Wakefield's December speaker was Andy Marks, telling us about what RISCOSbits have been up to including new products launched at the Saturday MUG fair.
FAST is about Fast Access Storage Technology and adds a SATA drive and custom software to make it all work with RISC OS to a Raspberry Pi Compute 4 (I personally have one and can confirm it is FAST!). It uses ADFS as allows up to 4 SATA ports. There are current issues with SD cards which is 'under investigation'.
Fastest disc access of any RISC OS machine (half speed of ramfs) and current limit believed to be Filecore. It also has 4K screen resolution, upgradeable (swap the module), has hardware acceleration for graphics and can also run Linux. It needs a custom version of RISC OS ROM from RISCOSbits. Aim for 4 ROM releases a year (one due very soon). No USB3 ports
Other recent developments include "big Discs" - up to 2TB, CDFS support, HATs nearly working and OTA firmware updates 'incoming'.
Future developments could include a HATX board to support ATX PSUs and PC cases, onboard Real time clock and fan control, NVMe support, and a small FAST footprint machine.
There are 5 different FAST models to choose ranging from 99 - 499 pounds for a complete monster machine.
Next, Andy introduced us to some other systems, starting with the PiRO Qube which is a super compact (55x55x43mm) machine which still has a full range of ports and can run from a USB port if needed. Boots from eMMC or NVMe. Based on a Compute 4 Module.
eMMC4 is an eMMC4 based system.
PiMini was launched on saturday and replaces Pi Zero systems with a higher spec system. Can run from USB port as low port consumption. Very cute 3D printed case (currently blue).
In the pipeline is a new system called Chimera which is a twin headed system so can run multiple OSes at the same time. Uses FAST SATA technology for disc access.
In the future, plans to make all systems have option of eMMC storage, make as many systems as possible 'user upgradeable', add access to Linux apps within RISC OS, investigate new platforms for RISC OS (ie Banana Pi and Orange Pi), new RISC OS hardware.
NVMe is working and still being optimised. Already as fast as the SATA. There a nice demo showing how fast it was when copying some large files.
Lastly Andy mentioned the R.O.A.D.S. scheme to help developers buy discounted hardware.
There was time for any questions afterwards followed by a prize quiz.
As usual, it was on Zoom with an audience from all over 'greater' Wakefield. Talk was recorded on Zoom if you missed it.
Details on all meetings (and email address to ask for a Zoom link) can be found on the WROCC website