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Iyonix Select demand barely double digits, says ROL

By Chris Williams. Published: 26th Sep 2005, 23:30:44 | Permalink | Printable

Psst, don't mention the Select 4

Select cogsAccording to RISCOS Ltd., just eighteen users have asked for a version of Select for the Iyonix. Of these, it's claimed six have paid the 15 quid to upgrade their subscription to include an Iyonix port of Select, dubbed 'Select 32'. Amid rising concern that his company is ignoring Castle's IOP321 XScale platform, ROL boss Paul Middleton said, "We have not taken payment from anyone who has solely requested Select 32 for the Iyonix. This is obviously nowhere near the 100 minimum new subscriptions we have publicised before we will make any commitment to Select 32 for the Iyonix."

It's possible that ROL have overlooked those with RiscPCs and Iyonixes who continued to re-subscribe to Select, the subscription scheme that enhances 26bit RISC OS 4, with the hope that their cash will go towards an Iyonix port. It's also possible that Iyonix users are keeping quiet and holding onto their money until they see a definite product, leading to a chicken and the egg situation. ROL did their first toe dipping to gauge Select for Iyonix interest in November 2004, but later had their doubts on its viability.

ROL also sought to clarify that A9home specific features are being developed in house by AdvantageSix, and that the recent Omega offer could be extended to Mico and Riscstation users if they show an interest.

Paul added, "We are not a faceless, megalithic corporation - we are a small group of RISC OS devotees."

Current Select subscribers are also still awaiting the long overdue release of Select 4, the development of which is said to be gradually continuing after stalling last summer.


RISCOS Ltd. website

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I didn't realise I had to subscribe to Select to show my intrest in an Iyonix version. I did send them an email saying that I would be interested in purchasing a copy though :-]

 is a RISC OS Userleeshep on 26/9/05 11:47PM
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I didn't renew my Select sub earlier this year as I rarely use the RPC any more. I can't justify the cost, although I may reconsider and sign up again if Select 4 is ever released. I certainly miss some of the Select features on my Iyonix, and would certainly resubscribe if Iyonix / Select 32 ever comes about.

 is a RISC OS UserBrianH on 27/9/05 12:04AM
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Perhaps Drobe should run a poll to determine how many lapsed Select subscribers would resubscribe under the above circumstances, or any other combination of circumstances which would result in a release of Select 32?

 is a RISC OS UserBrianH on 27/9/05 12:12AM
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Personally I find this to be a real dilemma. like BrianH I'd like to get Select for my Iyonix (I was a subscriber some time ago), but my enthusiasm will depend on what ROL actually offer.

For example, I wouldn't be willing to give up the obvious advantages that RO 5 has over current Select versions (such as USB functionality, pop up printers, fast boot etc.).

Nonetheless, I'd be willing to subscribe just for the developments that have been made to the wimp (e.g. icon cut & paste).

If they can merge the two properly, they'll have a guaranteed subscription. But given the uncertainty of the situation, I'm sure there are others like me who've not indicated anything to ROL, with the result that the 18 users stated will be very much on the low side.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 27/9/05 12:45AM
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Many of the developments of Select alreay exist for the Iyonix - as I've repeatedly noted, at Wakefield and the Big Ben show. The worst part of this is that ROL have no problem making a special effort for Omega owners of which there are magnitudes less.

"...not a faceless corporation" - nor is ROL going to be any kind of corporation with this distinct lack of business acumen.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 27/9/05 4:58AM
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I don't remember ROL asking publically who wants IYONIX Select - AFAIR they just asked the Select subscribers and perhaps the Foundation subscribers. Considering the fact that quite a few users like me quit Select due to no serious committment beyond the well known "keep paying and we'll look into the IYONIX pc some time but don't know when" how do they expect to get more interest. All I was able to offer ROL in return to their kind of committment is that when something is available I'll look at it to see if the price is acceptable.

And as mrchocky correcly states quite a few select features are present in RISC OS 5 already so that select is not as important to IYONIX users as it is to others perhaps. ROL, you should really consider offering Select Features instead of the whole OS to IYONIX users - should be quite a bit less work thus less expensive and thus more interest, I'd say.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 27/9/05 5:45AM
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I agree completely with MrChocky - a lack of business acumen has always been ROLs biggest problem!

 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 27/9/05 7:08AM
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Well it seems that things have not moved on since I last re-subscribed to Select on the basis that I was willing to pay an additional 15 for an Iyonix version. I can see ROL's point about making it valid but why ask a group of mainly RISCPC owning subscribers if they want an Iyonix version..surely the answer you get is scewed by this very fact. I have had my Iyonix for 2+ years and rarely use my RISCPC and have justified my renewals on the basis I would get a version for the my Iyonix sooner rather than later. No updates for a year is also making me question that justification, though I have brought RISCOS4 for my daughters machine and put Select on that as well this year.

I do like the extra features and look/feel of the user interface changes BUT basically 170 for 2 years of doubtful pay back is looming larger in my thinking today as I could have saved the subscription money and purchased a set of Adjust ROM for less.

I know that ROL need to do the 32bit stuff and it will help in the meantime but there is only so much I can justify to she who holds the purse strings.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 27/9/05 8:07AM
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So what does ROL advise Iyonix users to do?

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 27/9/05 8:36AM
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This claim that only 18 users are interested sounds like an excuse for doing nothing to me, since just from reading the forums it is clear that there is much more support than that! Even if some of the support is conditional on what the product actually does for us. It sounds to me as if ROL don't want to do it. If this is the case, all well and good, but they should at least tell us. Then maybe we should be looking to Castle to pick up Merln again.

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 27/9/05 8:56AM
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This is just more crap from ROL to try to draw attention away from the fact that they have not delivered anything to their paying customers since June 2004. They've had the gaul to send me a renewal notice despite delivering absolutely nothing for 15 months. I have demanded they either:-

1) Deliver any sort of release before 28th October when my subscription expires

2) Extend my subscription to such time as they have a release

3) Refund my subscription in full for failing to deliver on their contractual terms.

You can say I've been a mug funding them for the past two years when they have no product for the machine I actually use now - the Iyonix, but I am not mug enough to put up with getting absolutely nothing for a years subscription, and if necessary I'll take this to the small claims court.

Select is now finished as far as I'm concerned, if they ever come up with an Iyonix version I'll might consider buying it as a finished product like Adjust, but only when its available for me to walk away with at a show.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/9/05 9:49AM
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Considering the general impression you get from reading places like Drobe, Iconbar, or Usenet, it's incredible that RISC OS Ltd. can make these claims. Oh, perhaps what they say *is* strictly speaking true - that few people have actually paid any extra money, but considering their past record on the issue then it's hardly surprising that that's the case.

If they want a true picture of desire from Iyonix users, and money from them, then they've lost so much trust that they'll probably never get it without a product. They must realise that, so you have to wonder if their tactics are deliberate (but quite why is a different question).

If they're going to continue expecting people to throw money at it then they should provide some guarentee, since they've lost so much trust - set a date for an Iyonix release, and return the money if it's not met.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 27/9/05 10:00AM
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I am unlikely to renew my subscription to select as I now have a Iyonix so if they want my money they will have to supply something that I want for what is now my main machine, their choice. Before the end of the day here I am sure there will be more that 18 Iyonix users saying they want Iyonix Select so where they get their figures from I have no idea, it seems RISCOS Ltd.are trying hard not to find Iyonix Select customers.

 is a RISC OS UserPete on 27/9/05 10:01AM
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Can Chris remind us? Was there not a discussion on drobe about ROL asking Iyonix users to contact them if they were interested in Select? I'm sure I remember something like that but it seems to have been missed by many of those commenting here.

And Select for the Iyonix? Surely that will arrive faster with co-operation. If lots of Iyonix owners let ROL and Castle know that they want Select then maybe things could be speeded up.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 27/9/05 10:42AM
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Along with all the other Iyonix owners who have/had RISCPCs I won't be renewing my subscription unless there is a firm commitment from ROL for an Iyonix version of select!

 is a RISC OS UserBassy on 27/9/05 10:54AM
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jc: My recollection is that ROL specifically asked Select subscribers to guage what interest there would be in an Iyonix version of Select, as other comments above have suggested.

A quick use of the search box at the top of this page revealed:


According to that article, there was a request that Iyonix users contact them - but the message (and therefore that request) was apparently only sent to Select subscribers.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 27/9/05 11:22AM
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Various mentions have been made re why did ROL "make a special effort for Omega users" I am confident that the work necessary was comparitively trivial, I suspect a recompile with 'Omega hardware' option ticked! It seems very strange for people to critise ROL for helping some RISC OS users. If people found out that they could easily have done this and didn't they would get critised for not doing it! They can't win!

 is a RISC OS UserCJE on 27/9/05 11:50AM
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CJE: The criticism is because they seem to be incredibly reluctant to support what is these days a fairly large proportion of RISC OS users, and also the fastest RISC OS machine, yet are willing to go and do work for a much smaller number of Omega users. Producing an Omega version, if it's trivial, is, of course, something RISC OS should do, so there's no cause for complaint there, but to go and start offering them discounts whilst continuing to kick Iyonix users with a series of ever more unbelievable excuses is very annoying. Especially when, as Peter Naulls has pointed out, there is an Iyonix version in existence (even if it's incomplete).

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 27/9/05 12:01PM
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"The worst part of this is that ROL have no problem making a special effort for Omega owners of which there are magnitudes less. "

Well yeah, but the Omega is still 26-Bit and StrongARM, so probably not much more work than Kinetic, plus ROL don't have "history" with MicroDigital like they do with Castle.....

So what versions of RISC OS 4/5 do we have now then, I'm getting confused, ones I can think of are:

4.05 or something was the last RO4, patches for Millipede IIRC, after 4.03/4.04 made for Mico/Kinetic etc. Iyonix 5.10 Select 3i3 v4.39 Adjust (Select on ROM, was that 4.44?)

I thought there was already an Adjust32 or something for the A9home?

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 27/9/05 12:25PM
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There is a version of Select that (to some extent) works on the Iyonix. That doesn't mean that it is yet in a state in which it could be released. We could have had a 32-bit version of RISC OS earlier but ROL didn't have a hardware partner until Ad6 came along. RiscStation, Castle (and others) failed to do what was needed (or, to be fair, may have approached ROL at the wrong time). Now the only way to 32-bit Select is through the work being done by ROL and Ad6 for the A9. The offer to Omega owners is a red-herring. What can be offered to Iyonix owners will be as a by-product. That doesn't mean it won't be a very welcome product! All that's almost incidental though. As someone has already stated above, the RISC OS future will be much improved as soon as one OS is available for all current machines* and software writers can make full use of the facilities of the latest OS.

*We need A7000 + RiscStation + RiscPC + Omega + Iyonix + A9 users together to make up sufficient numbers to give proper software development a chance.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 27/9/05 12:34PM
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CJE: "a recompile with 'Omega hardware' option ticked!"

It is an Adjust ROM offer! Not a special version of a Select ROM image they can just burn onto a CD! Besides, I believe there is no 'special' or 'optimized' version of Select/Adjust for any machine, except the A9home now. In fact, ROL stated that if a given Adjust ROM doesn't work on an Omega, the purchaser can get a refund which is fair enough.

The critisisms directed at ROL is not arbitrary. You can't emphasize one aspect of this story and totally disregard another. The critisisms are very specific if you bother to think about them...

RISCOS Ltd have failed to deliver a development of Select to subscribers since the 2nd quarter of 2004.

RISCOS Ltd are not providing a version of Select to Iyonix users, even after 3 years of demand and repeated hinting by them to the contrary.

RISCOS Ltd have accepted subscriptions from Iyonix users who believed they were investing in an effort to bring Select to the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 27/9/05 1:00PM
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Sounds like PM's being reading my comments ;)

"We are not a faceless, monolithic corporation - we are a small group of RISC OS devotees."

The number of which, or whose identities are not generally made public. Perhaps not monolithic, but where are the faces (other than PM himself)?

 is a RISC OS UserHertzsprung on 27/9/05 1:01PM
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jc said > "We could have had a 32-bit version of RISC OS earlier but ROL didn't have a hardware partner until Ad6 came along. RiscStation, Castle (and others) failed to do what was needed"

Don't you think that's a tad unfair and isn't even a proper excuse. I mean ROL if they wanted to 32bit things they *could have* and even tested it on RISC PC's with StrongARM's a machine for which *they* had full documentation and for which they subsequently wrote RO4.02. In fact in 1999 they said they were planning to 32bit RISC OS (then many years passed).

Regarding Select for Iyonix there is more than *ample* documentation about the hardware (sure I even have a TRM at home, and full specs on CD) that and the documentation on the Iyonix website is all *anyone* would need to produce software (or even an OS port) for that platform. Sure Peter Naulls ported Linux to it, Simon Wilson implemented an OpenGL and PCITv system and Adrian Lees has Geminus working on it. It seems that these guys seem to have enough information to even do low level hardwarsey stuff - so why can't ROL ?

If the will was there Select would be done and dusted. And judging from comments of people who've seen elements of it running on Iyonix one has to wonder why not ?

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 27/9/05 1:52PM
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How about a Drobe poll on this? "Would you by Select for your Iyonix"

 is a RISC OS UserPete on 27/9/05 4:02PM
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Pete said > "How about a Drobe poll on this?"

Better off an Iconbar poll, at least they let me vote... ;-)

Back on topic... I shall not renew my subscription after receiving no upgrades and forking out for two ROM sets.

I think RiscOS Ltd should have asked Castle to show interest for Select on Iyonix. If Castle declined then that's the end of it. If Select was availble for Iyonix users, and they used it, would Castle say that the guarantee is null and void because they're not using an 'official' OS? It's not up to users to take a gamble on whether Select would work on an Iyonix. The fact that AD6 are working with RiscOS Ltd shows that they can if the conditions are right.

Geoff P

 is a RISC OS UserGeoffP on 27/9/05 4:37PM
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Below are the results of a poll on iconbar back in April 2004. I make no comments on the data I purely post for the sake of it.

## Pop Quiz by Richard Goodwin ## question:Select. Iyonix. Which best describes you? 1:An Iyonix user who wants Select:75 2:An Iyonix user who can manage without:51 3:I'd buy an Iyonix if it ran Select:96 4:I'd buy an Iyonix anyway:29 5:I'm not thinking of buying an Iyonix:105 6:I'm not thinking of buying Select:11 7:Really don't care:34


 is a RISC OS Userjmason on 27/9/05 5:03PM
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The answer is simple; PM's "data" is based on the principles of numerology:

75 people describe themselves as "an Iyonix user who wants Select", it's 2005, the Iyonix runs RO5, and Select is RO4.

7 plus 5 is 12. 2 plus 0 plus 0 plus 5 is 7. 12 plus 7 is 19, minus the difference in version numbers gives 18 people interested in Select for the Iyonix.

Either that or he's just making the whole thing up, which surely can't be the case - after all, he promised a 32-bit version of select as soon as there was hardware it could be run on....

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 27/9/05 5:19PM
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The bit that dismays me is AdvantageSix developing A9home-specific parts of the OS. Variety and competition are one thing, but relentless code forks are quite another. Are there still two boxes on the planet that run the same version of RISC OS?

It used to be said of my political party that we had more policies than members. How long before RISC OS has more versions than users?

 is a RISC OS Usersteelpillow on 27/9/05 7:25PM
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I find myself in a very similar situation to Druck I purchased an early Iyonix and have carried on funding select until now! , I have just received a request to re-new my subscription I am afraid I cannot justify funding select any longer , until there is some sort of commitment with regards to the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Usertel on 27/9/05 7:54PM
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It might just be worth considering that lapsed Iyonix owning subscribers may just be pig sick of being asked to put money up front to fund development for some 'vague' product that may or may not eventually appear, or paying for products to be developed that we cannot use.

Two years renewal subs for Select (had I remained a subscriber since purchasing my Iyonix) would by now have delivered me the following; a) no Select updates for my (rarely used) RiscPC in over a year b) no Select for my Iyonix c) the possibility to blow a further ukp500 on an A9 (beta) to get a 32bit version of Adjust

My Iyonix will be three years old in December.

Given ROL's apparent complete lack of enthusiasm for the Iyonix, are ROL (or anyone else for that matter) really surprised by the lack of response from Iyonix owners?

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 27/9/05 8:09PM
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steelpillow: What makes you say Ad6 are working to fork the OS? Everything I've heard from them suggests that they're working very hard to do exactly the opposite. The work they're doing with ROL is all about having the same OS for all current machines - exactly the opposite of what you claim.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 27/09/05 11:29PM
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Omega users are getting a good deal that isn't available for Iyonix users because ROL's products run on Omega's with very little if any changes from the RISC PC version. Producing an Iyonix versions is a little less trivial.

Castle made a choice along time ago to develop RISC OS 5 rather than working with ROL, if any one is obligated to provide improvements surely it is Castle.... ROL have other priorities, including moving RISCOS to a 32bit neutral code base, which must be done before it can run on the Iyonix...

I do agree that some people may have been unclear about what ROL required from them to formalise a registration of interest in an Iyonix version of Select. I wonder if they have more than 15 registrations now?

It should be remembered that ROL are a small business and that the resources required to build an Iyonix friendly Select are quite large. Why put all your eggs in the Iyonix basket when clearly they have other projects that they see as having a higher priority.

I am sure that if the demand was shown then ROL would respond to the best of their ability.

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 28/09/05 07:38AM
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In reply to Steve Knutson:

Castle didn't decide not to work with ROL, they had developed a machine which required a 32bit OS, PACE had such an OS, ROL didn't and with their limited development resources didn't look like having one in any sensible time period, so there was no choice. If they hadn't licenced PACE's version and waited for ROL, the Iyonix design would have sat gathering dust for almost 3 years, and by now there would be no market for it (or the A9Home) as after years and years of stagnation and broken promises by Micro Digital, almost everyone would have taken the only viable option of using Virtual Risc PC on a PC, if they'd not abandoned the platform completely.

Its the development of new machines such as the Iyonix and A9Home thats keeping the market alive, encouraging 3rd parties to develop new hardware and software, not Select which despite some very useful APIs has been almost universally ignored by developers because of its limited penetration to the user base, which (prior to the A9Home which isn't formally launched) only runs on machines people are getting rid off.

While Select has some nice features I'd like to use again on the Iyonix, I've been living without it for 3 years and will continue to do so. If ROL insist on ignoring the people who have demonstrated they still are willing to invest large sums of money in the RISC OS market, they are going to go under. The real question is, will anyone care by then?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/09/05 09:53AM
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Like many others, I have an RPC, joined select, bought an Iyonix, stopped using RPC, still subscribe to select. I am also sure that sometime ago, South East show 2004(?) I completed a mandate for extra 15 for Select on Iyonix, I wonder if I am one of the 15 peopel ROL said showed an interest?

Time has come to cancel/not renew my Select subscription. It delivers nothing I use, in fact it delivers nothing now, so I'll wait for Godot (sorry, I meant an Iyonix Select) and maybe buy it. Now, maybe, ROL will find out the size of the Iyonix marketplace, based on the number of lost subscriptions.

Finally how do we encourage Castle, to revive Merlin and look at delivering some of the requested enhancements?

 is a RISC OS Userchriswhy on 28/09/05 12:24AM
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John Cartmell:

"ROL also sought to clarify that A9home specific features are being developed in house by AdvantageSix."

How can this be squared with your comment that "The work they're doing with ROL is all about having the same OS for all current machines"?

I do hope you can prove my fears unfounded.

 is a RISC OS Usersteelpillow on 28/09/05 2:29PM
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Guy: Every machine has specific requirements but Ad6 aren't simply doing their machine-specific bits with ROL. That's all Castle need to do with ROL to get Select for the Iyonix - because ROL and Ad6 have done / are doing the rest for all machines. ROL have been quite clear that the end result is to be an OS that can be produced in 26 or 32 bit versions but be effectively the same for all. Added to that I've had some arguments with Ad6 that makes it quite clear that they do not want software writers to have to distinguish between machines. They are very clearly doing the opposite of forking - though, by the sound of it, they are going in the opposite direction to a vocal group here. .

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 28/09/05 3:52PM
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Well, well.. "ROL also sought to clarify that A9home specific features are being developed in house by AdvantageSix." How das that fit in with the statement "... available resources have been prioritised into the A9 version" ([link])?

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 28/09/05 5:01PM
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We should opt for a discount on Adjust 32. That would reward the waiting. As a brave subscriber I have a feeling of missing out each time there is a special offer. The only advantage is you get served first when you pay first but usualy at the higher cost.

 is a RISC OS User1234 on 28/09/05 5:25PM
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In reply to Naf Rico:

As a brave subscriber you are helping to fund the devlopments of the RO Select. As always, people who do not want to wait for a product end up paying more. But then if no one subscribed to the Select scheme then there most probably would be no RO Adjust(26/32bit) and quite possibley no A9 either.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 28/09/05 6:24PM
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Seeing that the discounted price of Adjust isn't much different from a years Select subscription, and that subscribers have received absolutely nothing for the last 15 months, these discounts are a massive kick in the teeth. Subscribers are at the bottom of the food chain, subsidising the over the counter sales of ROMs which is putting money in PMs pocket, but getting no further developments - if indeed there have been any. I want something for the money I've paid for the past year, or a full refund.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/09/05 09:50AM
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I doesn't matter how devoted you are to your cause. In the end what matters if you can deliver the 'promised' products to customers in the expected timeframe.

Failing to do that destroys goodwill. Goodwill once lost doesn't come back.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 30/09/05 7:25PM
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It is very simple. If ROL /really/ wanted to gauge the support of Iyonix owners, they could have asked them directly, by using the Iyonix-support list. (They /do/ possess an Iyonix, don't they?)

Instead they ask Select users. It's like doing market research for BigMacs at the Vegetarian Society. It isn't anything to do with Business Acumen, it is about getting the answer they wanted all along.

When ROL does go belly-up, as it surely will, they will be able to blame lack of interest from Iyonix users, and lack of help from Castle. Hah!

BTW, the A9 looks like a very useful machine for school use, where space is an intractable problem, but ATM I doubt we will get any, precisely /because/ of it running (a version of) Select. Supporting it alongside a multitude of Iyonixes and a declining fleet of RO 3.7 SARPCs is likely to be horrid. I have deinstalled Select from the machines I had it on for just that reason.


 is a RISC OS UserGML on 30/09/05 10:44PM
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I too have just binned my Select subscription renewal form. I still have a RPC running 4.37, but as I also have an Iyonix there's no point in upgrading the older, less capable machine. As Castle are actively developing RO5, there's no point in continuing to support a now-irrelevant OS fork. If ROL were to commit to developing a version of 32-bit Select that would run on the Iyonix and offer measurable benefits over RO5 I might well reconsider.


 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 02/10/05 11:12AM
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