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South West show news

By Chris Williams. Published: 22nd Feb 2003, 15:31:24 | Permalink | Printable

32 bit Photodesk. Five Omegas. Read all about it [Updated 24 Feb - Aemulor demo online]

If you're a keen reader of drobe.co.uk, you'll know that today's the RISC OS South West show held in Somerset for one day only. Well, we've just got off the phone to Andrew Conroy, of the CJE Micros team who're at the show. Andrew's told us the show is relatively quiet but there have been substantial purchases by visitors. He also has the following good news to tell us:

Photodesk is 32bit
We're told graphics application Photodesk is now 32 bit (that'll please Iyonix users) and it was completed just last night. There are no prices yet for an upgrade.

Microdigital furnish show with Omegas
We're told the Microdigital Managing Director, David Atkins, "just turned up" to the show with five Omegas (as you do) for the R-Comp, iSV Products and APDL stands (and possibly others too). Microdigital themselves don't have a stand, the Omegas are just running RISC OS 4 and the press statement from the normally silent hardware company to inform us of their show attendance must have been lost during transit. Given that Microdigital are located in Shipley, Yorkshire, a trip to Somerset with five machines is a little more than just a pop over the road, we think. But hey, machines. They exist. What more could you possibly want?

Aemulor demo online [Update]
True to their word, the Aemulor team have publically released a demo version of their 26 bit emulation software for RISC OS 5, primarily for Iyonix users to try out. You can register and pick up a copy from here.

If you went to the show, let us know what you thought.

Previous: In the news this week: Friday roundup
Next: Surftec wind ups DigiFlash


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Solid Omegas at last! I await the comments from customers with interest.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 22/2/03 4:42PM
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They've been bringing Omegas along to shows for ages now, mikeg. Remember their suprise visit to Wakefield last year?

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 22/2/03 5:25PM
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Chris, were you told if the machines were for testing purposes or for resale to customers? -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 22/2/03 7:20PM
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"Five", I thought, that's a good number. Not just one lashup then. However, from the ng it looks like there were only 3, and they weren't all the same. And we've got all this NDA tosh again. If it's an NDA, you don't talk about it. There's no point, and it might breach the NDA.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 22/2/03 7:34PM
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ksattic: no, it was implied they were not for sale.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 22/2/03 11:01PM
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Wonder why Photodesk Ltd. haven't mentioned 32bit Photodesk on their (rather old) news pages?

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 23/2/03 1:37AM
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NDA? That bullshit again. Why did they bring along the damn things with them then if they dont want us talking about it?

So takkaria, they're probably the same machines they brought along as always. To tease us :-)

Well at least it'll keep a few from buying an Iyonix PC...

 is a RISC OS UserEPDM on 23/2/03 6:27AM
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I have seen and touched it yes the Omega was at the SOUTHWEST SHOW, in fact at least 4 were there all on different stands. The Midi Tower Case was the one we have seen on the German site but the standard case was the UK one. It was very quiet at the show so you could even play with them a bit but I have no idea how much faster they go but one was showing a long Star Wars mpg very smoothly and in quite good quality and I can not do that on my Risc Pc. Peter

 is a RISC OS UserPete on 23/2/03 11:30AM
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Now let battle commence. And may the Risc OS world survive. In the purple corner we have the not so complete Iyonix (only one working serial, No onboard usb, No PS2 Ports, is the memory clocked at 200Mhz??, Suspect parts to the OS) In the red corner you have the long awaited contender the Omega is it finished covered by an NDA so i can't say sorry. The Druck of this world say's that this town is not big enough for the both of us. I say what a load of cobblers, I personaly think that this is a very narrow view because there is always a market for good quality computers and competition makes the world go round. also if we want the Risc OS market to grow we must have products. No Products NO Growth. So the message is to stop fighting and put your full support behind the Purple & Red. TTFN

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 23/2/03 12:21PM
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You seem to be a bit confused. Yes, the memory in Iyonix is 200Mhz (Omega is 100Mhz, we're told).

The lack of PS/2 is hardly an issue (Macs are entirely USB), and the support for the keyboard and mouse works just fine.

There's nothing "suspect" in the OS - the events of last week make it entirely clear what precisely is there in terms of what you're referring to.

I say what a load of cobblers, because it's not yet clear whether, as you put it, the Omega will be a "good quality computer".

It's this kind of speculation which is the cause of much of the fighting you refer to. Ironic, isn't it.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 23/2/03 1:29PM
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I se that MrChocky has total miss read my comments but he has not answered the main qustions no USb on mainboard, 1 seial port and he should check the Intel web site to check the proccessor spec. any way my point was if you need it spelling out is we should stop saying my computer is better than yourcomputer and support the dealers and Manufactures of all Risc OS Hardware.

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 23/2/03 2:24PM
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robroy: Castle do not claim the Iyonix has working USB on the motherboard, they provide a PCI USB solution. Equally, they don't claim it has PS/2 ports. Neither of those things suggest the Iyonix is unfinished - they suggest that it may not have all the things you would like from a machine.

Just because the Omega has turned up to another show and MD are claiming some crazy "We can't sell computers we've spent a couple of years designing to customers who paid for them almost that long ago" NDA we can't just pretend that the machine is now finished and working.

When (and if) the production Omegas are delivered to paying customers, it will be on an equal footing with the Iyonix. Then, and only then, will the Omega be a "contender" or possibly even a "good quality computer". -- Antony Sidwell

 is a RISC OS Userajps on 23/2/03 2:46PM
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I assure you I have not misread your comments (even though that could easily be done because of their vagueness), but as ajps says, it's not yet a contender.

I have no need to check out the Intel website, thanks. I am going by what Castle and MD have respectively said about their bus speeds.

If you think you are asking questions, then please phrase them as such.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 23/2/03 3:08PM
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I had a quick play with 2 Omegas and saw 2 more. The two I tried were in large cases, there was one (not powered up) in a smaller case. I was told that one of the machines I tried had a pre-production motherboard and was not running at full speed. The second one was a don't-know - we've only just been given it.

Both machines felt fast though screen update was not quite as smooth as Iyonix - apparently there is no graphics acceleration yet. They were running 1024x768x24-bit colour, both being limited by the monitors connected (their arrival was apparently a surprise so the dealers were just using whatever monitor came to hand).

The machines were not for sale - they were the dealers' first units. They were 26-bit RO4.03 machines. One Dave from MD told me that the XScale card is a couple of months away and will ship initially with RO4.03.

However, the good news is that we now have Omegas in independent hands. So people can finally compare with Iyonix and decide which to buy. Up to now, IMHO, we have had one real m/c, warts and all, vs one datasheet and it's good to move on to real-world comparisons.

BTW, I'm posting using O2 on an Iyonix. All 4 of my USB ports work fine but I can't use my second serial port until the OS is updated (coming soon...). I had no opportunity to test the USB, serial or parallel ports on the Omega so can we wait until someone does before concluding who has the most ports?


 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/2/03 6:29PM
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Did I say that the Omega was a better computer No. I was pointing out problems with the Iyonix & The Omega. I said that we as a group should get behind both dealers & Manufactures to support Risc OS. It is in everyones interest for the two computers to sell & sell well. competition is good for the market. No competition brings stagnation. The Risc OS Market has stagnated for too long. You only have to look at the Windows market to see what one company controling the market is like. My wife thinks that i must be a sad man to sit on my only day off from the grind of trying to support Risc OS. she thinks I should be spending my cash on my family. TTFN

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 23/2/03 6:31PM
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robroy: no one said you said the Omega was a "better computer", presumably to the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 23/2/03 6:42PM
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Did I say you did? No, You've now misread what I've said, as you previously accused me of doing so.

If you want to point out problems, then at least make them informed - your initial list of "issues" were certainly not informed, as we've now pointed out.

You're saying we should back Omega, but it's far from clear if this is a good idea. In fact, to do so could arguably be damaging to RISC OS if MD copy the support they provided with Mico.

Unfortunately I can't see your commentary about competition and stagnation as anything but dogma. It's nice to sit home and tell everyone how to act, but this doesn't actually do much good to anyone.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 23/2/03 6:45PM
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Ai ai. F33r the wrath of Peter drobe unleashed. Dont dare speak out against Iyonix or youre stupid. This kind of cack is why it is definitely time to give up with Risc OS

 is a RISC OS UserBillley on 23/2/03 7:35PM
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No, it's because we have to deal with weenies like you who hide their true identity and are afraid to speak out other than by hiding behind a false name.

This has nothing to do with speaking out against Iyonix (plenty of people already have and will continue to so), it's concerns with Omega.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 23/2/03 8:21PM
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I second the comments about Omega's arrival being good for the market. If it's better than Iyonix then it will outsell it, if not, hopefully it won't - that's just competition.

However, I think people for a few months have been in a quandry in not knowing whether something better than Iyonix is just about to be released (and something that they've waited a long time for so probably have an emotional attachment to).

So being able to do real comparisons is good. I for one am keen to know the pros and cons of each machine. My comment about ports was not intended as a dig - I just heard a lot of rubbish at the show about what Iyonix can and can't do so I thought I would record some facts here.


 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/2/03 11:03PM
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I just hope AU don't do a "head to head" with the Iyonix vs the Omega - it's bound to be fair - biggest backhander gets the prize ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 24/2/03 12:57AM
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FFS Paul, get over AU. Move on man, stop tormenting yourself over it! -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 24/2/03 9:15AM
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There seem to be a lot of people who are prepared to back a product from a company who has consistently failed to meet their own deadlines over one that has produced a product, are selling it, and providing support for it.

Yes, it would be great to do a side by side comparision but how can you do that with only one product? How many missed deadlines down the line before you are able to actually do that comparison? Will it be so far in the future that the comparison itself is actually pointless because everyone has moved on?

You pays your money and you takes your choice, and in one case that choice is to wait, and wait and wait....

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 24/2/03 10:08AM
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So is the 32 bit version of Photodesk simply a re-compiled Iyonix friendly version of Photodesk 3 or has the actual application itself been upgraded?.

Also is there any news about the availability or price of upgrading Oregano to Oregano 2?. -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 24/2/03 11:10AM
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Photodesk has a huge amount of ARM code, so it is far from a matter of recompilation. This is why we haven't see it until now.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 11:45AM
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Thank you for the info Peter. I was not implying that it was a simple task to upgrade Photodesk and I congratulate the company for doing it relivley promptly. I was just interested in finding out if there was any reson for us non Iyonix owning Photodesk users to upgrade?.

After all it would seem to make good business sense to try any make the upgrade appealing to as large a slice of the user base as possible. -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 24/2/03 12:20PM
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Photodesk is desparately out of date - it needs better text rendering (RISC OS anti-aliasing is no good for professional printing, which is why Vantage doesn't use it), more effects, blah blah blah... basically, they need to look at Photoshop and make Photodesk a bit more like it.

I am not saying Photodesk is a poor program, I am simply saying it needs more features in order for it to be a useful alternative to PC and Mac bitmap editors. -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 24/2/03 3:04PM
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To a certain extent I agree with you Michael. Although I do believe that Photodesk has a lot to offer and is a good application I think that it is overdue for a upgrade and that text rendering is certainly one of the areas that should be looked at. -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 24/2/03 3:12PM
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I don't for one second sit at home and tell everyone to act. What I am saying in plain english is if you bet on a one horse race you will never make any money, and no one would go horse racing you need at least Two to tango. I have been active in the Risc OS market for the last 15 Years. I have been promoting the risc Os market for the last 12 years. Most of the money used has come out of my own pocket, as a company it is not a viable market to be in But I Still DO but sometimes i wonder if it all worth it. TTFN

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 24/2/03 3:16PM
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Using weak analogies is not "plain English", but to extend it, we don't have two horses - we have one horse, and two more that aren't racing because they're apparently lame.

Your comments about supporting RISC OS are all very well - indeed, you're able to support it by buying an Iyonix. But I do wonder what point you're trying to make.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 3:44PM
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Come on... If there's a horse in a forest and no-one's seen, it can it be lame? ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserAcorn Arcade on 24/2/03 3:52PM
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The point I am Making is "your view is Not the only view"

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 24/2/03 3:58PM
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AA: What's the sound of one RISC OS machine clapping?

RR: fine, but you've yet to present a view that makes a whole lot of sense.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 4:44PM
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I say if there's one horse in the race, you're bound to come up trumps! :)

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 24/2/03 6:04PM
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I think certain people are being rather harsh on MicroDigital.

MD have managed to develop their own graphics chips, memory controllers, PCI interfaces, and drivers. They did this themselves. I think that deserves some at least some credit.

Castle have, however, produced an existing board under licence, and used external code initially without crediting the original authors. They've also sidestepped the established (and perhaps better for the platform) route for obtaining the OS. But of course they have good PR and some RISC OS Celebrities who have invested substantial amounts of money on their Iyonixes.

If you're going to be pointing the finger, at least aim it at the company who are still peddling portable computers running Windows screensavers... Unless you've personally paid money for a RiscStation in which case it will no doubt be as fantastic as the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 24/2/03 6:18PM
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Castle used an existing [mother]board design? Who designed it? -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 24/2/03 6:24PM
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Yes I would also be interested in knowing that. I can think of a couple of possibilities one more likley than the other. That is if Castle actually did use an existing board under licence?. -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 24/2/03 6:32PM
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I understand (but do not have authoritatively from Castle) that the Iyonix board was a modified version of Intel's reference XScale board. Such a design would generally not have to be paid for, and all the better for us - it allowed Castle to bring the Iyonix to market in a timely manner.

Monkeyson - I have not been harsh on MD (in this thread), apart from point out their lack of support for Mico. What I'm saying is that it's questionable that we should be supporting them at all - they've done little to encourage us to do so.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 7:41PM
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Monkeyson, perhaps you should try a PC laptop, Red Squirral - emulating StrontARM and RO4.02. Good combination for a RO Portable. -- Paul Stewart, Bletchley, Milton Keynes

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 24/2/03 7:55PM
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Monkeyson, perhaps you should try a PC laptop, Red Squirral - emulating StrontARM and RO4.02. Good combination for a RO Portable. -- Paul Stewart, Bletchley, Milton Keynes

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 24/2/03 7:55PM
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I'm happy to hear that Castle most likely used an Intel motherboard design - why knock something else together that's already been designed and proven to work? -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 24/2/03 8:15PM
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chocky : The Iyonix is made under licence (aka made by someone else, in this case ISTR it's Tematic [a nice bunch of ex-Pace bods amongst others])

Don't believe me?


Look carefully at the plate and you shall see...

Okay, I'm not contradicting youm just curious as why folks don't want to mention Tematic's involvement - especially as they are ex-Pace and would more than likely have access to both RISC OS 5 and the designs for, say, a modified Intel board.

Not that I'm suggesting that this is what the Iyonix is based on...

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 24/2/03 8:17PM
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I can think of a least 1000 reasons why he is fully behind the Iyonix. But you can't blame Castle for taking the short route the have after all taken this route before with the kinetic card broken DMA and All Still not fixed. talk about Mico support. And we still get back to the qustion of support we all need to support Risc OS to make it a platform what is viable. TTFN

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 24/2/03 9:05PM
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I can't comment further on specifics of Iyonix licensing (hardware or software) since I simply don't know them.

robroy: The Iyonix is well supported, both by Castle and developers. The only question is whether Omega will be also. I do not think so.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 9:27PM
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Well we can strike you of list of developers then. again a very norrow view.

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 24/2/03 9:32PM
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If the Omega is running RISC OS 4 then I would imagine that the software side of support will be similar to that provided for the Risc PC.

When it comes to hardware, the USB uses Simtec/RiscStation's protocol - of which there is very good support at www.riscos-usb.com - as used by STD for one.

As for PCI, well it would be pretty much evens if MD release their API. (Of course, they may not have to release the source code...).

The support from MD would, I guess, depend on how many Omegas get sold. There were very few Micos sold so the costs in supporting them might have not been economical. The Omega could be a different situation entirely.

That said, if somebody goes warning users off buying a computer because of "a lack of support" it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 24/2/03 9:48PM
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Sorry, that makes no sense at all.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 9:49PM
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First of all, I'm going to ignore the beginning of your last comment and concentrate on the part which makes the most sense, when run through a spellchecker.

You appear to be saying that making logical assumptions based on a certain company's track record is a narrow view to take. I'm sure you didn't mean that, though.

As for the first "sentence", I have no idea what you're talking about. Any chance of translating it into English for us?

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 24/2/03 9:51PM
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monkeyson: No, you've trivialised it. It's precisely those issues we can't predict that will need support. _And_ the sorts of questions that we see daily in various forums about RiscPCs.

And as you say, you're guessing. This doesn't really help the situation.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 9:55PM
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Chocky: And you slating the Omega at every opportunity IS helping?

I doubt it.

Whether you like it or not, people WILL buy the Omega. Whether they choose to do so because they are anti-Castle, or pro-MD, or are misled into thinking it is better than it is, or can see it as the right computer for them, or some other reason, they WILL buy it. We don't know how many, but a reasonable number of people will make a considerable investment in the RISC OS community through purchasing one.

Remember that some of these people placed orders at a time when the future was very uncertain (and still is?) - did we see you making such a commitment then? It's very easy for the people who have been whinging for the past few years to jump on the Iyonix bandwagon now and feel smug about it.

Omega owners will get support. There are developers and technical people who will own them - some already do.

I'm sorry, but it seems like you're wielding FUD. Sometimes you remind me of David Atkins.

You are seriously in danger of hurting the community with your rabid attitude to the Omega.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 24/2/03 10:11PM
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The Omega run's RISC OS 4 and has hardware that "looks like" a RISC PC (but with lots of nice extras). Supporting for existing software should be better than the IYONIX (minus Aemulor).

Microdigital have had problems with third party products that they have fixed e.g. Scanners on the Mico, I understand they worked with David Pilling to fix this. See the Microdigital News Desk - July 2002.

Support comes from many places, the hardware developer, software developers, resellers, user groups and other users, not just programmers.

The market is already quite small, anyone who want's to make a dollar (or pound), would be rather short sighted to exclude a section of the market.

I am not taking sides, just giving my view.

-- Steve Knutson

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 24/2/03 10:16PM
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monkeyson: Now you're making uncalled for personal attacks on me. I have not slated the Omega. I have questioned what the level of support that will be available be to Omega purchasers.

This _is_ an issue, as many of the people who would normally provide such held will not be getting Omegas, as they have Iyonixes.

Please don't tell me I'm being rabid when your attitude is arguably the same.

Steve: I've not said any different to any of this. Nor have I suggested that at any time will be just programmers providing help. But as I just stated, many of the people who normally provide this kind of help already have Iyonixes.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 10:25PM
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chocky only has one side so any view that not the same is dismissed. I see a purple patch coming on Maybe he will finally see Red.

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 24/2/03 10:27PM
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Let me further state in reply to monkeyson, that I was _never_ one of the ones whinging for the last few years. Far from it, I have been exceedingly busy in terms of software, doing, whilst most people did nothing but talk. Please be more careful about your implied commentary towards me.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 10:28PM
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robroy: That's pretty weak, and once again, we have someone needing to use personal attacks because they have nothing better to offer. Again you're claiming there's another side, but you've still to present any coherent view on the matter.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 24/2/03 10:30PM
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Chocky: Wave-Synth-Beep!

 is a RISC OS UserAcorn Arcade on 25/2/03 1:39AM
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Everyone: Calm down - (in a fake Scouse accent) - you're arguing about a machine that no-one's really got hold of yet, and hence we know little about. Is this a scary foresight into the wonderful world of MD vs Castle arguments that are going to run and run once (if) we get both machines?

Or maybe I'm just jealous we don't get this much discussion in our forums these days... ;-)


 is a RISC OS UserAcorn Arcade on 25/2/03 1:45AM
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Well yes Dave. All this discussion shows that people still care enough about the market to get so passionate about it. I think we've all made our points now. Peter is concerned about future Omega users. Others wish to exercise their right as punters and buy whatever they want.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 25/2/03 2:09AM
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chocky: Sorry for lumping you in with the whingers. If Drobe had an edit facility I'd probably have given my post a trim after re-reading it through.

You've done lots for the RISC OS market, but I don't think your constant questioning of support is helping. Sure, ask the question. But not in *every* post on Drobe and Usenet. You've made your point.

It's make or break time for the Omega at the moment, so be careful - unless you're trying to protect your investment in Iyonix, of course. If you're worried about MD's after sales support, wait until we have chance to see what MD can offer - what comes with the machine, what they put on the web, and so on. Constantly negative comments only serve to push people away from the Omega and make external support less and less viable.

And what about the support? Okay, so vocal RISC OS celebrities such as Mr Cocky and Druck may be Iyonix owners not Omega owners, but that isn't the end of the story. Your argument sounds both arrogant and dismissive of a lot of people - whether you mean it or not, that's how it comes across to me. I don't think it is constructive towards solving this issue.

If you're that concerned I suggest you buy an Omega and set up a support subscription scheme to pay for it. :)

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 25/2/03 9:55AM
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Look, am I missing some bizarre logic here?

How many *years* have we been waiting for the Omega? At least two. MD categorically stated they had worked on it for two or three years previous to the announcement. They also said it was a finished machine.


Why is it not here and how come there have been several design freezes since then?

Couple this flexibility with the truth and missed deadlines with the fact that according to MD they have spent at least 4 years developing one machine that still doesn't exist in a saleable form and you have, in my opinion, no sane reason to go for an Omega.

Now would anyone care to correct me and point out a sane reason why there is any point in going for an Omega? -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 25/2/03 1:57PM
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Right now, only MD knows why anyone would want an Omega rather than an Iyonix. We can speculate about upgradeable CPUs and re-programmable FPGAs, which may or may not make it a better buy, but given MD's track record in releasing stuff and appalling PR then who knows? If MD actually get a 1.2GHz ARM 10 Omega out the door, then fantastic but until then anyone wondering which one to buy is just going to have to wait. On the upside, assuming the Omega gets released, and sells in reasonable quantities, maybe a third party like Simtec could build an add-on Xscale or ARM10 board.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 25/2/03 3:21PM
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We have had a lot of comment on this forum about the Omega being late and having little or no support. as for being late, it would be denial to say any thing else. In my first post to this forum i tried to be light hearted and pointed out faults with the Iyonix & the Omega. But the gist of the message was that we as Risc OS users sould get behind both computers and stop running down one ot the other. For this remark I was told that i was spouting dogma. So I say again put your support behind both computers because this is the only way that risc OS can Survive.

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 25/2/03 6:30PM
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Actually, perhaps the only way RISC OS can survive is by supporting *one* computer and manufacturer; there's not really room for two or three. But that's a different argument ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 25/2/03 7:04PM
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I agree with robroy, this does not need to be any different to having a choice of which Wintel box to buy, there is no need to take sides. I sympathise with the point of the market maybe not being big enough for two manufacturers, but it's better than one having a monopoly. Acorn had the market to themselves but never managed to make anything decent after the RiscPC.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 25/2/03 7:54PM
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What rubbish. How many different companies make computers for the Apple market? Two? Three? Five, perhaps? No, just one and it a great success.

One developer = more income which in turn = faster developments and lower prices due to scales of economy. -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 25/2/03 8:33PM
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I keep going back to nodoids post, and looking at the image in question. All I can see it saying is: 1: Manufactured in the UK under licence by Castle Technology Limited 2: Various copyright bits 3: Port labels 4: Serial number and label 5: A Part number (illegible)

Nothing about Tematic or whoever at all. As if it mattered at all, anyway.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 25/2/03 9:39PM
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The point Nodoid was making is that Castle state (on the Iyonix label) that it is manufactured under licence.

It doesn't mention Tematic on the label, but on the Tematic website it says that they manufacture ARM solutions. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 25/2/03 9:44PM
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Apple computers sell because the offer something more than a bland box, they cannot compete on performance so they trade on the chic looks and good software intergration by offering an all round solution. Imusic Ivideo etc. this is something the Risc OS market should try to cultivate in their approach to software/Hardware development. by the way there where two or three companies that made Apple clones they failed because they did not have the same snob value as the real thing.

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 25/2/03 10:11PM
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arenaman: I never said that it could'nt possibly work, only that it is generally speaking better that the consumer have a choice, than not have a choice. At one point there were lots of Mac clones, and although it was not terribly successful, they were quite a lot cheaper than Macs of today and forced Apple to get more competitive. Your argument makes a lot of sense in principle, but what works for one company (Apple) certainly has not for Acorn, not famed for fast development or lower prices. Lower prices certainly do come with economies of scale, but having one manufacturer also means that they charge what they like (within reason) and there is no alternative for those of us who must have RISC OS. The point I am making is that you could get yourself an Iyonix, and I could get myself an Omega but it does not mean we support different causes, just that we chose different models/brands of computer.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 25/2/03 10:14PM
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One off the thing that i miss about the old days of Acorn is the developer meeting and group meeting we had. Now might be a good time to bring them back. It might be a good idea to have one person or company coordinating ideas for the market. This would give the market focus, it would be a way to pool resources so that we do not have to have two companies fighting over the same market share. It would allow joint advertising to be targeted outside of the current market place, to attact new customers in making it less of a closed shop. One of my large customers has just moved platform to escape the yoke of Microsoft. If we could have offered them a Risc OS solution it would of been ideal, their comments where that Risc OS is a Good system but lacking direction. TTFN

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 25/2/03 10:35PM
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If it is the same as on RiscPCs, then it means Castle manufacture the computers under license, not that they license someone else to do it. I would guess that it refers to RISC OS and certain bits of custom hardware from Pace and/or Intel. Simple and logical.

As for prices, of course one manufacturer can charge what they want, but only to the extent that if they went silly, people would just buy PCs. Castle are not that stupid. Sure, Iyonix is expensive, but it could have been 2000, if Castle had wanted.

Acorn were ahead of the game for quite some time. The problem was poor managament. Castle seem to have very good managent.

As for the good of the whole market... well, if I was thinking of ditching a PC and getting an alternative, seeing a computer manufacturer that announces a product two years before it is out (and still counting), a shoddy Web site and total lack of professionalism, I would not be overwhelmed with enthusiasm.

On the other hand, if I witnessed a machine announced, a Web site with online shopping and that machine appeared precisely when they said it would, then I would be much more impressed.

For the record, I've not bought either so have no money-based allegiances. -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 25/2/03 10:36PM
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Off topic, but...

gman: the clones didn't force apple to get competative, they were just up cack creek without a paddle anyway. The company went through a major shakeup at that point and got in Steve Jobs, who killed the clones off as one of his first acts.

Clones didn't force Apple to be more competative (if you can kill the clones at will, it's no incentive) - Apple being run poorly for the last decade forced Apple to get competative :)

Now, you can feel free to draw comparisons about crap management perhaps ;)

-- Dougal

 is a RISC OS UserDougal on 26/2/03 12:49PM
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Apple could not kill clones at will due to contracts, and the fact that Motorola (a cloner) was a major partner in PowerPC and it was not wise to upset them. Maybe the clones did not force competitiveness, but it certainly showed up Apple's prices to be far too high. Clones did'nt help Apple, granted, but it's never done Wintel any harm. Anyway, to get back OT, I'm just saying that competing companies encourages lower prices and feature one-up-manship. A one-company platform is all well and good, but the RISC OS hardware industry is very slow moving, and needs poking to keep it going and innovate.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/2/03 1:04PM
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The problem being that the way the RISC OS market is at the moment, companies simply can't *afford* to give us lower prices...

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 26/2/03 1:26PM
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Yes, that is true, I suppose I'm an optimist and think that that won't always be the case. I think the offer of just the Iyonix motherboard for 700 is a great move in the direction of lower prices, I mean lots of us already have hard disks, CD ROMs, and cases lying around.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/2/03 3:08PM
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Sorry to disappoint but I emailed Castle about the motherboard option. They said it was intended only for people with Iyonix, as a replacement/spare. I'm not sure they will sell to someone who hasn't bought an Iyonix. -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 26/2/03 3:48PM
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Is it that likely to break? ;-) That's a great shame, I have not committed to either the Omega or Iyonix, but a 700 board would push me toward the Iyonix. Before that, the Omega was winning in my mind, purely for the 'support the underdog factor', and wanting what you cannot have.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/2/03 4:02PM
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Drop Castle and email and encourage them... -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 26/2/03 4:42PM
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LOL, well if anyone wants an Iyonix mobo, I'm happy to claim that mine has broken. ;o) And for 700 quid they're not having the "broken" one back either! -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 26/2/03 4:45PM
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overyone's comment has just highlighted a problem with the design of the Iyonix. it's a bit like the A3010 in that it cannot be given a simple upgrade you are stuck with a 600Mhz computer the only way to make it go faster is to go cap in hand to intel for a faster chip, the problem with this is that there are no faster chip in the Intel roadmap. which make the Iyonix a deadend with little or no upgrade protental. So what will it be next move on to the next Xscale referance design, maybe the next one will be based on a faster Arm Design. but then this one has already been designed by another company. This after all what made the Risc PC design so longlasting upgradablity. TTFN

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 26/2/03 10:31PM
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If there are to be no more fast ARM chips, then that's a more fundamental problem than the lack of upgradeability of the Iyonix. However, I think there will be significantly faster ARM chips in the future. I also think that when they appear, a new motherboard and faster memory will be required anyway to ease the bottlenecks. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 26/2/03 11:06PM
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There will certainly be faster ARM chips, such as Samsung's ARM 10 variant codenamed Halla. I think the 200Mhz DDR RAM can support far faster processors, the SGI Fuel has 200MHz DDR RAM, and that has a MIPS R16K at 700MHz, which is clearly a far faster processor than the XScale. But I agree that the lack of upgradeability hinders the Iyonix a bit, however it will almost certainly benefit the market as it will sell brand new computers in the future, rather than relatively inexpensive upgrade boards.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 27/2/03 11:54PM
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