News And The Internet

By Dave E

Originally published in EUG #54

The Late Great EUG

It will probably not have escaped readers' attentions that this EUG is a whole month overdue. Unfortunately, little heed at all was paid to the Ed's warning in EUG #53 and, as the strong editorial in this issue makes pains to point out, EUG is quickly approaching a crisis point. The EUG disk may not ever be the same again but, with the amount of time spent on it halved, EUG HQ will now be tidied up and there will be much more time to sort and archive Elk commerical and PD software for the huge database envisioned.

Beta 3 Version Of ElectrEm Released

The web site has moved but the fantastic work continues on the first and amazing Acorn Electron emulator for 80x86 PCs under DOS, Windows and Linux. The list concerning what the latest version claims to support is lengthy: the official 6502 instruction set, full graphics and sound output, keyboard input, support for the tape interface, full ADFS and an elementary DFS with PAGE at &E00.

While the last disk format is still being worked on for the Beta 4 version, one of the notable differences between the new ElectrEm emulator and a 'real' Electron concerns tape. We all know all professional software on tape takes a good few minutes to load and this timing is replicated with the emulator itself - but only in 50% of cases. An incorporated 'speedup hack' will whizz through loading screens and put the tape game on the screen in less than five seconds!

Working closely with its creator, Thomas Harte, is Dave M of the Stairway to Hell website. The union has resulted in staggering numbers of Acorn Electron tape software being offered in the new emulated format on the StH web page; with full details of whether the 'speedup hack' can be used with them. With full documentation plus a mailing list offering immediate updates on the emulator, there is a real air that this is to be the future of the Electron (and it may be in this format that EUG will make its way onto the so-often-requested emulated disk image format).

Practically all of the catalogues of many recognisable software companies have been put into the .uef format required and made available via Dave M with very rare titles making an appearance too (AIRLINE, LOONY LOCO, HARERAISER, SPACEMAN SID, PLUNDER, SURVIVOR plus New Zealand releases of COMBAT LYNX, ROULETTE and Repton). Titles which caused problems - unsurprisingly consisting of those tape games with continuous data streams or changing filenames (although Twin Kingdom Valley is also being difficult) - and why, are also documented.

The best news has to be that all Superior's greatest titles are there for all to download and enjoy at the usual StH address of:

To go direct to Thomas Harte's wonderful work in progress page, it's:

All in all, it's a fantastic time for the Electron if you're on line!

New From The Netherlands

There's a new Electron web site out there run from the Netherlands! Fortunately, it's in English and 'The Acorn Electron Lives' site, begun 25.05.00, states its aims to be "total Acorn Electron dedication" and "to create a web site as informative as The BBC Lives.

As email to the address bounces, it doesn't yet look as if it will achieve either for quite some time. Owned by Bas Verhoeven, it offers clear scans of Electron User issue cover art (although these are also present on the famous Stairway To Hell page), a reasonably full list of expansions produced for the Electron and a fair few 'zipped' files for use with BBC emulators. Worth a peek, it also appears that the site is updated very regularly and, when the email business is sorted, will grow and grow.

For more, point your web browser toward:

EUG On Film

EUG got a very brief mention in a recent 'documentary' from amateur film producer cum EUG Editor, Dave E, named "Mathilde's Postcards From Teesside". The Mathilde of its title is his latest (in a longish line of) European girlfriends and the 'postcards' project their inspired idea to show her French family life 'en Angleterre'.

Shot in English, the short sequence shows the "Toy Story 2" poster that inspired the EUG #50 opener on the wall of EUG HQ with Mathilde in the foreground scooting through the history of EUG. Interlaced with shots of the Electron, SUNDAY, EUG #50, the BBC Master and X*L*C*R, the punchy narrative quickly leaves EUG behind as the Redcar 'postcard' begins.

Still, as Dave E points out, not only was the project never to be a full blown 8bit docusoap but "if the snoozeworthy job of running EUG was to be filmed, it could only work at a quick pace with a curvy young French girl putting it firmly in the backdrop."

Full name Mathilde Lubrano was also behind the new revamped EUG web page currently accessed with Brains and beauty, if you're not jealous yet, you can always order a video cassette of the full feature (and glean an invaluable insight into your Ed's personality at the same time) for £3 postage inclusive from EUG HQ.