Archive 22:12 sampler, R-Comp hints at new ARM based hardware

Showing a level of initiative often sadly lacking these days in the RISC OS community, the current editor and publisher of Archive Magazine, Jim Nagel, has made available a sampler of issue 22:12 (volume 22, issue 12). His main motivation for doing this is that the physical magazine is only due back from the printers on the eve of the South West Show this coming Saturday and, as reading the sampler reveals, the news pages obviously cover the show; it’s clear that in an ideal world Jim would have liked that issue to be on our doorsteps before the show takes place – in particular because at least one item of news it contains might encourage more people to attend the show.

And what is that news?

It seems that R-Comp Interactive could be unveiling a new ARM based computer at the show.

From what Jim has said on page 2 of the sampler (page 3 of the actual magazine), Andrew Rawnsley of R-Comp was being cagey about it when Archive was ready to go to press, but is quoted as saying “R-Comp Interactive, together with its project partners, hopes to show an exciting new development which is sure to catch the eye of anyone mourning the fate of dedicated ARM-based CPUs powering their computers.”

This would most likely be a machine based on the Beagleboard, running an ARM Cortex-A8 processor. Whether that’s anything along the lines of the BIK computer that A4 Computing has been advertising on their website for a couple of months now, which is what Archive is speculating, or a netbook design along the lines of the Touch Book from Always Innovating, which has been shown running RISC OS at shows before now, remains to be seen. My speculato-meter is hovering around the half way mark, but just swaying in the same direction as Archive. It may even turn out that the “project partners” Andrew refers to in his quote may include A4 Computing.

Andrew is also quoted as saying that he hoped to “achieve backing from across the RISC OS world, to ensure a firm future” which Archive speculates as referring to agreements with RISCOS Ltd and RISC OS Open Ltd over licensing issues. That does seem plausible given the past ‘heated discussions’ on usenet and other forums regarding this, although that wouldn’t necessarily mean RISC OS Open Ltd, but whatever he meant, things may have changed between Archive being sent to press and the release of the sampler – or by the time of the show.

With that in mind, I have sent Andrew an email this morning asking for more (up to date?) information. Depending on what he says in reply, watch this site for more information. Ideally, I’d like to be able to publish something specifically about this on Saturday morning, but realistically that may not be possible because R-Comp may be understandably busy this week preparing for the show.

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