Gus' Editorial 22

By Gus Donnachaidh

Originally published in EUG #35

This disk is late because I have had to spend quite a lot of time re-arranging some files to suit both the EUG formats.

I have been reluctant to say this in the past but could members who are sending in programs try to keep filenames to seven letters or less? If a program needs a lot of ADFS disk space, could you restrict yourselves to ADFS M format? Only use single letters for directory names.

And when a file needs to change directories, could you try to write it as *DIR dir instead of *DIR ^. And if a file needs to return to the root directory, could you use *DIR $ instead of *DIR.

The reason for this last point is that ADFS recognises *DIR as an instruction to return to the root directory while DFS needs to have any directory name, including the root directory, specified. In DFS, a jump can be made between any directory simply by calling it while in ADFS the directory path needs to be specified.

So in ADFS one directory branch might be A, then B and C, while a second separate branch might be X then Y and Z. If you happen to be in C and you want to go to A, you can type *DIR^^ and if you want to move from C to Z, you would type *DIR $.X.Y.Z. Returning to the root directory can be done with *DIR.

In DFS, moving from C to Z would be *DIR Z. ^ would be seen as a directory name and not recognised.

Specifying each individual directory jump will ensure cross compatibility.

A number of EUG readers use DFS which has some special restrictions and many EUG readers using 3.5" drives have only single sided ones.

Please don't give up programming if these points aren't clear. Send in your programs anyway and I'll do my best to sort them out.

As I've said before, without submissions from EUG members, there will be no EUG.

Something Out There
I've discovered evidence of life on another planet. It happened like this. I was driving one afternoon listening to Radio 4 and there was a discussion on the subject of why British men have so much difficultly showing their emotions. One of the explanations was the English habit of sending their sons to prep school followed by boarding school where demonstrations of emotion are discouraged.

Now the vast majority of English boys don't go to prep school let alone boarding school and, for that matter, English men and indeed British ones, DO show their emotions. Then it occurred to me that the speakers were in fact on another planet, and by a gradual deduction, I worked out a number of interesting facts. Surprisingly, this planet has a number of place names in common with Earth but this is where the similarity ends.

There are only two countries: England and the Rest of the World. The other country is sometimes divided into various regions but this is usually unimportant since they are not English.

Most boys go to boarding schools. These are all terrible places with cold showers, bad food and bullying prefects but everyone looks back on them with fond nostalgia.

Films and TV don't have any violence, crime or sex. Consequently in society there is no violence, crime or sex. OK, so I lied about the sex.

Everyone has a garden of at least half an acre.

Generally only the women get diseases but when men do get ill, they don't like to talk about it.

Opera and Ballet originate in England and everyone protests if anything less than huge amounts of taxpayers' money is used to fund them.

Tennis is the national sport followed by show jumping.

All children work hard to get A Levels and go to University to study Classics. It is almost unheard of for a young person to take an apprenticeship and families have died of shame rather than admit that one of their children wants to be a tradesman.

I haven't figured out what the name of this planet IS but I'd be interested in suggestions and any further information anyone may have.

American/English Relations
An advert on some TV stations at the moment is for a company looking to finance inventions starts with tension-building music and a question being printed on the screen:

  Who Invented The Telephone?
1. Alexander Graham Bell,
2. Elisha Gray,
3. Both.

After a moment, the third answer is magically ringed. Then another question is printed on the screen:

  What Was The Difference?
1. The Design,
2. The Finance,
3. The Patent.

An American voice then says, "The difference was the Patent. Bell beat Gray by four hours so Bell is famous and Gray is forgotten."

Now, setting aside the inaccuracy of the statement, it raises two points. Firstly an American is not trying to claim that Thomas Edison invented the telephone and of course he didn't but secondly the priority for the American voiceover is that Bell is famous. Looking at this from a British perspective, I would have thought that the most sought after reward would be to make lots of money. But for the 'average' American it seems that fame is what counts. Fame seems to be the driving force in American popular culture and it seems to be fame at any cost. Many British people might like to be famous sportsmen or perhaps popstars but this is surely more a desire for admiration rather than fame itself. For American popular culture being famous seems to be the first thought with the assumption that material security will follow naturally.

The number of this company for anyone interested is 0800 123411.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #35