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The Icon Bar: News and features: Iyonix Reviewed in Computer Shopper
 

Iyonix Reviewed in Computer Shopper

Posted by Alasdair Bailey on 21:42, 29/1/2003 | , ,
 
Computer Shopper's current issue (181, March) includes a review of the Iyonix PC from Castle. The write up can be found on page 22 or on the magazine's website (below).

The system only recieves a thumbs across rating but the outlook is positive. The main area that comes in for criticism is pricing (especially when there's no monitor included as standard).

Source: Computer Shopper Magazine
 

  Iyonix Reviewed in Computer Shopper
  ksattic (22:18 29/1/2003)
  alasdair (22:24 29/1/2003)
    ksattic (23:26 29/1/2003)
      ksattic (23:29 29/1/2003)
        nunfetishist (13:28 30/1/2003)
          Hertzsprung (14:54 30/1/2003)
            SparkY (15:49 30/1/2003)
              ToiletDuck (18:24 30/1/2003)
                ams (20:34 30/1/2003)
                  ams (20:48 30/1/2003)
                    Horse (13:23 31/1/2003)
                      bmsh (18:20 31/1/2003)
                        alasdair (19:05 1/2/2003)
                          aa (23:59 1/2/2003)
                            ams (16:41 2/2/2003)
                              Horse (13:01 3/2/2003)
 
Simon Wilson Message #91647, posted by ksattic at 22:18, 29/1/2003
ksattic
Finally, an avatar!

Posts: 1288
An OK writeup, but I have the following comments:

Long filenames are supported with ALT-spaces (hard spaces). These have exactly the same appearance and it's a small change to the OS to allow the normal space to be typed and converted to the hard space (RISCOS Lts's RISC OS does it).

"The Iyonix PC in its current form doesn't cut any ice when compared to the latest Windows PCs" - The raw power of the machine perhaps doesn't cut any ice with modern PCs, but the OS still does. No need to justify that on here. ;o)

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Alasdair Bailey Message #91648, posted by alasdair at 22:24, 29/1/2003, in reply to message #91647
Member
Posts: 17
I know that holding down ALT allows spaces to be inserted but it's hardly the most user friendly way of doing it is it?

Cheers,
a

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Simon Wilson Message #91649, posted by ksattic at 23:26, 29/1/2003, in reply to message #91648
ksattic
Finally, an avatar!

Posts: 1288
Not, it's not, I agree with you there. I always wondered why Acorn chose to do it like that.
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Simon Wilson Message #91650, posted by ksattic at 23:29, 29/1/2003, in reply to message #91649
ksattic
Finally, an avatar!

Posts: 1288
BTW. Sorry if it sounded like I was bashing the article - it was a very fair article, but I was unsure that the writer knew of how to put spaces in filenames. The fact that it's not well documented means that most users won't find it.
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nunfetishist Message #91651, posted at 13:28, 30/1/2003, in reply to message #91650
Unregistered user And it would appear that Computer Whopper *still* can't typeset "RISC OS" correctly. They've been doing that for years, and people have been telling them that they've been doing it wrong for years, too!

"The Oregano 2 web browser is also included, bringing competent web browsing to the RiscOS platform."
<cough>

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James Shaw Message #91652, posted by Hertzsprung at 14:54, 30/1/2003, in reply to message #91651
Hertzsprung
Ghost-like

Posts: 1746
If thats the biggest thing we've got to complain about, I think we should be quite happy :)
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Gavin Message #91653, posted by SparkY at 15:49, 30/1/2003, in reply to message #91652
Danger! Danger! High Voltage!
Posts: 682
It is nice to see RISC OS getting a mention in Computer Shopper. A few more mentions like that would do us good!
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Mark Quint Message #91654, posted by ToiletDuck at 18:24, 30/1/2003, in reply to message #91653
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
hm tis nice to see an article,
shame is a bit mini though :(
although i guess they maybe had a picture of it in the mag :o
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Annraoi Message #91655, posted by ams at 20:34, 30/1/2003, in reply to message #91654
Member
Posts: 56
I think it's usually phrased "damning with faint praise". And that is what the article does.

It makes sure the reader knows at the start that you can have long filenames but no spaces (incorrect) and that it can't run windows apps. Well guess what if someone is thinking of buying a RISC OS machine why should the non-presence of Windows bother 'em ?

It also starts by saying you can't handle MS Word docs, yet contridicts itself later (much later) by saying you can READ but not WRITE them. Well guess what you can if you BUY TechWriter (and it's a darned sight cheaper then MS Office too).

The Iyonix is NOT a PC and should not be judged as one, after all would the fact that you CAN'T run windows programs on a typical Macintosh be mentioned in an article on the Mac (of course not). Macs are Macs they do what Macs do, just as Iyonix does what RISC OS machines do (like should be compare with like).

Not a good article, the sort of lukewarm copy that can only do harm I fear.

Regards

Annraoi

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Annraoi Message #91656, posted by ams at 20:48, 30/1/2003, in reply to message #91655
Member
Posts: 56
My appologies, if the above sounds gruff.

The article was well written (I am not faulting the style), but I just feel that it is not likely to cause a typical PC user to even LOOK at the possible alternative that Iyonix represents.

Exposure on a forum like Computer Shopper is a good thing, but if I knew nothing about RISC OS I can see nothing in this article to make me look at it.

The "Positives" are that it IS an alternative to the PC in some areas, that I don't feel comes across. And the "RISC OS" way of doing things mentioned in the article is NOT explained (for all a PC user may know that may mean standing on your head while belching out land of hope and glory or something !)

Still at least we got a mention I suppose....

Regards

Annraoi

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Horse Message #91657, posted at 13:23, 31/1/2003, in reply to message #91656
Unregistered user First of all, I wouldn't worry about getting a good mention in Computer Shopper - who really cares about bloated, ad-mags written by tech-halfwits, anyway?

As for selling RISC OS machines to punters, I think some more thought needs to go into the target audience. If Amstrad can sell an e-mail 'phone to the Internet newcomer with rip-off mailing charges, it shows that the market is ripe (or at least not exactly unripe) for a decent Internet product for the masses.

The Iyonix, at £1500 or so for a complete system, must surely be regarded as a developer system and won't excite anyone but those committed to writing RISC OS software in a RISC OS environment. If you want to put the case for RISC OS computing, how Word isn't a necessity for the average punter, and how easy an environment it is, it becomes necessary to position whatever RISC OS product you're selling *way* *outside* the traditional PC paradigm - only then will people stop supposedly comparing apples with oranges.

Unfortunately, there's a reluctance to sell computers very cheaply in the UK these days - when the hyped eMachines arrived, for example, the usual W~ retail stores sold them for the same price as the standard, dodgy brands (eg. Packard Bell), which are themselves overpriced given the quality of the product.

Meanwhile, I can't help thinking that a standard desktop environment is really unsuitable for the inexperienced Internet punter...

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Ben H Message #91658, posted by bmsh at 18:20, 31/1/2003, in reply to message #91657
Member
Posts: 33
I don't think the review was ever going to convince anyone who's not looked at RISC OS before to do so now, but I think there's a chance former/lapsed RISC OS users will see that something's happening and take another look at the system. It's excellent for the Iyonix to be featured in a mainstream magazine and the promotion can surely only be good news.
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Alasdair Bailey Message #91659, posted by alasdair at 19:05, 1/2/2003, in reply to message #91658
Member
Posts: 17
> First of all, I wouldn't worry about getting a good > mention in Computer Shopper - who really cares about > bloated, ad-mags written by tech-halfwits, anyway?

I can't argue with the bloated ad-mag bit but I certainly dislike the tech-halfwits commet. Shopper is the only mag in this country written by people who were interested in computers first and then ended up writing for mags. We're not all freebie-hunting soho-living tabloid types you know!

wrt the points in the thread about it not convincing PC users to buy an Iyonix, I really can't imagine that many would no matter how positive the write up. Like someone pointed out, the aim of covering it was more to let people know it's out there and to give an appraisal of it.

Cheers,
a

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aa Message #91660, posted at 23:59, 1/2/2003, in reply to message #91659
Unregistered user To be honest, even if the article was absolutely glowing in its praises, five stars, thumbs up, whatever, I still don't think it would do much to persuade the 'average' windows user to buy an Iyonix. Stick with what you know and all that.

However, there are probably Computer Shopper readers out there who used and owned risc os computers in the past. More than likely, if they havn't been in the risc os market in the last few years, they will probably they will have just assumed that risc os died when Acorn ceased to be . Hopefully the article will be enough to release a bit of nostalgia in those ex risc os users, back to a time when drag & drop worked properly, user interfaces were consistent and applications did what you wanted them to.

And perhaps it will be enough to encourage a few, if not to return to the fold, at least to take a closer look at what's been going on.

Which is a good thing I think.

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Annraoi Message #91661, posted by ams at 16:41, 2/2/2003, in reply to message #91660
Member
Posts: 56
With regards to Alasdair's comments some are indeed valid. I do think C'Shopper is pretty good, and better than most PC magazines (the fact they're prepared to cover the Iyonix (and RISC OS in the past) is an indication of this). And C'Shopper is definately less uncritical of things MS and PC.

HOWEVER (the big BUT) the version of the piece in the magazine is phrased differently and a lot less neutral than the one on their website.

There are some PC users out there who are sick to the back teeth of MS's shinnanegans - and would LOVE to have an alternative. Now if it's only 1% of PC users it would be a substantial block of people and if even a small proportion of those chose RISC OS then it would (surely) make our market more viable ?

Thing is (though) PC magazines get money from advertising copy sold, and there are no adverts for RISC OS products, and lots of adverts for PC products - what magazine MD or editor is going to upset their advertisers by promoting products that might (even if in only a theoretical sense) might damage their sales ?

Regards

Annraoi

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Horse Message #91662, posted at 13:01, 3/2/2003, in reply to message #91661
Unregistered user Apologies to Alasdair for tarring him with the same brush as the majority of computer magazine journalists, although I'm sure the Soho lifestyle thing might still be something to aim for. ;-)

Certainly, it's not a bad thing to keep the awareness levels up amongst the crowd of ex-users, but for anything over £500 for a complete system, I can see that it'll be hard for Castle to convince a lot of people to switch from Windows or the Mac to RISC OS.

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