Over the past few
months, Clive Carmock, the Acorn Arena editor,
has been finding it more and more difficult to
keep the Arena going due to pressure of other
commitments. About this time, Mayor Vic, complete
in press-gang attire, just happened to be
chatting to villager Fred Grieve one evening.
After the Vic's conviviality wore off and Fred
woke up, he found himself sub-editing Acorn Arena
... or so legend has it.
Fred's story is far more
down-to-earth (to be polite) - indeed some would
say downright boring!
IN THE STOX
I suppose it's fair to
say that I am totally boring! I am middle-aged
happily married to Linda, and have two boys;
Andrew, aged 15 and Russell, aged 13. I have
always listed my interests as music and computers
- not necessarily in that order. When I stopped
playing as a semi-professional musician about
eight years ago, my two hobbies merged as I got
into MIDI and I suppose it was then that I first
started writing occasional articles for the
Recent correspondence on
Acorn Arena about the falling price of computer
memory and how financially accessible larger
SIMMs had become set me reminiscing.
Very early in the 1980's
I decided to buy my first computer. This was
shortly after the BBC Model B was announced. For
those who cannot remember this award-winning
machine, it had an incredible 32K (yes K!) of RAM
and came with tape as its only backing store. As
it wasn't supplied with a monitor, the next
couple of years were spent peering at a 12"
portable TV screen and saving anything worthwhile
to tape - audio cassette tape that is! I spent a
lot of time programming that machine as computer
magazines in the mid-80s always carried plenty of
With BBC BASIC under my
belt and by now comfortable in 6502 assembler, I
even managed to write lots of programs, including
a very poor Viewdata editor! Before I sold my
trusty Model B, I upgraded it by adding a DFS and
an external 5.25" disc drive and have been
poking about inside computers ever since.
Around about 1984, I won
a BT competition for which the first prize was a
modem and one year's subscription to Prestel.
After a brief look at Micronet I joined and
rapidly became hooked on comms. I now realise
that this was very shrewd of BT (the prize, not
my winning it!) as I have been on-line ever since
and they've more than got their money back
through my increased telephone bills!
Incidentally the dumb modem I won was capable of
achieving the dizzy speeds 1200bps when receiving
Viewdata and could only send at 75bps. How times
I suppose that my first
work to be published on a Viewdata system was for
Micronet and appeared on the Atari 16/32 group in
the mid-80s. Our own Tony Goodman was sub-
editing 16/32 in those days and despite using
work from people like myself, soon became editor.
Like Tony, I joined SV when BT, in a rush of
blood to the head, closed Micronet. I often
wonder how many other Villagers were in Micronet.
Several computers and
modems later, I am now sub-editing Acorn Arena on
a Risc PC which has 16Mb DRAM and 2Mb VRAM. The
local copy of the Acorn Arena database occupies
almost 2.5Mb on my hard drive. My old 32K BBC
Model B pales into insignificance against the
Risc PC but they do have something in common;
because BBC BASIC is still sold with every Acorn
computer, I can still run these old programs I
wrote all these years ago - if I could find that
cassette tape recorder ... As I said, how times
The Reporter is a new
magazine on Silicon Village which contains
information on a broad range of topics, ranging
from Daily News, Editorial, Features and Leisure.
The Reporter is edited
by David Walker, who has been a regular Silicon
Village user for over a year now. David is 22
years old and lives near Darlington in the North
East of England. Davids interest in on-line
services began when he was 15, at school when he
used campus 2000 and discovered Micronet and
Prestel, which he used regularly until it closed.
For more information on
David, Key #800703403# on Silicon Village for his
Over the course of the
next few months, he is hoping to extend The
Reporter area to cover a music area, (Pop, Rock
and Chart music mainly) as well as other features
and reports. Dont forget The Reporter is
updated daily, so now you have even less excuse
not to log on daily. So dont forget *REP#
or *800703# to look at The Reporter. Updates are
daily and are archived for those who log on less
We are pleased to
announce that Mary Topcrotch of London has been
selected from visitors to our SVDEMO database as
the September winner of a free month full
subscription to SV.
You can earn yourself a
fiver if you recommend a friend and they
Key *ENROL for
Enrol-A-Friend and earn a fiver.
FREE WEB SPACE
If you missed last
months Silicon Village Newsletter we announced
the launch of the Silicon Village Web Site. Here
is a reminder of what was said.
As a big thank you to
all our villagers who have continued to support
us, for those with internet accounts and able to
edit in HTML, we are offering 1 megabyte of free
Web space in the Gallery area of SVWeb to all
existing Villagers. The SV Web Gallery is
intended to be running in the same way as the
existing Gallery on the SV Viewdata.
You need a Web Browser,
HTML Editor (Hotdog or Hotmetal recommended) and
FTP facilities. These are readily obtainable on
the WWW as freeware or shareware and we can
advise you where to find them.
If you are interested,
then please mailbox Zara on 219998704,
A directory will be set
up in your name, with a route from:
www.silicon.village.co.uk/gallery and you will be
provided with a username and password to enable
secure FTP transfer of your pages to SVWeb.
We will publish any
other relevant information in Cyber Beach.
Key *GALLERY for Village
Key *BEACH for Cyber