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Qercus front cover and Vantage

By Chris Williams. Published: 12th May 2004, 17:41:12 | Permalink | Printable

There's always an explanation

qercus logoMedia watch Before today's promising news of the release of a new version of Vantage broke, we contacted Qercus to ask why the latest issue of their monthly magazine featured a front cover designed in Vantage and an inside article on using it, which might have been seen as a tad insensitive given that many of Vantage's users had been locked out of the graphics software. Qercus editor John Cartmell replied soon after, justifying his editorial decision, which he asked to be reproduced in full - insightful as it is, so here's John's response:

Date: Sat, 08 May 2004 23:06:10 +0100
From: Qercus editor
To: Chris Williams

I've been asking for a 'Vantage' designed cover for some time in order to break up the preponderance of ArtWorks/PhotoDesk covers. I've also asked for Draw, Vector, ProArtisan etc. produced covers. Your contribution is welcome! (and you may wish to tell your readers that we pay for the original artwork for our covers). At best I'd like to see each month's cover over a year each produced using a different application. It so happened that a Vantage cover happened along in time for issue 270 - and we always try to include a description of how the cover was produced as we consider our cover art to be an integral part of the magazine rather than a mere decorative front-end. In the future I'd like to see an even greater diversity of images - eg in some issues it may include images produced mathematically by programs analysed in StarInfo.

The illustration in issue 270 could equally well have been produced by the next release but one of ArtWorks (Martin has just put back the release of graded transparency) and I will draw attention to the possibility at the time that issue of ArtWorks is released.

You may note that we included a description of how to cope with the 'flaky' Vantage 1.01 (with no protection problems) back in volume 9 issue 5 (p36). Perhaps you would like to draw attention to the fact? [ The issue is still available from us on its own or as part of the bundle* comprising the whole of Volume 9 of Acorn Publisher].

We consider that it's important to give readers/customers the tools to use the products they have as well as (behind the scenes) push for improvements - or in this case for things to be put right. Whilst users have been wrongly excluded from the software they have purchased the action taken by Cerilica is hardly irrational. It was a thoroughly rational response to piracy - but one that doesn't work in changed circumstances that no one envisaged. It is a decision that needs to be changed and should have been changed some time ago.

And I certainly won't withdraw our support for owners of software just because their support from the developer has disappeared!

*20 GBP inc UK post (+4.20 Eur; +9.60 World) or for 5 GBP less when purchased at the same time as a 12 months subscription to Qercus.


Qercus website

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Next: Vantage relieved of copy protection system


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That reminds me, I really must buy a copy of Qercus. Does it make it into WHSmith, or is it post-only?

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 12/5/04 8:05PM
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It's also quite interesting that Microdigital are running adverts in Quercus - albeit with a typo in!

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 12/5/04 8:27PM
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"a typo"?

I counted at least 7 mistakes in their advert on for the Alpha. They must have really tried hard to manage that, it was a tiny amount of text.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 12/5/04 8:32PM
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OK, so I made a mistake. But my comment isn't an advert and I'm not being paid. :o)

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 12/5/04 8:34PM
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harmsy: Looked in Smith's Cambridge at the weekend and couldn't find it. Of course it may have sold out or something...

 is a RISC OS Usercaliston2 on 13/5/04 11:41AM
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By the way, if you want a free Microdigital poster (free spelling mistakes included!), they will send you one, it seems, if you give them a call.

I've just tried calling them twice and there was no answer, but I was sure to collect my reward by leaving my name and address on their answer phone.

It will be a collectors item, for sure, if it ever turns up!

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 13/5/04 4:51PM
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/me adds apostrophe to above comment.

Good gracious, you've to be a pedantic wretch to exist in this cosy world of RISC OS. :o)

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 13/5/04 4:53PM
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Your local WHS *should* order you a copy if you ask them to, but I don't think John's had any luck persuading them to keep stock. And if they're feeling lazy, they might just deny all knowledge, alas.

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 15/5/04 4:18PM
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Qercus is available on order from any newsagent. I have no feedback about where it might be on the shelves (it is at my local corner newsagent! Of course WHS are a law to themselves and don't seem to have the quarterly publication that the smallest newsagents use for magazine identofication and order. BTW Should it help - the Qercus ISSN is 1742-7894-03 (the last 03 will be 04 next month &c. Prior to Qercus 270 we used the Acorn User ISSN (ended at 1471-1001-02).

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 17/5/04 3:16PM
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