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RISC OS Adjust Review

By Peter Naulls. Published: 4th Jun 2004, 11:10:07 | Permalink | Printable

What it says on the tin

Both Chris and myself have been running RISC OS Adjust for some time, so it's high time for a review.

Adjust is of course, RISC OS Select on ROM, which some users have wanted for some time for various reasons. These reasons include the arguably unfounded fear of corruption of operating system components stored on disk, and also the gains in start up speed as well as targetting diskless machines.

Adjust is delivered in much the same way as RISC OS 4 is - 2 ROMS and various instructions in a padded box. The ROMs are flash ROMs like early versions of RISC OS 4 was delivered on. The timing on the ROMs has been changed to avoid problems with those versions of RISC OS 4 on flash. The ROMs themselves are coated in a red material; and you'll understand why when you see the millimetre clearance with an ethernet card upon fitting.

Fitting the ROMs and installing the new boot sequence is very straight forward. It's probably the easiest RiscPC RISC OS upgrade I've done - and that includes Select upgrades, and this is partly due to the installer and the effort gone into making sure everything "just works". You'll have more to do of course if you're upgrading from a RISC OS 3 version - as you'll want to reformat for long filenames. Fortunately, Select comes with clear instructions for upgrading from RISC OS 3, RISC OS 4, and Select - both printed, and on the CD, which contains a load of goodies.

Slightly disappointing was the quality of some of the other documentation - things a simple proof read could have picked up, or made clearer. I also managed to trigger a window manager bug when changing icon rendering options which required a reboot, but I understand that this has now been fixed.

Adjust in Practice

If you've got Select already, then Adjust won't hold many surprises - indeed, that was precisely the point. There aren't any notable new desktop features over the previous versions of Select (but a very signifcant number of bug fixes). The system boots straight into Adjust, avoiding the "double boot" when using Select on a cold booted system. What Adjust does offer during boot is a graphical boot menu, which gives convenient options, and is much more friendly than the command line if your system gets itself into a state - e.g., when fitting new hardware.

Worthwhile?

At 85 UKP (the discount after being a Select subscriber for 3 years), and being able to sell my RISC OS 4 ROMs early on meant that this was a bargain. Others will not be so lucky, and how much you will have to pay depends upon the sliding scale RISCOS Ltd have provided - starting from 140UKP for an upgrade from RISC OS 3. Mine came from an initial batch of 150 ROMs. ROL have promised to produce a further batch of 250 once enough orders are taken - how far ROL are with filling this, I do not know. These ROMs will be OTP (one time programmable) rather than flash.

Conclusion

Whether or not Adjust is going to be worthwhile for you is really only something you can answer yourself. For many Select subscribers, they may just wish to wait for the next version, which will contain the fixes and improvements in Adjust. For others, the may feel it is an important investment to maintain the reliability of their machine or support RISC OS development. Still others will have mixed feelings over any further development of a machine which is now decidedly old, compounded over the issue of Select, or Select features, on Iyonix.

Too much for your pocket

As an aside, for those who decide that Adjust is just too expensive, STD have come up with a solution that is compatible with everyone's pocket, at the right price - Pocket RISC OS. It is, of course, a keychain, with a RISC OS 3.11 ROM and carrier attached, and the Advantage 6 logo on the rear. If you made a purchase from STD at the Wakefield Show, you may well have picked one up. I managed to nab one without such an obligation, although under protest that we would have a sarcastic review. Of course Stuart, if you understood about drobe.co.uk and pizza, then we wouldn't have this problem, would we?

Links


RISCOS Ltd
Adjust in hands of users
RISC OS Adjust

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Discussion

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Task Manager Fix for Shutdown on Portable device hanging

WindowManager Added support for idling when an error box is displayed

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 4/6/04 11:59AM
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Just 600 words for an Adjust review? :rolleyes: It glosses over prettymuch the entire feature set with a single sentence. Hmm.

Adjust is not "Select on ROM". Nothing of the sort. Select is a subscription scheme offering periodic updates and continued iterations of improvement. Adjust is a one-stop shop and no more after that.

As far as the really quite large amount of features added and bugs fixed since Select 3i3, they're also to be available to Select subscribers in the form of a fourth release of Select 3 (S3i4) I understand, which has all the Adjust features and fixes included - should arrive soon I hope, but don't underestimate how busy ROL are just now!

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 4/6/04 7:29PM
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And not a mention of rounded buttons ;)

 is a RISC OS Userjms on 4/6/04 9:38PM
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"don't understimate how busy ROL are just now". Care to expand ? Or are you just going to leave the rest of here wondering what on earth is going on.

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 5/6/04 10:34AM
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Review? Where? Perhaps the title is misleading? Surely, at least some mention of the facilities and enhancements should have been made, in particular WRT pre OS4, even if it was only a summary list. Look, feel, ease of use ?

This is the first ROM release for years, and an opportunity for people to revitalise legacy hardware, and subsequently interest in RISC OS. There certainly appears to be a number of people still using pre OS4 who would benefit and might be tempted to upgrade, but IMO this article carries all the enthusiasm of a cold damp dishcloth. The only thing it does convey is that the installation process went smoothly.

Otherwise, it 'glosses over' with remarks like "Whether or not Adjust is going to be worthwhile for you is really only something you can answer yourself". Looks like theyll have to work it out for themselves because this 'review' is of little help IMO.

"...may feel it is an important investment to maintain the reliability of their machine...". So Adjust is dismissed as just more reliable than say OS3.1, then ?!

"...others have mixed feelings over any further development of a machine which is now decidedly old...". Im sure others would like everyone to go buy an Iyonix, and perhaps by belittling and 'glossing over' development for anything else 'they' think that will happen. Get real. And, lets be clear - 'old' is still current and simply equates to 'not an Iyonix'.

In any case, I dont see that this or other 'issues' mentioned have anything to do with a "RISC OS Adjust Review", and neither does this 'watered down' article IMO. Personally, I would have liked to see an unbiased review of Adjust as seen through the eyes of users upgrading from OS3.xx and OS4.0x, because in fairness, a review solely by someone who has already used Select for some time is likely to be as complacent as this article is, IMHO.

 is a RISC OS Userkdm on 5/6/04 1:05PM
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kdm: clearly you've missed the point of this article - and indeed, it was a review.

The features of Select have been well covered in other drobe articles. There's little point in rehashing them again. Not that I expect that to improve matters in your eyes, it looks like you're just out to bitch. Ho hum. We look forward to _your_ review.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 5/6/04 1:37PM
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A further reply to your irrational ranting. How precisely do you propose to have a review in the eyes of someone upgrading from RISC OS 3.xx? I would expect most of the 150 would be upgrading from RISC OS 4 or Select. Sure, there will be some - but of those, how many are willing and able to write a review for drobe? Not many - I look forward to you tracking them down. Hopefully you'll use more friendly means of persuasion than you've attempted to do so here.

As for your comments about "old" machines - you've clearly taken this way out of context, and it's not worth replying to specifics. It's you who's doing the belittling.

In conclusion - almost all reviews cause some kind of controversy. And as usual, unconstructive critisism gets the contempt it deserves.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 5/6/04 1:55PM
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For someone upgrading from RISC OS 3.X the Adjust ROMs do offer good value for money. 140 versus the 229 for a new customer to obtain RISC OS 4 ROMs and a years subscription to Select - not to mention the years of development they're getting for their money :)

 is a RISC OS UserJohnB on 5/6/04 2:59PM
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Just read the 14 Select reviews on drobe, then this one, tada, one Adjust review.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 6/6/04 6:33PM
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But a review is different from a feature list. I suspect most of the Drobe (and TIB, and riscos.org...) articles about Select are the latter.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 6/6/04 7:40PM
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monkeyson: Drobe tend more often to have articles about Select written by people that actually use it, not people using RISC OS 3.x

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 6/6/04 9:19PM
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mrchocky: to be fair, it is a rather narrow look at Adjust, not mentioning any major features. And will it be shipped on new 26bit machines as standard, instead of RISC OS 4?

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 7/6/04 7:27PM
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arenaman: Surely the most "major" feature of Adjust is that it is supplied on ROM. (Otherwise, it's largely similar to Select).

The review mentions that...

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 7/6/04 8:06PM
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...and it mentions that we've previously mentioned Select details in some detail previously - as I said, covering them again would be silly.

As for new 26-bit machines - what machines were you thinking of? There's really only Omega - you'll have to ask MD about that. In any case, the 150 have all been sold, so presumably not.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 7/6/04 10:14PM
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There is Virtual-RPC Adjust, of course, and all the 'hybrid' machines which will now, I think, ship with Adjust as standard.

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 7/6/04 11:26PM
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Stewy: The Iyonix hybrid in Australia ships with RISC OS 5.06, I think, so it's not true that they all ship with RISC OS 4.3x

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 7/6/04 11:32PM
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So RISC OS Adjust probably is no longer a viable purchase from RISCOS Ltd? Those who bought the first run of ROMs will be considering themselves lucky.

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 16/6/04 5:07PM
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Is this the cue for Chris from CJE to pop up and announce they still have ROMs in stock?

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 16/6/04 6:20PM
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just glad i got my OTP Adjust ROM's when i did phew :-)

 is a RISC OS UserLee on 16/6/04 7:52PM
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With ROL only putting out an announcement on their website a few days ago about the availability of Adjust ROMs from stock ( [link] ) , why would anyone assume they can't get a copy? CTL may think they have cancelled ROL's agreement, but that's contested by ROL and AIUI ROL are still open for business same as ever until that particular mess gets resolved. Maybe I could send a C&D order to M$ and they'd instantly stop selling Windows? ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 16/6/04 8:04PM
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IMJ: Maybe - if you owned the Windows technology, which I'm guessing you don't ;)

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 16/6/04 8:16PM
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SparkY: Bad analogy. SCO is trying to stop the sales and distribution of Linux, when it's not clear they have any right to. That's closer to this.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 16/6/04 10:46PM
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Closer being several worlds away?!

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 16/6/04 11:02PM
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imj: Will people be able to buy an Adjust ROM set at the RISC OS Expo this weekend, then?

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 16/6/04 11:21PM
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Certainly, ROL's statement doesn't say anything about not selling RISC OS anymore. If ROL don't think that they've breached any agreement, why would they stop selling RISC OS?

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 17/6/04 10:36AM
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The way I see it is that If your license has bee *revoked* then you can't sell much of anything,

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 17/6/04 3:13PM
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I'm sure Castle can only revoke the license if the terms have been broken (unless it's explicitly allowed for in the license).

If ROL continue to sell RO and it turns out that they have breached the agreement, then I assume they may be liable for damages to Castle.

Equally if it turns out that RO are not in breach, then presumably Castle would be liable to RISC OS (and also potentially to the sub-licensees).

If they can't agree between them, I assume this will have to be settled in court.

All just my opinion of course. I'm no lawyer!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 17/6/04 3:31PM
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g0tai: What, you mean in the same way that IBM and SGI continued selling their various versions of Unix when SCO pulled it, as well as Red Hat continuing to sell Linux, and such?

If somebody revokes your licence to sell something for what you believe to be bogus reasons, stopping to sell your product looks nothing more than a big sign of guilt. And if the reasons are bogus, then the puller has much bigger things to worry about than your continued sales.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 17/6/04 4:47PM
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If your driving license is revoked for what you believe are bogus reasons, should you still drive?

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 17/6/04 4:50PM
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That's a legal, rather than civil matter, and therefore completely different, as you well know.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 17/6/04 5:54PM
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