[BBC-Micro] Acorn ARX anybody?

Rob robert at irrelevant.com
Wed Jan 27 09:27:21 GMT 2010

I've been a busy beaver lately, working on making viewdata pages
accessible via the internet...  and I've come across the following
item on the Gnome At Home news pages (hence the excess of g's about).
Anybody know what this was or what became of it?  Serialised

   Multi-tasking ARM?             3 Jul

 That Arch-Technofreak Qix has passed
 ogn some ignteresting ignformation
 about Archimedes, it would appear that
 there is a multi-tasking OS just around
 the corner, and it sougnds very gnice!

 Called ARX it has beegn writtegn in
 Modula 2 and is reputed to UNIX like -
 but better. An ignteresting point for
 RISC haters is that the code compiled
 for the Archimedes is less than twice
 the size of the same code compiled for
 the 32016, which is very defignately a
 CISC (Complex Ignstructiogn Set ..
 Computer). With memory chips
 capacity still ogn the way up this
 trade off for speed seems very

 Apparantly Acorn are not releasing
 details of the ARX operating system
 because they do not want to "confuse
 the market". Even software houses, as a
 whole, have not been told about ARX.
 Whilst this may be just because ARX
 isn't ready for release yet my paranoid
 brain worries about it's price...

 So gnow over to Qix for more details:

 * ARX is a comprehensive OS going
 beyond UNIX but backwards compatible is
 expe- cted to be provided with a layer
 on top.

 * Lightweight processes, share a common
 address space, amounts to little more
 than multiple program pointers with no
 mutual protection. Obviously this means
 that switching between such processes
 (called threads) is extremely fast.

 * Unique space-time identifiers. (UIDs)
 Files live in "cabinets" (directories
 to you and me) that are stamped with
 machine serial number (ouch!!!!!) and
 GMT. Each machine has program-readable
 serial no. (sob..)

 * Block level locking, multiple reader,
 single writer, time-out protected
 against deadlock, interlocking is
 available on files. Meanign of "Block"
 is system dependant ie disc block.

 * Networking, UID is valid network
 wide, FS is transparent to location
 of files (like the BBC B's FS's eh,

 * Database support, OS supports files,
 directories, and data sets (sequences
 of records) as primitives.

 * Access control, files are tagged with
 lists of users (called PrincipalAtoms)
 instead of just R/W/L owner/group.

 * Acorn are working on porting the SUN
 workstation SUNNeWs system to the

* Hardware options not yet launched
 include Ethernet, which is priced about
 #450. They'd like it to be less but
 cannot yet.

 Magny Thanks Qix!

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