By Tony Boarer

Originally published in EUG #21

So sorry to have missed EUG #20 - maybe this letter will too late for EUG #21. I have been rather knocked off course of late and have a lot of catching up to do on the computer front.

Many thanks for your comments in EUG #19 and, after absorbing all advice on cleaning etc, and applying it, I still have come to the conclusion that the source of a lot of my troubles are with the lack of good electrical contact from the fingers of the Slogger interface. So I have taken out one Electron from my system and replaced it with another BBC to which I have transferred all of my financial databank. This BBC is 128k with an Integra-B board. But enough of this, as we are an Electron group.

In the last letter, I mentioned another RGB switch and a switchable connector at the monitor. However, Derek Walker has come up with a better solution and has made me a four-way switch box so that I can have four computers live and switch to the one monitor. In my situation now, this will be two Electrons and two BBCs. Derek's solution cuts down the amount of wiring needed.

The other Electron is now fitted with a Plus 3 single-sided 3.5" disk drive and a Plus 1. I also have a mouse outfit for this setup but have not tried to run it yet. I intend to fit a single 5.25" disk drive to this arrangement when I have time to find out how it is done, and then have both DFS and ADFS.

I am having a lot of trouble with your disks. Sometimes they come up with "Not Found at line x" on some files; sometimes some files will LOAD and others not; sometimes "Bad Dir at line x"; sometimes I can READ files that won't LOAD into *WORD and sometimes I can't. If nobody else is having such problems then perhaps I have a hardware problem of some kind. I will try to find time to go through all the disks from the start of EUG's existence and write on this specific point for, as you say, there is no point in not having the full EUG set of disk files.

Tony Boarer

EUG is of course the Electron User Group but EUG has a number of members using BBCs and Masters - mainly because we are so good. So feel free to discuss BBCs or indeed anything else. This is, after all, a forum for anything which is of interest to members.

So, you and Derek have been developing an RGB switch. How about sharing it with the rest of us? Also tell us a bit about how and why. Sounds quite interesting.

You are the first person to have problems with the flippies. These are sent to members on 5.25" double-sided disks. Have you checked you have a double-sided drive? If this isn't the problem, and you are having a problem with every flippy, then it may be that the drive itself is faulty. If it is only the one disk then send the disk back. I should say at this time that I took advice from a disk drive service engineer before starting to use flippies and was assured that no harm will come to your drives at all. The idea that some dirt could be wiped from the disk into the drive is apparently an exaggeration - the amount of dirt needed to damage a drive would make the disk unusable before you even put it in. Most of the dirt in the average drive (and there is a lot - I've seen it in perfectly working drives!) comes from the ventilation holes on the drive itself.

I should also point out that my 5.25" drive has produced almost every flippy disk for EUG with no problems.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #21