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When free isn't good enough for Iyonix mobo fix

By Chris Williams. Published: 2nd Feb 2004, 21:29:33 | Permalink | Printable

Advantage6 wants cash [Updated]

Riddle me this. After Castle released details of their stability fix for Iyonix users, the hardware developer company quickly confirmed that they'll do the necessary modifications free of charge. The motherboard modifications required users to cut tracks and solder patch wires to solve problems with the Iyonix sound and reset sub-systems. Not for the faint hearted but nevertheless, Castle will take care of it as well they should.

But Advantage6, aka Stuart Tyrrell Developments, have other ideas. For a mere fifty quid, which doesn't even include carriage, they'll do the hardware fix for you. Yes, that's right, pay nothing or pay fifty pounds sterling. Witness the power of choice in our modern democratic market.

Ad'6, who are working with Simtec Electronics, promise to test of your Iyonix prior to the rework, strip down the machine, fit the PCI 32-bit jumper and the reset line modification, plus reassemble your machine, test it thoroughly and presumably post it back. Which is basically what we'd expect Castle to do too, funnily enough.

We'd be very interested to hear if STD fiddling with Iyonix motherboards invalidates users' warranties, which is a very real concern. Having said that, a Castle employee told Iyonix users this weekend that the Simtec team would be "very competent" at carrying out such modifications and that any manual work around the stability fix 'area' wouldn't invalidate your warranty - although the situation appears to be unclear.

It was also revealed that it'd take no more than 40 minutes tops to complete all the stability modifications, for one machine.

Clearly we're missing something here so feel free to correct us - until then, we'll have to recommend that users stick to Castle for any official modifications.

Update at 16:33 3/2/2004
Having had a chat with the Advantage6 gang, it all seems clear now. According to Advantage6, it boils down to this: On the Iyonix support list, some users complained about having to ship their machines to Castle to get the modifications put in place. Castle responded by suggesting that they ask their local dealer for help and also named Simtec as a company that should be able to carry out the fixes. Except, it appears they didn't really check this with Simtec, who then faced a flood of enquiries. Advantage6, being a more RISC OS facing company, then arranged to take care of the matter and sort out the issue of payment because people need paying for their time, which is fair enough.

AdvantageSix also pointed that they're making a loss on the 50 quid a machine pricing.


Ad'6's Iyonix Stability Motherboard Update

Previous: RISC OS Expo 2004 warms up
Next: Trade your old kit in for an Iyonix


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Is it just me, or does the A6 page suggest that at least one person/organisation has a very large number of Iyonix machines out there?


 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 2/2/04 11:59PM
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I guess the A6 deal might be sensible if you live near Preston and can drop the machine off yourself?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 3/2/04 12:52AM
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25 x £50 == price of a new iyonix :)

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 3/2/04 1:29AM
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One assumes if you drill a hole straight through your Iyonix's motherboard by accident or whatnot while trying to fix the problem yourself isn't covered by the warrenty. People could see this 50 quid offer as a kind of insurance policy.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 3/2/04 2:05AM
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nunfetishist: or send the machine to Castle and have it done for free ;)

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 3/2/04 6:18AM
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Why shouldn't Advantage6 charge for modifications to fix a problem not of their making ? While Stuart and his team are making these modifications they won't be working on their own products so surely some form of compensation should be made ?

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 3/2/04 8:20AM
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Col1> I don't think there's an issue with that. They are welcome to charge for the work. I think the issue is whether one should send it back to Castle to be repaired for free or sent to Advantage6 with payment of 50pounds? What would most Iyonix users do?

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 3/2/04 9:30AM
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A drobe person wrote:

"For a mere fifty quid, which doesn't even include carriage," Ahh. Let me get this straight. CAstle are offering FREE carridge to and frem their workshop? That is great news. If not then why mention the carrige.

and they earlier wrote "Not for the faint hearted but nevertheless, Castle will take care of it as well they should. "

Ahh so it is not easy for someone who has no clue how to cut a motherboard track. OK send it to castle and join the queue. OR send it to A6 adn you might get the machine back faster. What happens if your company needs the machine to generate revenue. OK send it toA6 and they charge 50ukp. FOR something I would not kow what to do and to get my machine back a day earlier. I think it would be worth it for some.

"We'd be very interested to hear if STD fiddling with Iyonix motherboards invalidates users' warranties" then someone at Castle said (although it is not all in quotations, typo or edditorial licence?)

"the Simtec team would be "very competent" at carrying out such modifications and that any manual work around the stability fix 'area' wouldn't invalidate your warranty"

Thyen drobe wrote "which is a very real concern"

I'll quote CAstle again

"the Simtec team would be "very competent" at carrying out such modifications and that any manual work around the stability fix 'area' wouldn't invalidate your warranty"

then drobe wrote "although the situation appears to be unclear"

I'll quote castle again

"the Simtec team would be "very competent" at carrying out such modifications and that any manual work around the stability fix 'area' wouldn't invalidate your warranty"

So carrying out this fix yourself does not invalidate your warranty but fgetting A6-Simtec to do it might. <homer simpson mode> DOH!!!!!! <HSM>

Drobe also wrote "It was also revealed that it'd take no more than 40 minutes tops to complete all the stability modifications"

Is thins including testing. OK lets say it is. that means start at 9AM; get 4 done by lunchtime and 5 in the afternoon = 9 machines/day/person.

How many Iyonix have been sold?? let me guess.More than 1000? OK call it 1000. Then that is 1000/9 = 111 days. Yep 111 man/woman days.

So drobe then wrote later. "Clearly we're missing something here so feel free to correct us - until then, we'll have to recommend that users stick to Castle for any official modifications. "

OK so considering my 1000 machine estimate is conservative and that figure = 111 man/woman days; if you follow Drobe's advice I would also get them off to Castle quick or you could be last in teh queue. OR send them off to those BAD BAD NASTY PEOPLE at A6 that sell that BAD BAD NASTY EMMULATOR PRETENDING TO BE A RISCOS MACHINE and they also charge you for working (OHHHHH how EVIL OF THEM). You might get the machine back quicker, or inded slower (I would not care otherwise) but "you" would not have to do it yourself.

Cheers Bob off to "work for a client" and getting paid for it.

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 3/2/04 9:45AM
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Bloody hell bob, calm down!

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 3/2/04 10:10AM
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Get a grip, Bob.

Looks like drobe got confused over the warranty thing but the other points seem to stand.

Who says A6 will be quicker? Anyone? Also, it has been said that only a small percentage of Iyonixs hare affected by the problems so I wouldn't expect all of them to be going back today to get fixed by CTL. Say it were as many as 1 in 5, that'd mean a maximum waiting time of little over 3 weeks *if* all the machines were sent back at once. But, in the end, this speculation is pointless.

Iyonix users, phone CTL and ask for an estimate on how long the work will take. Hell, and why not phone A6 while you are at it and see what they say.

-- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 3/2/04 10:20AM
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OK I did rant a bit, and I appologise to chris "Publicly" for the OTT rant, however, I still stand by the fact that if someone wants them to do this, they should pay A6, otherwise join the queue.

And it is a free market.

Cheers Bob; slightly calmer.

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 3/2/04 11:18AM
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Yes, it seems strange that one would pay £50 for a service that is otherwise being offered for free, unless the £50 service had significant benefits over the free service (speed, quality, "free" stuff thrown in, etc.). One might imagine this to be some kind of publicity stunt, suggesting that such after-the-fact hardware modifications aren't necessary with certain "hybrid" machines.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 3/2/04 12:04PM
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You and your conspiracy theories!

I'm sure it's quite simply: Castle will fix the computers for free (which is fair enough). But the computer has to somehow get to Castle and get back to you. Either you can get it delivered (£25?) or drop it off yourself (£petrol). It's fine taking it to them if you live nearby, but a lot of people are too far away.

So, for us northern types, STD/Simtec offer a similar local service. However, it's not their problem and it's on their time, so you pay them for it. Same as you would if you took it to any dealer or local computer/electronics shop (even though they haven't made any press releases).

John Ballance did refer to Simtec on the Iyonix mailing list, so if they've had to deal with lots of individual queries (perhaps asking for it free) I can understand why this press release has been made.

Whether you think the price is reasonable is another matter.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 3/2/04 12:38PM
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That's true, John Ballance *did* mention Simtec (so I don't think Castle have a "problem" with Simtec doing the fix).

Castle for their part are offering the service for free, it's also within A6's/Simtec's rights to offer a charged service for the update (as they otherwise are *not* obliged to do *anything*). I suppose whichever you select would be more dictated by Geography.

The biggest cost for people far from either Castle (or A6/Simtec) is transport (the 50 quid don't matter when couriering it both ways will cost more than TWICE that). Which brings me neatly to an unmentioned third alternative.....

I've been using my Iyonix since October 2003, it has crashed only a very few times (I would hardly describe it's behaviour as "unstable" - then maybe I am not doing the sort of things that would provoke crashes). In my case I'd be tempted to just leave it *as is*, and I suspect others may do likewise.



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 3/2/04 1:09PM
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Just spotted an article on the fix issue on www.acornevolution.com which deals with this.....


 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 3/2/04 1:38PM
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I don't beleiev that A6 are making a loss. That's no way to run a business. I have no ideahow much it costs to do this work, but I can think of no reason at all that a business would deliberatly suffer a loss.

Why on earth do companies bother saying this kind of thing? Are we suppsoed to feel pity? It doesn't wash with me, just makes said company look a bit silly.

 is a RISC OS Userrobert79 on 4/2/04 12:17AM
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robert79: Higher than usual prices of resistors, solder and electricity?

(Do you *realise* how far Tarleton is from civilisation?!? :-) )


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 4/2/04 1:08AM
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A business might gladly suffer a small loss providing a service if the alternative of not offering the service might be to incur a much larger loss - for example if it takes engineering time away from other projects.

Of course there's no compulsion - the option is to go elsewhere (get a quote from your local TV shop who have little experience? Around here UKP65 before they'll look at it.) or get it done for free from CTL.

We're simply acting to isolate Simtec from spending all day on the phone bartering with angry people who think that because CTL recommended Simtec that they should work for free and A6 should pay for the resultant lost engineering time - but in the meantime we offer people an alternative option to Framlingham.

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 4/2/04 8:46AM
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If CTL are to be making suggestions like this, pratically nominating Simtec in this case as an official support centre, shouldn't they be paying A6 for their loss, instead of the customer? Whatever they pay A6 for doing the work would only be spent on fixing the same Iyonix's for free if they did it.

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 4/2/04 8:12PM
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Or not. Simtec/STD have taken this work on through their own choice. They haven't "practially nominated" Simtec in any sense. It was a mere suggestion among many others.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 4/2/04 8:24PM
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If Stuart was concerned about the impact of the original (informal) comment by John Ballance, I'm sure he could've responded in the same place as that comment was made.

The announcement (as issued by someone else) suggests that was not the case - the person "announcing" the "offer" had other fish to fry.

John Ballance is to be castigated for being so naive as to think that a complimentary comment about a (potential) competitor whose technical abilities he respects, might escape without a publicity opportunity for that potential competitor.

Maybe that's why John B is a technical expert and not a salesman.

Less spin and more substance would benefit RISC OS companies, methinks.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 4/2/04 8:38PM
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In reply to DGS:

"Less spin and more substance would benefit RISC OS companies, methings"

And online news portals as well!

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 5/2/04 1:58PM
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Col1: And magazines? :-)


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 7/2/04 7:31PM
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