TRak – How it used to be . . .

This is how TRak was produced in the early 1990s.  It seems incredible to me that was half the lifetime of
TSOA ago.

This was before the era of the internet, universal mobile phones, texting etc. Younger readers should ask
their grandparents how we survived.This was also a period when TSOA was transitioning from the boozy
Old Boys culture of the 1960s and 1970s to the more inclusive, responsible and Politically Correct club of
today. (Did someone say “boring”?)

I think I can claim responsibility for TRak becoming a regular monthly.  Previously it would appear
irregularly, maybe 6 or 8 times a year. I became the Editor of TRak in 1990 or about then.This was before
the appearance of small shopfront printers like Kwik-Print. Commercial printers were not interested in small
jobs and were quite expensive.

TSOA owned a second-hand Konica photocopier which arrived into my Summertown shed shortly after the
AGM.  This machine was used to produce the magazine.  Typically it would be 15-20 A4 sheets printed both
sides, with a print run of about 80 copies (today’s print run is about 250 copies.)After a while Konica would
no longer service the old photocopier, so we upgraded to a newer (still secondhand) photocopier, leased
from Konica with a service contract.

This technical marvel could print double sided from single side originals, and also collate up to 10 complete
documents.  I could load 20 originals then come back after several minutes to find 10 complete 20-page
magazines ready to staple.  At least that was the theory.Unfortunately the cold damp climate of
Summertown in winter meant the stored paper was never perfectly dry, so misfeeds and paper jams were
frequent.  Other breakdowns meant I became quite friendly with the Konica service guy.Sometimes the
machine would be out of action for a few days and I would discreetly do a few hundred photocopies early
in the morning when no supervisors were around in the offices where I worked.

Each month some of the TSOA committee members would come to my home to help with final collating
and stapling the magazine.  It was then folded into a pre-addresses wrapper and fastened with sticky
tape.These evenings were quite enjoyable and also served as informal TSOA Committee meetings.  The
late Tony Esau and the late Eddie Knight would always come to help and many others too during those

Finally the 80 copies were sorted by postcode and bundled, then into a large box for delivery by me to
Adelaide GPO next morning.  We got a hefty discount for pre-sorting, and I think we even got a discount
for delivery to the GPO before 8.00am.  I would pay cash at the counter and claim it back at the next
TSOA meeting.

Apart from regular monthly issues, I introduced a different cover picture each month, usually my own
photo of a member’s car, sometimes in colour (wow.)  I think Richard Sutherland is reproducing some of
these old photos this year.  Also I did away with reproducing old test reports and articles from commercial
magazines, in favour of original content from members.  It’s pleasing to see this continues today.
Finally I congratulate Richard on today’s TRak magazine; still very much at the heart of all that TSOA
does.The technology and production methods have changed greatly since 1990, but I bet Richard still
spends many hours each month to produce such a high quality magazine.Long may it continue!

Tom Long

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