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The Icon Bar: News and features: New Editor for Acorn User: round 2
 

New Editor for Acorn User: round 2

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 18:23, 13/11/2001 | , ,
 
It would appear that, after one issue, Acorn User will be changing editors again. John Cartmell has posted to comp.sys.acorn.announce that he is standing down:
When it was announced that I would edit the magazine a group of us were at an advanced stage of negotiations with a director of Tau Press to purchase Acorn User magazine. We understood that it had been agreed that two of our group would work on the magazine for a limited time prior to purchase. Soon after the announcement was made it became clear that Tau Press no longer had any interest in such an agreement. They were no
longer willing to sell the magazine.

In our opinion Acorn User has a future if substantial changes are made in addition to changes to its editorial content. We were prepared to make those changes but could do so only if we owned the magazine.
Not only will the new broom no longer get the opportunity to sweep in changes that he - and many other people - feel are needed to ensure Acorn User can continue; it also looks like the new (or indeed old) editor will be without the writer for the news and graphics column - i.e. John.
 
  New Editor for Acorn User: round 2
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Guest Message #89415, posted at 03:38, 14/11/2001
Unregistered user I think too many people would have died of shock if Acorn User became vaguely competent again in any way - so it's probably all for the best! :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89416, posted at 08:15, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89415
Unregistered user Actually it's not after one issue - John Cartmell had yet to edit a magazine. It's a damn shame, as he had some very good ideas on how to keep things going for a v.long time!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #89417, posted at 09:56, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89416
Unregistered user I thought he'd produced one issue, as per his post to comp.sys.acorn.announce prior to this one?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #89418, posted at 09:58, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89417
Unregistered user What I don't understand about all this is *why*.

Why is Acorn User not that great anymore? Steve did a great job editing The Micro User and Acorn Computing. And earlier Acorn User's he edited were OK - it was only when TAU Press took over, and (presumbably) the money went down that the quality began to suffer. But it shouldn't have suffered as much as it did.

And secondly, why did John Cartmell's deal fall through - he makes it sound like Steve went back to the deal.

WHY???????
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89419, posted at 10:45, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89418
Unregistered user Look at this way. TAU Press keep John Cartmell spinning in the wind for a year and hence get a years worth of free articles. Having already agreed to sell AU they (Sharon) then go back on the deal. After all a years worth of free articles helps keep the bills down.

This is the sort of tactic employed by TAU Press on a regular basis. So if you do deal with TAU Press do it at your peril (and get everything in writing).
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Steve Turnbull Message #89420, posted at 11:15, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89419
Unregistered user Acorn User do not pay contributors, and have not done so for a while.

The magazine is so basically not worth 4.20ukp, considering the content. It's quite pathetic, really...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Paul Boddie Message #89421, posted at 11:22, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89420
Unregistered user Regarding the reasons as to why Acorn User isn't necessarily seen as being interesting any more, I would imagine that the level of interest is directly proportional to the amount of "real" activity in the Acorn/RISC OS marketplace.

Even before Acorn disintegrated, there wasn't that much to report on apart from Acorn's vapourous plans, and without a strong news section ("Acorn dealer claims big win in rural primary school") there wasn't likely to be a strong reviews section ("Desktop Colour Changer V3.22 released!").

With a publication more focused on projects where the community is encouraged to experiment more radically with hardware and software, rather than writing a "simple desktop application with an icon bar menu in tired second generation programming language", Acorn User would return to a formula that many are nostalgic for, whilst helping the community to help themselves - why get worked up about using an isolated, decaying platform when you can mess about building all sorts of exotic hardware and software?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Anon Message #89422, posted at 11:22, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89421
Unregistered user Sounds like Sharon Henderson has more to do with it than Steve...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Sharon Henderson Message #89423, posted at 12:44, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89422
Unregistered user Sharon pulls all the strings there. The number of people working for free that she's upset to the extent that they've left is unbelievable. Shame on Steve for being pathetic enough to just go along with it. I thought better of him.

They are a very ungrateful organisation who are going down the pan.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #89424, posted at 14:44, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89423
Unregistered user So no sour grapes then?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Anonymous Message #89425, posted at 15:18, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89424
Unregistered user Andrew: I find your newspostings quite amusing - in face of a magazine that's going downhill in content faster than the actual availability of content is, one that's going up in price, is incredibly badly put together, one that drops any of the interesting regular columns, one that pretty much anybody who has done any work for them, be it paid or unpaid is disgruntled, one that messes people around and doesn't actually listen to people - you still insist that we should ignore all the above facts, and waste huge amounts of money on buying it. Are you a shareholder, or simply disillusioned?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #89426, posted at 15:22, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89425
Unregistered user I don't recall asking people to act in such ways and at least I put a name to these comments.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Robert Richards Message #89427, posted at 16:49, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89426
Unregistered user Let's be fair here.
AU has not gone up in price since I started buying it 18 months ago - so 'Anonymous' is incorrect in his assertaion that it "continually goes up in price".
Also - the relations between AU and it's contributors do not affect my decision to buy in any way and nor should it. What does affect my decision to buy is the quality, depth and breadth of the articles it contains.
If AU loses people like John Cartmell, I'm less likely to buy unless his replacement is up to the same standard.
Whatever it is that's gone wrong isn't really an issue for us. It's between John, his partners and Tau Press.
Also, how can people make such damming judgements? Remember we only have one side of the story (I'm *not* saying John is lying).

Chill out folks.

It's only a magazine. If it's crap don't buy it.
Simple.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Simon John Message #89428, posted at 19:45, 14/11/2001, in reply to message #89427
Unregistered user For at least 2 years there's been so little content in AU that it's easier just to go to the portals (TIB, Cybervillage etc.)

Although part of the problem could be that there's so little happening in the RO world ATM unfortunately. The last bit of news on most of the portals was about the USB Podule.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Steve knutson Message #89429, posted at 03:41, 15/11/2001, in reply to message #89428
Unregistered user Sounds to me like John who is obviously very passionate about saving the RISCOS platform, has been let down. I hope he doesn't lose interest altogether and gets those great articles published elsewhere (please let us know where...).

I do hope that AU have a plan to get things back on track, as like John, I believe it has a very important role to play in getting RISCOS back off the ground.

Cheers
Steve

P.S Anyone read the news item on Microdigitals website? Perhaps they could us John's services...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lee Johnston Message #89430, posted at 09:51, 15/11/2001, in reply to message #89429
Unregistered user Unfortunately passion may not be enough to save the market. There are people who were just as passionate as John but whos patience is (has) running out - people who have contributed a large amount to the software scene but who have been "flamed" for posting realistic, but unwanted, remarks for the last three years. Indeed I've come under fire from time to time myself.

We can only speculate on what happened and I'm not prepared to do that. I feel sorry for all involved though and please, let's not judge those who are involved.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
mentat Message #89431, posted at 15:28, 15/11/2001, in reply to message #89430
Unregistered user I agree.

Despite all our misgivings and disillusionment, we should all be pleasantly surprised that this market still has a magazine in print at all!

Imagine all the sarcastic comments on the register if AU finally disappears! :D

Of course, it is understandable that continual frustration leads to the need to rant, and TIB does provide a rather excellent spot for such :P
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guy Inchbald Message #89432, posted at 18:54, 15/11/2001, in reply to message #89431
Unregistered user I still think that the AU we have in the newsagents is better than no AU.
Without any prospect of mass sales (and that's hardly AU's fault) there can be no serious budget. I think they do miracles with the pittance available. Remember, they are the last survivor - and that doesn't happen if you get it all wrong.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Steve Scott Message #89433, posted at 18:03, 17/11/2001, in reply to message #89432
Unregistered user It's very sad to see what appeared to be a step to rejuvenate the magazine's future end as fast as it arrived. I do hope that better things lie ahead for the magazine. It would indeed be a dreadful loss to us all if the magazine closes.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
William Turner Message #89434, posted at 22:36, 19/11/2001, in reply to message #89433
Unregistered user When did Acorn start thinking about designing the StrongARM, and when did they sell it to Intel?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #89435, posted at 23:34, 19/11/2001, in reply to message #89434
Unregistered user I thought Digital designed the StrongArm. What about - "When did Acorn realise what they could do with it?"
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lee Johnston Message #89436, posted at 09:41, 20/11/2001, in reply to message #89435
Unregistered user IIRC Digital licensed the ARM technology with the intention of applying Alpha style techniques to it. The result was one of the fastest processors in its class at the time.

Intel LICENSE the ARM design. Yes they've added some of their own ideas to it but they also have been made to follow ARM's decisions about where the direction the design should follow. It has never been sold to Intel.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Mr Jake Monkeyson Message #89437, posted at 10:24, 20/11/2001, in reply to message #89436
Unregistered user And what does that have to do with anything? Methinks you is commenting on the wrong news story!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lieutenant Gruber Message #89438, posted at 10:31, 20/11/2001, in reply to message #89437
Unregistered user Mr.Turner's to blame!!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Patrick Bateman Message #89439, posted at 18:02, 20/11/2001, in reply to message #89438
Unregistered user Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Pay nothing, and even PFJ won't write for you.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #89440, posted at 19:04, 20/11/2001, in reply to message #89439
Unregistered user I might.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
mike Message #89441, posted at 12:33, 21/11/2001, in reply to message #89440
Unregistered user I might not.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Weston Message #89442, posted at 13:30, 21/11/2001, in reply to message #89441
Unregistered user Nice balance then.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Dave Message #89443, posted at 14:47, 24/11/2001, in reply to message #89442
Unregistered user AU needs a name change. How about RISC IT! ?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Stubbs Message #89444, posted at 16:54, 26/11/2001, in reply to message #89443
Unregistered user Why does it need a name change? It would mostly just create fuss and expense in trying to get a new name recognised, promoted etc etc.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
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The Icon Bar: News and features: New Editor for Acorn User: round 2