Thursday, 23 May 2013

RISC OS - An interesting retro diversion.


My experience so far on using & coding on RISC OS is that it is a little bit like "the old days."

What I mean is that there isn't a great deal out there on the internet, Amazon has I think 2 books - apart from a bunch of old 90's second hand ones.

I've been coding in BBC Basic, which feels really retro; however, I did forget how easy it was to get things going and it's relatively powerful, for its age at least. I need to use an external editor to make it work efficiently, hardly a problem for me these days. In fact back on the BBC Master I used to use *VIEW to write my code anyway.

I've also been dabbling in some ARM assembly language. Now, I always had an idea about the utopian beauty of its RISC instruction set. I'm now discovering a few annoying limitations of it, partially due the fixed 32-bit wide op-code width.

So...it's been a fun journey, but RISC OS is most definitely stuck in the 80's/90's. It has given me some great inspiration though, which ultimately is the point of it all!

The pic below is my first BBC Basic program in ~25 years! You can see the Raspberry Pi just underneath the monitor:


An OS in 6MB!:

My RISC OS desktop running:


My venerable INPUT magazines (52 issues on programming for 8-bit machines from the early 80's), this is a page on Lisp coding: