Welcome to the first issue of Orphaned Computers & Game Systems. I have had the idea for a newsletter of this type for several months, and it seems to finally be falling together. I knew that there would be quite a bit of work involved, even in a publication this small, but I enjoy it and encourage others to try it too, if they have ever felt even the smallest enticement to do so. The newsletter as it now stands, however, differs quite a lot from my original vision.
When I was gathering together what has become OC&GS, I sent out letters to various people who might want to put classified ads in this first issue. The first to respond was Lance, from Video 61.
Lance and I spoke for about half an hour. He gave me some excellent advice that truly influenced me. He told me to be professional about what I was attempting to do, even as a hobbyist, in order to survive as a newsletter publisher -- and that I should conduct this newsletter as a business. I wasn't planning on going about all this with the intention of failing, though. Until I spoke with Lance, I didn't realize that I was looking at the situation without using reason. For instance, I wasn't taking into account all the expenses, even though I had given it some limited thought.
So what I did next was to make a budget. I hadn't done this, and without a clear idea of how much I could spend, I would have been putting my idea into jeopardy. I also decided to keep any money I recieved completely separate from my own funds. (I can't believe I wasn't going to do that before!)
While the budget was never actually put down onto paper, staying only in my mind, I understand that I could easily have overextended myself with this first issue. So, thank you, Lance. I'm taking your advice. Slowly, with the most careful steps, shall I tread the ground before me.
With the first issue of this newsletter, I have several goals in mind. The biggest driving force behind this is to gather people together who have certain similarities, namely being interested in computers and game systems that are no longer widely used. It will also be a place where readers can express what they have learned. Readers are encouraged to send in contributions, such as short programs they have written, maps of games they have conquered, articles, letters, and anything else that you believe would help to improve this newsletter.
I am not a writer of any sort, but I know that there is a community of people who could utilize such a publication as this one. I was looking for one of this very sort some months ago, and when finding none, I set about the task of building OC&GS to fit all of our needs. Of course, I don't know what everyone needs, which is why it is so important to communicate your ideas to me.
I searched for several months to find a program for my Atari 8-Bit that was powerful enough to create this newsletter. Maybe I didn't look in the right places, but no matter how hard I looked, all the programs were far too limited. I also thought about using GEOS on my C64, but that would have meant figuring out a way to hook up an incompatible printer. Besides, I was never very enthusiastic about the quality of print that GEOS delivered.
There were so many choices open to me: IBM, Macintosh, etc. I believe, however, that these computers are too expensive, and I would never buy one just to start a newsletter. I needed an inexpensive alterative to the mainstream, and Commodore came through for me. (Even if they are now in deep trouble, they still have excellent products!)
I finally decided to use an Amiga 1200. Using a 24-pin printer and PageStream 2.2, I have the tools that will help me to accomplish the task ahead. I hope you find this enjoyable and worthwhile. This is your forum, so keep in touch with comments, both negative and positive.