RISC OS Adjust ReviewBy Peter Naulls. Published: 4th Jun 2004, 11:10:07 | Permalink | Printable
What it says on the tinBoth 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.
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.
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?
Adjust in hands of users
RISC OS Adjust
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