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The Icon Bar: News and features: RISCOS Ltd.'s new scheme

RISCOS Ltd.'s new scheme

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 13:26, 18/5/2001 | , , ,
RISCOS Ltd. have announced a new scheme to enable access to more RISC OS 4 updates. However, you won't be able to talk to them about it at the show, because they won't be there - which, having read the full press release, might be a good thing.

The official reason that RISCOS Ltd. decided not to attend this year is that they have "cut back on our presence at exhibitions, since many programmers are happier working in isolation, rather than trying to help users directly with their queries". So no access to the programmers - contractors rather than staffers, which "has been interpreted by some people as 'RISCOS Ltd has NO programmers' which is luckily not the case". Let's hope this does allow ROL to "make the best use of those peoples' skills".

The main thrust of the press release (which I've uploaded to our site, as it contains more information than the version on the ROL site), was the news of RISC OS Select, a subscription-based scheme where for an extra 100 pounds a year you get access to three update CDs - updated RISC OS 4 ROM images plus early access to beta stuff. Access to RISC OS 4 updates - RISC OS 4.5, which will continue to be 26bit - will also entitle you to documents on the website previously only available to registered developers.

And what about developers? The cost of being a registered developer is set to go up - 500 per six months. This entitles you to "direct contact with the RISC OS Development team"; access to documentation will, as previously mentioned, be available to all RISC OS Select members.

RISC OS 5, the 32bit version of the OS required for access to more modern processors, seems to have been put on the back burner. "[T]he amount of work needed to convert major areas of RISC OS such as the kernel and ADFS will take many man months of work to complete and until we get sufficient commitment from our customers, that work will not be undertaken.". So what of the future? "[I]t appears that the availability of 26 bit processors will continue for longer than was expected.". This doesn't, however, address the problem of getting access to processors faster than 200-odd Mhz that we have had to endure for so long.

The quest for continuous revenue streams seem a little Microsoft for my taste, and time will tell if it succeeds or not. But without any commitment to a 32bit RISC OS it looks like we won't be getting access to any new processors any time soon.

  RISCOS Ltd.'s new scheme
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Rob Kendrick Message #88534, posted at 14:07, 18/5/2001
Unregistered user Is this just more evidence that RISCOS Ltd. are not economically viable? It does have to be said that they've lasted longer already than some thought they would; is the high-prices they've just announced a last attempt to make some money?

What what I've seen and heard (but don't know for sure) Pace have already ported much of RISC OS to 32bit-only processors, which leads me to wonder if ROL aren't getting much from Pace. Hey, we'll never know for sure, because ROL are always so secretive, you don't know what they're doing, if anything.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Robert Richards Message #88535, posted at 15:06, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88534
Unregistered user Having read the press release:

Is the Select scheme going to be the only way to upgrade? 105ukp sounds pricey for a set of upgrades which are unspecified at the time of purchase.
If I wait say three years, and then pay my money, will I get my years subscription and the previous years updates?
What about all us student users who *cannot afford* 105ukp a year? Any discounts perhaps?

You'd have to do a very good job of telling me what I was going to get for my money for me to pay up.

It's a good idea in principle, but I can't help feeling that we really need to know exactly what is planned for the future. Vague hand-waving will not do. All I can see is:
RISC OS Internet Suite
A new version of Printers
Support for DHCP etc
Multi-user support

There *must* be more than this for 105 quid, surely?

At least with the 'upgrade in a box' it's an easy decision to buy as you know exactly what you are getting.

Nice idea, but we want details man!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Michael Stubbs Message #88536, posted at 15:08, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88535
Unregistered user Well Acorn used to pay for RISC OS development through hardware sales. It's a shame Pace didn't take on the whole Acorn Workstation Division instead of having a silly Microsoft-type in the middle.

Sometimes I question the sanity of those at ROL. For example, "...until we get sufficient commitment from our customers, that work will not be undertaken." What a stupid thing to say. There's a few more people off to Windoze-land which is laiden with faster processors and an OS under constant (un)development. Do they not realise that you have to have a product before you get commitment? Would they like our money first?

Sorry about the rant, but it's misguided announcements like that cause damage to the market.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Michael Stubbs Message #88537, posted at 15:09, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88536
Unregistered user Good point Robert, some of use cannot afford such prices for what appears to be very little :-/
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Robert Richards Message #88538, posted at 15:23, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88537
Unregistered user I think Michael that the comment to which you refer is treating the hardware companies as 'customers'. They mention elsewhere that there is no need for a 32 bit OS for the short term at least so I think they are quite justified in leaving it for now.

What's more likely to drive people away is the 'give us yer money' and we'll cobble together some CD's (that phrase "'up to' three a year...). If anyone at ROL is reading. I'll buy it. But not untill I know what I'm getting.

It does have a cool logo though :-)

I'm not totally opposed, but it needs to be done properly and carefully if it's going to work and punter are not to feel ripped off. It's potentially excellent news.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
me Message #88539, posted at 15:39, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88538
Unregistered user With this kind of response from people, I begin to wonder why ROL even bother. Pack up and go home, guys. People just don't want RISC OS.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Bob Message #88540, posted at 15:41, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88539
Unregistered user I couldn't agree more.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Robert Richards Message #88541, posted at 15:58, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88540
Unregistered user I'm sure ROL can take a little criticism. I do want RISC OS. But surely one is allowed to ask what your money buys?
All the the ROL site says is "We've started the Select scheme, click here for an order form".

The last thing anyone wants is for ROL to "pack up and go home", but they may as well if poeople are going to get wound up just because of a little flak on a bulletin board.

A question for "Me". If I said send me 105ukp and I'll send you a piece of hardware that will work on your machine, function is unspecified as yet, would you give me the money?

Christ, I only asked for some details of what my money buys me. I'm sure it'll turn out to be an excellent deal and well worth the money.
I am happy with RO 4, it was money well spent, but I wouldn't have bought it if I hadn't seen a feature list first.
Hokay? Comprende?

So of course, "Me" and "Bob" have already printed off their order forms, put them in an envelope with a cheque for 105ukp and popped in in the post?
It may be small change for you, but it's about a months living allowance on a student budget.

And why the anonymous posts guys? Get a grip!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Gunnlaugur Jonsson Message #88542, posted at 16:31, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88541
Unregistered user Hmm, I was ready to commit myself to RISC OS again knowing that powerful processors were just around the corner. Millipede, MicroDigital, probably RiscStation and Castle too coming up with new developments with processors from 600Mhz. Now I'm not so sure anymore. The fact that RISCOS Ltd. wants customers like the before mentioned to commit themselves to 32 bit processors before development starts on an operating system that would run on these processors is arrogant in my opinion given this particular quote:

"[T]he amount of work needed to convert major areas of RISC OS such as the kernel and ADFS will take many man months of work to complete and until we get sufficient commitment from our customers, that work will not be undertaken"

Isn't Omega supposed to be nearing completion? I thought that was designed to be a stepping stone to 32bit RISC OS, Millipede's Imago designed for easy swapping of processors and supporting processors like the XScale was seen as a possible way over.

Millipede and Microdigital must feel incredibly stupid now! Maybe finally we have the real reason why the Omega isn't out yet - Microdigital may have thought of ditching the project alltogether given that this leaflet is probably not the first time they've heard of the new "development news".

RISCOS Ltd. can't expect people to jump straigth to the 32 bit OS, customers still have a lot of software that isn't and will not be 32 bit compatible and of course they'll be hesitant of renewing almost their entire software catalogue. The computer manufacturers have recognized this, hence developments like the Omega. Now all that has been thrown out the window and unfortunately this could become the real beginning of the end. Now that it's officially out that new powerful processors will NOT be available for at least a couple of years ("32bit OS will take many man months") who's going to buy new RISC OS computers? Many people that have been waiting for Omega will not be waiting any longer.

This sounds incredibly pessimistic I know but I think this could be the final nail in the coffin for a once good OS that excelled in many areas but is really starting to show it's age.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Lee Johnston Message #88543, posted at 16:56, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88542
Unregistered user I'm afraid that I'm in complete agreement Gunnlaugur. I'm heading up to Wakefield tomorrow and I fully intended to come away with a new machine but this announcement has just shattered my hopes.

Firstly I can't believe the price of the scheme. MS may charge a lot for developer status but the amount of material you gain access to is incredible. Unless updates are going to be extensive then I don't see that the 3 CDs / yr of the OS ROMs are going to come anywhere near matching the MS schemes for value.

It gets worse though. As someone who had his semi-commercial developers fee taken without receiving anything back; as someone who has queried ROL on this and been "promised" a refund; as someone who has just renewed his foundation membership only to have the query included with the renewal apparently ignored I find this incredible. Why should I even TRUST them to give me what I pay for if I register? Perhaps they could offer me a discount to the sum of my semi-commercial developers fee.

The comment about 32bit work not being deemed necessary while 26bit machines are selling in adequate numbers is sheer madness. Hello ROL, the reason 26bit machines are selling is because there is no alternative. As for no perceived need - am I dreaming of all those posts on the newsgroups crying out for faster processors, the ability to encode MP3s in realtime, the ability to match PCs for graphics? What about Omegas supposed effect of freezing the market? I guess we can also drop any hopes for a new Castle machine or Evolution.

All this comment says to me is that the future for RISC OS is not secured in any sense at all.

So what do I do tomorrow? I've aked awkward questions of the hardware manufacturers in the past but how are they supposed to convince me to stay with the platform with this hanging over their heads?

The cynic in me suggests that the real reason ROL won't be at Wakefield is because they don't want to face the fallout that this could potentially bring with it.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Bob Message #88544, posted at 16:57, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88543
Unregistered user One day you will all know what has actually gone on in the past two years. That will be the real end of RISC OS.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Rob Kendrick Message #88545, posted at 17:31, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88544
Unregistered user Examples of ROL's complete lack of professionalism, skill, tact and knowledge are too frequent for my liking. I think it's time to leave. Bye bye chaps, and thanks for all the Zaps.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Chris Williams Message #88546, posted at 19:31, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88545
Unregistered user I think this whole situation could be resolved if somebody at RISC OS Ltd. stepped forward and made important information public. What can we expect? Why did they go for a Select scheme? At least Paul M has said he will be visiting european shows.

Not everything should go public mind but I think everyone's patience has been tested. We've stuck by ROL, we've happily upgraded and bought RISC OS software. Should we either hang on that little longer or quit?

I think we've got too far to quit and with Wakefield 2001 just around the corner..

Chris "who tried to avoid a guilt trip posting" Williams
(speaking personally)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Annraoi Message #88547, posted at 20:32, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88546
Unregistered user Developing a 32 bit RISC OS will cost money and time, if ROL have contractors in that will cost much more than normal staffers.

I would not be besides myself with happiness to part with the sort of money ROL are asking, but at the same time with a limited base what else can they do ? I do know I would be a lot more unhappy if ROL did corporately roll up their tents and left.

Time to circle the wagons I think....
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Nathan Message #88548, posted at 22:29, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88547
Unregistered user I thought everything was coming good but no, was I wrong. This is the first time I have felt that sway away from RISC OS this bad. RISC OS Ltd are doing a VERY stupid thing.
I also think that certain things are going amiss here. It seems to me that Pace are the ones doing the RO upgrading but ROL just tidy up the desktop OS. Also I seem to feel like the dealers are getting no support from ROL, seems ROL try to hold all the cards and it is hurting the market too much.

What links lie between ROL and Pace I wonder? If Pace are serious about the NC market then they must have more enhancements than what we believe?

ROL I think you have done a sadly *VERY* dangerous thing.

I am strongly considering not bothering with the market anymore. I have fought through thick and thin to get software released and now see how much time I have wasted. ROL need their heads slamming for such a BAD tactic.
Should I stay or should I go, 80% of my mind says go.

They better change their mind and quickly otherwise your favourite OS is dead.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
mark quint Message #88549, posted at 23:29, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88548
Unregistered user hrrmmm when i first saw this bit of news i was going to stick up a little pessimistic, & critical view of ROL, but i thought id leave it as it seemed a little extreme, but hey, looks like im not the only one who think that RiscOS Ltd have made a major mistake.
All this year we've been waiting for new hardware & promises of RiscOS being faster, but this announcement has killed quite a bit of that.
Ah well, at least Wakefield show is coming, where we *should* finally see the Omega, which'll be a step in the right direction.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Graham Message #88550, posted at 23:48, 18/5/2001, in reply to message #88549
Unregistered user I don't think they've made a major mistake at all in terms of their roadmap.
They clearly believe it is better to improve the current version of RISCOS by adding new features to it and improving existing parts of it rather than appear to do nothing for several months and then roll out a 32bit version that is in exactly the same state as RO4, ie with poor internet access, an obsolete printer manager etc..

I'd much rather have improvements made to the 26bit version now as they are so desparately needed.
I'm sure that any features added to RISCOS 26bit will be done in such a way as to make the porting of said features to 32bit easy.

It should be clear to everyone that they can't do all the improvements necessary to RISCOS /and/ produce a 32bit version at the same time.

They had a choice to make and they've made it.
I believe it to be the correct one.

If there has been any mistake made, then it was with the wording of their press release.
Perhaps they need to employ someone like me to handle their PR :D
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Robert Richards Message #88551, posted at 00:24, 19/5/2001, in reply to message #88550
Unregistered user What roadmap?
They haven't made any specific pledges of exactly what parts of the OS are going to be updated. A new CDFS? That is badly needed. Support for DVD drives? Needed for when this faster hardware arrives. Firewire? USB? Bluetooth?

I don't think ROL know.

I was going to buy a subscription to the foundation, cheque and form filled out and everything. Is it worth bothering considering I'll get a massive 6 quid off Select?

If someone official could give me a list of what is planned for the first twelve months they have my 105ukp.
I *do* like the idea of beta releases followed by a full release on the next edition. Nothing is better than testing 'in the field'.

There are too many unanswered questions for me to consider parting with my money. Once they are answered they make a sale. Simple.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Michael Gerbracht Message #88552, posted at 00:30, 19/5/2001, in reply to message #88551
Unregistered user I would like to know how the MicroDigital/RiscStation or Castle/Millipede think about that step. Do they work closely together with RISC OS Ltd. or is that supprising for them, too? I can understand that RISC OS Ltd. doesn't have much money, but if anybody has money in the RISC OS marked than that are hardware manufactors when they sell the new machines. After the pressrelease they have to convince people now to buy any computers in the times of this unknown future.

I have always been optimistic, but I don't think that many people will follow this road and subscribe to RISC OS Select. Whether this was a good idea or not strongly depends on what they have to offer. But until now they only said what you won't get for your money and not what you will be getting. Is there any complete RISC OS 4.5 feature list out there, is there even a date when it will come out? But there is an order form on their homepage...

So I hope there are some good news on the show tomorror and if people attend there, please aks the hardware developers what they think of the situation now, I'm very interested in their oppinion.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Stephen Courtney Message #88553, posted at 00:37, 19/5/2001, in reply to message #88552
Unregistered user The two things I can't quite get my head around are:

1) What amounts to the abandonment of the 32-bit version of RISC OS (at least for the next couple of years). Does this mean that we will still be chugging away on 0.2Ghz machines when the rest of the world are on 2.5Ghz or more? (yes, I realise direct speed comparisons aren't quite fair, but that much of a difference is extreme).

2) The cost of the upgrade scheme. I noticed that Foundation members get the scheme for "only" 99ukp. So far as I can see, you end up paying almost the entire cost of RISC OS 4 for only a few improvements (admittedly, they include several welcome ones).

Like others who have commented on this story, I was under the impression that RISC OS might be emerging from the long period of decline the OS has been enduring since the mid 90s, but this announcement has definitely made me reconsider. I hope someone at RISCOS Ltd will elaborate on things, and that they will not turn out to be as bad as they currently appear.

Sorry if this all comes across as overtly depressing, but it's just impression I get from reading that press release. :(
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
David James Message #88554, posted at 06:59, 19/5/2001, in reply to message #88553
Unregistered user Hardware independance? Might we at least get that?

If not, we will be stuck at around 50Mhz for our entry level machines.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
John Campbell Rees Message #88555, posted at 12:23, 19/5/2001, in reply to message #88554
Unregistered user My first reaction was R.I.P. RISC OS. Cancelling the 32bit version of ROS until they know there will be customers is deeply stupid. Hello, here we are.

I think that the reason many didn't upgrade to ROS4 was because they knew that it was a stop-gap, something to run on existing processors until faster 32bit chips became available. Well, the processors are here now, people are eager to upgrade, but RISCOS Ltd seems to have given up.

I suspect that PACE have already done the work on 32bit RISC OS for their set top boxes. Is it now time that the licence to upgrade and sell the Desktop version RISC OS reverted back PACE, who will then publish it themselves.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Chris Williams Message #88556, posted at 12:23, 19/5/2001, in reply to message #88555
Unregistered user A few points:
* Castle and Riscstation do work woth ROL. ROL were consulted during the making of the Kinetic Card.
* I can't quite understand why everyone thinks this is te end of RO.. As far as I see it the Select Club is for "version junkies" who want the latest versions right away. Hence the name "Select". You can still buy future versions of RO without being a Select member. If you want to be on the pulse every four months then go for Select if not, then sit tight and pick up (hopefully) a yearly update.
* 32bit processors. The time it would take to get RISC OS over to 32bit will probably equal the time it would take to port existing software to 32bit. It is a bit of a body blow though to be told that ROL aren't putting 32bit on the top of their priorites. It would be interesting to find to what their priorities are.

It seems ROL have burst a few bubbles..

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Owen Griffin Message #88557, posted at 14:35, 19/5/2001, in reply to message #88556
Unregistered user I have to agree with Chris. This decision about RISC OS should not be taken down to the bone.
Personally I would not upgrade to Select because I pefer a "proper" versions of software.

What was the developer price before hand?
I think RISC OS ltd have stood on the wrong end of a rake which has flung up into their face.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Francis Message #88558, posted at 17:12, 19/5/2001, in reply to message #88557
Unregistered user With no 32-bit RO soon (and what looks like the financial non-viability of the RO market) some people can only see the market collapsing. This is in danger of becoming a truism - if many more people jump ship the market will collapse and hey presto - it's true, vindicating their decision.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Stan Williams Message #88559, posted at 17:59, 19/5/2001, in reply to message #88558
Unregistered user The Select announcement came as a bit of a shock initially.....So time to reflect on this;

To develop an OS you need one or more of the following;
1) Huge pot of cash from benevolent or other sources
2) A large user base who " have to" buy whatever you offer them
3) Incremetal income from users.
4) Incremental income from licencees
5) An open source movement dedicated to producing quality software for the
good of manking and to defeat the evil OS creator.
6) Control of hardware.

How many of these does ROL have ? I make it just two; you me and the rest of
the RISC OS user base and the companies selling RO4 based machines (OK and a
little help from Pace...).

I have used MS products daily for work for about five years now. Recently I
took my newly aquired A4 portable into work and ran the two machines side by
side for a couple of days. It reminded me why I don't want to use MS at home
and just how *bloody good* the RISC OS GUI is. It is a delight to use!!

So what is the alternative (RHETORICAL question). ( I am aware of lots of
alternatives ;o)

If you have no money then keep on using your current RISC OS machine (My
SARPC with newly installed RO4 is great!) . It won't stop working or go any
slower because ROL won't write a 32 bit version of the OS, and neither will
your software need to be updated to run on 32 bit RISC OS. Small developers
all round Europe will keep on bringing out products to help RISC OS users.

If you do have money that what is 100ukp per year ? A few good nights out ?
Getting your car serviced, a very cheap bicycle, getting your PC fixed after
a virus has trashed the hard disk.......It is certainly less that a new
computer to run Windows or MacOS X or whatever, and the time spent to
learn the ins and outs of a new system.....

My initial reaction was as I said a bit shocked that they were going for a
subscription model. It could have been better presented and the abscense
from Wakefield is regrettable. But to use a cliche there are very few things
in life that are free and at least they have been honest enough to tell us

By my reckoning it is over 2 and a half years since Acorn did the dirty, and
we are still here and still have the choice to use RISC OS. I am going to
give it a whirl for at least the next year and see where it all ends up.
Maybe my Omega will come, my partner will get her RiscStation laptop and
maybe we'll be running 32 bit RISC OS on the X-Scale...

I *know* where it will end up if I don't.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Nathan Message #88560, posted at 08:20, 20/5/2001, in reply to message #88559
Unregistered user "At present however RISCOS Ltd does not have any customers who have made any commitment that requires the productions of a 32-bit version of RISC OS...."

Really? I think not? Is this an attempt at blackmail? After speaking to numerous people at Wakefield, the consensus seems that very few (I found none) companies get on that well with ROL. Added to the fact that a few Paul Middleton posts back he was basically saying everyone should buy OS4 then I find this post amazingly similar.

Does ROL care for the market at all? I know companies always have to revolve around money but my hunch is that ROL cares not for the market but cares for ripping people off.

It also seems that the balance between RO companies is not fair but I will say no more. Needless to say I am extremely yanked off and I stopped my friend from buying a RO machine just yesterday.

Nathan - extremely peeved
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Owen Message #88561, posted at 22:27, 20/5/2001, in reply to message #88560
Unregistered user One word: Chill.

Everyone seems to take this a bit too far. You should at least stop pushing people away from buying a RISC OS machine. RISC OS is a brilliant platform and has the potential to be so. Advise people to use RISC OS if it suits their needs. If not of course... people have work to do. :-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Nathan Message #88562, posted at 22:48, 20/5/2001, in reply to message #88561
Unregistered user Sorry Owen but I won't advise anyone to buy a RISC OS machine if I myself do not feel confident about the market any more. Simple, stupid market tricks like what is being discussed can harm this market in a major way.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Lee Johnston Message #88563, posted at 09:22, 21/5/2001, in reply to message #88562
Unregistered user I'm in total agreement with Nathan on this one - afterall I was at the show with him having the same conversations he was having.

I have a few points to make but firstly I've two things to say

1) The announcement cost RiscStation a sale this weekend. I was impressed with the Scorcher but wasn't willing to put the cash down in light of ROLs announcement. RiscStation are aware of this.

2) I think it's incredibly poor that many of the dealers I spoke with didn't even know about the announcement until they were told. ROL would have known that the dealers would all be setting up on Friday night and the only net access would have been on Castles stand. I think this shows a complete lack of consideration for the people and companies trying to make this OS work.

The fallout on the newsgroups has been interesting to say the least but I only really post to csa.programmer these days. A lot of people have come under attack, some incredibly unfairly. People have even questioned RiscStations commitment to Evolution (afterall, ROL claim no one wants a 32bit OS). Well my conversation with Roy was very interesting and I feel that the comments that have been made are incedibly unfair. I also have a lot more sympathy with MicroDigital since the show.

Some people claim that it's not that much cash, even saying it's not bad for students. Let me correct those people now - students are most definitely not made of money. Even when grants were available the sum ROL is talking about was about 2.5 weeks cash to me (after rent). Without DHCP support to get on their uni's network why should they bother?

In reply to some of the comments made on here

Graham - I can see where you're coming from concerning improving the OS as opposed to having a dodgy 32bit version. OTOH we need something to attract developers to the market. MDs web page suggests Omega has attracted the attention of developers - new hardware always does. Also people moan about lack of support for features for things like Flash (even though we have it). Well people will soon be moaning about the lack of support for Flash3D. Don't kid yourself that the current machines are up to it - they're not.

Stephen - you're correct, no 32bit OS means nothing better than SA.

John - if you're referring to the 300Mhz Kinetic as the reason for not upgrading the OS then I'm not impressed. For me Kinetic is a pretty desperate attempt to keep an unviable machine viable.

Owen - the semi-commercial developer fee was about 25quid. However, in my case at least, to all extents and purposes ROL took the cash and ran.

I'm still unclear as to what the announcement really means. I assume that people who don't subscribe will still be able to buy uprated ROMs for the final release. However this doesn't seem to be made clear. I also think making people who got ROS4 as part of a hardware purchase pay the full whack is incredibly stupid - it's penalising the people who still have some faith.

No doubt you'll also read that Wakefield was a fantastic success. I thought the show was practically empty on Saturday. Certainly I there was room to swing several of the metaphoric cat. However I'd like to say thankyou to the organisers who did their usual brilliant, and professional, job.

I think people should take Nathan's comments seriously, and with a level of concern. Consider the following - Nathan was instrumental in getting Chaos Engine finished, getting SF3000 re-released, getting Sunburst out and is currently cracking the whip on EMD. Do you really want to see him leave the market?
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