RISC World

Editor's Corner

Aaron Timbrell's own bit of the magazine.

So here we are at the start of yet another volume of RISCWorld. Who would have thought that it's five years since the first issue of RISCWorld appeared, and four and a half years since I started editing the magazine? Doesn't time fly? It's been an interesting five years, we have seen the release of a number of new RISC OS machines, including the Iyonix, Omega, Mico and A75. We have seen new versions of RISC OS, firstly RISC OS Select, then RISC OS 5 from Castle and of course RISC OS Adjust from RISCOS Ltd. We have also seen the ownership of RISC OS itself change.

In the same five years there are have been major developments in software, firstly of course we have the arrival of VirtualAcorn, allowing RISC OS to be used on PC hardware, there have been major updates to many of the best known RISC OS apps, including Techwriter and ArtWorks. There have also been lots of software titles changing hands, with APDL now the main publisher of RISC OS software. In fact so much has happened in the last five years that I simply can't cover it all.

Still that's the past, what about the future, well the next 12 months?

We will hopefully be seeing production versions of the A9 computer from Advantage 6, there have been more and more rumours that the new version of Impression, Impression X will be released shortly, hopefully the Cino DVD player for the Iyonix will be making an appearance, and what about an Iyonix2? Castle's recent aggressive promotion of the current model has got a lot of people wondering what else they might have in store. With a bit of luck we are going to see lost of new software including Cineroma by David McEwen (which has at last been publicly shown) and a port of the Firefox browser by Peter Naulls.

So we have the potential for a very exciting 12 months ahead, I'm looking forward to it, I hope you are as well.

Editors Rant of the month

The following is about the vehicular faith, not specifically about computing.

As you may well know by now we have recently moved home. Although we have only moved 140 miles, South Derbyshire is a world away from Bracknell. Anyway, one of the problems that I had before the move related to getting the VW Beetle finished so it could be driven to the new house. I had already finished all the welding (note to self : rust free means the rust comes free with the car) which just left some mechanical jobs to do. Anyway after finishing all the undersealing and giving the car a quick mechanical once over it all seemed fine. An annoying tendency not to start was traced to a corroded fuse which was quickly cleaned up. I replaced the broken front number plate and at the same time fitted a new rear number plate, cunningly screwed into the outer skin of the double skinned panel under the decklid.

So it was time for a test drive. The car immediately felt better, perhaps because all the new metal in the front was preventing the suspension from moving in ways it wasn't designed to. I did notice that the speedo wasn't working as I pulled out of Turnberry but wasn't overly concerned. Accelerating up the road did however cause a great deal of concern as suddenly an awful noise started coming from the front of the car, help! I turned round and crawled back home. I know a fair bit about Beetles and do know that the speedo cable can be a cause of many problems. It has to be fitted in a specific position, otherwise on full lock the rotating end of the cable can get pushed into the inside if the speedo a bit too far and ruin it. Leaping to a sensible conclusion I had a look and indeed the speedo cable was in the wrong place. I moved it slightly and tried again, but the noise continued.

The VW beetle speedo cable is a weird contraption, it runs down to the nearside front wheel where it is held in place with a circlip, the end of the cable pokes through and goes through a square hole in the center cap of the wheel, as the wheel and center cap rotate the inside of the cable goes with it, this is important so memorise this bit.

In the end I gave up and decided that since time was running out and I had a flat bed trailer booked to move the VW camper I would simply ask the guy moving the camper to move both vehicles. A quick e-mail later and it was all sorted out. Good, lets get back to packing. Anyway on the day before we were due t move Hayley took a phone call. The chap moving the VWs couldn't do it! Arghhh! Actually I think some wires got crossed as in fact he could still move the camper, but not the Beetle. So I had another go at fixing it, and failed. In the end I disconnected the speedo cable and the noise seemed to go away.

On the day of the move my brother in law, Frank, "volunteered" to drive the beetle and guess what, yes the horrible noise came back. Oh well, nuts to it; if the beetle breaks down then the AA will have to rescue it. So after a morning's panic cleaning the house and loading up the final stuff we set off. The Beetle was making an awful noise and I could hear it behind us as we left. As we got onto the motorway the noise from the beetle seemed to stop - weird. Looking in my rear view mirror I could finally see what the noise was. The front number plate was rattling between about 30 and 50 miles per hour. Some idiot had forgotten to tighten the screws properly. With this solved we drove up to Derbsyhire.

So after all this why didn't the speedo work? Simple, I forgot to put the center caps back on the wheels.

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