RCI announce Titanium-based TiMachine early-access

Announcement from Andrew Rawnsley, 25th February, 2016.

We are pleased to announce that we will have the first “early access” version of our forthcoming Titanium-based computer system, the TiMachine, for sale at the Southwest Show this weekend.

Pronounced “Time-Machine”, the name reflects both Titanium’s future potential/expansion, and also its ability to utilise older RISC OS software too.

The TiMachine offers high performance RISC OS computing – in many cases the fastest currently available, and couples it with exciting expansion potential. The system incorporates innovative features such as dual 1920×1200 DVI graphics outputs, and PCI Express expansion, plus four SATA ports for drive connectivity, and two legacy serial ports.

The system includes our well respected/received Computer Recovery System (introduced with ARMX6) as well as membership of our Titanium Support Scheme, plus comprehensive software bundle – a combined value of several hundred pounds.

A selection of SATA SSD and other options are available.

TiMachine market positioning

Usually when we release a new computer, it completely supersedes its predecessor, and marks “end of life” for the old machine. In this case, we have the intriguing situation where we feel that strong cases can be made for both our existing ARMX6 systems and the TiMachine.

Firstly, ARMX6 has been by far our most successful ARM/RISC OS system release to date, both in the traditional RISC OS consumer market, and in the commercial/industrial space. We are planning a number of ARMX6-based projects in the coming year(s), and have no plans to slow development of the ARMX6 system. The combination of high performance, proven reliability, super-high-resolution graphics (up to 3840×2160 tested) and comprehensive software compatibility at an attractive price make ARMX6 a tasty package.

Meanwhile, the TiMachine takes performance even further, and offers expansion via PCI Express and dual monitor connections. As explained below, software compatibility remains something of a concern, but one we hope will be addressed in due course.** (see end)

Early Access

Why “early-access”? At RCI, we normally don’t announce products until we’re ready to ship, and this case is no different. However, we’re also conscious that the user-experience with Titanium at present will not be quite what people may be used to from RCI in terms of software compatibility, and thus we shall be offering the TiMachine as an “early access” system for those keen to jump on board ASAP.

Why do we say this? Well, Titanium (along with the IGEPv5 board) utilises new features of RISC OS that can cause anomalies (e.g. colour inversion) in some “big name” RISC OS programs like Artworks1. Other programs such as Photodesk, some movie playback software and certain image viewers may also have issues on Titanium, and whilst developers are generally rising to the challenge (David Pilling has more-or-less sorted Ovation Pro, for example, and Andre Timmermanns has updated KinoAmp), we’re avoiding calling it an “official release” at this stage.

You’re welcome to check with us to see if you’ll be affected by any of this, as we’re happy to provide advice and consultation to ensure that you end up with exactly the right computer for you. We have always aimed to deliver the best “out of the box experience” possible, and this is no exception.

  1. As I was typing this (amazing timing, honestly!), Martin Würthner sent through some updated Artworks rendering modules to test, which is great news 🙂 Looks like progress is even faster than I expected!

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