EUG From Cradle To Grave | Everygamegoing


EUG From Cradle To Grave

Published in EUG #62

EUG began life as just one of a few little-known enterprises catering for the 8-bit community. A few sheets of photocopied A4 paper; printed listings where the international characters were wrongly set; huge spaces in-between text; and doodles trying to disguise others. Bits at the front and the back despairing of the current dot-matrix'es disposition; columns adding the last essential line of a program which had accidentally been 'snipped' from a previous issue's listing; a few little 'home-based' PD businesses taking advantage of free advertisement space; the Editor moaning about how much time he had to spend putting each issue together. Problems on all sides: attracting members, inspiring contributions, answering questions, typesetting articles, ordering it all into a consistent format and getting each issue out on time.

But whether you are fortunate enough to have copies of the long out-of-print paper issues or, more likely, have the rejuvenated disc versions, EUG's creative edge and sense of purpose shines through even at this early stage. Encouragingly too, as the issue numbers get higher, we see at least some of the problems readers pointed out both addressed and rectified. And with the official move to disc-based issues at EUG #9, it's ever onward to new programs and text on anything even remotely interesting to Elk owners.

EUG has lasted probably a great deal longer than it should have. Certainly longer than its founder Editor Will Watts would have expected. It has had, against all the odds, over ten years of success, if that word may be used in the sense that each issue is something of which Electron owners feel proud to have in their collection. With EUG #0 and the two extra discs that were a part of EUG #21, the "EUG Collection" currently numbers 65 discs. With the PD special discs compiled by EUG added, many more. Each are packed with files of demonstration and information. Each are totally self-contained and require the bare minimum of peripheral addons. If you have a machine with a disc drive, then you can view EUG.

Consider the hugely differing standards of the BBC series in deciding what more achievement this is. There are two different filing systems (three including the Electron CDFS), two different disc sizes, seven different formats (DFS 40T SS, DFS 40T DS, DFS 80T SS, DFS 80T DS, ADFS S, ADFS M, ADFS L) and six different machines (Elk, BBC B, B+, Master 128, Master Compact and Archimedes), all with their own idiosyncracies. These limitations in regard to the lack of a standard disc filing system on the Electron defeated all the software companies who thought of publishing Elk games on disc.

Despite the problems which have beset EUG with regard to varying submission rates and distribution dates, EUG readers have been fortunate in one major respect. There has always been a real person in charge to complain to, who has worked on the magazine as a labour of love, who has had broad-based knowledge of the working of the Acorn Community and, most importantly, has continued to run the User Group until, alas, the day has come when it can be run no more.

To those familiar ex-Editors like Will Watts and (despite some of the views on his editorship towards the end of his reign) Gus Donnachaidh, a salute to such perseverance. The necessary praise must also go to those regular contributors like John Crane, Chris Dewhurst, Richard Dimond, Kevin Etheridge, Alan Richardson, Robert Sprowson and Christian Weber. All have frequently enriched the latest EUG issue by devoting time to writing a few lines. EUG does not run on nothing so even those readers who have not bothered are thanked for their subscription fees.

To all ex-Eds, contributors and supporters of the BBC and Electron machines, this last issue of EUG is respectfully dedicated.

Dave E