Archimedes Operating System (PDF)

Van Someren, Alex, and Nic Van Someren.
Archimedes Operating System. A Dabhand guide.
Prestwich: Dabs Press, 1991.
ISBN 1-870336-48-8

(320 pages, 7.5 MB PDF)

For Archimedes users who take their computing seriously, this guide to the Operating System gives you a real insight into the micro’s inner workings. The book is applicable to any model of Archimedes whether running the Arthur or RISC OS Operating Systems.

The Relocatable Module system is one of the many areas covered — its format is explained, and the information necessary to enable you to write your own modules and applications is provided. This tutorial approach is repeated through the book.

The sound system is explained and the text includes much information never before published.

The discerning user will revel in the wealth of information covering many aspects of Arthur and RISC OS including:

  • The ARM Instruction Set
  • Writing Relocatable Modules
  • Writing Applications
  • VIDC, MEMC and IOC
  • Sound
  • The Voice Generator
  • SWIs
  • Vectors and Events
  • Command Line Interpreter
  • The FileSwitch Module
  • Floating Point Model
  • and much more…

    Throughout the book, programs are used to provide practical examples to use side by side with the text, which go to make this publication the table-side companion for all Archimedes users.

    Alex and Nic van Someren have both worked for Acorn Computers. Alex is a former Technical Editor of Acorn User magazine and author of numerous computer-related books.

    In my quest to preserve retrocomputing documents, here is a very interesting reference of the orginal Acorn RISC Machine (ARM) computing platform and the RISC OS Operating System. Thanks to Dominik Wagner for the book. As always, my scanned books come with a table of contents and are fully searchable.

    pixelstats trackingpixel

    21 Responses to “Archimedes Operating System (PDF)”

    1. Jens Krahe says:

      Das ruft bÜse Erinnerungen wach. Tolles System gewesen, mit einem Dock! Gibts die jungens von Blue Sky in Berlin eigentlich noch? Ich muss mal schauen, ob ich die alten Zeitschriften noch habe. Was war das fßr eine tolle Zeit. B&H gibts immer noch und ich kann mich noch genau an die Amiga Messe erinnern, bei der wir die Geräte ausgestellt und Demonstriert hatten.

      Der Mac erinnert (vom Interface) und durch Parallels/VMWare schon ein wenig an den Archimedes… Tolles Gerät, tolles System!

    2. I’ve recently been dabbling on this platform again after a ~20 year hiatus. I misplaced my copy of this indispensable reference at some point in the intervening period, so I am overjoyed to be reacquainted with its content here.
      Thank you both very much for your work in preserving it.

    3. Nate says:

      Interesting, looks like those are the brothers that went on to found nCipher. I didn’t know they were into Acorn back in the day.

    4. Vince says:


      Great stuff as always coming from you guys! Keep ‘em coming.

    5. Julian Skidmore says:

      It’s not just the authors who went on to other things. Dabs is still in business, selling computer gear in the UK, though not books.

      -cheers from julz @P

    6. Jan Rinze says:


      having worked on emulators for both the Archimedes and the Risc PC this will be added to my library of documentation and probably be read 3 times ;-)

      Best regards,

      Jan Rinze.

    7. Adriano Ueda says:

      Thank you!

      Your blog is very interesting for me and an important player to the computer history!

      Best regards,

      Adriano Ueda

    8. Mat says:

      Am meisten hatte mich am Archimedes immer die ARM Prozessorarchitektur in Kombination mit dem VIDC Grafikchip fasziniert – derzeit sind es Multicore Stackprozessoren und virtuelle Maschinen.

    9. Francis says:

      Thanks for making this available, and I appreciate you putting in the work to make it searchable. I’ve got a paper copy of this on my bookshelf and it had a lot of use over the years.

    10. jackJ says:

      Linus has so much as admitted to me…

      there would be no Linux had there not been Archimedes Operating System.

    11. mat says:


      sorry but I heard Linus first compute was a Sinclair Ql ?!??

      By the way, QDos was and is a very nice and little operating system with some, not so obvious, similarys to CCP/M – which influences OS/2 also.

    12. [...] habe ich es leider schlicht vergessen. Das Buch Archimedes Operating System kann man sich als PDF hier [...]

    13. Timmy says:

      Acorn forever!

    14. Richard says:

      Myself, like another poster above, is returning to the archie after 17 year break. Luckily I still have most of the original books, except for this one.


    15. Tragaperras says:

      Have you heard that Apple revealed today OS X 10.7 . The Lion as it is called seems to have some great new features. I am very happy! It is scheduled to ship in the summer of 2011.

    16. eureka says:

      that’s great, i like it….

    17. If you are going for most excellent contents like myself, simply visit this
      site every day as it provides feature contents, thanks

    18. Cur says:

      This site certainly has all of the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

      My homepageon Funny Clips – Cur,


      I found a great……

    20. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your blog.
      You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset.
      If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write
      some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.

      Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Thank you!

    21. I blog quite often and I genuinely appreciate your information. Your article has
      really peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your website and keep
      checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

    Leave a Reply

    To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
    Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word