WACCI 137 Index - Home Page www.wacci.org.uk

01 - Thanx & Stuff 02 - Fair Comment 03 - New Generation 04 - Exploring the PSG
05 - Programmers' Patch 06 - CPC Changed My Life 07 - Cartography

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Fair Comment

with Philip 'Tigger' DiRichleau

From the letters editor

Fair Comment, unFair Comment, Very Little Comment. So what's happening, I find myself asking.
  Perhaps it would be best to introduce myself for those you you who are not quaking in your boots, or having fits at the sheermention of my name once more gracing the pages of WACCI. I am Philip DiRichleau (contrary to rumour, stupidity or downright falsehood this really is my legal name - if you wish to check it up, it's on the register of electors), one time Editor of WACCI and, on and off for the past few years, Fair Comment Editor of the same.
  So, back to my original question. What's been happening? Very little. I can only attribute this to the general apathy that seems to have settled over the world of the CPC and, to be bluntly honest, WACCI in general. If you want this magazine to continue, then you're going to have to do it. I'm quite willing and able to waste my time and effort on it if you're willing to do the same. It's not like it's a difficult job to write a quick letter, or send an e-mail. You could tell us what a lousy job we're doing, you could tell us that you hate the way I have a go at certain programs (like Brunword, which I hate). Ah, I can see letters flying in from the Brunword Appreciation Society Targetted Against diRichleau's Dastardly Schemes.
  I'll tell you this much though. Fair Comment editing is a no-no as far as I'm concerned. You have the right to reply to anything I, or anyone else for that matter, says about this mag, just as we have the right to reply over any complaints that have been made against us.
  So, the point I'm making is a simple one. Write us a letter, send it by disc, or disk if you prefer, or e-mail, or jungle drums, or carrier penguin. I don't mind (I don't return penguins, make too good a Sunday lunch).
  Now, in my personal opinion (note how I'm distancing the rest of WACCI from this bit), we need to do something now, not tomorrow; now, before the WACCI that I, and others, have worked so damn hard on really does turn into a sad, pathetic old lady who would be better euthanised than kept on an expensive life support machine. And if you don't like that statement, then write and tell me.

Philip DiRichleau
32 Arboretum Avenue, Lincoln LN2 5JE

Yeah, I know, I'm greedy. I've got lots more e-mail addresses if you get bored with those two.

On with the very cut down Fair Comment.

A cynic writes:

Dear Richard/Philip,
  I am delighted to have received the New Look WACCI and I must compliment you on the splendid team you have assembled. I am also pleased with the contents although I cannot refrain from commenting on your remark that "there won't be any PC content". As far as I can see every page was concerned with PC-related matters. But then, I'm an old cynic.
  My setup is very simple. I have a CPC 6128 and a printer, a second 3 1/2in disc drive, and various bits of software. No PC, although I am tempted and thinking of joining the rest of the members in the two-computer brigade.
  The trouble is I don't know where to start. As an absolute beginner, should I go for a PC, or an iMac, or a set-top box? (I have ON-Digital, which has the facility for surfing via a set-top box.) I would be glad of a few pointers.
  The running costs are also a factor. (I'm retired.) How much is the phone bill for, say, an hour? And an ISP, and anything else you can think of.
  Emulators, what are they and where do you get them?
  Incidentally, I was always at a loss to know where to get the excellent Disczines various people published from time to time. I have always thought that it would be a good idea if all the good people publishing them could be persuaded to let WACCI publish them, at a price if necessary.
  Finally, greetings, and thanks to Dave Stitson for his valiant effort to keep WACCI going.
  With best wishes,
  Ron Hobday
  43 Cody Road, Clapham, Bedford MK41 6ED
  (01234) 290826

Good day to you Ron. Where to begin? Is it worth getting a PC or a Mac (I can see a fight developing between the Editor and Fair Comment Editor here). I would go for the PC if you really want one, if you will find a use for one, and if you can afford the monster (they are very expensive for what they are). [As ever, depends what you want to do with it. There are more games and CD-ROMs available for PCs, but Macs are better for design work and are easier to use. - Richard]
  As for ISP (Internet Service Provider). If you live in an NTL cable area, then you can get Free Internet Access, and I mean free; you don't even pay for the call charges. Otherwise, there are plenty of other servers available which usually charge a base rate and no call charges; BT, I believe, do one like this. (Richard, please correct me if I'm wrong.) [No, you're spot on. I've got a rather good deal from ClaraNet, who offer 12 hours' free access a month for 40 a year - Richard]   What you do need to watch for is those that say they're free and you only pay for the calls. 1p a minute at weekend, 2p a minute in the evening and 3p a minute any other time, doesn't seem that much... until the 200 phone bill arrives and gives you a prompt heart attack. (It was more probably too much smoking in my case, rather than the phone bill, but hey, it's a good excuse.)
  Emulators! Great things. They make a 1500 Pentium 3 PC with more memory than sense, a massive harddrive and all the rest of it, act and behave just like a CPC. Why whould anyone want to? Because they're damn good fun. WINape (by Richard Wilson) is the best! Accept no substitutes.
  Of course, the great thing about Emulators is that you can get all those bits you wanted (emulated of course), and play with them to your heart's content. You can pretend to have any CPC, with all the hardware (all the software is also available off the internet incidentally), and it don't cost a penny - except the money you spent on the hyperfast PC to make it run like a CPC.
  Disczines? I'm afraid to say, and I hang my head in shame, that if I want an Amstrad Disczine these days, I get it from the Internet. So, in my normal manner I shall do this...
  ...Mr Fairhurst sir, where does people get them there Disczines from these days...
  [Ok. Generally, they're written for people to swap amongst themselves: so if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who has a copy of ATM 5, you can get a copy. This works well in Europe, where everyone knows each other, but in Britain - well, it sounds like just the job for the WACCI PD library. Right. I suppose I should send some to Ray, really, shouldn't I? And speaking of ATM, I'm sure Roy Everett will send you a copy if you ask nicely - Richard]

Blast from the past

  My name's Robin and I was a member of WACCI (about 2 or 3 years ago) and I found that all the people I came into contact with were very helpful and friendly, especially John Bowley and Christine Raisin.
  Anyway, I'm just writing in to thank these people and say that, to be honest with you, I'm very surprised (but happy) that WACCI is still going strong even in the year 2001. I'm a member of E-bay (the Internet auction site) and a lot of Amstrad CPCs are still selling very well - in fact, I saw a cpc 464 the other day with the description of it being new and unused! It certainly looked in very good condition - it was still in the packaging! - and the manual looked in pristine condition. How is this possible?
  Surely there cannot be Amstrads still lying around unopened in their packaging? They stopped making them 10 years ago! Anyway I might be tempted to buy it!
  It's nice to see that there are still people who love their Amstrads. Long live WACCI!

Peace be with you Robin, pleased to hear from you, but as an ex-reader I doubt very much that you're reading this.
  There are still CPCs in mint condition out there. Why? I haven't the slightest idea, but the world does that to you at times. I think it's to catch us unaware or something like that.

Return of the PD librarian

Hi Richard,
  It's good to see that you are still alive, and editing. Obviously I am still staggering on, with my creaky zimmer frame. It has to creak, so that I know that I am moving. Welcome back to WACCI, even if it is a move that throws a serious doubt on your sanity.
  A member pointed out to me recently that he knows there are more than the 130 PD titles listed, but does not know what they are. I have given him the details, but he does have a valid comment. The missing titles are 131 Music & MIDI disc, and un-numbered 'The Protext Suite'. This comprises Protext on disc, Promerge, Prospell, Proprint (two discs), Protype, Maxam, and Model Universe, all on separate discs. Unfortunately, Model Universe seems to be corrupt, and I am waiting for a replacement copy from Brian.
  Incidentally, I do not have Sanko here. Other useful additions would be MakeBMP, Proclip, Multicon, and Mode 1-2. Apparently John had these to help in producing WACCI. Any chance of getting them? [Several of them are on the Robot PD Connectivity Disc. I'll find you a copy - Richard]
  In the PD section, it mentions prices that include a 3.5" or 3" disc. Whereas I am more than willing to help out, I cannot supply free discs - although since have only had two requests for PD so far, and those from the same member who sent his own discs, this may not be a problem. Perhaps the fact that PD is now to be downloadable will make me redundant anyway. On the other hand, maybe the new improved list in the mag will cause a rush from those who, like me, have no access to the net!
  One last thing. My house number is 36. This is a small village and I doubt if there are 1136 houses, as printed by Dave, or 136, as in the latest WACCI!
  That's about it. I will try to come up with some sort of article for the mag in the near future.
  Cheers for now,
  Ray Powell
  Sporle, Kings Lynn

Good Morning Ray, or Evening, it's me here. How are you my friend. Even as I took over Fair Comment (and started recieving no letters at all), I knew, I just knew, there would be a missive from your good self.
  Sorry I wasn't able to attend our duel behind the gasworks, or defend your suit for Confirmation of Character, but I was busy falling up Everest in my dressing gown (which leaves a lot of people wondering just what old Tigger is going on about now).

Argggggg - ITGA

Dear Malnourished Vampire [Bunny is gonna pay - PdR],
  Glad to see you back at the helm of Fair Comment. Richard's first issue of WACCI looked gorgeous. Nice to see him making use of the front cover a little more efficiently and that the magazine has finally officially gone bi-monthly, something I have been suggesting for years, as you probably recall.
  The magazine content has been regurgitated in its spartan website format, in attempt to be compatible with as many machines and browsers as possible, including the new CPC browser.
  Early feedback of the website is good and I hope that as many members as possible will head off to www.wacci.org.uk and take a look, just to see some of the diverse content we hope to be pouring onto the site over the next few months. I'd also love to know what members think, either by e-mail/letter to myself or via FC.
  We, the website team, hope that WACCI having this kind of presence on the Internet will encourage new and diverse readers that simply wouldn't or couldn't subscribe to the magazine, as demonstrated by Julien Nevo from Arkos, and probably a similar aim to that of Euro-WACCI. We would like to encourage people to write for the website, which will result in articles for the magazine. We don't know how it will end up, but I'm quite proud of the momentum that the website, and Richard being appointed as Editor, has fired up, along with the thoughts, consideration and wonderful kindness those involved in the website have shown.
  Lots of love,
  Angela Cook

Hiya Sweetness (not let's not start that rumour again, the wife would kill me)...
  Keep up the effort with the Website, looking good. As for the rest, it's pretty self explanatory and I agree with most of it.
  Most of it, I hear you cry in dismay. Well, in an ideal world, WACCI would remain monthly (I don't think I'm saying anything I haven't said before), but if bi-monthly is the way the Editor decides (it's his time being used up, not mine), then I will support him in that decision.
  Hey, Angela, do you think I could write a letter to Fair Comment...

The man is schizophrenic

Pleased to see WACCI is back once more. Even more pleased to see Richard Fairhurst as Editor, rather Chuffed that Philip DiRichleau was once more asked to be Fair Comment Editor, and desperately hoping that WACCI will finally settle down into its rhythm once more.
  Philip DiRichleau

Dear Philip,
  Me too.
  Philip DiRichleau
  Fair Comment

That's it, the end of Fair Comment. Not impressive is it? Now I understand why letters haven't been arriving (that's a lie but I'm trying to be nice here), but please, get on with it people. I used to recieve 10 a day before (and they were the light days).

01 - Thanx & Stuff 02 - Fair Comment 03 - New Generation 04 - Exploring the PSG
05 - Programmers' Patch 06 - CPC Changed My Life 07 - Cartography

WACCI 137 Index - Home Page www.wacci.org.uk