8-Bit Software Online Conversion

              I'm Back! A short story (truthful) from Jon Ripley (D5B). I've been away for a little while but now I'm back for good! Any new members won't know me but I used to deluge Chris with so many programs and messages it took him days to sort them out. I took a break 18 months ago to start up a new user group for the BBC, it was going to be more technical than 8BS but still have something for everybody. There would be enough articles, games, demos, graphics, music, applications and utilities for everybody. Initally there was a lot of interest and lots of people said they were going to subscribe for the issues many also said that they would send in stuff to appear on the issues. When the group started, the actual number of people sending in for the issues was nowhere near the number of people who promised to do so. I later found out that a number of people, not just from 8BS, were getting free copies from their friends and not paying me for them. Others were waiting for me to start giving out free copies of old issues. I wonder how much Chris suffers from this problem. BUG was never put in the public domain and I have no plans to do so at the moment. This set back the group quite a lot, if people were actually paying for the issues they were getting for free then the group may still be about. It created the initial problem that I had to double the price of the issues just to cover basic running costs costs which I am still trying to recoup. My other (but not the final) nemesis regarding the group, was a lack of people sending in submissions for the magazine, even messages were thin on the ground. The situation became apparent that I was going to have to write most if not all of the articles for the magazine, something which most should agree is not feasible having one person writing 150k of text every six weeks - and that doesn't include software! The final conundrum that I was unable to solve was a number of magazines who refused to accept any advertising for the group. It is sad that in these times that companies who are qualified to deal with the BBC refuse to do so. It is even sadder that the popular computer press is unwilling to accept (paid for) adverts for the older computers. Anyway, for five issues I hoped that more people would send their pounds and their discs but the lack of interest grew and as the existing members began to see that no-one was sending in messages for the group then they too lost interest. The final membership at issue five was dissapointing to say the least. During the life of BBC User Group I aquired a large amount of old BBC software that is not available through 8BS that I am keeping in reserve for future BUG issues, on my computer I have the skeletons for issues 6 to 12 including two regular major articles and a games authoring system. If at any time in the future there are fifty people who will subscribe to the magazine and buy each issue and if half of those people will submit on a fairly regular basis then I will think about restarting the group. If anyone would like to recieve any (or all) of the five issues then please contact me. Each issue costs 1 pound if you supply the disc and the p+p or 1.50 if I supply the disc. My address is: Jon Ripley, BBC User Group, 15 Wexford Court, 14 Biddenden Close, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 7HX. Phone : 01323 768421                   