Robert Hampton

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14th February 2004

Bo RISC OS Selecta
Posted by at 4.04pm | No responses | Uncategorised

Long rambling description of various computer stuff follows:-

Last night I booted up my old Acorn RiscPC for the first time in nearly 9 months. Because our new house is smaller than our old one, there hasn’t been room for me to have both the RISC OS and Windows computers set up permanently, so I made a tough choice and consigned the Acorn machine to a cupboard in the shed (I’m pretty sure a damp shed is a bad place to store a computer, but never mind).

Anyway, my decision to attempt a Sun and Cloud revival has given me an excuse to bring the RISC OS machine back into frontline service, as all my Sun and Cloud files are in Acorn Draw format (and Draw is the only graphics program I could ever get along with). I could emulate an A5000 on the PC, but who wants clunky, slow RISC OS 3.11 when you can have smooth, silky RISC OS 4.37?

Anyway, I retrieved the computer from the shed and started. Or not, as the hard drive failed to spin up. Now I didn’t panic, as it was doing this intermittently last year before being put into storage, and jiggling the reset switch usually coaxed it into life.

So I jiggled the reset switch.


Damn damn damn.

When computers develop hardware problems, my usual attitude is something approaching blind panic. I never did a backup (I meant to, but never get round to it), and I never paid attention when the hard drive started playing up last year (I meant to, but never got round to it). Procrastination 1, Rob 0.

So, if jiggling the reset switch a couple of times wouldn’t fix the problem, what would?

Of course! Jiggling the reset switch 50 times!

You may laugh, but eventually the drive whirred into life and !Boot was executed as dictated by the *Opt 4 2 command. The disc itself works fine once it actually gets going. A new drive is on order and I’m taking daily backups in the meantime. Lesson learned.

Actually, since it only has problems spinning up from a cold start, maybe I should just leave the machine switched on all the time. Or maybe not.

Hardware faults aside, every time I go back to RISC OS I’m struck by how elegant the user interface is. Far easier to get to grips with than Windows ever will be. It’s just nice. Yes, I ♥ RISC OS. Now if only there was a decent web browser for it, instead of one that was just about adequate.

Anyway, I did some tests with a new look for the Sun and Cloud comic strips and I’m pretty happy with what I’ve achieved so far. I need to do more work on it, but I’ll probably wait until the hard drive issue is sorted out.

In other computer news, Windows NT source code has been leaked on the Internet, reports say.

[according to sources] … Comments such as, “potentially off-by-1, but who cares…” are buried within code for the Windows Taskbar … Other comments range from mundane technical jargon to all out profanity.

All of which makes the hidden comments in RISC OS look positively tame by comparison…

You claim I don't know you, but I know you well; I read in those ash eyes we've been through hell.

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