WACCI 136 Index - Home Page www.wacci.org.uk


01 - Thanx & Stuff 02 - WACCI On-line 03 - French Connection 04 - Scart Connections
05 - Contributing 06 - Pirates Ahoy! 07 - Ask The Internet 08 - 101 Uses For A Dead CPC
09 - Breaking Your CPC 10 - Programmers' Patch 11 - A-Z Of Computing 12 - A Word From Dave
13 - Famous Last Words

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WACCI On-Line: the return of WOLI

WACCI now has its own website (yes, again) – except this time it's intended as an active CPC centre all of its own. Brian Watson fills us in on the thinking behind the site

Between the last issue of WACCI and this, “things have been going on.” I know, hard to believe, isn’t it?
  As well as the appointment of Richard Fairhurst to the position of magazine Editor, Angela Cook has agreed to head up the team of people working on the newly-registered WACCI website at www.wacci.org.uk.
  David Cantrell is hosting it (“hosting” in this sense is a technical term; don’t worry if you don’t know what exactly that involves as it is not important to WACCI as long as the thing works. And it does.
  This puts three people who are very good in their fields (David “does things” with the Internet for a living, Richard is a professional journalist and Angela earns her living creating websites) to work in powerful positions within WACCI and good and effective communication between them can bring big benefits for WACCI and its members.
  Part of the plan proposed is that Richard and Angela will “mirror” each other’s work; the magazine’s content willm appear on the WACCI website, and contributions (in terms of on-going interaction) appearing on the Website can be incorporated into each issue of the magazine.

Dear Editor

Suppose, for example, someone sends an enquiry about where to locate a program from an old CPC publisher (Comsoft, perhaps) to the magazine. Previously, the Editor had just a small range of options open to satisfactorily address the enquiry, as follows:
  (1) He could answer it himself, both directly to the person asking the question and also in the next issue of the magazine for the benefit of the wider membership to read, or
  (2) he could have a ring around the people - assuming he knows who to ask - who might know the answer, then report back and publish the answer (as before) in the next issue,
  (3) he could provide a list of people for the enquirer to ring (in which case the likelihood of an answer getting published reduce dramatically), or
  (4) the Editor could reply, “blowed if I know, I’ll put a bit in the next magazine if you like.”
  Assuming that the Editor remembers to do that, the enquirer may have to wait up to five weeks for the publication of the magazine and any subsequent responses to find their way back before he or she is in with a chance of getting that correct response that might be urgently needed at the time of the original request. By the time that correct response has found its way back to the magazine readership (if it does find its way back via the Editor) it will be very old news indeed, and probably of little interest to the readership.

Yours sincerely

How times have enquiries been posted in the magazine without being accompanied by “return contact” information? The Data Protection law has recently changed and there are several amendments that affect WACCI and how we handle the personal information at our disposal. One thing I am asking the WACCI Committee to address as a matter of urgency is obtaining all the WACCI members’ individual permissions to publish their contact details in connection with any enquiry that is to need a response. As to anyone declining to allow publication of that information in connection with an enquiry, I’d personally say, “then address your enquiry elsewhere.” Oh, I’m a hard-hearted swine sometimes.
  With the new WACCI website at our disposal, the Editor can forward any enquiry immediately upon receipt to the “Help Wanted” section on the site where it will be seen by anyone surfing in from the community of CPC users around the world. Someone is bound to come up with the answer (the web’s like that) and the original questioner can receive a prompt reply by post or phone. The Editor can then also whip up a quick article for the next magazine from the responses obtained. Faster and more efficient all round and incidentally generating interesting topical content for the magazine.
  Another way the new website will echo the magazine’s contents is to be a searchable storage point for articles from back issues of WACCI. John Bowley started this archiving work some time ago and it is intended that every back issue of WACCI will be made available that way.

As I was saying…

As I have found since being the person who actually gets the magazine printed, getting just a few copies done to respond to requests for back issues is disproportionately expensive and, anyway, stockpiling them on a “just in case..” basis is a wasteful use of someone’s domestic space. I speak with feeling on that particular point!
  For those who don’t have internet access, and WACCI is still a CPC club, it is a relatively easy thing to ask a WACCI member who does have it to look up the neccesary information, print it off, and send it back by post. All it needs is a new category for the “Helpliners” list in the printed version of the magazine so that people know who to ask.
  The practical side of exchanging text and other information between the various media is no big thing for the people involved. Many of the programs used to create and handle articles are fairly well integrated with each other anyway, and conversion programs exist to translate information where this is not so.
  A new feature of adopting the website as a mirror of WACCI’s magazine articles is the ability to show colour in diagrams and photographs. Printing colour in the magazine has always been and always will be, I think, (for reasons of cost) an expensive option. It makes the covers look more eye-catching, certainly, but it hikes up the production price a lot and therefore we have all had to “make do” with monochrome inner pages. In future, though we will stay monochrome in the printed magazine, we will be able to refer to the Website for an alternate “Gallery” version of the images used where one exists.

P.S.

As the website develops, and there is an enormous amount of relevant WACCI stuff to be put onto it, including copies of our PD/Homebrew software and our Book Library Index (with reviews added as they are done), Angela and the people working with her will also be building up a “links” page to other CPC sites that keep information that sensibly integrates with ours. That is such a huge area to talk about, I will leave coverage of it until later when the Links page is actually getting established.
  As the WACCI web page grows we will be telling people who are presently not WACCI magazine subscribers about it and recommending that they pop in to see what WACCI is all about. Each new printed issue will be “echoed” on the Internet and CPC enthusiasts around the world will be able to see what we have to offer.
  It never fails to amaze me how many people turn up in the various CPC Internet discussion groups, opening their conversation with something like “I had no idea this forum existed. I’ve had a CPC for x years and I’ve suddenly started getting read errors when I try to access a disc and thought you guys might be able to help...” Indeed we can, and for a lot more than finding them drive belt replacements!
  Incidentally, the magazine is financially sound, in case anyone is wondering about that side of things, and all this malarky about the integration of the printed magazine with the website is very much “as well as” not “instead of.”

And finally

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now. There is no suggestion at all that WACCI-the-magazine is going exclusively “on-line.” For all that the Internet is good for dashing in, grabbing a bit of information and dashing out again, there is nothing quite like having a nice substantial printed magazine come plopping through one’s letterbox from time to time (schedule? What schedule?) (Er, Mr Watson, this magazine would have been delivered almost two weeks earlier had I not been waiting for you to deliver this very article, so less of your cheek – Richard) and, as I’ve made the point frequently before, WACCI is a CPC users club and that presumes that the members no internet access.
  WACCI’s priorities are clear in terms of serving CPC enthusiasts, but they are widening too to include new ways of doing that.

Editorial comment

That’s the world according to Brian, anyway. I don’t think you’ll necessarily find that everyone involved in the website agrees with every word written above. I’m not really bothered about having a whole world of people to help Philip (and myself) with Fair Comment, for example. I think we can probably manage your questions quite well as it is.
  But opening up WACCI to a whole range of people who’d never consider subscribing – emulator users, for example, European users, and those who simply retain a fondness for the old CPC – is something that I’m very keen on. What’s significant is that the collective website team, as expressed through the WACCI mailing list (which anyone is welcome to subscribe to), agrees that publishing a website in tandem with the magazine is the way forward. So we’re going to. – Richard

Never mind the spiel, what's on the ruddy site?

Here’s what’s lined up for the WACCI website in the forthcoming weeks – by the time you read this, the first features should already be there.

As the site develops, there’ll be back issues, answers to the most frequently asked CPC questions, titbits of CPC news, and anything else we can think of. Or, come to think of it, anything else you suggest! All help is very welcome.
  To e-mail Angela, the webmistress, write to angela@midnight.uk.com. If you would like to join the WACCI mailing list for future discussions, there are full details on the website.
  And if you want to consult the website on your CPC screen rather than any of this modern PC stuff, watch this space…


01 - Thanx & Stuff 02 - WACCI On-line 03 - French Connection 04 - Scart Connections
05 - Contributing 06 - Pirates Ahoy! 07 - Ask The Internet 08 - 101 Uses For A Dead CPC
09 - Breaking Your CPC 10 - Programmers' Patch 11 - A-Z Of Computing 12 - A Word From Dave
13 - Famous Last Words

WACCI 136 Index - Home Page www.wacci.org.uk