Hi, I'm Emily Bronto, Bikwil Pet of the Year

Bikwil salutes language, literature, music, nature, the performing arts, hobbies, science and humour

Your Questions Answered

If you have any other own questions on the thinking behind Bikwil generally, or on particular aspects of this site or the printed magazine, please drop us an email.


Who Is Tony Rogers?
(A Brief Bio)

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Born and raised in Sydney, where he still lives, Tony had several occupations after he graduated from university in 1960.  At first his family and teachers blithely went about under the misapprehension that he was going to be a secondary school teacher, but Tony's love of jazz got in the way of their fantasy. 

Bikwil editor Tony Rogers, wanted for questioning regarding allegations of foolish behaviour in retirement

Having failed to make enough to live on from music, however, Tony was soon forced to eke out a layabout existence supported by his friends and an occasional stint as a cleaner and bookstore salesman.  Eventually, some sort of common sense prevailed, and in 1963 he took a position at the State Library of NSW, where he remained in dubiously gainful employment for the next ten years.  During that time, however, he had got bitten by the computing bug, and it was in the data processing field that he spent the rest of his so-called working life. 

When he took early retirement in 1992 to pursue what he fondly refers to as his "interests", a loud sigh of relief was heard from the teaching, music, librarianship and computing professions alike.

Is Sydney the Capital of Australia?
(A Lot of People Think So)

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Situated on the east coast of Australia, Sydney is the capital of the State of New South Wales and the country's largest city, though not its capital (that's Canberra).  Sydney was the site of the first white settlement in Australia, being originally established in 1788 as the centre of a British penal colony, though the country's original inhabitants, the Koori people, have been in Australia for over 60,000 years.  Famous today for its Harbour and Opera House, Sydney was the host of the 2000 Olympics and Paralympics.

There is, of course, an inevitable Australian slant to many of Bikwil's features.  For example, people, events, places, TV and radio programmes are frequently referred to in an Aussie context.  There'll be a bit of local slang here too.  Email us if you ever want explanations.  It's always interesting to see how well or poorly travelled certain phrases and concepts from Down Under really are. 

And if you are at home with North American spellings you may find that some words look odd at first, but it doesn't take too long to become acclimatised.  The same applies to dates: day/month/year is the order in Australia, a convention which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that northern and southern hemisphere seasons are six months out of sync.


What Is Cricket?

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Outdoor cricket is a sport (played by two sides of eleven players each with ball, bats and wickets) which dates back in approximately its present form to the early 18th century, and in other forms to centuries before.  Popular primarily in countries that are members of the British Commonwealth, it is also played in such countries as Austria, France, Germany, Holland and Israel.


What on Earth Is an Iconoplast?

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An iconoplast is a person who fashions images, as opposed to an iconoclast, who destroys them.  In these pages we have extended its meaning to incorporate the idea of creating pen pictures of our personal enthusiasms.


Is There Any Limit on How Long a Short Story Submission Can Be?

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If you want your story to be self-contained within a single Bikwil issue, then a length of about 2000 words (six printed pages) would be the maximum.  If, however, you don't mind your story being split over two or more issues, then the sky's the limit.  Of course, there could be disadvantages to the latter where, say, you want to preserve an unbroken, focussed mood.


Why Is There A Gap between the Available Back Issues and the Current Ones?

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Simply because it is time-consuming to convert back issues and get the Web format just right.  Anyway, it's only fair that our postal subscribers aren't confronted here with freely available issues for which they have recently forked out good money.

We thank you for your forbearance.  All good things come to those who wait.  Right now we are able to add a back issue every two months.


Which Printed Back Issues Are Available?


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At present printed copies of all back issues are still available, but only in yearly bundles (six issues).  With one exception, the cost per year is the same as for current issues.

The exception is Year 2, which includes the special and very large Issue 10 (November 1998), devoted to Richard Wagner.  For these six issues the cost is twice the annual cost.


Is It True that This Site Is Banned in China?

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As bizarre as it sounds, this was true.  Absolutely.

Thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Guardians of the Eastern Gateway, until recently Bikwil could not be accessed on the Internet in The People's Republic of China.  We have subscribers who tried and tried.  Anyway, the good news is that the Bikwil site can now be enjoyed by people in China. 

"Interesting Bikwilian times", indeed.  As a matter of interest, what do you reckon we were doing wrong to get banned?

On matters Sinological generally, I suppose it's just as well that, after decades of common knowledge, the saying "May you live in interesting times" is now accepted not to be the Chinese curse we all believed it to be.  Otherwise, Bikwil might have been judged on the far side of the bamboo curtain to be too enthusiastic for its own quiet good. 

On the other hand, I'm cautiously looking forward to a very special email, due any day now.  Any day.  It will convince the world that the original saying, having been unearthed ninety years ago from an archaeological dig in the remote interior of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, was stolen by a friend of Howard Carter, and is currently waiting at e-Bay for the highest bidder. 

And when the email does come, you'll be the first to be told.


Do You Take Paid Ads?

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The display of what appear to be advertisements (the WebSideStory and HitLinks graphics) is just the means whereby Bikwil is permitted to use these useful services for free.


What Are the Advantages of Getting Bikwil Posted to Me?

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In addition to the benefits referred to elsewhere on the site (Comments on Reading and Printing Bikwil Back Issues), we draw your attention to the fact receiving Bikwil through the post saves you spending time (and ink!) printing it out yourself.  And considering the price we charge, we are convinced that this saving is well worth your while. 

(Do the arithmetic yourself, if you're sceptical.)


Who Are the Members of The Bikwil Trio?

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The truth is, they don't exist.  The improvisations you hear on the Bikwil site were actually played by computer software, the sometimes hard-to-believe Band-in-a-Box.  Apart from the fade-out applied at the end, no editing changes whatever have been made. 

When it was first released, Band-in-a-Box acted as a sort of electronic version of the old Music Minus One LPs, but is now far more than a mere accompaniment program.  It can work convincingly in many styles, including substyles of jazz, rock, old-time and country, as well as in various instrumental combinations.


What's Wrong with the Sound of the Music that Plays on this Site?

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Assuming you don't mean the music itself, the reason almost certainly has to do with the cheesy sound quality of most basic computer sound cards.  If you have one of those installed and can't afford a new sound card or an add-on daughterboard, may we suggest that you investigate obtaining what's known as a "soft synth"?  This is a piece of software that emulates the sound of a professional music synthesizer when playing a file created in the ultra-compact MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) format.  

To get full benefit from the more recent software synthesizers on a PC, you should have a Pentium 166 with MMX, or faster, though for less sophisticated versions of such software a Pentium 60 will do.  For the Mac, the equivalent of at least a PowerPC 603e 133 is required.

And the price?  Well, a reasonable one is not expensive at all around $US40 in many cases, and half that price when purchased from some outlets with other products.  Time- or function-limited demo versions are also available for free.  

The quickest way to seek one out is to type "soft synth" or "virtual synth" or "wavetable emulator" into your favourite Internet search engine.  Go on you owe it to yourself.



What Is Your Privacy Policy?


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It is Bikwil's pledge that no details collected from subscribers will be used for any purpose other than to register their subscriptions and to keep them informed of Bikwil news (usually in the form of a monthly bulletin, sent via email). 

Certainly, no details will be disclosed to third parties without the subscriber's permission.  This promise guarantees, for example, that the Bikwil mailing list will never be sold, rented, lent, bartered or given to anyone, which in turn means that you needn't be worried that you'll get junk email as a result of subscribing to Bikwil.


Is There a Way to Ensure that the Fonts You Used in Designing the Site Will Display as Such on My Computer Screen?

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Apart from special fonts converted to a graphic format (e.g. the logo), there are very few fonts used that you won't be able to view as planned.  The main ones could be MS Comic Sans and Verdana, which you are very likely to have already on your machine anyway. 

In case you haven't (check your fonts folder/directory), you may find what you need at What is TrueType at Microsoft.  Otherwise, type the font name into Google.


Are the Graphics on the Bikwil Site Original?

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By and large, the graphics used on the site are from public domain collections (e.g. IMSI Masterclips) or from navigation and background graphics freely available on the Web.  The logo is based on a free Microsoft graphic, as are the various parchment-like backgrounds.  The WebSideStory and HitLinks graphics are their property.   All photos or art work constituting/accompanying individual contributions are original. 

copyright considerations are discussed above.)


Which Browser Options Are Required for Best Viewing of the Site?

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The main thing you should do is to ensure that your browser has the Javascript option turned on.


But What Does "Bikwil" Mean?

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Well, our approach to date has been to let you intelligent folk work that out for yourselves.  It's not extraordinarily difficult, given Bikwil's purpose, and there have been clues already in earlier issues of the print version.  There may well be others in the future too.  There are even hints on the site.

What is clear is that, even if they have no inkling of what the word "Bikwil" means, our regular readers know what they like about the magazine, as our Testimonials Page indicates (to say nothing of the wider appreciation displayed on our Awards Page).


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