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Hard Rain

So last Saturday my mother and I were in McDo in town when the heavens opened. Epically.

We decided to finish our meal in a hurry and head back home...

Then came two days later.

Monday afternoon. A torrential deluge like you get in big thunderstorms.

Only this one went on for something like four hours.

Remember that little stream you sometimes see a picture of from time to time?

And, of course, the one that looks like a river is actually our driveway (the same driveway that the Playmobil stuff was photographed on).

And, being very reminiscent of four and a half years ago, the idiot pig farmer up the way still has many land drains, still looks after the stream alongside his main fields, still has done nothing with the shared border of where the stream passes alongside our land. Accordingly, the water backs up in the pond (well, it was a pond until his ditch clearing involved digging the stream deeper while it was flowing rapidly in the winter, with the end result of silting up our pond) and doesn't have anywhere to go. Leading to this:

The "cave" will have flooded. But it's a low lying dank place with a beaten earth floor - we don't use it. The water didn't go elsewhere. Thankfully.
All this hard rain, and I didn't even have Minnie Driver to hold on to...

However, item number three on the "list of things to do when I win the lottery" (after "wet myself" and "suffer a heart attack") is to hire somebody to dig out the stream on our side (which will be the second time we've done it). Back in 2013 pig farmer made it clear that he was more worried about his field of whatever than our property. With a well dug out stream (and I'm talking JCBs and such), the water will back up and pour over the driveway (because the stream is now taking more water than the pass-through can handle), but the pond won't back up.
In the middle of all of the chaos, I waded into the water around the edge of his lower field and dug some channels to help the water flow out of the pond. And noticed that dead tree stumps and other rubbish was piled up in the corner in a way that seemed almost designed to ensure that the water backs up. Now I know one shouldn't attribute maliciousness when stupidity would suffice as an explanation. Well, from where I sit, neither is particularly complimentary.
Malicious? Stupid? We're talking about the one that got the rights (rental?) to the land of another neighbour when said neighbour retired from farming, and utterly razed everything that looked like a tree. Many old oaks. Perhaps some that would be eligible for preservation orders? Might explain why the digger was out in the middle of the night tearing the trees down. No point preserving a tree that isn't there any more. And, yes, we went out and showed the digger bloke a copy of the land boundary plan and let him know exactly what would happen if he dared to touch any of our trees...
...which are now the last ones standing down there.

This used to be a tree-lined field that cows grazed in, and a small forested area. The green on each side is part of the same field, so this photo represents an arc of around 280° or so. It was a work in practice, even more trees went.

Malicious? Stupid? You tell me...



There is plenty of manga available online, especially that known as "scanlation", meaning the legally dubious practice of scanning in pages of manga, rubbing out the Japanese text, and replacing it with a translation.
Pretty much all of it is available with a modern web browser.
Something RISC OS lacks.

So I put together a program to extract the necessary information from the responses returned by the server in order to create a "reader" application that fit into the RISC OS style of working. This was because I didn't want to fire up my PC just to read manga, and I was fed up with the constant barrage of forced adverts in Android applications (after the very nice manga reader I had been using closed itself down). I mean, come on, it's basically just displaying a set of JPEGs. RISC OS can do that, right?
Well, it can now!

My Manga reader was entered into the 2017 RISC OS awards as one of the choices for the "Best Game or Diversion". And with 25% of the vote, it won.

I don't win an actual "thing", it's for the bragging rights. And believe me, I've been programming RISC OS since I was a teenager, and it's taken me until the age of 44 before I managed to create something that other people are interested in. So I'm going to milk this for all it's worth because at this rate I'll be dead before I have another Good Idea. ☺
Did I mention I WON? Did I? Did I?

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, load up the !Store app (or download it if you don't already have it), click on the "Catalogue" button, and then scroll down until you find "Manga".
There are plenty of other useful packages that might interest you - do take a look around !Store.

As for the awards - the full list of winners is at



Your comments:

Please note that while I check this page every so often, I am not able to control what users write; therefore I disclaim all liability for unpleasant and/or infringing and/or defamatory material. Undesired content will be removed as soon as it is noticed. By leaving a comment, you agree not to post material that is illegal or in bad taste, and you should be aware that the time and your IP address are both recorded, should it be necessary to find out who you are. Oh, and don't bother trying to inline HTML. I'm not that stupid! ☺ ADDING COMMENTS DOES NOT WORK IF READING TRANSLATED VERSIONS.
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opal, 22nd July 2018, 01:23
Well done, about the manga reader app! 
Still I can not understand why you put so much energy into RISC OS-related software development. 
With your skills you could easily code for more mainstream platform(s) professionally. I think Rennes is the closes city to where you leave, where software development is in significant demand. 
It has to be a personal choice of some kind, I suppose. 
Anyways - good job! 
opal, 22nd July 2018, 01:46
As for your success with the manga reader app itself: first - you are being too modest. 
Second - (please forgive me being a bit "utilitarist" here) but you have a very good chance to write more "hits". Everything that is present on the mainstream systems and missing on RISC OS, especially software that sells or makes money, will be popular on RISC OS. 
Again, I don't understand the fact that this OS is still around. therefore I might be wrong here. 
To me - MS DOS makes more sense to be still used on SOCs in 2018 than RISC OS (because there is a lot of commercial software around, like POS terminals and such). 

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