Apologies are due for something of which I have yet to be taken to task: overediting. My policy with the editing of the AJ has always been to do the minimum necessary editing. Other publications I am or have been involved in editing get quite different treatment, but I have attempted to cut or change as little as possible of the articles in the AJ for several reasons, the main one of which is that I wish to retain as much of the writers "character" as possible. Most of the writers, after all, are people whom we members meet face-to-face at meetings, or communicate with by e-mail or in the newsgroups. I want their articles to ring as true to their personalities as possible. A few contributors have accused me of underediting, and there is a case to be made for that view, but Id rather change too little than too much. This time, though, I had to cut some of Davids Ionic Column due to "technical difficulties beyond our control".
Unusually, this issue has been ready to go somewhat earlier than usual, partly because of the new deadline (the 15th of the month...mark it down on your calendars) and partly because of the meeting being a week later this month. I was giving it a final double-check prior to writing this column (I always save my column for last, in case I need to use the space for something else), and was giving Davids column its last perusal, when The Brute suddenly crashed. No warning. No reason that I can see. No problems on rebooting. But several damaged files...the ones that were open. In short, parts of Davids column got eaten. Since I have the original text file on my work computer, and since I cannot install MS Publisher on that computer, all the AJ work has to be done at home and I cant look at his original in the time that I have left, or expect to request and receive a retransmission from David. Since I very stupidly deleted the previous edits of this months AJ (pride or overconfidence goeth before a fall), I was forced to make the best of a bad situation. I believe I may have had to delete as many as three or four unrecoverable sentences from the article. Thus, apologies are due both to David and to you readers. Mea culpa. Next time, I shall be more cautious about backing up, and less eager to delete older editions.
With two hard disk drives virtually empty, for a total of well over three gigabytes of available space, youd think I wouldnt have to worry much about freeing up disk space. The thing is, those other two drives are SCSI drives, and Ive had so many problems in the past with systems intermittently deciding not to recognize SCSI drives that I dont really trust them much. I am paranoid, I suppose.
Finally, I would like to echo Davids suggestion: if any of you are using Windows 98, how about writing a short review, or even just a short email message about what you see as its pros and cons? I havent decided when to install it, if ever, and I imagine others are in the same position. Id like to run it/them in the next issue, if possible. Stay tuned.
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