Gus' Editorial 08

By Gus Donnachaidh

Originally published in EUG #21


Well, here is EUG #21. I was thinking what could I do to mark the #21 figure. To be honest, I didn't really want to do anything but I needn't have worried because EUG members have come up trumps and there is an extra large EUG this time which people will be talking about for years to come: "Remember the summer of 95 - long hot sun and EUG #21?"

Apologies to our members on and south of the equator. I realise it's winter there.

Allez En Vacances

Recently my wife and I needed to go to Paris for a couple of days. We decided to take the opportunity to have a go on the Channel Tunnel. Now I was one of those people living in Britian who thought the tunnel was about the best idea since the paperclip. I won't argue the point here but for the benefit of non-UK residents most people here were either in favour or against.

We managed to book seats on a coach going to Paris when we needed to go. We were all quite excited by the prospect and the 5 hour journey to the tunnel wasn't really a problem. But when were there we had to queue for about 45 minutes while an electronic sign showed the 'Next Train Will Depart at...' and the time was displayed except it was repeatedly put forward by five minutes every five minutes. No explainations, no apologies. Eventually we started moving towards the train, we had to go over a bridge which had two lanes. There was another bus stopped on one of the lanes. We thought someone had broken down but as we passed it we saw that it was a Channel Tunnel maintenance bus and the maintenance crew were inside having a cup of tea! Boarding the train was slow and the smell of exhaust fumes unpleasant. Once underway the journey was very smooth and the air clean if a little over hot. Just about everybody had to get out of their vehicles because the slight movement of the train on the vehicle's suspension made them uncomfortable. There was nowhere to sit, nothing to do and we just had to wait for the half hour for the journey to end. At the other end disembarking was very quick.

Now most of us thought that this might have been a little bit of teething trouble, and it was the British side after all. On the return journey, things were exactly the same except this time we had to wait two hours.

Now I think everyone should try the Channel tunnel at least once if only to be able to say they did when it has finally closed down. But we won't be using it again; the ferry may take longer, but it's comfortable and you can walk around, relax, get refreshments and it's a lot cheaper.

I can't confirm this but it has been suggested that delays are caused by the companies themselves; they apparently wait until they have enough passengers before loading the train. Since passengers have already paid their tickets, deciding to switch to a ferry at that late time is out of the question. The Tunnel Company have got you. If this is true, and some news reports I have read seem to corroborate it, it is a disgraceful practice and possibly illegal.

It seems that the engineering achevement of the century can't solve the problem of simple bad management.

EUG Equipment Review

I hoped to have a big equipment review for this EUG. Unfortunately not many review submissions came. I did have a couple sent earlier on this year but to be honest I haven't had the time to look for them. Sorry to those members and I will try to put them in EUG #22. I did also intend to write a few myself on some of my equipment. They however haven't got past the stage of being written in my head.

The reason EUG #21 is so late is because I have been helping to build a new cafe beside a major supermarket. It was a pleasure to do it - all of the equipment was top quality. I was working in excess of 15 hours a day seven days a week but the final result is good. It will be nice to go there are reflect that I had a hand in building it. It does make a difference.

It's Big

With the huge number of files in EUG #21 I have tried my best to check it carefully; ADFS readers will get it on two M format disks while DFS readers need three Double Sided ones. If there are any problems, please get in touch. As far as I can tell, everything works. However, any problems will probably be my fault and not the contributor's.

I have picked up a Master so that I can test EUG progams for members using BBCs and Masters. I have a BBC but for some reason it only works in Mode 7 so it's not much use. I have to confess that, while the Master has a number of nice features, I still like my Elk. Has anyone noticed the price of Elks on the second hand market recently?

Remember submissions for EUG #22!

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #21