RISC World

Editor's Corner

Aaron Timbrell's own bit of the magazine.

So here I am again, writing another end of volume editorial. Did I think I was still going to be here when I took over editing RISCWorld half way through Volume 1? No. Mind you I didn't think anyone was still going to be here seven and a half years after Acorn got asset striped by a bunch of faceless suits who were after the ARM shares Acorn held. That just goes to show what I know. So is it worth me making any predictions for the next 12 months? To be honest probably not. Well, I could make predictions, but I somehow doubt that anyone would want to read them. Unless they were reading them in 2007, which, given my usual level of accuracy, could be quite embarrassing.

Instead I'm going to write a load of old twaddle thinly disguised as an editorial. I could write a "re-subscribe now" bit of text, but since it's the end of a volume we will have an article on re-subscribing anyway. I could write something about the recent newsgroup nonsense about RISC OS Select 4, but it looks like a few people simply got their wires crossed and the whole newsgroup thread was plainly a nonsense. One of those who got their information wrong has already apologised so that doesn't make much of an editorial either.

I could sing the praises of the A9 from Advantage Six, but it hasn't been fully released yet. I'd like to review Impression X, but that hasn't been released at all and I'm starting to wonder if it ever will. I'm still hoping that someone will take over Vantage, formerly published by Cerilica, but there haven't been any public announcements so far.

So I'm back trying to avoid making predictions for the coming year. I'll make a quick comment about the prices of secondhand machines. If, like me, you spend some time on eBay you will find that the prices for machines are still slowly falling. It's now possible to get a perfectly serviceable secondhand StrongARM RiscPC for under £100. I still recommend that anyone using a RiscPC gets another machine for spares, you never know if a component might fail. After all the earliest RiscPCs are now coming up for 12 years old, and even the newest ones are well outside their guarantee period. If you are lucky you might even pick up an Iyonix (they do turn up), or for the brave a Microdigital Omega.

A well known software developer and magazine publisher recently purchased a working Omega with RISC OS 4.39 and an 18" LCD monitor for just over £100 on eBay. OK, there might not be any support of the hardware fails, but in the meantime it works fine and despite having a lowly 300Mhz StrongARM it's still turns in very respectable benchmarks, it's certainly far faster than RiscPC. If £100 seems too much then I also heard of one lucky RISC OS user picking up a machine at a club auction for under £40. Now that's cheap!

Editors Rant of the month

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

In the last issue I left the Beetle with the driver's seat fixed, but with the passenger seat left to do. I don't quite know why I left the story at that point, because there isn't that much more to say. Well, there is one important thing to say. For some reason the muppet who fitted the seats decided, against conventional wisdom, that one bolt would hold the passenger seat in the case of an accident. Call me old fashioned, but I would disagree. The seats were built to be fitted with three bolts, the car has space for three bolts, so the seat needs three bolts. So, just like the driver's seat, I welded up the bodged seat runners that had been cut and bent and then fitted the seat with a full compliment of bolts. See, it wasn't much of a story was it?

Anyway since then the Beetle hasn't moved, due to weather, time constraints and lazyness. When I did try and start it the other day I found that the battery was flat (I thought they were square - HJ). Charging it up revealed that it wasn't just flat, but knackered. Oh well never mind.

So let's move on to the Citroen. We have had a little spate of vehicular damage down our road in the last few weeks with a number of cars having their door mirrors snapped off. Unsurprisingly the Citroen was targeted and the driver's side mirror was snapped. Annoying, but not the end of the world. With the assistance of several yards of duct tape and a tube of epoxy glue I was able to re-attached the mirror. The result wasn't pretty but it worked.

Having fixed the mirror I decided that I really should give the car a proper clean, both inside and out. The car's inside was decorated in a light colour of traditional dog mud and fur, which needed to be removed. It only took three quarters if an hour with the hoover to get rid of most of it. Then a quick polish with Armourall had the inside gleaming and fit for human inhabitation. The outside was another matter; all the wheel arches were caked with mud. Since I still can't find our pressure washer I decided to take it to the Sainsbury pressure washer. It was shut. Never mind, Tesco is only three miles. I drove there. The pressure washer was shut. Eventually I ended up at Morrisons, this time the pressure washer was open. I had to queue for a few minutes behind a couple of chavs who were wondering why the pressure washer was removing the respray on their "lovely" kitted up Vauxhall Nova (1.0 with added GTi badges). Having had a good laugh at their expense I started cleaning the Citroen.

The pressure washer was great, it removed all the mud from the wheel arches, from the sills and everywhere else. It was so efficient it also removed the door mirror I had re-glued. Brilliant. Since I was due to drive down the the South West show the next day I simply slopped a load of glue all over the thing then taped it up. As of today (the 14th of March) it's still holding -just. I did investigate getting a new mirror, but I object to spending £140 on one. especially when the car has so many other faults. If I can find a cheap one on eBay I will get one, if not I will just have to stop washing the car. Won't that be a shame!

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