RISC World

Letters Page

It's the page sponsored by Ancestor+...

This time we will kick off with comments on the last issue...

Hi Aaron
Following your publishing my article on the last CD, I have a couple of extras comments you may like to print.
The 1901 Census
Sorting HTML downloads into family groups and finding the Census folio reference. The answer to this has been provided by John Rye with an application called !1901Key2 With this, dragging the HTML file for a family name to the icon produces a CSV file. This can be dropped onto a PipeDream file; repeat with all the HTML downloads. Sorting in the first column, which contains the family reference number, groups each family together. Also listed is the census folio reference; the complete answer, and done in seconds!
John Rye is happy to send people who contact him "!1901Key2". He did not mind me passing the info onto you, he may be prepared for you to put the Application on your next CD. His e-mail address is
Civil Parish names
Searching in London for ancestor families has highlighted the need to fully check that all the records for a Civil Parish have been found. This is particularly so for long parish names. As example, 'St George in the East'. Entries are also found under 'St George East', 'St George in the E'; there may be other alternatives I have not found. Another is 'Paddington', for which I also found just 'Padd'. The same applies if searching using the Administrative County. A limited check using the parish of Bethnal Green put this in 'London', 'Middlesex London', 'Bethnal Green'. Sometimes no county name is entered.
Eric Dobson

Many thanks for the extra information. It's always very helpful when authors work to provide extra information above that published in an article. While we are on the subject of Ancestor+...

In your reply (in volume 3, issue 5) to my request for a sources file in Ancestor+, you misunderstood what a sources file should be. It is not the ability to put odd files in a folder, which I agree that Ancestor+ has. It is a fully indexed file of all the sources used in all the database. Then for each person you include citations of each source and give a volume and page number, or other appropriate reference.
Genealogy is a research project. If you read almost any printed research report, they will include a list of sources used for their information and will also include references to that list in the main text, so you know which title or repository to look up.
One reason for having an indexed sources file is to give some discipline and consistency in the citations. Another is to be able to make a list of all the references to one particular source, so that any person checking your information can do all the checking on the one source at the one time.
Further there is a need for each item of information on a person, to say where it came from. So each data field needs a facility to index it to the sources index.
Remember that the greatest weakness of most genealogy is that it is unchecked and unverifiable. And anything like that has to be thrown away by the next generation who will have to start again.
Genealogy programs for other platforms include source indexes, and other features, automatically. The weakness of the RISCOS genealogy programs is that they have not gone and looked at what the competition offers.
The lack of proper source files is not the only weakness in Ancestry+; but to go through an extensive list of such would just clog up your magazine.
But just a thought for you about the folders for each person into which you can put any information them: there is no facility to search the folder for content to bring up, for instance all those people who had a mention of "First World War" in one of the documents in these folders. On the program I use, you can have as many Notes fields as you like, each of up to 64,000 characters and each is fully searchable for content, to bring up a list of people with that same content.
Ancestor+ has a long way to go. The copy I purchased still rests on the shelf, gathering dust.
Tim Powys-Lybbe

I think we are going to have to agree to disagree here. I can see the point you are making, however I do not agree with your interpretation or conclusions. I think the simple way of putting things would be to say that you have decided you don't like Ancestor+. I don't think any thing I can say will change your mind, so I am going to move another Ancestor+ letter.

Going through the Ancestor+ manual index on Risc World 3.5 I have found the following happens. The heading, Adding to and Editing Data the top of the page right menu does not appear. Clicking on the bottom of the page right menu arrow produces this message, "Message from Ant Fresco: cannot read local file". Back to the index page and going to the next title, clicking loads the page. Clicking on the right arrow produces the message "cannot read local file". It appears that I have to keep going back to the index each time to load the next page.
Alan Shooter

Ah, pronounced Ah. Well the problems seems to be a file that has lost part of its extension, the file InfoOut.HTM got turned into InfoOut.HT and hence couldn't be found. I have placed a corrected version in this issues software directory and have also corrected this on the copy of Vol3 Issue 5 on this CD. It is the Editors job to check this sort of thing so a black mark is going on my file.

Still lets quickly get away from Editorial mistakes... a competition winner with no prize...

Dear info,
Imagine my surprise when in the October issue of RISC World I read in the competitions page:
>So who are our lucky winners this issue? Step forward...
>Stephen Parkin
>Robin Gordon
>A shiny new DrawWorks Select CD will be in the post before you know it!
Now my name is Robin Gordon and I even entered that competition so you can imagine the excitement in this household. So I waited, luckily not holding my breath, as weeks passed and no package came from RISC World. Doubts began to creep in, perhaps there's another "Robin Gordon" out there who subscribes to RISC World but this couldn't be.
Anyway, time passed and I left the country for a month over Christmas passing through Miami airport where I was held by immigration for 2 and a half hours because there was, in fact, somebody else called "Robin Gordon" and they had to check out my passport. (A bit worrying this). However I was assured that this person did not subscribe to RISC World.
After returning home there was still no DrawWorks Select CD ready to try out on my recently installed Select2i3. In fact, there was not even a December issue of RISC World. Had you forgotten about me? No, because I've just received my February issue and very interesting it is too.
So please, could you send me a copy of the December CD and, if I am the only Robin Gordon subscriber, please could you send the prize as well.
Robin Gordon

I have spoken to Dave Holden at at APDL about this and he has forwarded another copy of DrawWorks Select and the missing issue. If they haven't turned up then please do get in contact. We haven't the faintest idea why two packages have disappeared and no we don't have two Robin Gordons on our subscription list!

The subject of competition with no prize has also been bought up by another reader...

Hi there to all at RISC World
With regard to the Hugh Jampton column I seemed to have missed all mention of a prize. Is there one?
Gordon Kattau

(You haven't missed the mention of a prize because there wasn't one. That is, there wasn't a mention of a prize, and there isn't a prize which is why it wasn't mentioned. Do readers think there ought to be a prize? If so what would you suggest? In fact lets have a competition to name the silliest competition prize you can think of. Our initial suggestion would be a years subscription to Total Carp magazine. Mainly due to the fact that I misread the title every time I go into a newsagent and other people can't work out why I am laughing - HJ)

And now a satisfied reader...

Keep up the work on the mag. Very enjoyable. Any chance of the competition page returning, maybe in a semi-regular slot of say every 3 issues? I did only notice a couple of spelling mistakes in this issue. Have you employed a new proof reader? ;-)
William McNee

Sorry the competition page has had it, we simply didn't get enough entries to make it worthwhile, unless hundreds of readers want to write in requesting its return? And no we haven't employed a new proof reader (can't you tell? - HJ). Now another follow on from Brian Pickard's module article in the last issue.

Hi Aaron
I have had a reply (literally just in) from Mr John Ballance at Castle Technology. He says put zeros in all SWI header entries (including the chunk number)
Brian Pickard

That one had me a bit stumped as well, thanks for checking with Castle Technology and providing the answer. Now a technical support request.

I wonder if you can point us at a website to help resolve a startup problem on the only Acorn (RISC OS 3)at the school. No apps startup and clicking on HardDisk4 gives an error message "No Boot application has been run on startup. Some facilities may not be available or set up correctly." (Printing and the CD drive are not available). Clicking on Cancel then double-clicking !Boot in the ADFS panel gives the error message "You cannot reconfigure this machine". Thanks for any help you can give.

I have a funny feeling that I didn't read this properly when I sent this reply...

The machine has lost its CMOS RAM settings - perhaps due to a faulty battery. Once the machine is in the desktop press F12 and type the following commands pressing return after each command. If you have entered the command correctly nothing will happen - if you get it wrong you may get an error message:
That may sort it out - if it forgets this again then the battery needs replacing.

However that wasn't the answer...

Aaron - Thanks for your help. The 3 commands went through OK but nothing changed - I restarted the machine but it was still as before. I will look through the dealer list for one on the Merseyside area and take it from there - thanks again for your help.

Can anyone point out where I went wrong with this one? I would have thought that my advice would have got the machine booting again, but plainly not.

Aaron Timbrell