Gus' Editorial 09

By Gus Donnachaidh

Originally published in EUG #22

Here we go with another EUG magazine. After the bumper summer special, it seems a little tame but there's still a lot in it of interest.

Can I ask members who have contacted me asking for help or with problems, if I don't reply after a reasonable period of time, to write again? I get very forgetful and even though I try to write things down quick notes read later make little sense sometimes.

Recently I needed a new 3.5" disk drive as my old one was on its last legs. I tried everywhere to find a double-density drive with no luck. Then a friend who owns a computer shop persuaded me to try a high-density drive that cost £30. I did. It works perfectly. I didn't think a high-density drive would work with double-density disks but there were no problems at all. Well, apart from the absence of any means of making it into Drive 0 - it's drive 0 by default. This can easily be cured by a twisted drive data cable but I haven't bothered. I put the 5.25" as Drive 0 and the new 3.5" as Drive 1. The new drive is much quieter too.

Every now and then, members contact EUG and ask if it can be published on paper again. In the past I have said this would be too difficult because of all the programs within it.

Now though I have had a bit of a rethink and, more importantly, a chat with a friend and it may be possible...but not yet.

To do a disk and paper version will become expensive. Let me say here that the sums for EUG on disk just about add up. There isn't much left once everything has been paid for. Paper isn't as expensive as you might at first think but it does cost quite a bit. To be honest, I haven't even started to work out just how much a paper EUG will cost but I would like to be able to work my sums to that it wouldn't be too much.

The options really are:

  1. Continue as now with EUG on disk,
  2. Produce a disk and paper version though the paper version will need to be almost the same as the disk one (The suggestion is that I could produce the text on paper and the programs on disk, but it's not really the way I see EUG), or
  3. Produce a paper version. This will mean some long listings that you would need to type in yourself.

I would only be prepared to do this last one if I could get a sufficient quality of printing for text and graphics though we are talking black and white here. Colour really gets into big bucks!

The big advantage would be that owners of Electrons without a disk drive (or with just a 40 track one or a Watford disaster) could get access.

I need feedback on this one really. It's your EUG we're talking about and I want your yea or nay. I don't plan to do much for a few magazines yet so you have a little time to think about it. Hopefully, we can come to some consensus ad idem.

I recently heard on the radio that 'Which' magazine had criticised the computer industry for producing overpriced poor quality products and ripping off the ever more dependent public. Now I had lost all interest in Which since reading in 1985 a review of current home computers that concluded the Amstrad 464 was the best machine because it included a monitor and tape drive! Seemed a bit like saying a Lada is good value because it includes a rear windscreen heater to keep your hands warm when you push it. Apologies to those who own Ladas - I understand they are quite good in fact.

Well, at least someone is catching on to the utter con of the PC market. Not that it will do much good until those who buy just about anything on the market wake up to what they are actually doing.

EUG #21 has been received well generally despite a number of bugs in the first print run. I did rush it because I was short of time. It has been suggested that I take a little more time and perhaps be a little late rather than producing something full of mistakes.

Don't forget the Christmas EUG which is the next issue. Let's hear what you have to say and have some programming from you. Remember that it doesn't have to be super-complicated, just something you've been working on. And remember the shopping section - most of us will get some pocket money from Santa. It will simply burn a hole in our pockets unless we can buy some goodies for our Elks!

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #22