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'Experienced' users offered A9homes to test

By Chris Williams. Published: 21st Sep 2005, 12:29:06 | Permalink | Printable

Apply now to the exclusive RISC OS country club

A9 logoAdvantageSix are expanding their A9home user base by inviting "experienced" users to apply for a development machine. Previously, only RISC OS software programmers could sign up and pay for the ARM9 powered computer, which is still in a beta stage of development.

Ad6 say they are throttling the release of the machine, so that if problems are discovered in the system, the number of units that need to be recalled or corrected is minimised. The company is expecting no more than roughly 100 experienced users to join the beta test group, and to shift at most five systems a day.

Explaining that Ad6 are looking for a "wider audience", Ad6's Matt Edgar said that end users have a knack of finding problems that are sometimes overlooked by developers. He commented, "We're after a broad range of people who use RISC OS on a day to day basis and can produce good quality bug reports. Experienced users can cope if there is a problem in what is not a final product, as it's still in beta."

Film director Kevin Smith once said that a particular film of his was "not for critics". Matt said that this was not the case for the A9home, and that constructive criticism is welcome. "We're not after people who will keep quiet, although they shouldn't go pestering other software developers if software doesn't work on the A9home, as it may be the fault of the machine," he added.

The system currently has no sound output, although it's understood that it's gradually beginning to work, the hard disc access speed is approximately 16MB/s without DMA (according to Ad6), and the software interface between the video driver and the kernel has been revised and improved. Ad6 say they'll chat to people on an individual basis before a unit is shipped to them to make sure they understand the state of the machine, and no money is taken before a computer is put into the post.

Ad6 have no plans to formally attend the South East show next month, and will be represented by their retail partners, CJE Micros.


AdvantageSix website

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Seeming as RISC OS is predominantly an enthusiast system, I wonder how many people would not consider themselves 'experienced'. I would think it would be fairly small.

 is a RISC OS UserHertzsprung on 21/9/05 12:37PM
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According to the current figures on the latest iconbar poll, 85% of users consider themselves to be experienced.... (Of course, without knowing the sample size, that's not necessarily very useful information:)

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 21/9/05 1:28PM
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Has any one else noticed that the A9Home brochure misses out the Video out port?

hmmm....bloody nice price though!

Damn my student status!

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 21/9/05 1:54PM
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Hertzsprung: I'd agree with the point you raise that most users would consider themselves "experienced", especially within the terms stated by Matt Edgar.

Thing is, though, is that this is a terrible shame. RISC OS computers work out of box. You have an operating system that doesn't need *any* preliminary installation, is almost imporrible to corrupt, and acts in a logical, consistent way.

My Iyo, out of box, supported Email, Internet browsing, dtp and spreadsheets and CD writing. Add in DVD and video playback, and you've got 95% of computer usage.

Having had extensive experience setting up and fixing other people's computers, RISC OS is a dream to work with. Sure, it could be improved a little, made a tiny bit more user-friendly, but in general, I find it's one of the easiest OSes to use, and the support is fantastic, and easily accessible.

 is a RISC OS Userjymbob on 25/9/05 12:43AM
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em2ac Cheap indeed but is it really *that* much cheaper than a 'Cube' Iyonix which ships with an optical drive and card reader as standard and 256MB memory for ukp 799.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 25/9/05 7:34PM
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But how does one establish one's status as 'experienced'? After an Electron, 2 BBCb's, a Master, 2 Z88's, 4 RPC's and an Iyonix, I wonder if I stand a chance?

 is a RISC OS UserXinoyi on 28/9/05 3:17PM
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