Mike Stephens talks to ROUGOL – 21st June

The guest speaker at the next RISC OS User Group of London the World (ROUGOL) meeting will be ex-Acorn and Pace programmer Mike Stephens, who will be talking to the group about his time at the two companies, and ‘RISC OS in those StrongARM days’.

Mike worked as Principal Programmer at Acorn from 1994 until late 1998, leaving the company shortly after the cancellation of Phoebe (also known as the RiscPC2) and Ursula (the code name for what was intended as RISC OS 4 – the version of the operating system that would run on Phoebe). A couple of years after leaving Acorn, Mike rejoined those of his colleagues who were now working at Pace in order to do further work on RISC OS.

As well as reminiscing about his time at Acorn, his talk will cover:

  • Assisting ARM with validation of the prototype ARM810 processor.
  • The substantial low-level update to RISC OS – which resulted in version 3.7 – to support the StrongARM CPU.
  • The work on RISC OS 4/Ursula to support the ill-fated Phoebe.
  • Hardware abstraction and 32-bit clean plans for RISC OS while at Pace.

Having left Pace after they cancelled all their RISC OS work, Mike is excited to discover there is an active RISC OS community, with active development and love for the OS, almost two decades later.

The meeting will take place on Monday, 21st June, from 7:30pm, with the talk itself expected to begin at 7:45pm, and like all recent ROUGOL and other meetings, it will be held online using the Zoom video conferencing software – so, once again, there’s no need to worry about train or bus times, traffic or parking, and you can enjoy the talk from the comfort of your own home.

All you will need to join the meeting is a suitable device to run the software, which is available for most mainstream platforms, somewhere comfortable to sit and enjoy the talk, and the log-in details. For attendees of other ROUGOL Zoom meetings, those details remain as before, but if you haven’t joined in on Zoom before, you can get them by contacting ROUGOL; provided you do so in plenty of time, you’ll receive the details on the day of the meeting.

Looking ahead to the July meeting, which is set for the 19th, the intention is to trial a hybrid meeting, combining a physical get together in the Duke of Sussex pub (upstairs, in the Chichester Room), and a Zoom meeting, so that people who can’t get to London can still join in. Since the aim of the meeting is to try out the idea, there will be no set speaker and will instead be more of a general discussion.

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