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A9home surfaces at user group

By Chris Williams. Published: 1st Jun 2005, 15:51:50 | Permalink | Printable

Project still under wraps

A9home logoThe beta version of the A9home will, we're informed, appear in public tonight at the Wakefield Acorn user group. The WROCC's Chris Hughes said earlier today, "The A9home was launched to the world at the recent Wakefield show, but some did not get a chance to see it for various reasons, so we have invited [AdvantageSix] to come back and give not only our members another chance to see the A9home closeup, but it also gives everyone else a chance if they missed it to come and see it closeup as well."

It's expected that this will be the first of various user group outings over the coming months for the A9home, as developer interest in the RISC OS 4 400Mhz ARM9 computer rises. According to various sources, AdvantageSix have been run off their feet since the Wakefield show to build batches of developer only beta versions of the A9home. We gather that those already with the tiny machines are gagged from revealing too much about the secretive hardware, meaning that we'll possibly have to wait until closer to the retail launch before particular details are known.

The UK retailer for the A9home, who will be handling consumer sales and support, CJE Micros, declined to comment further on the machine. We understand that a German RISC OS dealer has also contacted AdvantageSix regarding a mainland distribution of the computer. It's strongly believed that the kit uses the Samsung S3C2440 processor and the SM501 for graphics. The machine is still missing features such as sound support, and is waiting for its 32bit operating system to be completed.

Incidentally, AdvantageSix have updated their A9home website with more information and a PDF of the flyer they handed out at the Wakefield show, which includes prices and other blurb.


Wakefield user group website AdvantageSix website

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I hope we get a dutch retailer too. :bowdown:

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 1/6/05 4:52PM
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Well the system is soo small that you can easly imort it

 is a RISC OS Userhighlandcattle on 1/6/05 5:46PM
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And (for the hard of hearing) you could probably easily import it too ;-) I'm sure CJE have adequate experience in such matters 'instock' :-)

 is a RISC OS Userkdm on 2/6/05 1:17AM
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In reply to Egel: Count me out, i will not import this one

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 2/6/05 1:51AM
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datawave: Why not explain yourself by saying what you have against the A9 Home, so you don't sound so damned silly all the time.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 2/6/05 3:15AM
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nun: It may sound a bit silly, but datawave actually is supposed to be a RO dealer. He sells decade old Acorn kit, I guess. As you probably have gathered by now, he's not so fond of the Iyonix or even the A9home (for reasons even the X-files won't touch...)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 2/6/05 9:37AM
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In reply to nunfetishist: It is only a very small box, there is no floppydisc build-in, or a cd-player - only a hd is envolved - You cannot expand this box with more drives, that is very pity. I am not against this small box, Rob.

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 2/6/05 11:59AM
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In reply to hEgelia: No, i am not fond of the Iyonix or Axxx series. That is only my own opinion. You cannot expand the Iyonix enough, like you do with a Risc PC - Tooooo Less Bays.

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 2/6/05 12:03PM
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datawave: A 4 slice Risc PC (which is probably the largest realistic size) can accomodate four 5 1/4" drives and five 3 1/2" drives. The original Iyonix case can accomodate two 5 1/4" drives and three 3 1/2" drives. The panther case can accommodate four 5 1/4" drives and five 3 1/2" drives. Obviously, you're limited to 2 podules in an Iyonix, but a Risc PC limits you to 0 PCI cards.

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 2/6/05 12:35PM
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Of course you're entitled to your opinion, but also bear in mind that the Iyonix has many of the things built in that you might have had to add to a RiscPC. For example USB, fast IDE interface, network card, better sound interface.

It's true that the RiscPC had a really unique design and that you can't fit a pizza oven in an Iyonix case, but I also suspect that it's much easier to put an Iyonix into an exciting case from the PC world.

As for the A9Home, it may not be expandable, but it's certainly a unique design! :)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 2/6/05 1:02PM
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Datawave: This may sound silly to you but.. 1) Many people share your point of view that it's nice, but doesn't matter - it's too tiny and not expandable. 2) you are a RO dealer. If you are a developer too, why don't take the plunge, order a box or two, find a suitable larger box and co-operate with Ad6 to develop a version better suited for some desktop users? This may generate cash for all (RO Ltd. Datawave an Ad6) and found the further development of RO.

 is a RISC OS Userbernie on 2/6/05 1:58PM
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What would you actually want to expand the A9Home with that you can't plug in via USB, anyway?

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 2/6/05 3:54PM
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Looks like the simtec USB stack will get USB floppy drive support before the Castle one... ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 2/6/05 4:05PM
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I notice that Datawave has a picture of a couple of Phoebe cases illustrated on his web-site - so why doesn't he buy A9home computers and house them in Phoebe cases with all the 'external' expansions 'built-in' inside the Phoebe case? I look forward to seeing his A9semi-detached (two A9homes built into a Phoebe), A9quasi (four A9homes), and even the A9estate (up to 24 A9homes) - all with the A9homes, internal-external drives and switching gear carefully tucked away inside one of his favourite Phoebe cases leaving enough spare room to house a pigeon or two...

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 2/6/05 4:57PM
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Does select 32 support big wimp slots like RO 5 does?

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 2/6/05 7:13PM
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SM501 = SIMON perhaps?

 is a RISC OS Usercaliston2 on 3/6/05 1:06AM
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In Reply to ROHC: Well they probably have to add it to allow floppy usage on A9 - Castle doesn't have that need since the managed to put a floppy drive into their systems.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 3/6/05 8:10AM
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In reply to nunfetishist: "What would you actually want to expand the A9Home with that you can't plug in via USB, anyway?"

Anything where you want more than 12Mbps data rate - large storage devices or digital video sources.

 is a RISC OS UserStoppers on 3/6/05 11:48AM
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For those upgrading from RISC PCs, the 12Mbps limit is not going to be an immediate concern. I don't know about the IDE podules, but the fastest SCSI podule you can get runs a 10Mbps bus.

I've also not been able to find what the maximum data rate through the EASI podule bus is from a quick google.

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 3/6/05 2:45PM
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Can somebody confirm (not assume, guess or speculate) if 1280 x 1024 in 32K colours is the maximum resolution for the A9?

Needless to say that's of no use whatsoever to me. My RiscPC is currently at 1440 x 1176 and I desperately need something larger like 1600x1200 in at least 256 colours, although 16M colours would be perfect. An iyonix is no use either due to the OS being a backward step. Although an Iyonix with a 32bit RO4.xx would also be perfect, no news there either I presume.

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 4/6/05 8:53PM
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1600 x 1200 @ 16M colours if your monitor can cope.

The other false rumours are due to a misunderstanding of the ARM9 spec sheet.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 4/6/05 9:24PM
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mripley: No, it's not - see [link]

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 4/6/05 9:28PM
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In reply to Bernie and jc: Yes, it should be possible to build A9home devices into Phoebe cases. Also it can be expandable as well, if Ad is thinking through and i have some bright ideas about the A9home computer like making it the first RISC OS portable after the design of the Acorn A4 portable one.

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 5/6/05 1:49PM
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In reply to Bernie: No, i am not a RISC OS developer, only a RISC OS distributor and RISC OS dealer for all kind of RISC OS computers, so NOT for Windows XP ones.

The A9home has a unique design - My compliments to Ad.

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 5/6/05 1:52PM
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In reply to Stoppers and ninja: If your're into small files, that is no MP3 collections and larger images, then 12Mbps (that is 12MBit/s) might be satisfying. But I doubt that the quoted 10Mbps for a Risc PC are correct since I did manage to burn CD-ROM on my ex. Risc PC at 12x speed with no problems over and over again - that is 12x150kByte/s = 1,8MByte/s = 14,2MBit/s - and now think about the fact that this data was read from a hard disc and written to the CD burner, so it went twice over the bus so we're at twice that speed. Curious? Source Blitz IDE based disc, destination Eesox SCSI based CD bruner.

But on the other hand I'm not sure I want to buy a new computer for so much money (please add the price for a CD/DVD burning drive) when it has such severe limitation since I would even have problems burning CD-R with 8x speed - when nowadays that's normal for writing DVD whereas CD usually are written at 40x or more. Oops - when I can't write with more than 8x I guess I can't read with more than 8x either....

But perhaps someone can show me where I did a computation error...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 5/6/05 5:22PM
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In reply to Egel: Just wait and see. Are you intend to buy ten of them from me then, Egel ?

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 5/6/05 6:26PM
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datawave> If you're a RISC OS dealer that's "not fond of the Iyonix or Axxx series", plus not keen on the A9, what exactly do you deal? Do you propose that we should just stop at a >10 year old design (RiscPC)?

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 5/6/05 7:10PM
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datawave: if you keep this up, I don't think anyone will be keen to buy anything at all off you. If you want to promote RISC OS, then it is your responsibility to be positive. Slagging off Windows at every chance isn't that, and just gives RISC OS a bad name.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 5/6/05 8:30PM
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In reply to jonix: Have a look then at my website.

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 6/6/05 1:36AM
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datawave: Your website only hints of what you may deal with. A list of things on the front page, then no indication of what to click on next. Oh, and (c) 1996 - 2100?

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 6/6/05 2:07AM
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hzn: My apologies. It looks like I misread the data rate of Fast SCSI 2, such as used on your Eesox card. It's 10MBps, not 10Mbps. How embarassing! It is a parallel interface, after all.

Thanks to those who rated my comment, but it looks like I was wrong on this occasion. USB 2 might be sufficient for many users, but it is not as fast as a Risc PC with a decent IDE/SCSI card.

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 06/06/05 8:51PM
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My reason for thinking that the A9 was limited to 1280x1024 was this statement on the Silicon Motion website on their SM501 datasheet :

"Best 2D and video acceleration with low-power consumption, supporting high resolutions up to 1280 x 1024"

Plus : Display Support LCD (digital) and CRT (analog) with Dual Display LCD: 320x240 to 1024x768, 16/32-bit; 1280x1024 (16-bit only) CRT: VGA to SXGA, 16/32-bit Widescreen support up to 1280x768x16

Nothing greater than 1280X1024. So where is the error? Is it the datasheet or the statement that an SM501 has been used.

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 08/06/05 10:57AM
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In reply to SimonC: The saying of you, on my website, that you cannot go further, have a look at your own website, the same thing!!! RISC OS users cannot even email you on your website and last but not least, RISC OS users cannot email you on DROBE Oh and SimonC: You don't promote the A9 Home computer on your website, that is a SHAME !!! At least i do, i promote the A9 Home computer on my website Have a look at [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 16/06/05 5:18PM
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