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Midnight Writer This month’s column must begin with both thanks and apologies to David Parry, the AJ’s intrepid Foreign Columnist. David has long been a valued contributor to the TPC, and as the editor I particularly value his unstinting and utterly reliable, always timely and interesting, contribution to the newsletter. This issue, he even inserted a couple of direct plugs, suggesting to you readers that you send me your opinions, raves, complaints, or whatever about Windows 98. Thanks, David. Knowing that I can count on your column is one of the things that has kept me in this job.

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 I’d rather change too little than too much. This time, though, I had to cut some of David’s 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 David’s 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 David’s 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 can’t 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 month’s 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, you’d think I wouldn’t have to worry much about freeing up disk space. The thing is, those other two drives are SCSI drives, and I’ve had so many problems in the past with systems intermittently deciding not to recognize SCSI drives that I don’t really trust them much. I am paranoid, I suppose.

Finally, I would like to echo David’s 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 haven’t decided when to install it, if ever, and I imagine others are in the same position. I’d like to run it/them in the next issue, if possible. Stay tuned.

© Algorithmica Japonica Copyright Notice: Copyright of material rests with the individual author. Articles may be reprinted by other user groups if the author and original publication are credited. Any other reproduction or use of material herein is prohibited without prior written permission from TPC. The mention of names of products without indication of Trademark or Registered Trademark status in no way implies that these products are not so protected by law.

Algorithmica Japonica

November, 1998

The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor

Tokyo PC Users Group, Post Office Box 103, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN