Aaron Timbrell's own bit of the magazine.
I am writing this in the aftermath of the RISC OS SouthWest show. Actually I wrote that sentence in the aftermath of the show, then the phone rang and it's now a week later (it was a long phone call,but not that long, then I realised I should be doing the other articles first!) and I am coming back to write my editorial bit. Since it's the end of another volume of RISCWorld I ought to do my proper editor bit, but I can spin that out into a complete article in it's own right, so why fit it in here when I can do it as a separate article and go into more detail. Anyway normally I finish writing my editorial when an issue is pretty much complete, which is around the 18th of the month. Today is the 9th of March and this issue is 95% complete. The reason for this is that for some unknown reason a lot of the articles I commissioned have come in early, which is rather handy and a complete shock to my system.
However despite the articles flowing in nice and quickly I could still do with more authors. So if you have an idea for a RISCWorld article drop me a line, even better if you have an idea and can write it, drop me several lines. Don't forget that we pay £50 for submissions, and give each author a free copy of the issue that contains their article, if they are a subscriber then we extend their subscription by one. So if you would like to see your name in an issue of RISCWorld and get paid into the bargain get in touch.
Editors Rant of the month
My rant this month is about car insurance, well actually vehicle insurance. For a few years I have been with Insure.co.uk. You may remember their adverts, a suitably smug looking Quentin Wilson waffling on about "...car insurance re-invented, and about time too". I went with them because they were cheap, the next year they were not quite so cheap, but still competitive, last year they just kept my business. This year they haven't.
The reason is that I am just changing vehicle. The Rover 820, much as I liked it for about 5 minutes after buying it but before driving it home, has reached the end of the road. Well not actually the end of the road as my house number is 86, and in Bracknell the house numbers start one one side going up the road to the dead end, and then come back the other side, and 86 is near the main road as there are only 90 houses, but that isn't what I meant. Although the car still drives quite well it needs lots doing to it, probably including an exorcism to remove the demon the inhabits the electrics. We have a merry game every time we go to a car park, will the driver's window wind down? If it does will it go up again afterwards? If it does then will the central locking work, or will it lock and then 20 seconds later unlock itself again? Ahh, what fun.
Anyway, I have been hunting for a replacement for some time; it must be big enough to take all the things it needs to carry, including long lengths of wood, dogs, computers, 6 panel pine doors, kitchen worktops etc, although I hasten to add it doesn't have to carry all of these at the same time. I don't like estates, big hatchbacks are getting difficult to find, so how about a big four wheel drive? Hmm, aren't they expensive? Yes, well hang the expense, I'll buy a cheap one. So what's worth having? Everyone I spoke to said the same, Range Rovers are a nightmare, besides which I have just had one Rover and don't need another ones, older Nissan Patrols are noisy, the only Discoveries I could afford were early 3 door versions and I need 5 doors. Land Rovers are great fun but older ones are hopeless on motorways. Old Land Cruisers are like hens teeth, so I kept getting the same advice, buy a Mitsuibishi Shogun.
So that's what I did, I bought a long wheel base 1989 Shogun V6, at night, on a garage forcourt, from a bloke I didn't know from Adam (although he was better dressed). I did look at a few before hand, but they all seemed to consist of rust in a vaguely vehicular shape. The one I bought looks good for the age, it has walnut trim, electric windows, cruise control and lots of other goodies, oh yes and a new MOT. Having got it home I discovered that it was a GLS model, which was top of the range at the time, I also discovered that I paid roughly half of what they normally sell for. Have I got a bargain or have I bought a dog? Only time will tell. Still it's now had a full service and a pile of little jobs done before being put on the road. However before it can go on the road it needs to be insured, see this is getting somewhere.
So I spoke to insure.co.uk, ah yes, sorry how much? "That will be £520 a year third party fire and theft", oh no it won't thank you very much. I tried another well known insurer, but they only managed to quote me bloody miserable. I then tried lots of other insurers, all of whom decided that I needed to pay them around £500 a year, although some offered fully comprehensive cover. So I went a grabbed a specialist 4x4 magazine, and found a company that said they would insure older 4 wheel drive vehicles, indeed their advert specifically mentioned Land Rovers and Shoguns. Yes, they can insure it, yes unlimited miles, oh and their excess was £100 lower than anyone else, Yes the bull bars and side steps are fine. "Right then, that works out at £183.00 a year including protected no claims bonus". Wow, that's considerably less than the Rover 820 costs me, have my card details.
So the Shogun is insured, will it break down, if it does you will be among the first to find out. Anyway what I wondered is why one company can do it for sub £200, when another wants over £500 for inferior cover, you tell me. I can only conclude one thing, insurance is a rip off in many cases. Before you renew your insurance try a specialist, currently I can recommend Adrian Flux, but I can't recommend insure.co.uk.
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.