CU Amiga Magazine CUCD woes

I guess creation of CUCD5 was more painless on previous occasions.

The main reason for this is really that Neil Bothwick and I have got our act
together in the art of collaborating towards the same goal. We still have
some ways to go but this is certainly an improvement on CUCD4.

The shock was, when I got all of Neil's Zips in, that we had a full CD. It
wasn't quite full at the time but since Bitch continued to leech WWW pages
for a whole weekend... Basically I checked how much I had and it came to 160
odd megabytes!

It was the WWW pages that gave me the most problems this month. The program
tcpdldir which we are using is quite fast since it opens up several parallel
connections but it's hideously bugged. The HTML output is mangled up, all
links are converted to local etc etc. So I wrote a script to fix all of
that. This was used on the last CD to good effect, kind of.

Unfortunately this was many many more sites and I wasn't happy with the
gaping holes in last months WWW directory. tcpdl had to be coaxed into
downloading ALL of the pages. Often run several times with different
configurations to force it to play ball. Even then it didn't grab the
backgrounds. Neil came to the rescue with a rexx script to drive HTTPproxy
to download the backgrounds.

It worked nicely with only minor tweakings so that most of the sites have
backgrounds now. Apologies if there's any that have tiled backdrops sayting
'Queued'. HTTPProxy didn't want to play ball at times either.

This is all technical and boring rubbish I suppose.

The only other serious problems were that I had to wait for the Worms - The
Director's Cut demo for ages and ages and well past the deadline. To Andy
Davidson's credit, he worked some stupid hours up at Team 17 over the
weekend. Considering that he's essentially made his fortune on other
platform versions of Worms, it's a 'Well done that man' for his efforts on
this very special version of Worms just for the Amiga.

All I needed to do was jump into the IRC every now and again and prod him to
stop talking about Concrete Donkeys and to get on with coding the demo.

OK, so how about the other problem. The first gold disk I mastered booted on
a CD32. Um, errr, yes... It appears that because of that hard drive crash I
hgad between CUCD3 and CUCD4, I lost the CD32.TM file which is burnt to the
CDs bootblock. Naturally MasterISO didn't see fit to inform me that it
couldn't find the file. <sigh>

Anyway as I said, it booted. Unfortunately there was no mouse pointer. It
WORKED, the mouse was there but noooooo pointer. Oh dear. Suddenly realised
the 'RMTM' had been removed from the new start-up sequence. This kills the
CD32 booting animation which obviously blanks the pointer. Just as well I
found it.

So what did really go wrong with CUCD5? Not much appart from the fact that I
simply had no time to feed in all of the readers material at all. Fairly
unforgivable but considering the entries have tapered off quite a bit, I
didn't see it as a major blow. It's also amazingly time consuming, feeding
in floppy disks and converting all of the stupid filenames and self-booting
disks (seems Amiga users have a fascination with this) into straight files
with .txt files. Basically I HAD to spend time on just getting the disk done
and I spent that time on the WWW site instead.

Sooooo, next month we'll stick ALL of the readers material on. Hopefully the
entries will pick up some and we'll have more time since a new Staff Writer
should have been hired by then.

Oh yes, we should be sticking on the long-promised amazing sample-set from
Tony Horgan, newly appointed Editor of CU Amiga Magazine and turbo techno
nutter deluxe. He's taken over the machine known as 'Cow', the A4000/40
desktop. Unfortunately only one Zorro slot works and we have no proper
network since Bitch's parallel port is broken.

I did put it to Tony that perhaps he could do without a Tocatta or Delphina
16-bit sound card in his single remaining good Zorro slot and stick an
Ethernet or at least a high speed serial card in it. The withering gaze I
found myself on the receiving end of made it fairly clear that this was not
an option.

So, since myself and Tony have gone with the DCC, Digital Compact Cassette,
route, the best bet is probably that he compiles all of the sounds onto DCC
from home with all of his synths and other noisy bits. (I asked if he had a
machine that went PING! but no, he's got one that goes FWALLOP! though).
He'll then bring the DCC into work and we can sample it off my DCC desk
which joins the piles of other equipment CU Amiga Magazine seems to have
claimed off me. :-)

Heaven help the magazine if I didn't spend so long in the office. I'd have
to go home then and probably take half of it with me. Just where would CUCDs
be then eh? <chuckle> Seriously, I'm thinking of making a largish serial
network in the office based on Surf Squirrel's and GVP IO Expanders. It
would be dead handy if we could get material off the Tower 1200 'Tart' too.
Especially screen grabs and such forth. It would be so nice to throw them
all on the CD each month as well... Far more screen-shots than we can print
in the magazine.

Until next time then. Maybe we'll have some tasty horrors for you then?

Just make sure you send in anything you've done to us for the bumper
Christmas issue CUCD6 OK? Thanks in advance.

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