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Profile for VinceH

ContactAbout me
Username: VinceH
Realname: Vince Hudd
About me:The Life of Ian Fleming by John Pearson is my most recently read biography. What do you mean that's not what the question meant?
Homepage: www.softrock.co.uk
Comments posted:125 (show all)

All comments

On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:


"VinceH, you state that you can't test your software if you were to use a Select feature. Is that because you don't have Select?"

That's correct, I don't - and there's a very good reason for that: My development machine is an Iyonix, and I don't have the space to have another machine alongside it and my laptop (the latter being my primary machine for all other work).

Installing VA on the laptop could arguably be a solution, but I did that on my previous (previous) laptop and, quite frankly, I hated using it with a vengeance - so that's a complete non-starter. I might revert to emulation again when the fat lady not only sings, but smashes all the glasses in the process - but even then, I might have to give serious consideration to just how much I disliked it before deciding.

"I get the impression from a number of the similar comments from other people as well that you think that developers should get free access to copies of Select in order to test their software."

That's not actually what was said, though, is it? Being generous, you appear to have misunderstood or misread a number of comments made here. Being less generous, you could be misrepresenting what people say in order to make your own angle stronger.

Given that the people in question seem to be the developers - the very people who you want to use Select features in their software - I'd hope it's misunderstanding, because it would surely be incredibly daft to misrepresent the people who you should be trying to get on side.

But that's an aside. Getting back on topic...

As has been said more than once, you should give serious consideration to making API improvements, rather than user-facing improvements, available outwith Select subscriptions. This would surely be beneficial to the platform as a whole, chiefly because it will enable developers to better support those APIs - and at the day's end, developers are vital to the platform.

However, having said all of that there is still the flaw of the computers in use. I fuly reserve the right to be wrong, but I get the very distinct impression that most developers use Iyonix PCs. At the very least, therefore, you need to find away of releasing components including new APIs for that platform if you want developers to use those new APIs, IMO.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 3/6/09 9:42AM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:


Earlier, Paul Middleton said "I appreciate that some people don't use Select features in their applications because they choose to assume the lowest common denominator of Operating System in use rather than testing for the availability of features, and then gracefully telling the End User that a required feature is not available on their specific OS."

Speaking with my sadly rarely worn developer hat on (which does have a nice peak and would have prevented the nasty sunburn I have on my forehead) I'm not likely to ignore a Select feature in order to support a LCD OS version - it's because I can't test anything I might write to use that Select feature to make sure I haven't included any silly errors as a result of misreading the documentation or whatever.

If you want developers to support it, make it available so that they can. Simples.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 2/6/09 1:59PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

"Before we get into specifics about freely available softloadable updates for people who have never contributed to the Select scheme, perhaps we should ask those people who have contributed whether they think the contribution they have made to RISC OS development over the past ten years should be given away for free?"

That would include me, then.

"So if you are reading this discussion and are a current Select subscriber then please let us have your thoughts. PS. Please quote your Select Number to verify that you are a subscriber."

Oh. That wouldn't include me, then.

Shame about those moving goalposts.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 2/6/09 1:11PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

"Just because nobody comes along and says "I use the filer thumbnailing all the time", or "The ability to import and export pngs in Paint is fantastic", is not evidence of people not using them."

Aren't you just falling into the same trap riscosboss did, and ignored the earlier list of obscure additions rjek gave as examples?

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 22/5/09 7:48PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

Oops. Sorry about the italics.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 22/5/09 7:40PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

Quoting riscosboss "I should of course point out that no-one other than RISCOS Ltd can licence RISC OS for use on Desktop Computers. (see the Castle FAQ at [link])"

"Again, citation needed. Additionally, which element of the FAQ are you refering to?"

Easy. The bit in the FAQ that doesn't quite say what he's claiming. From the page he linked to at [link]

"Q. I want a license to use RISC OS - must I apply to Castle to get one? A. Not necessarily. A number of companies have the ability to grant 3rd party binary licenses for RISC OS, for example RISCOS Ltd can licence RISC OS 4 for desktop computers. In addition they could also apply to Castle for an extension to include new hardware - there are no plans at all to withhold permission to any genuine volume applicant."

Interestingly, I've just looked at an old letter I received from Acorn back in 1992 and by reading and interpreting it in a similar way that other documents appear to have been read and interpreted, I conclude that Acorn actually handed all rights to RISC OS to me, commencing 15 years after the date of that letter. That would be 12th May 2007.

Honestly. The letter includes my name and address, the words "RISC OS", "licence", "transfer", "fifteen" and "years" in that order, as well as many others inbetween them. But I can't show it to anyone.

I therefore hereby assign all rights to ROOL.

Problem solved.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 22/5/09 7:39PM
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On NetSurf reaches version 2.0:

Faster than something slower, obviously. :)

Shame I couldn't make the show - it would have been nice to have bought a NetSurf 2 CD numbered 001 to go with my NetSurf 1 CD with the same number. ;)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 28/4/09 11:51AM
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On Last issue of Foundation RISCWorld published:

According to Aaron in the relevant part of the magazine, they did ask around to see if anyone would be willing to take over the task of editing, with some initial interest until the would-be editors realised how much work was involved, at which point interest waned.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 31/3/09 11:36AM
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On Upgrade to RISC OS 4 for twenty quid:

What might be useful is a slight reorganisation of the way each post is displayed - if scrolling down the threaded list, you have to glance at the foot of each post to see if it's new.

Perhaps putting the username and timestamp at the start of each post, with the [reply/report] links at the foot would be a good idea?

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 9/12/08 12:20PM
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On Wakefield 2008 show photos:

If you'd all care to indulge me, I have a couple of comments to make on the subject of these pictures. And - epistaxsis and sa110 - they are not in any way related to that classic science fiction show Boobies on Five.

First up: Vanilla flavoured vodka sounds like a nice tipple. Where was mine then, Chris? :p

Second down: The first picture above of Louie. As I scrolled down and saw that, the first thing I thought of was Trance Gemini.

Third, to the left a bit: Graham Shaw clearly has good taste - his backdrop is of the second Romana. That's the correct choice. We have discussed this on a number of occasions on alt.boobieson5.uk where there's at least one person who gets this wrong. (Who lives in Wakefield, actually.)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 29/4/08 12:14AM
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On NetSurf bags GBP10K investment from Google:

In fact, I've now found the problem - and, yes, it was me doing something stupid.

(Well, actually, not doing something stupid, just stupidly not realising something)

The reason I use /skin/styles.css is so that every page on the site can link to the same style sheet using the same link - ie relative to the top level. Which isn't going to work at all unless the site is served, rather than just loaded from disc.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/4/08 6:40PM
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On NetSurf bags GBP10K investment from Google:

Here, *mimemap .css returns:

Mime type: text/css, RISC OS filetype: 0xf79

As does *mimemap f79 and *mimemap text/css

My stylesheets are filetyped f79

ADFS::Blonde.$.Websites.softrock_co_uk.site.index/html is typed html, and uploaded as [link] - and contains:

< link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/skin/styles.css" title="Default">

(deliberately spaced because Drobe's preview didn't seem to like it)

ADFS::Blonde.$.Websites.softrock_co_uk.site.skin.styles.css is typed CSS (f79) and uploaded as [link]

Locally, the CSS file isn't used (unless the page is served via WebJames). Remotely, it is.

If I'm doing something stupid, please feel free to make me look like an idiot. :)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/4/08 6:34PM
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On NetSurf bags GBP10K investment from Google:


NetSurf works fine with external style sheets but not locally (unless this has been fixed more recently). The best way to test files locally, therefore, is to run WebJames and serve them up to yourself that way.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/4/08 4:49PM
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On Wakefield 2008 show preview:

"Please, do not put images into people's mind line that during working hours!"

Yeah, look at the effect it's had on Rob's typing. :p

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/4/08 3:40PM
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On R-Comp unveils new PDF authoring package:

When I spoke to Andrew (I think it was Andrew) by email about the non-secure ordering some time ago, he told me that they did experiment with secure ordering at one point, but it resulted in a drop in sales.

I'm not sure why that would be and it did surprise me (which I said to him in reply), but that's why they continue to have insecure ordering pages for many of their lines.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/4/08 9:36AM
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On South West 2008 this weekend:


Thanks for that.

Interesting to read that RISC OS NOW had "the delayed November" issue - I might be misremembering, but I thought I received an issue towards the end of last year. Perhaps I didn't after all, if it was delayed! Hopefully, I can expect that and the February issue to be popping through my door sometime soon.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 25/2/08 10:37AM
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On South West 2008 this weekend:

I couldn't go, either as an exhibitor or visitor, because I was in Italy this weekend - so the first and most obvious question is "where's the show report?" (Just got back, yet to read usenet etc, but I expect there will be something there...)

As for transport, and this is a big if, because there are several parts to it) if I am able to go next year (if it happens next year) and if I've replaced my current vehicle with the type I want, I'll be able provide transport for a handful of people coming from Bristol. (My current car has only two seats - the replacements I'm considering have 7 or 8).

A caveat for potential liftees, though, is that if I exhibit rather than just visit, you'll have to be prepared to set out early so that I can get there to set up (though historically, I usually turn up with 15 minutes to spare for the show opening!), and at the other end of the day, you'll be returned after the show's end.

As I say, though, this is subject to the change of car etc, which might not happen (on the one hand I want the replacement vehicle, but on the other hand, my car is pretty much the most reliable one I've ever had, despite the rough treatment it had when I was still off-roading, so I'm loathe to replace it!)

And most importantly, by next year I'll have forgotten I've said this, so will need reminding.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 24/2/08 7:11PM
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On RISC OS skills database website launches:

Jwoody: Your calculation is wrong.

Using 40 weeks @ 40 hours per week to calculate a man-year is fair enough. So a man-year, using that basis, is 1600 hours.

A quick glance down the list to total up the available time for C/Assempler experts or experienced gives me 25 as well - so again, fair enough.

However, it's actually 25 hours per *week*, so the result of the division (64) is the number of weeks, not the number of years.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 14/2/08 2:20PM
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On Animated love:

Quite true. I could probably come up something brilliant programmatically, but I try very hard not to be a geek in "real life" and especially when it comes to women. TBH, a flashy graphic, or a flashy program would be a complete turn off to most women I've ever known.

I've arranged flowers, chocolates and champagne to be delivered to the woman (I'd like to be...) in my life at the moment (though I stand no chance at all with this one!). Not original, but she'll appreciate that far more.

However, that said, the article is a nice, simple tutorial for creating animated gifs on RISC OS, which I suppose is its real purpose.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 11/2/08 10:33AM
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On RISC OS skills database website launches:


You and me both. I have one or two skills to offer, but each comes with the catch that they use up time that I'm *unable* to offer.

I had the initial coding of Seek'n'Link done well before Christmas, but real life and real work got in the way before I had time to write the user guide - I was literally only able to finish it yesterday (along with a couple more minor code changes) and upload it. And I wanted that out of the way before I could do anything more on WebChange - which I'd hoped to be able to release a useable beta of by Christmas. Fat chance.

The way my work is at the moment, the best I can hope is that I'll be demonstrating it at Wakefield, and *possibly* making it available as a beta. :(

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 4/2/08 1:57PM
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On Wakefield 2008 details confirmed:

Sounds good. I posted my booking forms and cheque for a stand on the way home this evening. Hopefully, I'll remember to book the hotel in the morning!

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 31/1/08 6:27PM
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On Wakefield 2008 details confirmed:

So, what's the hotel like to stay in, then?

For 2007, I decided to use my car (as I'm wont to do now and again) as a makeshift camper, tightfisted scrooge that I am. (Mind you, I wasn't selling anything so keeping costs as low as possible made sense).

Where I slept, though, was fairly high ground, and flat - so really exposed to the elements, and I didn't get much sleep. I also forgot to bring my razor and a comb - and the latter would have been VERY useful given the high winds I went for a walk in that morning. Result: At the show I thought I probably looked a mess at best, hanging at worst, and when I saw the pictures after, they confirmed it.

So, for 2008, staying in the hotel might be a good plan. That way I can get pished the night before, since I won't have to drive the next morning, and look hanging for the actual show for an entirely different (but very good) reason. :)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 31/1/08 11:07AM
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On Christmas 2007 show this weekend:

It just means that if nobody sends anything in, there won't be a post-show report. Presumably, there isn't going to be anyone there specifically for the purpose of reporting for Drobe.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 1/12/07 11:01AM
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On RISC OS camps to discuss future development:


"I bet ROL and ROOL haven't come to a collective decision about all of that."

I suspect you are right, and the announcement reflects what's been done so far - that they've come to an agreement. There are, I imagine, still many things to work out. Ensuring no future API incompatibilities should be a piece of cake; just implement a formal procedure for API "allocations" which could possibly be based on (or an extension to) the present resource allocation system; it depends on how it's handled internally, which I don't know, and precisely what needs to be covered and how detailed it needs to be. I guess that if it was just the two parties things would be relatively simple, but with the shared-source initiative and the fact that means any of us can contribute, it complicate things a touch.

For differences that have already been committed to Userland things will be more difficult to resolve.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 29/11/07 11:56AM
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On RISC OS camps to discuss future development:


"At its basic form, its even simpler than that, if one variant uses OS_ArbitrarySWI 666, the other variant wont use the same 666 for a different purpose."

That's just about exactly the point I was making, and how I interpreted the announcement.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 29/11/07 11:43AM
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On RISC OS camps to discuss future development:


According to the announcement is that the two "camps" have agreed to ensure API *compatibility* between the two versions of RISC OS, which is a far cry from agreeing to match one another feature for feature.

What I believe this means (for a very simple example) is that if in one strand someone adds a new function to OS_ArbitrarySWI and uses previously unused reason code 666, then rather than the other strand having that same function added (which, as you rightly say, can't be guaranteed to happen) what will actually happen is that reason code will be, effectively, "reserved" (for want of a better word) for that same function - should someone be willing/able to add it in future - and won't be used for something else in the other strand.

So, as a developer, you can be sure that calling OS_ArbitrarySWI with r0=666, you will either cause Damian to appear, or nothing will happen at all. It won't, in the alternative strand, cause an unexpected pizza delivery.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 28/11/07 8:54PM
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On Could RISC OS teach Linux a trick or two?:


"Don't forget that the iconbar on the bottom was used by RiscOS before windows....so who is copying who?"

Er... yes. I believe Liam does actually point out that the RISC OS icon bar is a possible source of inspiration for the Windows task bar in the article in question.

"The distribution of files is as bad as anything under windows"

I wonder if that's one of the patents Microsoft claims is being infringed. ;)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 6/11/07 12:08PM
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On Oregano 3 spotted on a RISC OS desktop:


He's talking about the difference between releasing the application, and releasing the sources to the application.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 20/9/07 8:48AM
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On New interactive fiction game available:


It's had a couple of updates:

I had a brain-botty-burp when I said 1MB VRAM is enough for the graphics; it actually needs 2MB VRAM to run at 800x600x16M - so I've changed it to default to 800x600x32K. Just download the qsand.zip for this update, and copy the contents over the existing !Quicksand installation with 'Newer' set.

If you *do* have 2MB VRAM, then there's a third small zip file, qsandh.zip - download that and copy its contents over !Quicksand to enable 16M colours.

Another change is to cause the cursor keys to generate the four direction commands, and the command 'where' - which tells the player the location number - is now entered via F2.

And finally some changes to the game script itself - there was a small 'feature' in the script, which didn't affect how the game was played, but just looked odd (if the player found it) and I've added a more obvious command to use when two particular objects have been found.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 20/8/07 8:53AM
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On RISC OS Open: One year on:


Yes, there are areas where it can be improved etc - this has been discussed a while back, and I kept ringing Castle's email doorbell until I got an answer on the subject!

The results of that discussion ended up somewhere in ROOL's forums - but I have to admit, I never really got into the habit of routinely checking their forums, and so haven't seen what has been said on the subject in the last however many months.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/7/07 2:03PM
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On RISC OS development charity taking shape:


Why not subscribe to the mailing list and make your suggestion there? The link is above, and it isn't in any way closed - and AFAIK because everything is really in the early stages, discussion of ideas and possible routes to take is welcome.

Speaking more generally, as a developer I release some software with a price tag, and some I make freely available - in the former case, payment from such a system is inappropriate, since users are paying for it anyway, and in the latter case, if I wanted people to pay for it, the price tag would be something other than £0.00, so I'd neither want or expect any kind of payment from a venture such as this.

However, not every developer is the same, and nobody's background is entirely the same; from what they can spare in terms of development time, to what their abilities are, what help and support they need and in what areas - and right through to their motivations for coding.

I therefore think the motivation behind RISC OS Connect is a good one and worthy of support, and that's why I am on the mailing list - primarily only as an observer or interested third party, though I'll comment and offer help where I can. I would urge other developers, even though they may feel as described in the article about benefitting from the project themselves, to do likewise.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 26/6/07 11:42AM
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On Wakefield 2007 show report:


The caption to go with that picture should surely be "Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, don't look around my eyes, look into my eyes... You're under."

And just to clarify in this picture:


I was actually explaining to Phil about the size of my ex's, umm, assets. Honest. ;)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 29/5/07 5:51PM
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On ROOL mouse mat design revealed:

I think, rather than point to and shame those who don't appear on the mat, it's better to take a positive view of those who *do* appear.

I'm particularly pleased, for example, that the top row appears to be VirtualAcorn, RISC OS Ltd, Iyonix Ltd, and Advantage6.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 2/5/07 2:35PM
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On Select 4i2 apps will run on A9home:


I think what Druck really wants is to make the bikini transparent. ;)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 2/5/07 1:10PM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:


While I agree that a CMS and online shop won't necessarily lead to an increase in sales, I'm a little surprised that your experimentation led to a decrease. Can you be certain, as your comment seems to suggest, that your decrease in sales was connected to your experimenting with them? I'd be doubtful.

A CMS isn't necessary to make a site more presentable or user friendly - this can be managed without one - but it does help when the site becomes large and unweildy, and can help prevent it becoming a sprawling unmaintainable mess; at which point it can lose some user friendliness because it becomes hard to navigate or find things. This, I think, is the problem with RISCOS Ltd's website.

To be brutally honest, I think the same can be said for yours (sorry!). It's inconsistent, both in look and feel on different pages, and in navigation methods - and indeed in the actual location of pages, given that AFAICS only the frameset is loaded via the domain name, and all the pages under that from arcsvs.demon.co.uk

For instance, I pop along now to [link] and I get your home page. (This uses frames, as I said above, so if I found something via Google, I may end up with one of your frames as my full browser window with an arcsvs.demon.co.uk address) and I have a basic navigation frame down the left, and a main one taking up most of the window.

In that main window, I click on "Internet Suite" - this replaces the main frame with one about your DialUp4. Fair enough. If I click "Order now" this then puts [link] in the main frame, with a different coloured version of the same texture, which to my eye looks a bit odd, but never mind.

Going back to the main frame, I can click on NetFetch3; this behaves the same way, loading the relevant arsvcs.demon.co.uk page into the main frame - though with a completely different texture, which looks even more odd than the different coloured version of the same one.

Back to the main frame, and the WebsterXL link opens a replaces the frameset with a different one. Different colour scheme, now showing arscvs in the URL bar, etc.

Back again. Messenger Pro 4; New window, plain white background, etc.

Back again, and click on "Grape Vine" under internet tools. This opens a new window and a completely different colour scheme. The order button on that page takes me to [link] - the same as filled the frame above after clicking "Order now" for the internet suite, but now it's in its own window, and other than the title bar and copyright footer, there is little there to identify the page as yours.

Okay, "rcomp" appears in the URL, but as a subdirectory of arcsvs.demon.co.uk - for all I know, I could be on a phishing site, trying to rip off your customers. (Not least because the ordering page doesn't appear to be secure.)

Go back to the main framed window again, and click on Siteseer. This time the page is opened in the frame.

And so on. And so forth.

I would suggest the following things:

1. Use the domain properly, and don't pick your pages up from your Demon site. It just looks that much more professional if all the pages are loaded from rcomp.co.uk

2. Make the pages consistent, and bearing in mind that framed pages might end up opened in their own right (eg via searches, or from Adjust clicking) put a standard header/footer section on them which identifies them as yours. (Consider using server side includes for this, or if they're unavailable to you, you can download a free copy of the 26 bit version of WebChange ;) which allows you to achieve a similar effect)

3. While I don't object to the use of frames per se, consider the flaws they present - if you must use them, at least use them correctly and consistently.

4. Secure that ordering page!

Again, sorry for pointing all this out, but somewhere down the line it has to be said by someone!

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 1/5/07 12:33PM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

From selling the mouse mats, probably not.

However, ISTM that the objective was to encourage donations - in this case from commercial operations. It achieved that aim, given that Steve published a list of those who had donated, and more have done so since.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 25/04/07 08:26AM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:


Druck is hardly saying any such thing - he's merely pointing out the reality of the true cost of serious software development.

However, there are other costs that the Netsurf developers are incurring - such as that of web hosting - so it's still worth asking on the list if they are looking for donations (or suggesting that they set something up for the purpose on the site) in order for users to contribute towards covering those costs.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 24/4/07 3:49PM
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On Why can't we all just get along?:


"I visit several messageboards, some computer related, others not. I do find it depressing that there is so much personal abuse on some of them."

Amen to that. I felt I had to leave Bristol and West Off-road Club because of this sort of thing. Complicated mess which boiled down to a misunderstanding, but I decided I couldn't remain a member of the club after the abuse and misrepresentations I received from the club chairman on the forum. I didn't bother arguing with him; it wasn't worth the effort. I just ended my association with them.

Though, depending on the location and subject, sometimes it's hard NOT to respond.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/4/07 2:40PM
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On ROOL make 'market map' mouse mats:


You aren't the only one. Having seen the original announcement, I then completely forgot about it until the subsequent one last night, and promptly stumped up some readies.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 22/4/07 2:21PM
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On RISC OS Open to run allocations service:

The team at ROOL are a very competent and technically able group of people, so I would hope they'll not only just 'take over' the allocations process, but also improve it slightly. By that, I mean setting up a form for allocation requests on the website.

This wouldn't be to automate the process - it would still need a human to look at each request and approve it - but the process as it stands is subject to email problems, which we have witnessed in the past; a form on their server which puts the requests directly into their email system (in addition to the existing set up, not as a direct replacement to it) would help avoid such things.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 3/3/07 12:12PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

Damn... I'm sure I put a second half to that sentence. Oh well, here's the second half that isn't there:

Perhaps, to make the symbol they're playing around with more distinct from the symbol for a registered trademark, they could use a lowe case r? (Though I'm not sure that meets with the logic of the symbol they've devised, in which I guess the outer circle is meant to be an 'O' so that the whole thing represents the initials RO).

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 28/2/07 2:43PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

If the (R) symbol is registered, then it can be used in the form (R)(R) :)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 28/2/07 2:39PM
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On drobe.co.uk introduces RISC OS news quickies:

Why do you need a combined one? Do the RISC OS RSS client(s) not cope with multiple feeds?

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 19/2/07 5:12PM
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On drobe.co.uk introduces RISC OS news quickies:

There is a feed for the normal articles at [link]

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 19/2/07 3:45PM
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On Select 4 delayed after Middleton family death:


"1. a Ltd company must have two directors"

Not so. A Limited company can have one director and a company secretary; two "officers". However, that little point of pedantry aside, this doesn't mean anything when it comes to proving anything about ROL or any other company being a one man show (or not) because it is far from uncommon for one-man-show companies to be formed by getting a trusted party to take on the role of secretary. Accountants will often take on this role, for example.

"2. Paul Middleton is not a programmer"

I fail to see what that proves other than that he pays someone to program. The programming side has no real bearing on the administritive side of things.

"3. the article mentions a spokesman"

Again, this means nothing - for all we know the "ROL spokesman" could be someone that PM has asked to step in and keep things ticking over in the meantime.

The simple fact is that *we don't know* so let's not use this as yet another excuse to have a bash.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 18/1/07 8:54PM
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On Developers to discuss new Style Guide:


Sorry - I misread an 'or' into your first sentence.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 24/12/06 3:02PM
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On Developers to discuss new Style Guide:

"I don't think (not going to check right now) that the guide doesn't cover toolbars at all"

Duh. Should say...

"I don't think (not going to check right now) that the guide covers toolbars at all"

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 24/12/06 11:55AM
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On Developers to discuss new Style Guide:


re Availability; How about people who write stuff FOC using (say) GCC? Shouldn't they be allowed to see what the Style Guide says - or should they be made to pay in order that they can provide free software?

Coling and JWCR:

re 'Updateability'; Let's make it perfectly clear that I am not talking about changing things for the sake of changing things. I'm talking about updates to cover ommissions in the style guide, and to reflect additional considerations that have come about with the changes that have been made to the OS itself in the 13 years since the style guide was published.

I believe there *are* ommissions in the style guide - the usenet comments have already brought to light that those who criticised Pluto's use of '[field] label' on Style Guide grounds are in error since the Style Guide doesn't insist on 'label [field]' and I'm reasonably sure there are other areas. Where they aren't in error is on the basis that it doesn't make sense in the instances they're used that way in Pluto, which is why the Style Guide should cover it.

I don't think (not going to check right now) that the guide doesn't cover toolbars at all - I don't think I had very many apps that had them back then, but they are common now. In what way should they be covered? Well, the guide provides some very specific information on the sizes that various icons etc should be, and I would suggest that the same level of specific information should be presented for tool bar icons. (I personally think an ideal size is twice the height of the window furniture tool icons).

Changes to the OS? Again, I'm not going to check now, but IIRC the SG as published covers choices, but tells you to contact Acorn because the subject is under discussion. Is it still under discussion at Acorn, or has the matter been resolved. Hmm, let me think - oh yes, it has, it's been resolved so the situation has, in effect, changed - and there is a very good document on the subject published on Justin Fletcher's website. More disparate information. (Along with the additional information on the Iyonix website, as I mentioned yesterday).

The Style Guide needs to be updated so that we have a *single* document containing such things, and it needs to be 'updateable' so that new concepts, new tools, and so on can be covered where necessary.

(I might agree that you had valid arguments if they were that the wiki - where anyone can log in and change it - is not the best solution, but that isn't what you argued).

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 24/12/06 11:51AM
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On Developers to discuss new Style Guide:


Yes, but Druck didn't say "there should be a single 'DECISIONMAKER'" he said (in effect) "It shouldn't be designed by more than one person".

I agree that there should be someone who has the final say, and IMO that someone should probably be someone at Castle.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 24/12/06 11:25AM
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On Developers to discuss new Style Guide:


"we all know what sort of interface you end up with when its designed by committee"

Do you think the Style Guide was written by one person at Acorn? If more than one, then it was designed by exactly the mechanism you are criticising.

That minor technicality aside, another benefit to having the Style Guide online, which is one of allowing people who haven't forked out for the C Tools or the PRMs to read it - such as end users. There is a benefit to them reading it, since they then have the opportuniy to find out precisely *why* we've done this, that or the other in our programs. This doesn't necessarily have to be in the wiki format; simply having the PDF online would be sensible. However, having it in a more easily updatable form is better - Steve has already reminded me that there is additional information on the Iyonix website that is SG related; ideally all of this should be in one place, instead of split out into a main document and disparate supplemental notes.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/12/06 9:32PM
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On Messenger Pro 4.23 does HTML email, Unicode:


I still use the Acorn/Castle C/C++ (well, just the C, really). There is one very simple reason for this, which is that it does precisely what it needs to do for me; compile the code I write into an executable. Why should I go to the effort of changing the compiler I use?

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 11/12/06 6:33PM
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On Nominate your favourite programs and people for the 2006 awards:

If it was only the first item on your bullet list, you could so easily be talking about *my* software - but the rest of the list leaves me saying "phew - he's talking about something else!" ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 10/12/06 9:59PM
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On Firefox 2 patched for the A9home:

I'd guess he's called it unofficial because he hasn't recompiled it from the sources to run on the A9Home - it's a combination of the module to emulate the ARMv5 instructions and a patch to the already compiled binary.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 3/12/06 11:19PM
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On R-Comp email software to fight spam:

It's got percentage completed bars? Why has nobody said this before? Why doesn't your website highlight this feature? ;)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 29/11/06 6:16PM
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On Castle directors patch up 'disagreement':


That's interesting. The moderation menu on my browser says "Bad/Off topic" - I suppose "Bad" could be interpreted as "Derogatory" though.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 28/11/06 9:07AM
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On ROL calls for Select coders and testers:

I'd add to hEgelia's final paragraph above and reply to CJE that it doesn't follow that "now that Castle have opened the door to some Open Sourcing, ROL can do likewise!"

I could grant you a licence to further develop and sell RUSK OS, but the terms might exclude open sourcing. I might then open source it myself - that doesn't change your licence. Note: I'm not commenting on what all the various licences actually say - speculation on all of that has been done to death. I'm only pointing out that your comment is a non sequitur.

That said, I'm not sure why you brought up the subject of open source anyway, since this announcement is nothing at all to do with open source! (The only previous mentions of O/S software in the discussion have been about other software).

Incidentally, I've just tried - the preview button certainly does work in Firefox on XP. Given that the source includes:

onClick="previewComment(); return(false);"

And the javascript is loaded from an external file (which, IIRC, Fresco doesn't support) that'll be why it doesn't work in Fresco (or any non-JS browser).

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 15/11/06 8:06PM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

If they can be converted to a RISC OS friendly format, and have the file sizes greatly reduced, then I'd happily put them on riscository.com. With the file sizes brought down to something considerably more managable, I don't think there would be a bandwidth problem given the size of the RISC OS Community (sadly).

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 1/11/06 12:07AM
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On South East 2006 show report:



You have to sign up for it first, via this page: [link],0.html?back=[link],0.html

Unfortunately, that page isn't in English, but a quick search on Google should find you a few pages where people have basically worked out what you need to put where.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 26/10/06 8:25PM
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On South East 2006 show report:


What might be more useful than that is some kind of progress report on it, and perhaps requesting URLs to test and report on that people are particularly interested in knowing if it works with them. Subject to being able to, of course.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 24/10/06 5:52PM
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On NetSurf users hit by HSBC account freeze:

You mean "the only browser our techs use and believe they understand"

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/10/06 11:24PM
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On New usergroup to launch at North-East roadshow:


I'm not much of a fan of ROL, but don't you think your criticism is a touch OTT? They may not have made this event ideal for you personally, but it's probably welcome to many others, and at the end of the day, at least they tried.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 14/10/06 3:36PM
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On Not enough room for two mags says Qercus ed:


"every once in a while I get the impression that sometimes the things published on Drobe are not 100% accurate - e.g. Drobe stating that Louie asked for subscription numbers and Louie stating otherwise... "

That's probably just an assumption/attempt to read between the lines based on what John Cartmell said in [link] which was:

"I refused to answer your questions about our subscription numbers or costs."

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 13/10/06 9:03AM
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On Not enough room for two mags says Qercus ed:

"such direct competition would lead to losses and I would need to ensure that Qercus continued for the sake of the responsibility we had to our subscribers."

Speaking with my cynical accounting hat on, I can't help but wonder if that comment is foreshadowing John blaming RISC OS Now at a later date when he finally says "Qercus is no more"

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 12/10/06 9:23AM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

Slight correction to my post - I am reserving judgement, but for the moment I believe they should be given the benefit of the doubt, rather than dismissed based on unknown factors, or something like that. I can't remember what I was actually going to write - it was more than two minutes ago.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 04/10/06 8:43PM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:


It's more a case of NOT having faith in what is nothing more than a speculative dismissal of an unknown than of having faith in that unknown. You are condemning them based on what you think might be the case. I am reserving judgement.


I don't consider the "trying to one up" as an insult, per se, but given the sentence that contained it, it is clearly what you are accusing me of doing in my reply to you. If you don't want me to read it into your post, try not putting it there in the first place.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 04/10/06 8:38PM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

I'm not "trying to one up" but thanks, al the same, for ascribing an intent to me that wasn't there.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 04/10/06 09:45AM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:


"With respect, it doesn't seem to me that this has been fully thought through."

With respect, I think it's probably been thought through to a greater depth that you believe, most likely by all the relevant people involved with ROOL and Castle, along with legal bods who understand this sort of thing. Suitable discussions will have been taking place, in all likelihood, since before ROOL was even formed, let alone brought to everyone's attention on Drobe - probably less formal and with less well defined plans in those early stages, but you can bet your life that a great deal of thought and careful study of the possible licencing arrangements (and indeed licences such as GPL) has taken place in the intervening period.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 04/10/06 09:10AM
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On Scientologists eyed up RISC OS - new claim:


Sounds like a bit like the archive online/offline column, then - but where the subjects covered in that start with a query and then includes a summary of the comments made in reply, the Drobe column will start with some of the articles and summarise the best/most interesting of the comments?

As a regular reader of both Archive and Drobe, it sounds like it'll be an interesting column to read because it'll be refresher of the news we've already read, while reducing the noise to signal ratio of the comments.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 27/09/06 10:40PM
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On Scientologists eyed up RISC OS - new claim:


What form is the Drobe column going to take? (Although, I don't suppose it's long until we find out now!)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 27/09/06 8:24PM
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On ROS fan loses Acorn domain in dispute:

Ugh, and I've just noticed what the first of the sponsored links is on that Google search! :-(

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 11/9/06 7:09PM
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On ROS fan loses Acorn domain in dispute:

Bah... let's try again to post that!

I was replying to Jess about the Acorn A7000+ and how it appears on their website site. I can't remember exactly what I said, but I ended by pointing out that all the instances of the word Acorn on www.castle-technology.co.uk can be found via [link]

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 11/9/06 7:05PM
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On New Acorn reveals PC laptop website:


The important page to read when considering wasting their time doing things like that is [link] - I should think the fuss that was made when news of this new company using an old name first came out is the reason they've made those points clear on that page.

They're still describing themselves even there as a 're-launched' ACL, but they're making it quite clear that they have no connection to RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 11/9/06 6:51PM
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On Open sourcing RISC OS won't help says ROL:


In practice it's not letting people know the account details that's the problem - this is done whenever you give someone a cheque, or pay with a debit card, or give a customer your details so they can pay you by BACS or direct transfer or whatever.

The link in the above article, while it's described (and titled) as corporate identity theft, actually talks about bog standard phishing from the point of view of the end customer who's bank account details are compromised - it's corporate identity theft from the point of view of the banks etc.

Note that the following is pure speculation on my part: This suggests that someone @ ROL fell for a phish email and as a result gave online banking passwords to a scammer. Judging by what the articule talks about (that the banks etc should register all permutations of their domain names) it's likely that the phishermen probably made it very plausible and actually used a domain name that was a legit looking variation on ROL's bank's domain.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 5/9/06 10:35AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:


"Remember Peter Wild's original comments: some of Castle's prospects have been turned off by the fact RISC OS isn't open source. If they use the same definition as everyone else (i.e. more or less the OSD) then open sourcing RISC OS with a licence as described above won't gain Castle many new customers"

This is not guaranteed. You do not know who those prospects were, and you do not know how willing they would be to compromise on the strict (and, frankly, anal) definition of open source. It largely depends on _why_ they were put off by RISC OS not being open sourced - and there coule be many different reasons, any number of which could be satisfied with a not-quite-open-source-but-open-enough-to-satisfy-us arrangement.

What you have to remember is that Castle _do_ know who those prospects were, and therefore probably _do_ know what their reasons were, and it's therefore likely that should they proceed with the move being discussed, they would do so in such a way as to take those reasons into account.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 22/08/06 8:22PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:


I agree with Mark. Do you realise how utterly inconsiderate you are being to the RISC OS community by not winning the lottery?

But seriously, yes, I agree their considering it doesn't mean it will happen - but my point was that it could, and that outcome is entirely up to them (subject to contractual/licencing issues already mentioned). All the speculation in the world - positive or negative - will not change that.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 16/08/06 9:48PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:


"I asked this question before and NO ONE bothered to answer."

Probably because any answer given would just be speculation. Oh, hang on... ;-)

"well I am considering winning the Lottery - but that doesn't mean it's going to happen ;-)"

The difference between that and CTL considering an open source release being that you can consider winning all you like - but you can't actually decide to win.

"If (and this is a conjecture) RISC OS were to be open sourced - then I'd suspect some parts would be open while others would be "binary only" "

Umm. Quite. That would be why the article refers to 'elements of RISC OS'

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 16/08/06 9:13PM
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On Fireworkz goez to Windowz:


I'm not sure Excel's row/column restrictions are bizarre - I've only ever found one app that does what Fireworkz does, and that's Fireworkz! (I assume you're referring to the fact that the cells in any given column can vary in width - which is a fantastically useful feature!)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 7/8/06 10:31PM
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On New mag aimed at newbie and pro users:


(On programming related articles) "Its not the type of article that lends itself being read away from the computer"

I may be odd, but to this day I *still* prefer to read such things away from the computer first. I find that I'm more likely to absorb some things, particularly technical, if I'm just reading the explanation in a relaxed environment.

"The days of the small graphical ditty in the yellow pages are long gone, and any modern Wimp based application is just too big to sensibly cover without splitting across endless issues. "

The first half of that sentence suggests the second half refers to a listing of a WIMP based app - in which case, I agree. However, a series on WIMP programming wouldn't be a bad thing, and IMO *would* work split across however many issues, if the amount of information conveyed each issue is correctly balanced.

"A paper magazine is also probably the least suitable form of delivery for programming documentation, source code and related resources, a CD based magazine like can handle this much better."

However, a paper based magazine could provide resources for its readers on its website - so the articles describe how a particular API works, and perhaps includes enough code snippets to illustrate things without including a complete program - and refers the reader to a particular page on the website for a complete program including sources.

None of the problems and pitfalls you describe actually have to *be* problems and pitfalls - and if any genuinely are, it becomes an exercise in thinking a way around them instead of giving up because of them. Just like in any other area.

Sure, starting a new paper based magazine will be a tough job - but then, that's often the case no matter what the business venture. If Louie believes she has the ability, resources and, above all, courage, to proceed with this, then good luck to her. If she produces something worth reading, I for one will read it.

One thing I will add, though, is that she needs to get her maths right before approaching the bank. 6 x £4.20 is a touch less than £29.95. ;) It may be that the £29.95 is with postage added on, but without clarifying that, the pricing statement looks a bit odd.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 2/8/06 9:30AM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

The bumptop one just irritates me every time I see it. I don't know why - but you may have hit on it in your comment; other than how to organise files, it shows you very little else. Perhaps because they haven't thought the idea through to anything more useful, such as how to actually get some work done on it, rather than spending all day throwing files around the desktop.

The sphere one, just looks like a virtual desktop which wraps around at the edges, and to make the name fit, let's make it look curved and pat ourselves on the back for being clever and original.

The touch screen one, though, I noticed a couple of things which I did think were quite good: specifically, re-sizing and scrolling/rotating. To shrink an image, the screen was touched in two places on that image and the fingers squeezed together (and the reverse to expand it). A similar technique for scrolling and rotating - touch a point, drag your finger(s) around and the document is scrolled or rotated. That worked because it's like you're saying "I want this bit (points) to be here and that bit (points) over there."

The only thing was, when it was all pretty patterns near the start, I couldn't help but think of Jean Michel Jarre performing one of the Rendezvous tracks with the laser harp.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 25/07/06 5:11PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:


"Just making something Open source does not gaurantee success"

Quite right. And you'll notice that in my comment, I didn't say such a thing (which, let's not forget, is only a hypothetical situation anyway) *would* succeed, only that it might - and that possible success only after a considerable amount of time.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 19/7/06 10:03PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:


"I imagine there are developers from outside the ROS platform who'd find it challenging and interesting to join development if it were to be open sourced."

Also, while porting RISC OS to an alternative hardware platform is an incredibly formidable task, you can bet your bottom dollar that if RISC OS was open sourced people will try - and might eventually (for very long values of eventually) succeed, because we're no longer talking about company resources, finding the funds to pay a team to do the work and having a plan to recoup the cost afterwards. It'll be people doing it off their own back, in their spare time.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 19/7/06 6:43PM
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On Drobe article comment clarification:


"I think a major issue with the claims was the shear confidence Wills had in their veracity."


Of course, he's made other (non libellious) claims with equal confidence in the replies to other articles (or another article[1]), with nothing to back up his claims other than the confidence with which he made them. I've no idea (obviously) wether there is any truth in what he said or not - but assuming they were[2], he's shot himself in the foot by making the claims he did which led to the this discussion, since now whatever claims he makes have to be read with a nagging doubt in mind.

[1] [link] - statements about the code in Select 4, that it's entirely RISC OS Ltd code, nothing is subject to licence, etc.

[2] Which, TBH, I doubt anyway, but that's just pure opinion, with no evidence or inside knowledge to back it up.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 9/7/06 12:01PM
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On NetSurf conquers Wikipedia:


Isn't WebsterXL (mostly) written in BASIC?

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 5/7/06 8:49AM
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On NetSurf conquers Wikipedia:


In that case I think it's almost certainly the filetype not being set. It should be <checks...> F79.

As you were loading it locally, the mimemap entry won't be relevant in this case, but it's worth checking to ensure it's there. It should be:

text/css CSS f79 .css

(seperated by tabs, not spaces)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 3/7/06 5:28PM
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On NetSurf conquers Wikipedia:


Were you accessing the pages on the PC acting as a webserver, or were you just loading the pages from a folder across the network?

If the latter, you might find Netsurf isn't picking up the CSS file - IIRC (my RPC isn't switched on to check) Netsurf doesn't load the CSS file unless it is correctly filetyped. You might want to ensure the correct mapping is therefore in Mimemap (and/or whatever file(s) your networking software uses if it doesn't use Mimemap) - it'll probably work then.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 2/7/06 10:26AM
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On Who are RISC OS Open Ltd?:

"Readers should keep an eye open on riscosopen.co.uk"

They might also want to watch www.riscosopen.com - though they both lead to the same server.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 1/7/06 4:55PM
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On ARM absorbs graphics processor firm:


Erm, yeah, I /meant/ to write 4.8:3 (twice) which is the same as 1.6:1. I'm too lazy to reduce it to the lower number - and it's not the first time I've accidentally put :1 instead of :3

The point, though, was that they were all the same. You declared a 1.6:1 ratio resolution as not being widescreen while at the same time detailing some widescreen displays with the same ratio.

Lower res vs higher res? "That's not a knife... THAT'S a knife."

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 26/6/06 8:07PM
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On ARM absorbs graphics processor firm:


You say 1920x1200 (a 4.8:1 ratio) "isn't really widescreen" but all of the widescreen displays you mention have a 4.8:1 ratio! Just thought I'd point that out. ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 26/6/06 5:32PM
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On Punter bitten by fraudsters after using R-Comp site:

Regardless of whether the fraudulent card use in question is a result of ordering via R-Comp's website, I'd suggest R-Comp check the terms and conditions of being able to accept credit card payments.

Amongst other things, they will probably find that they are responsible for the security of customers' card details. For one example (Barclaycard), see [link] (bottom of page 5.4, top of page 5.5).

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 19/6/06 8:18PM
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On Bristol usergroup shuts after 17 years:

I've always had to give BARUG a miss because they met up at the wrong time for me, unfortunately. However, while I couldn't bolster the numbers (by a whole one) for the meetings, I can help in another way.

So, I think it would be useful if Bristol RISC OS Users were able to communicate (and, erm... arrange meet ups) therefore there is now a mailing list available to RISC OS Users in and around the Bristol area.

<A HREF="[link]">Bristol RISC OS Users Mailing List</A>

Or send an email to bru-list-request -at - riscository.com with 'subscribe' in the subject line.

(I've called it BRU to differentiate it from the user group, since that's what it isn't.)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 18/6/06 4:45PM
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On ROS app could scupper encryption law:

Perhaps the encryption tools need to be disguised as something else - they need to perform another primary function, with an undocumented command line switch to allow encryption. Steganography programs could, perhaps, be programs to generate pretty little patterned tiles, unless the -HideMyConfidentialFileFromThePryingEyesOfBigBrotherAndHisEvilMinions switch is used.

Of course, the problem then becomes how does anyone know that's what they do in order to use them? 8-)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/5/06 9:49AM
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On ROS app could scupper encryption law:

Best hope Big Brother doesn't screw up his records of who you are, then, and confuse you with a criminal.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 21/5/06 11:47PM
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On Unofficial A9home mailing list opened:


Paul V was at one point trying to create a list of all the available mailing lists. Like all manually maintained lists, if it hasn't already, it will probably eventually fall out of date through lack of maintenance, though... <searches> [link]

The two premier RISC OS email clients, Messenger Pro and Pluto, are both able to handle mailing lists in such a way as to make them 'feel' like newsgroups from the users' POV. Granted, that doesn't help when viewing your email by other means (such as webmail) - but as Druck said, using a different POP3 mailbox for all mailing list traffic solves that easily enough.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 18/5/06 8:32PM
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On Unofficial A9home mailing list opened:

"Daylight poured on new product"

And just as quickly, the blinds are drawn again given that there is now an official list. I'll leave the unofficial list open, but I suspect that the few posts we've seen will pretty much be 'it'.

I'm pleased to see (ref JohnR's comment) that the official list is hosted in-house; the reliance on free list providers is a current pet hate of mine, and part of why I set up the riscository.com domain. The (spur of the moment) intention being to offer a free mailing list facility specifically to RISC OS users/organisations/companies, but in this case provided by someone 'RISC OS friendly' (ie me). The cost of the domain and hosting is, essentially, funded by advertising - in that I've taken it out of my advertising budget. :-)

I'll formally launch the domain and offer free list facilities in due course, mainly, once I've done a basic website and decided how to allow people to set up lists. The latter will probably be manual on my part, because I'll want to 'approve' any lists as the idea is for them to be RISC OS related - automating it will enable any Fred, Jim or Shiela to set up a mailing list for any old purpose.

I have done a logo, though, so that's good. ([link])

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 18/5/06 9:24AM
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On Acorn brand name in PC laptop launch:

Druck: "The issue isn't that they are using the Acorn Computers Ltd name which may well be legitimate,"

I agree - but that was the point I was making; something JC said gave the impression that someone thought that /was/ the (or 'an') issue, and I was pointing out that it wasn't.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 09/05/06 8:20PM
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On Acorn brand name in PC laptop launch:


I've just now located PV's post. He wrote "I've just spoken to Companies House, reporting them for fraudulently trying to pass themselves off as someone else and had a very informative conversation with the person on the phone." I suspect the "very informative conversation" may very well have included an explanation of why the 'new' Acorn is able to use the name.

He did also say they were going to launch an investigation, which is why I didn't think his complaint was actually about the name itself - since I'd expect people working at Companies House to know what can and can't be done - but the claim on 'our' Acorn's history. In retrospect, I suspect one complaint, leading to an explanation, may then have become the other complaint.

But I'm just 'suspectulating'. ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 08/05/06 11:07PM
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On Acorn brand name in PC laptop launch:


I can only read what you've said, not what you've read - and there was no misreading, only an attempt to read between the lines.

Specifically, you said 'Apparently the new company has the right to use the name "Acorn Computers Ltd"' - a statement which strongly suggests a prior belief that they didn't have that right; had I seen that belief directly stated by you (or anyone else), I'd have pointed you in the direction of information publically available on the Companies House website which explains the ins and outs of this sort of thing.

I did notice PV saying at one point (on csa*) that he'd lodged a complaint with Companies House - however, AFAICR his complaint wasn't about them using the name (whoever he spoke to would have put him straight if so), but about the new ACL's claim on 'our' Acorn's history. (Which complaint I'm not sure is under Companies House's remit, but never mind).

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 08/05/06 10:16PM
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On Acorn brand name in PC laptop launch:

JC: Who on Earth thought the use of the company name was illegal? I don't recall anyone saying that.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 08/05/06 8:24PM
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On A9home on sale from CJE Micros:


notices a few people making comments that are actually sensible and fair

scratches head, thinking 'uh? this is drobe's forum, isn't it?'

decides it must still be last night and this is, therefore, some kind of strange dream

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 07/05/06 9:56PM
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On Acorn brand name in PC laptop launch:

Bob: I gather one or two people do live in Nottingham, yes. ;-)

FWIW, the registered address is the address of a chartered accountants (UHY Hacker Young). HTH.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 07/05/06 1:09PM
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On Iyonix support list dumps Smartgroups:

What I've never understood is the need to use the likes of Smartgroups in the first place. My own hosting is, by comparison to the likes of Castle's (probably!), cheap as chips, and includes perfectly good mailing list facilities[1] - so I'm amazed they don't have such facilities with their domain(s). And the same applies to other RISC OS related mailing lists as well.

In some cases, the need for a mailing list provider is clear - Druck's graphics card list, for example, where it's an end user who set up a mailing list. But not all.

I used to run the WebChange mailing list using the facilities that came with my hosting package - the only reason the list no longer exists is simply because people insisted on emailing me directly with any questions, rather than sending them to the list, so the list didn't see much (if any) traffic.

At the end of the day, I take the view that you get what you pay for - use a free mailing list provider, expect a quality of service that matches the price they charge.

[1] And last time I checked, the web interface worked in RISC OS browsers such as NetSurf.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 3/5/06 1:49PM
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On Dispute over 'intrusive' VRPC copy protection:

Bob Loblaw & Peter Howkins: While it may be true that cracked copies are floating around, that doesn't render the copy protection pointless. The copy protection does still prevent people from ignoring the licence conditions and installing it on more than one machine - sadly, otherwise legitimate users do IME have a tendency to do such things.

Chris Hughes: Technically, VRPC is a piece of Windows software, so the existence of a cracked version is primarily indicitive of software theft in that market, rather than the RISC OS one. Though, of course, it's probably safe to assume that the users of that version will have no qualms about obtaining unlicenced copies of other software to run on VRPC.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 02/05/06 08:44AM
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On Written for Qercus? Send it to Drobe:


I believe some libraries may differ, although to the lay reader they might appear to be the same. However, we can just comment out the editorial and see what happens... ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 11/4/06 12:10AM
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On Speak open sourced:

ISTR I also added it to my IRCClient (0.24?) script, way back in the mists of temporal chaos.

Kevin: support is relatively easy to include in the sense that (IIRC), at the simplest level, the programmer just has to register with the speak module, then issue a SWI with a sentence to be spoken. In the case of a web browser, some thought would have to be put in about what gets said, and in what order - but (speaking, I stress, as someone who has no involvement in the development of Netsurf or any other browser, so take my comments with a pinch of salt), I would think it should be /relatively/ painless.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 1/4/06 12:34PM
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On Thank Acorn for embedded tech growth says Oregan exec:

I suspect the Drobe software has a list of swear words to censor, and the shortened form of Richard is one of them - which just illustrates the flaws in such systems, given the word has other, legitimate uses.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 30/3/06 8:53AM
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On Select subscribers offered fig leaf:


"why not sell older versions of Select as single sale items"

I've said as much before because, frankly, it's always baffled me as to why Paul doesn't do something along those lines.

However, the last time I said anything like it was just before he announced a low price for the Adjust ROMS, which is a fair enough compromise - those ROMs are now cheap enough IMO. (Though, I suppose, the softload even cheaper might be handy for those on a really tight budget...)

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 7/3/06 11:18AM
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On South East show 2005 preview:


If you start a line off with "name:", it gets turned into "In reply to name:"

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 24/10/05 2:00PM
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On ARM plays hand, reveals 1GHz plans:

Col1: Wouldn't they be more likely to name it the A8?

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 5/10/05 4:07PM
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On Fonts website folds under legal threat:

jc: your understanding of the status of the fonts may or may not be correct - I've never used the site. My comment was merely about your (slight) misquote of what the Drobe article says, which in turn differs from what Rich wrote on Iconbar - bearing in mind you were using that misquote to justify your claim that the "complaints as stated is nonsense".

As to whether or not HD covered himself by stating such things - that point becomes mooter than something incredibly moot to the point of eclipsing everything else that is moot when he is "nowhere to be found".

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 5/10/05 3:01PM
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On Fonts website folds under legal threat:

jc: The bit about "bear a resemblance" appears to actually include the word "uncanny" - so your slight misquote makes the complaint sound less than Drobe reports it as, but even Drobe lessens the scale. In the TIB article (Link: [link]) Rich does actually say "certain converted Windows fonts from the LinoType Library in Germany" - which is about as straight from the horse's mouth as you can get.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 5/10/05 10:30AM
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On ROL faces rebellion over Select delays:

Rather than giving a 3 month extension to the subscription, perhaps ROL should take a leaf out of Qercus' books - no offence intended to John, but we frequently see posts on the newsgroups asking when the latest long delayed issue is going to appear, and John's replies often stress the point that the sub is for a number of issues, and not a period of time.

Perhaps ROL should extend the current Select subscriptions not for a set period, but until such a time as they actually release the next version - and from this point, the subscription should run "for 12 months, or until at least one new release has been issued, whichever is the longer".

Perhaps they should also consider releasing previous issues as stand-alone products for non-subscribers, sensibly priced (given their age - more recent = more expensive). I'd wager that they'd get a cash flow boost from doing that, given the number of RISC OS 4 users.

Yes, I've already heard all the arguments about people who subscribed from the start effectively funding development of a cheap product for those who would buy the older/cheaper standalone releases, but at the end of the day, this is normal, in just about every industry. Once development costs are met, things get cheaper for those who take them up later.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 5/10/05 10:13AM
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On Iyonix Select demand barely double digits, says ROL:

jc: My recollection is that ROL specifically asked Select subscribers to guage what interest there would be in an Iyonix version of Select, as other comments above have suggested.

A quick use of the search box at the top of this page revealed:


According to that article, there was a request that Iyonix users contact them - but the message (and therefore that request) was apparently only sent to Select subscribers.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 27/9/05 11:22AM
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On VirtualAcorn drops VAT and prices:

Grek: Nijinsky mentioned three machines and the need to use /a/ laptop - that doesn't necessarily mean three laptops.

That said, I have two laptops, so I don't think three is too amazing.

And I'm disappointed that along with two, too and three I couldn't find an excuse to include to and free in that same sentence.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 15/9/05 12:00PM
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On Online banking with RISC OS:

Although it's been a long time since I tried it, HSBC's personal banking site works fine with Fresco - or at least used to. The business site is (or was) a non-starter.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 1/9/05 7:02PM
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On Firefox pledgers hold onto their cash:

UPP: Unpaid Porting Ponies ?

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 23/8/05 3:06PM
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On 2005 Predictions:

My predictions for usenet:

Someone will spell Peter's name wrong, possibly involving the use of questionable punctuation.

Peter will reply pointing out the error and asking, politely, that his name be correctly spelt in future.

Someone else will accuse Peter of constantly being rude on usenet.

Druck will post something to usenet with no typos. No, really - blink and you'll miss it.

I'll say something silly.

There will be a huge thread arguing about something pointless.

Ray Dawson will jump on the critical bandwagon, and probably try to justify top posting.

With the exception of the Druck post, which will actually be rarer than a fresh pile of T-Rex's droppings, all of this will happen repeatedly.

 is a RISC OS UserVinceH on 02/01/05 11:16AM
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