ROS 4 cheap as a few nights down the pub, says ROLBy Chris Williams. Published: 28th Apr 2005, 21:13:41 | Permalink | Printable
Ill havf the shame agane, barmanResponding to calls to allow Select to boot on RISC OS 3, RISCOS Ltd. has argued that such users should just fork out for an upgrade, adding: "A RISC OS 4 ROM set is currently the equivalent of a two month Sky TV subscription, or to some people, about two nights down the pub".
RISC OS Select currently requires a user to have RISC OS 4 installed in ROM, in order to softload the OS. Punters on the Select list argued that Select should be extended to RISC OS 3 users, although a ROL spokesperson said that the Select boot sequence requires RISC OS 4 only features, such as long filenames, in order to boot up. He added: "It's simply a lot easier to get people to upgrade to RISC OS 4. That way we make some money and developments carry on."
The company also insisted that software developers should be using computers running RISC OS 4 or Select if they want to develop software for the currently 26bit only stream of RISC OS. However, this hasn't put off some programmers, as for example, Iyonix owner Rob Davison was able to introduce support for Select alpha sprites into Variations without a RiscPC, relying on end user feedback and testing.
In an email to Select users on the subject of the cost to upgrade to RISC OS 4 and Select, a company representative commented: "Don't forget that one of the reasons that the PC market is so healthy is that users are pretty much forced to upgrade the major part of the setups every two to three years. In Acorn's days, the profit from hardware manufacture subsidised the software development very substantially. The profit margin on a RiscPC was about 300%. If everyone keeps on using their RiscPCs for another 10 years, then there will not be any native RISC OS manufacturers left.
"If you want RISC OS to develop and grow, you have to go out and buy new products, otherwise the market simply stagnates and dies."
We note that no one pointed out that RISC OS Select is currently only officially supported on RiscPCs and similar Acorn kit, which makes it a little tricky to upgrade to a new machine and yet still run the OS. Earlier this year, ROL declared that RISC OS 4.02 had reached the end of its life and announced plans to support Select on the Iyonix.
RISCOS Ltd. website
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