Before anything else, we'd like to wish you all a very happy holiday season, wherever you are and whatever holiday you'd like celebrate. Enjoy.
Well, we've been sick, and it was a slow week, and we don't expect much more to happen next week either as everything stops for Christmas. We will be taking a much-needed break, so don't expect to see TidBITS until 1991. We'll probably be missing only two issues, and we hope to write some review issues in our time off.
To clear up a question we recently asked (and thanks to email@example.com for the first answer), the abbreviation plc stands for Public Limited Company and is roughly the equivalent of Inc. in the US. So a plc is a publicly-traded company with limited liability to its stockholders. This is in contrast to Ltd. which is a privately-held company with limited liability. Nice to know these sorts of things on occasion. Mingo adds that the German equivalent is AG (for Aktien Gesellschaft), and Ltd. is GmbH (Gesellschaft mit Beschraenkter Haftung). Consider it your IBL (International Business Lesson) for the day.
We said that Michael Joyce's Afternoon is perhaps the first electronic novel, and firstname.lastname@example.org confirmed our suspicion that there was indeed an earlier novel, called Brimstone, from Synapse and Broederbund. It wasn't particularly popular, in part because it wasn't all that interesting, according to Julian. He said it was already in the bargain bin at Computerware when he found it in 1986, so it probably isn't still around to check out. Sorry.
We've started a new folder in the Speak Out section of ForumLink on America Online to talk about TidBITS and the articles that are either present or should be included. We'll also probably talk about things that don't quite merit an article as they stand, but are interesting nonetheless. So if you have access to America Online, we urge you to check it out. If it goes well, we may see about setting up TidBITS discussion groups other places, though the best possibility right now would be Usenet, since we don't have accounts on CompuServe or GEnie due to lack of funding.