Re: DIY BeagleBoard or ARMini

On 29 Dec 2011 Brian Bailey <bbailey@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Hi Peter

Yes been to looks very good, but specs are still a
bit sparse though.

Obviously, as a very long time user (1982 to 2012) of Acorn/RISC OS
and as someone using a RPC heading towards 17 years old, I'm
interested in this stuff, but a fly in my ointment is the 5.nn OS, as
some of the apps I need to use will not work under it.

I was faced with this problem when my Iyonix died. What I did is to use
the ARMini as the workhorse, and VRPC for anything that doesn't work on
5.17. As they're networked, there isn;t really a problem IMHO. One very
happy RISC OS user!

Don't leave it there, Peter.

What have you got on the ARMini that makes it a workhorse.

Run at start-up:

DPlngScan (NB you need a new Twain from David to be able to scan)
Printers with PostScript 3 driver
StrongED (4.69a4, supplied with the machine)

Often run later:

Fireworkz (special edition supplied)

What sort of workhorse?

Probably 90%+ of what I do is on the ARMini. Of RISC OS programs there
are not that many that I have to run on VRPC, but I sometimes have
this running when I'm doing complicated things, so that I can have two
screens running (no room on my cramped work space for a second screen
for the ARMini, and I don't think Geminus would work anyway). My main
reason for having the Windows laptop on is to access websites that
NetSurf can't reach, and UniControl is perfect for this. Also,
IrfanView in Windows is better for viewing photos, good though
ShowJPEG is. I also have to make Excel and Word files from time to

What software are you using to get to talk to the VRPC?

ShareFS. This has its known quirks, and I have had it crash sometimes.
Pull from VRPC in general works better that push from ARMini, and this
was true with the Iyo; I'm sure others have found this too. And
LanMan98 works fine to communicate with Windows and with the NAS.

What software do you have on the VRPC?

Pretty much the same as on the ARMini. I have in fact two Windows
laptops running VRPC; the main one is a RISCBook, but I also have a
RISCBookMini (eeePC running Windows and VRPC) which I mostly use as a
travelling machine. It's fairly slow but quite acceptable; not a lot
of memory, so I don't have all that much software on it.

Any hardware built into your setup, that might make it unique, would
be interesting to know about? Please.

The only notable hardware are a Xerox Phaser run as a network printer
(RemotePrinterFS dives this with no problems) and a NAS unit, accessed
via LanMan98. I back up selectively to this at least once a day using
either SafeStore or SyncDiscs, and also do a separate fuller backup
weekly to a USB hard drive attached to the Windows machine, using
DirSync. I'm paranoid about backups; "If you're not paranoid, then you
haven't fully understood the situation." :-)

I'm sure that there are many who have arrived at a similar place to
yourself and would benefit from hearing more about your experiences.

Any more information can be passed on on- or off-list, and if anyone's
in reach of Cheltenham I'd be pleased to do hands-on demonstrations.


With best wishes,


Peter \ / zfc Lu \ Prestbury, Cheltenham, Glos. GL52
and \/ __ __ \ England.
family / / \ | | |\ | / _ \
/ \__/ \_/ | \| \__/ \______________ pnyoung@xxxxxxxxxxxx

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