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ROL extends Select offer through January

By Chris Williams. Published: 18th Jan 2005, 13:44:25 | Permalink | Printable

Another January sale

ROL logoRISCOS Ltd. have extended their Christmas special offer on Select to the end of January. While joining other RISC OS companies in launching January sales of sorts, ROL cite "excellent demand for RISC OS 4.39 ROMs" as the reason behind the offer.

Provided you're not already a subscriber to the RISC OS Select scheme, you can pick up a set of RISC OS Adjust ROMs (4.39) and a year of Select updates for 165 quid, or 150 quid if you're upgrading from RISC OS 4.

RISCOS Ltd. recently informed one Select subscriber: "It is very likely that we will be offering non-Select subscribers a special offer on Select 4 when it is released in a few months, so please keep an eye out for that announcement."

As far as we understand, Select32 (a 32bit Iyonix compatible form of Select) is separate to Select 4, which is the next installment in the ongoing Select scheme. According to an earlier chat with RISCOS Ltd., Select32 will essentially be a 32bit build of Select 4, that's released after the 26bit Select 4 is finished. Also, Kinetic card users suffering from boot problems with Select 3 have found that the fault can be cured if both memory banks in a RiscPC are populated with SIMMs of at least 8M capacity. It's not known if this will help all users, though.

Links

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Discussion

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Good news overall.

I just wonder why ROLtd wants to continue 26 bit support, when they could do a 'unified' 32 bit version for all current computers, as all Select compatible machines use 32 bit compatible processors, ie. ARM6/7/SA. Or am I missing something here?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/1/05 2:52PM
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Things like this always appear at times when I feel I'm already spending too much.

The 26 / 32 bit separation could be for a number of reasons, the most obvious being the different hardware, if there are no plans on doing a 32 bit Select for the RiscPC.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 18/1/05 3:27PM
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Castle/Pace and ROLtd have been busy removing the hardware dependancy of RISC OS as far as I understand. It should then be possible to create a 32 bit version of the OS which works with all hardware combinations found on the host machine, wether XScale/PCI video or (Strong)ARM/VIDC20 or emulated.

The RPC/A7000 are old machines and why should we be funding development of a finite (26 bit) OS on severely aging machines, even when the majority of users have them? Isn't this a dead end? Shouldn't we be focussing purely on a 32 bit version of Select, so that when users want to lose their RPC's and step over to modern hardware, they do not need to install/pay for a 32 bit version? What is the point?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/1/05 4:35PM
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hEgelia: So you want to exclude RPC/A7000 users from any further Select developments ?

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 18/1/05 4:41PM
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Grek1:

No, I only suggest that Castle/ROLtd only further a unified 32 bit version of the OS which would run on any 32 bit ARM compatible processor, which include the RPC and A7000...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/1/05 4:54PM
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Market forces... even though a small market. I have ROS 5 but having been a select subscriber would be delighted to purchase select32 - the sooner the better.

 is a RISC OS UserDaveW on 18/1/05 5:07PM
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HEgelia: Ah, OK.

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 18/1/05 5:27PM
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I suspect that a pure 32bit OS would cease to run 26bit software (a la Iyonix). If someone can explain to me why we would actually want to do that, if there was a way to avoid it, then they win a cookie. Stop and think for a moment - if you are using a RISC OS machine, you want the MAXIMUM flexibility in software. Not the minimum. Don't try and argue that everything is 32bit safe now, cos that simply isn't the case. Famous quote "just because we *can* do something doesn't mean that we *should*".

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 18/1/05 5:42PM
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@arawnsley: I agree. And maybe we should point out, that as long as there are no changes to the hardware specific software (the "HAL" if you want to call it that), the additional effort to keep a 26-bit version is probably minimal.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/1/05 6:07PM
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arawnsley: Like how Select has trouble with quite a lot of vintage software already? How many people need some old piece of software and at the same time want to invest in a 32 bit future? Sometimes we need to sacrifice something of the past to ensure there is sufficient revenue for a hopeful future when you can't have it both ways. Does this kind of flexibility mean holding on to aging, stagnated apps because there is no modern substitute because we were clinging to the old software with a sense of durability in the first place? More than 2 years ago the first step was boldly made with the Iyonix, when will we be taking the next?

I say we need a more democratic approach now, in which a line must be drawn: will we keep supporting 26 bit only vintage apps and wait until a subsitute is developed? Or will we invest in a future now and let the few still needing the old apps run them on emulators or old versions of the OS.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/1/05 6:57PM
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IF the new select was 26/32 bit neutral would that solve the 26bit only apps not working?

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 18/1/05 7:12PM
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hEgelia - I'm afraid that argument is simply wrong. If the market really wanted a pure 32bit only environment, the Iyonix would have been closer to meeting its sales targets. The frank truth is that the vast majority of the marketplace remains on 26bit machines, and/or uses VRPC, and the primary reason given is software compatibility. I'm sure a 32bit only environment would appeal to a certain small number of people, but there's no way any company could survive with just those sales. Put it another way, if you jeteson the past, there is no future. Unless you plan to create a new market altogether...

Harsh words, I know. But I do speak from the perspective of one whose *livelihood* is RISC OS...

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 18/1/05 7:33PM
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If it did, it would limit the wimpslot size to 26M wouldn't it? So presumably you'd want two modes of operation.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 18/1/05 7:35PM
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arawnsley: I have recently got an Iyonix, the only real disapointment is how much I miss select. I (personally) don't miss much software.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 18/1/05 8:30PM
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Yes, but other people would miss software. The shortage of software is IMHO the biggest problem of the RISC OS market. There are huge functionality gaps, like good audio and video editing software, 3D graphics and animation. And this is just the small part I'm missing most. The second biggest problem is the lack of processing power (wich explains partly the lack of some of the above software functionality). And since ARM does not do anything about that, I see only two routes out of that problem: either add a second processor architecture to the platform (like PowerPC or Itanium), along with a set of APIs to support their use, or add lots of ASIC components, wich would probably best be archieved by adding FPGAs to the mainboard, accessible to the application software developers and reprogramable at runtime.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/1/05 9:29PM
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Are we going to end up in a situation where all we can buy is stagnant software that only runs on 26bit hardware? If the primary reason for holding onto old machines is to maintain software compatibility, can someone please tell me what software remains to be a problem in this area? With solutions like Aemulor available, it shouldn't be part of the argument.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 19/1/05 12:45AM
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OK, jonix, buy me an Iyonix and I will go fully 32-bit. :-) As I save up for such a machine, it is only Select which keeps me in this market and stops me going all Windowbox. That, and being a Acorn nut for 22 years!

 is a RISC OS Userijpatt on 19/1/05 1:12AM
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personally i agree with andrew. The fact that the omega runs 26 bit sw without any problem was for me one of the main reasons to buy an omega. But when the market goes fully 32 bits the omega can handle that as well. So in my case ( since i heavily bought new sw over the past 3 years) it is "the best of both worlds" machine.

I use the omega professionally ( easywrite pro , schema2, datapower 2 and messenger pro as the main apps). Till this very day i have found no difficulties in communicating with win%^$@ users.

For my personal joy i love wimpbasic 2/ easy c++ to program in. So the Omega and Risc Os gives me everything what i need. But i do realise the 32 bit is a necessity for the platform.

 is a RISC OS Userrdenk144 on 19/1/05 7:52AM
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@jonix - but Aemulor doesn't, and won't ever, exist for the RPC. Hence, a 32bit Select user on older hardware would never be able to run such apps as Eureka.

 is a RISC OS Userpeterb on 19/1/05 8:07AM
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A huge reason for 26bit RISC OS which people seem to have missed is the fact that all the podules and drivers instantly cease to work if your OS is 32bit. A vast number of these podules are out of production and unmaintained, with nigh zero chance of getting updated 32bit drivers. Do you want to throw all your podules away?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 19/1/05 8:25AM
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imj: If the reasons for moving to a new or 32bit only OS are compelling enough then, yes. In the history of RISC OS each new computer or OS always managed to kill something. Of course the problem is that, in this case, the Iyonix and 32bit RISC OS kills an awful lot at a time when there is so little software development and hardware support.

As someone pointed out, the aim would be to have a 26/32bit neutral OS. In which case the RiscPCs and emulated machines could run that in 26bit mode and I'd imagine that very little would break. It's running the processor in 32bit mode that kills stuff. And why would you want to do that on a RiscPC?

Finally, the ARM processor is never gonna be a kick ass, high end thing that will challenge the latest Intel/AMD x86 and Motorola/IBM PowerPC processors. If you want that kind of power than you know what you have to do. The interesting situation is when an emulated ARM machine runs faster than the Iyonix. Will this mean we're kinda stuffed? -- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 19/1/05 9:19AM
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Good point imj. I certainly depend on my podules for work on RPC. At least last I heard the MIDI drivers were being 32 bitted.

I'd have to agree with arawnley and Spriteman in that there's just not a big enough market to justify crossing over to 32 bit just yet...

I have to admit sometimes I have to rant, but the nice thing is it brings good/constructive discussion :) I just wish the time will soon arrive we can let the past be gone and enough modern (32 bit) developments have justified the path for most actual users to upgrade to modern machines, wether that be Iyonix or else. As said, one of, or the most significant reason is lack of modern software development, but I believe it is coming.... slowly....

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/1/05 10:08AM
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You mean the same way that the IBM PC was stuffed when you could run MS DOS faster on an Archimedes under emulation than on a PC?

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 19/1/05 10:22AM
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peterb: Your statement is very presumptuous, and incorrect.

If RO Ltd decided they wanted to move to a single 32-bit Select across all platforms, we have already stated we would produce an "Aemulor lite" to handle any app incompatibilities. Alot of the emulation stuff could be removed (as the native CPU does have a 26-bit mode) so its main job would be handling API changes, and interaction between the 26-bit and 32-bit worlds.

As it stands, RO Ltd have already stated they WONT be producing a single 32-bit version for all platforms as they can see no benefit in moving RiscPC users onto a 32-bit OS, so the discussion is mute really!

If their stance were to change, we'd be ready to "fill in the gaps" for those users who wanted to run 26-bit software on a 32-bit select.

Cheers,

/Neil/ www.aemulor.com

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 19/1/05 10:31AM
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Spriteman: "The interesting situation is when an emulated ARM machine runs faster than the Iyonix." It already does: see ARCHIVE Vol. 17 No. 8 (May '04). The only advantage the Iyonix apparently has over a high-spec PC running VRPC is in responsiveness with big displays in true colour. When dual-core and 64-bit x86 chips become available, the gap will no doubt increase. Are we stuffed? For high-power desktop use, I would say yes. OTOH Risc OS is still my personal choice for my daily computing, which doesn't require stacks of processor power. However, it's obvious that ARM chips are not the future for desktop computing. My money's on VRPC running on Linux.

George

PS: does anyone know if Adjust will now run on Kinetic?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/1/05 10:42AM
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That sounds great, Neil! I'd hope the speed loss during emulation would be minimal.

Now, in the case of a (guaranteed) Aemulor Lite solution why would ROLtd rather develop Select26 for quite some time to come before inevitably crossing over to Select32 on modern machines (and perhaps even compatible with the older ones...) It strikes me as though we have little to say on the matter, while many 26/32 bit neutral software users are expected to invest in these plans. Why don't ROLtd issue a statement explaining exactly why they should see no benefit? And what's Castle's position on this?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/1/05 11:02AM
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Bucksboy beat me to it, and he's right. Our RISCbook range run Artworks 2 and similar apps demonstratably faster than the Iyonix (as shown by accident at user group meet). On the desktop front, our RISCube64 Utra machine provides similarly fast performance at noise levels comparable (and some times less) than iyonix. I know me saying this will upset a number of people, but c'est la vie. As I've said elsewhere, I wouldn't get too excited about VA for linux, as the support/cost aspects will probably be rather prohibitive. Windows is so low-cost that there would be very little price difference in a retail machine, and being truthful I think you'd be hard pushed to find (m)any people who would generally find Linux+RISCOS to offer more useful than Windows+RISC OS. Heresy? Perhaps, but even the most ardent Windows-hater must admit there are times when having Windows to hand is a necessary evil... Of course, if people really want Linux+RISC OS (and would be prepared to pay the price for such a machine) then drop me an email!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 19/1/05 11:05AM
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arawnsley: the problem I have with Windows is running it as my sole home computer (or as the underlying platform for same, as with VRPC). I don't mind using my work laptop at home via VPN, because that sits behind a firewall constantly supervised by full-time IT guys; but doing home banking etc on my own PC (if I had one) and relying on Norton AV or whatever does not appeal. The malware/spyware problem is going to get /much/ worse in future, in my view, and it's 99% a Windows problem. That too could change, of course, but Linux (so I've been told) is intrinsically more secure than Windows. For the home user, that will become as big a consideration as speed in the future, and if Linux /is/ more secure, and if the functionality and performance of VRPC+Linux was as good as VRPC+WindowsXP (two big 'ifs', to be sure) I think there would be a market.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/1/05 11:20AM
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arawnsley: "I know me saying this will upset a number of people"

Why should it upset anyone? If people prefer using a native RISC OS machine, rather than an emulated version on top of Windows, then that's what they'll do - particularly now that a RISC OS 5 machine is much more affordable than it was.

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 19/1/05 11:23AM
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I look forward to Select for Iyonix and will subscribe as soon as it is out. I was a Select subscriber for at least 3 years and only now I don't use my Risc PC have I lapsed. I was also in the first 100 foundation subscribers but that lapsed when it turned out to be more like a mag subs than a replacement for Clan membership. I am not willing to buy something on a promise; I lost 400 pounds because of the Omega and nor will I pay for nothing. So the current offer for Select is of no use to me until I can use Select again.

 is a RISC OS Userdansguardian on 19/1/05 1:00PM
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What I would like to know, is when will Select 4 appear? ROD/ROL appear to be very quiet on that at the moment, as with the update we can expect from it.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 19/01/05 1:14PM
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rdenk: "Easy C++ ... 32-bit is a necessity".

Uh oh. Not only is a Easy C/C++ a desperately poor compiler, it's not 32-bit. I hope you'll consider using a more sensible compiler such as GCC or Norcroft.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 19/01/05 1:17PM
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It's the chicken & egg situation, until there is considerably more 32 bit users than 26 bit users, then commercially, ROL will continue with 26 bit development before the development of 32 bit. Unless ROL can be persuaded differently then 32 bit users (including me) will have to be patient.

 is a RISC OS UserBassy on 19/1/05 1:32PM
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Bassy: "32-bit users will have to be patient"

I think five years' patience is enough - see [link]

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 19/01/05 3:00PM
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arawnsley> I'm not convinced that you can offer a completely impartial view. Does all the software you supply/publish run on 32bit hardware? If not, it's not within your commercial interests to suggest that users buy an Iyonix. Certainly not when you also offer the RISCube solution which in some situations is quicker than an Iyonix. Is there more mileage in selling Windows clones with VARPC than in selling RISC OS software? I've no idea.

Re: Linux and VA. If I was to buy such a system I would only be interested in running RISC OS, rather than RISC OS with the option of running Windows apps. Given this, it would be easy with Linux to provide a system that simply boots straight into the RISC OS desktop without the appearance of a host OS underneath. I don't feel that you can comment on "support/costs" unless you actually have first hand experience of selling such a system. You are simply speculating.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 19/01/05 3:05PM
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I have not renewed my Select membership and when ROL/ROd whatever produce a 32bit Select for the Iyonix then I will purchase it.

Meanwhile the money I am saving by not contributing to Select is being spent on things that are benificial to me as a 32bit Iyonix user.

Cor! As I type my renewal form for Foundation has just been poked in front of me. Decisions, decisions.

 is a RISC OS Userron. on 19/01/05 3:31PM
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What people have to understand is that continuing to offer a 26bit RISC OS most likely comes at next to no cost.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 19/01/05 3:35PM
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JGZ> I'm not sure that people have to understand something that "likely" comes at next to no cost. It's just speculation is it not? I can't believe that you or I can make any assumptions about versions of RISC OS and the costs that are involved when offering them.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 19/01/05 4:45PM
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JGZ: Given the lack of context you've provided, "contuning to offer" a 32-bit RISC OS also comes at no cost. But what cost of _not_ offering a 32-bit RISC OS. High, I'd say, since that's precisely what new hardware provides, and oddly enough, what ROL are pursuing. As Jonix suggests, I think you are just playing word games.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 19/01/05 5:14PM
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jonix - all the software that *sells* is 32bit safe yes. The games aren't but noone buys them anyway, so its largely irrelavent. All our main apps were 32bit from day one, so in fact I believe we're one of Castle's major assets software-wise (we even bought Datapower from Iota for the purpose of 32bitting it, so that there was/is a 32bit relational database). Please bear in mind I also paid real money for an Iyonix, and hope(d) that it would replace my dev RPC. Commenting on "support/costs"? I think I've been in this business long enough to give you a quote for what I'd charge!!! Incidentally, people buying Iyonixes is actually OK financially for us because they will usually by the 32bit upgrades. However, I don't base my advice/comments on $$$. If I did, I think you should all go out and ditch your RPCs for Iyonixes right now! Now there's a good quote for the magazine adverts!

Of course, I also like selling RISCubes and Books, so from that perspective my bias is true. But (playing devil's advocate) I only started selling RISCubes and RISCbooks because there was a demand for them, and you have to ask why that's the case...!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 19/01/05 5:55PM
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In reply to jonix: I would say Andrew is far better position to speak impartially, because he makes his living selling RISC OS software. He's more likely to get software sales to people with native ARM based machines than emulators - users with Windows so close to hand are unlikely to buy copies of WebsterXL, DialUp, Grapevine, etc (although they might still buy Messenger, because that is so much better than the Windows alternatives!). So he is slightly cutting his own throat by selling VirtualRPC, but then that is better than not selling them anything at all and possibly having them leave RISC OS completely. (I'm slightly biased in favour of Andrew at this time, due to feeling guilty about disturbing him in the middle of dinner last night! Apologies Andrew)

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 19/01/05 6:52PM
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Arawnsley, Jonix: The bottom line: new native hardware needs to get either faster or cheaper. ATM it is not good value on purely rational (as opposed to emotional) grounds IMHO. I could justify buying an Iyonix for 1000 including monitor if it offered the sort of step up from my present machine (a Kinetic) as the StrongARM did from the RPC 700, but it doesn't. The Mac Mini, which certainly does, costs 400 apparently.

Cheers

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/01/05 7:22PM
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The Mac Mini is made by a company that has billions of dollars and ships millions of devices, and doesn't run RISC OS (ArcEm aside). How can your comparison be relevant?

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 19/01/05 9:12PM
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mrchocky: Risc OS exists in the world, not in a parallel universe with special rules. The Iyonix is a computer; the Mac Mini is also a computer. If you /must/ run Risc OS you will buy an Iyonix (or a PC running VRPC), but all users are not in this position; they may decide that RO is no longer supportable. Relative cost and ability of hardware may be a factor in their decision, and is therefore relevant.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/01/05 9:28PM
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To be fair on Castle, the current sale price of 835 for an Iyonix, I personally think is quite compelling. Sure the Mac Mini is cheaper, faster etc. But for for those of us who like RISC OS, it's really not that expensive.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 19/01/05 9:43PM
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It may be interesting to note (for some people anyway) that for the price of an Iyonix you can build an incredibly fast PC and emulate (with VirtualRPC) RISC OS far faster than any native RISC OS hardware. You'd have no 32bit compatability problems, have full access to the internet, watch whatever movies / dvds you want, use whatever printer/scanner you want, plug in USB devices and have them work and all from just one machine.

 is a RISC OS Userfwibbler on 19/01/05 10:34PM
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bucks: Sorry, your argument doesn't hold any water. The point here is running RISC OS. If it wasn't, then we wouldn't be wasting our time on expensive hardware, and would have used PCs years ago. If you wish to discuss running Mac OS or dirt cheap fast computing platforms, then perhaps you should choose an alternate forum.

If you want a very cheap RISC OS platform, use a RiscPC. When the Iyonix came out, a certain predictable subset moaned that it should be sub-1000UKP. It was also predicted that if it was, then people would still complain for it to be cheaper still. Now it is, and see what's happening.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 19/01/05 10:40PM
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Fwibbler> That's difficult to argue against, but it's nothing new. We all go out and buy PCs, Native RISC OS hardware is no longer produced as no one buys it. RISC OS software is no longer produced or updated because as it happens, you have "full access to the internet, watch whatever movies / dvds you want, use whatever printer/scanner you want, plug in USB devices and have them work".

For most of the tasks you list (yes, I'm generalising), Windows is required. The whole point of RISC OS for many users is to avoid using the klunky Windows GUI. Yes I know Windows can do everything RISC OS can do and more but it's frustrating. If you don't care about that, and don't appreciate what RISC OS brings to the table, then there's no need to be using it.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 19/01/05 10:44PM
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You know the world has flipped when people start touting Apple's products as teh example of cheap equipment ;)

 is a RISC OS UserDougal on 19/01/05 11:22PM
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so the option put forward isto a) get an Iyonix for 835UKP, which will run a high proportion of one's old software, has support for anything one desperately needs through Aemulor, and works exactly as the RISC PC does in terms of OS (in fact, putting one's old harddisc in for data transfer is a breeze), or b) get a Mac Mini for ~400UKP, which will run none of the old software, can *possibly* support a few old programs through emulation, but quite possibly entails a new OS and entirely new software to get to grips with.

Hmm. Not sure that's a viable option for most people.

 is a RISC OS Userjymbob on 20/01/05 00:04AM
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Not interested in Macs. Msoft PC' is only used for playing games (Tombraider nut) and Word gives me heartburn. Would like an Iyonix but at present cannot persue funding 2 hobbies at the same time - roll on Wakefield !!

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 20/01/05 02:17AM
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Jelavallin: "Word give me heartburn" excellent - that comment has set me up for the day, you should use it as a tagline :)

The interesting thing about the Minimac is its price, cheap enough to be a second machine to fill in the gaps that RO currently has. Previously the only cheap option was PCs (which are only cheap in purchase price, not effort or ongoing cost).

I guess anyone who has bugetted for a full price Iyo could buy a Minimac too for a similar amount this month.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 20/01/05 07:41AM
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I wish drobe had the facility for posters to correct their crappy typing :(

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 20/01/05 07:42AM
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Bassy

"The chicken and the yolk situation?" All we need is to focus on "Double Yolker" chickens!

Dgs

The Risc Os Ltd Mission Statement that includes the 32 Bit claim, may have just missed the early 2005 movie release of Mission Impossible3 ?

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 20/01/05 08:03AM
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@ Peter: I know its a poor compiler, but for some odd reason i like it. I have both GCC and the castle c/c++ suite. First i have to finish my project in WIMP basic then i will start with either the GCC or the Castle suite. But you are absolutly right with your comment. I have now more time to program so i hope that in the next few months i can make my contribute to the risc os world public.

 is a RISC OS Userrdenk144 on 20/01/05 09:05AM
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I can remember, many years ago, paying the best part of 1700UKP for an A420/1. The A540 was even more expensive. In comparison, the Iyonix has always been a bargain!

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 20/01/05 09:21AM
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I don't intend to buy a Mac Mini either, as a RO user and supporter of 18 years standing, but I wanted to draw attention to what was available on other non-PC platforms. As to the price of new native RO hardware, the view that this is not a factor in the decision to purchase is evidently not shared by Castle, who presumably believe that the latest Iyonix price reduction will boost sales.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 20/01/05 10:57AM
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ROLtd has stated it plans to release in the following order:

1. Embedded Adjust32 (eg. A9) 2. Select4 (Q1 2005?) 3. Select32 (Release 4, perhaps end of 2005?)

Mr Middleton said Select4 was originally intended for release on Christmas but has been delayed. So with a bit of luck we may expect it in a couple of months. If I understand the statement correctly, Select4 will be the last *26 bit only* version of Select. Thereafter, we could see each new version of Select to come as seperate 26 & 32 bit versions. However, Mr Middleton stated 32 bit versions of Select would always lag behind a 26 bit version. Reason is that Select cannot simply be compiled for 32 bit, because of many low-level changes to RISC OS which need to match the hardware on which it is to be run. See [link]

So, what I gather from all this is that a unified, 32 bit version of Select for all existant machines (RPC/A7000, IYX, Omega, A9) is simply not 'realizable' in the near future. Let alone a 26/32 bit neutral version. Because there's too much differing hardware combinations. What a shame. So I expect Iyonix owners have to wait some more, at least another year, for hopefully a nice 32 bit and compatible version of Select. In the mean time, certain customers enjoy an Embedded version of Adjust which has been compiled for 32 bits... I wonder how far ROLtd are with this 'embedded' version of Adjust32 and if we could in fact have this working on an Iyonix. Surely, it would not have all those lovely features Select26 users are enjoying now, but could it add at least some new (desirable) functionality over RISC OS 5 for which some Iyonix users are waiting?

Now, what about Castle? Several months ago they boldly stated millions of pounds were needed to get RISC OS up to date. In the mean time, the impression is given *Merlin* has gone down the drain. Also, ROLtd has been given a new name already (RO Developments - shitty name if you ask me...) even though they are still trading under their old(?) name. An announcement has been given by the two, Castle and RO Limiments/Developted, they have sorted out the differences/legal bollocks and are now working towards a united RISC OS... now what is this and when? My impression is RODev has been given desktop development of it, but are continueing like they have for the last years. Why isn't Castle investing and pushing for a nice (Merlinised) Select32 ASAP since they have many (potential) customers waiting for it? Why isn't Castle investing in some kind of (32 bit) software label? (Btw anyone have the USB2 drivers promised for xmas yet?) Where is their (Castle&ROLdtms) sense of responsibility to us, the customers, the loyalists, the investors? What am I missing, 'cause I can't believe I know even half of it. There should be more and better communication and ofcourse I don't expect us to need to know every detail of their agenda, but now we are really kept in the dark. But when they have a nice offer, or need money, they can surely find us. So, ladies and gentlemen, what are we to them and why? Come out, come out...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/01/05 3:36PM
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hEgelia: Seems like a reasonably good summary :) But...

"There should be more and better communication and ofcourse I don't expect us to need to know every detail of their agenda, but now we are really kept in the dark."

While I agree not much new info has emerged since the recent ROD-Castle agreement, I'm not so sure that there "should be" better communication. It's only been a relatively short time and these things take time. Personally I think a bit more patience is due.

Adam

 is a RISC OS Useradamr on 20/01/05 3:54PM
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Adam:

Yeh, you're right - it does need time! Much has happened and things need sorting out.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/01/05 4:34PM
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Meantime the market shrinks into infinity

 is a RISC OS Userfwibbler on 20/01/05 5:22PM
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@Garry: I really like RISC OS a lot. Still I find myself in a position where I can't spend any money in the RISC OS market any more, because all the money I can afford to spend on computers has to go into my PCs now, because these are the machines I need for my work and RISC OS just can not do the things I need.

@mrchocky: If RISC OS Developments are making their version of RISC OS 32bit neutral and have some kind of hardware abstraction layer (lets call it a HAL for simplicity), and this HAL is available for the old and the new hardware, then surely the cost of keeping an old-hardware-version wich runs old 26bit-software is minimal, as long as there are no changes to the HAL parts. Presuming of course, that ROD are improving their version of ROS with this goal in mind.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 20/01/05 7:47PM
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@Julian: I think we are in very similar positions, I think RISC OS is great too, but I have not bought an Iyonix yet because there is nothing I can do with it. All I do with a computer is program, browse web, email, and maybe watch a few MPEGs/DivX files. I cannot do any of those things all that well on RISC OS. Some will say email on RISC OS is great, but I respectfully disagree. What would make the difference to me is if ROD or Castle pointed me in a direction in which to program where I could hope to make some money out of it. If that's embedded stuff, or desktop, it does not matter that much.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 20/01/05 8:43PM
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There is only one major item I turn my Windows XP box on for, and thats when I'm chatting on line. The lack of an up-to-date Java VM is the reason - something I'd quite happily pay 40 or 50 quid for it were available for RISC OS, and yes I do have the Acorn version, not that is much use any more.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 20/01/05 8:49PM
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sa110: What chat program is it ?

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 20/01/05 8:59PM
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He probably means web-based chats.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 20/01/05 9:40PM
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A lot of web based chat rooms are just java IRC programs pointing at a specific channel.

A standard IRC program such as grapevine will work fine.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 20/01/05 9:50PM
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JGZ: it's fair to say that you've both comprehensively missed my point, and really don't have a good grasp of OS development issues, which is rather worrying, since they've long ago been discussed in great detail, and I therefore won't be wasting my time explaining things further.

Garry: I don't understand why that's up to ROD/CTL. It's certainly not their job to point out how you can make money, nor hold your hand. In any case, there are loads of things that RO users are desperately calling out for. Whether you can make money or not our of those is up to your skills as a business person.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 20/01/05 9:55PM
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chocky: The reason I'd like ROD, Castle, or indeed STD to point out markets is that we hear a lot about their commercial customers, but never who they are or what they do, so it's difficult to know where to target efforts.

I disagree that making money out of programming is exclusively about being skilled in business, if we don't know where embedded RISC OS is being sold into, we don't know what to write, or where to sell it.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 20/01/05 10:17PM
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@mrchocky: Sure, and you're the ultimate guru, nowing everything.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 21/01/05 07:51AM
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Jules: It took you a while but you've finally got it ;)

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 21/01/05 09:22AM
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Garry: Can't agree with that at all.

The only PC "advantage" email-wise is HTML email, as far as I can see, and I can very happily live without that. Watching DivX / MPEGs, fair enough there (although just for seeing what's in the odd MPEG clip RISC OS is perfectly adequate).

The others go through various degrees of usability, and whereas there's undoubtedly more functionality in other offerings you also have to put up with horrible user interfaces. Most of my web browsing is adequate on RISC OS (although hardly great), and GCC covers most of the programming needs, even if it doesn't offer the niceties. The advantages of the others just aren't enough to make me want to switch. I certainly wouldn't want to lose things like Zap and Draw.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 21/01/05 10:14AM
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@Spriteman: What I always find most annoying is, when you try to explain something complex in simple every-day language terms for people who do not know a lot about the subject (this is not an IT specialist forum, after all), there is always someone who does not know you very well, but still feels right to judge your knowledge on such comments. I know that it is in the nature of analogies and generalisations, that they are not exact, but an exact discussion of the issues involved would exclude some people in this forum. Plus it would be a lot more time-consuming, and I don't have that time.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 21/01/05 10:31AM
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@Simon, Yes, the email thing is purely a matter of preference, HTML email is not a very big thing for me either. GCC is great, I have no beef with that at all, it's more the lack of cross-platform GUI toolkits, i.e. QT, WxWidgets, AWT, Swing, and such. I understand that GTK might make it's way to RISC OS, which in a way is great, but if we just get a GTK L&F on top of RISC OS, we'll lose the thing that makes RISC OS great, which is the consistent and otherwise superb UI.

I'd happily lose any RISC OS text editor if I could use BBEdit (Mac program), Workspace (QNX program), or even JEdit, slow as it is. I can agree about Draw, particularly on Adjust, as it supports Alpha-blended bitmaps, (the lack of which makes Artworks no good to me).

 is a RISC OS Useranon/212.111.56.115 on 21/01/05 11:29AM
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Julian:

Just out of curiosity, but what work, if any, can still be done on RISC OS? I guess your work has something to do with video editing/sequencing? Guess Cineworks doesn't do it for you anymore... Oh and in layman's terms, please :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/01/05 11:30AM
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Julian: "don't have time". And yet, you are wasting people's time, and your own when you have to go back and explain, by posting things that are just plain silly. The technical aspects of what you think you said are neither here nor there - it's just that you have completely ignored my points. As I said, the "cost" of not having a 32-bit RISC OS may be significant. A 26-bit OS will not run on new hardware, "HAL" or otherwise.

Garyy: "[GTK] make it's (sic) way". Well, if you'd paid attention to riscos.info and news about it, GTK already exists for RISC OS (1.2 anyway, 2 has issues), I have compiled QT in the past, and a port of wxWidgets should be straight forward if someone felt inclinded. AWT/Swing are not really "cross platform toolkits", they're specific to one language; so the real problem is a completed port of Kaffe.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 21/01/05 11:47AM
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@hEgelia: Well, I guess there are quit a number of professions for wich RISC OS would still be sufficient. But I need LOTS of processing power for 2D & 3D design/modeling and animation, plus reasonably good I/O bandwidth (in PC terms, wich means at least 40MB/s for HDD-RAIDs and dual-channel DDR400 RAM) for video editing. I'm doing a re-education course in media design for radio, television and film at the moment and will graduate in one year.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 21/01/05 12:19AM
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Julian: Yes, there sure are some types of work which can be reasonably well done on RISC OS. I produce music, but the actual work is done inside dedicated hardware gear which does the processing and produces the sound... if I were to depend on softsynths and advanced multi-track editing of audio RO unfortunately can not deliver. I also happen to own some hardware which is in part directly supported in RO (thru the app Debbie/MIDISupport) which helps to stick around.

I can understand your argument, since what you require is indeed well beyond the capabilities of our beloved OS/ARM combination. I can't think of a way you'd be able to drive a specialised piece of hardware via RO to get adequate results... At least good luck with your course and degree (maybe I'll find your name somewhere among production credits ;))

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/01/05 4:02PM
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Brent,Julian, it is web based chats that i used Java for. Something I cannot do under RISC OS at present.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 21/01/05 4:08PM
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sa110: Thats 'Bent' not 'Brent'.

Are you sure its not just a front to a normal IRC channel which you could access with any irc program (like Jess suggested)?

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 21/01/05 4:35PM
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Appologies for getting your name wrong Bent.

Yes, I'm sure it's not an IRC channel. Many moons ago, it used to work with the Acorn Java. These days I use my Windows XP box via RDP.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 21/01/05 5:03PM
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Appologies for getting your name wrong Bent.

Yes, I'm sure it's not an IRC channel. Many moons ago, it used to work with the Acorn Java. These days I use my Windows XP box via RDP.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 21/01/05 5:03PM
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@mrchocky: I completely agree with you on your point that it could "cost" us a lot not to produce the 32bit version. However I was on about something completely different. I was trying to point out, that producing a 26bit and a 32bit version of the OS does not necessarily mean that all development work has to be done twice. I just wanted to point this out, because some people were going on about time and effort being wasted on a 26bit version, when in fact time and effort are probably used to develop a source tree from wich all versions are compiled.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 21/01/05 8:45PM
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