The Beginning Of The End

By John Crane

Originally published in EUG #40

I've just received 8BS-66 and it appears this is to be the last issue of this magazine, at least for the foreseeable future. However 8BS (8 Bit Software) is not just a magazine. It has a massive Acorn 8 Bit (BBC, etc) PD library and its own internet web site. This side of it will be continuing, so there's still plenty for the seasoned '8-bitter' to go at.

Speaking personally though, I will miss it. I rather liked the exchange of views and looked forward to 'chatting' to people via the disk. I must admit to being an internet sceptic. I use e-mail at work, albeit on a Local Network and an awful lot of time seems to be wasted waiting to get connected then waiting for things to download, etc.

EUG then, seems to be my only hope. A nice disk full of letters, etc to read at my leisure. Slam in the disk, boot it up and 'Mrs Craddock's your Mother's sister', if you catch my drift. Don't worry, they'll be taking me away shortly!

Incidentally I've heard about 5.25" disks becoming scarce but what about 3.5" disks? The other day I went in search of a reasonable quantity of the Double Density variety and they aren't quite so easy to find now. Argos and quite a lot of Computer stockists now only stock High Density. Certainly round my neck of the woods anyway. "First Computer" still stock them and they have a few branches here and there for anyone who needs them and there are still quite a few mail order firms advertising them in Micromart. Although I always see this last one as a bit of a step into the unknown.

Following on. Years ago, disks were Single Density. I'm only guessing but is this where 8271 DFS came in? SD disks were phased out when Double Density came along. Presumably anybody still using SD format machinery would just format DD disks to the SD format and so long as you didn't try to cram a DD format onto an SD disk, everything would be fine. If the same fate befalls DD disks, does the same logic apply? i.e. can a High Density disk be formatted to Double Density, as that's well within its capability (2MB) and is it risky putting a High Density format e.g. ADFS 1.6Mb or DOS 1.44 onto a Double Density disk, which is only meant to hold a maximum 1MB. Is there a definitive answer? Just a thought.

I've been following Alan Richardson's pleas for help and unfortunately I can't offer much, having had no experience of the Cumana interface. However, I've had a glimmer of inspiration. I thought I'd seen reference to the problem in a past EUG and, after an in-depth search, I discovered a letter from Shelia Bridges in EUG #15.

I've been unable to locate any more information on Cumana so far. I couldn't find any address mentioned. Is Shelia Bridges still a member? Did "we here at the offices of EUG" ever solve her problem and, if so, could this be an "avenue to explore" to assist Alan? Meanwhile, I am doing my bit searching small ads, boot sales, etc.

Anyway, here's to the continued existence of EUG!

John Crane

To be honest, there are times when I think about throwing in the towel with EUG. This one, as you'll see, is not one of our best. If submissions don't rise, there will probably be no EUG either soon. At the moment, I have resorted to 'padding' this issue with a couple of games gleaned from some old PCW disks.

The interest is still there though and EUG will continue while it is. If there comes a time when EUG does have to call it a day I will warn everyone in advance.

Whatever happens though, take each issue one at a time. We have had a remarkable run and we are on borrowed time somewhat.

HD disks are not reliable. I have been sent a couple with submissions on and have been unable to read them. I will have to look around for DD disks. Without them we will have a big problem.

5.25" disks are not a problem now since I got several hundred for a reasonable price.

It's funny. A while ago I was suggesting to everyone that they should buy a 3.5" drive as 5.25" disks were becoming scarce. Let's hope that the forces of progress don't destroy us before we do!

I am in the process of setting up an internet site for EUG. I've managed to get an email site at Hopefully I shall be able to set up a full web site and EUG can be saved for posterity.

A few hundred years from now on, some space station in a far corner of the galaxy may house a group of schoolchildren, flicking idly through the internet and they might find it.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #40