RISC World

Letters Page

It's the page full of letters, but the answers are no better...s...

Dear Aaron,
Having been getting married and honeymooning, I've only just fired-up the latest issue of RISCWorld. Obviously you were writing your Great Dispute feature with gusto and passion, as otherwise silly errors would not have crept in. It's perhaps fitting that the Education Column looked closely at spell checking and the like...Polite cough:
Para 1: "I don't want to jeopardies" - jeopardise (typo?)
Para 2: " I am strongly incline to believe the later"
"inclined" of course, and "latter" not later.
Of course, the last two would not be picked up by a RISC OS spell checker. Perhaps it's about time our system packed even a basic grammar checker so such typos can be picked up?
Kind regards,
Andrew Harmsworth

Whoops, yes there were an unacceptable number of typos in the last issue and neither myself or Dave Holden picked them up, so sorry about that. I could come up with hundreds of excuses, but lets just blame Dave Holden and move on....

Oh yes and congratulations on getting married, I have been married for 11 years now, just think I would have got less for doing a post office.

Are you still wanting me to review the new versions of !Z80em & !6502 as and when they appear, I can also review the new version of Repton as and when that appears as I will definitely be buying that. Nice Young Ones quote in the new issue of RISCWorld! I love the Young Ones, one of my all time classic programs!

Yes please we are always looking for reviews, it's a shame that most of our software reviews are of APDL products, I would like to review software from other developers but there doesn't seem to be many releases that we can actually review. The Young Ones is indeed a classic program and has been running late night on Sky for the last week or two, which means I don't get to bed at a sensible time, one thing I did find very funny was the episode where the house was going to be knocked down, so Vivien trashes the house himself, quite right to. If someone is going to smash something of yours whatever you do then you might as well smash it yourself.

Dear Aaron,
A few days after reading Mike Battersby's interesting and informative article on PayPal, I received an email from someone calling themselves 'Pay Pal' asking me to confirm my bank account details. I deleted it. It's not the first I've received, I've also had an email from 'EBay' and two emails from banks. I've deleted them all, without following their links or opening attachments, obviously. I have say they all looked pretty convincing, but not convincing enough, anyway I'd only just heard of PayPal, I don't use E-Bay, and I don't use online banking services.
In fact I was a bit disappointed to get these emails because up to now I've never been spamed at this email address. I find it odd that I've been spamed in English as my email is in Italy. Also until recently I'd only given my email address to close friends, family and responsible colleagues and students, all Italian. For any one else I've got a spammy old hotmail address and also one at Yahoo. I never keep email addresses in address books (I use pen and paper for that) and I only use my Risc pc for quickfetching email. The only way my email address has been displayed to a wider audience is recently when I subscribed to some RISC OS user groups. Have I been naive? Should I now get an anti-spam email address? How?
Best regards
Lol Simmonds

I have also seen the fake PayPal e-mails, as well as ones for a number of UK banks, including rather amusingly Barclays. I say amusingly as within 10 minutes of seeing the spam e-mail I got a cold call from Barclays trying to sell me Ostrich insurance, or something, I asked if their time wouldn't perhaps be better spent solving the fake e-mail problem, but strangely they didn't have an answer. As for getting spammed in English it is the most common language, although I do sometimes get spammed in Japanese!

Dealing with the e-mail, most likely someone on the group had an infected machine of some sort that was harvesting e-mail addresses, or one of those posting had an infected machine that was being used to forward e-mails, or indeed perhaps one of your close friends had an infected machine. Anyway lets have a quick rant about anti-spam e-mail addresses, because these really annoy the hell out of me. Every couple of weeks I get an e-mail from someone or other complaining that I have not responded to an earlier e-mail, every time I check, and every time I have responded, but due to "over vigorous" spam filtering my e-mail has been binned, brilliant. What's the point of e-mailing, then binning my answer and finally complaining because I haven't responded? So to anyone who doesn't seem to get a response from me, check your spam bin. Another really annoying one relates to an e-mail list I am on. Every time a post is sent out it goes to all addresses on the list, everyone knows who is on the list, yet every time I post I get one e-mail address that sends me an e-mail back telling me to "click on this link to confirm you sent an e-mail", no I refuse to. If someone wants to set up an email system designed to prevent anyone e-mailing them to prevent spam then fine, at the end of the day the only way to avoid spam is to block all e-mails, which some people seem to think is worthwhile. I prefer to get the odd bit of spam and all my e-mails, rather than no spam and no e-mail.

Dear Aaron,
Attached a Wimp simulation (called Wator) for possible inclusion on your subscription disc. Sharks and Fish wage war on a toroidal planet...See 'ReadMe1st' within the zipped file for more info, or boot it up and select 'Help' from the bar icon menu. Just a bit of fun. Remember also that I supplied you with !MFCalc Version 2.00 some time ago. If you test it out, particularly if you choose the option 'Save Entries', you had better make a copy outside of the zipped file. I have just decided to attach that one as well, in case you have lost it in the general welter, Regards
Martin Carradus
P.S. Anyone want a programmer??

Thanks, Paul Brett has included Wator in the PD column and it's also in this issues software directory. It's interesting watching what happens with different start conditions. Sorry about MFCalc it just missed out on last issue, but it is included this time round. I don't personally need a programmer, but does anyone else? Does anyone have any projects that they might want to see if Martin can help with?

And finally back to Andrew Harmsworth...

It might be worth pointing out to Alan that there is a very good MS Excel reader for RISC OS now called !ViewXLS. Author, Anton Reiser, has been very helpful to me when it couldn't cope with an Excel file that had been "created" by a website. The latest version will read any Excel file I've got, but doesn't - of course -allow you to use the file as a spreadsheet - it is simply a viewer at the moment, but will save out as CSV and TSV.

Thanks for that tip, having had a brief play with !ViewXLS myself I recommend it to all RISCWorld readers.

Aaron Timbrell