RISC World

Editor's Corner

Aaron Timbrells own bit of the magazine.

I am writing this having just returned from the BETT show. For those who don't know the BETT (British Education Training and Technology) show is a gigantic event at Olympia in London. It runs for four days and has tens of thousands of visitors. It used to be a general education show, but in the last few years has been hi-jacked by computer companies. When I last did the BETT show there was quite a large RISC OS presence. This year I found three stands with computers running RISC OS. Castle Technology, RISC Station and of course our own stand, VirtualAcorn.

<Shameless plug>

Now, you may be wondering what is VirtualAcorn, well it allows you to run RISC OS and RISC OS software on a Windows PC. If you read the Acorn newsgroups then you may well have noticed the storm this has caused. I won't go into all the reasons why a storm has been created (you can browse the Usenet archive on this CD if you ant to find out), but this is the first chance we have really had to reclaim lost RISC OS users. All those people who had to buy PC computers, and dumped their Acorns can now run RISC OS again. RISC OS developers will have a much larger user base, which gives them a much greater incentive to write more RISC OS programs. Which means more software for those with "real" RISC OS computers.

As an exclusive we are including a time limited demo version of VirtualA5000 on this months RISC World. This comes complete with all the manuals, lots of RISC OS programs and runs on Windows 98 or later (but not Windows NT). It expires at the end of February 2002. Now you can use RISC OS on millions of Desktop PCs. If you know someone with a PC why not install VirtualA5000 demo on their machine and let them discover how good RISC OS is. After all if we want to bring RISC back into the mainstream we have to show it to people, and what better way than to show it to them running on their own machine!

</Shameless plug>

If you really want to have some fun with them copy the VirtualA5000.exe file to the startup group on their PC and watch as Windows loads, then turns into RISC OS....he he he.

Editors Rant of the month

Well what can I find to rant about this month?

Actually its quite easy to find something to complain about. I am sure everyone knows how friendly and helpful the organisers of RISC OS shows are. If you have ever exhibited at Wakefield you will know that as soon as you turn up eager helpers descend and unload your vehicle for you before you have had a chance to even find your stand. The ARM Club shows are much the same, helpful friendly, easy to park, easy to find and an absolute joy to exhibit at.

As you can guess by now, BETT is not quite the same experience. Having exhibited there years ago I remembered the long queue round Olympia to get to the unloading bays. This time I remembered to come in the back way, and drive straight into the wrong loading gate. Claiming total innocence you are then directed to the right gate, but inside the Olympia complex, not on the congested roads outside. How clever I am. The total time from jumping in my car to parking the car in the Olympia loading bay was a grand total of 55 minutes.

The journey to Olympia every day can be a real pain, one morning it took almost two and a half hours, mainly due to the failure of the traffic lights on the Hogarth roundabout. Still on the final morning it was just over 50 minutes. Due to the demand for car parking spaces the Multi storey car park that we had booked was filled up, so we were allowed to park on the private ground floor level.

Now its about a quarter past 4 and the show closes in fifteen minutes. So I leg it back to the car and start the slow crawl around Olympia to the loading bay. Before leaving the show I even checked that it was now okay to go round to the loading bays, and indeed it was. At exactly 4:30 I was outside the correct bay (a total of 200 yds from the car park, but thats Olympia show traffic for you). But wait, whats this, a small sad little man in a peaked cap. "Keep going round da block", yes but I have just driven round the block, "Da loadings bays full, yer'll have to go round again." Why? You aren't supposed to let vehicles into the bay before 4:30 are you. "Tis full, dey've been queueing all der afternoon", so why can't I go in when I have already asked if it was ok. "Da bays full, you'r holding up der traffik." I gave up.

It now takes a balmy 45 minutes to go all the way around Olympia back to the Car Park where I first started. So instead of starting to clear the stand at 4:30, we don't start to 5:15. And I had to lug all the stuff back to the car park. So what am I whinging about? Poor traffic control? Hitlers in peaked caps? No. I am whinging about the fact that even though I remembered how to beat the system getting into Olympia, I forgot and got held up getting out. Why didn't I just leave the car where it was?

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