Iyonix Welcome Guide
When you first get a shiny new computer, do you take the time out to read the manual? David Bradforth breaks the habit of a lifetime, and does just that.
As many of you know, I divide my time between writing for a variety of PC and Mac magazines and taking an active interest in all things RISC OS. This does of course mean that there are times when reading the manual is the last thing on my mind. Until I run out of ideas, and start screaming at the press representative who promptly responds with RTFM. Usually in not quite such a polite fashion, either.
With the recent announcement from Castle Technology of the availability of a Welcome Guide for the Iyonix PC, I waited for it to fall through my door. Not with any huge intention of reading it, but more out of curiosity to see how they'd presented the information Acorn used to have in 200+ page spiralbound guides.
The Iyonix Welcome Guide
The answer is, in a word, exactly the same... except it's in a binder (an oversize A5 affair) and printed entirely in colour on 100gm paper.
It opens with a welcome from Jack Lillingston, Castle MD, thanking you for buying the Iyonix PC, then continues with the guidelines for safe operation (in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish). While this may be to ensure that those whose first language is not English can understand the important stuff, surely the rest of the guide being in English would be something of a hindrance.
In terms of what follows, Castle have provided a concise guide to many aspects of setting up the Iyonix PC and particularly the RISC OS operating system. It's clear, and straightforward, although there are times where it's a little too quick in its explanations leaving plenty of room for readers to get confused along the way.
The appendices at the end, introducing USB (ideal as this is one of the first mainstream RISC OS computers to incorporate USB as a part of its design), Iyonix PC software information (where to gain information on compatibility), the use of alternative file systems (such as CDFS and ShareFS), RISC OS online help (through the use of !Help) and the Command Line skip anything that will take the user beyond that initial learning stage, so I would recommend following up your use of the welcome guide with a read through of the RISC OS user guide.
If there is demand for us to do so, RISC World will bring back the Absolute Beginners series but with a focus on RISC OS 5 — let the editor know if this is of appeal.
So what do I think of the Iyonix PC Welcome Guide? Well it's a well presented, concise, guide to introduce new users to the Iyonix PC but there are ways in which it could have been extended to take users past that initial stage. I cant criticise it too much though, it does what it sets out to do and it's free.