RISC World

Editor's Corner

Aaron Timbrell's own bit of the magazine.

Editors Rant of the month

I debated about changing the heading of this section this time round. Mainly because it's not a rant as such. Instead it's more of a long deep sigh of sadness. Why? Well because it's very difficult for me to write anything that isn't about the untimely death of Paul Vigay. Whilst I knew Paul well enough to speak to him at shows I didn't have any real direct dealings with him. In addition I didn't, or couldn't, agree with many of the things he said. Paul was well known as one who fervently believed in a number of more outlandish things. Crop circles, Diana conspiracies, Castle selling 4000 Iyonix's. The list is quite long. However despite not agreeing with him I couldn't have ever really had a disagreement with him as such, since he was such a nice chap.

Matt Thompson has written an obituary for Paul that's in this issue and I'm not going to retread the same ground. Instead I want to focus on the huge hole that Paul's death has left behind. For a start Paul was the face of Orpheus internet and was the driving force behind the only "RISC OS friendly" ISP. Mere weeks after his death Orpheus customers are already starting to grow concerned about lack of support and services that have disappeared. But what other holes has Paul left behind? Well he was the one who managed and published the RISC OS F.A.Q's that were published on the newsgroups each month. Will someone else step forward to take them over?

How about RISCOS Now magazine? That was published by Louie Smith, but Paul was the main force behind the magazine and wrote a lot of the content. Will that continue? I doubt it. What about the huge resources on the website? Or How about the RISC OS webring? The updated list of new RISC OS applications Paul maintained? His large number of shareware applications? The list goes on.

RISC OS is small arena. Losing a key man like Paul is a very serious matter, not just for his friends and family, but for all RISC OS users. Another important part of RISC OS has gone. How many more parts have to go before the whole lot goes with it?

Finally, and despite what I said earlier about changing the heading for this section, perhaps there is still room for a quick rant. As Paul was one who believed in any number of conspiracy theories I was a little concerned that one would surface in the RISC OS community that related to his death. Initially I was very pleased to see that everyone had more than enough common sense to desist from any such hurtful nonsense.

My pleasure didn't last too long. Just before Paul's funeral such nonsense appeared. Whilst I don't want to name the inconsiderate moron responsible (although the name John Nolan wouldn't be too far off the mark) I found the post(s) in especially bad taste. Just to really hammer home the "conspiracy" nonsense home this individual even claimed that by mentioning something he "could be putting his own life in danger". Indeed. I am quite sure I am not the only RISC OS user who would happily "put this persons life in danger" for the upset he could cause to Paul's relatives. Luckily maturity came to the fore and he was told by a number of people to either go the the Police if he had something important, or to just go away if he didn't.

We need people like Paul Vigay, but nobody needs people who want to make up stories about his tragic death.

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

Since last issue I have only attempted a couple of automotive jobs. The first involved walking into Halfords and purchasing a new oil filter and a tin of engine flush for the Matiz. Having picked up the items I paid, then walked out. Job done. Of course I haven't got round to actually flushing the old oil, draining it, replacing the filter and then topping the oil up. However I can say, without contradiction, that so far the job is going swimmingly.

With a recent attack of nice weather I have been able to drop the hood on the Saab and go for a couple of nice drives with sunglasses and warm pullover. Warm because of the heated seats, which are a must in any convertible. Before taking the Saab out I did spend 2 days giving it a through spring clean. This involved hoovering out the inside (which wasn't dirty), then polishing the interior (which wasn't dusty) and of course feeding the leather seats (which weren't very hungry). I then turned my attention to the outside and soaked the bodywork before attacking it with a washing brush and car wash (which unlike washing up liquid doesnt contain salt). Then when I had dried it I went round dealing with any new stone chips before giving it 2 coats of wax.

So that's two unexciting vehicular events in one issue, surely something must have gone wrong somewhere?

If you remember last issue I said that the Matiz had a slow puncture, but that before getting the type replaced I wanted to remove the old tyre and clean up the alloy wheel. Well...the last time I removed a tyre by hand was on a Rover 100. Not a Metro with a silly badge, a proper Rover 100, 2.6 litre, nearly 2 tons and with a proper bench seat. Anyway one of the more important differences between a car built in the 1950s and one made almost 50 years later relates to the interface between the car and the ground. The tyres. The Rover 100 had nice Avon squeal-a-matic crossply tyres. These can be removed from the wheel rims with a medium strength cough. The Matiz has tiny 13" tyres, not the huge ones on the Rover. So they must be easier to remove. Musn't they?

I'll give you a clue, the answer rhymes with "ho" and has only 2 letters. The difference between the two is that the Matiz has radial tyres. Now I am sure that most of you know that radial tyres offer better road holding. Whilst this is in some part due to the improvements in the design of the tyre treads it's mainly to do with the design, size and stiffness of the tyre sidewalls. The result being that whilst you can remove a large 1950's crossply tyre with a couple of tyre levers in a few minutes one cannot do the same with a modern 13" radial tyre. Indeed I am now happy to confirm that the only way to remove a 13" radial tyre is to gradually cut it up whilst it's still attached to the wheel. For this you will need a sharp thick knife. You will also need a set of strong tin snips, several screwdrivers, the two tyre levers you gave up on several hours ago and a complete free weekend.

With these simple tools its a matter of a mere 36 hours before the tyre will finally part company with the wheel. Even better you will then discover that with all the levering and banging, the soft alloy wheel has been damaged and is probably scrap.

So you may well wonder why one wouldn't simply shove the wheel and tyre in the boot and take it to the local tyre fitters and ask them to take the tyre off. Well that's a very good question. When I've come up with an answer I will let you know. In the meantime does anyone have a spare Matiz alloy wheel they want to sell? Preferably one in good condition with a new tyre fitted?

Printing Foundation RISCWorld

The new look of Foundation RISCWorld means that you will no longer get the yellow background when printing articles. 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