCOS, so, just writing the image, put it in the Pi and turn it on. On first boot, the font cache is being built, which may take a while. Also note a little configuration is required. The screen for example, the right resolution has to be chosen. On first boot, it looked like “letterboxed” and a rather low res. The screen type was set to “auto”, which apparently doesn’t have the desired effect. The dropdown boxes for choosing resolution etc. are grayed out. One has to select the monitor mpdel (I am using Generic) then the colours (I love to see UK spelling for that word in software) (“16 million), and then resolution and frame rate (refresh rate) can be chosen.

Another thing to note is the fact the network is disabled per default. One got to enable it before one can use the internet. After clicking to enable the internet, the system got to reboot. I must say the browser shipped with it, NetSurf, cannot handle some websites. It appears to be lacking JavaScript support, and for some reason I am unable to log in to this blog using that browser.

In the software repository, available through the package manager “Packman”, I have found a firefox port. However, it’s rather outdated (Bon Echo) and it is very slow. I must say, except for that firefox port, the system feels pretty responsive. But that firefox port is so slow it’s unusable.

I still need to play around with it some more, get to know the operating system, as it is different from what I am used to. This OS is around since 1987, one of the surviving operating systems from those days… less known… not running on x86 hardware. Interesting part here… it’s source has been released under a “shared source” license. “shared source”, as in, not an approved open source license. This is due a rather remarkable condition, the OS is only allowed to run on ARM hardware. It may not be ported to other architectures.

Well… I guess I will report some more about it later, but for now, I should get ready for class. Also, the Raspberry Pi, I should get ArchLinux running on there, and configured. This Raspberry Pi was going to replace my BeagleBoard anyways… and since I accidently overwrote the BeagleBoards SD card… I need to get the Raspberry Pi running… (especially since the BeagleBoard is unstable… and will not be able to reboot since I overwrote its SD card)

Just a fun fact, from wikipedia: RISCOS line endings are LF+CR (as compared to DOS/Windows CR+LF) Also… I am still looking for a way to get screenshots out of there… I don’t know what software can handle it’s file format for storing images. At least there is an NFS server for RISCOS.

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