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RISCDomain magazine reviewed

By Mark Stephens. Published: 23rd Oct 2007, 16:00:22 | Permalink | Printable

A media watch special

Mark Stephens flicks through a copy of the RISCDomain Special 2007 magazine and gives his verdict.

RD coverRISCDomain is a magazine irregularly published by David Bradforth - a veteran of many projects involving publications covering topics from RISC OS to eBay. RD started life as a bi-monthly product but never really took off and now sometimes appears as a one-off. David had a stand at the South East 2007 show with copies of RD available to browse and buy. You can also buy copies through his eBay store from the link below.

Special for 2007
RD has a cover price of £2.99 and is an A5-sized publication. The first thing that strikes you is the quality: it is just a really nice production. It's printed in full colour on good quality paper with a colourful front cover. It is sitting on my desk not out of place next to MacWorld and LinuxFormat, and it looks as though it was produced to a high professional standard. It also has a much cheaper cover price but no DVD. If it was in WH Smith, maybe we might get some new users.

Inside are 56 pages of editorial. There is no news section but there is space for some discussion of current on-going issues and deliberation on the future of DTP package Impression. There are 13 articles, all with some potential interest to RISC OS users. These range from a nicely illustrated guide titled First Steps with RISC OS Adjust, tutorials on selling items on eBay and Amazon, two case studies of people using RISC OS, an article on using fonts, and even some hardware reviews of scanners and printers with advice on compatibility. Finally, there is a nostalgic item titled Acorn and RISC OS in Pictures, which is the cover story.

David has a positive, realistic tone throughout the magazine - he works in professional publishing with Macs and PCs but still likes to get back to RISC OS. The editor acknowledges in his introduction that "elements of RISCDomain have previously been published in other publications," and indeed the article on VirtualRiscPC for Apple computers has appeared in print before. You might also quibble the depth of the case studies features.

Overall though, it's amazing how much interesting new content David has squeezed into his latest special project, and the amount of work that has gone into providing a professional quality magazine for RISC OS users. Let's hope this isn't the last 'special' we see from RISCDomain.

Links

Where to buy RISCDomain

Previous: South East 2007 show report
Next: Text adventure game Quicksand updated

Discussion

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I purchased this magazine via EBay. However whilst the magazine itself seemed to be a high standard i.e. good quality paper. I found for me it was lacking content and subsequently a "flick" through was all it got before entering the recycle bag.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 23/10/07 8:47PM
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I tried to get a copy via ebay. A friend ordered one for me via his account, but the copy never came :(, got lost in the post.. got the refund. But still waiting for stuff in the post from all sorts of people and I dont trust the post atm

 is a RISC OS UserHairy on 23/10/07 8:55PM
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I actively searched the magazine out at the SE Show with a view to probably buying and I agree that the quality and style are excellent, but the content was not for me - I have no interest in selling on Ebay, Amazon or elsewhere, I rarely use anything other than the 'standard' fonts and the reviews had no interest for me as I'm not looking to buy at the moment which didn't leave much else in the mag for me even at £2.99. Sorry. I would certainly look at future issues though.

 is a RISC OS UserTimDWest on 23/10/07 11:03PM
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Phoebe on the front cover - painful memories.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/10/07 8:46AM
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It's a real shame at the time no one was able to bring Phoebe to fruition.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 29/10/07 12:49PM
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There were two almost completely working machines which found there way to a couple of shows, and despite them being built with the very first silicon available, they seemingly had fewer issues than the Iyonix prior to its release, and the A9 during its extended more public guestation.

So despite what Acorn said, it could have been easy to bring it to production. If we'd had that vital generation of machines instead of the huge vacuum left by the departure of Acorn and the scurrilous Omega fiasco, the market would be twice the size it now, with far more of the next generation Iyonix and A9's sold.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/10/07 2:17PM
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In reply to Druck:

Are you sure they were almost complete? IIRC the cosmetics were complete, ie the what the OS would look like, but the underlying functionality was not. But I may be mis-remembering.

Out of curiosity how does the theoretical spec of the Pheobe compare with the delivered spec of the Iyonix and A9?

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 29/10/07 4:02PM
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I've seen and tested one. It was a while ago, but I seem to remember that the only advantage it had over the RiscPC in terms of speed was in the same situations that Kinetic also benefited from. Prodution machines would also had benefitted from better hard drive performance, but frankly in terms of speed improvement over the existing machines of the time, I don't think it would have made a big enough impact. Perhaps if it had had the 400Mhz CPU that Acorn wanted from Digital then things may have been different, but we know what happened to that.

 is a RISC OS Userfwibbler on 29/10/07 4:34PM
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Even with the same 233 StrongARM Phoebe was much quicker than a Kinetic overall, as there was no use of slow memory, no DMA limitations (as with Kinetic), and no I/O bottle necks to the graphics system (as with ViewFinder). It could play a dozen Replay movies from disc simultaneously.

A machine based on a 600MHz XScale with an accelerated graphics card and UDMA100 is substantially faster, so the Iyonix would still have been the machine to replace it, but we wouldn't have lost thousands of users who thought the end of Phoebe was the end of RISC OS hardware.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/10/07 8:55AM
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