Feuding EUG

By Gus Donnachaidh

Originally published in EUG #16

Your Diagram program seemed quite a good job and I'm going to try and convert it to Mode 3 screens with icons etc (as you suggested). I don't think that many changes to the program will be needed but, as Mode 0 already gobbles up so much memory, there wouldn't be room to make many! I'm too used to loads of memory available on my PC; my programming has become sloppy!

Now I don't know why you thought the old EUG title screen was boring. I think that a new screen each issue will make EUG look irregular. Imagine Electron User having its title in a different font each issue. It would look messy and less professional. The same title screen per issue gives familiarity with the magazine. By taking away this familiarity you immediately alienate readers from feeling comfortable with something they're used to. It's all psychological.

Also there seems to be a tendency to have a go at the PC. Slow loading? Have you seen the new Pentium 90Mhz machine running? That's what I call real speed! You know where I stand with the PC and I cannot understand why people think they are a waste of time. As for the length of time it takes to load software, where did you hear this? Most high street shops were impressed by the speed of the new 486DX4 and the benchmarks for the Pentiums. It wasn't the PC that made Commodore go bust; it was the console industry. The PC was just the final nail in the coffin.

I mentioned to Will in EUG #14 about the letters page being empty but most of those published last issue were just space-filling! Please could you edit out the 'Here is my cheque for £xx.xx' from the letters? I know that there are a lot of people who wish to meet other Elk users but is it really necessary in the Mailbag section? I'm sorry but I don't want to read letters telling me who members are married to and how many children they have. It was like reading an in-depth "Lonely Hearts" column! I'm all for making friends via EUG but not via the Mailbag Menu!

There's an age gap...: The old EUG appealed to all age groups and there was no age distinction within the articles. Now looking at EUG, there is a definite age gap occuring. OK, so most of the members are, I assume, 35+. But how would you feel as editor if I started sending you articles about 'chart' music? (Which is about as likely as me eating my socks!) This would no doubt not be looked at by the older readers and many would probably complain. It is also irrelevant to the Elk and to computers in general.

In the old EUG I would read every article as, although I may not have understood them all fully, I wanted to digest the information they contained. I found myself scanning through the last two issues of EUG.

Is there any chance of a non-leading questionnaire being put in a future EUG relating to the mag as it stands? "Practical Ideas" got read by myself only to confirm it was how I thought it would be and, much to my dissappointment, it was.

So apart from the above comments EUG gets a thumbs up from me but if the age range of the mag becomes more evident and I find myself reading less articles then...who knows at the moment?

You should find enclosed a cheque for two more issues of EUG. [!]

I almost forgot, if anybody has any problems with a game and has written to you I take my EUG folder with me to Uni so I should be able to help either with my own experience or what I've collated in my folder.

I was wondering if there would be a regular PD column in EUG? I'm not volunteering for the position but if you love the idea then I'll be more than willing to write it. Perhaps Richard would feel as though I'd be stepping on his toes if I or anyone else did write a PD column as the two subjects would cross over.

What made me think of a PD column was that there is a lot of good stuff on the PD circuit for the Elk at the moment as my own personal experience with Moss PD. If a PD column is not to be then I may include some PD games in "Elk Entertainment" if that's OK with you.

The main reason for me not writing a regular PD column is that I already write "Elk Entertainment" and I don't want to hog the mag. But if you love the PD column idea and nobody else wants to write it then, as I've said, I am quite keen to give it a go.

On the subject of going I'd better go as I've got loads of packing to finish.

Christian Weber

This is my repsonse to the letter Christian sent to me. I thought the points he made were likely to be of interest to other readers so typed most of it in. Some paragraphs I omitted because they were not really relevant to anyone besides me. I hope that other members of EUG will take the trouble to respond with their own points of view but I am going to make some points of reply now.

On the subject of the EUG title screen. I can only say that I disagree. Also, EUG is not, and while I'm editor, will never try to be, Electron User.

Pentium PCs do load software more quickly than other PCs but they are still much slower than the Elk. On my Elk, I use a !BOOT gile to load Starword into sideways RAM, initialise it, do a *WORD, call the relevant directory, set up some function keys and list the directory. The whole process takes less than ten seconds. The Pentium can't beat that.

Figures like 90MHz are meaningless when the speed of a word processor is governed by the speed of my fingers. I own a PC; a 386 notebook. I can put my accounts onto a disk which my accountant can use and because it is battery-operated and I can take and use it anywhere. PCs are good machines (and, more importantly, software can be easily used in different machines) but they are not all-singing, all-dancing, all things to all men. They are tools which, like the Elk and even my £7 scientific calculator are good for certain things but not so good for others. I did an exam recently involving a lot of Maths. My PC and my Elk, despite their sophistication, would have been useless. I needed a pocket calculator. I could've got a program costing perhaps £??? to do inverse equations, trig functions and the rest but would I really have been better off in an exam with time constraints waiting for a PC to get around to doing what I wanted it to do? So is my £7 pocket calculator better than my PC? No, it's just a different tool for a different job. My Elk, like my old set of screwdrivers, is a tried and trusted tool that never lets me down and, unlike my PC, has never claimed to be more than what it is.

Letters. If you don't like it, don't read it. There's plenty more to read in EUG. The Mailbag is, I think, the best place to put letters. And I think the analogy with a Lonely Hearts' column is unduly flippant.

Age gap. I am not aware of this at all. Some members have begun to introduce themselves in the Letters' section. These are the same members as before. If someone wants to send in something about chart music, then they're free to do so. My mother in law has just started drawing her pension. For her birthday, I gave her one of those tiny FM radios so she could listen to Radio 1. For my part, I like Radio 4 and 'Blakes 7' on UK Gold.

I can only publish what members send so what sort of EUG we have is up to them. If they want to see something, they send it in. Someone else might also send in their ideas on the same subject in response.

PD Column. If you can maintain the high standards of "Elk Entertainment" that you've established then send it in. I know a number of readers will look forward to it simply because it comes from you, myself included.

Best of luck at University.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #16