Back at the very start of this millennium Tau Press, who owned Acorn User magazine, invited the author to purchase the company. I don't know how many people had already turned down that offer but, as merely a columnist in Acorn User (for the price of a 'free' copy of the magazine), I doubt I was the first. Having only recently brushed the dust of the new ICT curriculum off my teacher's gown I was ready for a new challenge and showed interest.

There were distinct problems at the company, as discussions with past editors and contributors later made clear, but we came to an agreement in principle about purchase and Tau Press, rather hurriedly, announced me as the new editor. Then they went cool on the deal and suggested that I might want to be editor rather than owner. Finally I heard that the magazine might start to make a profit once the RISC Operating System had been purchased by the Church of Scientology. Then, having invited me in, they decided not to sell - but only told me that as an aside. At this point I walked out on the whole deal leaving Tau Press to explain why their new editor had disappeared.

A few months later I was approached by the company producing Acorn Publisher magazine and agreed to take on that magazine. NB at no point had I ever suggested to anyone that I might be interested in owning, running, or editing a magazine!

A couple of years after the first contact with Tau Press and with Castle, not the Church of Scientology, taking over the burden of the RISC OS licence, I was again approached by Tau Press. Acorn User magazine had come to the end of its life, some described it as 'walking dead'. This time the deal was different: I was offered the magazine not the company. By this time I was probably the only person who might find Acorn User to have any value. Run into the ground its value was the cost to me should someone take it on and introduce a second magazine into a market that could not realistically offer a reasonable income for one. For a nominal sum I purchased Acorn User and merged it with Acorn Publisher giving the new magazine the name Qercus to reflect a market growing wider than the original Acorn computer systems.

And the name? As a grown up Acorn is an Oak I purloined the latin name for oak (Quercus) and dropped the first u to filter arboriculture out of web searches for the magazine.

© John Cartmell 2013