The real benefit of Java on RISC OS isn't the existence of any particular application, but rather the fact that the applications are platform independent. Obviouslly Flash shares this benefit too, the difference being that there are far fewer serious desktop applications written in Flash (but perhaps I'm wrong about this?).
If I want to run an application to perform a particular task that doesn't exist on RISC OS, I'd have thought my best chance would be to find an open source C/C++ or Java application. The C/C++ version might do the job, but will likely involve a tricky porting process, so Java would be a potentially useful source of applications, even if its use *is* dwinding on the desktop.
Perhaps I'm misrepresenting the number of serious desktop Flash applications there are out there, but it's not clear to me that Flash is really a substitute for this type of thing (and that's not to say that Flash doesn't have its own strengths in other areas).
Obviously, none of this changes the issue of speed or remoteness of any likely java implementation.
Sure, but I just wanted to point out the factual point that the Iyonix does come with a load of software. Whether the software is comparable to that you get with the Mac is a different matter.
Having said that, I do disagree that the there aren't some good productivity apps on RISC OS. Invariably I suspect for many people, file compatibility is the major hurdle, but that isn't necesarilly a reflection of their features overall.
TechWriter, Zap, GCC/Unixlib all spring to mind amongst others. Fireworkz does useful things you can't do with Exel (at least until the most recent version).
Just to be clear, I'm not denying your experience, just saying that it may not be universal. There are programs on RISC OS that I personally have yet to find a suitable replacement for on another platform.
I understand where you're coming from, and the comment in the article did leap out as a bit dangerous. But it's worth pointing out that the Iyonix does come with a bit more than you give it credit for. Looking at your list, it's fair to say that the Iyonix (as standard) comes with:
Superbly simple & easy to use OS (for those that like it), with web browser (Oregano 2), email (Messenger LITE), word processing (Writer+), spreadsheet (Fireworkz Pro) etc.. all provided as standard for free. Supports Gigabit Ethernet, USB2.
I'm not disputing that a Mac will be better value for most people (although it doesn't necessarilly follow that Macs aren't expensive), but the Iyonix has always included a surprisingly complete set of productivity apps for free.
It's interesting that in day-to-day use the speed of the A9Home stands up well against the Iyonix (in my opinion), even with its currently slower processor. I suspect this is down to the graphics, so the impact of the clockspeed may not be so significant.
I do feel that the A9Home has yet to reach its full potential, but having said this, an improvement in the raw speed is always going to be good and it's good to see new chips being considered.
Thanks drobe for publishing such a great interview. I suspect Jan probably doesn't appreciate quite how inspirational his work was and I'm glad to see he's still creating digital art (any chance of seeing some of his DarkBASIC work?).
I remember showing the result of Tentacles to my girlfriend at the time (I admit a really dumb thing to do). I think it put her off computers for at least a decade!