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Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened

By Chris Williams. Published: 7th Oct 2005, 21:57:29 | Permalink | Printable

Pledge for Iyonix port of Select but only if 99 others do too

Money and RISC OSRISC OS user Phil Mellor has created a page on plegdebank.com so that Iyonix owners can register an interest in Select for the Iyonix. Along with Phil, users can promise to subscribe to a Select port for the Iyonix but only if 100 people in total sign up before the end of the year. If sufficient people sign up, everyone who pledges is contacted by the website and told to pay up to RISCOS Ltd.

The developers of RISC OS 4 have said they need at least 100 people to sign up to Select for Iyonix before committing any time to it. People who pledge should also drop ROL an email to officially register an interest in Select for the Iyonix.

The pledgebank.com FAQ has more details on the system, including a note that says that pledges aren't binding, and are closer to a gentlemen's agreement. Pledgebank.com provides support for pledges ranging from people who want to kick their smoking habit to the formation of a civil liberties group in the UK.

Iyonix owner Phil swears he didn't steal the pledgebank.com idea from an earlier discussion post. He said, "I got the idea (independently, honest) after reading a post on the Iyonix mailing list earlier this evening, which quoted posts from the Select mailing list asking users to email RISCOS Ltd. I'm sure the separate lists don't help - it makes the discussion much harder when you can only see one half of it.

"Hopefully something good will come of it, anyway."

According to reports, ROL currently have around 41 Iyonix users signed up for Select on Iyonix. The new pledgebank.com list may also act as an independent list of Iyonix owners who want to register an interest, possibly putting an end to speculation from Select subscribers that ROL are dragging their feet over the Select for Iyonix issue.


Select for Iyonix pledge

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Well I signed up for this pledge and I'm on the origonal RISCOS list, in fact no12 from Dec2004. I signed up to add Iyonix Select to my existing subsription for the sum of an additional £15.

Well done Phil for setting this up and come on everyone start pledging.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 7/10/05 10:07PM
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After reading some more posts on this I must add a thanks to David Llewellyn-Jones for his initial thoughts on setting up a pledge system.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 7/10/05 10:28PM
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Before I can consider making a pledge I'd need to know what sum I'd be expected to pay for the Iyonix Select (especially now that we have totally new pricing for Adjust from ROL).

Is it a bog-standard £155/yr subscription we'd be expected to pay, is there the extra £15 that's been mentioned, or is it a totally different fixed price for a snapshot release much like Adjust? If we sign up for a year's subscription along with 100 other Iyonix users and ROL produce nothing in that year, what happens then?

Some of these questions need firm answers before I, and probably others, would consider committing a pledge to.

 is a RISC OS Usertamias on 8/10/05 1:35AM
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Good idea to set up this pledge page!

But I do agree with tamias: Does ROL really expect users to pay some indefinite amount for something of what is not known what it will really be and offer and when? As for 'indefinite amount': The price is not stated and even worse how many years of subscription has to be put forward. As for 'what it really will be': I don't know of a useful list of what IYONIX Select shall offer - the statement 'the same as Select' is no real help since I don't have Select and thus don't know what it offers and there is no useful list of features available.

Thus an option to pledge like 'I'm interested but will only buy it when available, working, offering a sensible feature set and for a price matching the features' would be nice...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 8/10/05 7:29AM
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hzn: The pledge is for a single year of subscription, according to the pledge page. You're right that you can't know how much that will be though, since Thursday's news ([link])

Also, if you'd read the pledge, you may have seen a link to a posting which includes a list of features which you would get if all Select features were brought on to the Iyonix.

However, I'd agree that that list alone isn't sufficient as it doesn't tell you when we'd get those features, or how much they'd cost. The pledge as it stands it still a good idea however (well done, guys). If you feel that you can only pledge to it once you know some more details, you could create your own pledge, in exactly the same way that the 'metarights' pledge was recently created ([link]).

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 8/10/05 2:41PM
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I'm reluctant to add my name. I've stated my position a number of times, and you may even recall that I'm Select subscriber #1. That is, I will pay for Iyonix Select at such time that _any_ reasonable subset of features is available for Iyonix, with beta features being perfectly acceptable. And just so there's no confusion over my commitment, I will pay $500 for such a thing, although no sooner than 1st December, and agree to seriously look at how Select features can be included in my own programs and help others to do so. But not before.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 8/10/05 4:27PM
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Its managed to pick up 34 signatories (so far) in less than 24 hours.....

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 8/10/05 6:16PM
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Well it's now 38 so only 3 more to go to hit ROL's numbers.

HZN and Ninja, I do see you point about not knowing but at Birmingham2004 show when I signed up I did so on the basis of paying an extra £15 on top of my normal Select subscription of £85 for downloads.

From my renewal form on April2005 Select subs are:

£105 for UK members £99 for Foundation members £85 for web only access

It even states they look forward to adding Select for RISCOS5 soon.

From the above I would expect to pay £100 for a version of Select26 and Select32 for Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 8/10/05 7:40PM
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Now up to 41 (20051008 22:12)...

 is a RISC OS UserBrianH on 8/10/05 10:16PM
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While Phil Mellor's efforts must be applauded it still doesn't get around the problem that *in the past* ROL has stated that it would produce a Select for Iyonix if Iyonix users kept up their subscriptions (it subsequently became 100 *new* Select Subscribers).

Having seen the goalpost move several times I'd be very reluctant to subscribe in advance of a Select release for Iyonix. There is also "wriggle room" for ROL in that some of the 41 who've pledged to ROL directly may *also* have done so on Phil's list (the number of unique pledgees may be much closer to 41 than 100).

Let's not put the cart before the horse here - it's up to ROL to *convince us* to subscribe rather than for us to convince *them* to produce. We can always continue using RO5.XX if they can't bring themselves to produce some sort of Select add-ons for Iyonix - if they want our money it's up to *them* to make the effort and meet us half-way if they can't do that well then just how useful would a subscription prove in terms of getting ROL to commit to supporting the Iyonix anyway?

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 9/10/05 2:44PM
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Well done Phil for setting the pledge up. It would have been ages before I'd gotten my rear into gear to get things sorted, so I'm glad it's been done.

Even at this inital stage it looks like it's going to be a success. But even if the pledge isn't fulfilled, it should at least settle the matter once and for all, shouldn't it? ;)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 9/10/05 7:32PM
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I understand what you say about the goalposts having been moved, but it seems strange to say that it's up to ROL to convice us. Haven't they stated that they don't think there's enough interested in Iyonix Select to make it commercially viable? They are a company after all, so if they don't think they can make money from a product you can't blame them if they don't produce it.

However, from what I could tell, many people (although admittedly you may not have been one of them) seemed to suggest that RISC OS Ltd were purposefully ignoring Iyonix users' wishes to have Select functionality on their machines. The whole point of a pledge like this, then, is surely to prove publicly to ROL that there is enough interest?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 9/10/05 7:51PM
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flypig said "but it seems strange to say that it's up to ROL to convice us"

Well they *do*. I am not one to simply chuck money at someone for something that may (or may not) become available. I am simply applying my own viability criteria to ROL. If I pay will they deliver? Given the frequent "changes" of ROL's stated position about Select on Iyonix this has caused uncertainty - and that in a large part may be causing part of the problem they see in getting a sufficient number of Iyonix subscribers to make it worth their while. Several people *have* paid under the understanding that ROL *would* port to Iyonix - yet ROL haven't.

The other thing is that ROL had *no* problem producing versions for Omega (a now dead platform with a limited number of users) and for use on PC emulators. Where was the finely honed cost benefit analysis in that - surely the Omega one was a big mistake (I'd argue the second one was too - but for different reasons)

What makes 100 commitments a major milestone anyway? What happens if fewer than 100 A9s sell will ROL just say "oops sorry guys there aren't enough purchasers to ensure that it is worth our while completing the OS....". This sort of uncertainty damages their chances surely.

It's ROL that have set (and changed) the criteria for Iyonix Select so it is *they* that have to do the convincing. As of now I for one (and I suspect others too) would want to *see* a working Iyonix Select before making any sort of commitment. I can happily sit on RO5.XX forever - if ROL want me to move to Select then *they* better start walking the walk and talking the talk.

flypig said "The whole point of a pledge like this, then, is surely to prove publicly to ROL that there is enough interest?". Why should we ? Did Omega users? Did A9Home users? Did VARPC users? Business involves risk, ROL took that risk on three previous occasions - so why is it such a problem this one more time?

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 9/10/05 8:53PM
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I think the whole point about this is - *no*, we shouldn't have to do this. Not in any way whatsoever.

*But*, we'll do it... as a gesture of goodwill towards ROL, to prove that people *are* interested. Or, more cynically, to call their bluff. Look on it however you want. But it doesn't do any harm.

The ball should not be in our court. But seeing as it is, we might as well take decisive action to throw it right back in ROLs.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 9/10/05 9:03PM
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moss> Ok.

But IMHO it should not be a *blank cheque*.

If 100 Iyonix Select pledges are made ROL should immediately indicate that Select will be made available for Iyonix and it should take priority over *other* activities (I would be seriously miffed if I paid money for Select on Iyonix and found out that all it did was fund A9Home's completion).

The best way of acchieving this I feel is for ROL to publically state

1.// A specific completion date for Iyonix Select and contractually agreed that if *they* fail to meet that completion date - for any reason - that any Iyonix Select subscribers that require it get a full refund.

2.// They should list which features will be available in Iyonix Select (it may not necessarily be the exact same as Select on RPC but they should state what will be available and where differences will exist).

3.// That they confirm they will not release A9Home with a completed 32bit OS *before* Iyonix Select.

If they fail in making definitive, public commitments confirming the above we should simply consider anything they offer as being probably not a serious effort and not worth considering by us.

Speaking personally I would consider the above as the *minimum* I would require before I'd purchase Select. To make things "easier" than that is to simply invite Iyonix Select subscribers to be taken advantage of.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 9/10/05 9:49PM
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reply to ams 1/2/3 order of things

I thought it was clear that first priority is to get A9home done, then off course regular subscribers (26bit) will get a Select release (planned for last year) and finally when all the dust has settled they will start working on an Iyonix version. What makes you believe that a hundred paying Iyonix users will get top priority over a hfew hundred waiting Slect26 users at the moment this magical 100 is reached?

 is a RISC OS Usernico on 9/10/05 10:07PM
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I completely understand your unease about Iyonix Select. It certainly appears that ROL don't have much appetite to produce a version and it would be good to have some guarantee before agreeing to anything.

But moss said it far better than I could have done. Perhaps we shouldn't need to be in this position, but given that we are (and that I for one would like Select features on my Iyonix) this is maybe a way to resolve the issue.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 9/10/05 10:32PM
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I thought that the cost of the A9 home version of select was paid for by Advantage6/STD.

With Select for the Iyonix would there be any need to hand over money until something was released?

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 9/10/05 11:10PM
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Let's look at this another way. I have a Risc PC with Adjust, I might be interested in the Iyonix but I am not sure that I want to revert to "non-select/adjust" features. I cannot be the only one who is reluctant to move to a new machine with "old" features. So what about potential Iyonix users? ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserMart on 10/10/05 12:08AM
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 is a RISC OS Userpmcd on 10/10/05 12:19AM
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In reply to AMS:

I agree with your three last postings. ROL wants to sell something but refuses to state what the buyer will get when and thus for what price. Rediculous! But I think that it is indeed to be expected that they first serve their paying Select 26 customers for which the next delivery is overdue and AFAIR they did state that A9home has priority as flypig stated.

As for me - and I did tell ROL quite some time ago already - I'm prepared to buy an IYONIX Select if and only if it is available, runs stable, the features it offers me over RISC OS 5.x are known and if these features are worth the price. The track record of ROL does not encourage me to advance payments anymore.

But can it be that ROL does *not* want to support IYONIX? Being no Select subscriber and no Foundation RISC User subscriber but an IYONIX user I have not been asked by ROL and I can't remember any public query of ROL...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 10/10/05 7:31AM
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I bought an Iyonix motherboard and constucted my own. However at the time, I had the expectation that select would be available. I'm disappointed that it is not yet available. I now have and adjust RPC, an iyonix and a G3 Mac. neither the Iyonix not the RPC would compare well to a current Mac, however an Iyonix with select would.

The A9 looks like a nice alternative, but I'd lose my TV card :(

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 10/10/05 7:46AM
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In reply to AMS: "I would be seriously miffed if I paid money for Select on Iyonix and found out that all it did was fund A9Home's completion" - thats exactly what has happened this year. I paid for a combined 26bit and 32bit subscription, neither of which has had any releases, but in which time the A9 was produced. Delivering on Select for the Iyonix is ROLs last chance to prove they are still of value to the RISC OS market, and their goal now isn't to take the cash from discounted versions of Adjust subsidised by subscribers and do a runner.

We have to remember back when the Select scheme started it was good, regular releases were made and there was generally something in each one for everyone, so it generated a sense of involvement and kept up interest in the 26bit platform at a time when users had been abandoned by the manufacturer of their machines and there were no other significant hardware developments. It is extremely important there is ongoing OS development for the health of the platform, you only have to contrast the stangnation of Select with the Iyonix support scheme, where their are regular releases and continual input from Castle employees. The releases are mainly bug fixes with only a few new features, but it reassures owners that the platform is progressing, and has generated a lot of loyalty to Castle - something Select used to do for ROL.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/10/05 10:05AM
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I feel it is important to point out that ROL only develop one version of RISC OS, namely version 4.

As such, which Mr Middleton has already explained, all versions they release come from the same code. The A9home will probably have a few unique (hardware related?) features on its Adjust32 OS, which I believe are funded or developed by Advantage6. The rest of Adjust32 is RO4 finally made 32 bit compatible. The so-called Select scheme actually only refers to the subscription scheme of ROL to develop RO4 further. I hope this may clear things up a bit.

So, I think there are no special seperate versions or forks made by ROL. But, it remains true certain (or all) Select features present in Adjust32 were funded by Select subscribers. Thus, it is only fair they be offered a discount on a purchase of A9home. Because, in the end, the Select/Adjust features are a part of RO4, which is the only version of RISC OS the company can and will offer.

Select features for RO5? Or simply 32 bit RO4 on the Iyonix, with RO5 as some sort of backbone? It is important ROL come forward with all the details required for Iyonix owners to make a balanced and informed decision wether to pledge or not.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/10/05 1:16PM
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In reply to hEgelia: You write "It is important ROL come forward with all the details required for Iyonix owners...". True but I'm afraid that there is no intention of ROL doing so since in the past they stuck to communicating to their (deminishing?) Select subscriber base and thus ignore e.g. all their ex-customers who quit Select due to lack of support of the IYONIX pc and ignoring all potential new customers. And since until now they didn't manage to offer information about what Select offers in order to attract new customers so perhaps they don't want new ones...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 10/10/05 1:42PM
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As a select3i4 user, on 2 RPC's and on VRPC-SE, I have no need or desire for select for Iyonix. That said, I am just starting to look for a new machine, and whilst an Omega was definately on the list at one time, now, I suspect, it will be an A9. I personally won't be looking to Iyonix as I don't want to lose all the additional bits and pieces, some small some large, that make select such a pleasure to use.

From my perspective then I think it's as much up to Castle as anyone else, to persuade/help/whatever ROL to get an Iyonix select - if, that is, Castle want to persuade some of the hold-outs from upgrading to an Iyonix.

As for the suggestion that, should the 100 names come up - as actually I hope they do - then ROL should make Iyonix select the highest priority, that's just plain wrong. The A9 MUST be the highest priority, then select 4, then, and only then, MUST Iyonix select start to be worked on.

I'm currently working in Cardiff, and my Select subscription has just come up for renewal, so I may just pop in to see Mr M. and find out any what's and when's he can give me.


 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 10/10/05 1:45PM
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DS1: Surely a higher priority should be given to those who have been waiting for some time for Select for their machine, especially if they have been paying money in the hope of seeing it (although the same is true for Select 4). The continued lack of Select for the most powerful RISC OS machine should be seen as a huge embarrassment for ROL.

As much as I sympathise with those waiting for Select 4, it seems madness not to get the same version of the OS onto all current machines before trying to take it further. RISC OS needs solid foundations if it is to have a future.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 10/10/05 2:04PM
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No I don't think that's right at all. In principle no one should have a higher priority than any other, however in practice surely it is better to get something out that, hopefully is not far from finished, ie select for A9, first. This, according to the reports, should then mean that Select 4 for 26 bit machines should drop out fairly quickly therafter. After that, an Iyonix select, is going to take that much longer, so should be the next priority.

It makes no sense to me to drop what we all hope is a nearly finished product for the A9 to start on an Iyonix select. That, surely, will ensure that the A9 dies, which to my mind would actually be a worse situation than we are currently in.

Dave Ps. How do I get this system to put in the 'In reply to' bit, or is that supposed to be entered manually?

 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 10/10/05 2:25PM
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DS1> Yes of course. What sense would there be in ROL:

a.) Producing Select for the two most *widely* used RISC OS platforms (RPC and Iyonix)

b.) Why would ROL ever want to port to the two most mature/stable/complete RISC OS hardware platforms - where there are less "hardware" unknowns to deal with.

c.) Why would ROL ever want to please their paying customers (mostly RPC and some Iyonix users) by providing them what they paid for

When ROL could just as easily develop Select for an untried, uncompleted computer with a virtually non-existant userbase AND in the process annoying their loyal customers by NOT providing software that these people in good faith had paid for (see David Ruck's comments above).

Have I missed anything ? Nope.

Now do you see why Iyonix users have a "problem" deciding whether to pledge to take Select or not ?

Perhaps just sticking to good old RO5.XX is the best option at least with that you know where you stand.....

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/10/05 8:13PM
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Wouldn't it be faster to throw some money at Castle with the request to implement the list of missing features? To get something simular as you can do to get USB2.

I like the one time pay and free updates sceme!

ROL could have a serious problem with illegal copies as the Iyonix OS is flashed, maybe that is why they want pledges before they distibute.

 is a RISC OS UserJaco on 10/10/05 9:23PM
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@AMS: Yes you have missed something: The A9 is hardly an untried or uncompleted computer. It is probably based on one of the hardware designs that Simtec developed, so it most likely is very well tested under Linux. And Advantage6 are a customer of ROL as well, and probably a much more important one than 100 Iyonix users. They also helped in the 32-bitting-process, wich Castle obviously was unwilling to do (wich resulted in the situation, that now the users of their computer have to cough up the cash to get the OS they really want on it).

If you don't need Select on Iyonix, then fine! No one is forcing you to pledge. But then you should also not complain, when Select on Iyonix does not happen. And you should accept, that other Iyonix owners have a different opinion and want IyonixSelect to happen, in whatever form, because they are not happy with RO5.

Also: What is all this nonsence of "ROL did not deliver Select32 to Iyonix users" about? They have said quite clearly, that they never cashed in any of the IyonixSelect subscriptions. And if Iyonix users subscribed to the 26bit Select, to support the ongoing development, that is a fine move, but IIRC there never was a firm commitment by ROL to make IyonixSelect. Or can you prove otherwise by showing us a contract or subscription form where ROL makes such a statement?

They only issued a statement a few months ago, where they promised to make a firm commitment to produce IyonixSelect, when they get 100 IyonixSelect-only subscriptions.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 10/10/05 9:37PM
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JGZimmerle said>"Yes you have missed something: The A9 is hardly an untried or uncompleted computer. It is probably based on one of the hardware designs that Simtec developed, so it most likely is very well tested under Linux."

Julian please..., ROL are *not* selling a Linux computer they're selling a RISC OS one. Additionally in article [link] it was stated (and I quote) ""The system [A9Home] 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)".

Does that sound complete to you? If I remember correctly you were also a big proponent of the notion that Omega was a complete and wellformed computer too. How did ArmTwister and your 1GHz xScale work out then ?

JGZimmerle said> "And Advantage6 are a customer of ROL as well, and probably a much more important one than 100 Iyonix users."

Or any number of RISC OS users considering the RPC users who are still waiting on Select upgrades.

JGZimmerle said> "They [ROL] have said quite clearly, that they never cashed in any of the IyonixSelect subscriptions.

Yes I will accept that.

JGZimmerle said > And if Iyonix users subscribed to the 26bit Select, to support the ongoing development, that is a fine move, but IIRC there never was a firm commitment by ROL to make IyonixSelect."

AMS tears hair out. So WHY did they subscribe - are you suggesting some form of mass deliusion, congential stupidity, what !!!?

The point is ROL never seemed to commit unreservedly to *anything* regarding Iyonix, they "hint" at things. IIRC there were hints that they might (yes I said might) produce an Iyonix Select *if* people kept up their Select subscriptions - which some *actually did*.

Their latest "commitment" is itself conditional (on 100 Iyonix Select subscribers being found - I even think they used the phrase "new subscribers" - yet another bit of "fuzziness"). It's this sort of uncertainty that makes the whole thing (to me at least and perhaps others too) appear doubious.

And that uncertainty is the biggest obsticle to getting those 100 subscribers I would have thought.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/10/05 10:45PM
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In reply to AMS: Yes, the A9home is not a finished computer. However you cannot put it in the same stable as the Omega. AD6 are releasing updates on a regular basis and are progressing well.

As for Select for the Iyonix. Don't have one. Don't really care. RO 4.4 on my A9 works well, as does RO 4.39 on my RPC.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 10/10/05 11:30PM
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But maybe you should care. Many RISC OS developers - certainly the majority of the most active ones - are now using Iyonixes, which don't have Select features, and can't develop for those features. Of course, they might stick to targetting RISC OS 3.7+, even if they become available.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 11/10/05 04:17AM
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AMS: ROL are not selling RISC OS computers; they don't sell any hardware. They provide an operating system in support of RISC OS hardware developers. The A9 has not yet been releaesd as a retail machine and those that have bought a pre-release version know of its current limitations.It's still at least as 'complete' as some other computers on retail sale! Peter Naulls: You're spot on right. Software developers should care. They need to be sure that all their software is available for use on all modern RISC OS machines. Whether that includes machines running pre-RO4 operating systems is a debate that may need to be held soon.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 11/10/05 09:35AM
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These discussions have all been interesting - but the bottom line is :- ' If Iyonix users want Select then sign up. If you don't then don't. Speaking as an 'outsider' I would prefer to have Select support accross the board ( It would make future choices simpler).

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 11/10/05 10:57AM
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In reply to JGZimmerle: "They [STD] also helped in the 32-bitting-process, wich Castle obviously was unwilling to do." Castle were more than willing to source a 32bit RISC OS from ROL, but ROL did not offer acceptible terms, they wanted it fully funded by the AMS in return for a non exclusive licence, i.e. they could sell that work again to competitors at a potentially reduced rate. Castle had no option but to wait until Pace got into financial trouble and were willing to licence whatever assets they had, such as the 32bit RISC OS development.

"Also: What is all this nonsence of 'ROL did not deliver Select32 to Iyonix users' about? They have said quite clearly, that they never cashed in any of the IyonixSelect subscriptions." They didn't cash any 32bit ONLY subscriptions, but they certainly cashed the £15 supliments to the existing 26bit subscriptions.

"They only issued a statement a few months ago, where they promised to make a firm commitment to produce IyonixSelect, when they get 100 IyonixSelect-only subscriptions." They appeared to make a firm commitment exactly 1 year ago at the SE Show, when they announced the 32bit Select scheme and started taking peoples money for it. Since they they have backpeddled, of which the announcement a few months ago was just the latest instance.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/10/05 10:57AM
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"You're spot on right. Software developers should care."

Just to extend your point a little (and I think to reiterate Peter's original point) it's not just software developers who should care about Select availability for the Iyonix. General users of other RO 4 machines (A9Homes, RPCs) can in many cases only benefit from the additional functionality that RO 4/Select brings if developers make use of the features.

So having Select on Iyonix should hopefully genuinely benefit all users who are using RO 4, since they are more likely to see the advance features that the OS provides being harnessed.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/10/05 11:10AM
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In reply to Druck:

Thanks for posting this "Castle were more than willing to source a 32bit RISC OS from ROL, but ROL did not offer acceptible terms, they wanted it fully funded by the AMS in return for a non exclusive licence".

So what you seem to be saying is that...

ROL wanted all the AMS's (i.e. those that benefited) to finance a 32bit OS jointly. This new OS would be available to all the AMS's, thus moving RISC OS forward whilst keeping a single compatable version with the same feature set. However it was Castle who wanted their own "exclusive" version from the start and did not want other AMS's to have access to it.


 is a RISC OS UserVirtualAcorn on 11/10/05 12:04AM
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Aaron, no that is precisely the opposite of what I said. Please do not employ the same childish debating tactics as certain editors of RISC OS based pamphlets.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/10/05 1:17PM
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sa110>"Yes, the A9home is not a finished computer. However you cannot put it in the same stable as the Omega"

I was more referring to the fact that Julian frequently waxed lyrically about the Omega, now he does the same about the A9 even going so far as to suggest that it *is* complete because (as he puts it) it is "probably" derived from a linux box. It is not complete (as you've agreed), which is fair enough, that and Julian's support for it would seem to be the only similarity between it and Omega - I was not suggesting any other link.

jc>"ROL are not selling RISC OS computers; they don't sell any hardware. "

I meant to say "support", it's Advantage6's role to sell them. Sadly for a company producing an "Operating System" ROL seems to have little interest in or knowledge of the underlying hardware - a fact which resulted in them (for example) sitting on the sidelines rather than proactively specificing an API for USB (hence the two Simtec/Castle that subsequently arose). To be fair to ROL this hardwarephobia is very probably the result of the way Acorn split the OS from the hardware end when the left the RISC OS scene, but it is something ROL should IMHO address.

jc>"The A9 has not yet been releaesd as a retail machine and those that have bought a pre-release version know of its current limitations.It's still at least as 'complete' as some other computers on retail sale! "

With respect John that's utter rubbish. How can a machine have "current limitations" and still be as "complete" as others on retail sale when the A9 lacks UDMA (which Iyonix has), when the A9 can't even manage anything like USB2 (A9 is limited to USB1) or do sound.

I am confident A9 will be completed - but this sort of arrant nonsense you state for fact just devalues your position and makes *any* assertions you make - even when valid - carry less weight.

jc> "Software developers should care. They need to be sure that all their software is available for use on all modern RISC OS machines."

Why should then when things are made as difficult as possible by ROL *not* ensuring Select runs on Iyonix (which the bulk of developers use). John so how can a developer with an Iyonix support Select users when Select can't run on Iyonix and when the documentation isn't even available to them (unless of course they take out a Select subscription they can't use). It all seems to create an obsticle and added cost for developers wishing to support Select - and that should be the *last* thing ROL should be trying to do IMHO.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 11/10/05 1:47PM
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In reply to Druck:

Ok, can you please explain the error in my interpretation, i.e. what did you mean to say?

 is a RISC OS UserVirtualAcorn on 11/10/05 1:49PM
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I'm interested to know clearly what you mean, but personally am a little confused.

Do you mean that ROL wanted Castle to fund the entire conversion, but ROL also wanted to be allowed to sell the work (funded by Castle) on to other companies as well, with no return to Castle?

If this is what you mean, was it unacceptable to Castle because Castle didn't want to fund all of the work, or because Castle didn't want to allow ROL to sell it on?

I apologise if I've misunderstood what you wrote, but I would be interested in knowing what the situation really is.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/10/05 1:56PM
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I would also like to know how Iyonix select would be supported. With RO5 we get first class support from Castle, and frequent upgrades to fix bugs and support new hardware. Would this continue id ROL were responsible for support? I have no experience of ROL support, having never been a Select or RO4 user, so how does this compare with Castle?

As I see it there are three ways that Select could come to Iyonix

1. ROL produce a complete ROM image to replace RO5. This way we would lose Castle's support, and may lose some of the functionality that Castle have added to RO5 as well. For a while at least. Also there would be less motivation for Castle to continue to support RO5 for those who didn't buy Select.

2. ROL to develop replacement modules to be softloaded over RO5. Most of the user facing Select functionality could probably be provided this way, but not the RO4 kernel enhancements. Problem is who to go to for support, will it be up to the users to decide which company is responsible for the bugs? I can see endless wrangling, delaying much needed bug fixes and enhancements. There would also be the problems and incompatibilities that having two different sources for the OS components would bring.

3. Castle to take control, pay ROL to add Select functionality to RO5, or alternatively add Select-like functionality themselves, if this is possible without infringing ROLs IPR. This would IMO be the best solution for Iyonix users, but would be I suspect the most expensive development path, and make problems for Castle with little return for them. Castle would face considerable development cost if they were to go that route. If they released the new RO5 for free, the only return they would get is perhaps a few more Iyonix sales. If they charged for the upgrade, some people would not buy it and so Castle would have to support two streams of RO5, with and without Select. At present it is legitimate for Castle to insist on users upgrading to the latest version of RO5, since it is free, before calling for support. If they charged for the upgrade they could not fo this, would need to support both streams, and their support costs and future development costs would be increased. So ISTM Castle would find it hard to justify doing this, and I am not suprised they were happy to unload Merlin onto ROL.

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 11/10/05 2:32PM
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Software should be made to use the enhanced parts of select when found, software that is enhanced when it's used with select is the only way forward, it will encourage people to upgrade to select, so that they can use the improvements in the the software.

 is a RISC OS Userrunningman on 11/10/05 3:16PM
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runningman: That is completely missing the point. It won't encourage people to upgrade to Select, because the whole point of this debate is the lack of Select for the Iyonix. You can't upgrade to something that doesn't exist. Also, the developers usually seem to use the Iyonix, so they can't test the Select features in their software, even if they had access to documentation on them. Finally, software authors shouldn't really have to go to the trouble of identifying an OS and doing different things depending on what version is found.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 11/10/05 3:34PM
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It /may/ encourage people still on 3.5-4.0 to upgrade - if they thought the extra facilities are worth it to them.


 is a RISC OS UserDS1 on 11/10/05 3:41PM
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jc: well done for completely misreading what I said. The point I made isn't about developers caring, and don't pretend to presume to tell us what we _should_ think. All I said is why users might want to care about Select.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 11/10/05 3:51PM
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"Do you mean that ROL wanted Castle to fund the entire conversion,"


" but ROL also wanted to be allowed to sell the work (funded by Castle) on to other companies as well, with no return to Castle?"

Not just no return, but no guarantee on pricing; as I understood it at the time, Castle had two (perfectly reasonable) objections. Firstly, that they would be paying for something that then didn't belong to them - which ROL could even, in theory, refuse to let them use. Secondly, that (Castle having paid all the development costs) ROL would have been within the terms of the contract to charge Castle more per licence than everyone else. No sane businessman could sign a contract like that.

Aaron: What druck actually said was that ROL wanted Castle to pay the entire development costs, after which ROL would have the right to sell the product to anybody, with no return to Castle (or even any guarantee that Castle wouldn't wind up paying more than the others). Which isn't at all the same as Castle wanting their own private version. His use of "the AMS" was a little confusing, I agree, but otherwise his post seemed perfectly clear to me. "ROL wanted development fully funded by Castle in exchange for a non-exclusive license", which is clearly the opposite of what you're suggesting.

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 11/10/05 5:15PM
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Thanks for the clarification; that makes sense now. To explain, I think the confusion stems from the fact that, if Castle were not happy with ROL giving them a non-exclusive licence, you might conclude that Castle wanted an exclusive licence, i.e. one that prevented any other companies getting access to the OS.

This is clearly not the correct conclusion and is a bad reading of the statement. Thanks again for the explanation.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/10/05 6:36PM
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I think that ideally (from their point of view) Castle probably would have *wanted* an exclusive licence. ROL (ideally, again) would like unlimited development funds with no strings attached; the trick is meeting somewhere in the middle that's acceptable to both parties. Clearly, in a business situation, the person providing the money is going to want some strings (and preferably a budget and timescale for providing the finished product).

Part of the problem is that "non-exclusive" doesn't really tell you that much; other parts of a contract can often be much more problematic than exclusivity or otherwise.

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 11/10/05 7:31PM
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Chrisj I am assuming you know what you are talking about.

Extrapolating a bit on that basis; ROL's alleged intransigence wrt Castle's alleged desire to bring a 32bit RISC OS to market could have delayed us getting native hardware faster than a RiscPC.

So there we were with the Omega quickly becoming a farce and RiscStation fizzling out failing to produce a computer faster than the RS7500 series, and no other players in the market *apparently* wishing to produce native 32bit only RISC OS machines.

Thus (extrapolating a smidgin further) the technology most likely to benefit from Castle being stymied in their alleged quest for a 32bit only RISC OS computer, would have been RISC OS under emulation.

Or are my timescales all wrong?

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 11/10/05 8:48PM
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Well, apparently ROL was not all that stubborn as some seem to suggest, since Advantage6 have been able to strike a deal with them that made a 32bit-conversion possible without Ad6 getting exclusivity and without Ad6 having to pay the full costs of the conversion. So clearly ROL were not the ones that would not agree to a deal acceptable to both parties.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 11/10/05 9:25PM
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In replay to JGZimmerle: Unless ROL's policy has shifted somewhat. Nobody really knows. It may have been a clash of personality between PM and JL that was the sticking point. Pure conjecture I'm afraid, like a lot of other comments on here.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 11/10/05 9:30PM
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@AMS: ARMTwister and Xscale would be available now, if Castle had not lured away MicroDigital's customers. If Castle had honoured the exclusive licence ROL has for the desktop market (as the other players in the market did), then Castle would have had to find a way to either get 32bit-RO4 from ROL (like Ad6 did) or to run 26bit-RO on Xscale (like MD did). Both options would have taken time, wich MD could have used to sell their way-faster-than-RiscPCs Omegas. This revenue would have enabled them to finish ARMtwister, wich would have brought the Xscale to the Omega. This way we would have had a 1GHz RISC OS Adjust computer by now, plus a company in the market with the intellectual property for a chipset tailored to desktop-ARM systems running RISC OS. Since this IP could easily be implemented in newer and much faster FPGA chips (wich can easily be obtained in low volumes as required by our market), an Omega2 might even have appeared by now. As it is now, we are dependant on the big chip-makers again, who don't care a thing about us and only produce chipsets wich are designed for PDAs, phones, set-top-boxes, PCI-cards or routers, and are far from optimal for desktop systems. But as we all know, Castle decided to cheat and take the shortcut via a 32bitted STB-OS from Pace, counting on ROL's financial inability or unwillingness to defend their rights in court.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 11/10/05 9:58PM
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BTW, if the A9home was released now, it would have about the same limitations as the Iyonix, when it was released (no well-working sound and no USB2).

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 11/10/05 10:01PM
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"ARMTwister and XScale". Um, yes. Maybe in a different universe where MD didn't need to blame all its problems on others. The reasons why AT and XScale didn't make technical or practical sense have been discussed ad nauseum. I hope we don't need to revist them.

RISC OS as a whole needs to look foward, not continaully blame its problems on past follies as ROL is rapidly falling into the trap of doing so, and as the debate here is following.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 11/10/05 10:12PM
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@Peter Naulls: Sorry, I just had some time on my hands, waiting for an extension to Maya 7 being delivered before I can continue working on my photorealistic 3D animation of the dam-buster's attack on the möhne dam, so I foolishly replied to AMS's teasing to kill some time. I will stop that discussion now.

Yes, RISC OS has to look forward. Most importantly we need software for at least basic DVD authoring and video editing. This now comes as standard with new PCs and Macs.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 11/10/05 10:37PM
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In reply to JGZimmerele: We already have software to author DVD's - CDVDBurn ([link])

Yes, we do need to look forward. But video editing software does not get written by itself. Someone needs to write it, someone needs to be paid to write it. There also needs to be a market for it in order for the development costs to be recouped.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 11/10/05 11:05PM
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JGZimmerle: My god, you're not giving up on this Omega crap are you?

"ARMTwister and Xscale would be available now, if Castle had not lured away MicroDigital's customers"

Your "arguments" become sillier and sillier each time! Of course Castle should have waited to produce the Iyonix until MD was good and ready to deliver their fantasy computer. Castle are a business, something MicroDigital seem to have failed to become. They delivered a product and sold it, tough shit for MD that couldn't deliver the Omega and arguably still haven't and you go on about "Omega 2" - Whatever is it that paints this abstract world over your eyes?

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 11/10/05 11:07PM
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sa110: Are current RISC OS computers capable of video editing with realistic usability? Would that ever be more than basic cut between scenes? I ask because I don't know.

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 11/10/05 11:13PM
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@sa110: CDVDBurn is not a DVD authoring software, it is a DVD burning application. DVD authoring is the creation of video DVDs incl. menus, etc.

@gulli: My god, you're not giving up on this Iyonix crap are you? Current RISC OS computers are much too slow to be useful for full-resolution video editing.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 12/10/05 00:18AM
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Video editing used to be a big thing for RISC OS, when Eidos (and later Origin Systems) were selling their Optima package. This was really for professional offline video editing (used by the BBC etc.), so perhaps not really what's being discussed here, but this kind of thing could clearly lay the foundation for some pretty decent video editing software for the platform, I'd have thought.

I'd be interested to know what the current state of Optima is. I believe it was still being used professionally and in education until not too long ago.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 12/10/05 01:42AM
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Video editing. As someone who is sitting infront of my 11 year old riscpc using videodesk to edit full screen video (all the of the effects use the strongarm chip) obviously it isn't possible on the riscpc. Yes the final output and any output uses the videodesk card, but the effects are done on the strongarm (I tried with a 610 as well - 11 times slower). To do some effects on the full screen video it takes about .5 seconds per frame for a cross fade. This an't real time, but then it isn't too slow either and most video editting is just cutting and moving scenes around with with odd fade/disolve. Yes others will do lots of special fx, at least for the stuff I do it isn't a problem.

So what we need is a firewire card and then the ability to display dv on the screen, and it probably won't matter if we even had to drop some frames. I would then use something like Cineworks which actually looks rather nice and is far better then the prepacked windows/mac products.

On the RiscPC is record at 1.4MB per second, DV 3.5MB, but my ide interface can't handle that and VHS/SVHS is only upto about 1.8MB per second.

Anyway back to my videodesk project - its a small one only about 1.6GB, the largest I have done so far is 3 hours and 9GB raw video, 16Gb total size including additional edits and effects (fades).


 is a RISC OS Userpmnoble on 12/10/05 09:13AM
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pmnoble: The RiscPC then isn't capable of what's required as I expected (full DV25 etc). Does anyone know if the Iyonix can deliver what's needed?

JGZimmerle: Why would I give up on the only RISC OS computer currently available on the market when I can call someone, order one and actually receive it?

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 12/10/05 10:37AM
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Comments from Julian, Gunniagur, &c - but certainly not directed at those named posters, Perhps we should all welcome all current, emerging, and future RISC OS machines even if it's not the one we have chosen to purchase? Of course the one one did buy is the best - to question that would be to question our purchasing competence - but that is no reason to be dismissive (or worse) about the rest. The past could have been different - though very few have any idea about what happened in the (RISC OS) past - but it wasn't. As we are all dependent on all hardware developers being as successful as possible it would help tremendously if everyone stopped slating RISC OS companies and products - especially as much of the bad mouthing is based on false information anyway.

RISC OS is a good OS. Can we work together to give it a future?

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 12/10/05 12:14AM
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In reply to Guli: I have no idea if current RO hardware is any good for video editing. JGZimmerle mentioned about the lack of software for video editing. I was merely saying that any such software, first needs be written. Which of course costs money.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 12/10/05 1:12PM
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ROL is a limited company, as is Castle, Microdigital and a number of other RO entities. Companies have customers who are entitled to judge them - as opposed to private individuals or charities - by business standards: do they deliver a good product, support it and behave in a generally trustworthy and predictable way? Many companies in the RO marketplace meet these standards and are entitled to expect our support - others do not, and should not. We shouldn't confuse the standard required of a commercial enterprise with that expected from a private individual or group of enthusiasts, or relax our requirements for the sake of sentiment. The long-term interests of the platform will be served by the involvement of well-managed, viable and profitable businesses.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 12/10/05 1:26PM
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jc I don't wish to ever be in the sorry position again of *being dependent on* companies with track records such as RS and MD.

Castle managed to bring an exciting new product to market without asking for a deposit or subscription. Do you really not have a clue just how much that is appreciated by customers?

bucksboy "The long-term interests of the platform will be served by the involvement of well-managed, viable and profitable businesses." You've hit the nail on the head.

That is where the RISC OS market needs to be, not as a collection of cottage industries fighting tooth and nail just to keep their heads above water.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 12/10/05 7:37PM
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blahsnr - Up to the RscStation laptop issue I think Riscstation did a good job launching their 7500 based machines with everything functioning, from memory, as advertised. I did like the idea of the Omega though after playing with one at a RISCOS Ltd AGM I was slightly disappointed and more so as every month went past. Both companies lost a lot of good will due to long delays on some of their projects but if they had pullled it off I'm sure we would all be saying something different. If they had been more up front with their difficulties I sure a lot more people would have been happier with what went on.

As a Select subscriber from the first release I was happy with ROL until the past 12 months and I hope they learn the lessons from the RS and MD situations.

Castle have been more polished in their dealings with it's customers and though I'm not entirely happy with the pace of improvements to RISCOS5, I am happy with Castles way of conducting business.

It is a small mainly loyal market but companies do need to make sure they look after their customers otherwise it is difficult to retreve any lost goodwill.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 12/10/05 7:57PM
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bluenose Agreed Riscstation did a great job with the first generation ARM7500fe based machines. It went a bit wobbly with the non-arrival of the 'PCI project'. Then it went horribly wrong with the Portable, leaving me Eur330 out of pocket. In the case of MD I got my Omega deposit back before it was too late.

When I bought my Iyonix it became clear very quickly, that ROL were not interested in doing Select for it. Within a couple of months we were hardly using our RiscPC's. So I was not a problem for me to let my subscription lapse. The Select for Iyonix shenanigans since then have confirmed the wisdom of that choice.

You are right, is well nigh impossible to retrieve goodwill once it has been lost. An apology is usually a good place to start.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 12/10/05 8:12PM
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With regard to video editing: I would just like to remind people, that the rest of the world is just moving to HDTV. Since video editing is generally done without compression, we are talking about 148MB/s for each track. Of course for home use we might get away with using HDV-compressed material (25Mbit/s MPEG-2). But for that we don't have remotely enough processing power.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 12/10/05 10:04PM
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