|Issue #1||THE STAUNCH 8/89'er||Oct-Nov-Dec 1986 Page|
PORT TO PORTAL —Editorial
Well, fellow 8/89'ers, congratulations to you for having enough pioneering spirit to show up for the launching of our own first edition! (Sort of a "staunch launch" one might say.) Welcome to a news-letter that dedicates itself exclusively to an exchange of information among H/Z-8 and H/Z-88/89/90 computerists. I think you'll enjoy this first issue, and as future issues emerge, you will get a better taste of the variety that is in store for you. I want to thank Mick Topping, of CHUG (Capital Heath Users' Group, Arlington, VA) for his understanding ear and his advice when I was in the early "go/nogo" throes of decision-making on this newsletter venture. I would like, too, to express my gratitude to Kirk L. Thompson, my learned colleague in Iowa, mho will be penning a regular column, "The 8-Bit Iowan", for us; we are very fortunate to have him aboard, as you will see. Thanks to Henry Fale of H-SCOOP and Charles Floto of BUSS for their priceless contributions in the Publicity Dept. Also, we received loads of nice notes and letters. In return we want to thank all of you who offered your help, advice, sanguine prognostications, and just plain conversation. You know, as they say, who you are!
Now that we have our own periodical, good reading can be more efficient, for as a group, me are divided into fewer camps. Still, it mill take participation to make it all work. Share your projects with us. Share your problems with us. Ask questions. Send your letters for publication;
you'll have the right audience! If you hit a snag in any of your computer work, quickly scribble (literally!) out a note and mail it our may. And if you have answers, me gotta have them too.
This column, Port to Portal, is my regular "editorial" effort. It makes its way from my computer "port" to your front door (well, maybe to your PO Box..or your office). Inevitably, there has been expressed reader curiosity about your kindly old (that's figurative) editor. I'll try, briefly, to clear some of it up. I acquired my H-89A, kit version, toward the end of the summer of 1982. I had worked with computers for years, but not with micros, so when it came to choosing HDOS or CP/M I had little to go on. At the time, CP/M was being touted as the "industry standard", so I let that sway me and made a blind choice. I never regretted it, but I don't think I would have regretted it either may. Anyway, while I was waiting for delivery of the hardware, I bought a book on CP/M, and for 3 weeks that summer my nose was buried therein. That turned out to be a wise move — once the kit was finished I was far too impatient to spend much time learning the system. I wanted to get right to the applications software, and my own programming. It's been a marvelous learning experience, and it continues; that's why I'm not about to change computers in the middle of the stream. I have too far to go yet, and I'm
enjoying it far too much to start all over.
The motivation to learn and hack is a big part of my reason for owning a computer. I'm not the type to be continually looking for new software to purchase. I already have a word processor, several programming languages, a database system, and a couple of great utilities. With these tools I believe one can get just about anywhere else he wants to be, provided he also has some time, and likes to program. But I do have some time and enjoy programming, so when I need, say, a utility to perform a certain task, I'd just as soon try to write it myself as buy it. That's the fun, the satisfaction, and the education of it all. And it's not an unattainable goal, especially if you're milling to settle for a single-purpose program, as opposed to a fancy one that tries to do too many things. You can always expand and improve it later. This is why, when I hear people complaining about the paucity of H-89 software left on the market, I cannot always identify with them. I guess if I didn't already have the building blocks and all that good stuff it would be a different story. Enough personal philosophy for now. If you want a bit of more telling personal info about yours truly, see "About The Author" at the end of my May 1985 article in REMark page 51.
A note about the questionnaires you submitted with your subscription orders. I read them as they came in, but I'll have to go through again and sort things out. I'd like to try to get answers for some of the questions I see there. Some will be examined in this very issue, but it isn't possible to catch them all at once.
Some STAUNCH subscribers, we have learned, travel to different parts of the country, perhaps in the line of duty; some have recently relocated, and others are planning to relocate soon. We just want to remind you that it has to be your responsibility to inform us of any address changes (or errors) for newsletter mailings. Send changes to name formats too; if you don't like the way we show your name in our mailing database, we'll do something about it.
THE EIGHT-BIT R/W —Letters
[Send letters to the address at the back of newsletter. Letters mill be printed in full or in part. If you wish to write me but don't want your letter published, mark it "Not for Publication". If you wish a personal reply you must do the following: 1) Request it; 2) Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope; 3) Watch your mailbox;
and 4) Keep matching. (Seriously, I'm usually not too slow.) — Ed.]
No User-serviceable Parts Inside
[From Don Skiff, Ann Arbor, MI]... From the current magazines, seems nobody is interested in low-level
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