The Bit At The Front (TBATF)

By Will Watts

Originally published in EUG #01

We Made It!

It was touch and go for a while, there were many obstacles to overcome but we came through it in the end. Our mettle was well and truly tested but we survived. There may still be a lot to do but the worst is over!

We've been decorating our kitchen! What brilliant timing! It had to be done (everything - walls, ceiling, floor, fittings) but it's held up the production of the mag so I must apologise if some of you are reading this a few days after 'mid-September' as promised in EUG #0! Two other factors have contributed to the delay as well.

Word Processing Problems

Firstly, I'm only just getting back into the swing of using View after a lay-off period of about eighteen months so the layout has suffered a little. Secondly, disaster struck at the end of August when the printer decided it didn't want to play any more. After a nail-biting few days of trying to scrounge a temporary replacement, it was a BBC-owning friend who came up trumps! So thanks are due to Tony Freeman for the loan of his trusty (Or should I say rusty?) old Epson MX82F/T. I've been used to using an RX80 so here again there were delays while I familiarised myself with a 'new' machine! Here endeth the list of excuses!

So What Else Is Happening?

Well, quite a lot since the first faltering steps to organise a User Group were taken way back at the end of June this year. It's now an exceptional day if at least one item of EUG-related mail isn't delivered! We've been in touch with Brian Kidd, Press Officer for the Oric User Group and a spare Electron is now on loan to him. The plan is that he will convert Elk software to run on an Oric and vice versa. We'll have to see what materialises! I've been hearing one or two horror stories about some of the now defunct Electron User Groups of yesteryear and have also received some helpful advice. The general message seems to be, "Keep your feet on the ground and guard your rear!". Sounds like I should get some lead boots and a strap-on dustbin lid.


Some people have been wondering why EUG has not been mentioned in any of the Acorn mags - well, it's not for the want of trying!

It seems these publications are type-set at least a month in advance, so Ads and non-News articles take a long time to appear. Hopefully, by the time you read this, news of EUG will have reached a lot of people via the Classified Ads page of The Micro User. We should also be mentioned in Acorn User soon.


The next item on the agenda is Submissions. A few months ago, some of you received a short note, offering this issue free in return for a program or article which we could use. Some of you responded and should now be reading this having paid not a sausage. Thank you all for your valuable contributions! Now, I'm afraid I have to tell you that it is just not practical to make this an on-going arrangement. At the moment - and I know it's still early days - EUG is running at a loss (Mine!) so no more freebies for the time being, I'm afraid. As news of EUG starts to appear in the Acorn mags we can expect membership to increase dramatically and it's to be hoped that submissions will increase also.

The more members, the lighter the burden will be on my shoulders, as having to wear umpteen hats (researcher, writer, type-setter, editor and financier, etc) is a drain on all my limited but gladly given resources. If we ever get to the point where EUG starts making a profit, we can decide how best to plough it back, perhaps re-introducing free copies for contributors, or reduce overall subscription rates, etc. Of course, before we start to discuss what should be done with potential profit, we have to break even!!

Spot The Awful Spelling Mistakes

Finally, I would like to invite you all to play a little game. It's called "Spot The Awful Spelling Mistakes!". You'll find them, along with examples of bad grammar in liberal amounts throughout this issue. I must admit to having a wonderful spell-checker. Her name is Alison, but she has been too busy to proof-read of late. (This was one of the last pages to be typed so it just might be error free.) Well, thanks for reading this far. Hope you enjoy the rest of the mag!

Will Watts, September 1991, EUG #1