Welcome to New Century Computing. This site aims to provide information and support for RISC OS, the computer operating system developed by Acorn Computers ltd. Use the buttons above to navigate the site and find out more, or for general enquiries email us at:
RISC OS was originally developed by Acorn Computers Ltd in 1987, as the operating system of their Archimedes series of computers, and was specifically designed to run on the ARM (Acorn RISC Machine) chipset, which Acorn had also developed previously.
In late 1998, Acorn was broken up into several individual companies, with RISC OS being bought by Pace Micro Plc. Since 2003 RISC OS has been owned by Castle Technology Ltd, who've (since 2007) allowed the OS to be developed by the RISC OS community through a 'Shared Source' licence. This licence allows users to get involved with the development of RISC OS, and under the licence, RISC OS is free for personal use. The handling of the RISC OS source code and OS development coordination is done by RISC OS Open Ltd. Also since 1999, RISCOS Ltd have had an exclusive licence from Pace (Now Castle Technology) to develop their own version of the OS, RISC OS 4 (now 6), for legacy systems such as the Acorn RiscPC and A7000 computers along with the 'Virtual Acorn' emulator for Windows. Both versions of RISC OS are compatible with each other, both on a binary and API level, and this OS split is explained further in a diagram on the 'Acorn & RISC OS' page of this site.
As RISC OS only runs on ARM based hardware and from Flash ROM instead of disc, it is not possible to run it on an ordinary Windows/Intel PC. Until recently, this meant that RISC OS could only run on specifically designed hardware, either an original Acorn computer, such as an Acorn Archimedes or RiscPC, or a post 1998 'Acorn compatible' system, such as the Castle Iyonix. However, since the rising popularity of smartphones and tablet computers in recent years, ARM powered hardware has become increasingly available. The up side to this is that RISC OS can 'piggyback' off of ARM's success, and now RISC OS is able to run on a number of different devices, including the Beagleboard and the Raspberry Pi computer, both of which could be considered distant descendents of the original Acorn Archimedes.
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