Could A9 be a digital oasis in a desert of PCs and Macs?By Liam Proven. Published: 22nd Nov 2005, 20:27:59 | Permalink | Printable
Freelance IT journalist Liam Proven reflects on his experience of the A9home in London last nightAdvantageSix's Stuart Tyrrell flew down from the frozen North of England to the equally-frozen South yesterday to introduce the A9 to ROUGOL - or should that be ROUGOL to the A9? The Spice Lounge, upstairs at the Blue Eyed Maid, was packed out to see the tiny new RISC OS machine.
The A9home will be only the second 32-bit RISC OS machine, even though it's been in gestation since before the Iyonix - but it runs a 32-bit version of RISC OS Ltd's Adjust OS, not Pace's 32-bit RISC OS 5. There's quite a lot of work still to be done - several things don't yet work and the machine is still a little unstable - but it's tiny, fast, cool-running, silent - and around half the price of an Iyonix.
It's a sealed case, so no upgrades are possible to its 128MB RAM and 40GB 2.5" hard disk, but this should keep support simpler for Advantage6 and so lower costs. Other machines are planned for the A9 range, including support for the Linux OS.
It runs most Iyonix compatible 32-bit applications fine and there is already a special version of Aemulor for running older 26-bit apps. Tyrrell says "it will be launched when it's ready, and not before", but he states that this will be in the timeframe of 6 months to a year. Pricing is already firm at £499 for the machine, ex VAT. There's also a partner slimline USB DVD ROM/CDRW combo drive for £75. Experienced RISC OS users who are prepared to accept a pre-production device can already buy units with the unfinished OS, for a discount of around £50. When the final version is released, it will be possible to upgrade these units to the final specification on payment of the difference in price.
A longer version of this article can be found on the Inquirer here.
CJE Micros website - A9home's desktop retailer
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