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What's Happening At The Moment

Currently, I'm trying to get as much material as possible into the site. This is because I want to publicise it as much as I can - get people to use it, link to it, and so on - but I can't expect people to do that until there is some actual content! Trawling through my magazine collection has become my main task, because scanning and OCRing is an ongoing process I can do in bits when I have a spare minute, such as during quiet periods at work.

Which articles I am duplicating

I have permission from various publications and intellectual property holders, with various caveats attached to them.

Paul Beverley of Archive Magazine was first to give permission, but with the proviso that I contacted individual authors for permission as they retain ownership of their articles.

Steve Turnbull (and recently, John Cartmell) gave permission for articles in The Micro User, Acorn Computing, Archimedes World, and Acorn User. The exceptions to this are that Mike Cook retains copyright on all his own articles, and that all Acorn User articles published after the point when they stopped paying contributors remain owned by those contributors. So, again, I must contact the authors directly.

Have a look at my magazine collection to see which ones I've done, and I have left to do.

The sort of articles I look for

I tend to go for articles which describe how to use the OS, rather than articles which have a focus towards a particular task. So, for example, I'd rather have an article on how to plot sprites than one on writing a special application. Having said that, I've included Mike Goldberg's article on writing a Tetris game. I just look for articles which I think people will be able to get good information from.

Which articles I'm not duplicating

I was unable to gain permission from Richard Hallas for Risc User magazine, or Mike Cook for his body-builing articles. Their reasons for this are perfectly sound: Risc User is commercially available as a "Risc User in a nutshell" CD-ROM, and Mike Cook is investigating reproducing his material in a compilation CD.

As I've said elsewhere on this site, my intention is not to damage any other RISC OS connected endeavour. Quite the reverse: I'm trying to encourage community growth. So I have best wishes for these CDs - I just hope I'll get a further opportunity in a few years when all commercial interest is exhausted.

For the same reason, I also decided very early on in the planning of this site to only use magazine articles which are at least one year old. I don't want to threaten any back-issue sales. I want to host articles when there would otherwise be a risk of them getting lost.

About original material

Using magazine material has actually become a larger part than I had previously envisioned. This is because I worry that magazine articles will be lost over time, and because the brainless 'donkey work' of transferring them to electronic form often feels easier than writing new stuff.

However, I will be adding original material - both from contributors, and from myself. After all, one day I will have extracted everything useful from the magazines, but people will still have questions and problems.

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