RISC World

Editor's Corner

Aaron Timbrells own bit of the magazine.

As I am sure you have noticed RISC World has undergone a few changes this issue. Firstly I am the new editor, David Matthewman has been forced by pressure of work to pass the editors chair, table, desklight etc. on to me. Secondly as you will have seen by now the magazine has has a bit of a re-design. Well I am afraid its my fault, I couldn't resist stamping my own mark. The re-design was a bit more difficult that it looks, I could assume that all readers have super powerful RISC PC machines with oodles of RAM and high colour displays, but that isn't the truth.

We know that quite a few of our readers are using A5000 and similar machines. So I had to ensure the new look worked just as well on a new Kinetic RISC PC as it did on an ARM3 machine. I like the new look of the magazine, and I hope you do to. After all I only do the editing, its not my magazine, its yours. Tell us what you want to see and we will do our best to do it

As you may have noticed we have a few new features this month. Brian Pickard starts a tutorial on ARM code programming for beginners, Lawrence Granville tries to re-open an old favourite from Acorn User and Hugh Jampton goes surfing through cyberspace. As I get my feet under the table I hope more new features will come along.

Editors Rant of the month

As you will be able to see we have the complete archive of the Acorn newsgroups on this months issue. Newgroups are great, they allow users to help each other out with problems, recommend products and have a good chat about issues everyone is interested in.

However one thing really annoys me about some people on Newsgroups, they have a problem with a piece of software, but instead of going to the authors website, sending an e-mail asking about the problem, or, heavens forbid, using the telephone in order to get a simple answer, they ask others on a newsgroup. Why? Why not ask the person or company that wrote the software in the first place?

As you may know in addition to editing RISC World I also run iSV Products, and wrote the DrawWorks graphics packages. Our website has a comprehensive FAQ section designed to answer most common questions. Recently a user had a problem with one of our products running on RISC OS 4. We have been aware of the problem for ages and a patch has been available on our website since before RISC OS 4 was actually released! Yet instead of checking the site, or asking, the user in question posted a "This product doesn't work with RISC OS 4" type message on comp.sys.acorn.apps. I am afraid this was rather disheartening, as we pride ourselves on the level of customer support we offer. However users will only get support if they look for it, or ask. Don't assume that an author will magically know about your particular problem unless you tell them.

So, next time you have problems with a program, your first port of call should be the author. Tell them what is wrong, tell them what machine you have, which operating system, how much memory and what other programs you are running. If they can't solve the fault then try using the NewsGroups.

Printing RISC World

The new look of RISC World means that when you want to print an article on your printer it will have the light yellow background. However most web browsers allow you to turn off the background images when printing. The example below shows the print dialogue box from Fresco.


As you can see the option "No Background" is ticked. If you want to print out any of the RISC World pages then make sure you have clicked a similar option in your browser.

Aaron Timbrell