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1.2) What kind of Acorn/RISC OS machines are there?


This article is from the comp.sys.acorn FAQ, by Paul Vigay with numerous contributions by others.

1.2) What kind of Acorn/RISC OS machines are there?

The full list of Acorn made machines is now getting somewhat lengthy as many variants and new machines have been launched amd discontinued in the last few years.

As of June 2002, I'm only listing current machines in the actual FAQ, as there are numerous web sites available which detail the history of Acorn & RISC OS computers. The following sites may be useful to find out about past machines. However, I've included some information on various diverse machines (below).

* http://www.geocities.com/~banksp/Archives/MachineLst.html - Philip Banks comprehensive list of Acorn machines.

* http://www.mcmordie.co.uk/acornhistory/acornhistory.shtml - An excellent technical history of Acorn Computers, compiled by Robert McMordie.

* http://home.in.tum.de/~atterer/acorn.html#hard - Richard Atterer's Information about Acorn Computers.

* http://homepage.tinet.ie/~lrtc/computers/acorn_ro/acorn/ - Richard Butler's History of Acorn & RISC OS

What follows is an up to date list of machines currently in production and available.

The Iyonix ---------- The Iyonix is currently the most powerful RISC OS based, ARM powered computer. Manufactured by Castle Technology, it is available in a variety of models.

It is also the only current machine running a full 32-bit version of RISC OS.

Detailed specification for the base model comprises;

Intel XScale 80321 Processor running at 600MHz.
32-bit RISC OS 5
128Mb 200MHz DDR RAM
40, 80 or 120Gb Hard Drive
UDMA 100 support
16-bit Sound system
nVidia GeForce 2MX graphics giving resolutions of up to 2048x1536 pixels in 16 million colours.
Virtually silent operation (quieter than even the latest iMac range of Apple computers)
USB Keyboard & Mouse.
USB expansion
Full PCI DMA for expansion cards

More information is available at http://www.iyonix.com

Acorn RiscPC series ------------------- In 2003 Castle technology announced that they were ceasing production of the Risc PC range, which has now been supeceded by the Iyonix PC, which was designed and manufactured by Castle in order to provide a new RISC OS flagship machine.

The Risc PC was the last generation of Acorn badged machines, which superseded the original Acorn Archimedes computers. All of them were based on a highly configurable and modular system that made a bewildering variety of options available. All were founded on the 'second generation' chipset featuring VIDC20, IOMD and the latest StrongARM processor. The 'RPC' range was launched on the 15th of April 1994 with the RiscPC 600 series of machines. The last 'Kinetic' RPC was some ten times faster than the origin al 1994 model.

The A7000+ ---------- The A7000+ is manufactured by Castle Technology and is an ideal entry model to introduce users to RISC OS.

There are currently four models in the range, starting with a 16MB model running RISC OS 3.7 and starting at 399.00+VAT. More information, and specifications is available at www.castle-technology.co.uk/castle/ordering/computers.html

Detailed specification comprises;

24Mb EDO Memory (expandable up to 136Mb)
ADFS by default.
IDE interface. (20 Gb hard drive)
ARM 7500 FE processor. (48 MHz)
32 MHz RAM.
4096k OS in ROM.
~43.08 MIPS.

The Risc Station series ----------------------- After the demise of Acorn, this is one of the new RISC OS based machines designed around non-Acorn hardware. Risc Stations are currently available in Network, Lite, Lite+ and 'Scorcher' models. A more powerful model - the Risc Station Evolution - is currently in development and a long awaited portable is nearing completion.

For more information, contact Risc Station Ltd at 168 Elliott Street, Tyldesley, Manchester, M29 8DS (tel.+44(0)1942 797777, fax +44(0)1942 797711). Web: http://www.riscstation.co.uk - email: info@riscstation.co.uk

Detailed specification comprises;

Risc Stations are based upon a 56MHz ARM7500FPE (with integrated floating point co-processor) with RISC OS 4 fitted as standard. Notable features of the base system include:
- 8Mb 60ns EDO memory, upgradeable to 256Mb.
- Screen resolution up to 1600x1200x256 colours.
- 6Mb Flash memory containing RISC OS 4 and additional utilities.
- PS2 style keyboard and PS2 3 button mouse input.
- 2 x fast serial ports rated at 460K baud.
- 2 x high speed EIDE ports.
- 2 x PC style game ports with MIDI.
- 10baseT ethernet port with Wake On Lan.
- EPP/ECP fast parallel port.
- IRDA infra-red interface support.
- High density floppy drive port
- 15 pin VGA connector.
- Full 16 bit OPL3 stereo sound sampler & mixer with FM synthesiser, MIDI, Wavetable support and 2 CD mixer ports. 3 x 3.5mm jack sockets for Line in/Mic in/Headphone & speaker out.

Machine differences
As base system above.

As base system, plus 2GB (min) hard drive.

R7500 Lite
As base system, plus 16Mb memory, 4.3GB EIDE hard drive, 48x Atapi EIDE CD Rom Drive.

R7500+ Lite
As base system, plus 64Mb memory, 10.1GB EIDE hard drive, 52x Atapi EIDE CD Rom Drive.

R7500 Scorcher
As R7500+ Lite, plus CD-RW, native support for LS120 & ZIP atapi drives, 60W external speakers.

- The Microdigital series

Microdigital are another third-party manufacturer who produce RISC OS based desktop computers based on ARM RISC processors.

Their full range of products can be found on their website at http://www.microdigital.co.uk/products/

- The Omega

Full specs are available from the Microdigital web site at http://www.microdigital.co.uk/omspec.htm

- Acorn Diversification

Over the years, Acorn diversified into new markets, producing a number of concept machines and variations of existing computers.

For history sake I've got a page dedicated to legacy and other machines, which is on my personal website at http://www.vigay.com/riscos/acorn.html


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