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Welcome guides for Iyonix users

By Chris Williams. Published: 26th Nov 2003, 16:10:23 | Permalink | Printable

Castle prints another book

mock up of the RISC OS 5 welcome guide cover
Our mock up of the new welcome guide cover
Castle Technology have confirmed today the production and distribution of a new Welcome Guide for their Iyonix range of XScale powered RISC OS computers. The guides have over 100 pages of full colour and published in A5 ring binder format.

"We are in the process of dispatching full IYONIX pc Welcome Guides. These should be with registered IYONIX pc users over the next few weeks", Castle MD Jack Lillingston informed us.

"I bought my Iyonix only a few weeks ago and it was supplied with a welcome guide", Iyonix owner Rob Hemmings commented on the Iyonix support mailing list. "It is a very professional looking document with colour pictures and printed on good quality paper. It would be excellent for anyone new to RISC OS."

John Peachey, a fan of Castle given his Archive article on the Guildford 2003 show, also confirmed: "I got my machine back in January. I picked up my copy of the Guide at Guildford free of charge. Very nice it is to."

No mention has been made of the welcome guides being available separately, presumably you'll have to purchase an Iyonix to get a copy. It also highlights another drawback of having a split in OS development, namely between RISC OS 5 and 4. Will we have two streams of documentation now, or will a clever, sane person come up with a unified guide that uses For Dummies style iconic graphics to indicate which features work on OS 4, on OS 5 or on both? We'll nominate Richard Hallas.

With Castle now owning and developing RISC OS for themselves, manufacturing RISC OS hardware and printing welcome guides and a TRM, there's something familiar about all this. Even though Castle have decided to not adopt the old faithful nut logo and branding, the spirit of Acorn is definiately here, one way or another.


Castle website

Previous: RISCOS Ltd. 'adapting to change'
Next: RiscDomain final finale


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I'd agree with the other contributors, I got one with my newly arrived Iyonix last week. It's a good intro to the OS, and covers the salient features specific to Iyonix.

It also usefully confirms (along with the update !System etc., in Mid October and C compiler updates) that Castle seem to be maintaining their push towards advancing the platform - a good thing surely ?



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 26/11/03 6:30PM
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Got mine at Guildford. It's very good, but only as an introduction for those unfamiliar with RISC OS.

Clearly heavily based on the Risc PC Welcome Guide but with new sections for the Iyonix hardware and updated illustrations to reflect RISC OS 5.

Mine has a simple photo of Iyonix on the cover though - nothing as fancy as the picture at the head of the story :-(


 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 26/11/03 6:54PM
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TonyStill: Presumably their front cover is aiming at consistency with other Welcome Guides. Since the Iyonix Welcome Guide is in colour, though, perhaps they could include Chris' variant on the inside front page?

I would imagine that much of the existing RISC OS 3 User Guide would still be relevant for RISC OS 5. Scary thought! Maybe Castle should buy CJE's immense stock, and offer it as an option with the Iyonix.

AMS: Some people seem to see Castle advancing the platform (real ARM hardware, documentation, and all the rest of it) as a threat, rather than a positive development. Sad, really.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 26/11/03 7:40PM
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There is no getting away from the fact that Castle are briskly and steadily delivering everything that one could possibly (realistically) ask of them. Salvaging the mess left when Acorn from going bust (for the second time) is one hell of an achievement but they are doing it. Well done Castle. (I've just been writing end of term school reports - can you tell?)

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 26/11/03 8:12PM
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martin: end of term reports? We wrote ours weeks ago! No really!!

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 26/11/03 8:48PM
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another reason to go to RO5...

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 26/11/03 10:41PM
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In reply to harmsy: With many still to do, I didn't want to know that !

I like the Acorn nut logo myself but, being in education, I am aware that it can generate irrational negativity from both pupils ("Oh we had them in primary school - they're not very good") and staff. (One headteacher disposed of 4 A7000's and replaced them with 4 windows machines on which the staff ran exactly the same programs - the discs were 3 machine (Acorn/Mac/windows) compatable - crazy!). Castle are right to move on.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 26/11/03 11:09PM
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Martin - yeah, when I was in school they bought Viglens and Nimbuses to run BBC software despite having fleets of Masters around the place.

That was bad enough, but they actually had a few A4000's and A3020's sitting upstairs doing nothing in HOME ECONOMICS! ;)

Anyway, nice to see Castle doing non-PDF documentation.

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 26/11/03 11:18PM
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What a difference to the previous article (RISC OS LTD 'adapting to change). There seems to be a real feel good factor here.

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 27/11/03 12:29AM
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that's cos this is the future of RISC OS

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 27/11/03 8:51AM
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It seems to me that Castle are doing a superb job here - and I'd certainly agree with epistaxsis that (for my mind) this is the future of RISC OS. RO5 is already 32-bit, is gaining features, and is properly owned by those writing it. Not only that, but they're producing top-notch hardware to run it on, providing proper documentation for new users, and overall it feels like Castle has a solid plan to take up the reigns where Acorn left off. They are one of the few things that give me a sense that RISC OS has a future, and they're digging in their heels to get on with it - a lot better than certain other companies, flapping away on the edge of things, full of empty promises and undermining confidence in the platform.

I think what Castle would benefit from now is a more recognisable public image - the shield is a tad 'regal' somehow, and the Iyonix logo is a bit 'nothingy', if you get where I'm coming from. A good logo, representing both themselves as a company and the machines as their product, would go a long way towards producing a really good, recognisable, brand image. I know whereof I speak... :o) I'd love it to be the Acorn nut, but I do think it carries a little too much baggage & unwarranted prejudice - personally I think the logo is a celebration of some superb pioneering technology, but would probably need some careful reconsideration if it were ever to be brought back into use.

Just my 10p worth! :o)

 is a RISC OS Userlarryfi on 27/11/03 9:25AM
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I'm registering 100% concurrance with larryfi. The case is another issue that I hope Castle address somtime soon. We need something distinctive and tasteful that quietly but firmly says "Iyonix and proud of it". I know that one shouldn't judge a book by its cover but the harsh fact is that many people do. Iyonix is beautiful inside - let's have it beautiful outside too. (Please !)

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 27/11/03 12:44PM
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As folk say we have moved on, as an ex-teacher I love Risc Os and my Iyonix but you can't convince people that 'Acorns' are serious machines. They are kids' stuff, and after you are old enough to start work then knowing about them is embarrassing. Some years ago I suggested to the then current new risc management that the logo could be Ouroboros. The mythological serpent which continually swallows its own tail and is continually reborn. Well it amuses me anyway! The snake forms a circle so could be used in place of O, and snakes aren't 'Kids' stuff'

 is a RISC OS Usermwt on 27/11/03 7:38PM
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The time is now, this is who we are

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 28/11/03 12:02AM
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Delighted to hear that there's a manual on the way! Now... when can we expect an updated PRM? BTW, what's a "TRM"?

 is a RISC OS UserAnton on 29/11/03 5:06PM
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TRM = Technical Reference Manual - it documents the hardware. Follow the "Tech Material" link on the left of this page for examples

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 29/11/03 5:39PM
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Anton: If you click on the link in the article, it will tell you that TRM stands for Technical Reference Manual.

The best alternative to an Iyonix PRM currently available, is Castle's C/C++ CD.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 29/11/03 5:40PM
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who-ever came up with the line "The original entry in the guide described VA_RPC as ARMless, now it's been updated to Mostly Harmless" and put it in the random comment bit is a champion. I love it!!! :)

As for the welcome guide, meh. Its just a book. I like MWT's idea of the Ouroboros logo too......reminds me of hoop snakes that bite their tail and roll really fast to catch their prey...anyway, my beers just finished itself off so I'd better go find another....amazing how beer evaporates so quickly isnt it.

 is a RISC OS UserTezza on 1/12/03 11:12AM
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All Ouroboros reminds me of is a pretty poor Red Dwarf episode.

Thousands of years of history of the symbol, and it comes to this.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 1/12/03 8:54PM
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The new welcome guide makes freqent references to the "RISC OS User Guide". Which version of the guide is this I wonder? Does this mean that Castle are planning to write one for RO5? The last one I have came with 3.1!


 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 3/12/03 1:22PM
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