News And The Internet

Published in EUG #59

Perchance To Pass Into PD

There was no response to the appeal in EUG #58 for HeadFirst PD discs so if you ever purchased anything from this Public Domain group which was going strong for at least a few months in 1992/1993, please get in touch. However, John Crane did submit quite a library of Moss PD discs, another similarly short-lived collection that was available to EUG readers at one time. Although these seem to be more of a mixed bag of BBC PD, Headfirst PD and 8BS programs (available elsewhere) simply reshuffled into "categories", we are painstakingly attempting to discover the rightful source of each in order to compile a definitive catalogue of every PD program available for the Electron. The best may also appear in a future EUG magazine. Thanks, John!

Another First For 8BS!

The downloads section of 8BS has a new category containing discs from the respected A&B Computing, a magazine which spent the Eighties battling The Micro User for magazine of preference with the Acorn-owning public. Although A&B did produce some standalone software for both the BBC and Electron machines, their list of titles pales in comparison to the wad of type-ins preserved in their paper-based magazines and, as A&B never released companion discs/tapes for each issue, these programs have remained unseen by most people.

These new discs archived by 8BS are "companion discs" re-created (by EUG) from these long forgotten type-ins and typically contain twenty or so programs compatible over most machines on all manner of subjects, and include some very high quality machine code arcade games. Unfortunately, although the discs can now be downloaded from in a few seconds, most utilities on them lack documentation and so will only be useful, as the Electron User discs are, to those who can also read the accompanying article in the appropriate A&B Computing magazine.

Also like EU, A&B suffers from a confusing numbering scheme where the Volume and Number printed on the cover sometimes differ from the one on the contents page. [We will endeavour to produce a similar chronological list as we did for Electron User (EUG #50) to help clarify the order the magazines should be filed - Ed]

However, don't be put off by these two niggles as the discs, complete with colourful menu systems and full error protection, contain some real gems for game-playing BBC and Electron fans; many, such as Olsen, Scruge and Timebomb, could undoubtedly have even been released professionally!

For The Real Beginner And Collector

Remember those heady days of 1984 where each page of Electron User boasted an extra addon and videoproducers and software companies alike were all jumping on the Electron bandwagon? Well, thanks to a handy link from the BBC Lives website, it is still possible to get your hands on at least one of those items you might have thought long out of print, namely the video Starting To Program The Electron #1.

Originally released by Master Class, the brand new videocassettes are currently stocked by Blackstar. Unit 7 Ravenhill Business Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT6 8AW (Website: and a full review of the one snapped up by EUG appears this issue. Inevitably the show looks rather dated now but still contains a lot of gen for those with absolutely no knowledge of line editor languages. The video costs £11.99, including priority postage to your door. You can also order a copy from EUG on an E180 for £3.00 of the same high quality.

If you have access to the old Electron User magazines, the video is advertised over the whole of page 43 in 1. 5 February 1984.

EUG: The Early Years

The original paper-based EUG #7 and EUG #8 are now available on disc for the first time, leapfroging EUG #6. Although the outstanding issue is currently being worked on, the intricacies of the original paper version mean it may yet be delayed for quite some time. Its completion will signal the close of the "Early EUG Rejuvenation Project", which has also seen not only EUGs #0 to #5 transcribed but each and every disc from #9 to #44 re-styled, spellchecked and re-released. As noted before in this column, the EUG collection will appear, one issue per month, on the 8BS website under the catalogue heading "EUG". Issues #0, #1, #2 and #3 are presently so available to download in both ADFS and DFS format for use with PC BBC and Acorn Electron emulators.

Dave E