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Free USB hub bundled with new Iyonixes

By Chris Williams. Published: 8th Sep 2003, 12:50:39 | Permalink | Printable

Autumn special offers form a queue here

Castle logoUsers who purchase an XScaled powered Iyonix in September and October this year will get a four port USB hub thrown in for free, Castle have announced today. The special offer arises in the two months prior to the 1st anniversary of the Iyonix launch. An Iyonix is due to be given away to one lucky user on the day of the 1st anniversary.

The four port hub allows another four USB devices to be connected to an Iyonix. Hubs can also be connected to each other to allow more USB devices to interface with an Iyonix. A database of compatible USB devices can be found here.


Iyonix website

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I read in Eureka (IIRC) that Castle might release a USB for pre-Iyonix machines. Is this true?

-- God Save the Queen

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 8/9/03 1:57PM
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There is already a Castle USB podule for pre-Iyonix machines, along with a Simtec one. If you were referring to a hub, then I'm sure you can use just the same hub with either podule. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 8/9/03 2:19PM
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Cheers K.

-- God Save the Queen

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 8/9/03 2:31PM
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Sorry, how much is a 4 port USB hub these days? About 15 I'd say. Hardly enough to persuade a person to fork out 1000+ I would have thought?

Maybe its just to get a free mention in the Media Press? ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 8/9/03 8:50PM
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quatermass: Perhaps you would prefer it if they bundled an Omega then. :P

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 8/9/03 9:20PM
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4 port USB 1.1 hub, got two for $8 a few months back, a mate just got one free.

How many ports does the Iyonix have - if one or two are used by keyboard/mouse, you probably *need* a hub, cheaper for Castle than putting more ports onboard.

Hey it's still something for nothing...

-- #include "sig.h"

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 8/9/03 9:33PM
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Ah, so this kind of marketing works then? I was thinking of bundling penny chews with some of my kit - press release each month announcing the new "flavour of the month", outrage on the newsgroups when we stop bundling blackcurrant and replace it with the inferior orange series.

I'll get me (moderated down) coat.

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 8/9/03 11:28PM
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I can see the [Drobe] headline now, "STDevel in blackcurrent/orange switcheroo scandal"! ;)

-- #include "sig.h"

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 9/9/03 12:42AM
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Why is it the posters can always change something positive into something negative??

 is a RISC OS Userdansguardian on 9/9/03 10:21AM
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Because many things are only positive at a first glance, or in some trivial way that really doesn't matter.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 9/9/03 11:14AM
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I'm sorry, but I really can't see how bundling a USB hub is 'only positive at a first glance'; sure, it's quite a trivial thing, but it's better than nothing, isn' it? Of course Castle are just doing it to get attention, but that's hardly a crime - just good business thinking (or better than we often see in the RISC OS world)...

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 9/9/03 12:27PM
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With ROL grabbing the headlines lately, I guest they CTL thought they'd better do something to get themselves back on top of the news pages. -- Bletchley, Milton Keynes

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 9/9/03 12:30PM
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We all run promotions from time to time (I'm even running a USB related one). However it's important that RISC OS products are "newsworthy" in their own right. Saturation press-releasing is an appropriate technique in some areas, but once you've done so much of the "we're now bundling a 0.7% part instead of a 1.5% part", you run a danger of a "cry wolf" situation where important releases are lost or ignored by a jaded press and/or public.

The Iyonix was well received, the parallel cable bundle was ditto, the "specials" were, the free card reader so-so, the free hub less so.

Over-used tools can become blunt - if Iyonix needs the support of regular press coverage, we all have to think of effective promotion techniques for it.

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 9/9/03 12:31PM
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When I bought my Iyonix, I got a card reader with it, which I am fairly certain I will never use. Typical. If I had waited a few weeks I would have got something useful. :-(

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 9/9/03 4:51PM
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They could bundle something that will appeal to the gadget geeks amongst us and make the computer look good - like a baybus - a 6in1 card reader with built-in USB hub (kinda combining both offers) but a hub just kinda says "there aren't enough USB ports on the Iyonix" to me....

I expect I'll be modded down like all my other posts, so don't take too much notice.

-- #include "sig.h"

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 9/9/03 5:08PM
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stdevel: if every company sent us press releases every day/week with new offers, we'd have a rethink how we approach 'reporting' special offers.

As it stands, it's drobe.co.uk policy not to mention pricing too much or at all and to also focus on features against background - this makes more informative articles and it avoids articles turning into adverts.

We can't turn down company X's PRs just because they're the only ones taking the initiative to send us info. Maybe this'll jerk some companies into understanding that giving news outlets lots of information means they get lots of space on the front page. We call this 'publicity' :)

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 9/9/03 6:28PM
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Publicity.... we've heard of it ;)

I should point out that there's no criticism levelled at Drobe, nor for that matter Castle beyond perhaps a little naivity.

A product should be kept in the "spotlight" using sharper implements than varied bundle deals - which invariably come back to bite if repeated (ref JWCR and simo). As someone who has (deliberately) sold bundles at a loss, I have some experience of this..... :)

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 9/9/03 6:46PM
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Lopping down to a less scandalous price would sure grab the headlines, not adding unwanted toys (viz JWCR's comment) and keeping the price suffocatingly high.

Oh. Ahem. STD are doing "the bundling thing" with USB cards and hubs too. Oops. ;-) Say Stuart, have you got a full list of devices that work on the podule without exploding?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/9/03 2:08AM
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A lower price would be nice for us, and presumably not nice for Castle. I'm sure they've done their sums and worked out that the current price will give them the maximum returns, and it would be daft for them to do otherwise.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 10/9/03 10:02AM
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Well, you are all too late for the best of these offers of course. When I bought my Iyonix at last year's Midland Show I got a free CD writer thrown in. Now that IS worth having!

-- Martin Dixon, LEICESTER

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 10/9/03 1:48PM
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CD Writers are only about 50. Not exactly a massive amount of money!! Now if they had thrown in a DVD RAM drive, that would have made ir more worthwhile. -- Bletchley, Milton Keynes

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 10/9/03 2:38PM
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50? Where you're buying them from is expensive!

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 10/9/03 2:58PM
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I said about 50. I know you can get em chearper but couldn't be bothered to look up a exact price. -- Bletchley, Milton Keynes

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 10/9/03 3:15PM
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I really didn't mean to be negative with my comment. I always knew that I would have to pay more for my new RISC OS machine than my sister did for her XP box, and she thinks I am mad paying the extra. However, I would rather pay the extra for something I knew and liked, than be forced into using a machine that would drive be crazy. So regardless of what Castle choses to bundle with the Iyonix, I would still have bought one. -- Keep Flying

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 10/9/03 3:31PM
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imj> "Lopping down to a less scandalous price would sure grab the headlines, not adding unwanted toys (viz JWCR's comment) and keeping the price suffocatingly high."

I'll grant you the price is high, but bear in mind the amount of development involved, and the degree of difference between the Iyonix and the old RISC PC and it becomes possible to see why it costs so much.

I'd also point out the Omega costs even more and only runs at half the speed of the Iyonix - but hey what's the point in carping ;)

-- Annraoi

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/9/03 6:23PM
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AMS> I'm not doubting that CTL spent a lot on development, but some maths should come in to play. Take the cost of the box to consumers, minus cost of parts. Multiply by number of Iyonix sold (guessing at least 500 so far or CTL may as well have not bothered ;) and then knock off, oh, I dunno, a couple hundred thousand for jwb's and Tematic's wages while developing it? Even rough calculations show a huge profit margin. That's always been the way with CTL, and good luck to them - why not make a big profit if people are still buying? I'm just sorry to see that development appears to have stopped. The OS is awful and crusty compared to Select 3 (yes, albeit it does run PCI and USB - woopty) but the problem is that it's Apps software that drive machines forward and I see no driving now, just festering.

As for Omega, well, let's just talk about real production computers, eh? :)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/9/03 7:15PM
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imj> I never disputed the price was high (really). The point is that it appears that CTL have (at certain points) put money in (presumably paid for by overcharging on things like the RPC and Kinetic).

After all the development of the initial Iyonix prototype *must* have been paid for by products that CTL were selling at the time (they did not pre-announce or collect advance deposits for the Iyonix). At the time *we* did not know *why* the RPC's cost so much or why Kinetic did.

Thing is with so few sales you need to charge each buyer more for *future* development. Thing is they're not just paying for current development - but probably other stuff we're not even aware of (yet).

Yes, I take you're point that Select has some very nice features that would be *nice* to have in RISC OS 5 - but I think you're being a tad unkind in describing it RO5 as "awful and crusty".

What happens if everyone believed those remarks and no-one bought Iyonix, would that somehow improve things ?

-- Annraoi

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/9/03 7:38PM
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I have never regretted buying my Iyonix on the first day that I could. Whatever you say about RO5, it is preferable to Windows IMO.

And re the price, I don't suppose many of you who own motor cars go out and buy the cheapest they can. Usually people prefer something reasonably pleasant and roomy, or pleasant to drive, and will pay more to get it. I don't hear many people complaining because a Rolls or a Ferrari costs more than a Fiesta, not even the majority of us that can't afford such up-market motors. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Why should computers be any different? -- Martin Dixon, LEICESTER

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 11/9/03 2:14PM
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Seeing that Select is around 150 UKP per year, and an Iyonix is 1300 UKP for a nice piece of hardware along with capable software being bundled, I know which of the products I would call "expensive".

With Ian's calculation, I wonder how huge RISCOS Ltd.'s profit margin for Select is?

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 11/9/03 5:07PM
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For me Select is expensive ... not the 150/year,but the 150 as a lump sum. 13/ month is reasonable by direct debit. If its not gone can anyone ask the question at the annual ROL meeting.

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 11/9/03 10:47PM
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In reply to imj: You keep rubbishing RISC OS 5, but whenever I challenge you to substantiate your statements you say nothing. Stop TROLLING!!!!


 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 12/09/03 09:00AM
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