INMC 80 News


October–December 1981, Issue 5

Page 5 of 71

One letter we received said, “Why don’t you do a review of the Watkins Tool Kit, I think it’s marvellous.”. That letter answered itself; Sir, if you took the trouble to write to us, and already have the item in question, and think it’s marvellous, why didn’t you write a review and put it in the envelope with your letter!! We can only review items sent to us for that purpose, or items we have ourselves. Unless, that is, a member who has a particular item cares to write a review. So please write, we can soon knock what you say into shape if you have doubts as to the publishable quality. On the score of knocking stuff into shape, I saw an interesting article submitted this month which included an appalling hand typed unreadable listing. Now we have neither the time nor inclination to rewrite source listings, so, whereas we can soon sort out text, sorting source code and then transcribing by hand is next to impossible. If it’s a listing, please send it in machine readable form on tape (or disk), that way any mistakes are yours, and not compounded by ours. Another letter asks about preffered sizes of drawings for inclusion and also how text should be prepared. Well drawings (unless we redraw them) should be on A4 paper (we don’t go in for photo reduction unless we have to), text may be type written, hand written (we’ll transcribe it) or, we just love Naspen tapes. The writer also suggested publishing a small standardized word processor so people could submit tapes, we’ll think about that one.

Another letter says that as we are always short of funds (true), why the recent gaily coloured covers and does printing newsletters less frequently save that much money? Well the gaily coloured covers add something like 10.00 to the total print bill, and we think this makes the mag more saleable in retail shops. As to the other point, the honest answer is yes! Although (on my part at least) this has been unconcious. Posting four newsletters a year is only two thirds the price of posting six. At 19p a time, you work it out.

A couple of letters raise the point of the high cost of adding RAM and other peripherals to the system. One letter went to the bother of costing a RAM card. In general I agree that costs are high. But taking an overall view, Nascom is cheaper than most (take the cost of adding 16K of extra RAM to a Video Genie for instance or the typical cost of S-100 cards). There are a number of considerations to be borne in mind. The costing mentioned above arrived at 90.00 for a 16K RAM, but totally ignored the amortization of the development costs (designing, prototyping, PCB layout, sample boards, documentation generation, etc.) for instance. Add that in, and the current price of 100.00 is not too bad.

A couple of letters mention the waving of the INMC80 banner, and lack of INMC80 publicity. True. Any volunteers for the job of publicity officer.

Rory O’Farrell (one of our more regular contributors) asks why we don’t do as the Pascal User’s Group, and publish all letters related to editorials, articles etc, with names and addresses so that members can read (and answer) all points and problems raised amongst themselves. Nice one Rory, only two snags. First if we published all relevant letters we would end up with a two hundred page newsletter, and secondly, we are very cautious about publishing address lists of members because anyone can then get hold of it, knowing that here is a list of a couple of thousand dedicated computer nuts. I get enough junk mail as it is, and just in case one of the senders of junk mail is reading this; ALL junk mail sent to my home address goes straight in the bin unread.

We’ve had the offer of free accomodation in a hotel in Nottingham for an INMC80 convention, last year we had a similar offer from a hotel in Wales. Thank you kindly gentlemen. But I think you underestimate the response (particularly if it’s free), and this would place an extremely unfair demand

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