RISC World

Editor's Corner

Aaron Timbrell's own bit of the magazine.

Well here we are, when I took over RISCWorld on issue 4 I had no idea that I would still be doing the editorial thing at the start of volume 4, or, using my numbering system, issue number 20. Which means I have now edited well over 300 articles in the last few years, I can't help noting though that I have edited some with more success than others. Still this is the start of volume 4 which can't be a bad thing.

We have some more interesting plans for RISCWorld this year. We hope to be serialising a couple of very useful books that have been out of print for some time. We also hope to be extending the Software directory to include even more new releases and exclusive versions of older programs as well. After all I don't know if you have noticed but a large number of new software releases have been popping out of the woodwork, and some of them are very impressive indeed! I am personally very taken with the !Emulate emulator that runs RISC OS 3.11 or earlier on a StrongArm RISC PC. There have also been some great gaming releases by both Neil White and Peter Naulls. On the commercial side of things ArtWorks2 is due for a release soon and you never know it might even give DrawWorks a run for its money (ducks). At Wakefield people were able to compare the Omega and the Iyonix for the first time. And were able to look a batch of the new Microdigital Alpha portables, running RISC OS 4 using a special version of VirtualAcorn. Now that's what I call co-operation. Lets hope we see more!

Editors Rant of the month

Firstly a quick update on one of my rants from last month, the SilverShield windscreen merry go round continues apace. The good news is that my car now has a new windscreen, and has hence now passed its MOT. The bad news is that in fitting the screen the fitter manager to scratch the paint on the bonnet, and I didn't notice till after I had signed the usual "..I am completely happy...please have the deeds to my house..." type disclaimer. Still at least the job was done, but wait, what's this? A week later a bill turned up, this must be a mistake, after all a Windscreen is covered by my insurance. Well yes it was, but not any more apparently! So having been told by the insurance company that I had to use one of their "approved specialists", which is SilverShield, I could in fact have had the job done by anyone and not had to wait almost 2 weeks. I have all but given up and have therefore paid their invoice.

However given my view on SilverShield I did take the opportunity to send them a cheque that was 1p short, and to tape a 1p coin to the back of the cheque with what some might consider a rather excessive amount of sticky tape. I know they have now managed to cash the cheque, although it was 2 weeks between me writing the cheque and it going through the bank. Although they got my money I think I got reasonable value from an entertainment point of view.

Anyway back to this months rant which relates to the Friday just before the Wakefield show. As usual the WROCC (Wakefield RISCOS Computer Club) had done a sterling job with organising the show and by 6 o'clock in the evening all the stands were up, the electrics wired in and the tables had arrived. We set up the stand and then decided to check that all the PCs were running OK. Well we turned them all on, and then the power went off. A quick investigation revealed that the circuit breaker had clicked off. So we reset the breaker and tried again, and once more the power went off. This continued for about 45 minutes as we swapped extension leads, mains cables etc. Everytime the same thing happened. Eventually we reached the conclusion that one of the electrical items was completely knackered, but which one? We tried turning each item on and off in turn. Was it the power gobbling 21" monitor, nope. Was it one of the laptops? No, Was it the speakers? No, so it must be the desktop PC. And indeed it was. By now it was almost 8 o'clock. So I was rushed to a waiting Wakefield club members emergency vehicle and was driven at high speed to PC World which was just shutting as we legged it in through the door. We grabbed a PC power supply and returned to Thornes Park with it. I then grabbed a set of screwdrivers (and a KitKat or two) from Dave Holden's tool box and removed the old power supply, which I noticed had a distinct rattle and a rather interesting burnt fragrance. The new supply was fitted and hey presto, its all working, but wait, what's this, why is the picture on the monitor all magenta? Ah the monitor cable has developed a fault. AHHHHHHH. Cheap PC components, don't you just love 'em!

Printing RISC World

The new look of RISC World means that you will no longer get the yellow background when printing articles from RISCWorld. However you will still get the blue border on the left unless you turn off the printing of background images. 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 RISCWorld pages and don't want to waste ink on a blue border then make sure you have clicked a similar option in your browser.

Aaron Timbrell