The two beta-builders help keep me in line, pointing out issues and asking questions that, if left unanswered, will be amplified once the book is released. Part of the burden of keeping them busy is the occasional grenade they lobe in, asking some innocuous question or asking about a dimension of such magnitude that it gives me a good scare. The last one was a big deal, something about the rear wheels not fitting(!), but a fast mock-up appears to show all is okay. This could have been a big deal since axle lengths come into play if there’s something major amiss in the rear axle track width. Whenever one of these problems gets lobbed in, it always makes me wonder what they think, after they’ve discovered I don’t know as much as they thought… That’s the deal with beta-builders, they see all the dirty laundry.
Both are apologetic about pointing things out, but that’s exactly what I need and the input is extremely valuable. Also helpful is the input from the third beta… guy. He’s not a builder, but has been a big help on quickly getting the manuscript into Latex, and who has recently started an initial copy-edit. He’s also reluctant to mention my many errors, but the truth is, the more the better. I won’t get my feelings hurt – much – because I already know my skills are less than perfect! (Oh, and he says the manuscript has already caused him to buy a welder in anticipation of buiding his own…)