RISC World


Aaron Timbrell of iSV Products takes us to task for some mistakes in the review of DrawWorks in Issue 2

Aaron Timbrell of iSV Products has written to say that he considers there were some errors in the review of the DrawWorks Millenium CD in Issue 2 of RISC World. To make sure that people aren't put off buying this excellent product we have decided to let him explain where he thinks our reviewer got it wrong.

In each case there is a quote from the review followed by Aaron's comments.

  • All the manuals are in electronic format which is good from the point of view of keeping them together with the software, but you can only have one manual loaded at a time.....
    In fact you can load more than one manual at once. You can have the Mr Clippy, Typography, Dr Fonty and DWM manuals all loaded at the same time.

  • For the most part I can understand the part about having to select parts of an image to apply something to, but it gets a bit wearing sometimes to have an error box pop up all the time, especially for some tools like the print preview. You can emulate printing on, say, yellow paper which is a good thing, but surely if you're printing you're mainly going to be printing the whole page?
    To select the whole page just press <CTRL A> then click on the print preview tool. Using <CTRL A> is covered in the DWM manual.

  • Importing foreign file formats is a good thing; however, the importer says it can't import Drawfiles or Sprites - which are handled natively in Draw - which seems a little lazy when they could have been passed straight through to the main program.
    The foreign file importer is just that, an importer for foreign files! You can just drag a drawfile or sprite directly into the draw window.

  • Many of the other applications on the CD are inflicted with the same lack of taste - Mr. Clippy the clipart manager is so bad (beige-yellow with cyan swirls) that I think that even the programmer was put off enough to add an option to switch it off, but no such luck here. All of this is particularly ironic given that they're part of a design package, you really have to look past the design and try to concentrate on the content.
    You can select to have normal "John Major" grey windows or the fun and funky ones. If the reviewer doesn't like the funky windows that's fine, but you do have a choice.

  • I've already touched on the rather dire default colour scheme of the clipart previewer Mr. Clippy, so I'll just warn you that it sings to you when you start it up. Yes, that's right, sings. It's amusing the first couple of times, but gets tired real fast and I can only imagine what it would be like with a whole classroom full of computers doing it. You can't turn it off,
    Of course you can turn off the singing when Mr Clippy starts.

  • The main package might add some fine bells and whistles, but in the end you're still stuck with the interface of Acorn's Draw, with all its annoyances in selecting items near other items and the like, and adds a few of its own.
    Selecting objects near other objects is actually quite easy in Draw. If you have a stack of objects on top of each other just keep double clicking and each object will be selected in turn down the stack!

  • With a few reservations on the interface design and so on (for some reason on my 40MB machine the memory allocation went a little screwy and the electronic manual sometimes ended up taking about 28MB of memory, DWM often snatching a further 2MB or more)
    The reviewer must have been using RISC OS 4 and there is a patch for this problem on our website.

  • ....would serve the needs of a hard up student or school quite well.
    DrawWorks offers a large number of professional level features that are unavailable in any other package. I think the reviewer has completely missed the point of DrawWorks. Its aim is to produce artwork quickly and with the minimum of fuss, it is not designed to do complex six colour separations, although it does handle spot colour and CMYK separations.