lostamarble> Yes, I took them for IDE but you're right they 50pin rather than 44 (oops!), so your conclusions are not unreasonable.
I'd also agree that it would be a step backwards if the hardware is all "external" to the computer - but then the A9 is not a traditional computer given that it's origin is not a desktop but rather the embedded device market. For the cost concious or people who must squeeze as much of a computer into the smallest possible space it should do nicely, as a desktop it is probably more limited though - but who says that that should be the only paradigm that RISC OS should be aimed at ?
jms> The Processor/memory module has NAND Flash RAM (according to the Simtec site) so the OS (or a part of it) is probably stored there.