RISC World

Letters Page

Yes, its the RISC World letters page, and it doesn't show its age!

I really was asking for it last issue when I said "we didn't get a single mistake pointed out in the last issue". Well, it was asking for it, wasn't it? Volume 4 Issue 3 managed to correct the lack of mistakes in Issue 2 with a great deal of style and finesse, and it wasn't even totally Hugh's fault either. Oh well here we go....

I dunno if you know about these, but on looking at this months RW (Vol 4 Issue 3) and looking at the Hugh Jampton page, there seems to be something wrong with some of the images, including the caption competition one. They don't display properly, and all I see is the broken JPEG symbol. Seems like it must be Hugh's fault again.
Also, on trying to open the Toolbox Directory, ARCFS seems to get a bit confused and crashed with an 'Application may have gone wrong...' error. It may well be a clash with SparkFS (1.39) which I have constantly installed on my icon bar. It doesn't really matter though. as I was able to install the latest Toolbox modules from the Select 3 disc, which arrived the day after your mag.
I like the new logo, though, and I also have to say I prefer not having the yellow background, which was in previous issues. It's easier to read the text.
William McNee

Yes, last issues Hugh Jampton went royally wrong for some people, if you were looking at the article in Browse (as I do) then it was fine, however if you used anything else it went rather wrong, in fact very wrong. It's a simple mistake, some of the graphics were sprites and were not converted to GIF images, this is is what happens when articles come in late, and editors make a mess of them. So you can blame Hugh if you like, however it's only fair of me to put my hand up and say that "yes it's all his fault". Only it isn't, it's my fault as I didn't do the normal level of file checking, sorry to everyone who wasn't using Browse.

On the subject of ArcFS and SparkFS I have often found that the pair of them get into a large scrap, which usually results in one of them crashing my machine, so I try to avoid having both loaded at the same time. Part of the problem seems to be that they both want to open some types of archive and can't decide between them which should do it. What has worked for me sometimes is to alter SparkFS's !Run and !Boot files so that it no longer tries to nab ArcFS (&3FB) archives, which one of my copies tries to do.

With regard to the new logo I think it's much better than the old one, and I still have no idea why I decided to put a nasty yellow background behind the text, still you live and learn.

Now another comment about the Hugh Jampton column.

It would be good if Hugh Jampton would actually put images in his article - I find silly little empty windows annoying to look at!!!
Andrew Harmsworth

Yes, alright, you could have opened the directory and looked at the sprites manually though! Now a change of mood.

Dear Aaron,
I have pleasure in attaching the zipped application !Convolve - an image processing Wimp application, for possible inclusion on your subscription disc. There is a file 'ReadMe1st' within the zip file that explains the theory behind the matrix convolution that is applied to user supplied images.
You might also give Melotech a mention, who are offering to host software. They now have the latest versions of both my BBC Basic to C Translator and the text analysis application !TxAnalyz2. The latter now produces its reports and messages with either English, French or German legend. Both had bugs under RISC OS 4 that have now been cured.
Martin Carradus

I have included Convolve in this issue along with some simple instructions, as supplied by Martin. Does anyone else have any software they would like us to include in RISC World, we will plug websites in exchange!

Dear Aaron,
Having been away on holiday, I have only just got around to opening your latest CD. Although I run a ViewFinder on my RPC SA, I have been intrigued by Stephen Morton's continuing feature on "Improving RISC PC Video". I noticed your reference to having HTMLified the MakeModes, manual and included it in this issue of RISC World. I quickly identified it as the original Acorn version of the manual. I feel that while that version is sufficient for the exercise detailed (very well I may say) in Stephen's feature article, it seems a shame to have propagated the original unmodified Acorn version which does not help the user who is unaware of the bug in MakeModes which leads to Type 5 and unavoidable exit when attempting to "create" a brand new MDF!
Perhaps you were unaware of the modified version of the Manual which I made available in June 2003, specifically to help with working around that bug which was well known to those who knew about it. Originally, I did not know and it caused me endless trouble until I learned the secret. I subsequently determined to make it transparent to the seemingly large number who wanted to use MakeModes and were having the same trouble as I had had simply because they were not "in the know".
I put it up on c.s.a.announce (copy of three parts attached) but did not think to offer the announcement to yourself or the other publishers. I think I must have been tired at the time? The current source of MakeModes (as far as I was concerned) was the Acorn legacy site (part of the RISCOS Ltd site), where ROL indicated that any changes should be discussed with them. I did email ROL and Paul Middleton welcomed my initiative, offering to host the new documents which were already available from my own website. Interestingly, I have just been browsing the Select 3 CD (prior to installation) and I find that the full collection of modified documents is in the Directory "MakeModes". This includes the also modified version of the "Application Note" which is complementary to the Manual.
If you want to use it/them and do not want to risk being accused of ripping it from the Select 3 CD, it is still available from
Alternatively, if pressed, I could send you a CD? The download of just the HTML versions of the two documents is about 400KB. In all the formats available it amounts to just under 2.5MB.
I am feeling rather stupid about not publicising the modified documents more widely, and am considering corrective wider action.
I trust that you can accept all of the above in the spirit intended;that is, constructive advice.
RISC World is great. Keep up the good work!
With best wishes.

Many thanks, I did vaguely recall there being an updated version around but I should have checked before we published the last issue. However I will correct the mistake this time and have included both the updated manual and the application note from your website. I am glad you are please with RISC World, all we need to make it perfect (ho ho - HJ) is a set of CD inlays...

Here's the next set of RISC World CD inlays (a year's worth), probably just missing the deadline of the next CD. One consequence of the new logo is it's much easier to recolour, which makes doing these a bit quicker.

I have put these in this issues software directory, many thanks for your continued hard work on doing these.

Well that's all we have time for, in fact it's pretty much all we got in from readers, so why not put finger to keyboard and send us a quick e-mail to tell us what you think of this issue (and to point out the mistakes).

Aaron Timbrell