Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why the off-putting photograph of yourself on the Bruce Barnes Home Page)
A:  Because it's my page! Also: There are other people out there who actually have the same name as me, so anyone who knows me on sight will realise when they have found the right page. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Q: Can I join the MAS and borrow tapes? I live in Ballarat / in Darwin / beyond the black stump / outside Australia entirely ... and never/hardly ever get to Melbourne.
A: Well you're welcome to join, but um...why? The MAS is concerned mainly with screenings and loaning of anime, which makes things difficult for people outside the Melbourne area. Melbourne Anime Society membership gives a discount on the door fee at screenings (twice monthly), and borrowing privileges. The MAS is not opposed to your borrowing long distance so long as you hoof the postage and packaging. (Actually, these days, with the DVDs that might not be all that painful, but if the recording you are after is on tape only, the last time I looked postage and expenses were something like $8 per round trip inside Australia, none of which cost would be subsidized by the MAS.)
For non-DVD items there is, perhaps, a better idea.
The MAS runs a tape distribution service. This allows you to request copies to be made of tapes on your behalf. You would pay costs. For about the same as it would cost to get loan tapes sent to you and to purchase tapes to make copies on (around $19 for tapes, postage and packing, pre-GST) you would instead get tapes you could keep.
To see a list of the tapes available for copying, follow this link.
DVDs will replace all the tapes eventually, so you might like to wait, or, following the squeaky-wheel/grease example, ask.

Q:How come you haven't answered my e-mail?
A: The fault is usually mine, Bill Gates', my ISP's, my computer's, or a combination thereof. Once a backlog forms, wading through it is daunting. In the past, reasons for allowing a backlog to form range from weeks-long hardware or software problems suffered by my ISP (an excuse I am no longer able to use since getting a new provider), personal problems which stop me from doing a lot on the computer (probably the most dramatic involving a detached retina), or weird stuff my computer does (like the time Eudora erased fifty unread messages for no reason anyone has been able to ascertain, the time an update of Incredimail erased all incoming messages instead of displaying them, or the time Internet Explorer crashed, causing error-messages in my supposedly unrelated mail-reading software.) I am caught up with everything as-of this writing, so if you are still waiting on a reply it might be due to my being too eager with the erase key on the last catch-up, and it might be an idea to resend.
Also: It would also be nice if everybody could put relevant information in the "subject" line. (EG if MAS loan tape enquiries could have [Melb Anime Soc] [Lib] in the subject line, it would make it easier for me to spot in my in-tray than, say, the more amusing, no matter how relevant, "Aargh!")

Q: Why don't you ever advise what the new MAS screening schedule is before the day of the first screening?
A: Because I don't know what it is. (Note also that I am not the MAS librarian anymore. Even when I was, I only handled the MAS loan tapes, and though I might have made suggestions, the final say in the programming rested with the screening co-ordinator.) As the new librarian finds life busy enough without managing an internet site, the most up-to-date MAS information on the internet is still found here. However I can only put information up when I know what it is myself. (And you are still not getting the information any slower than before. As the librarian, I suspected the screening co-ordinator was only deciding what each new screening schedule was to be, come the same morning of the day of the first screening. These suspicions were finally confirmed the time he became really snowed under in his non-MAS life, and brought along a whole pile of tapes and made up the programming (for that day only) as he went along. More recently the screening co-ordinator has been replaced by a screening committee, who get together at the last possible moment and decide they don't know what they will show beyond the next screening, if that.

Q: What happened to your glasses?
A: Okay so this is not all that a frequently asked question. All right, so nobody has asked me at all. Not even face-to-face! It's like nobody has noticed. Fortunately I can tell you're all really dying to know, and so have placed the answer on this link.


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(This Australian page -- http://home.connexus.net.au/bruce42/faqs.html -- is echoed at http://www.geocities.com/twin_spires/faqs.html in the USA)