Well, I hope that it all went to plan, or else I’m about to make a fool
of myself – but then that’s nothing new! The theory is that with the last
magazine a Questionnaire went to all of the subscribers to 80-BUS News. (The
reason for my uncertainty is that this is being written before the other mag.
has come back from the printers.) Now, the purpose of the Questionnaire (from
now on referred to as -Q’) is many-fold. Firstly it is to find out what
equipment you are using – this will then let us know whether an article about,
for example, the Polydos operating system, will be read with interest by the
25 per cent (say) of the readership that runs Polydos, or just by the author!
Secondly there is a section asking what type of articles you like – this will
influence whether we write more about hardware, software or more reviews etc.
Thirdly, the section on your likely expansion and product desires will give us
an indication of what general direction we should be heading in with you.
Fourthly, depending on how modest you are (or aren’t) in answering the
“knowledge” part, we can establish the average level of competence, which will
let us know how simple or complex we should get. And finally it will keep
someone here (yes Dave, you’ve been volunteered!) out of mischief for a
considerable time — assuming we actually get some response.
When the -Q’ went to press we decided that, as we usually get a pitifully
low response to requests for input, we needed to offer a prize as an
incentive. At the time of writing the -Q” we didn’t know what this should
reasonably be. Since then Gemini has stepped in and offered a prize of £100
(inc. VAT) of Gemini -Goodies” in the form of a voucher that can be redeemed
at any Gemini dealer. In addition to this we will give 10 lucky people a free
years subscription to 80-BUS News. So now you have 12 amazing reasons for
sending in that -Q’ that is still sitting next to your computer:
1 – the chance of £100 worth of goodies,
2-11 —- the chance of a free sub.,
and 12 – the opportunity of being able to influence the contents of the
mag. (Yes YOUR opinion really does count.)
Being the eternal pessimist what I am, I personally doubt that well
receive more than a 20 per cent return rate, so PROOVE ME WRONG. After all,
what weight will "70 per cent (of the 3 per cent of the readership that
actually replied) wants the entire mag. to be about Comal" carry? Any Wwayerue.
Somewhere in this issue you will find one of David Hunt’s ramblings. Now
the layout used is an experiment, and we would like your reaction to it.
Please just scribble a note on your still un-returned -Q’, on your re-subscription,
on an article, or on a post-card, saying what you think. The
cost of printing this mag. has slowly been creeping up and up, and we need to
cover this. There are several choices: a) put up the subs (never a very
popular idea), b) get the magazine typeset and thus smaller (difficult to
justify for the relatively low number of magazines produced and for the
additional cost, delays and loss of control incurred), or c) reduce the number
of pages. I favour the latter, but one way of keeping the actual quantity of
material the same would be to treat most of the magazine the same way as Dave
Hunt’s article (i.e. fit two pages onto one). Now even I don’t know exactly
what it’ll look like until the magazines are returned from the printer, so I
hope it is legible – please let us know what you think. Be seeing you.
P.S. For those of you puzzled by this issue’s front cover, the answer is
really quite simple. Read David Parkinson’s article and think about one
of the new features of the SVC!! Your answers with the next article you