Come and see Archimedes Live in London!

No, not a zombie from Ancient Greece – it’s an online emulator!

If you want to run RISC OS software on another platform, such as Windows, there are a couple of fairly obvious choices with RPCEmu and VirtualRiscPC – but they aren’t the only choices you have. Another is Arculator, first written and released by Sarah Walker just over two decades ago, with the latest release (2.1) appearing just under two years ago.

A particular advantage of Arculator over RPCEmu and VirtualRiscPC is that it emulates older RISC OS hardware – the original Archimedes, the A3000, and so on – so can be a useful way to run older games.

Arculator is open source software, anyone with the necessary abilities is able to take its sources and do something with them, whether that’s to get it working on additional operating systems, make changes to the source code to add features or fix problems, or whatever else.

Paul Stone did just that, with his specific aim being to compile Arculator to WebAssembly (WASM). To oversimplify somewhat, WASM is most easily described as a virtual platform, and it’s one that is available for use in some of the main web browser engines.

And he succeeded, with the result being Archimedes Live – an Archimedes emulation in your web browser.

Floopy running in a web browser via Archimedes Live
Soft Rock Software’s Floopy running in a web browser via Archimedes Live

At the next RISC OS User Group of London (ROUGOL) meeting, Paul will be the guest speaker, talking about how he went about the task and the sort of problems he encountered while doing so, and how he plans to improve it further – and for those joining in person, there should be plenty of time both before and after the meeting to try a few things out.

The meeting will take place on Monday, 15th May, and will be a hybrid one – Paul will be joining the group in the pub, but if you aren’t local enough to attend in person yourself, you’ll be able to do so online via Zoom.

To join in person, you’ll need to head to:

The Duke of Sussex pub,
(Upstairs, in the Chichester Room)
23 Baylis Road,
London, SE1 7AY.

Located just behind Waterloo Station, the pub is easy to reach by public transport, and for drivers there is car parking available on Coral Street from 6:30pm – directions for people coming via either means can be found on the ROUGOL website.

To join online, you’ll need the Zoom software installed on a suitable computer or other device, a comfortable chair, easy access to drinks and snacks (ideally), and the meeting credentials. You’ll have to sort out most of that for yourselves, but the credentials can be obtained by contacting ROUGOL in plenty of time for the meeting.

Please note that if you’ve attended any other recent ROUGOL meetings using Zoom, those credentials remain the same – so you should already have them.

The meeting will officially begin at 7:45pm, but the Zoom session should be open from 7:30pm to allow people to join before the main talk begins, and for those heading to the pub you can expect ROUGOL members to be around from 6:30pm.

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