'Experienced' users offered A9homes to testBy Chris Williams. Published: 21st Sep 2005, 12:29:06 | Permalink | Printable
Apply now to the exclusive RISC OS country clubAdvantageSix are expanding their A9home user base by inviting "experienced" users to apply for a development machine. Previously, only RISC OS software programmers could sign up and pay for the ARM9 powered computer, which is still in a beta stage of development.
Ad6 say they are throttling the release of the machine, so that if problems are discovered in the system, the number of units that need to be recalled or corrected is minimised. The company is expecting no more than roughly 100 experienced users to join the beta test group, and to shift at most five systems a day.
Explaining that Ad6 are looking for a "wider audience", Ad6's Matt Edgar said that end users have a knack of finding problems that are sometimes overlooked by developers. He commented, "We're after a broad range of people who use RISC OS on a day to day basis and can produce good quality bug reports. Experienced users can cope if there is a problem in what is not a final product, as it's still in beta."
Film director Kevin Smith once said that a particular film of his was "not for critics". Matt said that this was not the case for the A9home, and that constructive criticism is welcome. "We're not after people who will keep quiet, although they shouldn't go pestering other software developers if software doesn't work on the A9home, as it may be the fault of the machine," he added.
The system currently has no sound output, although it's understood that it's gradually beginning to work, the hard disc access speed is approximately 16MB/s without DMA (according to Ad6), and the software interface between the video driver and the kernel has been revised and improved. Ad6 say they'll chat to people on an individual basis before a unit is shipped to them to make sure they understand the state of the machine, and no money is taken before a computer is put into the post.
Ad6 have no plans to formally attend the South East show next month, and will be represented by their retail partners, CJE Micros.
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