Workshop Worries

By D. Finny

Originally published in EUG #03

When I saw the ELECTRON WORKSHOP advertisement in EUG #1, I was quite interested and thought about dusting off the old soldering iron. But on reading the article which appeared in EUG #2, I began to get a strange feeling of deja vu. After consulting my back issues of Electron User, I discovered why. It seems your Mister Harris had cribbed the information from EU!

I wonder if you were aware of this and, more to the point, can we expect the rest of this series to consist of similar unoriginal material? I do hope this will not be the case as I see little point in you reprinting second-hand information which many of us "Old Boys" have already! Surely this is copyright material anyway and cannot be reprinted without full permission?

Of course, I am not in possession of all the facts and you or Mister Harris may have obtained the rights to certain Electron User articles.

I would also like to comment on the suggestion made by T. Ives that we should not pay "over the odds" for second hand equipment. I feel it should also be pointed out that purchasing such equipment can sometimes be a heart-breaking experience. I have only ever purchased one add-on in this way, an old Cumana disk drive which gave up the ghost two days after it was delivered. Because of this, I would never buy second hand again. I just don't think it's worth the risk when anything I may need can be supplied by PRES, Slogger or Watford Electronics in mint condition, complete with no-quibble warranty.

D. M. Finny

When Marc Harris contacted me suggesting that he write the ELECTRON WORKSHOP articles, he assured me that he had "many years' experience" in electronics. When the 'BREAK' key article came through the letterbox I was aware that the information had first appeared in Electron User - but Marc did not try to pass off the ideas as his own and credited their sources in his article.

All of the text was written by Marc himself with additional info which never appeared in Electron User. This leads me to believe that he wrote from experience rather than by "cribbing"! I know for a fact that the diagrams did not come straight from Electron User because I supplied the drawing program he used and even had to hand-draw a couple myself at the last minute when Marc's disk drive packed up on him!

While I can understand your disappointment at finding you had the 'BREAK' key information already, I'm sure there were others who found it interesting. Due to a rather strange mix-up, no Workshop article appears in this issue. Instead, for those who can't resist messing about inside their Elks, we have a couple of all-new projects written by John Brown!

As far as the buying of second hand equipment goes, surely this is a case of "Ya pays ya money and takes ya choice!" If you can afford it, I would say buy new every time, but if your budget is tight, second hand is the only answer! There may be an element of risk involved but I think the odds are in favour of the buyer!

Will Watts