THE ULTIMATE REFERENCE GUIDE

by Stefan Posthuma and Richard Karsmakers

 

This encyclopaedic reference guide reveals to you a lot of small - oftentimes unimportant - bits of knowledge about various things that have, in some way or other, to do with the history of ST NEWS, as well as with the personal lives of its main two editorial staff members. This guide contains almost 300 entries, which were thoroughly revised and updated in June 2001. They were last subject to a minor revision in January 2003. In April 2007 I removed all external links - many of them had died, and I couldn't keep things up-to-date with well over 300 external links...

1-9

1st Word Plus. Not all that excellent but wonderfully sufficient for the needs of ST NEWS, that's GST's word processor, "1st Word Plus". In 1994 the program name got bought by Compo, which subsequently released a program called "1st Word Plus 4" which was nothing at all like the original and, highly likely, totally unrelated coding-wise. The original started off at the end of 1985 as "1st Word", a freebie word processor for the new Atari platform. In 1987 it got released commercially as "1st Word Plus". The latest version was 3.20TT (1990). No matter how fancy and doubtlessly superior "Le Redacteur" and (oh yes!) "Protext" were, the ST NEWS editorial staff could never quite leave this trusty old program. Besides, the ST NEWS page viewer only exactly 'understands' the "1st Word Plus" format.
These days, GST is called Greenstreet. I don't think they do a lot of "1st Word Plus" updates anymore.

42. A really significant number that nobody will insult you by elaborating upon here.

666. 1. Another fairly significant number, known mostly from quotes like "666, 999...the quotation marks of the beast" and "668...the neighbour of the beast".
'No, we're no closet Satanists. You shouldn't believe everything you see and hear. Nor, I might add, the things you don't!'
(Richard)
2. The computer scene nickname of >Mark van den Boer.

92 million light years. The distance between >Earth and >Sucatraps. Coincidentally (not quite), this is the same distance as that from Earth to the planet that Kim Basinger was supposed to come from in the not-quite-a-hit film "My Stepmother is an Alien". It was sometimes - wrongly - mentioned to be "22 million light years".

A

Abrahamsen, Gard Eggesbø. (b. 19 Aug. 1973) The life cycle of the Minute Microbe, from tiny Norwegian hacker via Canadian married man to divorced person living in the US of A, later in Aalesund and now above the Arctic Circle, >Norway... First came into contact with the ST NEWS editorial staff during their visit to Norway, the Norway Quest. Stayed into contact fervently through means of >Crazy Letters ever since, and wrote various articles for ST NEWS that inevitably seemed to have to do with girls or loneliness. In 1995 he joined Stefan at >Gray Matter. Married 30 Mar. 1996 to Bethani Lynn Snakenberg, separated in December 1997. He has in the mean time (shock horror!) shaved off his moustache and allegedly even cut his hair! He worked with computers at Eclipsys, after that company bought out Gard's previous employer, MSI, in June 1999, and since late 2000 moved back to Norway where he is still very much working in the Internet/IT side of things. Throughout his years on the Internet he's made MP3 music and maintains the totally cult Scriba.Org. His server, incidentally, used to host most of Richard's sites.

ACN. Acronym for "Atari Computerclub Nederland", the people who published the biggest (and, so it seems now, only) Atari magazine in the Netherlands, "Atari Nieuws" ("Atari News"). It's published in tabloid format. Richard worked there for two months in 1991 - April and May - after leaving >Thalion. In October 1993 he bought his >Falcon 030 through them, and in January 1996 a P60 PC. He has had 42 (it's true!) articles published in "Atari Nieuws" since its start in December 1987, most of them software reviews and virus-related articles. It is quite unknown whether they still exist, especially since email missives remain unreplied to.

Adams, Douglas. (b. 11 Mar. 1952, d. 11 May 2001) Writer of the amazingly funny and increasingly bitter five-part "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" 'trilogy'. He's been a major influence on the writings of many of the people who ever wrote for ST NEWS, especially its editorial staff. ST NEWS Volume 3 Issue 6 (November 1988) was >dedicated to him. Early 1998 a computer game was released that he wrote (or at least designed), "Starship Titanic". In May 2001 the unsettling news reached us that he'd died of a heart attack while working out at his California home. A great loss. A compilation of essays and half-written chapters was released in the summer of 2002, entitled "The Salmon of Doubt". It is not half as bad as the previous sentences might imply. There actually might be a "Hitchhiker" film in the pipeline.

Aenigmatica. A Dutch coding crew that ST NEWS has luckily managed to steer relatively clear of (although, arguably, no Dutch Atari user actually ever could). They have a really interesting and highly complex infrastructure, which can't possibly be elaborated upon here. They are known primarily through their "Genysis" demo and the "Genysis 81 track remix". Their last demo, before they turned, well, virtual, was "Genysis III", arguably the biggest megademo ever released on any computer system (and, one might add, fittingly distributed on an 8" floppy disk).
'I have always hated their guts. Every single crew in the Netherlands has at least one member in Aenigmatica, or an ex-member, or whatnot. They infiltrate everything. And the worst thing is that they always got greeted in demo scroll texts before me, damn it!'
(Ri...er...Anonymous)

Aiwa. Make of portable radio cassette recorder (type HS-J202) purchased by both members of the editorial staff on 31 Dec. 1988. Even before they got used frequently (to produce >Crazy Audio Tapes, create verbal accounts to be processed into >Real-time Articles, and >interview people) they had already obtained the lovingly devised nickname of >'Headache Obliteration Device', because of their property of being able to annihilate headaches simply by being used. In 1997, Richard's machine suffered from a loose connection near the microphone jack, which after a lot of procastrination eventually lead him to take it to a shop for repairs in September 1998. Unfortunately, it seems that an ST NEWS afficionado must have spotted in while in transit back from Aiwa to the shop, because that's the last time it was seen. It is officially lost. After a lot of hassle and a lot of stubbornness from his side, Richard got a replacement in July 1999 - a Sony WM-GX670. Although this device has more features than the original (autoreverse during record, for example), it's simply not the same. His heart is broken, and his headaches persist longer than ever.
'We were feeling rich and decided to go out and buy the best that walkman technology had to offer. We walked to this shop and entered. What we said was something along the lines of, "we'd like to buy the most expensive walkman you have." The man didn't take us seriously at all, so we eventually took our business elsewhere. There we decided on this amazing stereo-record Dolby B noise reduction auto-reverse beastie with radio and rechargeable battery built in. And it may sound like a coincidence, but the shop - Sony Center - went broke within six months after that. We believe there's a deep significance.'
(Richard)

Alcoholica. A demo crew consisting of various members of even more famous coding crews. Members seem to have been Toxik Fetus Eater (Spaz of >TLB), Genital Grinder (Sprog of >TLB) and Coprophagic Necrocannibal Eviscerator (Tanis of >TCB). It is unclear whether they ever produced anything, but they reared their ugly head in particular at the >STNICCC in 1990, when they abducted Fury of Legacy, The Person With The Most Smelly Feet In The Universe, in exchange for a ransom of D-cups.
'That was a really bloody event, a dark and, thankfully, censored stain on the history of ST NEWS.'
(Richard)

Alfa Romeo. The make and type of the vehicle (black like the night, an Alfa 33) driven by Stefan during the years in which the ST demo scene thrived. It has transported many famous ST demo scene personalities and saw many, many hours of highways on trips to places like Düsseldorf (Atari Messe), Stuttgart, Stockholm, Trier and London. It was later replaced by a Lancia Delta, after the Alfa had done four years of trouble-free service.

Alida. A cute girl living in the 'dorm' that Richard lived on from July 1988 to September 1989. Stefan developed a major crush on her on New Year's Eve 1988-1989, and was romantically involved with her until May 1989. She turned out to be less than cute after a while, but is prominently present in several issues of ST NEWS. Volume 4 Issue 1 (February 1989) was >dedicated to her. She was the 'creatress' of the >Divine Dessert, Chocolate Mousse.
'Considering the fact that her surname was 'Moene' (an archaic Dutch name for the devil) and that 'Alida' is also the name of a Norwegian rubbish dump site, I might have known earlier.'
(Stefan)

Amazing Cracking Conspiracy (ACC). Originally a highly dubious group of computer freaks on the >Commodore 64, founded 13 June 1985, founding members Antiware, Cronos and Cyborg (yes, A, C and C, it's not a coincidence). On the Commodore 64, their efforts primarily centred around 'ripping' music tunes from games. Originally an independent outfit, around the switch of two of its members to Atari ST it quickly joined the >Flash Cracking Group, and after that the >Desaster Area. Independent once again after some time, well, it had shed whatever illegalities had once shrouded it, and concentrated on making a variety of stuff for Atari systems. Aliases got dropped, with Antiware leaving entirely to concentrate on a career in computer sales. Prime products of the now one-member outfit were ST NEWS and the ">Ultimate Virus Killer". In the beginning of 1991 it joined the >Quartermass Xperiment. July 1996, the ACC folded in upon itself with the release of the final issue of ST NEWS. There are plans for a new outfit on the PC platform, though not of the same name. These plans have been around since 1995 and still haven't materialised.

Ambulor Eight. A fictional planet in the >Cronos Warchild universe on which there is the >Hospital for the Very Very Splattered.

Amiga. A collection of electronic parts and pieces of plastic that was referred to as 'computer' by some of the more misguided people who did not see the glory of the ST. Subject of much ridicule by ST owners, yet it provided a breeding ground for many talented coders. It wasn't that bad a system, really, but many of its users were, well, let's be frank, utter and total twats.

Amiga Demo. A demo coded by the legendary >TEX, to show that the ST was no worse than the >Amiga. The scrolling text in the no-right-border-for-a-bit screen, incidentally, was written by Richard.

Anagram. A simple version of an anagram (i.e. the reversal of the letters) is a thing that is often done with names of friends to come up with names for characters in stories. Most particularly the "Populous" review (written in 1989) has quite a few Norwegian friends' names in them, anagrammised, as well as that of "Populous: The Promised Lands".

Ants. Small, incredibly workaholic six-legged arthropods which don't like aardvarks.
'Somehow, there seems to be a really strange obsession with ants and >honey in quite a few of the stories featuring >Cronos Warchild. If you're a psychologist you might know why and how, but fact is that it's there and that I haven't got a clue where it came from, although I have a theory about the honey myself.'
(Richard)

Appledoor, Klarine. Fictional girl encountered by >Cronos Warchild for a mere figment of a nanosecond in the story ">Oh Yeah II", when they flew past each other, both at close to light speed. He instantly fell in love with her.
'The name was based on "Klarine", which was the name of a girl that our friend >Gard Abrahamsen had at the time fallen in love with, and "Applegate", surname of blonde sex-icon Christina. The story, "Oh Yeah II", was inspired entirely by a >Crazy Letter by Gard in which he explained that he had once again fallen in love with some girl. Crikey, he was worse than I'd ever been, and that was quite a feat!'
(Richard)

ArtiST, The. One of the highlights of Stefan's early 'career' was the winning of a Dutch national computer-kid competition organised by the Dutch government to promote interest in computers. He won one of the top-ten prizes with his group of tools he used to create games on the >C-64. One of these tools was a drawing program with all sorts of funky options like 'fill', 'ellipse' and 'line'. Remember, this was in 1985 or so when "Deluxe Paint" still had to be invented. So when he got his ST, one of the first programs he started writing was a drawing program. This never really got anywhere until he got >"GfA Basic", and then things started happening. "The ArtiST" was born and released in the Public Domain by the 'Elektronikaland' computer club in >Den Bosch. It turned out to be quite a hit and Stefan carried on working on it. People actually sent him suggestions and comments, and eventually "The ArtiST+" came out. Then an outfit called ">Low Price Software" ran by >Hubert Van Mil, the president of the '>ST Club Eindhoven' wanted to sell "The ArtiST" at ST conventions and shows in The Netherlands. By this time the program had become sufficiently sophisticated to be called "The Professional ArtiST". It sold quite a few copies and made Stefan some modest money. It sold the most at the "HCC Dagen".

Atari. Need this really be elaborated upon? It's kept alive on sites like Rich Davey's "Little Green Desktop", Hallvard Tangeraas' "Atari Launchpad", Nicolas Bales' Atari QuickFAQ, Roy Goring's Atari Web Ring, Atari Net, the Atari Historical Society and the Dead Hackers Society. Atari will never die. Well, actually, it's gone belly up a while ago, but the spirit will live on.

Avalanche Magazine. Short-lived pseudo-underground heavy metal magazine, published in the Netherlands but written in English, that Richard worked with from June 1994 to March 1995.
'It offered some great opportunities to meet all kinds of musicians, and got me some real breaks, like visiting the Wäldrock festival to >interview Gwar and Obituary. In the end I got chucked out because I, rather arrogantly, criticised some fellow writers' English and journalistic capabilities and firmly disagreed on the editor not wanting to publish my >Dream Theater interview because, and I quote, "Dream Theater is just a hair band who mimic Fates Warning, and Fates Warning are much better anyway, and Dream Theater is too soft for our target audience." His own Fates Warning interview did get in. The magazine, sadly, folded around the summer of 1995.' (Richard)

B

Back door. A word which has, despite what some of you may think, no kinky connotations whatsoever. Rather, it is a way to enable all ST NEWS >hidden articles in one issue in one fell swoop. Of course, individual hidden articles could be enabled by more or less intricate procedures, but an option was always built in to enable all of them simultaneously (as of Volume 6 Issue 2 only, unfortunately). The back doors always consisted of bits of text that had to be entered while into main menu mode. To make sure that it wouldn't collide with regular hidden article quest thingies, the user had to keep both [SHIFT] keys pressed while loading, until the "About ST NEWS" alert box appeared. Then the back door text could be entered, without [CAPSLOCK] or [SHIFT] pressed, and not forgetting any of the spaces.

 

Issue

Back door text string

Volume 6 Issue 2

the unforgiven

Volume 7 Issue 1

i am satan's pleasure slave

Volume 7 Issue 2

fear of god

Volume 7 Issue 3

my bong is bigger than yours

Volume 8 Issue 1

symphonaire infernus et spera empyrium

Volume 8 Issue 2

pure bollocks is pure bollocks

Volume 9 Issue 1

rectum-faced smeg-for-brains

Volume 9 Issue 2

d.b.a. magazine was here

Volume 9 Issue 3

i love karin kessels very much

Volume 10 Issue 1

congratulations to maggie's first five years!

Volume 10 Issue 2

(had no hidden articles!)

Volume 11 Issue 1

wouldn't you like to know?

 

Bak, Steve. (b. 4 Apr. 1952) One of the legends of the ST, a nice guy and host and guide to Stefan and Richard during part of the famous >LateST NEWS Quest. Together with Pete Lyon, forming the >"Dream Team", he did some of the best games on the ST. He has a wife who thinks cinnamon shouldn't be put on bread, and two lovely daughter whose beds we could crash in during several nights of the Quest. Some of the games Steve did were "Goldrunner", "Dogs of War" and "Jupiter Probe".
'Needless to say, the daughters were located elsewhere in the house. They were aged around 10 or so, anyway.'
(Richard)

Becker, Jason. (b. 22 July 1969) Guitar prodigy who recorded two solo albums ("Perpetual Burn", 1988; "Perspective", 1995) and two albums with Marty Friedman in Cacophony, as well as a David Lee Roth album ("A Little Ain't Enough"). His music really strikes chords in your soul. In 1991 he got diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, a nerve disorder that eventually atrophies the muscles. It's lethal, usually within years, though scientist >Stephen Hawking has had it since somewhere in the sixties and he's still very much alive. Jason Becker impressed both members of the editorial staff very much. ST NEWS Volume 7 Issue 1 (January 1992) was >dedicated to him. Well over ten years later he's still hanging in there, which is a pretty awesome (and awe-inspiring) fact. Mid 2001 ought to see the re-release of "Perspective", with additional tracks played by Eddie Van Halen on there.
'Around the end of 1991 I read that Jason Becker had contracted that horrible disease. I was really affected by it, to the point of nausea. I immediately sat down to write him a long letter and asked if the next issue of ST NEWS could be dedicated to him. He sent back an autographed picture and said it seemed to him "a cool idea". He has since remained one of my most favourite guitar players. His second solo album, "Perspective", released in December 1995, is a momentous piece of work that nobody should be without, not if you like guitar music and neo-classical stuff in general. Jason is on my mind a lot of the time. His ordeal caused me to hate fate, or god, or whatever you call want to call it, whatever caused him, of all people, to get this disease.'
(Richard)

Berg, Lucas van den. Light and shining example of the members of the editorial staff of ST NEWS, and Richard in particular. Lucas wrote the Crimson Column "walkthrough" stories for ST NEWS, starting with Volume 2 Issue 2 (April 1987) and ending in 1992 (although his peak lay within 1987 and 1988). He then lost touch with the whole thing, it appeared. His uncanny mastery of the English language (which he had studied at >University) was inspiring and a joy to read. A fervent RPG fan, his walkthrough stories often revolved around these.

Big Alec. Real name Gunnar Gaubatz (b. 28 Nov. 1973), member of >Delta Force and ST NEWS music programmer ever since Volume 7 Issue 2. For a complete list of the musical pieces he did for ST NEWS, refer to the article on >Jochen Hippel. Gunnar also wrote the music for various commercial releases, such as >Thalion's "Amberstar" and "No Second Prize". He has finished studying electronic engineering, has a PC, and enjoys being on the #atari channel on IRC.

B.I.G. Demo. Legendary demo released 24 Jan. 1988, conceived by >TEX and centring around a whole batch of >Rob Hubbard musical compositions capably transferred to the ST by TEX member >Mad Max. Definitely one of the best demos ever created on the Atari platform, featuring a then record-length (42 Kb) scrolling message and approximately 5 hours of rather excellent music.
'This is the demo I missed most when I switched to the >Falcon. Try as I might, I never could get it to work.'
(Richard)

Bitmap Kid, the. Spiritual child originating from the Bitmap Brothers game, "Magic Pockets" (1991). In the introductory story for that game's review, the Bitmap Kid was borrowed and occurred as the one child of >Cronos Warchild and >Penelope Sunflower. He's viciously cool, and that about sums it up entirely.

Boer, Mark van den. (b. 9 Mar. 1965) Author of ST NEWS' Volume 1 and Volume 2 "MC68000 Machine Language Course". In 1989 he went to South America for a year, after which he came back to the Netherlands for about six months. During those six months, he bought Richard's classic old Atari 520 ST (with Cumana double disk drive and 1 Mb of memory) and sold him his Commodore 128D (which Richard sold in 2001, when a sufficiently good C64 emulator for the PC came along). That way, Richard could upgrade to a MEGA ST. However, not long afterwards, Mark got struck by the travelling bug once more and disappeared to Australia. He went around the country in an old American car for a year, seeing the sights, and eventually settled in Sidney, to work for MacDonald Detwiller, a company that writes satellite guidance software and develops communication systems for that purpose. In the summer of 1995 he moved to work for MacDonald Detwiller's Canadian branch. There, 30 Sep. 1995, he married Genevieve (née unknown). In autumn 1997 he started work in the Netherlands again, then in the UK for a while, but they settled back in >Canada again in 2001. In December 2002, Mark and Genevieve caused twins to see the light of day, Bettina and Adrian.
'Mark is the person who, together with Stefan, was the biggest peer influence on my life. Especially musically! Mark introduced me to Rush, >Queensrÿche, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, David T. Chastain, >Yngwie Malmsteen and >Dream Theater. I owe him, well, almost my entire musical taste.'
(Richard)

Bong. Device first entering the ST NEWS editorial staff's consciousness back in >Commodore 64 times, when >Jeff Minter wrote the immortal words in his game "Sheep in Space": 'do you know what a bong is?' This phrase, repeated in an ST NEWS scroll text around the beginning of 1989, eventually lead to the >Extravagant English entering the world of ST NEWS. A bong is, to cut a long story short, a device used to smoke mind-expanding herbs without the use of cigarettes. Both Stefan and Richard actually got sent a bong as birthday presents from these Extravagant English. Stefan's bong was bigger than Richard's, which lead to the ST NEWS Volume 7 Issue 3 'back door' password text, "my bong is bigger than yours", which enables all >hidden articles in one go.
'These bongs were never actually used, but mine still serves as artefact in my room to raise the odd parental eyebrow.'
(Richard)

Boudier-Bakkerlaan, Ina. The place where Richard lived from July 1988 to September 1989, at number 15-III. It was a kind of student 'dorm', housing 15 people (mostly, though not exclusively, students) who shared one big kitchen, two bathrooms and two toilets. It was fairly cramped, and the rooms a standard 3.5 by 3.5 metres. In summer it was too hot, and there was an all-the-year-through presence of gnats. On this particular floor, Stefan met >Alida and Richard met >Miranda.
'It was the first place where I ever lived, you know, on my own. I really let rip there. I studied Biology at the time, my first year, but never finished it due to general, well, demotivation. A nice period of my life. Everybody should have had such a period, but nobody would be proud of it. Incidentally, my ex-wife >Karin also lived at the Ina Boudier-Bakkerlaan, though at a different address and at a different spot of the fourth dimension, when I first met her..'
(Richard)

Bubble Bobble. Truly addictive platform game released by the long defunct British company Firebird early 1988, followed later on by inferior games the likes of "Rainbow Islands". Both Stefan and Richard developed a keen sense of addiction for this game, though none of them ever got as good at it as Elin Hatlemark, >Ronny Hatlemark's kid sister. It has seen many a playing session during late nights during which ST NEWS was finished, together with ">Super Sprint".

Bus error / Illegal instruction / Illegal exception. Errors that occurred approximately 34,098,439,534 times during the development of ST NEWS, usually much to the howling frustration of Stefan.

C

Camphausen, Rufus. (b. 16 Feb 1948) Probably the oddest person, founder of Canopus Esoteric research, ever to write for ST NEWS. He was director of an Amsterdam meditation centre, and wrote a handful of articles for ST NEWS during its first year of existence. A typical example of one of his severely esoteric articles was the critically acclaimed "Hebrew on the ST", whereas he also concerned himself with numerology. These days he's really into things like Indo-Tibetan Tantra, Thai Phallic Worship, body adornment, the Yoni and the Mystic Mandala. These words seem (and are) wildly out of context, so check out his web site.

Canada. Second-largest country in the world, home of the Mounties and lots of bears. Stefan and >Mark van den Boer eventually went to live there. >Gard lived there for quite a while, then retreated back to >Norway.

Car dating. Unlike what you might believe, this has nothing to do with social contacts with cars, merely those in cars. It's a strange ritual in >Norway, more elaborately explained in the Encyclopaedia Norwegica.

CD-I. The machine that >SPC started developing for in 1992. Stefan recognised its game potential (it had a 68000 processor) and together with >Tim Moss he wrote "Alien Gate", a simple shoot-'em-up with sprite performance unprecedented for CD-I. A demo of the game prompted Philips to issue a five-game contract to SPC. Stefan got >Niklas Malmqvist involved to do the graphics and SPC produced a few games. The group disbanded when CD-I succumbed to the bigger games platforms. Tim went back to England and joined Argonaut software. Stefan worked for SPC for a short while longer and left for >Canada to work for >Gray Matter in February 1995.

Centerfold. Girl threesome (no pun intended) with musical ambitions in the middle eighties of the Netherlands. Richard and Stefan met them briefly during autumn of 1986 at a computer show in >Utrecht, where these girls were performing as part of the sales show of a computer brand that had hired these girls as well as a couple of dozen other pretty specimens of the 'weaker sex' to promote stuff. This company went broke a few months later (actual fact!). One of Centerfold's singer rumouredly committed suicide several years later, to be replaced by another blonde. Not long after that they disbanded.
'I had a couple of printed-out ST NEWS issues with me and one of them got signed by all three original members of Centerfold (including the rather delectable Rowan Moore). A lipstick print of Laura Fygi, one of the other members that later was to go solo, was on that particular issue as well.'
(Richard)

Chadwick, Mel. The first (and only) ST NEWS reader that Stefan got romantically involved with. One of the >Extravagant English, her writings and those of her brother (Ashley) fascinated both Stefan and Richard. After Stefan visited their home town Chorley with >Tim Moss, a great friendship developed between her and Stefan. In one of Stefan's stories, she was one of the few to get >Cronos Warchild on his knees. It was in this story that the Mega Absorb Groin Protector (batteries not included) was introduced.

Chi-Chi. After >Natanga and >Nephilim had passed away, Stefan got another >hamster and called it Chi-Chi, after a small village in >Guatemala. Silver-gray and of superior intelligence for a hamster, Chi-Chi was much loved by Stefan and his friends. Chi-Chi was known for her/his/its kind of 'bridal veil', a fluffy fur thing attached to the bottom end.

Claessens, Math. The ST NEWS resident adventure solver. It started way back in 1986, and he's probably still solving adventures at the drop of a hat. It is believed that wizards or witches (or both) were among his ancestors, for else there would be no way he could solve all these adventure games (including Sierra-on-Line stuff and some role-playing games). He switched to the PC around 1992, because that was the place where a lot more adventures could be found. His accomplice was his son, Peter.

Coliac. A mixture of Coke (Stefan prefers real Coca Cola, Richard later preferred Pepsi Max) and >Plantiac. Known to soothe the throat, lift spirits and generally please taste buds. The term 'Coliac' is believed to have been coined by either Martijn Wiedijk (Lucifer, then of >SOD) or Alex Crouzen (The Nutty Snake - TNS - of the >Quartermass Xperiment and >Aenigmatica).
'Brraarrgghh. Wonderful!'
(Stefan)
'Aaargargl. Lurvely!'
(Richard)

Colombier, Stefan. The first official German distributor of ST NEWS. He actually took care of things neatly, even up to the point of finding a replacement - Guide Stumpe - when he switched to the PC platform. Stefan was into fractals and heavy rocks or something. He even contributed an article or two.

Commodore 64. The computer that started everything for Richard. It has 64 Kb of RAM (38911 bytes free), BASIC built in (rather crap Commodore basic) and the best sound chip in the world (the SID). Around the beginning of 1986, it was boosted with "SpeedDOS", several custom character sets and about 128 Kb of EPROM cartridges. Around Easter 1986 it had to be sold to be able to finance the Atari ST. In 1990, however, he bought back a Commodore 128D, which also has a 'Commodore 64 mode'. The year 2000 eventually saw the 128D being sold as well (through Dutch online auction site Ibazar, now Ebay.NL), what with C64 emulators for the PC actually being quite good these days.
I still play SID soundchip tracks regularly on my PC. They rule. (Richard)

Commodore VIC 20. After being taken to a computer show with Commodore VIC 20 machines showing off the latest games, Stefan was hooked. He spent the next couple of months delivering newspapers and frantically saving up money to buy a VIC 20 and started programming in BASIC. But soon it became apparent to him that most games he was playing were written in another language altogether. He acquired a book on 6502 assembly language and a memory monitor/assembler and started programming his first machine code (technically speaking his first assembly programming was on a Philips >Videopac, but that doesn't really count). The original VIC 20 had 3.5K of memory (about 512 bytes of that were used for the graphics, and you had something like 256 bytes in the cassette buffer), a crude but wonderfully noisy soundchip and about 22 characters across the screen could be displayed. Complete games could be written in the 3.5K; Stefan wrote his first action game in assembler called "Cylon Zap" ("Battlestar Galactica" must have been airing then). The father of one of his friends saw marketing potential and founded a company called "Ultimate Challenge Software", but it never really happened. Later Stefan wrote "Alien Gate", a "Gridrunner"-like shoot-them up. When the memory expansions started coming out (first 8K, later a whopping 16K), Stefan wrote a few adventures and a true game in 16K called "Moon Caverns".

Connie. Concetta by birth, a girl that Stefan met in >Canada. Many superlatives have been heaped on various women throughout the years of ST NEWS, but let's just say that Concetta is the One for Stefan. On 21 Jul. 1997 they got married.

Crazy Audio Tapes (CAT). After >Crazy Letters no longer seemed to suffice in the forever ongoing waves of communication between the ST NEWS editorial staff and the >Nutty Norwegians, the >Aiwa walkmen were used to create Crazy Audio Tapes. These were, generally, verbal versions of >Real-time articles, with miscellaneous noises (eggs frying, doors closing, the editorial staff singing a >Metallica song, perhaps the odd bodily noise) added. Approximately four or five of these tapes were made. All except one (which was sent to Bryan 'The Android' Kennerley from Wales, U.K.) were sent to >Ronny Hatlemark, pivotal point and centre of Norwegian nuttydom.

Crazy Letters (CL). Writings, often of epic proportions, containing anything from assembly code to deeply disturbing and perhaps chemically induced visions. Possibly the most perverted and also brilliant things ever produced with "1st Word Plus" (among them fake >real-time articles of Norwegian visits including >Cronos Warchild, a male Gro Harlem Brundtland and the Mørderöus Gnærhelm; a lot of Z88/MFP/68000 sanity interrupts; reli-nuts extolling Coke Cans, Empty Trash Cans and, indeed, >Empty Trashcans with Something in it; "K-Rhyme" poetry; fiction; Norwegian poetry; long stories involved girls, or a lack of them; appearances of canines called Chester). The table below contains a list of all preserved Crazy Letters ever written by members of the ST NEWS editorial staff. Recorded cases of the Norwegian replies are scarse, but their record-length effort needs to be mentioned: >Gard Abrahamsen, with the aid of his brother Jardar (who is just as insane) wrote an 846,830 byte Crazy Letter from May 5th to December 31st 1990.

 
The Dutch Crazy Letters

Author(s):

Target:

Size:

Started:

Ended:

Stefan and Richard

>Frøystein

61,224

2 days in April 1989

Stefan and Richard

>Ronny

137,199

15-05-1989

17-05-1989

Stefan and Richard

Norwegians

479,887

12-06-1989

26-11-1989

Richard

>Gard

128,000

15-08-1991

04-09-1991

Richard

Gard

89,907

10-02-1992

10-02-1992

Richard

Kai

42,000

20-05-1992

24-06-1992

 

CRL Plc. An English software company, known for the release of several mediocre games and the distribution, from May 1989 to May 1991, of the "Atari ST Virus Killer" ("AVK", which is now >"Ultimate Virus Killer 2000"). Richard got the deal through >Niall McKiernon, and things went really great until they went into receivership at the beginning of 1991. Eventually, they disappeared from the business side of his life, owing him 1,800 that he never saw. CRL claimed to have sold over 20,000 copies of the virus killer, primarily versions 4.1 and 4.2.

Cronos. 1. Hamster owned by Richard, from approximately late 1992 up to his breaking up with >Miranda, when she kept the little animal. A short-tailed dwarf >hamster (Podopus rhoborovski), it developed a weird brain disorder at the approximate age of 1 which caused it to run around in ever decreasing circles, bumping into things. The vet refused to put it to sleep because it was 'so cute' and 'it doesn't suffer any pain'. It died a natural death in November 1994.
2. >Cronos Warchild (spiritual child).
3. Richard's nickname in the computer scene once he'd bought the Atari ST (some time before that, trivial fact alert, he called himself "Whizzkid of Apollo Software", quite pathetic). Although it might be really confusing, what with his spiritual child being called Cronos as well, the characters really have nothing in common, nor are they wishful alter egos of one another.
4. Name of the bassist/vocalist of >Venom, whose real name is Conrad Lant (b. 15 Jan. 1963).

D

DBA Magazine. Competing disk magazine, of Dutch origin, first conceived around October 1991, appearing to have ended somewhere in 1997. Editor was Sietse "Slimer" Postma, currently SMS operator at VNU Publishing. The magazine enjoyed great popularity in the scene, and had a more coder-oriented user interface rather than the plain GEM-style one of ST NEWS. The contents were more coder-oriented as well.
'I rather envied that coder-oriented style of theirs. ST NEWS was never much of a coder magazine after 1989.'
(Richard)

Death. 1. One of the more interesting characters from the "DiscWorld" novels by >Terry Pratchett. As with most ST NEWS stories, inspiration derived from great novels was used to create our own instances of the character Death in some of the ST NEWS stories, most notably such efforts as "Obviously Influenced by the Devil" (part one). Death inevitable talks in CAPS.
2. Death metal band from Florida, lead by Chuck Schuldiner. Although rather plain at start, their later albums ("Individual Thought Patterns" (1993) and "Symbolic" (1995)) were technically brilliant masterpieces. Nonetheless, none of the people involved with ST NEWS were especially into them. This band has been known to do a tour without Chuck (founder, leader, singer and lead guitarist) once (?!). The band split somewhere in time, but 1998 brought them together again for a reunion gig at Dynamo Open Air. This resulted in the deliciously technical album "Sound of Perseverance", and the band seems to be more or less permanently together, with a side project (Control Denied) with a different singer. In 2000 Chuck suffered from a tumor in his neck, which was cured, until it reared its ugly head again mid 2001. Unfortunately, Chuck died in December 2001.
3. Name of a small (38 mm) statuette bearing a small crystal, sent to Richard as a Christmas gift (1990) by the >Extravagant English. It still has a spot in his room.
'May I take the liberty to bestow upon your beings enormous amounts of humble thanks for giving me the ultimate Christmas gift, i.e. Death.'
(excerpt from Richard's letter to Ash and >Mel, dated February 1991)
4. State of no longer being alive (nor kickin').

Dedication. A great way to say you like someone or something. Ever since Volume 2 Issue 3, roughly, every issue of ST NEWS has been dedicated to someone. Sometimes they were girls, sometimes musicians, sometimes writers. A complete overview of dedications can be found in the table, below.

 
ST NEWS dedications

Issue

Dedicated to:

Reason:

2.3

Maryse

Richard had a crush on her

2.5

>Willeke

Richard...need I elaborate?

2.6

Willeke

2.7

Willeke

2.8

Willeke

3.1

Willeke

3.2

Jimi Hendrix

Excellent guitarist

3.3

Evelien

Stefan's girlfriend at the time

3.4

>Corinne Russell

Model (Page 3 girl), babe, "Vixen" game cover girl, had a competition in this issue

3.5

>J.R.R. Tolkien

Astonishing writer

3.6

>Douglas Adams

Great humorous writer

3.7

>Agapi

Both Stefan and Richard had a hopelessly intense 12-hour crush on her

4.1

>Alida

Creatress of the >Divine Dessert, who was kindof Stefan's girl- friend at the time

4.2

>Jean Michel Jarre

Great musician

4.3

Nutty >Norwegians

Great friends

5.1

>Ronny Hatlemark

Because his family had been host to the ST NEWS Norway Quest

F.C.

>Miranda

Richard's girlfriend at the time

6.2

>Jeff Minter

Cult programmer

7.1

>Jason Becker

Guitar talent extraordinaire; news had been read he was struck down by Lou Gehrig's Disease

7.2

>Metallica

The Prime Metal Band

7.3

Whistler Courbois Whistler

Great Dutch guitar rock band, also had an >interview in this ish

8.1

Stefan

Departing editor

8.2

Holst & Hatlemark families

Hosts to the Second Norway Quest

9.1

>Douglas Adams

Released on the day Adams had his 42nd birthday

9.2

Steven Spielberg

Directed "Schindler's List"

9.3

>Terry Pratchett

Excellent writer of fun stuff; interview in this issue as well

10.1

>Dream Theater

New Prime Metal Band; interview in this issue as well

10.2

Katja Kladnik

'>Lucky Lady', sadly departed virus author

11.1/2

Richard Krajicek

First Dutch Wimbledon champ

 

Delta Force (DF). German coding crew that started off as crackers, really, but later became legitimate. Original members were New Mode (now married, first son born November 1997, working as a research assistent at the institute of parallel and distributed high-performance computing institute at the University of Stuttgart on his PhD thesis), Chaos Inc. and Slime. By the end of 1990 they were joined by Questlord, and even later they were joined by Sammy Jo (ex->TLB), >Big Alec, Flix, Wizzcat, >Lord Hackbear and, reportedly, Oxygene (also formerly of >TLB). They are known to have been compared to an ever-expanding, living freak show. To their credit, they have done memorable megademos such as "Syntax Terror" and "Punish Your Machine".

Den Bosch. The city where Stefan's parents moved in the late 70's, also confusingly (to foreigners, that is) spelled 's Hertogenbosch. In a small teenage bedroom at the Negende Donk, Stefan's first coding took place on a Philips >Videopac games machine. The same teenage bedroom was the stage of many hours of coding, including most of the ST NEWS programming.

Desaster Area. 1. Hacking group containing German and Dutch crew members, one of the top crews in the early days of the Atari ST. Quickly joined by the >Amazing Cracking Conspiracy in 1986, but nothing useful materialised or happened otherwise. Desaster Area is believed to have been mostly hot air, wrapped in arrogance.
2. Unbelievably loud rock band, featured in part 2 of >Douglas Adams' increasingly inappropriately named "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" trilogy, named "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe".

Digital Insanity. Stefan's nickname in the Atari demo scene. It existed before he became involved in the ST NEWS process. He joined the Lost Boys (>TLB) around the summer of 1990, and wrote screens for their "Mindbomb" demo. He also participated in the game they did for >Thalion, >"A Prehistoric Tale".

Disintegrating Chair, the. The silent and always suffering witness and support of the posteriors of the ST NEWS team during many hours of ST NEWS issue-creating. Not built for such hardship, it was always in a state of disintegration, hence the name. This particular chair was bought as a set of two in the summer of 1988, when Richard went to live on his own. Its final disintegration was captured on film by the >"ST NEWS Home Vid'" in May 1989. Its counterpart managed to survive - although without a back support for most of the autumn of its life - until approximately early or mid 1994.
'My butt sorely misses that chair, occasionally.'
(Richard)

DISTURB (Digital Insanity's ST NEWS Utility Rewritten Blatantly). After it had become apparent that Stefan no longer had the time and energy to actively participate in the ST NEWS finishing rituals, Richard needed some tools to do it himself. So Stefan wrote "DISTURB" - a tool to collect, pack, prepare and otherwise manage the countless documents and files involved in generating a disk for a new issue of ST NEWS. Most of it was written in 1990 and 1991, though Richard adapted it to the >Falcon early 1994. It uses "Pack Ice" to compress the documents, and then creates a huge file that includes all the articles as well as indices for the ST NEWS file I/O interface to access the articles as quickly as possible.

Divine Dessert, The. A.k.a. 'chocolate mousse', a uniquely delicious dessert made of molten chocolate and a whole load of other ingredients, one of which is orange liqueur, "Cointreau". It was introduced into the lives of the ST NEWS editorial staff by a girl called >Alida, early 1989.

Donaldson, Stephen. (b. 13 May 1947) American author of such momentous fantasy fiction trilogies as "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenent the Unbeliever" and "The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever". Amazing idiom and a fantastic imagination make this series of books - despite the rather unsympathetic main character - an absolute must-read. He also wrote a collection of shorter stories ("Daughter of Regals and other Stories"), a twin-book epic "Mordant's Need" and a more recent impressive science fiction series, entitled "The Gap series".
'>Lucas van de Berg introduced me to this, but Stefan eventually beat me to reading them all. Stefan seemed to have a lot more time on his hands. These are some of the best books I've ever read in the fantasy genre, together with "Lord of the Rings" and the two early Hickman-and-Weis trilogies.'
(Richard)

Douglas Communications. English company of Stockport, Cheshire, founded at the beginning of 1991 by >Niall McKiernon of >Excel Software. Starting with version 5.0, they've distributed the >"Ultimate Virus Killer". The contract expired in November 1996. Douglas Communications have also distributed "EdHak".

Drag, the Insanely Witty One. Fictional character based almost entirely on >Gard Abrahamsen, formed by the reversal of his name. It was used primarily for various introductory stories for ST NEWS, especially those revolving around the Bullfrog games "Populous" and its sequel. The prime characteristic of this character is that he looks around in an insanely witty fashion most of the time, not volunteering any speech.

Dragonflight. Epic flagship game of German software company >Thalion, and actually the reason why the company got founded in the first place, early 1989. The game, not released until at least a whole year later, was designed and programmed by two leading members of >TEX, and the game deserved far better sales than, in the end, it got. Featuring beautiful graphics and animation, it was a RPG set in a distant world where the dragons used to be an intrinsic part of society but now no longer were. The quest to be performed was simple: Find the dragons. But it wasn't as simple as one would think. Although perhaps not quite in the same league as Lord British' "Ultima" series, it definitely came close.
'When Stefan and me visited Thalion, spring 1989, I got commissioned to write the background novel for this fantastic game. I was honoured beyond imagination. I've only written two fairly long fantasy fiction stories, and this was the first. It has an open ending, so I have this feeling that I might one day finish it, and do some rewriting as well. The story so far is almost 40 pages (over 15,000 words) long. >Miranda always reckoned it was the best story I've ever written.'
(Richard)

Dream Team, The. Honorary name coined by the ST NEWS editorial staff during the >"LateST NEWS Quest" to describe programmer >Steve Bak and graphics artist Pete Lyon. Somewhere during this Quest, these were both invited to dinner by the ST NEWS staff, all expenses paid, to pay humble homage to everything they'd done for the Atari world.

Dream Theater. Fantastic band formed 1989 in New Jersey. Well, no, they were formed earlier, but they released their debut album, "When Dream and Day Unite", in that year. In 1992 they released the fantastic "Images and Words", and 1994 saw "Awake". Especially members John Petrucci (guitar) and Mike Portnoy (drums) are appreciated by Richard. Dream Theater is his favourite band by far, having knocked >Metallica off the throne they'd been on from 1988 to 1992. They made one of the finest albums of the previous millenium, "Metropolis 2: Scenes from a Memory" (1999).
'It was a dream come true to be able to >interview these guys in February 1995. They really are my number one band, and my first electric guitar is adorned by Petrucci's autograph, next to that of >Malmsteen! I got introduced to them by a guy called Ruud van de Kruisweg (occasional ST NEWS writer in the olden days) but didn't like them at all. Their singer sucked rock. That was early 1989. But in 1992, >Mark van den Boer let me listen to "Images and Words". They now had a new singer, the songs rocked, and the production was a lot better. I was hooked instantly and bought the album the next day. Been hooked ever since.'
(Richard)

Drinknuts. One of the ST NEWSisms, words made up because there either wasn't a word in existence to describe the thing, or because both members of the editorial staff were blissfully unaware of such a word's existence. A 'drinknut' is, of course, a beernut. It has nothing to do with nuts who drink a lot, or 'crazitude' or 'nuttydom' in general. Needless to say, many a drinknut was devoured during ST NEWS finishings.

Dynamic Duo. 1) A small but perfectly formed demo crew from England consisting of 2 programmers (Marcus Lynn a.k.a. The Shadow and Matthew Augier a.k.a. Hitech). They produced four megademos: "Demon Demo", "Ultimate Demo", "Superior Demo" and the excellent "Imagination" demo disk. They won places in 2 out of 3 demo competitions at the >STNICCC in 1990 but are probably best remembered for their pink ST and 3 inch monitor. These days, Hitech runs his own business software company and Shadow heads a game development team writing PC games and 3D engines at Criterion Software ("Sub Culture" on the PC was their first title ). They have in 2000 each spawned offspring.
2) A German crew back from the >Commodore 64 days, of little fame in the ST scene.

E

Earth. Mostly Harmless.

Eclipse. Software company run by ex->Thalion employee Marc Rosocha, who was responsible for classics such as "Wings of Death" and "Wings of Death II", as well as "Chambers of Shaolin". After leaving the company in 1990 he started out doing games like "Monster Business". Later, Eclipse designed games for Jaguar and Playstation. Their biggest hit was (and is) "Iron Soldier" (and II, and III :-).
'Marc actually asked me to think of a name for his company. Because I was a fan of >Yngwie Malmsteen, who had just released "Eclipse", I thought of "Eclipse Design" or something. Erik Simon made an Eclipse logo and that's about it. Later it was discovered that there was already an old, little known company called Eclipse, but the name was kept anyway.'
(Richard)

Electronic Arts. Company well known for 8-bit classics such as "M.U.L.E." and "Seven Cities of Gold", and later "Marble Madness" on the, um, >Amiga. A variety of famous music programmers of the 8-bit days work there now, including >Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway and David Whittaker. Martin Griffiths works there, too, as well as Leon O'Reilly (Mr. Pink of the Reservoir Gods) and Stefan.

Empty Trashcan With Something In It, the. Somewhere in late 1988 and early 1989, reading >Douglas Adams' books made the ST NEWS writers ever more crazy. And so it happened that, one day, various occurrences of the Extollers of the Empty Trashcan With Something In It came to life, spiritually entering the editorial rooms, chanting slogans, and flapping their >sandals. Obviously inspired by Hare Krishna and Zen followers, these articles just served to take the mickey out of religious nuts. The ST NEWS 'reli-nut issue' was Volume 4 Issue 3.

Enchanted Land. Game programmed by Nic of >TCB for >Thalion and finished autumn 1990. It was the first and last Atari game to feature 50 Hz (1 vertical blank) arcade action on a fully sync-scrolling screen in all directions. Without a doubt the best game on the ST ever, technically.
'Two little known facts of this game are the following. Nic thought of the name of the leading character, Khurgan. This was inspired by the baddy in "Highlander". And I thought up the name of the game, which was inspired by the song of the same name by >Sodom.'
(Richard)

Estefan, Gloria. (b. 1 Sep. 1957) Rather lovely singer who was the model for one of the >Ambulor Eight nurses working in the >Hospital for the Very Very Splattered who re-appeared in a handful of >Cronos Warchild stories. Between the nurse and Cronos there appeared to be a strangely platonic relationship that, for the most part, Warchild was completely unaware of.
'I don't know why I picked Gloria Estefan, really. I am not a fan or anything, but she's pretty, so that's why it happened, I suppose. In later years I might have picked Mariah Carey or Bjørk or something.'
(Richard)

Eureka Event of Excellence. Momentously pretentious event involving a lot of fireworks, 400 singers, some guest artists and >Vangelis, taking place on 18 June 1991. All of it, with the exception of some keyboard fills and, possibly, the choire, was playbacked. Still, it looked really impressive. A visit to this occasion by the ST NEWS editorial staff and various members of the >Quartermass Xperiment was chronicled in a >real-time article in ST NEWS Volume 6 Issue 2.

European Demos. Two-disk megademo, one of the two to be released at the >STNICCC in 1990, together with "Syntax Terror". Made by the >Overlanders, who actually pronounced it as "European Demos". Well, at least they got the plural right, but that was probably because they had Dogue de Mauve, English expert, among their ranks.

Evelien. Stefan's first real girlfriend, back in the very early years of ST NEWS. We're talking early 1988 here, around the time when >TEX visited >ST Club Eindhoven and the first >Real-time article was written.

Excel Software. English company of Stockport, Cheshire, set up by >Niall McKiernon. It primarily distributed Public Domain software in the UK. After Richard had written an article about viruses that got published in the December 1988 issue of >"Page 6", Niall contacted him for a distribution deal on what was then known as the "Virus Destruction Utility". Little more than half a year later, he got Richard a deal with >CRL. In this day and age - with Bill Gates and all - it is unimaginable to have a company with a name like that and not get your arse sued off.

Exceptions, The (TEX). See the entry on >TEX.

Extravagant English. A group of ST NEWS readers in Chorley, England. They wrote some very interestingly warped letters to Stefan and Richard, and a short period of intense correspondence followed. Ash Chadwick was the one who had the ST and wrote some simple but hilarious demos. He later entertained the editorial staff by writing lengthy accounts of autopsies, which he had to assist with for his work. He has a sister called >Mel Chadwick.
'The Extravagant English were very much like the >Nutty Norwegians, only rather more Extravagant and less Nutty. We'd always hoped for Grotesque Germans, Awesome Australians and Berzerked Belgians, but somehow they never came. Closest we came was an Amazing Austrian (hi Marinos!).'
(Richard)

F

Faber, Gerard. A.k.a. Fabersoft, which is, granted, a bit of a silly name. He co-conspired with the creation of ST NEWS somewhere in the 1986-1987 time-span. He then switched to buy an >Amiga with his friend >Jos Schilders. They claimed to be very happy with their Amigas.

Falcon. The computer that ought perhaps to have saved Atari, but that didn't really. Which is really too bad.

FaST Club. Excellent Atari club in Nottingham, England, lead by Paul Glover. They released a magazine called "ST Applications", and faithfully supported Atari ST and >Falcon formats. Ever since original UK ST NEWS distributor >"Page 6 / >New Atari User" started to devote less attention to 16-bit Atari stuff and less to 8-bit, "Fast Club" became the original ST NEWS distributor. They have also been distributing the ">Ultimate Virus Killer" since early 1997. Not long after that they sortof, well, died.

F.A.S.T.E.R. Commercial disk magazine from >Canada which started around autumn of 1986, within months after ST NEWS, and ended with Volume 2 Issue 4, around the summer of 1987. Right from the start it used a GEM-based user interface with a (medium resolution) picture. This was what eventually caused ST NEWS to start using its own user interface (though not originally quite such a good one) starting with the first 1987 issue, Volume 2 Issue 1.
'It was the magazine we looked up to, and certainly the best of its time by a long shot. A year or so later, "ST World" magazine wrote a review of ST NEWS in which it claimed we had got better than "F.A.S.T.E.R.", which was at the time the biggest compliment we could get.'
(Richard)

Fax Wars, the. A friendly war that included a lot of swearing and pictures of Lost People slaughtering Gremlbears (no typo), and vice versa. It all happened one day in the late summer of 1990, through fax, between a number in Sweden and the number of the >Thalion offices in Germany. >Thalion's managing director wasn't very happy the next day, when he noticed how often fax messages had been sent. This eventually accumulated in a special 'slaughter screen' in the >TLB megademo, "Ooh Crikey Wot a Scorcher".

Fender. Make of guitar - a Fender Stratocaster to be more precise - played by the likes of >Yngwie Malmsteen and Jimi Hendrix, and owned by Richard since March 1998. He's even started a Fender Stratocaster fetish/tribute site, Strat Central. At the moment, the Strat's headstock boasts signatures by Joe Stump, John Petrucci, Steve Vai and >Yngwie Malmsteen. Joe Satriani and Ritchie Blackmore will, hopefully, in time, be added.

Flash Cracking Group (FCG). Sortof semi-illegal German crew of which the >Amazing Cracking Conspiracy became a member after them switching to the Atari ST. It only lasted for a few months, after which they joined the >Desaster Area. All this joining and stuff was basically a name thing and never amounted to any serious co-operation. FCG was already pretty 'famous' on the >Commodore 64.

Flying Shark. Game released by Firebird in the late eighties. Reviewing this game, Stefan wrote his first ever 'introductory novel', which was a particularly fine one even though it ended in the death of the protagonist.

Froggies over the Fence. Last of the great megademos, released 29 September 1993 on 3 double-sided disks, originally planned for September 1992. Richard wrote the scroll message of the "reset screen", which was arguably the longest scroller ever written in the history of Atari demo coding with a length of almost 170,000 bytes (this fact has been in fact disputed). Unfortunately, the demo allowed the reader to page up and down through it, and it had become readable as a screen-filling story instead of a simple horizontal scrolling line. The demo was released by a bunch of French crews, lead by the >Overlanders.

Fury. The Man With The Smelliest Feet In The Universe. Known to send worn socks to members of varies other crews, such as >Tim of >TLB and Tyrem of The Respectables. His real name is Fabrice Odero, and he lives in the south of France somewhere.

G

Gehrmann, Holger. First of the Atari ST sound programmers who were any good. He made several games for his company, reLINE software, titles of which include "Extensor" and "Space Port". "Extensor" was a monochrome "Tron" type of game, not too good but with really great music that was the first to use "twin-tone mode" on the Atari YM 2149 sound chip. "Space Port" was a >Commodore 64 "Fort Apocalypse" clone, though not quite as playable. Holger made his music available for use in a project called >"Synth Sample V", including one exclusive composition.

GenST. The assembler of choice, part of HiSoft's "DevPac ST", for Stefan. Using this, he wrote all the assembler code for ST NEWS and his contributions to the >TLB demos.
'Any programmer worth his salt used GenST.'
(Stefan)

Gently, Dirk. Character in >Douglas Adams' books "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" (1987) and "The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul" (1988). Marvelously witty and very, very weird. Inspiring, too.
'Needless to say, both Stefan and me consumed these books avidly. I recently read them again and was once again inspired and awed and its weirdness. Now I come to think of it, I think the Electric Monk might have been the catalyst for all the general nuttyness and crazitude that entered ST NEWS around the end of 1988, which is when we actually got into these books.'
(Richard)

GfA Basic. A very powerful and versatile BASIC dialect for the ST, written by Frank Ostrowski and marketed by GfA Systemtechnik, Germany. Used by Stefan and Richard to write most of the ST NEWS code, and by Richard to produce all of his other programs. Using Pascal-like procedures and fast 100% machine code, it was challenged only by "Omikron Basic", which came on the market too late. Especially through use of "GfA Flydials" by Gregor Duchalski, such programs as "Hiscore Terminal Utility", "Backup Destruction Utility" and >"Ultimate Virus Killer" came by their slick GEM interface using windows and custom dialogs.

Glenlivet. After reading "Magic Kingdom for Sale (Sold)" by Terry Brooks - in which the protagonist took only a few bottles of Glenlivet from the real world to the imaginary world - Stefan decided to try this drink. The smooth and mellow 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky went down well and Stefan introduced it to his friend >Niklas Malmqvist in Sweden. Both became big fans of the drink and many, many bottles were consumed during Nik's monthly visits to Stefan during the >CD-I years.

Googlogulpax (also spelled GOOGOGULPEX). Fictional planet from which uncannily naked, incredibly long-limbed creatures descend to >earth to hand >"Multiface" cartridges to unsuspecting ST NEWS editorial staff members. Creatures from this planet occurred twice in the 10 years ST NEWS lasted, and are known to have taken grave insult to the term "ËÍËìéåÔö!" Unfortunately, only those of you watching this text on an Atari ST will get the true value of this string, for it uses Hebrew characters.This string of seemingly pointless characters was 'accidentally' typed in when Stefan was writing and Richard put on >Sodom's "Live Without Sense" rather too loudly. Although meaningless to most sentient beings, in Googlogulpaxian it means "Go and stick a Brussels sprout up your anal muscle". The planet has an economy that largely thrives on the growing of Brussels Sprouts (come on now, you didn't believe there was enough space in Brussels to grow them all, did you?). As a matter of fact, they have at least 41 different words for "sprout", though only one word for "sphincter".

Gray Matter. The company that lured Stefan away from >SPC, and onto the North American continent. Located in Toronto, Ontario, >Canada, it created games for the Sony Playstation, the Sega Saturn, the 3DO M2 and PC. The company was headed by author of the 8-bit version of the immortal game "Boulderdash", Chris Gray. The company was involved in writing a PC/Playstation version of "The Crow: City of Angels", which was supposed to be the most gory and violent game of all times. As a matter of fact, >Gard Abrahamsen was employed for the sole purpose of designing the blood and splatter scenes. Unfortunately for all involved, not long after the release of the game (which was as badly fated as the film), in autumn 1997, the company went bust.

Greco, Gerardo. First Italian distributor of ST NEWS, later followed up by Federico Bicini. Gerardo wrote some interesting stuff, such as a review of the impressive "ADAP Sound Rack" (early in Volume 2) and an >interview with Shiraz Shivji, the man who according to popular legend designed both the >Commodore 64 and Atari ST on his kitchen table.

Greek Goddess. Title, lovingly bestowed on the waitress in a Greek restaurant (real name Agapi) that was visited by Stefan and Richard after the "HCC Dagen" (a computer fair) in the autumn of 1988. They fell instantly, romantically and head-over-heels in love with her for a period that lasted approximately 12 euphoric hours into which they committed to paper a rather over-the-top and quite self-indulgent piece about her that eventually made it into ST NEWS Volume 3 Issue 7, which they also decided they'd >dedicate to her.
'In March 1989, we eventually had dinner at that particular restaurant, "Zorba the Greek", again. We had a printed-out version of the story with us. Although Agapi wasn't there that particular evening, we gave it to a colleague that said he'd hand it on. He probably had a good laugh! Agapi no longer works there now. As a matter of fact, a few years ago the name changed to "Mr. Jack's" and it's now a rather cramped and cheap Italian/Greek restaurant. I go there regularly because it's so cheap. They sell a gorgeous but culinary barbarian "giros pizza". I always add gorgonzola cheese sauce to add more insult to my taste buds.'
(Richard)

Guatemala. A small country in Middle America. Stefan went here in 1992, visiting his girlfriend at the time, >Ivette.

Gütersloh. Town about 50 kilometres east of the German Ruhrgebiet, suffering from a chronic lack of nightlife. It was the town where >Thalion Software was located and, thus, the place where Richard lived for 18 months from October 1988 to March 1991.
'The best times I had there were the Christmas markets. They used to sell great baked mushrooms then. Gütersloh had no nightlife whatsoever, which was horrible. We'd go to the cinema regularly, though, but the films were dubbed in German. Good thing was that they didn't have breaks in the middle of the film. We spent our evenings working late, writing, coding, or watching videos. We used to live in the old Thalion office, where there weren't any showers, so we just went to the swimming pool really early in the morning to shower ourselves. We spent our time there wetting old German women's hair which they tried - and failed - very much to keep dry.'
(Richard)

H

Häagen-Dazs. After first tasting this in the USA, Stefan became immediately hooked. Certainly the king of ice creams, and still ruling. Much to Stefan's despair, it was unavailable in Holland for years. He had to get his fixes while on holiday in the States or visiting his sister in the UK. When it was finally introduced to Holland, Stefan frequently used to make 20 minute detours while driving home from work to pick up a tub. Now, living in >Canada, the stuff is available to him in every supermarket and gas station, a true heaven. Be assured that his freezer always contains at least one tub.

Hackbear, Lord (LHB). Honorary title, "Ripper of the Decade", bestowed upon Torbjørn >Ose after having hacked the copy protection off the "Thalion Sound Demo". The decade in question is that of the 80's, and Torbjørn also deserved this title because he'd ripped the music from every single issue of ST NEWS up to that moment, and he'd written a special utility to extract and decompress the ST NEWS articles to find the >hidden ones. The lengths to which he'd go were quite amazing. At the same time this title was bestowed on Torbjørn, Karl-Anders Øygard (a.k.a. Wizzcat of >Delta Force) got titled his apprentice. The ST NEWS editorial staff was greatly pleased when Torbjørn adapted this name as his new computer scene nickname and even, much later, joined Delta Force under this monicker. Later, Torbjørn also wrote a small .CPX module to accompany the >"Ultimate Virus Killer".

Hamsters. Small nocturnal rodents that gather food and nesting materials using their pouch-like cheeks. Very cute and cuddly, they make good pets and their endless curiosity and activity make them a great source of entertainment. A funny thing is that many people see hamster-keeping as childish and immature yet every one of the critics melted when confronted with the small balls of fur and were stricken by their cute and friendly appearance. Richard and Stefan have had quite a few, including >Pippi, >Cronos, Malmpje, >Chi-Chi, >Nephilim, >Natanga and >Mr. Pink (and that is just during the ST NEWS years, i.e. from summer 1986 to 1996). Richard and >Karin later had a black hamster called Sean (a.k.a. Shorn), name after the sheep in Wallace & Grommit's "A Close Shave" film. In November 1999 it died and with it became The Final Of The Hamsters. Karin and Richard had three rats, which were actually even more fun (if you're interested, they're all female and called Jopie, Lillith and Velma).

Hatlemark, Ronny. Erstwhile ST NEWS distributor in >Norway and host to the "Norway Quest" (1989-1990), later 'just' good friend after he decided to sell his Atari and embrace the world of PCs and compatibles and once more (co-)host to a smaller "Norway Quest" in the summer of 1993. He was the centrepoint of the >Nutty Norwegians. It wasn't until the general ST NEWS craziness involving >Douglas Adams, reli-nuts and general mayhemmatic absurdity that he really showed himself from his zany side, bringing into the play his friends >Gard Abrahamsen, >Frøystein Hustadnes and Torbjørn >Ose. During the first "Norway Quest" he started seeing Anne-Grete Masdal, with whom he got a daughter, Jeanette (b. 13 June 1992). Not long after the second Norway Quest (summer 1993), they unfortunately broke up. Ronny now works for the Norwegian company Cinet and lives in Oslo. He is trying to give up smoking.
'I still remember the first thing he sent to me. It was a picture postcard of the place where he lived, Ørsta, at the end of a fjord and draped on a mountain. It had a small circle around a house, with an arrow which said "I live here". He became the official Norwegian ST NEWS distributor but I never really heard anything from him for about a year or so. Until he discovered that we were crazy, that is, and he really joined our frayed edges of insanity.'
(Richard)

Hawking, Stephen. Brilliant British scientist suffering from ALS Lou Gehrig's Syndrome, a fate shared by wonder-guitarist >Jason Becker. Hawking has written several excellent and quite exciting books, one of which - "A Brief History of Time" (1988) - was read by the ST NEWS editorial staff.
'A book like that cannot help but change the reader for the rest of his life. Although it's quite difficult, Hawking goes through lengths to try and make it understandable. It really changes some of the basic aspects of life, just to know some of the stuff he knows. He is the Einstein of our time. He wrote another 'popularly' scientific book a couple of years later, but I forgot its name.'
(Richard)

Headache Obliteration Device. Loving nickname applied to the >Aiwa walkmen, caused by their sheer ability to obliterate headaches by inserting the earphones and pressing "PLAY". Although never described as such, they are also "Hangover Annihilation Devices".

Headbanging. An act of repeatedly moving back and forth (or circularly around) of one's head, preferably to heavy metal music. At times it's done with towels on heads, which had a rather hilarious effect when performed on a video like, say, the >"ST NEWS Home Vid'".

Helmond. Town in the southern part of the Netherlands, about 15 km. east of Eindhoven, where Richard lived from his birth in 1967 up to his departure from home in the summer of 1988. The route from Richard's house to the train station is particularly bumpy, particularly when experienced by the behind of someone sitting on the back of his bike.
'A pretty OK place, though I'd prefer never to have to live there again. It's turned very criminal - rating second after the really big cities such as Amsterdam - and has changed quite a bit since I left. I don't feel at home there any more. My parents don't even live there anymore, they moved to Heeze in 1998 or thereabouts.'
(Richard)

Hidden Articles. Ever since ST NEWS Volume 4 Issue 2, with the exception of Volume 10 Issue 2, one or more articles in ST NEWS have been 'hidden'. This usually entailed that some kind of thing had to be performed by the reader (such as pressing a particular key combination, or typing a particular word or number when in menu mode) in order to gain access to articles reckoned not fit for normal exposure. Usually, these featured raunchy song lyrics or rather "American Psycho" type horrors, or dirty bits lifted off some deranged Usenet News group, or segments from fake >real-time articles. Most of the time, though, they feature articles that are funny in a harmless way, but hidden because they were taken from another source. The first couple of ST NEWS issues with hidden articles had separately written segments of the program to cope with them, but there have been standard routines in them since about 1992. They can handle all 'hidden article event types' needed. >Lord HackBear is known to have ripped hidden articles using a custom ST NEWS decrunching tool. One wonders why he did it.
'I always thought that too many disk magazines were made up for too far an extent - or even almost solely - of 'humour' articles lifted off some Internet site or BBS. When we'd come across one of these that was simply irresistibly funny, we'd use them as hidden articles. That way we could at least have the outward impression that we were doing all of ST NEWS just about ourselves. We never used more than 5% of all stuff as hidden articles, I think.'
(Richard)

Hippel, Jochen. (b. 14 October 1972) A.k.a. Mad Max of >TEX. One of the most brilliant Atari music programmers, especially because of his amazing sound routine. He started converting >Rob Hubbard tunes from the >Commodore 64 for the first few TEX demos, which eventually culminated in the astounding >"B.I.G. Demo", released in early 1988. For quite a few issues, starting with ST NEWS Volume 2 Issue 5, he's supplied the music. With the release of Volume 5 Issue 2, the "Mega Apocalypse" soundtrack was not quite what was expected, after which music by other sound programmers was used. He has hardly been heard of since. He popped up and proved not to have changed a bit (except for his hair now having gone) at the >STNICCC 2000. Still a really cool guy, and modest too.
The below table lists the music in ST NEWS. Click on music link to download the original C64 SIDplay file; files succeeded by an asterisk (*) were never available on the Commodore 64 and have been supplied in ST Sound format. To actually get to hear the music, you need to have installed SIDplay and the ST Sound plug-in.

 

Issue:

Title:

Programmed by:

Origin:

2.1

Popcorn*

?

Gershon Kingsley of Hot Butter

2.5

Monty on the Run

>Mad Max

>Rob Hubbard

2.6

Chimera

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

2.7

Warhawk

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

2.8

Ace II

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

3.1

W.A.R.

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

3.2

Thrust

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

3.3

International Karate +

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

3.4

BMX Simulator II

Mad Max

David Whittaker

3.5

Wiz

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

3.6

I, Ball

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

3.7

Balloon Challenge

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

3.C

Phantoms of the Asteroid

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

4.1

Auf Wiedersehen Monty

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

4.2

Zoolook

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard / >Jarre

4.3

Comic Bakery

Mad Max

Martin Galway

4.4

Chris Hülsbeck Remix*

Mad Max

Chris Hülsbeck

Knuckle Buster

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

Galway Remix*

Mad Max

Martin Galway

Panther

David Whittaker

David Whittaker

5.1

Scoop

Mad Max

Jeroen Tel

F.C

Knuckle Buster*

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

5.2

Mega Apocalypse

Mad Max

Rob Hubbard

6.1

Malleus Malliforicum*

The Mind

The Mind

6.2

Repatriated Nucleus Ululation*

The Mind

The Mind

7.1

Freddy's Revenge*

The Mind

The Mind

7.2

Judgment Day*

>Big Alec

Big Alec

7.3

Tubular Bells Remix*

Big Alec

Big Alec / Mike Oldfield

8.1

A Case for Two*

Big Alec

Big Alec

8.2

In Visible Touch*

Big Alec

Big Alec

9.1

Punish Your Machine*

Big Alec

Big Alec

9.2

Bangkok Knights Loader

Big Alec

Matt Gray

9.3

Reality*

Big Alec

Big Alec

10.1

Crystal Clear*

Big Alec

Big Alec

10.2

Stand By*

Big Alec

Big Alec

11.1

Prophecy*

Big Alec

Big Alec

x.C = Compendium; F.C = Final Compendium

 

Hold button. Thing on the >Aiwa walkmen owned by both members of the ST NEWS editorial staff. When in the "on" position, it makes sure no key is accidentally depressed. When in the "on" position, it also makes sure any intended action is not actually executed (even though the key is actually depressed), such as "record" when in one room together with the X-Cops, doing an >interview.
'I was pretty pissed off at my own stupidity.'
(Richard)

Holst, Kai. (b. 20 Aug. 1974) One of the two members (with Leif Einar Claus, lover of 12-year-old-girls and dweller of the arctic circle) of the New >Nutty Norwegians. He got introduced to ST NEWS rather late, so he had missed all the old goings-on. Like Richard, he was also the author of a virus killer program, "Antidote" ('practise safe hex, use "Antidote"!'). Richard and >Miranda visited him (as well as >Ronny Hatlemark) in the summer of 1993. His mother, like that of Ronny, is a great and copious cook. Kai is an unsurpassed knower of old ST NEWS trivia.

Home Vid'. Quite a few of these have been made throughout the history of ST NEWS. The first, of course, was the May 1989 >"ST NEWS Home Vid'". It features a lot of drunken silliness, the ST NEWS editorial staff, and innocent fox terrier named Chester. Later followed the December 1990 "ST NEWS International Christmas Coding Convention Vid'" (of which over 40 copies were made and sent out, and which in December 2000 was transferred onto 3 CDs in MPEG format), the summer 1991 (?) "QX Home Vid' - Looking For Inspiration" and the Yuletide 1992/1993 "The Vid' We Found No Name For". They are sometimes referred to as CVTs, or Crazy Video Tapes.
'The term "home vid'", with the trendy apostrophe at the end, was inspired by the "Cliff 'Em All" >Metallica home vid'. The stuff we did was pretty much like it - the quality ain't that happenin', but it's the atmosphere that counts.'
(Richard)

Honey. Bees' shit. Despite the fact that it comes from a arthropod's arsehole, it tastes remarkably sweet. >Ants have an obsession with it.

Hospital for the Very Very Splattered. A kind of sanatorium for suicidals located on >Ambulor Eight. Nurses - who are known to bear uncanny resemblance to >Gloria Estefan in at least one or two recorded cases - walk around with "Ambulor Eight Hospital For The Very Very Splattered" printed on the back of their uniforms in blood-red, dripping writing most commonly found in B-horror flicks.

House, My. A small adventure game written in >"GfA Basic" used to illustrate Stefan's first programming article for ST NEWS, "How to Write Your Own Adventures" (in ST NEWS Volume 1 Issue 6, November 1986). Based on one of his first adventures written way back for the >Commodore VIC 20 after he got an 8K RAM expansion for it.

Hubbard, Rob. Amazingly talented music programmer and, even more so, composer. Made a name on the >Commodore 64 by writing a large amount of excellent musical pieces for games, such as "Monty on the Run", "Knuckle Buster" and "Master of Magic". He first appeared on the Atari platform in 1987 through the music of a Microdeal game called "Goldrunner" (which was actually a three-voice version of a two-voice tune in the Commodore 64 game "Human Race"). He later did the music for "Jupiter Probe" (Microdeal), "Warhawk" (Firebird) and "Thrust" (Firebird). His last musical piece on the Atari was for Elite's "Thundercats". Quite a few of his compositions made it into ST NEWS through the capable hands of >Jochen Hippel. In the late eighties he went to work for >Electronic Arts, where he is a producer in the audio field. Some of his compositions have been enhanced - sometimes with aid of himself - to be made into full-fledged synthesizer tracks on various products such as the most excellent "Back in Time" CDs.

Hustadnes, Frøystein. Also known as Frøykid and the F-word. Legendary originator of the >Crazy Letters craze. He started writing them to the ST NEWS crew late 1988, stirred by the ever crazier writings (especially those involving >sandals) in ST NEWS. He is the author of the immortal article, "Why the >Earth is Flat". Believed to be very young and tiny, he turned out to be quite the opposite in real life. Unfortunately, the fact that the ST NEWS crew had bought him a red-blue-and-yellow plastic toy truck for him during their "Norway Quest" may have estranged him permanently. He is believed to be concentrating on climbing mountains and attempting to rationalize the principles of >car dating. He used to live in the town of Hustadnes, and indeed he might still.

I

International Coding Conference. Coding conference organised by the German >Delta Force of Stuttgart. They each took place around their place of residence. The first one was organised in the summer of 1990, with the second one taking place from 1 August to 4 August 1991 (covered in a huge >real-time article in ST NEWS Volume 6 Issue 2). A third one, the so-called Virtual International Coding Conference, was an event taking place on the Internet IRC network on 7 November 1995.

International Coding Convention, ST NEWS. See ">ST NEWS International Christmas Coding Convention".

Interviews. Throughout the history of ST NEWS, the editorial staff as well as the various co-conspirators have managed to interview quite a few people of various ilk. A virtually complete list follows. Computer people: Chris "Maggie" Holland, Sietse "DBA Magazine" Postma, David "ST Enthusiasts Newsletter" Mooney, >Jeff "Yak the Hairy" Minter (twice), >Rob Hubbard, Julian Reschke, David Whittaker, Alex "Goldrunner II" Herbert, John "Goldrunner II" Dower, Shiraz Shivji, Jeroen "Maniacs of Noise" Tel, >Steve "Goldrunner" Bak, Stuart "RDD" Coates, Pete Lyon, Damien M. Jones, Ben Daglish, John "Nebulus" Phillips, Peter "Arkanoid" Johnson, Ofir "GEMBench" Gal, Stefan Posthuma, Andy and Dave (of Volume 11, i.e. "Starball"), Tim "Spitting Image" Coupe, the Bullfrog Team (of "Populous" fame), Jez "Starglider" San, >the Lost Boys (and later >Tim "Manikin" Moss separately), Tony "Cybernoid" Cooper, Ian "Carrier Command" Oliver, Dan "NeoDesk" Wilga and Richard "Felice" Spowart. Music people: Whistler Courbois Whistler, Bernd Steidl, Paradise Lost, Entombed, Napalm Death, Yngwie >Malmsteen, X-Cops, Gwar, >Venom, My Dying Bride, Anathema, >Dream Theater, Consolation, Nembrionic Hammerdeath, Kevin Ferguson, Obituary, At The Gates, Altar, Septic Flesh, Nightfall, Orphaned Land, Fates Warning and Jens Johansson. Various other people: >Terry "Discworld" Pratchett and Anne "Dragonriders of Pern" McCaffrey. And, of course, Steven Spielberg (NOT!). There has even been a >hidden article in which Richard interviewed himself.
'I still have a wishing list of people I'd like to interview, though. In the computer biz' there are Anthony Crowther and Martin Galway; in the music biz' there are Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Rush, >Queensrÿche, Deep Purple, Rainbow and >Metallica. I'd just about give my right arm for those. Film stars? No, they don't really do much for me. Quentin Tarantino or James Cameron sound like interesting people, though. Or maybe Kate Winslet?'
(Richard)

IRC. (Acronym for International Reply Coupon) Small green pieces of paper with text in various languages on them. When sent with a letter, they allow the addressee to bring the IRC to the post office in exchange for a stamp. This way, the addressee does not have to spend money on postage when the sender expects him or her to write back. This may seem like a cheapskate thing to do, but especially when a lot of letters require answering, this is a real blessing.
'Nothing beats a lot of English people who simply sent English stamps and expected me to put them on my envelopes that I sent from the Netherlands. I still wonder whether that was subconscious arrogance or just plain boneheadedness.'
(Richard)

Ivette. A >Guatemaltekan girl Stefan met while attending a computer conference in San Jose, California. Love at first sight does exist and a relationship ensued. Later, Stefan visited her in Guatemala and he wrote a story about it in ST NEWS. Long distance and culture shock ended the relationship about a year later.

J

Janssen, Carel. Writer of the long-running "Forth Course", a series of tutorials which started somewhere in ST NEWS Volume 2 and continued up to the final pre->undead issue, i.e. Volume 5 Issue 1. Carel missed submitting his writings for only one or two issues, and that was because he had been the unfortunate victim of a heart attack. Although some people might claim the subject matter wasn't all that interesting, the articles were always superbly written and interesting even for those not of a Forth-y persuasion.

Jarre, Jean Michel. (b. 24 Aug. 1948) French keyboard virtuoso who released a fine range of synthesiser albums, starting with "Oxygene" (1976). ST NEWS Volume 4 Issue 2, of April 1989, was >dedicated to him. He has released quite a few studio albums during the life of ST NEWS, and quite a few live albums as well. He has also released at least 4 live videos. Particularly the "Revolutions" and "Concerts in China" CDs seemed to be really important parts in the ST NEWS finishing processes.

JBL. The make of Stefan's XPL160 speakers. Massive and powerful, and sounding exquisite. Much to the chagrin of the Mad Neighbour, a screaming woman that lived in the apartment below Stefan in >Oss. When he left for >Canada, Stefan sold his >Kenwood stereo, but refused to part with his beloved JBLs. They are now part of a home-theatre set-up in Stefan's apartment in Toronto, >Canada.

Johansson, Lars. (b. 5 August 1975) A.k.a. Dark Shadow, member of the Swedish 'union', Flexichron (which at one time consisted of up to 25 people, members of the Invizibles, Frontline, Hack Pack, Trimate/Bomb Squad, Offbase, Imagina and some other crews). After Ewe Häkansson gave up being the official Swedish distributor of ST NEWS, Lars Johansson became he. Apart from doing the distribution, he has also contributed to the actual ST NEWS contents. He also contributed a >real-time article for a Swedish convention that was so appalling it was refused (the only ever article refused to be put in ST NEWS; it was basically a giant load of semi-unknown people - >Amiga crew people, so it later turned out - saying "fuck" and "shit" a lot and saying how other people sucked). In the final couple of issues, Lars tortured many people by his weird articles and imagery, some of which had to be made into >hidden articles. Lars claims it was a phase in his life. From 1990-1993 Lars was also a free-lance writer for Sweden's biggest paper-based computer magazine, "Svenska Hemdator Nytt". Lars is currently working as a database administrator at the marketing department of an energy company supplying energy to business and household customers across Europe. He has finished writing a full-length movie script that is, as yet, still unsold. From 1990-1993 Lars was also a free-lance writer for Sweden's biggest paper-based computer magazine, "Svenska Hemdator Nytt". In 1997 he ran off to North America and met a nice Canadian girl with whom he's currently living in Stockholm, Sweden with. Lars is working as a customer database analyst for a large European corporation.

Joyce, Bryan H. Author who wrote the "Tavern at the Edge of the Universe" stories for ST NEWS, which were pretty brilliant. Latest thing he wrote that was used in ST NEWS was a very personal autobiography.

K

Karin. (b. 13 Jul. 1973) Richard's second and at the time considered Final Serious Girlfriend, with whom he got married 21 May 1999 after having lived together since 10 Jan. 1998. The end of July 2001 saw them splitting up.
'She was the focal point of my life, it's so frustrating and strange when someone who is such an important part of you just no longer wants to be part of it. It hurt more than anything I can imagine.'
(Richard)

Karsmakers, Richard. (b. 3 Nov. 1967) Founder of ST NEWS and main writer. Lived in >Helmond until 1988 when, after he'd finished secondary school (MAVO, HAVO, Atheneum), he went to >Utrecht >University to study Biology. That didn't particularly work out, so in October 1989 he started working for >Thalion Software in Germany. There he did translations, novella writing and game design (he did the level design for >"Leavin' Teramis", the map design and editing for "Amberstar", and the more complete design for >"A Prehistoric Tale"). In April 1991 he left Thalion and went to work for >ACN. That lasted for two months, so he was on the dole for a month or two before he started his English studies, again at >Utrecht >University. At the same time he went to live together with >Miranda, whom he'd been going steady with since July 1989. They broke up in September 1994, and his ex-wife >Karin entered his life. He finishing his English studies in December 1996, after which he did a one year course to get a teaching degree. Actually having spent about six months in front of secondary school children, he picked up an office automation teacher job in September 1997 which he seemed quite to like. Later on he became even more involved in Microsoft products (Visual Basic 6 and SQL Server 2000 mostly) when he went to work for a variety of other employers that are beyond the scope of this reference guide to chronicle (though his personal web site will reveal all). In 2002, not too long after "the whole Karin" thing (a thing which surprised him no end) he discovered feelings for a girl he'd already known for 10 years...and in October 2002 they moved in together, 5 September 2003 they married, and they intend to live long and happy hereafter. In fact, on 24 April 2004 the family was extended by baby daughter, Anne.
He got his first computer in the summer of 1984, a >Commodore 64 (although he had doubted for a while whether he should perhaps buy a Sinclair QL). Around Easter 1986 he switched it for an Atari ST (512 Kb RAM, TOS on disk, >SF 354 single-sided disk drive, monochrome monitor only, and only "ST Logo", ">ST Basic", "DB Master One" and "1st Word" for software). In 1990 he sold it to upgrade to a MEGA ST2 that he expanded to 4 Mb, which in turn he sold later after he'd bought a >Falcon 030 (4 Mb memory, 340 Mb hard disk) in October 1993. Another two years later the Falcon was sold so it wouldn't clutter of a desk on which had appeared a PC. His Atari activities have since been limited to use of "GEMulator" to update his >"Ultimate Virus Killer". Together with Robert Goodwin, Richard also used to maintain the Atari ST Emulation FAQ.

Kennerley, Bryan. (A.k.a. "The Android") (b. 15 May 1971) Crazy Welsh bloke who came pretty close to being an >Extravagent English person all on his own, without help of the actual Extravagent English at all. Always eager to talk about a variety of topics - including guitars, >Malmsteen, sex, kinkiness, perversion, Satriani, TV, England and Steve Vai - he got into a pretty interesting pen pal relationship with Richard, which actually culminated into a brief visit of Bryan to >Utrecht in the summer of 1994 somewhere (approximately). These days he's doing Web Page design for a site for the promotion of North Wales.
'You wouldn't believe some of the stuff this guy wrote. But that caused me to go really open with him, too. I don't think I've ever been this open with any ST NEWS readers.'
(Richard)

Kenwood. The make of Stefan's mighty stereo system. It produced many, many hours of music to sustain Stefan during his long nights of demo coding and also provided music during the many ST NEWS finishing sessions at Stefan's place. Stefan once extolled it in "Lost in the Ken Wood", a short piece published in ST NEWS a long time ago (beginning of 1988, approximately). In >Canada, the system has been replaced by a high-end Sony home-theatre set-up.

Klaxos Nine. Reputedly, the most boring planet in the universe. People consider walking their snails rather too exciting an event, and would much rather spend their few waking hours watching the grass grow.

L

LateST NEWS Quest, The. Enormous 'quest' undertaken by the ST NEWS editorial staff during the summer of 1989, when Stefan and Richard travelled to England to meet as many software celebrities and visit as many software companies as possible. It was faithfully chronicled in Volume 4 Issue 4, which was dedicated to it entirely. A lot of people were had >interviews with, and companies such as U.S. Gold, Hewson, Vectordean, Gremlin Graphics, Vector Graphics, Barrington Harvey (who did PR for Martech, among others), Virgin Mastertronic, Ocean, >Electronic Arts, Microprose and Argonaut were visited.

Lavaro. A smooth brand of Dutch Brandy, and the penultimate before >Plantiac was eventually discovered. Lavaro is similarly nice, though not quite.

Leavin' Teramis. Game released by >Thalion. It was the first game that Richard did some design for; he designed the playfields for levels 2 and up. A picture of >Jeff Minter can be found on a higher level, where he shoots off llamas that try to kill you. And there's a really frantic level ending around a Napalm Death logo, too. These graphics were done by Mickey Grohe, one of the lesser famous Thalion contributors.

Lemmen, Frank. (b. 27 Oct. 1967) One of the original members of >Amazing Cracking Conspiracy on the >Commodore 64, switched to the Atari ST with Richard around Easter of 1986. He wrote a series of articles called "MIDI Corner", and will probably be remembered best for his fine tutorial, "How to Clean your Mouse". He currently works at a computer wholesales organisation and lives in Eindhoven with his wife, Yvonne, whom he married in October 1997. He actually threw his old Atari ST hardware in the bin early 2000, after it had languished on a bottom shelf for quite some time already. These days he's into motor cycles and electro racing.

Level 16. German coding crew of which member Andreas Franz (coding name Ilja) invented no-border screens on the ST, a technique later infinitely refined (and bled to >death :-) by the Luxemburg crew Unlimited Matricks (ULM).
'Andreas was a weird but totally ingenious person. He was quicker than anyone else down the waterslide, could dive in the water whilst keeping his hair dry and wrote the entire music and graphics movement code for his "Union Demo" full-screen in the NOPs between the border-opening commands.'
(Richard)

Links. Quick ways to crawl, much like a spider, across the World Wide Web. Quite a few of them are hidden in this reference guide. They used to be in a separate list as well, but they were all put back solely in this article in June 2001, possibly just to annoy you...and to make it more difficult to maintain. Hm.

Loucynda. The first of >Cronos Warchild's girlfriends, left behind on >Sucatraps when he started to take the mercenary business seriously on other planets. He supplied her with a sturdy chastity belt before he left, though, and she has appeared in several stories, begging to be released from that burden. Alas, Cronos appeared to have lost the key. Loucynda is rumoured to have run off with a blacksmith.

Low Price Software. Initiative of >ST Club Eindhoven's boss, >Hubert van Mil. It was erected to give members of the computer club a chance to make a bit of money with the software they'd written. Stefan released >"The Artist+" through this, whereas Richard once produced a multi-disk, er, slide show for it (of questionable content). Other programs released on the 'Low Price Software' label were "Picworks" and various other programs produced by >STRIKE-a-LIGHT.

L.S.D. (Little Sound Demo). One of a legendary trilogy of sound demos by >TEX featuring Atari conversions of musical compositions by >Rob Hubbard. It was after these demos that TEX got the idea to do a really big, all-encompassing music demo, which eventually became the >"B.I.G. Demo".

Lucky Lady. (b. 8 Jan. 1973, d. 3 Jun. 1995) Real name Katja Kladnik. Slovenian virus coder who found it necessary to challenge Richard into a kind of arms race where the killing of new viruses was concerned. She died because of a suicide in June of 1995.
'Despite her warped tendencies to create viruses, she was a fascinating person. Especially after she'd switched to the PC, our correspondence became more informal and personal. It left me smashed when she died. The >"Ultimate Virus Killer Book" and ST NEWS Volume 10 Issue 2 were >dedicated to her.'
(Richard)

M

Mad Max. See the entry on >Jochen Hippel.

Maggie. Major competing disk magazine, founded in 1990 by Michael "Sammy Jo" Schüssler of >TLB, later taken over and vastly improved (interface-wise) when he joined >Delta Force. After a while, however, control of the magazine, which had been inactive for a prolonged time then, somehow went to the capable hands of Chris "I like to call people when they're watching films" Holland (b. 1 Nov. 1964), a.k.a. CIH (the "I" stands for "Ian", little trivial fact). The thing that used to be substandard before - i.e. the level of English - now rose to immaculate heights, also because of other authors such as Michael Noyce. Definitely the best disk magazine around now. Their user interface has in the mean time been overhauled by Leon O'Reilly of Reservoir Gods. The sortof official last issue was released at the >STNICCC 2000, in December 2000. Do mind the 'sortof' bit.

Magnat. The make of the speakers that Stefan bought together with his >Kenwood stereo. He later sold them to Richard after buying the amazing >JBL set. Richard stills owns these, as part of a 5.1 system for which they were not originally designed.

Malmqvist, Niklas. A.k.a. Tanis. The graphics artist of the legendary Carebears (>TCB). A highly talented artist, who spent many hours rendering stunning graphics by hand, pixel by pixel. After he met Stefan at the >ST NEWS International Christmas Coding Convention, they started writing letters to each other and became good friends. Later, Niklas became involved in creating graphics for Stefan's games on the Philips >CD-I machine. He married his girlfriend Lotta on 23 June 1995 and lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

Malmsteen, Yngwie J. (b. 30 June 1963 as Lars Lannerback) He Who Plays The Guitars Fastest And Most Brilliantly In The Known Universe (And Beyond), commonly acronymised as HWPTGFAMBITKU(AB). Richard's favourite guitar player for a long time, and prime reason why he quit having guitar lessons (after all, Malmsteen's level could never be attained with the time and effort he was prepared to invest). Malmsteen conjured up a guitar style out of thin air (neoclassical rock), thus claims ex-keyboardist Jens Johansson, and a lot of people have mimicked him since (or tried to). Although no longer his absolute favourite guitar player, Richard was thoroughly chuffed when he could do an >interview with him. He's really cool to his fans, and really can play the guitar most brilliantly. Most recommended album: "Rising Force" (1984). Two of his later albums, "The Seventh Sign" (1994) and "Magnum Opus" (1995) are really good, too. And the fan club - "Malmsteen Militia" - is really cool as well.
'Yngwie Malmsteen's interview was the first really important interview I'd ever done, and I still rank it among the top 3 with those of >Dream Theater and >Venom. It was, truly, like a dream come true.'
(Richard)

Maryse. Girl.
'I don't really know why I chose this girl to be in here but, hey, she is. She was the daughter of the teacher of Latin at my secondary school, and she was really a lovely person. I fell in love with her, needless to say, and in a distant past I even >dedicated an issue of ST NEWS to her. That must have been early 1987, prior to >Willeke. I had crushes all the time back then. Another one that springs to mind is the disastrous Nicole, whom you'll not find in this encyclopedia, and the delectable Yony. And even when I went to >University I didn't cease to have crushes. Prior to flings with one Trea and one Patricia, I had crushes on girls called Anneke and Florien within a matter of days. If you're interested, well, now you know. I have recovered my sanity since.'
(Richard)

McKiernon, Niall. (b. 11 Dec. 1968) Dear friend of Richard and proprietor of >Excel Software (up to 1991) and >Douglas Communications (from 1991). Started distributing the >"Ultimate Virus Killer" at the beginning of 1989, and eventually got Richard a deal with >CRL. He is, virtually single-handedly, responsible for getting Richard through the first three years of his >University English career.
'Niall was one of the few trustworthy people in the software world I know. John Symes of Microdeal springs to mind too, as well as >Jeff Minter. He suffers from general busy-ness, however, and has to be reminded of things all the time. The bad thing about him is that he hates ">Red Dwarf"! His girlfriend, Sharon, loves it, though.'
(Richard)

Metallica. Formerly totally excellent band, certainly the ST NEWS editorial staff's favourite band for quite a few years until a while after the release of the fifth, self-titled album, in 1991. They crashed onto the thrash metal scene in 1983 with their album "Kill Em All", followed by "Ride The Lightning" (1984), "Master of Puppets" (1986) and the album that got Richard and Stefan into them, "...And Justice for All" (1988). Especially the song "One" off that last album is a true Metalliclassic, which has been raped at least once on the ST NEWS Home Vid', where Stefan and Richard cried along with it, 'playing' guitars and wearing towels on their heads. Prominent parts of "...AJfA" song lyrics made it into introductory stories for "Nebulus" ("Eye of the Beholder") and "Populous" and "Populous: The Promised Lands" (both "Blackened"). In recent years, unfortunately, Metallica have turned rather softer, and they are now most heard of when they're defending their right to rip off their fans by fighting Napster and that kind of thing. A damn, damn shame.

Mil, Hubert van. Boss of >ST Club Eindhoven, the computer club that was a big influence on the life of ST NEWS. He was a really funny guy, even though he had an echoeing rear crevice that was inevitably partly revealed by his ever sinking pants.

Milan Computer. TOS-based follow-up to Atari ST and >Falcon, with much higher specs, standard hardware ports/cards, etc. In short: A computer to raise the hopes of Atarians!

Minter, Jeff. (b. 22 April 1962) Stefan's guru and inspiration, programmer of, for example, "Ancipital". His "Gridrunner" on the >VIC 20 still remains a classic and was the example for Stefan's "Alien Gate", one of Stefan's first games on the VIC. Yak the Hairy (one of his nicknames) was later responsible for games like "Revenge of the Mutant Camels" and "Sheep in Space" that Stefan and Richard spent many hours playing on the >Commodore 64. He switched to the ST and released the light synthesisers "Colourspace" and "Trip-A-Tron", but nothing got as much critical acclaim as his commercial games "Super Gridrunner", "Defender II" and "Photon Storm" and his shareware titles "Llamatron" (probably the best and most addictive shareware game ever!) and "Revenge of the Mutant Camels". Especially for the >"ST NEWS International Christmas Coding Convention", Jeff submitted his original hand-bescribbled "VIC 20 Internals" as the first prize for the 3.5 Kb "VIC Times Revisited" competition, for which he also wrote an amazing 3.5 Kb version of "Gridrunner" for the ST (!). >Interviewed twice in the history of ST NEWS (once in Volume 2 and once as part of the >"LateST NEWS Quest" in Volume 4), a third wrapping-things-up interview, in the pipeline since Volume 9 Issue 2, has unfortunately completely failed to materialise.
After moving on from the ST, Jeff programmed several games on the Atari Jaguar, to enormous critical acclaim ("Defender 2000" and "Tempest 2000"). He is still very much active, however of late (summer 2002) he is concentrating on writing Pocket PC games (of which highly playable PC versions also get released). So far he's done "Hovver Bovver 2" and "Deflex", with "Gridrunner++" in the pipeline. Excellent!
'On the '64, Minter did a game called "Hellgate". This was so frantic that the only way to actually play it for more than a few seconds was just to turn your back to the screen and blast for as long as fate would allow.'
(Richard)

Miranda. (b. 31 July 1968) Richard's first serious girlfriend after a series of cheap crushes and one or two semi-sleazy things that went on during the last half of 1988. She lived on his student floor at >Ina Boudier-Bakkerlaan, >Utrecht, so that's how they met. After the >"LateST NEWS Quest", they just grew so much towards each other that they started going steady. That lasted to September 1994, at which time they broke up.
'I won't ever forget Miranda. She taught me a lot and gave me the self-esteem I so often lacked. I would not be the person I am today without her. The worst thing I ever did was hurt her when we broke up, but I guess it was inevitable. We kept in touch until her graduation at the >Utrecht >University faculty of Veterinary Science, early 1996, but then she moved. She left no change of address; I suppose she no longer wants to see me. Well, I can't say I blame her.'
(Richard)

Monochrome Demos. Something that seemed only to happen in ST NEWS. For quite a while - since the middle of Volume 2 somewhere - ST NEWS issues have had scrolling messages in their main menu. When Stefan took over, however, he extended those into true demos the likes of which have never been seen again on the Atari. Whereas the entire world seemed to be concentrating on colour demos, Stefan redefined his own limits. The final monochrome demos saw the light in the Volume 4 issues. These extended starfield-monochrome-scrollers including 'sloping wobblers', 'twin baby wobblers' and >Plantiac-induced 'triple sloping wobbler bouncers', among other silly things that were nice to look at but sometimes difficult to read.

Monty on the Run. Title of a >Commodore 64 game released either late 1985 or early 1986. It had really cool music by >Rob Hubbard. >Jochen Hippel converted this piece of music to the Atari ST, which eventually made it into ST NEWS Volume 2 Issue 5 of July 1987. It ran only in colour modes; it was too fast in monochrome (this was caused by it running from the vertical blank, which happens 50 times on colour but 70 times on monochrome, instead of from the 200 Hz timer).

Moss, Tim. Foreman of The Lost Boys (>TLB) as Manikin, he became good friends with Stefan and Richard. Stefan joined his crew The Lost Boys and they produced some fine ST demos. Tim wrote the game >"A Prehistoric Tale" for >Thalion during summer/autumn of 1990. He later joined Stefan in Holland, at >SPC, to produce games for the >CD-I. Tim's younger brother, Dave Moss (Spaz of The Lost Boys), as well as Tim himself, moved on to Argonaut software not too long after that. They contributed on a game called "Alien Odyssey". Tim left there in 1996, to form a company with some other ex-Argonaut employees, called Fube Industries. This venture seemed not to have borne the fruit he intended. After the summer he moved to San Francisco (or was it Los Angeles?) with his girlfriend, Jo, to work for Sony. He programs Playstation 2 games at 989 Studios.

Mr. Pink. Stefan's last >hamster before he moved to >Canada. Aptly named after the neurotic character played by Steve Buscemi in the film "Reservoir Dogs", this hamster was slightly psychotic yet very sweet. Stefan gave it to >Miranda before he left. The last of the (formerly) ST NEWS-owned hamsters.

Mucky Pup. Party-core metal band that Richard got in to in early 1989 when he walked into >"White Noise" and heard the song "Little Pigs" off their then new "A Boy in a Man's World" CD. He bought the album right away. Mucky Pup enters ST NEWS history once again at the end of that year, when the >Ose clan gets turned into this music.
'Apparently, Mucky Pup wasn't available in >Norway. We just happened to have "A Boy in a Man's World" with us, and the >Oses went mad about it. We sold them our CDs and bought new ones when we got back to the Netherlands. In exchange, the Norwegians - >Ronny Hatlemark, actually - got us to dig the German thrash metal band Vendetta (with their excellent "Brain Damage" on Noise Records, 1988).'
(Richard)

Muier Schipperbitter. A drink discovered by Stefan's father (Harm Posthuma) and one that Richard and Stefan embraced as a great companion to >Plantiac. Sweet and full of herbs, it is a great drink indeed. It's excellent to alleviate throat-aches.

Muier Shipbiter. A fictional species of large flightless tracking bird of Altitude Pleiadis, used by a guest-starring Data in >"Oh Yeah" (the third instalment) to illustrate his theory on post-mortem propulsion. After >death, it is capable of travelling back to its place of birth by means of involuntary post-mortem muscle convulsions induced by electrical patterns emanating from the brain decomposition process. The largest recorded distance covered by this wholly unique means of vertebrate propulsion is 67.62 earth miles.

Multiface I & II. Hardware cartridges produced in Britain by a company called Romantic Robot, allowing games to be 'frozen' and screen snapshots to be taken. "Multiface" was released in 1988, and an improved "Multiface II" in 1989. They were provided to ST NEWS for reviewing, and eventually became the start of a recurring thing in ST NEWS involving offensively nude, long-limbed aliens from >Googlogulpax.
'Brussels sprouts have not been the same since.'
(Richard)

Multifizzic Omega. Fictional planet on which live the >Mutant Maxi Mega Monsters of Multifizzic Omega. This planet eventually got blown up in the >Cronos Warchild story "Lord of the Things".

Mutant Maxi Mega Monster. Inhabitants of a planet called >Multifizzic Omega, reportedly the smelliest creatures in the known universe. They can excrete foul-smelling gases from more than a dozen bodily openings simultaneously. They - or rather, their excrements - first appear in the >Cronos Warchild story "Circus Games", where he had to clean the sanitary facilities of the >Ambulor Eight Thai Boxing School. Appearing several times in other stories, the Mutant Maxi Mega Monsters of Multifizzic Omega eventually get blown up, along with their planet, in "Lord of the Things". Emperor Frothgar the Merciless' daughter, Deirde, was the last surviving member of the race, until she got sprayed by Incandescent Orchid toilet refreshener and evaporated entirely.

My Dying Bride. Seriously doomy and zealously groovy doom metal band from Yorkshire, England, where, if one takes this music into consideration, things must be perpetually dark and gloomy. Make an awesome bunch of music, peaking in their third full-length studio album, "The Angel and the Dark River" (1995). Probably the best band in the genre. In later years they produced a positively mediocre album in the shape of "34.7885%...Complete", to general disclaim, after which they went back to their roots with the excellent "The Light at the End of the World".

N

Natanga. Thrillseeker >hamster, Stefan's first hamster after moving into his place at the >Sibeliuspark in >Oss. The name is derived from the word 'Tatanga' which means 'Buffalo' in a Native American language according to the film "Dances with Wolves". A very peaceful and sweet creature, it was later named 'Thrillseeker' by Stefan Kimmlingen (Tyrem of The Respectables - TRB) after he witnessed it scaling an eight-foot wall and taking a plunge after it reached the ceiling. A sort of bungee-jumping hamster without the bungee. Fortunately, hamsters are resilient so after a short K.O. period Natanga resumed its inquisitive gait like nothing had happened.

Nephilim. A large, black female >hamster with a vicious streak. >Natanga's mate (they produced many offspring) and hostile to anyone but Stefan. After biting >Niklas Malmqvist (Tanis of >TCB) in his nose and finger she was dubbed 'The Killer Hamster'. Needless to say, the name of this hamster was inspired by the gothic band >Fields of the Nephilim.

Nephilim, Fields of the. A dark and gothic band that was active from 1987(?) to 1991. After >Niklas Malmqvist urged Stefan to listen to them, Stefan became totally addicted to their music and to this day he maintains they are one of the best bands ever. Their album "Elizium" (1990) is still Stefan's favourite CD. The band disbanded not long after the release of that album.

New Atari User. New name of British Atari magazine ">Page 6", edited by Les Ellingham, and first British distributor of ST NEWS until they started covering rather too much Atari 8-bit and not enough of the ST/>Falcon side of things (that was May 1993).

News Channel. A disk magazine that appeared in the Netherlands somewhere in 1987 and which remained alive for little over a year. It became kind of infamous for its mainly polemic battle with ST NEWS, which mainly concerned their contacting the ST NEWS authors, using their music and setting up a foreign distributor network by contacting the ST NEWS nodes. For a while, some of the people behind "News Channel" seemed to be getting back in the picture with "STabloid", but this promising magazine unfortunately died in utero.

Norway. Thin but very long country located in Scandinavia and filled with a sufficiently small amount of Norwegians to make the landscape appear unspoiled and beautiful (which it is). The >Nutty Norwegians live in it, and two Norway Quests have been undertaken to it.

Norway Quest. The first Norway Quest was a trip that Stefan and Richard took around New Year 1989-1990 to the town of Ørsta, kindly transported by Lars-Erik Østerud, where >Ronny Hatlemark lived. It was a great visit, really chaotic and exciting, and they met a lot of new friends such as the >Oses and >Gard Abrahamsen. Ronny's kid sister even got a crush on Stefan. Time was spent climbing mountains (or, in the case of Richard, crashing down half-way, out of asthmatic breath), writing the >real-time article, boozing, and playing >"Bubble Bobble". The second Norway Quest was rather more subtle, and undertaken during the summer of 1993 by Richard and >Miranda. They first visited >Kai Holst and then Ronny Hatlemark. The summers of >Norway are much more beautiful because it's just about light all the time (quite different from nocturnal 15:00 hours in the winter), though there are a shitload of flies in the forests!

Nutty Norwegians. Name, lovingly applied to two different "generations" ("batches", actually) of Norwegians. The first real Nutty Norwegian was >Ronny Hatlemark, quickly joined by >Frøystein Hustadnes and Torbjørn >Ose (also see >Lord HackBear). During the first Norway Quest, >Gard Abrahamsen and other members of the >Ose clan joined in. After the visit, the "new generation" came into being later. This included >Kai Holst and Leif Einar Claus. Interestingly, Gard is the only person who was befriended with both "generations". See also all entries starting with Crazy. They like eating IFA Pastiller.
'And then, of course, there was the virtual Nutty Norwegian, Rune. He appeared frequently in >Crazy Letters, but when we visited >Norway he, well, didn't appear.'
(Richard)

O

Oh Yeah. Series of stories Stefan and Richard wrote just as a vehicle for alcohol-induces rantings, featuring a lot of dreamscapes, awakenings, stream-of-consciousness and surreal bits. They inevitably lack a coherent plot or narrative, which is probably what the three "Oh Yeah" stories have in common, apart from the fact that the segments were written by Richard and Stefan alternately, allowing them to go with each other's flow. "Oh Yeah" (the first instalment) was written on the occasion of ST NEWS' going >undead, in spring of 1990; "Oh Yeah - The Sequel" was written in February 1992; "Oh Yeah III - The Third Encounter (And of a Close Kind)" was written in May and June of 1994. >Ants, >Honey and, er, procedures involving hot water bottles , feature in them aplenty.

Olivetti. Brand name of the computer that was used next to Stefan's Atari ST to process the second ever >real-time article (covering the finishing of an issue of ST NEWS at his place). It claimed to be portable, but was in fact only just.

Ose. Surname of a Norwegian clan that flickered briefly into stardom during the first ST NEWS Norway Quest. Members comprise Torbjørn Ose (>Lord HackBear), Ole J. Ose and Morten Ose. When original ST NEWS distributor for >Norway, >Ronny Hatlemark, bought a PC, Torbjørn became the new distributor (and he, too, now only owns a PC, albeit one with a "GEMulator"). Torbjørn worked for EUNet in Amsterdam, Netherlands, until autumn 2000. At that time he was known to visit Wasteland house parties where the strict dress code requires attendees to come in latex, leather, or au naturel.

Oss. A small town in the south of Holland where Stefan lived from February 1991 January 1995, after which he moved to >Canada.

O.U.C.H. Home Vid'. Stunningly artsy but also astoundingly boring videos, of which two sequels were made. The first two were made in 1990, the third instalment about a year later. They were conceived by >Gard Eggesbø Abrahamsen and his equally insane brother, Jardar. The two first parts made it to the ST NEWS editorial staff members. The third part, although requested time and again, never made it there. Parts of it were seen during Richard and >Miranda's trip to >Norway in the summer of 1993. It, too, was as artsy and interesting as its predecessors. It does need to be mentioned that they contained some pretty cool small bits occasionally, most exciting (in fact hilarious in good way) of which was the music video "We Are Norwegians".

Overlanders, The (OVR). French demo crew that started out coding in ">GfA Basic" but eventually switched to machine code and made such memorable demos as >"European Demos" and ">Froggies over the Fence". Among their ranks are Dogue de Mauve (English expert) and the legendary Ziggy Stardust and Mr. Bee, possibly the best coders ever to come out of France (although the independent M-Coder was also pretty good!). Dogue de Mauve is now one of the main producers at French software company Kalisto.

P

Page 6. Not to be confused with "Page 3". Refer to the article on >"New Atari User", of which it was the old name.

Perceval of Zuul. French person who made a deafening appearance on the >STNICCC, since then also known as He Who Burpeth Loudest In The Known Universe. He later formed the record label Season of Mist, a label that has, among others, Mayhem and Nocturnus signed.

Peugeot. The make of Stefan's first car, type 305, a very old and beat-up diesel that belched black fumes and used about a litre of oil every 100 kilometres. It was captured briefly - and with dented rear door - on the >"ST NEWS Home Vid'". After a few months, it was replaced by the >Alfa Romeo. When Richard started work at >Thalion, he soon bought a second-hand silver-coloured Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9. Although it suffered from starting problems at every possible inconvenient moment, it served him well otherwise. Incidentally, >Mark van den Boer also owned a Peugeot 205 before he went to move around the world.
'Hey, they only had a silver-coloured car available, second-hand. I would have preferred a black one, or even red. Anyway, the money I got back when I sold it, upon quitting work at Thalion, propelled me through the financial side of my >University Education for three years.'
(Richard)

PHF. UK music hacking crew that released compilations of chip-and digi music ripped from any source you could think of. Consist of Grazey and Cal. These "Ultimate Music Demos" saw five incarnation, in December 2000 topped by the awesome "UMD 8720", which was released at the >STNICCC 2000.

Piper. Person who used to be connected to a 'Stichting' (foundation) in Amsterdam. He wrote several articles for ST NEWS, and the editorial staff also stayed at his place during the >LateST NEWS Quest. He might still write for >FaST Club's "ST Applications" now and then.

Pippi. An adventurous >hamster owned by Richard in 1986. This small rodent was, in fact, one of the reasons why Stefan contacted him in the first place. The name was given by at the time co-conspirator >Frank Lemmen.
'I once let the animal run free on my >roofroom at the old place where I lived in >Helmond. It disappeared! I put a bucket on the staircase and put hamster food in it. That way, I hoped, Pippi would smell the food, descend the stairs and fall into the bucket, caught again. It was summer of 1986. It was hot. I slept with my bedroom door open. At a certain instant, far past midnight, I awoke because of the scratching of paws, trying to get out of the bucket. It was Pippi. We were again reunited (swallow away a tear of remembered joy).'
(Richard)

Plantiac. Particularly soothing brand of Dutch brandy (in Dutch: "Vieux") which, although not exactly crafted according to a near-natural principles, awards the enthusiastic sipper with a smooth feeling in the throat, a pleasant feeling in the head, a warm feeling in the gullet and stomach, and no hangover to boot! Also known as 'The Divine Fluid', it has been known to make its way on more than one (especially Dutch) coding convention. A few people really learned to like this thanks to ST NEWS, and at least one bottle was exported - to great joy and general shoutings of "yeah!" - to >Norway during the "Norway Quest". To get to the bottom of the process which is used to make this Fluid, the >"Plantiac Pilgrimages" were undertaken.
'After having tested - literally - just about any conceivable brand of 'vieux', Stefan's dad (Harmen Posthuma, may he live to be a hundred and Zen!) suggested we try Plantiac. We'd never heard of it before, but were hooked instantly. It's not commonly available in all the shops, which is probably why we hadn't discovered it yet. That was around mid 1988. Plantiac rrroools!'
(Richard)
'It's the thing I miss most about Holland ever since I live in >Canada. When I came to Holland, last June, I made sure to bring a bottle to Canada with me!'
(Stefan)

Plantiac Pilgrimage, I & II. Two quests undertaken in 1991 in order to get to the roots of the creation process of >Plantiac. The first one consisted of Stefan and Richard going to the quaintly old city of Bolsward, in the North of the Netherlands, where Plantiac was allegedly made (as proclaimed on each bottle to this date). The date was 19 June 1991, the day after the >Eureka Event of Excellence. As it turned out, Plantiac was no longer made there (and hadn't been for quite a few years). After this initial disappointment, a Second Pilgrimage was proposed. This time to the UTO Company in Schiedam, where Plantiac actually turned out to be made, or bottled at least. Unfortunately, Stefan could not attend on this date, 7 Nov. 1991, but Plantiac was only bottled once every few months on the huge UTO company bottling facilities.
'I still remember the smell of Plantiac where the bottles got filled. I thought I was in liquor heaven!'
(Richard)

Playboy. Adult magazine published in a variety of countries. It would never have been in here if it hadn't been for the fact that, allegedly, the 1996 Christmas issue listed the end of ST NEWS as one of the bad things that happened that year. This may be an urban legend launched by one of our kind UK readers...

Poland. Country that was subject of a fairly extensive encyclopedic effort in ST NEWS some years ago, triggered by the fact that there seemed to be an ever increasing Polish Atari scene. For any information about Poland and the Polish Atari scene as such, please be advised to check it out.
'It failed to generate any major movements in Poland, nor did it create an interest in the Polish cause among the non-Polish. Still, it might have taught some people - like I know it did me - something about Polish culture, customs, geography and its Atari scene.'
(Richard).

Popcorn. 1. Title of the first piece of music that ever made it into ST NEWS, in Volume 2 Issue 1 to be more exact. It was a so-called "XBIOS 32" music file. The next three issues were not to have any music, until >Jochen Hip...but that's another story. The tune was written by Gershon Kingsley of Hot Butter. That issue also contained a review of some really excellent music hardware by Fairlight.
2. Cinema snack that is great to munch on in the cinema, though not to hear someone else munch on during such an occasion. Two truly huge buckets full of this stuff were devoured by the ST NEWS editorial staff during their >"LateST NEWS Quest" evening out to see "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in a big London cinema. Popcorn exists in two varieties: Salty (disgusting) and sweet (delicious). People with artificial teeth don't like either kind.

Posthuma, Melanie. (b. 23 July 1970). Stefan's sister. She witnessed the many computer geeks coming and going to and from her brother's room with wonder. She currently resides in Hong Kong with her husband, Craig, working as a flight attendant for United Airlines.

Posthuma, Stefan. (b. 14 Apr. 1966) After writing a few games of the >Commodore VIC 20, Stefan bought a >Commodore 64 and together with his friend Eric van Orsouw started exploring that machine's capabilities. By that time he was doing the Dutch Atheneum, sortof the Dutch 'scientific high school'. He wrote a multi-directional scrolling platform game called "Hades" which became a small Public Domain hit (although there was no such term as 'Public Domain' back then). After that he wrote "Scuttle", a game published by the Dutch software house Aackosoft. He successfully competed in the Dutch national computer-kid competition called "Micro Masters Holland" winning a Philips ":YES PC" (including the ":", yes) that he quickly traded against an Atari ST. His computer interests didn't really coincide with his school work and he failed to complete his high school, much to the dismay of his parents who then insisted that he had to follow a computer training course. He was by then working on an ambitious Commodore 64 project called "Paradox", a vertical shoot-them-up with many zany ideas. But when the ST came around, he abandoned the project. The computer training course sent him to a company called Stebis where he did six months as a trainee. At that point the company changed into >SPC/Company and Stefan became its first employee, programming transaction software for a big Amsterdam bank in "Informix 4GL" under Unix, as far away from games as you can imagine. Years later, SPC started writing software for the Philips >CD-I, something that spawned Stefan's professional games career and ultimately his departure to >Gray Matter in >Canada. He married >Connie on 21 June 1997. In around autumn 1997, Gray Matter went broke and Stefan went to work for >Radical Entertainment. There he was producer for an arcade snowboarding simulation game for Sony Playstation and PC. In November 1998 things proved too unstable at Radical so Stefan moved to work for >Electronic Arts in Canada. He seems to be working up quite a resumee.
On the personal side of things, Connie and Stefan became the happy parents of Kai on 5 September 2003, the very same day Richard re-married.
As far as ST NEWS is concerned, Stefan got into contact with Richard in 1986 due to a joined interest in >hamsters. Strangely enough (true fact!), years later, Stefan would still have Richard's first letter lying in his car console somewhere. Over the years, Stefan continually wrote more and more bits for ST NEWS, including scroller sub-routines and such. He took over the editorial sceptre from Volume 3 Issue 2 to Volume 8 Issue 1 (May 1988 to May 1993).
'I still maintain that if I hadn't spent all those hours locked away in my bedroom writing code for the VIC 20 and the Commodore 64, I wouldn't be in Canada right now producing high-profile 32-bit titles.'
(Stefan)
'I remember that, as a 'music ripper' on the Commodore 64 scene, I tried to rip the music from "Scuttle". It was a >Jean Michel Jarre composition, I think. I failed, much to my chagrin. When I later met Stefan and I found out he'd done that game, he sniggered and I thought this is a small world indeed.'
(Richard)

Practical Computing. Mid-eighties British multi-format computer magazine that Richard was subscribed to around the time when he decided to buy a >Commodore 64, summer 1984. Some of the stories in this magazine later made it into the Volume 1 issues of ST NEWS, lacking proper crediting (oops).

Pratchett, Terry. Writer who did to fantasy fiction what >Douglas Adams did to science fiction. With his Discworld novels he has brought joy and inspiration to many lives, including those of the people in the ST NEWS editorial staff. Unlike Adams, however, he is a lot more optimistic and certainly a lot more prolific. He has written some more stuff, such as the "Nome Trilogy" and, with Neil Gaiman, "Good Omens". All equally excellent.
'Pratchett influences made it into quite a few of the ST NEWS stories, though most in "Obviously Influenced by the Devil". Even >Death appears in that.'
(Richard)

Prehistoric Tale, A. Game released by >Thalion Software, Germany, in January 1991, and written chiefly by >Tim Moss of >TLB with graphics by his brother Dave, during the summer and autumn of 1989. It was designed by Richard, based on the principle of the >Commodore 64 game "Dino Eggs" with lots of new knobs on, but as deadline and costs pressures mounted, more and more bits of the game concept had to be scrapped until, in the end, nothing more than the bare essentials of "Dino Eggs" remained. This was quite a disappointingly demotivating affair for Tim and Dave, and Richard wasn't happy with it either. New Mode of >Delta Force and Stefan also contributed bonus screens.
'I had wanted to do a souped-up version of "Dino Eggs", one of my favourite Commodore 64 games, for years. I recently found a really old picture file of some backgrounds I had drawn myself back when I'd just bought a colour monitor, back in early 1987 or late 1986. To me, the chance came when I could design and produce a game for Thalion. But "A Prehistoric Tale" was a a bit of a disappointment for all involved, even though it scored an average of 75% in all the computer magazines.'
(Richard)
'In 2001 reached news me that Dark Unicorn Productions is doing a shareware PC version of the original, entitled "Dino Eggs 2100.'
(Richard)

Prodigy, The. Pretty intense British band that somehow defies classification. Their album "Fat of the Land" (1997) is most excellent. At least twice, reportedly, members of the Prodigy mentioned ST NEWS as a source of inspiration (which is cool)!

Q

Quartermass Xperiment. Highly virtual - and virtuous - demo coding group on the Atari platform, originally consisting of Relayer (Jurie Horneman, coder), The Mind (Laurens van der Klis, music programmer), Apache (Eloy Wouters, coder) and The Nutty Snake (Alex Crouzen, PR and scroll text writing). Late 1990 they were joined by >Cronos Warchild (>Richard Karsmakers, scroll writer). They have never ever released a demo, nor even a single-screen one, but did write a few scroll texts. The Mind wrote music that was used in one or two >Aenigmatica demos and three issues of ST NEWS (for a complete list, see the entry on >Jochen Hippel). Jurie worked at Blue Byte software (after starting at >Thalion in early 1991), until he joined the French company Kalisto in September 1997. In early 2001 he moved to Vienna to work for JoWood. The last game he wrote for Blue Byte was "Albion", but they will use a 3D engine he wrote for "Incubation" and "Game, Net and Match". Laurens now works for IBM in Amsterdam, where he is involved in programming a mainframe TANDEM computer for the Dutch KPB mobile phone network. He also writes/produces songs, and has taken up skating and cooking. Eloy worked at UCLA in California, USA, for quite a while. He did stuff involving particles or some such physical cool thing. In 2000 he moved to the University of Bristol. Alex, finally, worked at and did Web page design and Java programming for the Dutch company Sumatra until mid October 1998. Not too long after that he started working via Brunel-IT. He left there, too, and now works elsewhere.

Queensrÿche. Formerly excellent progressive metal band from Seattle (one of the few bands, together with Jimi Hendrix, to come out of Seattle :-)), responsible for Richard's prime 1990 concert experience when he went to see them perform all of their legendary "Operation Mindcrime" (1988) album live as part of their "Building Empires" tour. In recent years, the band is not quite as excellent as it once was. Co-founder Chris DeGarmo has left, and in 1999 the band released their second disappointing album in a row, "Q2K".

R

Radical Entertainment. One of Stefan's former employers (since autumn 1997, based in >Vancouver, >Canada. He later went to work for >Electronic Arts. Gard also worked there.

Real-time Articles. One of the few things that were actually invented by ST NEWS, or at least believed to be. The first recorded occurrence was during a visit of >TEX to Holland, in March 1988. Real-time articles add the time factor (the fourth dimension, if you will) to one's writing. No coding party of any kind these days gets done without there at least being an attempt at a real-time article.
'It just seemed to be the logical way. A bit like a diary. I've been keeping one of those since I was 16 - November 1985 - and introduced the actual real-time thing in that after the summer of 1987.'
(Richard)

Red Dwarf. Highly popular and very witty BBC scifi TV series featuring the last human, a highly evolved cat, a hologram and a sanitation mechanoid. Originally discovered in book form by Stefan, and quickly devoured by Richard as well. Only later did they find out that it was a TV series, actually. The scripts and books are written by Grant Naylor, a gestalt entity of two people occupying one body. There's a "Red Dwarf" fan club, too. In 2001 word came out that a movie was going to be made.
'"Red Dwarf" is at least as funny as "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Granted, Adams is marvellous, but "Red Dwarf" is less cynical about things. A clean laugh, but knee-slapping nonetheless.'
(Richard)

Ripped Off. UK crew that got famous for making compilations of smaller and bigger demos. A CD compilation of these disks was released at the STNICCC 2000. One of their members, Bilbo, during the life of ST NEWS was somewhat of a frequent contact. Since then lost to the computer scene, he's rarely heard of. The two remaining members are Wiz and Stick.

Roofroom. One of the ST NEWSisms, words made up because there either wasn't a word in existence to describe the thing, or because both members of the editorial staff were blissfully unaware of the word's existence. A 'roofroom' is, of course, an attic. One of these particular roofrooms was occupied by Richard while he still lived with his parents, in >Helmond.

Rune. Virtual Norwegian, introduced by >Ronny Hatlemark in an early 1989 >Crazy Letter as one of the people who would be present at the then still hypothetical visit of the ST NEWS editorial staff to >Norway. Like >Frøystein Hustadnes and Torbjørn >Ose, he quickly became part of hypothetical >real-time articles of visits to Norway and the like, but in the end sight nor sound was caught of him when the visit really happened. He may never have existed. Much later it was found out that his full name is Rune Hyldmo.

Russell, Corinne. In ST NEWS Volume 3 Issue 4 there was the review of a game called "Vixen", published by Martech. It was a rather lousy game, but ST NEWS had a true competition where several copies could be won, thanks to the efforts of their PR agency, Barrington Harvey (and their employee, the lovely Nadia Singh). To cut a long story short, Corinne Russell was the Page 3 model who was hired to pose for the game's intro picture and accompanying poster. The posters in the games to be won were all signed by her.
'That issue was also >dedicated to her. The competition, by the way, was to guess her sizes as accurately as possible. I don't know the sizes anymore, but they were of the kind that you wouldn't complain about if your girl had them.'
(Richard)

S

SAG War. One of the blacker pages in the history of ST NEWS, the exact circumstances of which were, in hindsight, even pretty hazy back then. As it happened, the ST NEWS staff got wind of some bad practises of the "S.A.G." (acronym for Stichting Atari Gebruikers, ~ Foundation/Society of Atari Users). They chose not to act, because it didn't really involve them. But then, when ST NEWS tried to earn a little money (about 1 Dutch guilder per PD disk sold) during Volume 3, the S.A.G. treated them like dirt. And that set Richard digging, finding all kinds of putrid bits that culminated into a large article in ST NEWS Volume 3 Issue 4. This nearly caused >Lucas van den Berg to quit writing, as one of his best friends was in the S.A.G. 'board'. An apology was printed, but Richard still maintains that the S.A.G. were up to all kinds of unsavoury practices.

Saldo, Petar. The only official distributor ST NEWS ever had in Africa - in the Republic of South Africa, actually. The co-operation was short-lived, though.

Salon de la Micro. A computer show in Paris in autumn 1990 where Richard had to represent >Thalion at the Ubisoft stall (Ubisoft were the French distributors for Thalion). It was an interesting experience, which included a prostitute, a bouncer with ring-filled fists, a visit of the >Overlanders and an evening of cabaret like only the French know how to make. It was chronicled fully in a pseudo-real-time article (see >real-time article) in ST NEWS Volume 5 Issue 2.

Sandals. Things worn flappingly on the feet of reli-nuts (>Empty Trashcan with Something In It), which were often heard fictionally on staircases and kicking at the doors of the heinously blaspheming ST NEWS editorial staff members.

Schilders, Jos. (A.k.a. DSP (years before Digital Signal Processing was the rage), System Z and probably another name or two) One of the people who worked with ST NEWS for some time in 1986. In 1987 he switched to the Commodore >Amiga and became somewhat of a no-no.
'Jos has been seen at computer shows once or twice since, but has otherwise been lost completely to the Atari scene, which was probably a good thing :-)'
(Richard)

SF 354. The old Atari single-sided 3.5" disk drive. The biggest Atari screw-up of all times.

Sharpe, Tom. Author who, with books such as "Wilt", "Wilton High" and "Riotous Assembly", has entertained many people, amongst which the ST NEWS editorial staff. Stefan was the first to read all the books, and Richard followed with most of them. The books are unparalleled when it comes to chaos, and appear to be written backwards (at least plot-wise). Genuine side-splitting humour.

Shaw-Gardner, Craig. Writer of at least two humorous fantasy fiction trilogies that all had to do with wizards who were allergic to magic, hapless apprentices, mythological creatures and barbarians called Henrik. He influenced the ST NEWS writings to some extent, but his own obvious >Pratchett influence never made him quite as good as the latter.
'When reading his stuff I could never get rid of the impression that I could have written it. I never had that with >Adams or Pratchett, where I merely wished I could have written them.'
(Richard)

SHN (Stichting Homecomputer Nederland). Dutch computer group that met in various southern Dutch places on various Saturdays of the month. This is where many contacts were laid in the early days of ST NEWS, including meetings with ICG, the Destroyer, >Mark van den Boer and >Math Claessens. The ones visited most happened at Nijmegen and Venlo.
'This stuff went back even further. I used to go there with >Frank Lemmen before we switched to the ST, and met all our fellow >Commodore 64 music rippers (ICG, TMC, etc.) there. Those were good times.'
(Richard)

Sibeliuspark. The street where Stefan lived in >Oss.
'We made pictures of ourselves near Stefan's place in the snow there one winter day in early 1991, wearing nothing but shirts and shorts, and toting >Plantiac bottles. A couple of these pictures were published, together with an >interview, in French "ST Magazine" (3/92). That was a good laugh, and really nice.'
(Richard)

Sodom. German band, arising from the thrash metal explosion there, together with Destruction and Kreator. Destruction turned crap, but reunited promisingly with original vocalist Schmier in 2000. Kreator have outclassed Sodom by miles ever since guitarist Frank Blackfire went from Sodom to Kreator. Sodom's live album "Mortal Way of Live" (1988), however, was an integral part of the more frustrating parts of the ST NEWS finishing processes. Both Stefan and Richard had the album, which was considered excellent to get rid of frustration and hard-core anger (even though Stefan's parents had a boxing bag suspended from the ceiling in their >roofroom, which was sometimes used by the editorial staff while Stefan still lived there). The line which caused mortal insult to creatures from >Googlogulpax arose one day while this particular album was unceremoniously hurled into Stefan's >Kenwood CD player. One of the most classic thrash albums of all times, "Persecution Mania" (1987), is made by Sodom, as well as their immortal "Agent Orange" (1989), which was the last album Frank Blackfire played on.

Soozooki, Hang Foy. Martial arts expert and castrator of arthropods, introduced first in the 1989 story "Last Ninja". He reputedly gave some fighting lessons to >Cronos Warchild.

SPC. The company that Stefan worked for from 1987 to 1995. The SPC headquarters in >Oss were host to the >"ST NEWS International Christmas Coding Convention". Stefan's boss, Joost, gracefully allowed use of the premises and also granted Stefan the many holidays and long weekends during the >Thalion/Trier summers of the big >Lost Boys demos. SPC's main business was writing financial software for banks and insurance companies. Stefan was mostly involved in the design and implementation of transaction processing software for a bank in Amsterdam and the realisation of a highly complex registration system for international life insurance companies. Sounds very boring if you're used to bit-bending multi-plane parallax scrollers on top of hardware scrolling 3D starfields, but was actually quite interesting in a strange sort of way and gave Stefan a very solid programming experience. SPC is owned by a friend of the guy who ran the computer training course that Stefan attended after failing his high school. He accepted Stefan into the course even though Stefan didn't meet the strict requirements that included a high school diploma. But he was smart enough to recognise Stefan's potential and soon, Stefan was writing examination software for the school during his BASIC and assembler classes. When the trainee assignments were handed out, he uttered the immortal words "I have a friend who needs a good programmer, it's not really a trainee job, but I think you're up to it."

SPC later went on to do games for the >CD-I entertainment system using the talents of people such as Stefan, >Niklas Malmqvist and >Tim Moss.

Spirits of Doom (SOD). Dutch coding crew consisting of Cthulu (coder), Evil TS ("TS" meaning "Testicle Shredder"; graphics artist) and Lucifer (coder), founded by the last of these three. There may have been one or two more members at some time or other. They were introduced into the ST NEWS way of life during the >"ST NEWS International Christmas Coding Convention". They were often referred to, lovingly, as "SODjes" (Dutch for "SODlets" or "SODtettes" or something). Cthulu eventually went to work on >CD-I for >SPC. Lucifer got kicked out, for some reason or other, and went on to become Lucifer Eksod. These days, Lucifer is an IT person at CMG.

Spurious Interrupt. Something in connection with the >Amiga Demo. It eventually delayed its finishing by something like 6 hours, or possibly a few more. It was extensively covered and explained in the first >Real-time Article.

Stakker. U.K. band that released "Humanoid", possibly the only house track ever liked by the ST NEWS editorial staff. The CD single, of which Stefan can be seen flipping out on the >"ST NEWS Home Vid'", was eventually given to Torbjørn >Ose during the "Norway Quest". Somewhere during the last few years of the millenium, Richard managed to convince Torbjørn to hand the item back, so right now it's owned by a former ST NEWS editorial staff member again.
'I have regularly regretted giving that CD single away. It was, after all, quite a good and catchy track. I was glad to get it back, for old times' sake and all that.'
(Richard)

Starchaser, Korik. Stefan's attempt at creating a character like >Cronos Warchild. It died after one feature story and a few mentions here and there in other stories. There is a rumour that he developed a crush for Fragilia Franatica, a princess of sorts.

Starship Titanic. Dazzlingly impressive (3-CD) PC adventure game co-written by >Douglas Adams.
'When >Ronny Hatlemark and Torbjørn >Ose visited my place on 30 May 1998 they bestowed on my humble being a copy of this very game! Now I will simply have to name my firstborn after them...Ronny Torbjørn Karsmakers, just imagine...'
(Richard)

ST Basic. Horrible BASIC dialect that came with the old Atari ST machines. It was later replaced by the far better "Omikron Basic", but already it seemed too late. It used windows and only gave you a couple of dozen free kilobytes to program in if you ran TOS from disk on a half megabyte machine.
'Atari's second-biggest foul-ups. The prime screw-up, of course, was the >SF 354 floppy disk drive.'
(Richard)

ST Club. See >FaST Club.

ST Club Eindhoven. Atari club based in the southern Netherlands city of Eindhoven, run by >Hubert van Mil, a.k.a. the man with the echoeing arse crevice. Discovered in the mid 1986 months, it helped ST NEWS grow and ST NEWS helped it grow, a perfect case of semi-parasitic synergy. Around the end of 1988 (or the beginning of 1989), the club was renamed to "Stichting Computerclub Eindhoven" ("Stichting" ~ "Foundation") and became primarily Apple-based after van Mil left to work for Casio or Sanyo or something. Its number of members quickly dwindled. Also see >Low Price Software.
'Both >Frank Lemmen and myself were 'members of the board' for about a year, probably in early 1988 or something. We had both been members of the >Commodore 64 club "Triorex" in our native town of >Helmond before, and we'd grown with it. But when the ST came around we did the same with ST Club Eindhoven. It was really cool.'
(Richard)

ST Connexion (STCNX). French demo crew of many members. They did quite a few demos, but unfortunately always seemed to be behind the vanguard formed by the >Overlanders. Klaus "Vantage" Berg, a.k.a. The Great Dane (who's a Danish bloke who moved to France a long time ago), later became the official contact person for the ST NEWS distributor in France. Patrick "Krazy Rex" Reynaud is now a successful graphics artist. After having done some award-winning 3D stuff in France, he went to work for Buf Compagnie (3D/morphing), a company that has done effects for films such as "City of Lost Children" and "Batman IV" as well as many video clips. He now works in Brazil, at the multimedia division of TV Globo at Rio de Janeiro.
'They seem to have a thing with the phrase "hey potje jam", which they repeatedly sung on camera on the >STNICCC Video. Odd folk.'
(Richard)

Stead, Roy. Author of a variety of short stories in ST NEWS, eventually climaxing in the publication of his entire debut novel - "Cui Bono - The Bloodless Coup" in the final four issues of ST NEWS.
'I think Roy is a brilliant writer, and especially "The Bloodless Coup" had a great plot, too. It baffles me to know that he didn't get it published anywhere else. He's currently writing an extensive piece involving a future where people talk Esperanto. I read the first chapter or so. It's really promising.'
(Richard)

ST Logo. Useless disk that came with old Atari machines that could be used better for other matters (beer matters).

ST NEWS International Christmas Coding Convention (STNICCC). Perhaps the biggest and most famous gathering of ST crews in the history of the ST. It started 21 December and ended 24 December, 1990. For various close friends (>TLB and >TCB, mainly) it started one day earlier. Over a hundred people attended his convention in >Oss, The Netherlands, which was actually attended by every single important crew member from Europe with the noted exception of -ME- of >TEX. Even a lot of Scandinavian crews such as Omega and Sync attended, which was really cool. ST NEWS Volume 6 Issue 1 was dedicated entirely to it, and also featured the results of the "VIC-20 TIMES REVISITED" 3.5 Kb demo screen competition, to which >Jeff Minter had also sent an entry (a 3.5 Kb version of "Gridrunner"!). The >"European Demos" and "Syntax Terror" were released on this convention. Merchandise included a 107 minute VHS video, a DVD version of that video (released in early 2004...) and a white XL T-shirt with exclusive artwork by ES of TEX. Interesting bit of trivia: The T-shirt mentioned "I've been to the ST NEWS International Christmas Coding Conference - And I Survived". This should have been 'Convention', of course. It was a great success and in July 1998 plans were initiated to do a reunion on the event's 10th anniversary, which then took place in December 2000. This was a cool mix of 'new' and 'old' scene people, and plans are made already to do a 25th anniversary reunion in December 2015!
'The original convention was the coolest event I've ever been at, and I don't just say this because we organised it. It was a great atmosphere of friendship and all, and Stefan had organised everything very well. The only way it could be outclassed would be by inviting exactly the same people over and have -ME- and Oxygene attend. -ME-, I seem to recall, had an exam the day after, or something.'
(Richard)

ST NEWS Home Vid', The. A home video shot with a borrowed >SPC video camera on two days and one alcohol-dipped evening and night in May of 1989. Only three original copies exist and were owned by Stefan, >Ronny Hatlemark and Richard. If features near-legendary footage, amongst which is the ST NEWS chorus singing along, drunkenly, to >Metallica's classic "One" with towels on their heads, >headbanging and maltreating at least two guitars. It is unknown where Stefan's copy resides, as he gave it away when he went to a PAL-incompatible country.
'The time around which we made the video, the first couple of issues of ST NEWS Volume 4, that was the peak time with regard to frequency, quality, and motivation. We were like young dogs, and on top of that we were young dogs that got along exceedingly well. That changed over the next year. We were still friends and ST NEWS still went OK, but somehow a magic ingredient was lacking. I still can't quite put my finger on it. Youth, maybe?'
(Richard)

ST NEWS - The T-Shirt. In the summer of 1993, Richard visited a town in the south of the Netherlands called Valkenburg. There he happenstanced upon a T-shirt vendor with an offer to print on it any text he'd want. So he made one with "ST NEWS - The Atari ST Disk Magazine" on the front and "There can be only one" on the rear. This would have been the beginning of a merchandise line if it hadn't been for the fact that washing the thing at 40 degrees just about made the text disappear. After having washed it once, he used a permanent black marker on it to brighten up the text and hence used it only to put it in the hands of famous people and then photograph them. People who've had it in their hands include, in chronological order: Entombed, Napalm Death, >Yngwie Malmsteen, Obituary, Gwar, My Dying Bride, At The Gates, Altar, >Dream Theater, Slayer, >Venom, and >Ronny and Torbjørn.

STRIKE-a-LIGHT. Software company of Eindhoven, Netherlands, consisting initially of Robert Heessels and Eerk Hofmeester. >Frank Lemmen joined them for about half a year after he came out of military service, somewhere in 1989. He coded their virus killer "Virus Fixer" with Robert. Apart from Eerk's contributing to the writing side of ST NEWS, Robert did the pop-up menu bar in Volume 2 Issue 6 and the pull-aside menu bars in Volume 3 Issue 1. STRIKE-a-LIGHT (yes, the CAPs are the way they write it) are known from products such as the game "STrikey" (which was a "Pacman" kind of game), "Picworks" (a picture utility) and various other titles. They also released products by other programmers, examples of which are "5-in-1 RAM disk" and "Optidisk". They have in the mean time ceased to exist.

Studio Craft. Make of speakers that were connected to Richard's audio system purchased early summer 1988. Though not quite as impressive as Stefan's >Magnat things, they still sufficed to inspire the ST NEWS editorial staff during the >Utrecht-based scribblings and finishing rituals. When Stefan switched to >JBL, he sold his Magnat speakers to Richard. For a while, Richard used the Magnats with the Studio Crafts ("Made by Bose") in a four-corner setup, but when he had to move to smaller premises in October 1994 he just kept the Magnats.
'The Studio Crafts, which were lovely but just not quite a good match for the Magnats, currently vibrate the air at my parents' place. James Last, Scottish Highland Pipers, Gypsy Kings, that kind of thing. No, sadly, I am not kidding.'
(Richard)

ST World. The first computer magazine that ST NEWS was ever mentioned in, even though it was merely as part of a PD library's advert. The magazine folded in 1992 or 1993, a great loss.
'I remember I got quite some kicks out of it. That was back in early 1987. By the end of that year they wrote that we were better than the competition, >"F.A.S.T.E.R." magazine from >Canada. That gave me even more kicks!
' (Richard)

Sucatraps. A fictional planet where potentially strong male babies of the entire universe are brought to, to be trained as mercenaries annex hired guns. It's a reversal of "Spartacus". It is located 22 million light years from >Earth, and >Cronos Warchild was born there.

Sunflower, Penelope. Giant woman, said to need coal-fed engines hidden between her flaps of flesh to pump around the gallons and gallons of blood coursing through her enormous body. Like two dissimilar ships clashing in the night, she and >Cronos Warchild met and, following the environmental catastrophe they caused, parted. This is the only known time when Warchild actually begot a child. This child was later dubbed '>The Bitmap Kid' and appeared in a background novel for "Magic Pockets".

Super Hangon, the Code in. An interesting bit of trivia: In the Volume 3 issue 5 (or 6) review of the Activision motorcycle racing game "Super Hangon" there was an instance where a patient number was mentioned. This number was "20.18.5.1". At the time, Richard was having this thing with a girl called Trea. The numbers correspond with the number of the letters in the alphabet, forming her name.

Super Sprint. Together with ">Bubble Bobble", one of the classic games that was inevitably played during the finishing of ST NEWS for the time that Richard and Stefan made it jointly.
'Probably the most playable racing game ever. Microprose's "Formula One Grand Prix" was an entirely other league, but "Super Sprint" had so much more staying power. I still played it with some regularity, after an, er, acquaintance cracked my original for me so it worked on the >Falcon. The copy-protection disabled that previously, you see. I miss the game a lot now I have a PC.'
(Richard)

Swaan, Rob de. (A.k.a. Softkill) Reputedly the first man to solve the Magnetic Scrolls adventure "The Pawn". During the Volume 1 issues he published a few hint articles in ST NEWS. He was the first person ever to get a R.I.P. dedication article in ST NEWS (Volume 2 Issue 1), when he died prematurely and left behind his wife Debbie and son Bruce. >Synth Sample III was dedicated to his memory. It was the first of three times when someone close to ST NEWS died (also see >Willeke and >Lucky Lady).

Synth Sample I-V. A collection of music demo programs released by the >Amazing Cracking Conspiracy in 1986. "Synth Sample I" was released on 20 May 1986 and consisted of a number of "N-Vision" pictures drawn by Richard with music ripped from various demos and games. It only ran on monochrome systems. "Synth Sample II", released on 27 July 1986, was made together with >Frank Lemmen. This time it ran on colour systems only, with pictures added by Frank and a few new compositions. "Synth Sample III" was just about the same, but the pictures were better (and included some by friends) and there were more compositions entered by Richard and Frank themselves. It was released on 15 December 1986. "Synth Sample IV" was a monochrome thing again, featuring about 10 XBIOS 32 musical pieces. It was written by Richard but improved by >Jos Schilders (he added a reverting scroll line) before it was finally released, 27 November 1986 (yes, prior to "Synth Sample III"). The sequence of "Synth Sample" demos was supposed to be topped off by "Synth Sample V", produced by Richard (graphics) and Stefan (graphics and programming) with music supplied by >Holger Gehrmann, including a special composition written for this demo exclusively. It was slated for release on 10 July 1988, but problems eventually prevented it from ever being finished.
'All of a sudden the music refused to work at all, which was very frustrating. A fine product down the drain. It had a scroller like the 'gallery' type thing in the >"B.I.G. Demo", and the music really was quite good. A shame indeed.'
(Richard)

T

TCB (The CareBears). A Swedish crew consisting of the finest and most talented individuals ever to roam the Atari demo scene. Original members were Nic (Niclas Thisell), Tanis (>Niclas Malmqvist), An Cool (Anders Nilsson) and Jaz (Andreas Suurkuusk). Later, around 1990, they were joined by GoGo (Thorsten Mutschall), who was their only German member. Nic was the best coder who ever lived (and as far as is known he still does - live, I mean), and Tanis was pretty close to the best graphics artist. Tanis went on to do stuff for >SPC with Stefan, and got married in 1995. Nic left >Thalion in the summer of 1990 (he'd worked there for about a year), after finishing the smoothest (sync-)scrolling ST game of all time, "Enchanted Lands". The times of old seemed to come to life again when The CareBears started programming ingenious Java bits and pieces (check out their site), but that seemed more like a post-mortem spasm in retrospect. Anders 'An Cool' Nilssen dropped programming in about the end of 1995. He now works at a professional video production company in the United States, where he is primarily involved in hardware matters. He is married to Camilla, with whom he got a son in the summer of 1997.
'I have actually lived in the same house as Nic for half a year or so, after I'd just started work at Thalion. He had the true touch of genius, i.e. he was really silent and withdrawn. He only really became alive among fellow coders, which he all dwarfed.'
(Richard)

TEX (The Exceptions). Legendary German crew consisting of Daryl (Michael Raasch, PR person and coder), >Mad Max (>Jochen Hippel, music programmer), ES (Erik Simon, graphics person), 6719 (Gunther Bitz, programmer) and -ME- (Udo Fischer, programmer). They later became the core members of >Thalion with Holger Flöttmann. The Exceptions have created a number of legendary demos, such as the >"Little Sound Demo", >"B.I.G. Demo" and >"Amiga Demo", whereas they later joined The Union and contributed to the "Union Demo". Their last demo efforts made it into the "Life's a Bitch" demo, summer 1990. They were the ones who, with some help of their friends, discovered how to open the lower border and the right border of the screen.
'Had I never met Markus "Bitstopper" Hertfort (or Herfort, or Herzfort, I can't quite recall) I would never have gotten into contact with The Exceptions. A lot of things - ST NEWS, Thalion - would have been quite different.'
(Richard)

Thalion. Semi-legendary German software company, formed by members of >TEX and various people who had left Rainbow Arts, unsatisfied with what had been achieved so far. The most memorable release, no doubt, is "Dragonflight", a fantastic Role Playing Game programmed by -ME- of TEX with graphics and design by ES (and music by >Mad Max, of course). Richard worked at Thalion from October 1989 to April 1991. It was a great company to work for, but eventually he became tired of the whole thing (mostly the fact that it was a company in Germany instead of the Netherlands) and left. Some of the remaining employees took up work for Blue Byte in the old Thalion office (which also used to be the place where half of the old Thalion people, including Richard, lived). An early 1989 visit to Thalion of the entire ST NEWS editorial staff was chronicles in an ST NEWS >real-time article.
'I do remember that time fondly. Manuela, the Thalion secretary, was just too cute for words. Our eating habits used to be really bad. We inevitably ate Chinese in the afternoon, and then went to eat Greek in the evenings. Watched German-dubbed video all night, showered in the swimming pool, and devoured huge amounts of pizzas.'
(Richard)

TLB (The Lost Boys). One of the best demo debuts was possibly the "Def Demo", firmly establishing the reputation of TLB in the ST demo scene. Stefan and Richard visited >Tim "Manikin" Moss and his friends during the >"LateST NEWS Quest" and Stefan joined them shortly after. They produced the "MindBomb", "Life's A Bitch" and classic "Ooh Crickey wot a Scorcher" demos, as well as the game >"A Prehistoric Tale". Other members of TLB were Spaz (Dave Moss - music and graphics), Sprog (Marc Palmer - coding), Oxygene (Fabian Hammer, German, also known to intimi as "The Hammer") and Sammy Jo (Michael Schüssler, German, founder of "Maggie" and later member of >Delta Force).
'Not many people remember that TLB were going to do a series of programming tricks for ST NEWS. Eventually only one "Def Demo" screen - the "Twist Scroller" or something - made it into ST NEWS. Also, it is a little known fact that Tim credits an article on horizontal scrolling by Stefan as the thing that got him into coding on the ST in the first place.'
(Richard)
'In early 1999, word reached me that a British dance group called 'The Tamperers' has made a song that includes sound samples from the "Life's a Bitch" "Bittner Rap" song!
(Richard)

Tobjørn. Name mistakenly used to identify Torbjørn >Ose (a.k.a. >Lord HackBear) through a length of time in the early days of >Crazy Letters, early 1989.

Tolkien, J.R.R (John Ronald Reuel). (b. 3 Jan. 1892, d. 2 Sep. 1973) Fabulous writer ("Silmarillion", "The Hobbit", "Lord of the Rings"), who is believed to have instigated the fantasy fiction trilogy craze which started in about 1985 and still hasn't ended. Nobody outclasses him, though some authors come close (>Stephen Donaldson with his "Unbeliever" series, Hickman and Weiss with their "Dragonlance Legends" and "Dragonlance Chronicles", and Guy Gavriel Kay with his "Fionavar Tapestry" trilogy). Tolkien influenced the writings of the ST NEWS editorial staff greatly. It is difficult to ignore his way of handling language when writing anything involving dragons, hobbits, trolls, goblins, elves and dwarves. ST NEWS Volume 3 Issue 5 was >dedicated to him. Little known fact is that he coined the plural "dwarves", which officially needs be "dwarfs". "Dwarves" is now accepted English.
The first years of the 21st Century should see the release of three movies based on the three books of "Lord of the Rings". These will be directed by Peter Jackson, known from films such as "Heavenly Creatures" and the much better "Bad Taste" and "Braindead" (US title "Dead Alive").

Tommy Software. German software company lead by Thomas Maier. Made some interesting software ("1st Freezer", for example) as well as a couple of games ("Trash Heap", among others). Especially the games were rather bad. Later on, in 1988 and 1989, Tommy Software released the impressive "Sound Machine" (or was it "Sound Monitor"?) in a variety of improved versions, as well as a big drawing package called "MegaPaint".

Toole, John Kennedy. Writer of "A Confederacy of Dunces", a great novel of little fame that Stefan loves. It features Ignatius J. Reilly, a hopelessly overweight, loudly procuring philosopher and nihilist blundering through his own and other people's lives. Hilariously funny and viciously satiric, this book is a must-read for everybody. Sadly, Toole committed suicide after he couldn't find a publisher for his life's work. His mother later did manage to get it published and it became a cult hit. After reading the book, Stefan wrote "Ignatius' Day Out", a short homage to the character.

Toronto. The city in >Canada where Stefan resided in his >Gray Matter days. The biggest city in Canada, the cultural and economical center of the country and a great place to live, it has more restaurants than any other city in North America and it is also the film capital of Canada. Needless to say, Stefan enjoyed it immensely.

Towel. Something that Interstellar Hitchhikers need. When on the heads of ST NEWS editorial staff members when >Metallica's "One" is playing, it makes them bang their heads in even sillier ways.

Twilight World. Fiction-only Internet magazine first released 21 April 1993 as "Twilight Zone". After friendly warnings that this was not just the name of a TV series but also of a magazine by the same people, it was changed into "Twilight World" when the first Volume 2 issue was released in January 1994. "Twilight World" was started as an ST NEWS spin-off magazine, but eventually garnered some stories by its own readers as well (which inevitably made it into ST NEWS, too, while that still existed). Six issues appeared every year, and it's edited (and, unfortunately, mostly filled) by Richard. After the first three years, issues have become irregular in frequency. The magazine has in the mean time folded due to spectacular lack of popularity.
'Almost all half-decent ST NEWS stories have made it into "Twilight World", including those by Stefan and, for example, Bryan H. Joyce. And my own stuff is always overhauled, so in theory the versions in "Twilight World" have less spelling mistakes and are, in general, better.'
(Richard)

U

Ultimate Virus Killer, the. Program written by Richard which started life as "Virus Destruction Utility" until its name was changed into "Atari Virus Killer" for >CRL and, eventually, the name became "Ultimate Virus Killer" for >Douglas Communications. Over thirtyfive versions have appeared, and Richard even released the >"Ultimate Virus Killer Book", of which exactly 49 copies were sold (which was rather disappointing). The first version of the virus killer appeared (as "VDU") in December 1987. At its 10th anniversary, the program became "Ultimate Virus Killer 2000", ready to take on a new decade. In June 1999, Richard released version 8.1, deciding that 8.1 and later versions will be shareware (check out the "UVK 2000" support site for it). In July 1996, by the way, the book was released as shareware on disk, using the ST NEWS user interface. Check out the download part of this site if you want it.

Undead. Something that happened to ST NEWS in the spring of 1990. Both members of the editorial staff felt there was a lack of time and inclination, so they ended ST NEWS with Volume 5 Issue 1. With Volume 5 Issue 2, however, ST NEWS hurtled back on the scene in an '>undead' capacity, and has remained so ever since. They simply couldn't stop the blood from flowing where it oughtn't.
'Not many things actually changed. The only thing that did and that I can recall is >Carel Janssen's "Forth Course". That ceased after going undead.'
(Richard)

University. State institution that Richard studied at, in Utrecht. He started once at a Biology thing, from 1988 to 1989, but that wildly backfired due to a lack of motivation and there being rather too much freedom for the first time in his life. He entered the working world for two years, until he started his English studies in September 1991. He graduated and became a Master of Arts in December 1995, and in January 1996 started a course to become secondary school teacher of English. He rounded that off in December 1996.

USA. The country that Stefan visited many times on holidays and business trips. Three of the holidays he spent there were chronicled in ST NEWS. An interesting bit connected with ST NEWS is the US official distributor, Dan Hollis. He had a strange fondness of Dutch music, especially when sung in the Dutch language. He instructed Stefan to purchase CDs of bands like Doe Maar, De Dijk and Frank Boeijen. These days he's much into Linux and Japanese Anime.
'Buying some of those Dutch language CDs for Dan were some of my most embarrassing moment ever in a music store.'
(Stefan)

Utrecht. With the exception of weekdays spent in Germany from October 1989 to April 1991, this has been Richard's home town since the summer of 1988. It's a great town, with the cinemas, bars and record shops (see >"White Noise"!) crammed closely together near the highest of the Netherlands' church towers (the "Dom", 112 metres high). It has seen the creation of some of the best issue of ST NEWS, the >"ST NEWS Home Vid'" and most Dutch-originating >Crazy Letters.
'I've lived at six addresses in Utrecht, which were at least four too much. I loathe moving.'
(Richard)

V

Vancouver. Stefan's current place of residence, on the Canadian west coast not too far from Seattle, ever since he went to work at >Radical Entertainment after >Gray Matter went broke in autumn 1997. >Mark van den Boer and his wife Genevieve live there too.

Vangelis. (b. 29 Mar. 1943) Synthesiser virtuoso, more bombastic, original and prolific than >Jean Michel Jarre. Best albums include "Albedo 0.39" (1975), "Spiral" (1977), "China" (1979, a soundtrack), "Chariots of Fire" (1981, an Oscar-winning soundtrack), "Antarctica" (1983, a soundtrack), "Direct" (1988) and the later released "Blade Runner" (1994, a soundtrack). His latest albums are "Voices" (1995) and "Oceanic" (1996). See also >Eureka Event of Excellence.

Venom. Truly legendary metal outfit which formed the basis of just about all doom/death/black/thrash metal in the early eighties with albums such as "Welcome to Hell" (1981) and "Black Metal" (1982). Drummer Abaddon was >interviewed in ST NEWS Volume 10 Issue 1, and both him and bassist/vocalist >Cronos in the final issue, Volume 11 Issue 1. In 1997 they released a new album in the original Cronos-Mantas-Abaddon line-up, the excellent "Cast in Stone". Abaddon was no longer present on "Resurrection" (2000), which was a good album too (and with better drums to boot :-).
'That interview was another dream come true. Cronos had always been kind of a hero to me.'
(Richard)

Videopac. A highly archaic cartridge-based games system released by Philips in about 1982 years ago. This was the first computer-like device that was owned by Stefan. He mainly used it to play games but surprisingly enough, it had a keyboard, made out of those flat plastic press-through-the-membrane keys. Stefan regularly bought new cartridges for it, and one of them contained a crude assembler-like programming language with about 127 bytes of memory. This is where Stefan set his very first steps into what was to become a very lengthy career of computer programming.

V.I.R.U.S. (Acronym for "Vereniging van Intense Rockende Utrechtse Studenten; which approximates "Society/Foundation of Intensely Rocking Utrecht Students). >Utrecht student society formed June 1990, of which Richard was a 'member of the board' from summer 1992 to summer 1995, and then again from summer 1997 to summer 1998. They released a five/six-yearly magazine called "Bacil" (English: "Germ"). In early 2001 they ceased to be.
'A really cool society, through which I've discovered many a fine band - Theatre of Tragedy and Dark Tranquillity, as well as Cradle of Filth, Samael and Therion, for example. We go to gigs together and to Dynamo Open Air, in tents. Great people. Just great.'
(Richard)

Viruses, Computer. Nasty things discovered - on the ST, anyway - in the autumn of 1987. Richard and >Frank Lemmen wrote a quick virus killer called "4USKILL.PRG" to get rid of the first virus (the "Signum Virus", a.k.a. "Key Virus" or "BPL Virus"). This was later followed by the ">Ultimate Virus Killer" that Richard did. Richard claims he was the first to write about them, in ST NEWS Volume 2 Issue 8.

Vrees, Herman de. (A.k.a. Manus, for some distinctly odd reason) Author of the long-running "GEM VDI Calls" programming tricks series which started in ST NEWS Volume 1 Issue 4. Unfortunately, the tutorial series was written for the quickly obsolete ">ST Basic".

W

Warchild, Cronos Jehannum. 1. Richard's spiritual child and protagonist in 32 ST NEWS introductory novelettes and stand-alone stories (as well as a few single-paragraph occurrences) between early autumn 1988 and December 1995, some written by others, but most by Richard. Misspelt as "Chronos Warchild", he's been used as a playable character in Elite's game "Dogs of War" (1989), written by >Steve Bak. That was his claim to fame. The name came from the Deep Purple song "Lovechild", the name of the bassist/singer of >Venom (">Cronos") and the "J." from names like Arnold J. Rimmer (">Red Dwarf") and >Yngwie J. Malmsteen. He was born on >Sucatraps, his mother being Adnarim the Beautiful and his father Drahcir the Insane. Although these parental names seem very significant, they were really just easily made up. Only few people may know that Cronos Warchild was also planned to appear in a series of text-only adventures with the distinct ST NEWS flavour of humour and language, to be released on Atari as well as PC, but these ideas got canned due to lack of time and motivation.
'I don't recall where the middle name came from. It was just there, all of a sudden. And "Jehannum" seemed to sound pretty OK in a weird and archaic way. Better than "Judas", anyway.'
(Richard)
2. Coding name of Richard Karsmakers.

 
Cronos Warchild stories and their authors

Fire & Forget

Richard

Star Ray

Richard

The President is Missing

Richard

Circus Games

Richard

Ballistix

Richard

Last Ninja

Richard

Populous I

Richard

Rambo III

Richard

Airborne Ranger

Richard

Dogs of War

Richard

Savage

Richard

Blood Money

Richard

Populous II

Richard

The Troll

Stefan

>A Prehistoric Tale

Richard

>Oh Yeah

Richard and Stefan

Fire & Brimstone

Richard

Torvak the Warrior

Stefan

Cadaver

Richard

Ghost Battle

Richard

Killing Game Show

Richard

Powermonger

Alex Crouzen

Magic Pockets

Richard

>Oh Yeah II - The Sequel

Richard and Stefan

Speedball II

Richard

Me Cronos you Fam

Martijn Wiedijk

Cronos in Wonderland

Richard

Fatal Fam

Martijn Wiedijk

Obviously Influenced by the Devil

Richard

Lord of the Things

Richard

>Oh Yeah 3 - The Third Encounter

Richard and Stefan

Obviously Influenced by the Devil Too

Richard

 

White Noise. Excellent record shop in the centre of >Utrecht, and integral part of the ST NEWS finishing processes; whenever an issue was finished at Richard's place, the Saturday mornings would be spent in town, buying (bootleg or other) CDs. The >Den Bosch counterpart of "White Noise" was "Elpee". "White Noise" was cheaper than most record shops and offers unrivalled choice in the, say, 'heavier' section of the music industry. Late summer 2004, unfortunately, the shop ceased to be.

Willeke. (b. 16 May 1968) Centre of Richard's devotion for quite some time, starting with ST NEWS Volume 2 Issue 5 being >dedicated to her (and the next few as well). He was seriously deeply in love with her, until eventually it grew into something like a brother<>sister relationship. She got married with Henk Heins in 1990, who unfortunately died a few years later because of a heart attack. Around that time, Richard wrote a >hidden article in which he gave vent to his anger, frustration and grief at Henk's death.
'Willeke is the girl that caused me to write the most poems ever. I guess it was that stage of life. I just put on >Vangelis' "Antarctica" and off I went. She actually wrote a short article for ST NEWS somewhere around autumn of 1987, called "Why Girls don't like Computers". When I broke up with >Miranda in autumn 1994, Willeke chose Miranda's side. I haven't seen her since and haven't heard of her after I received a Christmas card that year. I had thought our friendship was deeper than that, but obviously it wasn't. A real shame, for she sure was something, and probably still is.'
(Richard)

Wizards, The. English translation of a series of German articles published in German "ST Magazine" (at the time the best Atari magazine by far), written by >TEX. The articles covered smooth horizontal scrolling, anti-alias drawing techniques, opening the lower border and, amazingly, >Mad Max' music routine. They appeared, translated, including all source code, in ST NEWS Volume 3 Issue 5 and on, with permission from "ST Magazine" and TEX.

X-Y

XBIOS 32. An Atari TOS operating system call that allows the specification of a memory address at the location of which a data file can be stored containing information about music to be played by TOS. Although it allows music to be played comfortably and compatibly (such as in ST NEWS Volume 2 Issue 1, ">Popcorn"), it is no way near as flexible as some of the sound routines by people like >Jochen Hippel and >Rob Hubbard.

Z

Z88. Portable, lightweight, A4-sized computer designed by Clive Sinclair and marketed as, in full, the Cambridge Computer Z88. A really handy computer! Extensive parts of >Crazy Letters and >Real-time Articles were written on it, using its resident "Pipedream" word processor. It uses EPROMS as storage media, and can be expanded to over 1 Mb internally. With the arrival of the >Falcon, Richard's Z88 was rendered useless because the corresponding cable and software (to port the writings to "1st Word Plus" on the ST) no longer worked; the cable simply didn't fit anymore for the Falcon has a different serial port, and the software, well, just crashed. Although technically still owned by Richard, it resides somewhere in a nondescript box in the attic of his parents' place, between Meccano and Playmobil stuff. In these days of 16+ Mb PDAs with color screens and all that, let alone powerful and compact laptop computers, the need for a Z88 has somehow waned.
'This machine was bought early 1989, for use during the >"LateST NEWS Quest". It was a magnificent little thing, and inspiring to type on, without a power lead, somewhere in the sun on a lawn.'
(Richard)

 

If you feel you can correct or extend some of these entries (or just add new ones), or if perhaps you would like explanation of a keyword that hasn't been added yet but that has constantly baffled you, please contact the former editorial staff at the email address.

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