First Steps book and ebayBy Chris Williams. Published: 17th May 2003, 15:05:42 | Permalink | Printable
Alligata's re-print plays with other ebay'ed kitAlligata Media, aka Proaction aka APDL, have today moved on from publicising their First steps in programming RISC OS computers tome and actually finally published the re-print of Martyn Fox's book. Interestingly enough, to buy the book, you need to look no further than online auction house ebay.co.uk. The book is available as a "Buy it now" fixed price auction with the usual ebay time limit. More on ebay in a moment.
"Yes I realise it's ebay, but this is a not for profit item", Alligata's Dave Bradforth told us in an email, "I'm not making money on it". Which is true because a fiver will be donated to charity for every copy sold and the rest on producing the seemingly low print run. Dave also willingly invited us to chastise him appropriately over the pricing of the book but we've plugged his publication enough as it is. You owe us pizza, Dave.
And on the subject of Alligata books, when we found out that Alligata's Beginners guide to RISC OS includes a section on how to buy RISC OS software, at the time we brazenly suggested that the book is perhaps a cunningly disguised APDL product catalogue. However Dave denies this, stating that the book "specifically excludes any APDL/ProAction/Alligata products". So there.
To the ebay mobile!
For the unaware (and no raising of hands please, there's no need to embarrass yourselves), ebay is a very popular auction website, where people bid cash on stuff others put up for sale - the highest bidder wins the item and pays up.
"eBay is awesome as a force online. The idea of an auction house is perfectly suited to the internet as a medium", said Internet Magazine's Dave Wilby, quoted by BBC News Online last Friday in their profile of ebay where Dave later highlights the significant convenience of selling off and acquiring stuff from your desk. At the moment The Register is also offering its new auction killing service.
Of course selling RISC OS related stuff on ebay is nothing new although Alligata's stunt today is a first in terms of selling a RISC OS product as new rather than as second hand (as far as we're aware). On the ebay site, you can pick up anything from old Acorn kit to, uh, old Acorn kit, it seems. Earlier this week, Iconbar had a good snicker at someone trying to flog an Acorn plastic bag - it's ultra-rare Richard, show a little respect. We've seen art attacked RiscPCs in the past and also the acornsoft.co.uk domain up for grabs. We note that both AcornUser and RiscWorld magazines have both recently published articles on how to use ebay, although most competent web users will quickly get the hang of it.
Despite the 8 bit and other assorted fluff that floods the Acorn listings, one or two interesting Acorn and RISC OS related pieces do surface from time to time, besides the odd monster over-spec'ed RiscPC. You may recall from last year the appearance of an A500, a rare ARM 2 powered Acorn prototype passed to academics to test drive. Recently, the 'one off' Nucleus prototype case went up for sale in an ebay auction following Nick van der Walle's departure from Cerilica. Clearly, the ex-Cerilica director felt that three hundred quid wasn't enough for the "unique and beautiful" case, the auction amazingly ended without meeting the reserve price.
Finally, shortly after last Saturday's Wakefield show closed for the day, we heard rumours that the ARM Club were sensationaly planning to list their Microdigital Omega on ebay having freshly won it in the exhibitor's prize draw. Maybe they were just trying to lend Microdigital a hand in shifting the long awaited Omegas out to deposit holders?
"I did jokingly ask one of my colleagues how much they thought we could make on eBay", admitted Tom Hughes of the ARM Club to us after the Wakefield event. "I suspect it's more likely that we'll wind up using the machine on the stand at shows instead of, or as well as, the RiscPC that we normally use at the moment".
Buy the book - who needs a flashy website to sell stuff, just get ebay to do it!
Email Alligata Media for more information on the First steps in programming RISC OS computers re-print.
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