www.riscos.com Technical Support:
RISC OS 3 User Guide


RISC OS 3.7 User Guide

2 - Changing the computer's configuration

This chapter tells you all about changing your computer's default configuration (hardware configuration, memory allocation and password protection).


There are two ways of customising your computer to suit your own way of working:

This chapter explains the first method; it tells you how to use the Configuration window (part of !Boot) to change your computer's default configuration.

On hard disc machines, the !Boot application is always stored in the root directory. Click on the hard disc icon and you will see it (on network systems, it is known as !ArmBoot or !ShareBoot).

Never move or delete !Boot; your computer may not work if you do!

One term you'll come across many times in this chapter is CMOS RAM. This is part of the computer's memory where any configuration changes are stored. Using !Configure changes the default CMOS RAM settings. You can override some CMOS RAM settings with a Desktop boot file or the Task manager (described later on).

Planning ahead

Before you change your computer's configuration in any way, it's a very good idea to save all the default settings. Similarly, when you've got the computer set up exactly as you want it, save the settings. That way, if you ever change something you don't mean to, you'll always be able to get back to a known state!

Here are the files you'll need to save:

Changing configuration settings with !Boot

Your computer will function well with the default settings that were set up when it was manufactured. However you can change many of these settings to suit your own way of working, by using the Configuration window of !Boot.

    To open the configuration tool double-click on !Boot


Changes to the configuration mostly take effect as soon as you make them, and are maintained even when you switch the computer off.



The Configure dialogue boxes use some special conventions:

The Configure dialogue boxes are described in detail in the following sections.


Only use this dialogue box when you change the number of hard discs or CD-ROM drives you have in your computer.
Warning: If you set an incorrect number of discs, your computer may fail to start up correctly.


In this case, see the section on Troubleshooting)

Usually your computer will only support one type of hard disc: IDE. However, you can buy SCSI expansion cards which allow you to connect up to four SCSI hard discs, as well as SCSI CD-ROM drives (your supplier will tell you how many CD-ROM drives you can connect). Only use the dialogue box shown above to set the number of SCSI discs if you are using an Acorn SCSI card: other manufacturers use CMOS RAM in different ways.
Note that on an Acorn SCSI interface discs over 512MB capacity are not supported.



Only use this dialogue box when you add or remove floppy disc drives.


To Define the number of floppy disc drives fitted in your computer click on the arrows to reflect the number of floppy drives fitted, then click on Set. Some computers only support one floppy drive and in such cases you won't be able to change this option.

Do not select a number of floppies different from that actually in your computer.


You will only use this option if your computer is connected to a network. See the section Networking for more information about the different types of network to which your Acorn computer can be connected.

Click on the Network icon and the network configuration window will be displayed:


You can configure three types of network connection:

Configuring connection to an AUN network

If you are going to use Level 4 Fileserver Econet protocols, choose AUN; the AUN dialogue box will be displayed.:


  1. Tick Enable AUN. This is not necessary if you are using 'native' Econet.
  2. If you will be using AUN and Internet together, double-click the AUNMap icon (or drag an existing AUNMap file onto the dialogue box) and enter any mappings between IP addresses and Econet addresses. For details, see the AUN Manager's Guide, or comments inside the AUNMap file itself.
  3. Enter names for your default File server and Print server.
    Note: If your network is already up and running, you will be able to choose from the appropriate menu icons instead of typing in names manually.
  4. Click on Set to leave the dialogue box.

Configuring connection to an Access network

If you are connected to a disc-sharing Access network, choose Access from the Network configuration dialogue box; the Access dialogue box will be displayed:


  1. Tick Enable Access.
  2. Click on Set to leave the dialogue box.

Configuring your Internet (TCP/IP) connection

These instructions apply only if you are on a full TCP/IP network.

  1. Click on the Internet icon and the Internet configuration dialogue box will be displayed:


  2. Click on Enable TCP/IP Protocol Suite.

Setting the Host name

  1. Click on Host names to display the eponymous dialogue box:


  2. Type in your host name.
  3. If you are using a name resolver, click on Use name servers also.
    Note: No name resolvers are supplied with RISC OS, but the most common current name servers, of which InetSetup is aware, are:
  4. An empty Hosts files is supplied. To specify the hosts on your network, you can either drag an existing Hosts file onto the Hosts file icon in the dialogue box, or double-click the Hosts file icon to edit the default version.
  5. Click Set to confirm your changes (if any) and leave the dialogue box.

Setting the routing options

  1. Click on the Routing icon in the Internet configuration window to display the routing options:


  2. If you have a connection to an external network, enter the name of your gateway machine - otherwise leave this field blank.
  3. If necessary, set the other options in the dialogue box:

Setting the network interface

  1. Click on the Interfaces icon in the Internet configuration window to display the network interface configuration options:


    If you only have one interface card, it will be enabled automatically.

  2. Click on Configure... to display the interface configuration options for a specific card:


  3. Click on Set to confirm your settings and quit the dialogue box.
  4. Click on Close to leave the Interfaces dialogue box.

Saving your Network Configuration

You should now have returned to the Network Configuration dialogue box:


To save your configuration:

  1. Click on Save: this writes files to your !Boot application, and changes certain CMOS settings, loading and unplugging modules as required.
  2. Click on Reset now to restart your computer using the new configuration.


Use this dialogue box to set up the Screen configuration parameters.


When you have finished setting up the parameters click on the Set button. If you have made changes in the window but don't want to save them, click on Cancel. If you want to bring the screen back to a known state click on the Default option.



Use this dialogue box to set up the mouse configuration options.




Use this dialogue box to set the keyboard Auto repeat and Caps lock options.




Use this dialogue box to configure memory allocation on start-up.





Use this dialogue box to set the Sound configuration.




Use this dialogue box to update your computer system with replacement parts of the operating system or additional extensions required by applications. These parts are called Modules and are supplied in an application called !System.


To merge a new !System with the existing !System in your computer: Drag the new !System icon over the !System icon in this screen. Updating the !System may take a little while, as the modules are read from the disc and then stored in the computer.

Note: Access permissions may be changed during a merge, and some locked files may be overwritten.


Use this dialogue box to change the font configuration.


Click on Set to redraw the screen using the values you specify in this window.


If you want to know more about these options, see the section Using fonts in applications


Use this dialogue box to configure the way the desktop windows behave.




Use this dialogue box to set a password to protect your hard disc and computer configuration against unwanted changes.


The computer can be in one of three states:

When unlocked you can change files on the hard disc and modify the computer's CMOS RAM configuration settings using !Boot.

When locked, only the Public directory in the root directory of the hard disc is writable, but all of the hard disc is readable. However, the Public directory must exist before you lock the computer, or you won't be able to create it! You can not modify the computer's configuration when it is locked.

Note: Unlocking the computer does not override any individual file access permissions already in force. See the section Setting file access permissions


Using applications with a locked computer

Some applications automatically write information to the hard disc during use. If your computer is locked, this cannot occur. For example:

RISC OS 3.7 User Guide - 21 JAN 1997

This edition Copyright © 3QD Developments Ltd 2015
Last Edit: Tue,03 Nov 2015