RISC World

Editor's Corner

Aaron Timbrell's own bit of the magazine.

I found out about Castle's acquisition of RISC OS on the Friday morning that the press release came out. I wasn't in front of the computer though. Instead we were getting ready for a friends wedding when my mobile got a text message. The message was simple and to the point, "Castle buys RISC OS". I cannot say in all honesty that I am that surprised, someone was going to buy it at some point, after all Pace have been trying to sell it for almost two years. I am aware of a number of approaches made by those in the RISC OS market who have attempted to persuade pace that they should be the new owners.

Will the change of ownership make any difference? Well to be honest I can't see that it can do any harm at all, indeed quite the opposite. Pace have hardly been keen at pushing RISC OS, but then it was just one OS out of several which they used. Castle, on the other hand, may well be able to push RISC OS into areas that were not economic for Pace. Castle have already been working in conjunction with ex Pace engineers on the Iyonix project, so handing RISC OS to them makes a great deal of sense. We will have to wait and see what happens, but as far as I can see the future may well have got quite a bit brighter.

Editors Rant of the month

Just one rant this month, Greyhounds. Well actually when I say Greyhounds I actually mean one Greyhound, and when I say one Greyhound I actually mean one Galgo. For those who don't know what a Galgo is, it's a Spanish hunting dog, very similar to the Greyhounds we use for racing in this country. Indeed most people can't tell them apart, although once you know the differences a Galgo and a Greyhound are easy to differentiate. Anyway the one particular Galgo I am going to rant about is currently doing a credible Ivor the Engine impression on my office floor. However that isn't the reason why I am ranting.

The reason I am ranting is that unlike other animals Galgos are clearly silicon based lifeforms. How have I deduced this? Well it's really very simple for someone of my experience. When it gets hot (and looking around it's currently 32 degrees in my office) silicon based items such as PCs and their components overheat and start misbehaving. Indeed so far today both one of the monitors and one of my CD Writers have given up the ghost and refused to co-operate. Now lets travel back in time to earlier this morning....

Our house operates to a simple schedule, it's time for a walk the second I show any sign of life, it's also time for breakfast directly after a walk, and then it's time to lie on my office floor and get in the way. The usual routine allows me to get up, walk round Peacock Farm before having woken up, then come back, make tea and hunt out the dog food (preferable Pedigree Chum lamb flavour, that's the one with the blue top, and the one that is the most difficult to get hold of). Anyway all this can easily be achieved by 9 o'clock. Unless your Galgo suffers an "Abort on Data Transfer" due to the heat.

It's usually easy to spot when your Galgo is about to crash, firstly the ears prick up and are then disabled, the eyes go glazed, and the legs go full speed in any direction that they aren't supposed to go. This morning I spent over half an hour calling the little "darling". In the end I gave up, put the little dog on the lead and had to force my way 50 feet into the undergrowth where the now "blue screened" idiot was just standing there panting. A swift "re-boot" up the output terminal soon had him working normally again. Of course standing in the shade must have cooled him down enough for some functions to start working again. I will be taking the pair of them out again later in the evening when it's cooler, then perhaps I might get some sensible normal behaviour. In the meantime I will be investigating the possibility of attaching a large heat sink, just don't tell the RSPCA.

Printing RISC World

The new look of RISC World means that you will no longer get the yellow background when printing articles from RISC World. 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 RISC World 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