News / Discussion
I will start this month with an apology, and some numerous
corrections. In short, issue 15 magazine was "well out of order" and
I must apologise to any member who took offence at it's rather harsh
and brash comments. I have no intention of discouraging ANY member
from using 8BS, but judging by the number of letters I received I seem
to have left a few members wondering where they stand. I will make it
clear now that EVERY member is welcome to 8BS and is posotively
encouraged to stay as a member. As I have told most members
individually already, issue 15 was badly researched, badly
constructed, badly worded, and badly edited (badly everything really).
Through my own fault and no one elses I was left with only 4 days to
put the whole magazine and disc together - If only I had stopped to
read the finished product I can assure you all it would never had seen
the light of day. Once again apologies to all.
In answer to many newer members wondering exactly what 8BS is (ie. is
a PD library or not?) I will also put the following straight ...
8BS (8-bit Software) is a USER GROUP and NOT and Public Domain
library. Whilst various titles of P.D. software are featured each
month, it is usually the work of 8BS' own members work and not from
external P.D. libraries. It is for this reason why 8BS carries no
charges as members of the group put a lot of time and work INTO the
group as well as reaping the benefits of their membership.
The ONLY thing I ask of you all is to observe these 8BS guidelines
which will make it much easier for me to give the best possible
service to you all ...
Anyone can become a regular member of 8BS provided the following
criteria is met ...
1. Member provides ONE DFS FORMATTED 80T D/S Disc together with
return POSTAGE and return PACKING each month. I am afraid that
I cannot accept cash/cheques in lieu of Postage and/or packing
unless you are a High Level Member.
2. Upon receiving an issue disc, the member should return the disc
on or before 15th of the next month (following the procedure
above) in order to be in time for the following issue.
3. Each member is INVITED to comment on programs received, and to
contribute to the magazine in the form of QUESTIONS, HINTS,
TIPS, ARTICLES, REVIEWS etc. etc. This is NOT mandatory and
submitting nothing with your returned disc will in no way
affect your membership. It is no longer a CONDITION of membership
to comment on software - just an INVITATION. If you cannot think
of anything in particular to say, then it does not matter.
4. Correspondence can be in any form. If submitting correspondence on
disc (ie. Word Processed or ASCII), then please kindly print out a
hard copy as well if you have access to a printer.
8-bit Software was set up back in the early days when BBC PD libraries
were very thin on the ground. Over the past year it has grown to over
4 times it's original size and is best known in the amateur
communications world. Only recently has 8BS been regulary producing
the monthly magazine and disc for postal membership. This decision
was taken in order to try and combat the growing number of very
expensive P.D. libraries appearing for the BBC Micro. 8BS offers a
unique, interactive and FREE alternative to these libraries.
All the above steps are GUIDELINES - If you are unsure about anything
then please do not be afraid to send in a note asking what needs to be
done. So long as you send me return postage (recommended 33p) and
packing then you will not go far wrong and you will always receive a
reply from me.
STD Area Code Demonstration
You may recall that Chris Richardson's STD Demonstration appeared on
last months issue disc together with an advertisement for the full
200k version avaiable from 8BS' TBI Pool. However it has been brought
to my attention that STD Dialling codes published by British Telecom
are in fact copyright and therefore this program has regretfully been
removed from the TBI Pool. I have no wish to implicate any member of
8BS in a possible breach of copyright (I have not been contacted by BT
- yet!) so I will warn all members holding a copy of the demo to
delete it from their discs to be on the safe side. The full version
of STD Area Code is no longer available from 8BS.
Stop Press: Having written all of this (above), I find that Archimedes
World has just published something very similar for the A3000 -
However whilst investigations continue the STD Program remains
suspended from the 8BS library.
Timelapsed Arcade Game
Carl Wheat (204) has written to be expressing frustration that the
Timelapsed game appearing on August's disc was a demonstration version
and that he could not get the "pac-man" to do anything else apart from
move LEFT, RIGHT and JUMP. I am afraid I have no information - I did
not even realise that this game was a demo (if it is a demo?).
Perhaps another member has delved into the game in greater detail and
could kindly write in with more information?
Play by Mail
I am currently involved in a Play By Mail game (PBM) of URBAN WAR with
Roger Pashby and Hugh Williams (the author, and cheat!) - although
heaven knows where the disc has got to. Matthew Price would like to
inform members that there is a PBM game starting which is based on the
FOOTBALL DIRECTORS II game - anyone interested? He is also thinking
of starting a regular PBM column in this magazine. If any member has
any questions or would like to get involved, then please write in.
New Technical Advisor
I am pleased to be able to announce that Mr Clark (K24) has kindly
offered to submit technical advice on any problems members may have.
Over the next issues, Mr Clark will browse through the disc magazine,
picking up any help questions that he may be able to comment on.
Please therefore do not send your queries marked for the technical
editor - send them marked for the general HELP section. Andy Nibbs
meanwhile will continue to advise on SOFTWARE technicalities. Please
remember though - even if you are NOT a technical advisor and you come
across some questions you can answer in the magazine - write in
Acorn User Show
Well the Acorn User Show certainly went down a treat didn't it? With
it being held at Wembley for the first time, and the fact that Acorn
were unveiling the A5000 along with Archimedes Elite, it was rather
foolish of me to think I would actually get into the place. I took
one look at the queue on Saturday morning and checked out! I
eventually arrived between 4pm and 6pm (no queue this time) and
managed to pick up a rather nice looking hard disc drive, but not much
else. I was very disappointed that I did not get the chance to meet
very many of you, and if you did attend then I am sure the content of
the exhibits would have made up for any disappointment on your behalf.
I can inform everyone now that I will be attending the Computer
Shopper show later this year - more details in a future issue.
New 8BS Regular Feature
As I have made great efforts in the past to point out, 8BS is in a
rather unique position when it comes to other PD and Shareware
Libraries. To my knowledge, I am the only PD type organisation that
can comment (without bias) on PD and Shareware libraries, and this is
what I intend to do.
Most, if not all members of 8BS regulary obtain PD from other PD
libraries around the UK. I am setting out to determine the good PD
libraries from the poor ones in terms of the following ...
Value for money
Ease of Use (ie. order forms etc. etc.)
One of the advantages other PD libraries have over 8BS is the ability
for customers to pick and choose out of a "pool" of software. Most PD
libraries offer the same software all round so the above list is to my
belief what a PD library should be rated against. As always, I would
like to enlist the help of all 8BS members for this exercise - If you
have been particulary impressed, or disgusted with a certain PD
library, then please write in and let me know. Please send NO
comments about 8BS (unless you wish to criticise something). If you
would like to undertake your own review of another PD library then by
all means do so. The first PD library under the spotlight next month
will be BBC PD co-ordinated by Alan Blundell.
I have had many members sending me their own software this month that
they ... quote ... "just dug up and never thought of sending because
it is so old". This is JUST the kind of software that myself and
other 8BS members need. OK so you might have written a program ages
ago and it seems old to you, but it might be a godsend to another
member. If you do have any old or present software then please let us
all have a go! To highlight this, Carl Wheat (204) has sent me his
Mastermind program (on the disc) which he wrote some millenia ago. I
can't speak anyone else but I think it is brilliant.
I am getting my act together slowly and each disc issue should get
better as the months pass. I have lots of plans still to realise this
year and major plans for 1992 so keep your eyes open. I hope that the
content of this issue with regards to disc and magazine content has
made up for the poor quality of issue 15. However if I am going wrong
in any way then please somebody put me right. I will close this
month's discussion session with a warning which, no doubt many people
have already drummed into younger members ...
Nov 5 approaches and people like to hold firework get togethers etc.
basically having a good night out (and why not - Barry Norman
Impression). I have a very good friend who has been in the unenviable
position of having a firework go off in his face. It was entirely his
own fault as he was messing ... I don't think I'll describe his face
as I have just eaten. He has asked me along with many other local
organisations to urge anyone I know to just take care and be sensible
- as simple as that. Over and out.