Monday 2 May 2011

We are back

It's been a long time away, 12 years or more, but TBA Software has returned to the Acorn RISC OS scene.  While this will probably go unnoticed (!) to the majority of the people in the computing world, as the former Lead Developer and Owner of the business in the 1990s its certainly something that I'm enjoying!

At the moment the plan is to get the old TBA Software titles running on RISC OS 5 and to then take a look at expanding Holograph (game editor) and TAG (game runtime) into parts of the operating system.   Longer term there are many things RISC OS requires (decent web browser, threading, BASIC enhancements) to make it attractive for more users that we hope to play a part with.

For the developers out there, we plan to open all the source code and make it part of the open source community for everyone to use.  Tentatively we are looking at creating a TAG runtime for iPhone to create some kind of income stream from the millions of iPhone users out there.

In the past few weeks I've spent a lot of time reviewing the progress of RISC OS Open and have successfully acquired, assembled, and configured, a BeagleBoard XM.   In due course I'll set-up a page on getting RISC OS up and running, as there is quite a bit involved.   Once running the performance is impressive.  RISC OS is a tiny operating system and was designed for 8 MHz ARM 2 processors, so it absolutely flies on the latest Cortex A8 hardware and DDR RAM.

BB XM - tiny when compared with a RISC PC 600

TBA has some boxed stock from the 1990s that will go on sale shortly.  For all the collectors of Acorn games in original packaging - these are genuine left over stock from the final Acorn World show.  I'll put up a post with a link to an eBay shop in the weeks to come.

The TBA titles include Dragonball, Axis, Formula Two Thousand (FTT), Cyber Ape, Cobalt Seed, Command Ship, Merp/Mirror Image, Brutal Horse Power, and TBAFS.  Many thanks to Peter who has put up some videos of our titles on You Tube.

Original TBA Stock let over from Acorn World1997

So far, TBAFS - the fastest compressed image file system for RISC OS with lazy writing and a tree indexed directory structure - is running on RISC OS 5.  It runs like a rocket on my 16GB USB flash drive.  Additionally Holograph using the TAG 3D runtime is tentatively up and running...

Holograph running in RISC OS 5
All I can say is that it's good to be back.   I'd love to get back in touch with Mark (Cyber Ape author) and anyone else that remembers us from days gone past.  Email me: alan at

(Legal note - TBA Software is a trading name of Applet Technology Ltd, a limited company registered in England - and is not legally related to the previous partnership that was in place during the 1990's)