RISC World

Archie for Windows

Aaron turns his PC into a RISC OS machine

Archie is an emulator of RISC OS. As I am sure everyone is aware there are plenty of emulators that run under RISC OS and turn your beloved computer into something else, however Archie is different, it runs on a Windows PC and turn that into a RISC OS computer with up to 16Mb of RAM.

Yes, thats right, you can now run RISC OS on a Windows PC. The implications of Archie are truly amazing. Suppose you needed a portable RISC OS machine, you could get a Windows portable and run Archie. The result won't be as quick as a true RISC OS portable, but you can do it now!

What is Archie?

Archie emulates an Acorn A4xx machine with a few changes. It supports up to 16MB of RAM by emulating up to four MEMC chips, it can read old images of floppy disks, and incorporates its own filing system PCFS, which is compatible with ADFS. However unlike ADFS, PCFS can store as may files as you like using your PCs own internal hard drive. Archie can also read ADFS D or E format 800K floppy disks using the PCs own floppy disk drive.


Archie will run almost any software you throw at it, provided of course the software in question will work on RISC OS 3.11. As an example the copy of Archie on this CD also includes a fully working version of Impression Junior. You could also run your old software that no longer works on a RISC PC or you could use Archie as a 2nd RISC OS machine. The emulation of Archie is so good that you can even use it to test compatibility of software you are writing now, to ensure it works on older machines.

On the CD

Supplied on this months CD is a full version of Archie. However rather than just download a copy from the internet and bung it on a CD we have customized is somewhat. This version includes the RISC OS 3.1 application disks (supplied under the licence owned by APDL). It also auto boots so that the special PCFS filing system is run and the !System and !Scrap directories are set up. Getting Archie to auto boot correctly can make you tear your hair out. So we have done the hard work for you.

However we havent included one vital ingredient, the RISC OS 3.11 ROMS. Simply because we cant, if you own a RISC OS 3.11 machine you could save the ROMS to disk and then install them into Archie yourself. In order to do this you will need to follow these instructions:

  • Format a 720k DOS disk on your PC by typing format a: /f:720 from a DOS prompt.
  • Put the disk in your Archimedes and from the command line type save :0.ic24/rom 3800000 3880000m, press Return, and then type dismount.
  • Remove the disk and move the file to the Archie directory on your PC.
  • Go back to (b) for the following command lines, and you should be finished!
    save :0.ic25/rom 3880000 3900000
    save :0.ic26/rom 3900000 3980000
    save :0.ic27/rom 3980000 3A00000

Of course you might decide to save yourself some time and simply download a copy of the ROMS from the internet. If so then please note that you should legally own a copy of RISC OS 3.11 to do so. Download the RISCOS 3.11 roms from the internet here.

You will need to extract the contents of the ARCHIE.ZIP file inside DiscWorld to the hard drive of your PC, dont bother trying to open the archive under RISC OS as the contents will not be of very much use! Once you have installed Archie from the ZIP file and added the ROM images inside the Archie directory you will be able to run RISC OS on your PC. Simply double click on the Archie application, then click OK on the Archie configuration window (we have set the correct settings for you) and away you go!

P.S. To exit Archie and return to the configuration window at any point simply press CTRL and END at the same time.

Useful Archie Links

Archie Home Page
Archie game Emulation Webpage
Big Al's Archie Page
Acorn Antiques

Aaron Timbrell