Select32 mini-Q and ABy Chris Williams. Published: 24th Nov 2004, 16:39:28 | Permalink | Printable
Trying to get to the bottom of thisThere's a level of confusion at the moment surrounding the future of Select.
Firstly, RISCOS Ltd. and Advantage Six announce Adjust32, a 32bit RISC OS Adjust that runs on an ARM9 platform. But a Select32 is still some time away, how is that possible? So it turns out that Adjust32 really is an Embedded RISC OS, as it's been heavily customised for the A9 range and not what we'd consider a desktop OS.
Next, RISCOS Ltd. announce a Select32 survey. A number of people saw this as a way of the OS developers wriggling out of doing a 32bit Select as ROL could later claim that there isn't enough interest, apart from at least the 600-800 or more Iyonix users out there. We interpreted the survey as a way for ROL to estimate the number of expected customers, so they can prepare pricings and such details. Select32 currently has a release date pencilled in for around Q4 2005.
And then on top of this, there's the issue of Select 4 and how does this fit in with Select32, and what of the users complaining that Select3 doesn't work with their Kinetic RiscPCs? So we asked ROL's managing director, Paul Middleton, and his responses are below in italics:
Is there going to be a Select4? What's going in that?
"The planned order of things is Embedded Adjust32 which will test out features such as Video Hardware abstraction, then Select 4, then Select32 (Release 4). I can't detail the full Select 4 features list just yet. Select 4 was planned for Christmas this year, but has had to be delayed due to uncertainties earlier in the year."
What's going in Select32? What's the difference between Select4 and Select32?
"Select 32 is intended to just be the 32bit version of Select (26) so ultimately no major difference. However it is not just a matter of compiling a 32 bit version because Select relies on many low level changes to RISC OS which need to match the relevant hardware on which it is to be run. Select 32 versions of the relevant Select (26) version are always likely to lag behind the 26 bit version. In practise I would expect Select 26 to continue to lead for another two years, by which time I would expect there to be enough choice of new hardware for everyone to be able to move over to 32 bit only hardware. 26 bit versions for Virtual Acorn would of course still be able to be produced."
When will the bug fixes for Kinetic users be released?
"I hope that Select 4 will resolve the issues that some Kinetic users have reported. Unfortunately we have not been able to reproduce those problems on our machines, so it is not simply a question of Kinetic cards not working with Select, as it clearly works with many Kinetic systems. Select 3i4 and Adjust are identical so Kinetic cards should show the same problems with Adjust ROMs, but that doesn't seem to be the case."
It's interesting to note that Castle have quite recently gone quiet again. The RISC OS 5 roadmap was lost in the post, we presume? Having passed the Merlin features list over to ROL management, probably with a post-it note attached to the top that reads, "Take it away, boys", RISCOS Ltd. believe this is the last we'll hear about the Merlin project.
Also, RISCOS Ltd. have created a Christmas special offer, for anyone not already a Select subscriber.
RISCOS Ltd. website
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