RISC World

Letters Page

Its not for nerds, its the page with words.

Hugh Jampton springs into action with an instant Vanessa Feltz disguise kit....quick cover the tables....

Dear Sir,
Sorry for the joint email, but I seem to have misplaced who sent what to me in the past week or so - and sorry for the delay in replying, but I do have a really good excuse!
I received the second CD (many thanks!), but, I'm sorry to say, the ink was still very tacky and smeared quite nicely (if that's the correct word to use...). My guess is that sitting in a mailbox outside for a day or so in the Florida heat'n'humidity (tm) really buggers it up.
I've attached a digital piccy of Errol (best Birman in the World, and he has the award to prove it!) who is relaxing after a vigorous scrubbing of the bum in order to remove his publisher's imprint. I did quiz him in great detail on the amount of information he adsorbed from the CD, and much to my surprise he seems to know at least as much (if not more) than 95% of the people who regularly post to the Acorn newsgroups... This is the cat (I have two) who wakes me at 3am with a treefrog plopped onto the face (tastes terrible), or, more excitingly, a King Snake (live!) dropped on my feet at 1am while computing.
Information sheets on the Loxahatchee National Refuge will follow soon - but I have to resurrect them as my ex-wife-to-be arrived with a moving van over the weekend and buggered-off with a computer. And furniture. And various belongings. And my bank accounts...
As soon as I get things back on an even keel, I'll whip up a quick article on using RiscPCs in my consultancy business, and forward it to you.
Hmmm - I also have a heap of digital piccies of crocodile-hunting in the Everglades (yup, crocs, not gators!). Interested? In fact, why not have a digital imaging "column" in RiscWorld? Ok, I volunteer...
Dr Andy Cartlidge

Hmm, so the ink problem still isn't solved, well obviously the new ink also has a paw performance. We have now changed ink suppliers again and hope that the next batch won't cause any fur-ther problems! A point worth thinking about though, was it a crunchy tree frog that had been lightly killed? Since no one bothered spotting the Fawlty Towers reference last issue can anyone tell me what I am talking about this time?

Dear Sir,
1. Please renew my subscription at a cost of Pounds17.90.
Notwithstanding the comments in the following paragraphs, can I say what an excellent magazine you are producing and how, at least for the moment, it has kept me on-board with RiscOS.
2. Could I ask whatever happened to the full review of Oregano, promised in Issue 2? All I have seen since then are various uncomplimentary comments about the new browser - enough to put me off purchasing a copy. Can it really be as bad as Webster (at least, as it runs on my aged RiscPC600)?
3. As a low-tech Acorn user (bought a Model B in 1983, an A420 some years later and, then, an early model RiscPC), I will need to decide fairly soon whether to stick with RiscOS or jump ship to a MSPC or Mac. In this respect, could I suggest that you include in your regular features in RiscWorld a set of RiscOS 'Best Buys' for the various categories of users (perhaps, based on a survey of your subscribers).
4. Using myself as an example 'category': what I need is a reliable computer with a user friendly desktop (ie the primary benefit, in the past, of the Acorn platform), with a Web Browser that works on the 'mainstream' sites (ie quickly, without serious rendering problems and, particularly, without throwing a wobbly every time it encounters other than basic elements of Javascript). On the other hand I am entirely content with the likes of Style, Schema and (even) Masterfile - which, I suspect, meet most ordinary users requirements. Indeed, the lack of loads of facilities on these applications - which I would never understand, let alone use - is almost a relief!
David Cooper

Many thanks for renewing your subscription to the best value RISC OS magazine around. As for the Oregano review, well I had better pass you over to Aaron...

When I took over RISC World David Matthewman had already commissioned a review of Oregano, but he never passed the details on, so I never received an article. However do any RISC World readers use Oregano? If so would you like to review it for us? After all you will get your name in print and a nice £50 cheque for your trouble. The RISC OS "Best Buys" idea is very interesting and I will have a think about it. At present I wouldn't advise anyone to jump ship, with the Omega just round the corner things are certainly looking up - Aaron.

And now an offer of help for Eric Dobson...

Dear RiscWorld,
First of all let me congratulate you on the magazine. The latest CD is excellent and with each issue I enjoy it even more. I wanted to raise a couple of issues, though. First, with regard to Rex's puzzle: I was actually quite disappointed to see it go. I admit that I only sent in one answer, but I would have sent in more if I'd been able to complete the others! I guess the point is that I was enjoying the puzzles even though I wasn't able to send in solutions.
The second point is concerning Eric Dobson's letter. I fully sympathise with his point of view, in that RISC OS is not necessarily easy if you're not used to it, particularly when it comes to the internet. It is therefore a real shame that he was unable to get the advice and support which he needed, especially given that RISC OS dealers and the community in general have such a good reputation when it comes to service.
I'd therefore be grateful if you could pass this email on to Mr Dobson with the suggestion that if he wishes to contact me I would be more than willing to try to assist him in any way I can, either by phone or email. I can certainly not guarantee that I will be of any use, but I have successfully managed to set up my own email and news software, so may be able to offer some guidance.
It would be a real shame if RISC OS lost out on several potential customers over something which could potentially be remedied quite easily. Many thanks for doing this, and for the excellent magazine.
David Llewellyn-Jones

Check out the Editors column for more on the crossword puzzle. Its always good when one member of the RISC OS community can support another. Erics problem may well be related to the CD-ROM drive, rather than anything else, still a new machine ought to work. Interestingly I haven't had any response from Castle Technology so far.

And now a quickie (ohh errr mrs)

I see in your PD section of issue 7 a new version of 'Flash' To use this you need the nested wimp manager. What is the 'nested wimp manager' and where can I obtain a copy please.

The nested window manager is supplied as part of RISC OS 4. It was also supplied with the Acorn !Browse CD, and I believe also the JAVA CD. A version was also supplied on an Acorn User Cover CD some time ago. If you press F12 in the desktop then type help windowmanager you will see a version number displayed. 3.98 is the nested version.

Hi Aaron,
I have just received Issue No. 7 of Riscworld and herewith forward my comments. Riscworld is an excellent magazine, and I have already sent a cheque to APDL in order to renew my subscription. I like the idea of including a few web addresses (Weird World Web). I hope you can continue with StarInfo, (those programs by G. A. Kattau were amazing)!, but if you cannot, I see no reason not to publish little gems from your subscribers, which I am sure they will send to you from time to time anyway.
I also have had trouble convincing the publishers of Acorn User that I am a subscriber, and will not be renewing once my current subscription has expired.
Do you remember the yellow pages which used to be in Acorn User? I learnt a lot from them. Would it be possible to include something along those lines so as to help those who want to learn to program? Perhaps a little program or two on each CD which illustrates the use of a few keywords.
I note that you only received one submission to Starinfo this time. Would this be my Rubik's Cube program, I wonder? You never acknowledged receipt of it. As you obviously not published it, I have done a bit more work on it and added a few more bells and whistles. For your convenience, I have attached a final version to this E-mail.
I propose to release more such programs to you as I complete them. I expect to be at the Wakefield Show again this year, and will be looking out for you. Sorry if I went on a bit, but you asked for readers comments.
I have had messages (including this one) returned by my server if I use the RiscWorld address. Would you please acknowledge your receipt of this one? I will then know for certain that you have got it.
Gordon Kattau

There is no StarInfo this issue and unless readers send in some program there will never be another one! (sounds like blackmail to me -ED). However we will always be happy to publish reader submissions whenever we get the chance. a copy of the cube program should be in the software directory of this CD.

We have lost some e-mails due to the hasty move from to, still we got away before the bailiffs came round. So if you haven't had an answer to an e-mail sent over the last couple of months either it went to the wrong address or we are ignorant. And remember folks if ignorance is bliss then Acorn User is delighted.

Type in programs present a slight problem, as they will already be in digital, rather and printer form, so all you would have to do is extract the file from the text and run it. Mind you I remember scanning in a program listing and using OCR to convert it to BASIC some years ago, it was only a few lines and would have been quicker to type in, oh, and the OCR package got it wrong and it didn't work.

Before I go, here is the latest from Andy Cartlidge about the ink problem....

Dear Sir,
I now have a set of 3 RW CDs, which, after being extensively tested in the feline-fur adhesion laboratories, have yielded the following results:

  • CD-1: exhibits immediate and messy transfer of mirror-image writing to the FIIP (feline information input port).
  • CD-2: showed marked resistance to removal from the plastic sleeve, ink was mobile upon application of fur-based ink spreader, but did not transfer.
  • CD-3: easily removed from plastic sleeve, was smear-proof, did not show any adhesive qualities to cat-transfer mechanism, and resulted in a cat-rump as clean as a, errrm, baby's bottom.

You win.
I need to go for a lie-down.

P.S. it is hot (80+F) and it is humid (80%+), but there are no clouds, and there's a clear blue sky, and and and I've gotta sit in a dark room with my machine-vision microscope making light throughput measurements... bah.
Dr Andy Cartlidge

And at last the problem is solved. Dave Holden has spent some time finding an ink that doesn't cause this problem and it seems it was all worth while. I think a new slogan for RISC World is about this...."RISC World, 10 out of 10 Cats bums prefer it". I am going to go and join Andy for a lie down myself now. (eh? -ED)

Hugh Jampton