(now including Jérôme Mathevet's links)
Available here are various documents on Acorn computers that I've collected. Most date from the early days of the Archimedes, and some were posted on SID, Acorn's now defunct bulletin board (announcement). If the original document is dated, the date is shown in brackets next to the document title. However, this may be their release date and not the date of creation. Some are culled from news - the full headers are included so you can look the relevant threads up on Google Groups if necessary.
On most of these documents there is no indication of author or copyright holder. I seek no gain of any kind from making these documents available, and if I informed that I am breaking copyright I shall remove any pages at the first opportunity. None of the news articles have X-No-Archive set - if you'd like me to remove one of your articles, let me know. All information is provided in good faith, but I cannot make any guarantees as to its accuracy.
This page is designed to complement Robin Watts' Documentation on Acorn Computers pages - he was too busy to incorporate them into his site when I contacted him, so these two sites should be used side by side. I have tried to eliminate any duplicate material in the list on this page, but if you find any, please let me know.
Much of the material here is taken from Usenet, Arcade BBS, old public domain discs, contributors and other sources. If you have any more material like this, please do not hesitate to contact me (theo [at@] markettos.org.uk) - it will doubtless be of use to someone.
Browse the directory structure - the whole archive is here, including those that are duplicates of those on Robin's site. There are more than those listed below.
- Archimedes 300 Series Hardware Product Specification (14 Feb 89)
- AMULET1 - An Asynchronous ARM Processor [09/06/93]
- ARM6, ARM7 and ARM8 chip details and availability [14/06/93]
- Full list of specifications of Acorn machines [27/11/92]
- RiscIx upgrade details [00/00/93]
- Discussion about buying / using multisync monitors [10/05/92]
- Safety Test Guidelines to meet the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
- Archimedes hardware - reverse engineered for emulation (offsite)
- A5000/A4/A3010/A3020/A4000 interrupt sources
- Omega hardware information (offsite)
- Pinouts on the Archimedes machine (14 Feb 89)
- Archimedes Serial Port Application Note (Issue D) (15 Feb 89)
- Archimedes serial line - the story so far... (5 Jul 88)
Acorn document on the hardware bugs in early Archimedes machines
- Quadrature (ie pre-A7000) mouse pinout
- Parallel port access on Acorn machines (offsite, by Stuart Tyrrell Developments)
- A4 power supply pinout
- A3000 memory expansion connector pinout
- A3020/A4000 network connector with (untested) directions on how to build your own ethernet Media Access Unit (specifically for i-cubed cards, but might work for others).
- Pinout and links for Computer Concepts' Eagle M2 card.
- Schematic of the Risc PC's serial port and most of the parallel port. From the TRM schematics of an issue 1 board.
- Serial blockdrivers (offsite)
- Original ARM chipset datasheets (ARM2, IOC, MEMC, VIDC, VIDC20)
- ARM3 (VL86C020) datasheet (and front/back matter from ARM Family Data Manual published by VLSI)
- Acorn Enhanced Expansion Card Specification (issue 5, July 1994)
[PDF, PostScript and Sparkived Drawfiles].
Also mechanical drawings.
Also available, Archimedes Podule specification issue 1 (15 Feb 89). Issue 5 should be used for new designs, but this includes information of historical interest, in particular the coprocessor interface. The accompanying Draw file diagrams are also here.
- Risc PC/A7000 network slot specification Mark II
- Chips and Technologies 82C711 datasheet - 2.5MB PDF file (as used in A4, A3010, A3020, A4000 and almost identical to the 82C710 used in the A5000)
- SMSC FDC37C665GT datasheet (offsite link) - IO chip used in the Risc PC
- SMSC FDC37C669 datasheet (offsite link) - IO chip used in the NC, Bush STB, and I think A7000(+), RiscStation and Mico.
- Programming the VIDC registers [31/07/92]
- Archimedes memory map
- WD1770/2/3 Floppy disc controller chip details [25/02/93]
- Simtec Hydra multiprocessor board documentation and applications (offsite)
- Technical details of 8/12/16MB upgrades in the A540 (schematic)
- Archimedes Podule Loaders (15 Feb 89)
- RISC OS Support for extension ROMs
- Hard Disc Utilites (18 Nov 88)
- New ADFS SWIs for IDE etc. [14/10/91]
- Joystick SWIs [14/07/92]
- Parallel device driver within RISC OS 2.50
- Hi-Res mono mode 23 on a Taxan 795 monitor [29/01/91]
- Archimedes disc errors (see the comp.sys.acorn.* FAQ for a newer listing)
- What MEMC do I have? (probably specific to RISC OS 2)
- VIDC Enhancer software support
- ANT Ether3/EtherB documentation (offsite)
- Notes on ADFS_IDEUserOp
- Acorn Unix Econet Device Driver and Network Device - notes on RISC-iX's network driver, particular how it handles transmission of packets Econet packets over Ethernet (later AUN uses the same strategy). Abstract says: "This document describes a device driver which controls the Acorn Econet and a Unix Networking Device which uses Econet, in Acorn's implementation of Unix 4.3BSD, from both the user's view and from that of a programmer who wishes to understand and maintain the code." (1988/9)
- Risc PC VRAM problems with StrongARM and Kinetic
- Speeding up Acorn A5000 computers: PDF, text by Nick Smith et al (17 Mar 93)
- How to connect a 4MB SIMM to an A5000 by Christian Ludlam
- Removing the audio filter [14/03/92]
- Upgrade your A310 to 4MB: Sparkived drawfiles, text. In Dutch and something Scandinavian (I think!) with English translation.
- Upgrade an A310 to RISC OS 3 by Yann Perrais.
- Fitting a Master/Archimedes Econet module to a podule for use in a Risc PC
- Converting a PC floppy drive to work on an Acorn
- Converting an optical mouse for Risc PCs and earlier quadrature outputs [offsite link]
Ultimate FAQ(zip archive, directory structure, index). This is a collection of various interesting documents sent to Usenet (hardware and software info). Individual documents are linked separately on this page. Also includes:
Eureka 1, 2, 3 This was an electronic magazine run by Dave Walker. Useful hints (except those involving direct access to VIDC registers !) and hardware info (Podule interfacing, I2C) to be found. Issue 3 is the most interesting of all.
- Eureka issue 1 (Bristol Uni Archimedes group) [01/10/92]
- Eureka issue 2 (incl. ARM assembler reference manual) [13/11/92]
- Eureka issue 3 [15/01/93]
Language coding standards
(many files here don't contain any version numbers or dates, so dates are based on the filing system date, which may or may not be accurate)
- ARM Object Format 2002, v2.00 (2 Feb 89)
- Acorn Library Format / Object Library Format 1993, proto-1.00 (2 Feb 89)
- RISC OS Application Image Format 1993, 1.00 (2 Feb 89)
- Acorn/ARM Procedure Call Standard 2003
- Acorn Symbolic Debugging Table Format 2002
- Squeezed AIF object format (reverse engineered)
- Shared C Library changes version 3.50 to 3.66
- The Low Level Filing System Interface
- Old printer driver interface
- RISC OS 3.1 zero page locations by Matthew Wilcox. Do not, under any circumstances, use these for developing software.
- RISC OS E-format disc structure design document [26/08/90]
- MessageTrans SWIs [13/03/91]
- How to display sprites mode independently and quickly [06/06/91]
- TaskWindow SWIs [18/09/91]
- CMHG entry veneer for IRQ handlers (set carry flag) [04/10/91]
- Optimised SWI veneer (instead of _kernel_swi) [04/10/91]
- RISC OS 3 Self-test result codes [24/01/93]
- Buffer Manager SWIs, events, vectors and upcalls [00/00/93]
- Trap handling in C
- TerritoryManager SWIs
- Castle C -zpq pragmas
- Acorn C undocumented features (offsite)
- Acorn C effect of -zM module compilation switch
- Matthew Wilcox's ARM assembler tips
- Important rules for ARM code writers [17/05/91]
- ARM code to perform division [02/11/91]
- ARM code to calculate square roots [21/11/91]
- ARM code comparison guidelines [26/11/91]
- ARM SWP instruction, coprocessor 15 regs, Cache SWIs [04/09/92]
- Count leading/trailing zeros: Google thread, local copy of article
- The RISC OS 2 Interactive Help System
- Whatever happened to Acorn's Modula 2 compiler?
- 6502 applications on ARM machines (15 Feb 89)
- 6502 Emulation under Arthur (15 Feb 89)
- Archimedes applications: Author's guidelines (15 Feb 89) - historical, contemporary with Arthur
- Sound on the Archimedes machine
- PC Emulator (v1.3) compatibility (3 Aug 90)
- Fancy text format for printing text files with bold etc (a subset of the First Word Plus format)
- comp.sys.acorn Application Writer's Guide [22/06/92]
- Code to find closest colour out of RISC OS 256 [30/01/92]
- OS_SpriteOp Transformed sprite SWIs [15/06/92]
- RISC OS 3 FilterManager SWIs [03/08/92]
- Program to toggle DragASprite [08/10/92] (missing a252drag.txt)
- How to drive DragASprite
- RISC OS 3.10 icon validation commands [13/10/92]
- ShowFree SWIs [18/11/92]
- External Edit protocol (uuencoded file) [05/01/93] (in the Ultimate FAQ zipfile)
- Throwback protocol and SWIs [31/01/93]
- BASIC interpreter changes since 1.02 [10/09/92]
- Font file format, Outlines and IntMetrics (version 8) [00/00/93]
- Glass: proposal for new template file format [23/02/93]
- Useful hints and tips #1: !Run files [14/06/93]
- Useful hints and tips #2: using !Make [14/06/93]
- Suggested improvements in RISC_OSLib
- First Word Plus printer driver guidelines
- Acorn Replay file format
- Acorn Replay Moving Blocks codec description
- A 'whirlwind tour of the RISC OS 3 printing system'
- Exporting Draw files to EPS
- The Philosophy of RISC OS
- Details of the BBC standard interchange
Designed 'to allow different Archimedes applications to read each other's data.'
- Assembler headers for the RISC OS
2 kernel (zipped)
- The Acorn Question & Answer database (circa 1992, CSV format)
- RISC OS 3 upgrade FAQ
- Acorn Bug Report Form [11/11/91]
- Acorn and Sun audio formats (and convertor) [02/11/91]
- TAO operating system [02/06/93]
- Acorn-related addresses [24/06/93]
- Acorn ftp and mail-server archives [21/06/93]
- Newsgroup ucam.cl.risc-ix-users - a few brief and largely uninteresting threads from this University of Cambridge Computer Lab private newsgroup (articles locked as they were never intended for public distribution).
- Acorn targets new Markets with Major Products Launch :
Other technical documents archives
These archives contain similar material to my own:
- Robin Watts' page.
- Denis Howe's page.
- Poppyfields archive.
- Technical Reference Manuals.
- Circuit diagrams:
- Your Welcome Guide (this is plain paper and was supplied when you
got the machine. No link!)
- How to make a SCART cable to connect your archimedes/RiscPC to your TV (optionally with an audio plug)
- Info on connections for various peripherals
- Econet Enthusiasts' Area by Richard Murray - lots of technical details of Econet.
Frobnicate (The semi-serious magazine for semi-serious acorn users)
- Build yourself a serial port for your A3000 (Issue 2)
- Second IDE drive (or IDE CD-ROM) for your A5000 (Issue 3)
- Install Econet (Issue 9) - I feel it should be pretty difficult to get the programs and equipment discussed here except possibly second-hand ?
- Use your serial port to pilot a VCR - Very basic (Issue 12)
- Bypass the audio filter that cripples the output signal (also covered to less extent in the c.s.a.FAQ) (Issue 15)
- Inside the CD-ROM drive - a rough overview of the device (Issue 16)
- (Jérôme says) The Bastard Operator From Hell and The Diary of a Demented Hacker are exquisite novels that you shouldn't miss !
You will need Ovation Pro (with the !Ovation1 applet), Ovation or its demo version to read the files (links on the page).
These pages contain useful resources:
- How to create a native RISC OS CD on a PC
- SCSI APIs and a little on partition formats (from the PowerTec manuals).
- Bernard Walter's hardware projects
- Robin Clive Matthews information and software Here, you will find Cub Monitor TTL to Analogue input conversion details, RS232 Null Modem adaptor wiring diagram, SCART/Peritel connector info, Acorn computers' internal audio header pinout, Western Digital harddisc fix for Acorn computers. (broken link)
- Ben Harris' Econet/Atom manuals and software
- The BBC lives! documentation page and The BBC Documentation Project
RISC OS hardware designs
- My SuperIO podule
- My DIY Risc PC 486 coprocessor card upgrade
- My Risc PC 16-bit sound upgrade
- Z80 coprocessor podule (description) by Adrian Lees
- 8255 I/O podule (ArcFS archive)
- 32 bit I/O podule (ArcFS archive)
- Econet slot serial port
- IIC alarm (description) - turn your computer on and off automatically with the on-board real-time clock chip. By Andreas Barth
- Upgrade your Archimedes to high density floppies
- Andreas Barth shows you how to build yourself a VIDC enhancer (description) . This is only of use for A3xx, A4xx or A3000 machines to get higher screen modes.
- Restore the full bandwidth of your Risc PC MkIII's video output by James Miller
- Mike Cook's Body Building/Run the Risc series - Mike used to write a hardware column in Micro User (later Acorn Computing) and transferred to Acorn User when it closed. Many of his designs are online.
- Converting an A3000/A4000 minipodule to work in a full podule slot (RTR9)
- Serial port opto-isolator (description) (G. Taylor). This opto-isolator is useful if you want to prevent static electricity from damaging your serial port (G.Taylor says the A5000's serial port is very sensitive to this) when connecting a peripheral or another computer.
- Building your own ROM image (zipfile, in French by Jérôme Mathevet). How to build a 4MB ROM image to put RISC OS and other modules into, to save RAM on low memory machines, including source code. Babelfished English translation of details
- (Paper) The July/August 1991 issue of Elektor magazine (at least the UK
version) carries a black and white video digitiser project by John Kortink.
The November issue carries a 24-bit colour upgrade to this.
John's site now has these scanned.
- Viewfinder podule schematics and technical details. (offsite, by John Kortink)
RISC OS hardware drivers
(freeware or open source)
- John Kortink's ZIDEFS IDE filing system for old Ian Copestake IDE interfaces.
- Jakob Olesen's serial blockdriver.
- Phil Blundell's DCI2 EconetA module.
- Dave Acton's Arxe floppy driver.
- Alan Williams' DE600 DCI4 driver (zipped, under the GPL)
- Castle Technology's EtherY DCI4 driver (under the GPL)
- EtherY on Sourceforge.net
Page by Theo Markettos (email at theo [at@] markettos.org.uk), last modified 2011-03-22
Return to my RISC OS pages.