Gus' Editorial 05

By Gus Donnachaidh

Originally published in EUG #18

First things first. I have been contacted by a couple of EUG members asking if EUG was in financial trouble. The questions were posed because firstly, I advertised a number of items for sale and said that all proceeds would go to EUG funds. Secondly, because I suggested that members might like to subscribe yearly and thirdly because the stamps on EUG #17 were second class ones.

The items I had for sale had been collected by me over a number of years mainly because I didn't want to throw out anything that might be useful. My wife has now said that I have to leave at least half of the space in our house free for moving around in and so these things had to go. I did manage to sell some things but a lot remains. If you fancy something, the prices can be seen as a guide. Make an offer. I would hate to put this stuff out as much of it is quite good. EUG may as well benefit from any income as anyone else.

The yearly subscription idea was a follow up from an earlier suggestion from a reader. EUG #15, if my memory serves me correctly.

The second class postage, I was going to do anyway and spoke to my wife about it but later thought the Christmas edition was an appropriate time. My wife, as she has pointed out, cannot read my mind and so posted them second class.

40 Column Mode

Are you using the 40-column mode? This has been developed by our own Richard Dimond. It is not perfect yet but has been incorporated onto the disks as many readers seemed to be having problems with TVs and certain types of monitor. There is no need however to make alterations to any View files you send in. Just send things as before.

Talking of monitors, I recently tidied the EUG desk and positioned my Elk power supply snugly behind my monitor. When I switched on the Elk again, the screen was slightly wavy. It was difficult to see and enough to make me feel uncomfortable. The problem of course was that the power supply was behind the monitor. That is why it has a long lead, and before I thought it was just to make life more difficult.

Tape To Disk

There was a request in EUG #17 for routines to take tape programs from tape to disk. EUG #18 includes a number of routines to assist with this problem. However, only one has documentation with it although some experimentation with each one should reveal which one works best for you. Just shows what a request in EUG achieves.

Opening Screens

Like the opening screen? After Richard's effort for EUG #17, I had to have a go and I am quite pleased with the result. The lettering routine came from an earlier screen designed by Merolosis. The destructive dot was something that had been laid around on a disk of mine for a number of years saved with the filename 'DesDot'. I certainly didn't write it myself but just adapted it to my own needs by trial and error.

EUG On 40-Track Disks

I have had a 40-track drive donated by Mr Del Williams. This will be a great help to those members with 40-track drives. Thanks again.

EUG On Tape

I said in EUG #14 that I wanted to experiment with publishing EUG on tape. Unfortunately, the tapes I've prepared haven't been too well received. However, tape versions are available for those who specifically need them.

EUG On Paper

EUG has grown far from its beginnings. Most of the submissions are now in the form of programs so a paper EUG would be mostly endless listings and you know what they are like to type in. If someone you know doesn't have a disk drive, suggest they try EUG on tape. It will work if they are prepared to stick at it.

Economics Of Running EUG

I bought a large quantity of disks a while ago for EUG. Over the months, I have accumulated a number which are faulty mostly found when being formatted. These will be returned in due course for replacement.

As you know, I post disks in brown envelopes. In the time I have been running EUG, I have sent out over 1,000 disks and have to date had about fifteen returned because of damage in the post. Now I have had members apologising for having to return a faulty disk and many suggestions that disks would be better packed with scrap cardboard.

Let me say this. If a disk is faulty, or indeed there is any other problem with EUG, and you don't tell me, then I can't do anything about it. So you don't see the result of the efforts members make and I might repeat mistakes which led to your problems with other members. You are not bothering me by telling me about problems with EUG. I don't take these things personally and I get more satisfaction from running EUG if I know everything is working well. So if there are problems, mistakes or anything else, please write or phone and say so. Phone especially because I love talking.

As far as the better packing is concerned, the figures speak for themselves. Scrap cardboard in the quantities needed amounts to a lot of scrap cardboard, increased postage costs (hence an increase in subscription rates) plus the increased cost of administration. It is cheaper to simply replace the occasional disk. This is the economics of the Nineties.

Hard Working Gus

I have to apologise to anyone who has tried to deal with EUG during the past two months for the long delays and waits they had to endure. I had a contract during this time which, as well as taking up a lot of time, was very tiring mainly because of the amount of politics in the workforce. The main difficulty was with people who sent cheques. I didn't bank these until mid-January and several members wrote to ask if I had actually received them. Sorry about this. I have to do some bookwork with all payments before banking so that I can later cross-check if necessary. I know from experience that I make too many mistakes when I'm tired so I left everything. At least two members phoned when I had fallen asleep on the settee. Sorry to you if I might have been a bit grumpy.

Save Protection

Finally, does anyone have any ideas to prevent a file being saved to disk with the same name as one already in the current catalogue? Ideally such a routine would ask for confirmation (Y/N) before proceeding.

Anyway, keep those submissions coming in. Does anyone understand everything about the new telephone codes?

PS. I have just been told by a 'friend' that the above sounds like a headmaster's speech at a weekly school assembly. It doesn't, does it?

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #18