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Iyonix celebrates champagne first birthday

By Chris Williams. Published: 28th Nov 2003, 14:16:02 | Permalink | Printable

Free chocolates, bubbly and an Iyonix from Castle

Champagne!Castle are on a roll this week and have decided to celebrate the 1st birthday of their Iyonix product range in style. The first ten 512MB Iyonix orders placed after 9.00am on Monday 1st December will each receive a complimentary bottle of Champagne and a box of chocolates, courtesy of Castle.

"This year has been very exciting for Castle and we hope everyone in the RISC OS world will join our celebrations", Castle MD Jack Lillingston mused today, amid the Iyonix birthday excitement.

"The IYONIX pc has beaten all of our expectations; this is not only due to Castle staff who have worked extremely hard on the IYONIX pc project, but also the brilliance of everyone involved with the IYONIX pc conception and design, including the development of 32-bit versions of RISC OS.

"I would also like to thank all the third party hardware and software companies and individuals who have converted their software to 32 bit. This has all been a remarkably smooth transition and lays sound foundations for the future development of RISC OS."

It was on the 17th October last year that the first, brief details of the Iyonix appeared on the web, on Castle's site. It wasn't until the 28th November that the first Iyonixes went on sale, officially hauling the RISC OS world into 32bit mode on no less than a 600MHz XScale with NVidia powered graphics and a fresh new architecture. A year on, USB and RISC OS 5 support are in place, despite the issue of two OS development streams overshadowing matters.

Now here's a question gnawing away at us. What will we be writing for the next Iyonix birthday article, in 12 months time?

Castle have also announced that a Mr Hamilton of Linlithgow is the winner of the Iyonix prize draw that took place on the anniversary of the Iyonix launch. In addition to this, Richard Hallas has designed and produced some Iyonix themed desktop backdrops, especially for this weekend's celebrations - hosted on drobe.co.uk. And very nice they are too.

The birthday news flew into our inbox as we were dicussing how to write up Castle's new website design after one eagle eyed reader described the changes as being a "wash and brush up". We're told by Castle that the new design hopes to simplify and clarify access to the site for a "wider range of browsers".


Castle website

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Oh well, I can't read the new website: width="855", pity HTML isn't designed to be rendered on displays of varying width

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 28/11/03 3:28PM
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Urgh... Their new website is terrible :( They have used fixed widths instead of percentages, so you need a minimum of 1024x768 to view it. I usually browse with the window at 800x600.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 28/11/03 3:49PM
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:balloons: Happy birthday Iyonix

Although the castle website does need to lose the fixed widthness, it is still an improvement over the old one IMHO.

Andy. In a totally unrelated annoyed mood.

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 28/11/03 4:08PM
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I was rather upset when I rang Castle to claim my free Iyonix after reading your sub-headline "Free chocolates, bubbly and an Iyonix from Castle". They seemed to want my credit card details for some reason! ;o)

Perhaps you were just referring to their competition?

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 28/11/03 4:42PM
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I thought that its web site was an elaborate practical joke when I first say it twelve months ago. Castle managed to surprise everyone with the Iyonix pc. With this computer reaching its first birthday with no major hitches, I am wondering what project Castle are currently working on and if they will be able to pull of a coup of a similar proportion. I suyspect that they might have missed the boat on a RISC OS laptop, as most people who want a laptop will have bought one of the emulation :pukey: solutions. Maybe a risc os based PDA (although some serious work is apparently needed to get the risc os GUI to work on a PDA).

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 28/11/03 7:24PM
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Blimey, my computer's a year old! That's the warranty expired then. Happy Birthday Iyonix and well done Jack, John and the crew.

As for the web site, I think it's quite smart in an understated kind of way - it looks fine on an Iyonix at 1280x1024 :-)


 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 28/11/03 8:13PM
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website looks great to me, kinda lacking graphics (or any real product specs) but on my laptop at 1024x768 it looks fine. why would anyone still be using 800x600?

sometimes you have to use fixed width's if you are going to be positioning things in that "jigsaw" kinda style castle are using, the alternative would be to have the entire site in a table, centred to the page, but then it's still going to be over 800 wide.....

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 28/11/03 8:14PM
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The new website is apparently fixed width so it doesn't cause problems with Oregano 1, according to a comment in the main page's source code, so they have got a reason for it.

If you turn off images and replace them with alternate text, it looks fine. Three of the main links from the front page take you to pages with completely different designs, which loses the site lose some continuity, but other than that, it's pretty good.

(BTW, why are comments still displayed to users in a monospace font?)

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 28/11/03 8:31PM
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The site also reminds me of ROL's - front page wonderfully content-free, with big images to make it look impressive.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 28/11/03 8:34PM
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Plenty of people still use 800x600 - my friend's setup is fairly old and can only do that. Designing something that doesn't work in this resolution is pretty silly. (Believe me, I'd love to design my websites for 1024x768 - it would solve a lot of problems. But I'm not prepared to p*** so many people off...)

And fixed-width websites are inherently stupid.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 28/11/03 8:48PM
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I like how they broke tradition in the risc os world by bringing out the computer shortly after bringing out the news. For years there was always some much faster and better computer anounced to be launched, keeping people waiting instead of buying.

 is a RISC OS UserJaco on 28/11/03 8:58PM
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takk - you think ROL's front page looks impressive?!

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 28/11/03 10:01PM
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moss: Indeed, my RiscPC runs at 800x600 in 32k colour mode.. It really does get annoying when websites are optimised for 1024x768.. It's a very bad assumption to make about someone.. Then again, any assumption about any user on the Internet is a bad one..

Andy. My 2p.

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 28/11/03 11:53PM
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They're in the bussiness of selling computers so optimising pages for old computers doesn't work for them. Jeez only dusty old computer still work on 800x600, buy a new one. :P

 is a RISC OS UserJaco on 29/11/03 1:46AM
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Jaco: But surely people may have to visit the page using an older computer so that they can buy the newer one?

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 29/11/03 1:51AM
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The website needs consistenacy form it homepage to the Iyonix one. Looks really amaturish with the different style. I run my res so high on the 15" screen I use, so it looks good though.

 is a RISC OS UserFedorenko on 29/11/03 6:26AM
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The other thing being that the web can be accessed on many different devices - not just high res monitors, but small PDAs, TV screens, etc. Andy is absolutely right when he says that you can't make any assumptions about what people are using to view your pages - not unless you want to annoy them, and have them not visit your site. Surely RISC OS users should know this, what with all the stupid sites around that cause trouble in RISC OS browsers.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 29/11/03 7:19AM
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I've checked out Castle's website at 800x600 - You just need to use the scroll bars a lot - Why is that a problem ?

(Using an old CTRL+ALT+BREAK you-know-what thing)

Looks like a smart, business like and competent site to me.

Anyone know how much the 1GB Iyonix is ? (It says "call for details" but I'm scared ....)

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 29/11/03 8:35AM
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simo/jaco: I may be using 1280x1024, but I do so so I can do lots of stuff at once, I'd never want my browser to fill the screen, at least horizontally. Sites are supposed to resize nicely if at all possible (and don't look at my site now please ;) I like my browser to be slightly over 800x600 size and the castle site was too big. I don't really mind because I'm not buying anything from them - at least they don't use big sliding javascript menus! :)

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 29/11/03 10:10AM
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martin: a 1 GB iyonix? - where you find that?

& I thought i was getting the spangliest available iyonix next saturday... tsk! just going to have to put up with 1/2 a gig ;-)

site looks OK in !O2 here (praps that's why they use a fixed width? !O2 has issues with width) - I am running 2048x1536 so...

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 29/11/03 1:54PM
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You have to set the boundary somewhere, this site doesn't resize under 700 horizontally and vertically it's much bigger than my 1024 high screen. Can we stop this as it's completely out of topic anyway.

 is a RISC OS UserJaco on 29/11/03 4:24PM
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Why is it off topic? Castle has changed their web-site, as the article points out, and people are commenting on it.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 29/11/03 5:14PM
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Jaco: It isn't off topic at all, it's commenting on the castle website being fixed width on an article which points out that there is a new website there. It's all completley on topic.


 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 29/11/03 6:14PM
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Except my post, which was clearly off topic, unlike the second post.

You can't make designs with tables work well unless they're fixed width.

Fixed with tables suck.

Therefore: don't make designs with tables.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 29/11/03 7:28PM
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 is a RISC OS UserAlexander on 29/11/03 10:45PM
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1st December 2004 next prize draw for an Iyonix.

Maybe next year for me then.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 30/11/03 2:07AM
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In reply to Martin: The 1Gb full spec Iyonixes (with 21" monitor, optical mouse, USB hub keyboard and 120Gb HDD) are NZ$7000 over here in New Zealand, which works out to 2600.

The Iyonix NZ price calculator, which was <a href="[link]">here</a> is now offline. It used to let you customize all the options and get an instant quote online.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 30/11/03 7:03AM
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With regards to where to draw the line with website widths; [link] (looks crap with RO browsers - so crap you won't be able to see what I'm getting at - it uses lots of CSS) really needs a minimum of 800px. That's mainly for the logo, though, and I'm not too happy with it being 800 - 600 would be a lot better. And I could add some CSS rules for other media (TV/PDA/etc) that could rearrange the design to be even smaller, and therefore work on those devices. I'm going to do all that after Christmas.

I think there tends to be a "it's too tricky/I don't know how/it's easier doing it like this" attitude towards websites. Just think though - cutting corners when designing your website is exactly like cutting corners programming - it'll get you into trouble somewhere down the line.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/11/03 7:50AM
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In reply to epitaxsis Click on the link at the end of the artcle, in the Products LHS menu select memory.

In reply to timephoenix Oh god - I want one - I'm even more scared now.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 30/11/03 12:51PM
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martin wrote: "Looks like a smart, business like and competent site to me."

Beige and sky blue? Eugh. :P

 is a RISC OS UserMENTAT on 30/11/03 3:27PM
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It's reassuring to hear Jack talk about the Iyonix being the foundation for future developments. I get a little worried when I haven't heard Castle or Jack comment on anything for a few months, but I suppose I should have more confidence in them, considering what they have achieved. Might be nice if they were a little bit more open but at least we have Drobe to report to us, when they actually do speak.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 01/12/03 2:42PM
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Gavin: I guess the counter point is that there's lots of product claims with either no or very delayed follow through (RiscStation Laptop? The Omega?). I think it's quite nice for once to have a company that just does rather than waffles lots. Products tend to become delayed, and I'd rather companies announced when they were ready to ship, rather than make early claims and the suffer as products don't meet the predicted deadlines.

 is a RISC OS UserDougal on 01/12/03 2:50PM
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Absolutely, I totally agree. I think Castle kind of follow Apple's lead of refusing to talk about future products, and I think it's the right one - the way the Iyonix was handled compared to the Omega speaks volumes. I think it would be nice if we were updated every few months with a general direction in which they are heading in - perhaps a little editorial every so often on their site to let us know how things are going etc. Otherwise I totally agree with you.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 01/12/03 3:05PM
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Having just visited the 'Micro Mart Show' @ the NEC, I felt that this could have been a superb place for the Iyonix to have been shown off for it's potential.

Just what the Show needed, some real competition, as apposed to standard PX box shifters!

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 01/12/03 11:51PM
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why does

s h i f t e r s

turn into



 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 01/12/03 11:54PM
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When you mistype it ;)

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 02/12/03 03:10AM
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"...no less than a 600MHz XScale with NVidia powered graphics and a fresh new architecture. A year on..."

Yes, a year on and it's still a 600MHz XScale with the same graphics card. So much for Moore's Law...

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 02/12/03 2:54PM
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guestx: Actually I think the graphics cards fitted do vary in at least some respects.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 02/12/03 3:53PM
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Perhaps it's the classic drobe humour that we all know and.... know ;)

 is a RISC OS UserMENTAT on 02/12/03 4:33PM
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dgs: "Actually I think the graphics cards fitted do vary in at least some respects."

So do the disks and the amount of on-board RAM, but some more notable technological momentum would have been nice. Otherwise, people start to think that it'll be another five years before they get some exciting new kit to try out; A6 and Alpha notwithstanding. ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 02/12/03 5:42PM
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I hope the speed increase for the Iyonix 2, if there is ever one would at least be 2.5GHz, but there again, i think im in cloud cuku (sp?) land.

I see a future for RISC OS in hard-core Video Editing - like AVID :^P

I also think that the newer faster PCIE (Look in PC Format for November I think), might help a little (way faster than AGP x8). It is supposed to be at least 800MHz?

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 06/12/03 3:35PM
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