This page was originally written around 1995/1996 (i.e. when Win95 was amazingly new and groundbreaking for pee-cee users). At that time, the RiscPC absolutely kicked-ass in comparison. Sadly in the intervening 10 years, the RiscPC has stayed around the same (for lack of processor upgrade path) whilst the dreaded Wintel alliance has banged out quicker and more power hungry kit. Web standards have moved on considerably too, with the advent of CSS etc, so the poor old RiscPC is basically obsolete.
My dilemma is what to replace it with. I am thinking Linux / Xscale.....
I keep this page as a tribute to the RiscPC, which will forever have a place in my heart.
My Acorn RISC-PC
My computer is an:
This is because I'm not so brainwashed by the hype surrounding PCs that I feel that they are the answer to all my problems. I use one of the cursed devices at work, and so I like to come home to a machine that is easy to use, fast, responsive and above all, does what I tell it, not what it thinks is what I want!.
- 32mb RAM
- 2mb VRAM, unused portion accessible to programs
- 200MHz StrongARM 32bit RISC processor with split 16k cache
- 14" monitor
- 24bit colour
- 16bit 8channel stereo sound
- 32bit co-operative multitasking operating system
- CD-ROM + DVD-ROM
- 4.3GB + 10GB HDD with powerdown
- Max screen res = 1600x1024
- 56k Modem
I have a choice of Operating Systems that I can use:
This is the standard Acorn supplied OS which a very nice look and feel about it. It sports the following nice features:
- Solid drag
- Window drag whilst maintaing place in window stack (i.e. the window doesn't come to the front when dragged)
- Anti-aliased fonts
- No concept of File Manager / Program Manager. They are one and the same thing.
- Drag and Drop filer interface
- No interrupt conflicts
NetBSD - port-arm32
This is a free port of NetBSD to the Arm32 processor family. It has the following going for it:
- Standard Unix reliability
- Doom available!
- Source to most software available
- Good networking facilities
I use it as a learning vehicle to get to grips with Unix admin.
Reedeeming features of Acorns RiscPC
Mainly it's a decent computer of British origin that enables me to remain out of the continual upgrade cycle of usual PC hardware. Sadly the manufacturer pulled out of the desktop business in 2000, now there's no mainstream desktop computer manufacturer from the UK. Bit like most of our manufacturing industry really. How many people are there who lament this fact whilst driving around in their German car, using their Far Eastern PC running American software. Congratulations to them all.
I of course use my Acorn computer running Acorn software, and have two British vehicles on my drive. I cannot replace any of them