RISC OS 5.20 officially available

 A chip off for the old block RiscPC.

Shortly after unveiling it at the Midlands Show on July 13th, RISC OS Open Ltd announced the official release of RISC OS 5.20 – the latest ‘stable’ version* – towards the end of the month.

This version incorporates a massive 625 changes for the IYONIX pc, and 654 changes for the OMAP3 platform, as used on the BeagleBoard. Many of the changes are common to both platforms, but there are – obviously – differences between the hardware and facilities offered by the platforms, and some changes on each relate to those differences; for example, there is now support for driving digital TVs as well as computer monitors on OMAP3.

IOMD RISC OS 5.20 ROMs (image taken from RISC OS Open Ltd's website)
IOMD RISC OS 5.20 ROMs (image taken from RISC OS Open Ltd’s website)

As revealed in RISC OS Open Ltd’s announcement just before the Midlands Show, version 5.20 also marks the first time that an official release of RISC OS 5 has been available for the IOMD platform, as used in Acorn’s RiscPC, A7000 and A7000+ computers – though users of those platforms should remember that this is a 32-bit version of RISC OS, whereas the version already in use on those machines is 26-bit, so upgrading might mean some software in use on those machines may need to be updated to 32-bit compatible versions, if available.

Users of modern systems can download RISC OS 5.20 free of charge, and there are some brief upgrade instructions on RISC OS Open’s wiki. Users of IOMD-based computers, however, need to install a physical ROM, and these are available to purchase for £30 plus p&p and VAT, and for your money you also get the RISC OS 5.20 Collector’s CD, which includes full installation instructions, a video guide, and lots of supporting software and other RISC OS 5.20-related goodies (and which is available for purchase on its own for £5 plus p&p and VAT).

* Even numbered releases of RISC OS 5 are considered ‘stable’ versions, which means they have been tested and deemed suitable for general release. Odd numbered releases are ‘development’ or ‘test’ versions, which end-users can install, but should only do so if they are confident that they know what they are doing, and can resolve any problems that may occur, for example reverting to whichever version they were using before.

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