What a lorra lorra letters, shame the grammars got no betters...
For the first time in as long as I can remember (about 15 minutes) we have had a huge number of letters sent in to Foundation RISCWorld Towers for inclusion in this issue. Indeed we have had so many that some of my answers will have to be a little brief. Either that or I'll never get the column finished in time to get the magazine out to you subscribers and we can't have that can we. A RISC OS magazine that's late, who's ever heard of such a thing?
Anyway with the excuse for the brevity of some of my replies over with, lets get on with our subscribers latest thoughts. Starting with a response to a comment I made last issue...
I am glad you find the "Vehicular Faith" part of my editorials entertaining, doing these silly vehicle based jobs often keeps me "entertained" for hours on end, as do the range of minor injuries I receive for my pains. My objection to Drobe is not related to any level of boredom that it introduces, but is purely related to the harm that the frequent inaccuracies can cause to the RISC OS market. I've said in the past that most of the errors in Drobe articles could easily be caught by the minimum of basic research. Given that the man force behind Drobe, Chris Williams, actually works as a journalist full time I find this amazing. OK, I accept that he is a very junior hack on an obscure local paper and seems to have set his sights on a career in the gutter of tabloid journalism. Even so I would have thought that a "professional" would be able to make a better job of it.
Now that Drobe has been "slimmed" down and only carries short snippets the main problems seem to have been sorted out. If each "article" is only a few sentences then it's almost impossible to cram in many mistakes, which is good news. It also reduces th common Drobe problem of opinion and speculation being presented as fact. I very rarely look at Drobe any more. I've little interest in the content and even less interest in the comments on the forums, especially given the "interesting" pruning that takes place to remove any comments that "Drobe staff" might not agree with.
Now it's time for another Foundation RISCWorld regular contributor...
Thanks very much for these two. I've included both of these in the Letters directory in the Software section of this issue. !ValJive in particular is well froody dude...
Now another happy customer, as Basil Fawlty said, "perhaps we should get him stuffed"...
I am pleased that the update sorted the printing problems. I've had a number of other e-mails saying similar, that problems with printouts not appearing has been resolved. So we at VirtualAcorn are fairly happy that we have finally correctly tracked down and fixed the problems for good.
Whilst we are on the subject of VirtualAcorn...
Dear Aaron Timbrell,
You have raised an interesting point or two here. Firstly as you are using a VirtualRPC the same rules as for a "real" RISC OS machine don't necessarily apply. Firstly with regard to a scanner, you won't have any success using a scanner directly with VirtualRPC using a RISC OS driver as scanners are not supported. So you might consider scanning under Windows and then transferring the resulting image over to RISC OS.
Lets now move on to the printers. The number of machines with a RISC OS driver has increased significantly over the last couple of years. This may come as rather a surprise but allow me to explain. Firstly you could take a look at Gutenprint from Martin Wuerthner. This is a RISC OS version of the Linux Gutenprint project, which aims to provide drivers for a range of modern printers. The latest update from January added support for an extra 600 printers, so you get some idea of the number it supports. I suggest asking Martin himself for advice if you want to go down the Gutenprint route.
The other alternative is UniPrint from R-Comp. Uniprint will allow RISC OS running on VirtualRPC to print to any printer that Windows can use (which is almost anything). So you can pick up that wireless Lexmark all in one machine from your local supermarket for £50 and know that it will work. In addition R-Comp also produce UniScan. This allows any scanner that supports the WIA (Windows Imaging Architecture) to be used with RISC OS under VirtualRPC. This includes the vast majority of scanners that have a Windows driver.
So to sum up. It's possible to buy almost anything and get it to work on RISC OS running on a VirtualRPC. This is a rather different scenario to a few years ago when hardly anything worked. The only caveat is that you will need to buy UniPrint/UniScan or Gutenprint, they aren't free. However the cost is more than offset by the low cost printers that can now be used.
That's excellent news. I am very pleased that the MUG Xmas show is going ahead despite the stratospheric collapse of the Arm Club which had in previous years co-hosted the show. I was also concerned that the unannounced closure of the Arm Club might have had a knock on effect in other areas. However it seems that my concerns were unfounded and that things are carrying on as normal. Good news indeed
Thanks for the kind words about the magazine. We do try very hard to keep the magazine fresh and to come up with a broad range of content so that there will always be something for everyone in each issue. Hopefully we succeed most of the time.
Thanks for the letter. I can fully understand the need for such an application for RISC OS. So I went and asked the expert on all things Public Domain, Dave Holden. He then went through his database of RISC OS PD applications and came up with !KeyBoard. Then he also came up with !Piano. A quick test showed that !KeyBoard seemed to work fine on RISC OS 6 but that !Piano didn't. So I am including a copy of !Keyboard in the Letters section of the Software directory on this CD. I hope it fits the bill.
Finally the ever prolific Martin Carrudus is back again...
Thanks for yet another submission. As always I have included this latest version in the Software directory. I am sorry to hear about the problem of people moaning about software that they haven't paid for not working. I am not sure what can be done with some people. The "everything should be free" attitude seems to be spreading in the RISC OS community. Whilst having things for free is great people need to realise that somewhere in the chain someone needs to be paid for their work. My view is that if RISC OS had been free it would have died years ago.
P.S. perhaps we should rename the letters page the Carrudus Corner?
Well that's the end for the issue's letters page. To contact the RISCWorld letters page please e-mail us using the following e-mail address.