Ah, no, now I get it – it’s a mystery machine, not The Mystery Machine!
If you’re planning to pay a visit to the MUG RISC OS Xmas Market on Saturday1, you’ll undoubtedly want to pop into the second room to see what’s on offer from RISCOSbits, because it looks like there will be quite a selection. Andy Marks says there will be “a range of hardware devices, including several machines not yet seen in the wild.
The first of machines that isn’t a mystery machine is the recently launched eMMC4, a compact 2GHz machine (that can be overclocked to 2.28GHz) with 4GB RAM and not only a 240GB SSD for storage, but also a 32GB eMMC device.
Slightly older – but not by much, having been launched in the Summer, and therefore also not a mystery machine – is the PiRO Qube. Based around the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 running at 2GHz, the machine also comes with a 32GB eMMC device, and is housed in a tiny case that makes it easy to carry around in a pocket.
Also not a mystery machine because it was launched this year – all the way back in February at the Southwest Show – was FAST, a system that combines a custom-built ROM image and a hardware device in order to use the Raspberry Pi Compute Module IO board’s PCIe port to make use of up to four full-speed SATA devices. RISCOSbits will have a selection of FAST systems at the show on Saturday, such as the entry level FIRE (250GB SSD, 2GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, housed in a sleek aluminium chassis) for £349, and PYRO (as FIRE but with an optical drive) for £399.
And if you already have Compute Modules, and want to turn it into a FAST system, for £99 you’ll be able to bag CORE, which consists of the custom ROM image on an SD card along with the hardware device needed.
Bargain hunters can also grab one of the final stocks of the not particularly mysterious si.zeRO range for just £69. Based on the Raspberry Pi Zero, but with added USB and ethernet ports, the si-zerRO runs at 1.2GHz and comes in an ‘ARMor’ case.
The usual suspects – nothing mysterious about those – will also be present. That’s the Pi Harder, FOURtress, and PiRO Noir, as well as accessories such as EDOS, FHANTom, the Desktop Dock, and so on.
So what about this mystery machine, then? Oh, okay, if you insist! Described by RISCOSbits as a ‘pocket powerhouse’ and a ‘beminiatured behemoth’ all that’s been revealed about the new machine is that, er, it’s ‘directory’ blue and will cost just £99.
Blue, huh? This is predominantly blue, right?
But no, here’s a real teaser image:
All of that is hardware that will be available on the day, but RISCOSbits will also have some items that aren’t available yet. And in one case you might even be able to influence at least one aspect of it – its name!
Currently in development is a system that can run both RISC OS FAST and Linux at the same time, each on one of its two heads. Likely to be based around a 2GB RAM/256GB FAST SSD for RISC OS and 4GB RAM/32GB eMMC for Linux – or possibly even something suitable for Windows 10/11 – the price is expected to be around the £449 mark for the base system, though it’s likely to be priced according to the full required spec for each built-to-order system.
The name of this system is undecided, and there is currently a poll with just one day left on the RISCOSbits Twitter feed; the options are Chimera, Duality, or something else (to be given in reply to the Tweet).
The other not-yet-available but something-to-see thing is an exciting new RISC OS development, which you’ll be able to see for the very first time at the show – but RISCOSbits hasn’t given any clues about what that might be, so if you want to find out, you know where to be on Saturday!
And finally, even though the event is taking place on 9th of December, and Christmas is still a long, long way off – despite the show being called the MUG RISC OS Xmas market – RISCOSbits is planning to give away – one item per person, on a first-come first-served basis – a range items that will be useful to RISC OS users.
- Doors will be open from 11:30am until 4:00pm on 9th December, at Dodderhill Parish Community Hall, School Road, Wychbold, WR9 7PU – with FREE entry.