I then talked the publisher into supplying a proper computer and they
eventually bought an Olivetti m24 an IBM compatible. It had a large external
box with the 20 Mb hard disk which at the time 1984 cost a small fortune..
I had the computer delivered with two software programs. dBase 2 and WordStar
both DOS programs. I had no idea on what to do with them. Stuart Gordon
who then lived in Dorset wrote several small routines to show me how to
get started. The main problem was that dBase2 could only open 2 files
at one time and the natural design needed at least 3. One for the records,
one for the musicians and one for the artist. (Later tracks were added
which ,meant 4 files), This was done by swopping the browse windows and
files to just the 2 that were most needed at the time.. I managed to re
key the whole book into the computer using some simple input programs
and a link ID system which I still use today (in a much modified way).
Stuart wrote a small routine to out put the files to a text file which
could be used by the WordStar for formatting the pages.
Disaster struck when the hard disk case fan jammed and filled the room
with smoke, lots of data was missing and had to be again re keyed, I learned
the hard way to keep lots of back up's.
The next problem was to get the data from the computer into a format
that could be used for printing. A customer of my day job in Bournemouth
did this type of work and agreed to spend some time on a Sunday to sort
it out. Terry Fairmiloe and myself sorted it out and had a usable format
within a hour or two. This was the final format that was used in Rock
Record 3rd Edition It was the same in all editions and was released in
Paperback and hard cover. Although it was the most successful of the books
I have done in sales terms it was one that I liked least. It took months
for the book to be produced and I found that so much space had been wasted
in the layout. That concluded by contract with Blandford