Not a show report (honestly): London 2020

New hardware from R-Comp, and RISC OS 5.28 released!

With the recent RISC OS London Show being a virtual one, taking place online via Zoom and streamed to YouTube, I decided in advance not to write a show report. Even now the event is over, it’s still possible for people to go back and watch those streams.

However, there was some news that became evident as the day progressed, both within the various talks and in announcements put out to coincide with it, so it’s worth a brief look at a couple of notable items.

New hardware and software from R-Comp

Andrew Rawnsley showed off a new machine called the 4té (pronounced like the word forte – and obviously a play on that word’s definition). Based around the Raspberry Pi 4, the computer benefits from all the features offered by that board (with 2GB RAM being the standard model on offer) and is housed in a 3D-printed case designed by Tom Williamson of Wi-Fi Sheep and Ident Online.

I believe this is R-Comp‘s first Pi-based system, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that the flavour of operating system supplied with the machine is RISC OS Direct – the distribution put together by the partnership of Tom and RISC OS Developments, of which Andrew is one of the directors.

A second new machine from R-Comp – which Andrew was discussing on the RISC OS Open Ltd forum back in April – is The Hfuhruhurr machine that will possibly called either Duet or TIx. That’s right, the name is as yet still unconfirmed, but looks likely to be one or the other of those.

This more powerful machine features two distinct boards in the case, one for running RISC OS and the other for running Windows or Linux, with each board having its own video output, but interactive use possible by way of VNC.

On the software front, a new version of Fireworkz Pro (2.30) allows its files to be embedded in documents from another application – Andrew demonstrated with TechWriter – and these can then be edited and updated.

New software from RISC OS Open Ltd

Well, when I say software, I mean the most important software of all for people who use RISC OS – a new version of the operating system itself; RISC OS 5.28 was officially released on the day of the show.

This is the first stable (rather than development) release version to officially support the Raspberry Pi 4 – which for many people is probably the headline feature of 5.28 – but that aside, there are also countless (well, okay, 344) changes to the main ROM image, and a further countless number (well, okay, 366) changes to the supporting disc image.

All of this means that as well as many changes under the hood that, as a user, you may not really care or need to know about, there are plenty of things that will impact your use of the system, such as improved versions of the standard applications.

To help you understand these changes and how to work with them, there is also a corresponding new version of the User Guide available, weighing in at over 600 pages – ideal reading material as we enter another lockdown in the UK!

Where’s the rest?

As noted at the top of this page, the streams remain available to watch on YouTube, so you can watch the whole thing for yourself via either Leo White or Wi-Fi Sheep.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to sit through the whole thing (or skip through to particular presentations), Mark Stephens has written up the various talks for the Icon Bar.

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