Goodbye... And Hello!

By Will Watts

Originally published in EUG #14

I was once employed by a company where the staff went out of their way to give their fellow workers a 'good send-off' when they reached retirement age.

Money was collected to purchase a suitable parting gift and on the 'Big Day' vast quantities of alcohol were drunk in the nearby pub at lunch time then, back in the work's canteen, the retiree's praises were sung by a succession of worthies who were "unaccustomed to public speaking". With a tear in his eye and a lump in his throat, the deeply moved old timer would be waved off as he withdrew into the sunset.

All very nice. All very proper. But a strange thing would happen if the object of all this attention ever dared to show his face at his old workplace thereafter. And many did! Perhaps through nostalgia for 'the good old days' or because they found they were getting under foot at home, a large number seemed drawn to 'look in' on their old mates.

They were never greeted with much enthusiasm and shouts of "Get back home!" or "No vacancies here!" (and often less restrained comments!) would ring out the moment they were spotted.

People can be so fickle and it would seem that once you go, they prefer you to stay gone! I hope me 'popping up' every now and then like this will not provoke a similar response from fellow EUG members, many of whom I like to think of as friends (albeit at a distance).

Considering the amount of time Gus had, and the limited material that was available to him, I think EUG #14 is an excellent job. Granted there will probably be one or two hiccups - but these will probably pale into insignificance beside my almighty blunder with the first DFS EUG #9 disks! The main thing is that my monitor screen almost crackles with all the enthusiasm Gus transmits and the future looks very good from where I'm standing!

I should like quickly to formally offer my own very sincere thanks to all those who helped me in my capacity as editor since 1991:

From EUG #1, Derek Walker was a great help and a mine of information. Later, he became the unsung driving force that held things together for a while. It was he who actually created some order out of my chaotic system of records - such as it was.

Richard Dimond never ceases to amaze me. You can send him a half-baked BASIC program that just about does what you want it to and a few days later he will return a slick, ultra-efficient machine code version! His undoubted talents and modesty are worthy of praise.

Many other names spring to mind too, including:

Roy Warner, who slaved over his excellent Assembly Language tutorials (only to have his listings nobbled by my inexpert transcriptions).

Tom Boustead, who endeavored to help certain individuals (myself included) to understand the mysteries of VIEW PRINTER DRIVERS through personal correspondence.

Christopher Chadwick. Sometimes outspoken, often considered abrasive but never dull.

Howard Guppy, who sent in many interesting snippets and once cheerfully advised me to, "put your analyst on danger-money, baby!"

Frank Jones. A more recent contact whose witty letters are always a pleasure to receive.

I could go on but the list would fill the disk. Needless to say, even if I haven't mentioned your name, I still appreciate all the help, support and encouragement you gave me.

Yet the one person I cannot fail to mention is Christian Weber. The file containing his personal letters to me must weigh about a kilogram now, and no doubt it will grow heavier in the future! Without his business-like Games Expert hat on, the man is completely bonkers and his communications have provided many much-appreciated belly laughs. With his permission, I might even publish some of our exchanges in the future (edited for 'family' reading of course!).

Still, now it's time to turn 180 degrees and look ahead! I think I speak with a little authority when I say that the main problem that Gus will encounter is a possible lack of submissions to include on future disks! Personally, I intend to contribute as much as possible, so if you are dreading the prospect of more endless drivel penned by Yours Truly, get your own contributions sent off as soon as possible so there is no room for my efforts!

In conclusion, I would like to announce that, after all this time, and by a strange freak of fate, I can now be contacted by telephone! We had a line installed at the end of June (Incoming calls only!) so if you fancy a chat, call me.

Will Watts, EUG #14