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Bargain hunting for RISC OS upgrades

By Paul Stewart. Published: 27th Dec 2007, 21:35:01 | Permalink | Printable

Searching for value-for-money

Paul Stewart reveals how he gets the most, pound for pound, out of RISC OS upgrades.

Good value for money is something all of us RISC OS users, like most right-thinking consumers, desire. Whether or not we actually get it when buying RISC OS products is often argued over, usually when we compare our beloved platform with the likes of Windows, Linux and Mac OS. We constantly bemoan how expensive things like OS upgrades are when compared to other platforms. It especially hurts when you only have to glance over at Linux, which is, for most intents and purposes, completely free or the various service packs that Microsoft release for no charge.

money in a RISC OS cogBut there can be an obvious route for saving cash when upgrading. Let's take RISC OS Adjust as an example. Depending where you look depends on the price you pay. Adverts in RISC OS magazines say Adjust can be purchased for £69.99 plus £3.50 postage. However with just a quick search on eBay, and a few clicks and days later, I am the proud owner of a full retail pack of RISC OS Adjust for only £35.00 plus £3.50 postage. A saving of £34.99; half of the advertised retail price. Is that not a bargain?

So for all those out there complaining about the cost of upgrading your RiscPC or A7000 (this is what I purchased mine for), now has surely never been a better time for upgrading from RISC OS 4 or earlier to RISC OS Adjust. This'll mean you get to enjoy the benefits of DHCP, the Image File Render system, Filer image thumbnailing and a whole host of under-the-hood improvements.

But isn’t eBay, in general, great? After you have been busy purchasing your upgrade to RISC OS Adjust, why not splash out a bit more? Do you still have the original hard disc drive your machine came with? The one I have does. Along with my operating system upgrade, I purchased a dual CF2IDE adaptor for only £0.99 and a 1GB CompactFlash card for £2.70. This slim device acts as a cool-running solid-state hard disc. Cards up to 16GB in capacity can be found on eBay for about £80, whereas a 512MB card costs £14.99 from Maplin.

So for £38.78 plus postage of £10.48, I have upgraded my old A7000 - bought for £25 - to RISC OS Adjust and more than doubled the capacity of the old hard disc for a drive that uses less power, is physically smaller and is silent.

It just goes to show that shopping around, even online, pays off. I might also add all of this eBay action was achieved using RISC OS web browsers. Go on be daring. Buy that upgrade you’ve always wanted for your RISC OS system. Use the eBay, Luke.

Links

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Discussion

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That is one of the reason I have added RISC OS items for sale from ebay on the IRUG site:

[link]

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 27/12/07 10:52PM
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The internal HD on a RPC - which I've unplugged due to its noise - is hidden away at the base of the machine. Would it be possible to fit an adaptor to the ADFS cable and just leave a CF card there in place of the HD?

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 28/12/07 12:43PM
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Hmm. This is a bit confusing. I'd expected the RISC OS Adjust ROMs to be second-hand. But the seller is 'Uniqueway Classic Computing', which is very similar to the old RISC OS company run by ROL MD Paul Middleton. Indeed, the postal addresses for ROL and this outfit are the same. So why is a company which advertises ROMs for £70 also selling them via eBay for £35?

If eBay selling makes them more money, then that's all good. But I'd be annoyed if I'd paid full whack (at a show, for instance) when they're available on eBay for half price. If there's a sale on, why not let everyone know? I just don't understand ROL sometimes.

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 28/12/07 2:26PM
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In reply to lym,

Adjust was New, not second user. Also don't forget to sell them on Ebay most probably costs them a lot less then the advert they place in the commerical magazines.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 28/12/07 3:46PM
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In reply to AW: That is what I plan to do with mine, just with an A7000, not an RPC. However do be carefull. I think I read in the somewhere that not all CF2IDE interfaces are compatible. I won't know if the one I have purchased is until the CF card arrives.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 28/12/07 3:50PM
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sa110:

Yes, I realised it was new, which is why I said 'I'd expected'. I was just surprised that the company is selling new stock through eBay at half the price of when bought from them directly. It's up to them how they do it, of course, and it may well be that the costs are lower via eBay - I have no idea. But why not be open about it? Aren't standard customers going to be very annoyed?

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 28/12/07 4:54PM
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In reply to lym:

How they sell their product is up to them. I guess not ever user reads the RISC OS press. Also don't forget those people who buy a piece of kit for nostalic reasons, or because they have nothing better to do with their time. Selling at a low price on Ebay is ideal for netting sales from these people.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 28/12/07 5:03PM
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So what about brand new A9's or Iyonixs on Ebay minus advert overheads?

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 28/12/07 5:28PM
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In reply to AW:

Do you really expect to have your cake and eat it?

"Mine's a Vanilla Slice, guv."

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 28/12/07 5:40PM
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In reply to lym:

"Aren't standard customers going to be very annoyed?". I think I would be more than annoyed if I'd have bought Adjust for the "regular" price. But I dare say that most customers of ROL are not easily annoyed anyhow being used to subscriptions with huge delays in delivery but not in collecting subscription fees...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 28/12/07 5:43PM
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sa110 -

No just a bargain from time to time.

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 28/12/07 6:13PM
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I got a set of Adjust ROMs for £35 off of ebay a few days ago (which still strikes me as a bargain). Uniqueway (or Paul Middleton, if it's him) have been listing adjust ROMs for progressively lower and lower prices for the past few weeks. It looked to me like they were doing a bit of market research to find out what price would be needed to clear the ROMs. The listing that I bought mine in had 10 sets for sale and only 6 went, which leads me to think that there might be further price reductions to come. Also, it wouldn't surprise me if the official price for RO 4.39 dropped some time soon.

Looking forward to upgrading my Risc PC from RISC OS 3.71 now :)

 is a RISC OS Useraschamberlain on 28/12/07 6:31PM
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sa110:

Selling via eBay is fine - very good idea. As you say, it'll hopefully pick up buyers who might otherwise not be tempted to invest in RISC OS. I just think it's strange to sell it for such a low price there, while continuing to advertise it at a much higher price elsewhere.

Perhaps there's a very good reason, but it's not immediately obvious. ROL moves in mysterious ways.

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 28/12/07 6:32PM
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The ROMs in question are flash ROM and it states that they are generaly only suitable for unexpanded machines.

So they are of limited value to most users perhaps the reason for the reduced price

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 28/12/07 8:50PM
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Revin Kevin:

Ah - that could well be it. If so, then I take it all back ;)

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 28/12/07 8:58PM
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In reply to Revin Kevin:

I'm afraid not. The ROM set I purchased are OTP ROMs. They were from a batch of 10 sets recently advertised on eBay.

There have been flash ROM's advertised at £35. But these are not them.

Lym - in this case, you have nothing to retract.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 28/12/07 9:51PM
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OK

The one on there at the moment is a flash ROM

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 28/12/07 9:58PM
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I upgraded my A7000+ to use flash instead of a HDD a few months ago - first of all, I tried a Samsung SSD along with a 2.5" IDE to 3.5" IDE adapter, but HForm didn't like it (I tried the latest version). So, I ordered a CF2IDE adapter from CJE Micros, and tried that instead - it didn't work with a couple of my existing CF cards, so I bought a new 2GB one, which worked perfectly first time. So I guess the adapter is very picky as to which CF card you use - I believe that the quality of the IDE implementations across CF cards varies, apparently, PC's also have trouble working with certain CF cards when used in place of a HDD. It's working fine now though - and I have a very quiet machine as well. I wasn't very impressed with the performance though - an SSD fitted to a PC laptop of mine made it go like the clappers, but the A7000+ didn't seem any faster running on flash at all. I'm guessing that the limiting factor is the IDE interface on the A7000+ motherboard in this case.

 is a RISC OS UserNickMason on 29/12/07 3:31PM
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In reply to NickMason:

I must be lucky, both the CF2IDE adaptor and 1Gb Compact Flash card works fine with my A7000. Not so sure about it's speed yet tho. Although it does feel a little slower than the hdd.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 30/12/07 3:07PM
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