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RISC OS 4.39 and 4.02 pricings confirmed

By Chris Williams. Published: 21st Feb 2004, 11:28:38 | Permalink | Printable

RISC OS 'Adjust' on ROM revealed

Select motifRISCOS Ltd., developer of RISC OS 4, yesterday announced its pricing scheme for RISC OS 4.39, the next major release of everybody's favourite 26 bit mode operating system. The announcement confirms our initial figures which we revealed early last month. RISCOS Ltd. have also disclosed that the price of RISC OS 4.02 ROM sets are set to increase from March this year.

"Another year has passed and the interest in all things RISC OS seems to be as strong, if not stronger, than ever," RISCOS Ltd.'s managing director Paul Middleton told Foundation readers yesterday.

"RISCOS Ltd has entered its sixth year of trading and sales of RISC OS 4 still continue, when many people expected the market to have died years ago. The major news for RISCOS Ltd is the forthcoming release of a new version of RISC OS on ROM. For a number of reasons the version of RISC OS released back in July 1999 has remained the standard for the last 4 years. The Select scheme has enabled us to take RISC OS development forward and we have worked hard to fit the features of the 6 MB RISC OS Select softload ROM into a standard 4 MB physical ROM."

The RISC OS 4.39 ROMs, cunningly codenamed 'RISC OS Adjust', will be compatible with RiscPCs, Kinetic RiscPCs and A7000+s. There's one notable machine missing from that list, apart from the MicroDigital Omega, and that's the Castle Iyonix. We'll be following closely where RISCOS Ltd. will be heading with their OS after the release of 4.39, in terms of future architecture support and 32 bit compatibility. Although the rise of the VirtualRiscPC emulator has helped sales of RISC OS 4, the rate at which users are upgrading to fully 32bit mode XScale powered Iyonixes has fueled concerns that RISC OS Ltd.'s target market of legacy 26 bit mode kit is rapidly shrinking.

On the subject of a 32bit compatible RISC OS 4, Paul Middleton explained: "RISC OS 4.39 has been developed to be capable of building 32 bit compatible versions, but many of the higher level features of Select (upon which 4.39 is based) rely on low level changes to the kernel that are not currently present in the RISC OS 5 kernel and supporting modules.

"RISCOS Ltd is committed to making the new features of Select available to all RISC OS users but it also requires the co-operation and support of the hardware manufacturers."

Incidentally, a 4.39 ROM image for VirtualRiscPC users will also be made available. A full features list for 4.39 is expected to be published soon although it is expected to be essentially an extension to the RISC OS Select feature set. One obvious advantage of RISC OS 4.39 over RISC OS Select, however, is that there'll be no softloading process and users can enjoy having a fully featured desktop booting within seconds.

Upgrading from RISC OS 3.x to 4.39 ROM140 GBP
Upgrading from RISC OS 4.0x to 4.39 ROM125 GBP
Upgrading to 4.39 ROM after being
a Select subscriber for 1 year
105 GBP
Upgrading to 4.39 ROM after being
a Select subscriber for 2 years
95 GBP
Upgrading to 4.39 ROM after being
a Select subscriber for 3 years
85 GBP

Pricings table for RISC OS 4.39


As for RISC OS 4.02 ROMs, these are subject to price increases from March 2004. A full 4.02 user pack will cost 95 quid and a ROM only pack will cost 84 quid. RISCOS Ltd. have said "postage changes and the costs of the consumables used to produce and ship RISCOS Ltd products" resulted in the mild price hike. Users are encouraged to contact RISCOS Ltd. if they are unsure of the new pricing scheme.

Adjust banner
RISC OS 4.39 banner


RISC OS 4.39 upgrade FAQ
Q. Will I still be able to use my RISC OS 4 !Boot sequence with RISC OS 4.39?
A. No. You will have to update to the new RISC OS Select style Boot sequence.
Q. Will I have to upgrade my hard disc to use the RISC OS 4 E+ disc format?
A. Yes. RISC OS 4.39 will require you to start using the new RISC OS 4 disc format, which provides long filename support and almost unlimited files in individual directories.
Q. How much memory do I need to run RISC OS 4.39?
A. 16 MB is the minimum advised. A bonus feature of the RISC OS 4.39 ROMs is that on many Kinetic StrongARM cards, it will now be possible to use a 256 MB SO-DIMM chip on the Kinetic card along with 256 MB on the motherboard thus giving a 510MB machine.
Q. Will I still be able to install future RISC OS Select updates on top of a machine running RISC OS 4.39?
A. Yes. RISCOS Ltd. intends to develop the RISC OS Select Scheme and Select updates and these will be softloadable on a RISC OS 4.39 machine.


Links


4.39 to be available at South West show
RISC OS 4.39 order forms
RISCOS Ltd. website Chris Williams contributed source code to 4.39, however at no financial benefit

Previous: Iyonix Linux at the South West show
Next: Living with Technology review

Discussion

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"Chris Williams contributed source code to 4.39, however at no financial benefit" How many other dedicated unpaid contributors to RISC OS are there? Welldone!

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 21/2/04 12:48PM
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It's more of a declaration of interest. I contributed much, much less than the paid developers (it was something small), but I thought it'd be poor form not to point it out.

Chris.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 21/2/04 12:51PM
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Snig: We always try to say when we're involved, even if it's only loosely. See my article on the Aleph1 Balloon Board, and other articles Chris has done mentioning news items from myself.

Historically, and apart news items about news outlets themselves, RISC OS news has not been generated by the same people who write about it.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 21/2/04 1:01PM
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In Select 4.37 the start-up banner acknowledges Castle's ownership of RISC OS. It's interesting that the banner in 4.39 doesn't.

Of course, it's not been released yet and this will no doubt change.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 21/2/04 1:33PM
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*looks at the logo*, someone call vigay we got crop circles!

 is a RISC OS UserNoMercy on 21/2/04 2:31PM
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Looks like there are going to be lots of RISC OS 4.02 ROMs around that are surplus to requirements. Seems like a good time to get them cheap off eBay soon... I like the new banner :) Green is much nicer than Blue, Pink, and Red have been.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 21/2/04 3:03PM
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Some one made an adding up mistake I think, as 256+256=512 not 510. In h the bit about memory.

Or have I missed something?

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 21/2/04 3:03PM
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I thought the same... but won't the remaining 2MB of select tat doesn't fit in the ROM be softloaded to here, so that ay account for the 2MB missing.

It aint very clear though.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 21/2/04 3:04PM
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Andrew> "Select tat" ? How nice. It's true that a few things have been compressed (message, sprites) so that the 6MB softload image can fit in the 4MB ROM, so it does use some RAM space for that once running, but the ROM is still the ROM, stand alone, there's no need for any components to be loaded from disk. I suspect the 510 as quoted was a typo.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 21/2/04 3:17PM
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"Select tat" was meant to say "Select that" I was just typing too fast.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 21/2/04 3:23PM
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The exact amount of memory you get can depend on various software and hardware reasons. The additonal 128MB may impinge on a crucial physical address, so some of it is not visible.

Something similar happens in the Iyonix if you install 1GB memory, since the last part would overlap processor registers, you don't get exactly 1GB of memory.

On other hand, it's only a small amount if it's not a mistake, and 256MB SODIMMs are dead cheap these days.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 21/2/04 3:26PM
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FWIW, on this standard SA RiscPC, with 128+128+2MB RAM, a betatest 4.3x RISC OS in ROM, I can power up, skip !Boot, and TaskManager shows 259036K free (and 788K used by the ADFS drive map, 80K fonts, 1484K Module area, 1024K screen) does that help? :-)

I think that in reality it's prettymuch damned pointless having so much RAM in a RISC OS machine. Why anyone would care to put 512MB in a RiscPC, well, I can't fathom. Image manipulation is oft quoted as an excuse for lots of RAM, but once you start using that much of it at once for such a task, speed becomes more of an issue.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 21/2/04 3:53PM
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Actually, the Kinetic card will map the first 4MB on the cards memory as ROM space rather than executing RISC OS from the actual ROM. So 256+256 - 4 = 508, then add the 2MB VRAM and 510 is what you will see displayed at start up.

 is a RISC OS Userwilf on 21/2/04 4:40PM
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In reply to imj I managed to fill pretty much all of my 134MB with a two dimensional mathematical array as part of a research project. It was annoying to only have 128MB.

I need more, more, MORE....

(Hysterical laughter as the lights dim)

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 21/2/04 5:43PM
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martin>

Buy a proper computer then :P

-- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 21/2/04 7:28PM
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So what's new about this 510Mb then - is it the first time RISC OS supported this much, or is it something new with the Kinetic (like the ROM slot being freed up now Select is in ROM?)

I always assumed you could put 2x128Mb on the mobo, plus 2Mb VRAM, plus 256Mb on the Kinetic?

I think if you need that much RAM, I think you need an Iyonix (or PC).

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 21/2/04 8:04PM
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martin:

You should try 3D modelling using eliptic integrals of the first and second type (incomplete) - now they suck the memory something rotten. I basically had to fill 130Mb of memory, wham it to disc and start again - it took over 4 days to calculate 3 shapes and almost a day to plot all three correctly on the SARPC.

Moved it to a linux box I had nearby, did the lot in less than 15 minutes. Fair did annoy me that.

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 21/2/04 9:04PM
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Oh yes, an important point I missed out of the article but it's been mentioned before: ROL are expecting to produce a run of 150 4.39 ROMs initially but if there's enough demand, they'll consider doing more.

Chris.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 21/2/04 9:37PM
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Is 4.39 ROMs the same as a softloadable equiv? Or is 4.39 only avialable as ROMs

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 22/2/04 5:32PM
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I imagine 4.39 in ROM will be the same as the softloadable one. Personally as I will be continuing my Select(Adjust) subscription I don't see the point of purchasing 4.39 in ROM.

Curious as to no mention of CTL on the banner.

Paul says in his update "RISC OS 4.39 has been developed to be capable of building 32bit compatible versions" - does this mean 4.39 could run on a 32bit processor or just the new features added to RISC OS as part of the select scheme?

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 22/2/04 7:43PM
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I wonder if there is an extra discount for Foundation members, or am I asking too much?

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 22/2/04 8:04PM
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4.39 is only available in ROM, updated as appropriate since the release of Select 3i3 some months ago -- not "the same as the softloadable one" as sa110 suggests -- I don't expect ROL to be releasing it as a softload for Select subscribers, as there's no real point.

For most current Select subscribers, there's no great benefit of buying the ROMs, other than saving a little bootup time until Select 4 comes along, or unless you want to use the few features affecting booting (eg DHCP on a diskless system) -- that is the primary market for Adjust -- those who are currently stuck on RISC OS 4.0x due to being unable to use softload.

As for the 32bit thing -- I believe what this means is that if certain companies stopped billying aound with their own wee OS-updates (yes, you know I mean Castle) and customers wanted _real_ ongoing OS development, that ROL are now demonstrably in a position to provide it. That's always been the intent. I think the trouble is that Castle would prefer to be the Mr Bigtrousers and own the OS themselves, though... clearly demonstrated by them buying RO from Pace and choosing to ignore ROL's OS offering. *sigh* I wonder how many more Iyonix would have been sold if this mess had been sorted out and we'd seen all the Select features rolled in to RO 5 ? I'm certain that this OS would be in a stronger position if that happened. IMO, my ideal would be to see CTL do what they clearly do very well -- good hardware -- and let RISCOS Ltd worry about the OS. Won't happen, tho. :-(

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 22/2/04 10:43PM
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imj: How long did Castle wait, before giving up on the hope of someone else putting the effort into developing a 32-bit RISC OS ?

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 22/2/04 11:03PM
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Roumor has it that ROL were never asked. Dunno. Try asking Castle for a straight answer on that and see how far you get. ;-) I'm also led to believe that the vast majority of the "Castle" 32bitting was actually done by Pace, for their STBs anyway.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 22/2/04 11:14PM
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Whether Castle or ROL are to the blame for the apparent lack of co-operation doesn't really matter to your average RISC OS user. We are we are whatever has happened behind closed doors. ROL are at least now making it obvious (publically) that they are trying their best to get Select features on RISC OS 5. It will be interesting to see how Castle will respond. And by respond I mean, what they say publically as well as what they do in private.

The reason I emphasise making things public is that, as I have said elsewhere, I believe RISC OS lacks direction. Castle and ROL are clearly good-willed, but while the lack of co-operation continues we lose a single voice letting 'average users' an insight in to RISC OS' future - nothing to excite us.

hmm, am I making sense or is posting to Drobe while consuming large quantities of a rusty brown liquid a bad idea?

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 22/2/04 11:28PM
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Sounds good, 87ukp isn't bad considering the cost of the ROMs (tens of pounds last time the topic came up) I just hope they've fixed up cut and paste in writeable icons to be like other programs (excluding text editors). I've reported it a few times but I've not heard any mention of it being fixed.

One other thing, I thought select was finishing one the roms were released, the roms would be the final version. Otherwise all that money seems a lot when softloading will be needed to keep up with select later. We need flash roms ;) (joking)

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 22/2/04 11:45PM
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imj: Never asked for *what* ?

RISCOS Ltd had a set of published objectives. Why would anyone need to "ask" them to carry them out?

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 22/2/04 11:55PM
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dgs> explain to me why ROL would release a 32bit OS with nothing to run it on? The objective was there if there had been a reason to carry it out. If CTL had gone to ROL and asked for a 32bit version, one assumes it would have arrived. From what I hear, they didn't. You and others appear to be implying that CTL wanted an OS and ROL said no -- where's your facts?

john> Select is most certainly not finishing. Nobody ever said ROMs would be a "final" version. Wherever you heard that, is simply wrong. You *are* quite correct that "all that money seems a lot when softloading" -- indeed it does, which is why, if you are an up to date Select subscriber, there's little real point in buying the ROMs, as I said earlier. :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 23/2/04 12:02AM
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imj: One presumes that RiscStation didn't ask either, then?

How odd.

Where's your facts?

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 23/2/04 12:05AM
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dgs: I think the key point Ian's trying to make is that, perhaps, no one (specifically, no hardware manufacturer) asked and/or was willing to pay for a 32bit OS4. The quote, "RISCOS Ltd is committed to making the new features of Select available to all RISC OS users but it also requires the co-operation and support of the hardware manufacturers", would back this up.

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 23/2/04 1:48AM
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Are you sure about this Chris?

What about that terribly nice chap from Millipede who was displaying the Imago a few years back. Last time I talked to him, he said he was waiting for ROL to come up with the goods. Shame it all died a death. I really wanted an Imago.

 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 23/02/04 09:05AM
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Ah, the talk aboit "select on rom" was actually about Select 4, not 3. One solution would be to buy the ROMs then stop subscribing to select. Only problem is, they'll probably add some great features to select 4 that I didn't know about :)

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 23/02/04 11:03AM
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"The talk" ? What talk? By who?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 23/02/04 1:19PM
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Eddie: what's to be sure about? The Imago hasn't been relevant to RISC OS development for some years, and can't be used as any kind of benchmark for current development status.

Chris's statement was essentially correct - "No party was willing to pay for a 32-bit OS4". But that hardly means it wasn't discussed, nor wasn't discussed extensively. MD made no secret of interest in 32-bit at AGMs (albeit with extensive hand-waving), and business deals are generally a lot more complicated than willingness and ability to pay.

The bottom line is that RO companies and developers tend to talk a great deal, about many issues, and far more than most users would probably give them credit for.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 23/02/04 1:40PM
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diomus: What RiscStation told me at the time was that they'd talked to RISCOS Ltd about a 32-bit version of RISC OS, but RISCOS Ltd wanted RiscStation (and, presumably, anyone else interested) to fund the development of it, then also pay license fees per copy once it was shipping with new machines. That was a change from what RISCOS Ltd originally said they were going to do, namely use the revenue from RISC OS 4 sales to fund a 32-bit version of RISC OS which they would then license to the hardware manufacturers.

It seems that RISCOS Ltd had badly misunderstood the extent to which RISC OS 4 sales would cover the cost of developing a 32-bit version of RISC OS. In other words, their business plan was flawed. On the realisation that they did not have the resources to carry out the work, they seemed to move quickly to the claim that no-one wanted it done anyway.

Maybe Castle or RiscStation or anyone with deep pockets could have stumped up the extra cash to solve RISCOS Ltd's problems for them (i.e. fund the development that they had previously said they would do themselves). But it's hardly surprising that they chose not to do so, or to blame them for "not being interested" in a 32-bit RISC OS.

Almost ironically, RISCOS Ltd continued to maintain that no-one wanted a 32-bit version of RISC OS, almost right up until Castle actually released one...

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 23/02/04 2:03PM
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dgs: It's not so black and white and every developer and dealer has their own view on the issue of a 32bit ROS4. There's a lot of bitterness and rumour abound so don't take everything you've heard literally until you've heard from all sides.

When ROL said "no one wanted a 32bit OS", they really meant no *manufacturer* wanted one, or it seems, was willing to stump up the cash. How would ROL develop and sell a generic 32bit ROS4 for the RiscPC and A7000: They would have to ask users to upgrade to an OS with few new features (other than the initial OS4.00 feature set because all their effort went into 32bitting the OS) and have all their software updated for little initial benefit other than, yay, your processor is running in 32bit mode. Castle could get away with it, using Pace's 32bit ROS and their new Iyonix architecture to entice upgrades. On most platforms, people upgrade their OSes as they upgrade their hardware. I moved from OS 3.1 to OS 3.6 when I upgraded from an A5000 to a RiscPC and OS 3.6 to 4.03 when I got a Kinetic card, for instance. The hassle of upgrading all your software to 32bit and waiting for something like Aemulor to be developed would be compensated by the faster processor, memory and I/O and other goodies like proper fast ethernet and USB.

Don't forget that programmers don't usually work for free and I was once informed that ROL's license with Pace had a restriction that said only full time programmers could have access to the ROS source. This stops parties volunteering people to help develop the OS substantially.

ROL's policy has always been to make their OS available to all users. This conflicts, however, with manufacturers' interests, IME. A manufactuer would be expected to pay for the 32bit ROS4 development and then some form of royalty per unit sold - programmers have to be paid somehow. Imagine manufacturer A paying ROL to do a 32bit ROS4 and then manufacturer B sub-licenses the 32bit ROS4 for much less than A paid because A covered the initial development costs. A would end up paying for an OS that rival B could use at a much lower cost.

I'm not going to comment on whose 'fault' the OS divide is, or assign blame as it's hardly constructive and I don't think even I have al lthe facts to make such a call. But I don't like all the different developers, dealers and RISC OS 'celebrities' whispering accusations and rumours. The OS divide will hopefully work itself out, and Peter's right when he says developers and dealers tend to talk to each more than the userbase gives them credit.

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 23/02/04 2:42PM
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All of the RISC OS players have to be cautious about keeping their financial resources focussed on what can realistically and rapidly bring back a return on time and effort investments. Recent years have seen this work well with Castle successfully launching the Iyonix with 32 bit RISC OS 5, RISC OS Ltd's steady development of RISC OS 4 and, crucially, the entire market not been dragged down when one of the players gets it wrong. The "price" we pay for the cautiousness, is each company not wanting to be in a postion where key parts of their plan depend on another company delivering on a promise. I think it is healthy to have the OS split and I don't have any problem with supporting both RISC OS 5, when I buy my Iyonix, or RISC OS 4.39, which I intend to buy as soon as it's out. Some diversity is good, and a lack of it is the major flaw in the current global situation where Microsoft over-dominates.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 23/02/04 2:45PM
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diomus: I *have* heard from all sides... at great length ;-)

It is, as you say, less than constructive endlessly trying to prove that one side or the other is at "fault". As I've said above (and you've expanded on), pretty much all of the parties involved have acted in an entirely understandable manner, given the circumstances.

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 23/02/04 2:52PM
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Why is oregano so useless at pasting into text boxes, half the time it removes what you've typed and replaces the entire page with what you wanted to paste. Grr.

imj> [link] Chris Williams says so. "Select 4 [may] be available asa physical ROM version...[etc]"

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 23/02/04 4:33PM
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Smells like ROL were misquoted or changed their minds. Anyhow, what that article (which is 10 months old btw!) says is certainly not current. If you base your "facts" on reports from news sites (even this one) then you're just silly. :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 23/02/04 6:05PM
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Oi, Ian, I'd like to think everything we write on drobe is near 100% accurate. We don't pretend to be always right but I'd like to think we at least quote people properly :p

Ok, so we reported on ROL's release strategy in May 2003 and ROL have since then changed their minds or clarified their intentions. It doesn't smell of anything.

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 23/02/04 6:11PM
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Well the lingering impression in my mind (left at that time by the news articles published around then) hadn't been contradicted until now as far as I could see. My original comment just said that's what I (still) thought, I was wondering if it was just my impression. I certainly didn't expect such a thorough lambasting how stupid I am to even think that!

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 23/02/04 10:11PM
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Seems RO4.39 will be on flash roms, see ROL's web site news section. It doesn't mention timing problems, I wonder if they are new compared with the ones used for RISC OS 4 orignally.

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 23/02/04 10:18PM
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chris> Nice comment above explaining the problems of 'who goes first' wrt 32bit RISC OS. I share your views and on that basis I can't see how anyone could be bitter at CTL for doing their own deal for a pre-existing 32bit RISC OS and continuing development in-house.

Martin> A divided OS might be a good thing in the long run. There is a similar situation with the USB stacks but as far as I can see we just have Simtec and CTL reinventing each others wheels. The massive downside is that for the same amount of effort we get 50% of the productivity. How this can be a good thing for an OS that is years behind the times is beyond me.

If we want to unify RISC OS then how would this be done? RISC OS 5 obviously has to be made compatible with Select. Does CTL give ROL RO5 for free and let them work on it? Should ROL charge for the work? Should CTL charge ROL for a RO5 licence? Who knows. But I suspect both parties will be making sure that the other doesn't get a free lunch out of it.

-- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 24/02/04 09:50AM
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A split OS tree is bad news for a small market such as ours. Even a large userbase for a split OS is arguable. As time goes on the differences between the two will become so large that it would be impossible to have applications running on both. This would then mean that developers would have to have two copies of applications. Fine if your userbase is in the millions otherwise it's madness. It's just not cost effective. The margins are tight enough as it is in the RISCOS world.

From my own situation , I always upgraded to the latest OS as soon as it became available. Except now.

I recently threw out my kids PC an ageing 120Mhz Pentium with windows 95 (I got pissed off wit blue screens all the time!) and replaced it with a 2.4Gig Windows XP (500 with all the hardware bells and whistles but excluding several hundred CD's of bundled nigh on useless software !). Up to XP, windows and RISCOS were still comparable with pros and cons on both but, IMO, RISCOS generally winning. Not anymore, XP has solved an awful lot of the issues that windows had compared to RISCOS it is also streets ahead in look and feel for the user. It may be fluff without substance but if that's the case then it's a no brainer as far as develpment is concerned isn't it.......oh hang on a minute who's going to do it.......will it ever get done?...........never at this rate. We have a 10 year old OS and it looks and feels it. The chances of weaning folks off XP to RISCOS even with all the anti-microsoft sentiment will be nigh on impossible. A situation I find really sad since RISCOS has far more potential to be user friendly than XP.

regards,

Malcolm

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 24/02/04 10:32AM
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> XP has solved an awful lot of the issues that windows had compared to RISC OS Which are?

> it is also streets ahead in look and feel for the user. What's changed so drastically that it's now ahead of RISC OS?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 24/02/04 2:58PM
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Familiarity breeds contempt. The RISC OS GUI still looks good to me and works great. XP is not modern just different. RISC OS itself is not the problem.

Without advances in software such as Java, video editing, Real Audio and so on, no amount of arguing about which flavour of RISC OS we should be using, no amount of tweaking of the GUI and the gubbins under the skin is going to improve the appeal of RISC OS to the PC Mac and Linux owning world.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 24/02/04 4:44PM
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I've not used XP much, the "we may inspect your system" clause puts me off totally, regardless of whether the system is better or worse than what went before. However the systems I have used are, slow or\and unreliable.

Also it does not appear to have any more advanced GUI than previous windows. (ie poorer than RO 2). Input focus is still tied to the front window. Menus still disappear when you click on them (no adjust button). Dialogue boxes still lock the application. Still the same old save boxes (though office XP supports a limited D&D save and copy). Drive letters - now there's a concept that should have dissapeared with mullets in the eighties.

And that's before you start worrying about the security issues (never had this level of problems with 95).

The anti-aliased fonts are poor compared with what RO 3.1 offered 12 years ago.

The main thing that RO needs is a really nice set of icons and tool sprites.

M$ have tried to emulate MacOSX with XP's look, they have partially succeeded in making it look good, but it also looks very tacky in places too.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 24/02/04 6:43PM
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One of the things that has improved massively is the huge collection of wizards. You don't have to know anything technical anymore with WindowsXP, you just have to start the right wizard (easily found by clicking on the relevant links in the online-help), it asks you a few questions and does the rest for you. Also system stability has improved massively, since they got the driver-certification program running well.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 24/02/04 11:31PM
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We also need new software. Things like the MS Project/Outlook combination, Java, Mozilla, Flash 5, etc. And old software like CineWorks, StudioSound and ProSound need to be bug-fixed and given a face-lift.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 24/02/04 11:36PM
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XP as a GUI is functionally almost the same as NT4/Win95. There is no big difference in the way windows can be manipulated or what you can and cannot do with the filer.

Improved stability probably has far more to do with stopping further developments on the Win95/98 line and moving everyone onto an operating system based on NT4 which in my experience has been very stable.

What I find most concerning is the idea the RISC OS the GUI has to become more like Windows or that we need RISC OS versions of Windows apps. I doubt that is the issue, the lack of basic things such as Java and video editing are still more important.

Personally I like that RISC OS apps in general have free floating windows, I dislike the way you are forced with many Windows apps to do everything in just one window. Why take this choice away from computer users? Don't mess with the best GUI around.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 25/02/04 06:55AM
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I never trust wizards. As someone else said, they are usually more like Rincewind than Gandalf.

It just seems to be another way of preventing users from understanding what's going on.

As for stability, I've never had stability troubles on Win 95 when properly maintained on sound hardware. (I am an MCP in Win 95, so that'd be why it's properly maintained). The XP systems (not modified) at work have regular problems (Compaq).

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 25/02/04 11:00AM
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XP comes with Internet Explorer 6, Outlook Express 6, Java is available for it, as is Flash, Shockwave, Real Audio, Windows Media Player, Quitcktime Player, comes with loads of printer drivers, easy to use interface capable of accepting input from either the keyboard or mouse, all apps multitask. I can connect my USB modem to it, Internet Connection sharing. Need I go on.

Windows XP has a lot going for it.

Jess, you say on XP dialogue boxes lock the application. On RISC OS, dialogue boxes mostly lock the whole OS until you deal with the. So XP is better in that respect also.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 25/02/04 1:34PM
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Spriteman & Malcome Yes, you do make good points. It would certainly be daft if the OS split resulted in applications software for one half not working on the other. And it does seem reasonable to conclude that effort is being duplcated rather than pushing the OS forward as a coherent whole. I suppose the positve view is to see Castle and RISC OS Ltd as doing a little dance around each other. Perhaps each is thinking that what the other has achieved is impressive; Both have proved that they have the technical ability and the vision to advanced RISC OS significantly and sell the resulting product in a tough market-place. It would be nice if some unification could take place. Or are market forces going to drag them off further in different directions, and with different priorities to attend to ?

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 25/02/04 1:47PM
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I don't like wizards either, but most users do. Just about all women, plus a good chunk of the men do, because they are not interested enough in how a technical device works, to invest a significant amount of time to find out. They just want to use it to get the work done.

And with Windows XP they can do a great deal of that work, without investing anything more than its price in it. It comes with most of the software the average user wants, including even a movie editor.

And if we want our platform to survive, we need to get there, too.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 25/02/04 8:56PM
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sa110: Error messages do lock the OS (presumably because they need to be aknowledged) but things like choices, or save boxes don't.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 26/02/04 01:16AM
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Outlook Express as a plus point??? USB MODEMs - a router is a much safer bet (ie you're not having to trust a software firewall)

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 26/02/04 01:20AM
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Well, compared to no email program at all, then yes, it is a pluspoint. And it does work with modern protocols (like IMAP, SSL, etc.). On second thought, it is actually a pretty good peace of software, apart from its default configuration. I guess it is relatively secure, once you have disabled the viewing of HTML emails and have some filter in place, wich removes executable attachments.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 26/02/04 02:20AM
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In reply to Jes: It is not very often you get an application error box in Windows that stops you from moving to another Windows appliction, unless it is a fatal Windows system error. Yes an application error box, will lock the application until you acknowldege it, but not stop you from using other apps.

As for Outlook express, it may have it's pitfalls, but gernerally it's a not an easy to use email and new client that supports all the modern protocals displays standards that users of Windows have come to expect. As Julian as pointed out, with RISC OS you do not get an email program or even basic web browser. Surely isn't it about time RISC OS did it's bit to 'keep up with the Jones'?

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 26/02/04 1:36PM
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"Yes an application error box, will lock the application until you acknowldege it, but not stop you from using other apps."

Not just error boxes, but dialogue boxes too. Very irritating if you want to move the parent window, or refer to some information elsewhere in the app while using the dialogue.

"As Julian as pointed out, with RISC OS you do not get an email program or even basic web browser. Surely isn't it about time RISC OS did it's bit to 'keep up with the Jones'?"

You get Oregano 2 and Messenger Lite with the Iyonix, and I believe Fresco comes with RISC OS Select.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 26/02/04 2:43PM
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How do you configure OE to not show html emails?

A broken email program is much worse than no email program.

"Not just error boxes, but dialogue boxes too" On RISC OS or Windows?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 26/02/04 3:43PM
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