8-Bit Software Online Conversion

******* News / Discussion INTRODUCTION 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. 8BS STATEMENT 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 please! 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 ... Speed Organisation Selection Service 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. 8BS PROGRAMS 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. FINALLY ... 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. Duncan Webster.