Aaron Timbrells own bit of the magazine.
Well, its early November and I am sitting down in my plush (tatty), air-conditioned (window open) office. The sun is streaming in through the window, the dogs are asleep on their bean bags in the middle of the floor and I have just has an e-mail from Chris Hughes telling me that Mike Wilson from the Wakefield Acorn User Group has died.
This isn't the place to go into much detail, but it would seem that he was killed in a house fire at the weekend. This is a great loss to all of us as Mike was a superb spokesman for RISC OS. He strongly believed in RISC OS, and promoted it at every opportunity. He had been a member of the Wakefield Acorn User Group for over 15 years, and was co-organiser of the Wakefield show. Mike will be very much missed by many in the RISC OS community.
I can only hope that all those who knew Mike can draw something from this terrible tragedy, I really do find it hard to believe that he has gone. Particularly as he was one of the few people to laugh at my old iSV Products no quibble guarantee joke "If you not completely happy just throw it away!". I very much doubt anyone can take his place.
Editors Rant of the month
Just a quick rant this month, and its about the RISC OS newsgroups, or more precisely some of the people who post on them.
It seems that recently the newsgroups have been increasingly occupied by the same, self appointed "experts", along with a small collection of un-appointed "spokespeople". If I was a new RISC OS user and read some of the recent threads I really would be most upset, and I certainly wouldn't dare post anything in case an "expert" told me how stupid I was being. One thing I find most annoying is the presentation of ill informed opinion as concrete fact, especially as the credentials of some of those who post is somewhat suspect to say the least.
One recent thread that really hi-lighted the problem related to the RISC OS SELECT scheme, and the fact that currently it will not work on the Kinetic RISC PC. This is not a fact that is in dispute, we know that RISC OS Ltd are working on versions for all RISC OS machines (which is why the CD version has been delayed), but at the moment a Vanilla RISC PC, A7000 or A7000+ is all it will run on. However one "expert" declared that, oh no, SELECT runs on the Kinetic fine, if you turn the Kinetic bits off. However if you do this then....er....the computer reverts to being a "normal" RISC PC, and isn't a Kinetic any more, and loses all the advantages a Kinetic processor brings.
If I was a new user I might believe some of this drivel, as a seasoned RISC OS user, I don't. Another fascinating thread has been about RISC OS emulators that run on PCs. One of these (Red Squirrel) will even run RISC OS 4. Oh no....the "experts" are up in arms, you can't/shouldn't do that! Well technically they are right, it is a breach of the licence, since the Product you are running RISC OS on is not an Acorn Computer. However the licence is also covered by the laws of the United Kingdom, and as such if you purchase a product then you are entitled to use it for "reasonable purposes". If you running a copy of RISC OS 4 to upgrade the emulator to run the current OS it would be very very difficult for anyone to do anything about it. Of course what one shouldn't do is just copy RISC OS 4 from your RISC PC and run it on the emulator, but if (like me) you have a complete boxed OS 4 on the shelf, then you own two copies of RISC OS 4, and you are running 2 copies then there really is very little to complain about. After all the fact that I use an emulator has actually been good for RISC OS Ltd, as I have purchased 2 copies of RISC OS 4, instead of one!
So, if you posting to newsgroups, please think out your posting before putting finger to keyboard, if everyone put in little though before posting the newsgroups would be a much nicer place.
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.