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The Icon Bar: News and features: Quickies! (the back from holiday edition)
 

Quickies! (the back from holiday edition)

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 13:05, 13/8/2001 | , , , , , ,
 
After three weeks off in the past four I'm still trying to work my way through several hundred emails (680 in one mailbox in one week! =:-o ), so here's a catch-up posting...

RISCOS Ltd. have taken over allocation of resources from Pineapple. The resources in question are things like filetypes, application names, SWI numbers and so on to make sure there are no clashes; although some resources are left open for PD usage, this is an important service for serious programmers. Kudos to Pineapple for keeping the system going for so long after Acorn went under, but I guess it does make more sense for the people responsible for the OS to handle OS resource allocation.

Cybervillage are reporting that the first RISC OS Select scheme CDs will be posted on September 1st, with around a week to get all the discs out.

Martin Wuerthner, he of the awesome collection of ArtWorks extension modules, has managed to reverse engineer the GDraw module that handles ArtWorks rendering and fix a major bug. It appears that a limitation in the number of bytes per pixel row meant that you couldn't view ArtWorks files in large, colourful desktop modes, which caused problems for owners of Viewfinder graphics cards and also when saving large bitmaps (often necessary for sending to a printing bureau) using his own bitmap export module. Fixes available from http://www.mw-software.com/software/awmodules/awrender.html

Acorn User has a new online home and webmaster - take a bow Ben Brook. Unfortunately the move means the free ads section and news from the Icon Bar are down at the moment, but should be back up Real Soon Now.

And we don't usually post user group dates - although a section where groups can post their own events schedules has been talked about for some time - but Hemel Hempstead has their first meeting at the Boxmoor Lodge Hotel on London Road on Wednesday August 15th at 7pm (next to the traffic lights at Box Lane). The first meeting appears to be free, email paul@pstewart.freeserve.co.uk to confirm.
 

  Quickies! (the back from holiday edition)
  This is a long thread. Click here to view the threaded list.
 
Richard Goodwin Message #88939, posted at 13:13, 13/8/2001
Unregistered user Just noticed that Castle have also updated their site. Typical that I would notice /after/ posting a lengthy news article :(
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
beebware Message #88940, posted at 11:37, 14/8/2001, in reply to message #88939
Unregistered user My subscription to AU ran out several months ago (I didn't bother to renew because the quality was going downhill), but I'd like to see what it is like now.

Problem is, neither WHSmith Gallowtree Gate - Leicester, WHSmith Shires - Leicester, WHSmith Leicester Train Station or WHSmith New Street - Birmingham have had copies for several months. I haven't seen it in any other newsagents either - are there still newstand distributions of Acorn user around?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #88941, posted at 11:56, 14/8/2001, in reply to message #88940
Unregistered user It seems to have vanished from the Chichester branch, but is still apparently available in Portsmouth. So that's about a 40 mile round trip if I want a copy...

I was told I'd get a small subscription for all the domains I've registered and not charged for, but all I get is "your subscription has run out, you've just missed a copy!" letters through the post :(
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
beebware Message #88942, posted at 14:30, 14/8/2001, in reply to message #88941
Unregistered user I've had around 5 of those reminder letters - they could have at least sent an 'extract' of the current issue to help you decide...

"Acorn User is available from all good newsagents" ?!? I've just logged the 3 WH Smith stores onto http://www.acornuser.com/ as no longer stocking them, but the website makes it sound to me that Tau Press no longer know where their magazines are being stocked...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Sendu Bala Message #88943, posted at 15:50, 14/8/2001, in reply to message #88942
Unregistered user They /are/ available in Leicester, have been for the past year at least. I bought last months from the WHSmiths near the clock tower (is that gallowtree gate?).

'Short' subscription, Rich? Maybe it was for only half a month or something ;)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Stubbs Message #88944, posted at 15:58, 14/8/2001, in reply to message #88943
Unregistered user Try http://www.archivemag.co.uk - you get two trial issues of that fer nuffing :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
mikey Message #88945, posted at 16:41, 14/8/2001, in reply to message #88944
Unregistered user Mysteriously, Acorn User is available regularly from the branch in Hounslow, West London.

I look through it every month and can confirm that it is not worth buying. If, however, someone is gagging to get their hands on a copy they could try the web site at whsmith.co.uk
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Whitington Message #88946, posted at 18:08, 14/8/2001, in reply to message #88945
Unregistered user beebware> New Street Birmingham still has many copies of AU each month. You have to go into the main magazine section though, not the little walk in bit. In on New St, up the escalator, to the back of the shop, down the stairs.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Delgano Flubbalop Message #88947, posted at 21:15, 14/8/2001, in reply to message #88946
Unregistered user 'not worth buying' being a subjective statement.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Steve knutson Message #88948, posted at 01:23, 15/8/2001, in reply to message #88947
Unregistered user I have noticed that Acornuser now have 4 or 8 issue subscriptions.

A lot of people seam to be complaining about the lack of content etc. Why not do something about it and send them some feedback about what sorts of articles you would like to read, or better still write one! I imagine they would be only to happy to get some quality news, reviews, stories about innovative uses for RISCOS machines etc.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Disgruntled Message #88949, posted at 07:08, 15/8/2001, in reply to message #88948
Unregistered user I was somewhat 'annoyed' to see some advertising flyers in the latest AU wrapping for dodgy loans. If I didn't imagine it and if it happens again, I shall surely cancel my subscription (that, and the fact that it takes at most 15 minutes to read the magazine).
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Rasher the pig Message #88950, posted at 08:07, 15/8/2001, in reply to message #88949
Unregistered user Don't be such a nancy.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #88951, posted at 08:09, 15/8/2001, in reply to message #88950
Unregistered user Reader's surveys consistently reveal that readers on the whole do not regard games coverage as a priority otherwise we might see more articles and reviews on this subject.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #88952, posted at 08:26, 15/8/2001, in reply to message #88951
Unregistered user The main problem with getting content for AU is that they don't pay anyone - pay peanuts and you're going to attract monkeys ;) Of course workers on news websites don't get paid either, but that's done for love, not for a magazine being sold for profit.

It's a Catch 22 situation - without decent content it's never going to attract new readers, but without a large readership there's not going to be enough money to pay decent writers.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
beebware Message #88953, posted at 09:36, 15/8/2001, in reply to message #88952
Unregistered user Archive doesn't pay their contributors either, but I maintain my subscription to that.

I think the problem is is that AU tends to be more fluff than content. If I could grab I copy I'd be able to give a detailed opinion - but I just checked (this morning) at WH Smith Birmingham New Street Station and no juice.

At least Paul Beverley will give you a 'free trial' and Archive is only 33UKP per year (12 issues) - okay AU at 46UKP gets you 13 issues and a cover disc every time they feel like it [that mess up really encouraged me to continue my membership - Archive has the cover discs as free download], but it's mostly PD/Freeware/Shareware... Above all, it's the content that counts - Archive wins, Acorn User fails big time...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #88954, posted at 10:04, 15/8/2001, in reply to message #88953
Unregistered user Acorn User is great this month. Several articles on Viewfinder, Kinetic 300- all in full colour.
Letters page, technical help and an editorial from a man in the know!!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Duffell Message #88955, posted at 13:37, 15/8/2001, in reply to message #88954
Unregistered user The of course there's the amazing cockup about the 300MHz kinetic actually being "233MHz + 66MHz memory speed" I wonder if castle will be too happy?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #88956, posted at 13:50, 15/8/2001, in reply to message #88955
Unregistered user I saw this. Is it a cockup and if so what is the true technical mechanism?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Stubbs Message #88957, posted at 01:06, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88956
Unregistered user The 300Mhz Kinetic is a StrongARM 233Mhz which is being run at a true 300Mhz. There is extra cooling on the processor card to deal with this. Castle have developed a relationship with Intel and have obtained StrongARM chips that are suitable for clocking at this level. RAM is likely to be 66Mhz because that is the bus speed of the StrongARM - it's this speed on my 233Mhz Kinetic. Of course, this might be different now they're running at 300Mhz. Best ask Castle!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Steve Scott Message #88958, posted at 03:40, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88957
Unregistered user I really cannot understand this need to compare Acorn User with the subscription only magazines. These are two completely different markets we're talking here. The world of newstand magazine publication is becoming more brutal with each passing year. Stores such as WH Smiths hold a lot of clout in terms of magazine distribution. They can determine which magazines to sell, and which to clear off the shelves.

It's good to see a RISC OS magazine on the shelf. But it comes at a high cost. Colour printing is very expensive This leaves barely enough to cover other costs at Tau Press.

For Archive et al, it's a much simpler world. Just attend a few shows and put a few ads in AU, and off to the printers for the next issue. And also, no payment to contributors. Lower overheads considerably, without having to worry about the wider world of newsagent politics and money.

AU could easily move over to a subscription based publication. But they won't. They know what the reaction will be from the community. But it's important to accept that their choice to make some form of presence outside the RISC OS community comes at a price.

If people can send articles to Archive and not get paid, surely they can also send them to AU as well, with the added bonus that their stuff could be getting read by a potential RISC OS user in Smiths?

Bit of a ramble, but I hope I've made my point reasonably clear. If not, tough - I've got three Director 8 projects to finish this week. Can't spend my entire life here, can I?!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Edith Doberpinch Message #88959, posted at 09:00, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88958
Unregistered user Why not?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Tim Fountain Message #88960, posted at 12:22, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88959
Unregistered user If it's that much hassle then perhaps it is time for AU to switch to being a subscription based magazine. It's all very well to argue about the importance of having a newstand publication, but I can't remember the last time I saw a copy of AU in a Smiths I went into. I don't think AU is a particularly good advert for the platform anyway.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #88961, posted at 12:55, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88960
Unregistered user And who else is going to advertise?
however good TIB / Drobe etc are at providing a service, what postings to they make to outside news agencies?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Gillian Bodycote Message #88962, posted at 12:59, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88961
Unregistered user After all, AU is just a couple of sheets of nice paper stapled together. And it's only a couple of adverts, some masquerading as news articles and reviews, and then topped off with some religious mumbo-jumbo and a dire attempt to make some pennies.

I've not seen Archive in many moons, but even way back then it actually had some content.

I wonder how many people would complain if AU packed it in all together?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lee Johnston Message #88963, posted at 15:32, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88962
Unregistered user You can get AU in Ipswich

Just thought I'd mention that.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guy Inchbald Message #88964, posted at 16:28, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88963
Unregistered user AU has to be better than no AU.

Do RISC OS companies still advertise in publications aimed at their various customer niches - education, design, EPOS, etc?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Ben Brook Message #88965, posted at 18:50, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88964
Unregistered user You can now find out where your nearest stockist of Acorn User is at http://www.acornuser.com/

Keep your eyes peeled for Acorn User in Smiths, etc and fill out the form to add the shop location to the list.

I'd also like to emphasise the point made earlier that rather than sitting around moaning about the lack of quality / quantity of articles in Acorn User why not try submitting an article yourself?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Nathan Message #88966, posted at 21:14, 16/8/2001, in reply to message #88965
Unregistered user Because if I write an article for AA/IB then I know more people will read it ;)


Only yanking your chain.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Steve Scott Message #88967, posted at 05:15, 17/8/2001, in reply to message #88966
Unregistered user Again, I re-iterate one of my points. If people can submit articles to Archive etc., knowing they won't get paid for it, surely some proportion of these people can also submit articles to AU, which also does not pay for articles. Are that many people cheesed off with AU, that they won't bother sending articles to it, thereby contributing to the inevitable death of the only way our scene is 'seen' by the outside world?

I'd rather see my articles in a mainstream newsagent than at a RISC OS show (the only time you see subscription magazines in a row is at the show stands, not exactly the same is it?).

Or maybe I'm too ambitious?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Steve Scott Message #88968, posted at 05:19, 17/8/2001, in reply to message #88967
Unregistered user When I mean that I'm too ambitious, I mean in that I like to see my articles in nice, A4 size, with full colour photos. In a newsagent. In a public place. Somewhere that's not a sports stadium. Or a community hall. Far away from 'normal' people.

(Can't remember what a normal person looks like. Malaysia doesn't have any! ;-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
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The Icon Bar: News and features: Quickies! (the back from holiday edition)