RISCOS Ltd and Castle Technology were fighting with their own branches of the operating system, 26-bit RISC OS 4 & 6 and 32-bit RISC OS 5. Both closed source, and both running on limited hardware. Your choice was to run RISC OS 5 on an Iyonix, a sort-of 32-bit version of RISC OS Adjust on the A9Home or you’d have to opt for a legacy machine, a such as the RiscPC. All of which were not the cheapest to get your hands on, especially if you opted for a MicroDigital Omega and never saw your machine or your money again.
Thankfully, things have moved on massively since – and not only is RISC OS now open-source, it is developing at an ever-growing pace. The range of hardware to run it on is now mind-blowing, be it a DIY option such as a Beagle/Pandaboard or the Raspberry Pi, or a commercial solution such as the ARMX6 or the Rapido IG.
None of this could have been possible without the tireless work from the guys over at RISC OS Open – who since their inception have worked has been an enterprise powered by the efforts of people working in their spare-time and not for a profit.
RISC OS has never been in better shape – the userbase is growing, software development is active, heck there’s even a commercial games scene now – a sight I never thought I’d see again after the Artex Software’s departure from the RISC OS market following the release of TEK 1608 in 2002.
Thanks for the hard work ROOL – and here’s to the next ten years!