log in | register | forums
Show:
Go:
Welcome
The Icon Bar is the longest running RISC OS portal. The sensibilities that Acorn instilled in us still influence our interests and writing.

Buy swag
Got news?
Let us know!
What you can do with RISC OS Draw
What you can do with RISC OS Draw
Flexibility and ubiquity
Subscriptions RSS Feeds
RSS 2.0 | 1.0 | 0.9
Atom 0.3
Misc RDF | CDF
Podcasts
Subscribe | iTunes | List
Latest MP3
Site Search
 
Article archives

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Leave RISC OS: 10 Years On

Posted by John Hoare on 12:40, 4/12/2016 | ,
 
Ten years ago this week, I wrote How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Leave RISC OS for The Iconbar. To mark the occasion, I thought it might be worth revisiting it. After all, surely plenty has changed over the past ten years?
 
And it has. Luckily, the days of Castle versus RISCOS Ltd have long gone. These days, it's all about... erm, RISC OS Open versus 3QD Developments Ltd. And RISC OS is still - still - forked. Do you hear the sound coming out of my mouth? I am laughing at you, RISC OS. I am laughing at your utter, utter uselessness. 10 years, and you haven't sorted out the forked OS issue? There must be a word that isn't "pathetic" which I could use, but I just can't think of it at the moment.
 
Still, I am by my own admission entirely an outsider when it comes to the RISC OS scene these days. I've kept up with very few of the developments, and certainly not in-depth. But it's perhaps worth noting which outfit seems to be doing more. RISC OS Open has a news page which has updated seven times this year, and an active, publicly-viewable CVS repository. 3QD have updated just twice over the past year, and both updates were on backward-looking products: VirtualAcorn, and, erm, a load of old APDL hardware.
 
Or, if we're going to judge merely on websites: RISC OS Open's is clean and thoughtful. 3QD thinks that putting thick outlines all over your company address is a good idea... and what that large grey graphic is doing is anyone's guess. Fair? Yes, I do actually think judging an organisation on how they choose to present themselves to the world is fair - and very often gives you a good insight into how an organisation works.
 
Despite the above, I genuinely have no side in the forked OS debate. I'm merely talking about how each organisation presents itself to the outside observer. RISC OS Open looks pretty good; a few more news updates would be good, but it's fine. 3QD, to borrow an old Steve Jobs quote, has no taste.
 
Still, let's look beyond the forked OS issue. The second part of my original article lurches (rather inelegantly, it has to be said) into the real reason why I left RISC OS. I can put that reason rather more simply these days: I use my computer to do work, and RISC OS can't do the work I need to do any more. That isn't a judgement on people who still use the platform to get real work done: I'm delighted it works for you. But for me, that ship has long sailed. Nothing that's happened in the last 10 years has changed that.
 
So for me, RISC OS's only remaining interest would be as a hobbyist OS. In other circumstances, maybe I'd still be interested in that... but other parts of my life took over. I have no time for a hobbyist OS any more. It used to be that a great deal of my identity was tied up with the computer I used: that's no longer the case. That is nothing to do with RISC OS; it's merely a casualty of me spending too much time watching The Strange World of Gurney Slade, or finding ways to combine Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Monty Python. I used to find computers fun in themselves. These days, I use them to get to other stuff I find fun. And RISC OS is far from the ideal vehicle to do that kind of thing with.
 
To put it another way: next month, I'm about to bury myself in the arcane world of responsive CSS. If I was the kind of person I used to be, it would have been the responsive CSS which would have been the real joy. These days, it isn't. It's using the resulting site to publish a history of online Buffy fandom. Computing for the sake of computing doesn't really interest me in the same way it used to. And that's not RISC OS's fault. That's all me.
 
RISC OS. I remember you, and I loved you. I even sometimes still miss your right-click. But ten years on... no, I really don't need you any more. I'm sorry.
 
6 comments in the forums

New bounty scheme launched

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 23:00, 31/3/2011 | , , , ,
 
As you know, over the past few years there's been a general downturn in the number of articles appearing on The Icon Bar. In response to pressure from our readers, we've come up with a radical new stimulus package designed to combat this issue. Starting today, the author of any new article posted on the site will be rewarded with a bounty, which they will receive within 10 working days of the article going live. For full details about the different bounties that can be awarded to each article, please see our sponsor's site. Don't delay; submit your article today! *
 
 
Continue reading "New bounty scheme launched" | 11 comments in the forums

RISC OS on OMAP - the future?

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 11:00, 19/5/2009 | , , , , , , , ,
 
BeagleBoard.org logoAs most of you probably know by now, a few months ago I started work on porting RISC OS Open's RISC OS kernel to TI's OMAP3 platform - a group of SoC's (Systems on a Chip) which use ARM Cortex-A8 cores. To date, OMAP3 SoC's have been confirmed as being used in various products, including the Pandora handheld gaming console, the Touch Book convertible netbook/tablet, and the BeagleBoard development board. For years RISC OS users have been asking for a new portable RISC OS machine, and soon they may find that they have several available.
 
 
Continue reading "RISC OS on OMAP - the future?" | 26 comments in the forums

A Few Reasons to be Cheerful

Posted by Chris on 13:00, 7/5/2007 | ,
 
Ian DuryIt's seemingly mostly doom and gloom these days in the increasingly small world of RISC OS, with the glaring deficiencies in the platform still unresolved and the latest releases from the OS developers having received an underwhelming response. However, it's always easier to concentrate on the dark side, and possible to overlook the fact that there's nice stuff happening too. So I thought I'd highlight a few of those developments here in this article.
 
Now, before anything else, I should make clear that this is *not* an attempt at advocacy: I'm not trying to argue that RISC OS is in a good state, and certainly not that users of other OSes should switch over (or back). All I'm aiming to do is talk about some areas where RISC OS seems to me to be getting a bit better. And there are more of these than might be obvious, at least if reading Usenet is your guide to the health of the platform.
 
Continue reading "A Few Reasons to be Cheerful" | 5 comments in the forums

An arbitrary number of possibly influential RISC OS things

Posted by Phil Mellor on 15:00, 23/3/2007 | , , , , , , , ,
 
In this article we look at some of the programs and projects - some obvious, others less so - that influenced the history of the RISC OS platform and its users. These are our suggestions, not a top ten and certainly not in any particular order. What other applications would you add to the list?
 
Continue reading "An arbitrary number of possibly influential RISC OS things" | 32 comments in the forums

The programmer hierarchy

Posted by Phil Mellor on 12:00, 19/3/2007 | , ,
 
A chart showing which languages make programmers feel superior to other programmers. Where would you put BBC Basic?
 
PDF: The Programmer Hierarchy (via daringfireball)
 
3 comments in the forums

RISC OS - the week in comments; episode 3

Posted by Phil Mellor on 14:30, 18/3/2007 | , , , , , ,
 
We need more demosEach week we hold up a mirror to the people of RISC OS and reflect the current topics of debate.
 
In this, the third exciting installment:
  • Demo versions of software
  • BBC iPlayer protests won't aid RISC OS
  • Another user says goodbye

 
Continue reading "RISC OS - the week in comments; episode 3" | 26 comments in the forums

RISC OS - the week in comments; episode 2

Posted by Phil Mellor on 23:45, 9/3/2007 | , , , , , ,
 
AcornThe latest RISC OS chat brought to you in glorious cut-n-paste-o-vision.
 
In this week's episode:
  • Whatever happened to VA for Mac?
  • Should developers join forces?
  • A7000 puts you on hold
  • Acorn Computers admit their past

 
Continue reading "RISC OS - the week in comments; episode 2" | 2 comments in the forums

What you can do with Draw

Read article... | 13 comments in the forums

Why ex-RISC OS users should get a Mac

Read article... | 36 comments in the forums

The Vigay will never abandon RISC OS [Updated]

Read article... | 40 comments in the forums

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Leave RISC OS

Read article... | 87 comments in the forums

Six month old arguments, there

Read article... | Comment in the forums

Icon Bar and Acorn Arcade relaunch

Read article... | 47 comments in the forums
Recent discussions
- How I Learned to Stop Worr...Leave RISC OS: 10 Years On (News:6)
- RISC OS Interviews - Hilary and Matthew Philips (News:)
- !Organizer reaches 2.26 (News:)
- RISC OS Interviews - Tom Williamson (News:)
- !PhotoDesk adds support fo...software with version 3.14 (News:1)
- First Impressions of RComp's TiMachine (News:4)
- 2016 London Show report (News:3)
- RISCOS Interviews - Jeffrey Lee (News:)
Services
- Free ads
- Web hosting
Sites we like
- Daring Fireball
- pagetable.com
- Drobe
- Ars Technica
- Kotaku
Statistics
- Web browsers
- Operating systems
- Types
- Countries
- RSS