Gus' Editorial 04

By Gus Donnachaidh

Originally published in EUG #17

Well, another fine disk you've gotten me into

And it is too. Not so much on the sales front though. I have contacted a number of suppliers and, while some did reply with adequate details of their supplies for the Elk, some couldn't find the time and a few it seems couldn't be bothered. Perhaps they just don't need the revenue?

I was in Preston recently and was approached by someone offering to sell me a joke mag apparently on behalf of unemployed people. It was published by Student Media Services of Marton, Lancashire. There are a few 'adult' items in it, some of which are very funny, and there are a few variations on the theme of the number of people it "takes to change a light bulb".

Californians: 21. 1 to put in the bulb, 20 to share the experience.
Psychiatrists: 1, but the bulb must want to change.
Polytechnic students: 76. 1 to hold the bulb, the other 75 to turn the room around.
University students: 2. 1 to hold the bulb, the other to turn him around.
Oxford University students: 1. To just hold the bulb and wait for the world to revolve around him.

I recently received two disks from Simon Pilley with a number of screen grabs from TV. The first is of various 'Pop' singers while the second is of characters from 'Blakes 7'. The screens take up a lot of disk space so, so far, I haven't included them. However, check out the screen SERVALAN on this disk for a taste of what he has done. I chose her because she is a fascinating character, so I think.

I did also receive a disk for submission from Moss PD. Unfortunately, it arrived damaged so I've had to return it for repair. I haven't had it or another one back yet so hopefully it will appear in EUG #18. What I could read of the disk looked very good.

I have today also received a disk from Matthew Ford with a number of very interesting utilities on it. They will be included in EUG #18.

This month's screen comes from our own Richard Dimond! (I forgot to note that EUG #16's screen was by Merilois, an enigmatic EUG member.)

I said some time ago that I would look into the possibility of giving some inducement to members who paid their subscription yearly. This would be an advantage as I could plan expenditure better if I knew what I would be likely to need. Unfortunately, I will have to leave it as a request to members. Firstly because I am simply unable to offer any reduction in price at this time. Secondly some members have said that they prefer to pay for one disk at a time. I really don't think that this is such an unreasonable position that I can justify penalising them with a price rise so I will simply have to leave it for the moment and ask all members to consider paying a year in advance. As there are currently six issues a year, for UK readers, this will be 6 x £1.30 = £7.80.

Also a while ago, I asked members if they would mind if I used codes as per a plan to develop a members' database on the Elk. Well, I have had a lot of help from Richard who has undoubtedly been burning the midnight oil but in the meantime I have developed a system using card files which, I'm sorry to say, works fine. I may still develop members' codes and perhaps then start to use Richard's excellent database system but at this moment, using the cards is easier.

I am hoping soon to combine the menu program so that there will be one for the whole disk and also perhaps incorporating a facility to print all or large parts of the disk with a single command.

I had a report from a member who noted he was having difficulty reading the text as it is laid out. Giving the option of either 40 or 80 column text is quite easy but text files needed to be reformatted to avoid problems with word wrap and the only real solution seemed to be to have two versions of each file! I gave up there with this idea.

Richard Dimond is now investigating this idea and also whether we need the possibility of changing the screen and text colours. I must confess that, since I use a green screen monitor personally, I don't really have a problem so haven't noticed one before. I can see though that for some types of screens it will be difficult to read Mode 3 text.

Anyway, on with EUG #17. Keep the submissions coming in and remember about the Big Equipment Review for EUG #21!

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #17