A WORD OF FAREWELL - THE LAST ISSUE OF THIS DISK MAGAZINE
by Richard Karsmakers
The wind blew through the desolate streets, and the leaves that
had fallen in all their abundance from the trees onto the
pavement were mercilessly swept aside as if in ghusts of
The houses seemed dark and ghostly in the scarse midday light,
that seemed to envelop the scenery in preternatural nocturne.
Exactly the scenery where one would expect a funeral.
What's that sound that can be heard appearing beyond the nearby
Indeed. A funeral.
The soft sound of slow, sad chanting is barely audible
through the violent wind that is still playing with huge amounts
of autumn leaves as though they were only one. But soon the
funeral prosession becomes visible.
First the heads. They are all bent in sorrow, and the eyes are
wet from both vivid emotions and the cold autumn wind.
Two distinct persons walk at the front of the prosession.
One, a rather old man with frail vitality, is wearing a red
'Miami University' sweater. The other one, wearing spectacles
with glasses that are so thick that it would need good eyes to be
able to look through them, wears a 'Pool' sweater or something.
In spite of their apparent age and their lack of thick clothing,
it is plain that their shuddering is not due to the cold.
It's due to sadness.
To any beholder it would be plain to see that this is the
saddest moment of their entire life. Yet they wear their burden
bravely: A small coffin, probably just large enough to contain an
Its wood gleams softly, with a wooden kind of gleam. The brass
knobs and bolts of the coffin shine like radiating gems in an
ocean of mud.
As the first two of the prosession walk by, bearing the burden
just mentioned, the rest of the people slowly walk by. There are
some women, but mostly they are men. One of them mutters
walkthrough stories, and another one mutters "East, west,
northeast, southwest, huh?" as he directs his gait behind the men
bearing the coffin. A third one can be heard to whisper some kind
of strange language that the innocent beholder might be able to
recognise as some kind of obscure (and very old) computer
language by the name of Forth.
It would go far beyond the scope of this story to describe all
the others walking behind this gathering. The people at the very
end, however, are worth mentioning seperately.
One of them looks completely shattered. He isn't really walking
straight any more, and he continually takes large swigs out of a
small black bottle labelled "Amando Noir". The second is very
old, but is clutching desperately to a 'Masters of the Universe'
puppet. He is continually nagging the first person and whispering
"pee-pee, pee-pee..." The first, however, seems totally immune to
whatever this might mean.
The third is definitely the oldest of the whole group. In his
hands he holds the remains of what can only be recognised as the
torn up fragments of....of.....an inflatible harddisk (?). The
fourth (and last) of this illustre group looks rather normal but
has got a terrible habitual itching eye whenever one of his
comrades mentions 'hacking', 'ripping' or 'Frøystein'.
About half an hour later, the procession arrives outside town.
There is a large building from which an eldritch light pours
through some windows.
It looks deserted, and that's probably why they pass the
building without heading any of the laughter that comes from it.
A large plaque above the door to the building states 'Commodore
Business Machines', though it is clear that someone with ill
intent tried to erase the 'siness' in 'Business', to replace it
After the building, the prosession stumbles upon a graveyard.
Not speaking in words, the two men at the front lead all the
people into this graveyard, and after some more moments halt at a
hole in the ground.
The hole in the ground, by the way, is of quite the same size as
the coffin they are carrying.
Some of the other holes in the vicinity are equally small, and
their tombstones have writings like 'News Channel', 'STOP',
'F.A.S.T.E.R.', 'MAST Newsdisk', 'ST Info', 'CIP ST' and 'ST
A gravestone lies ready next to the still empty hole.
'ST NEWS - The Best of 'em all (ahem)' is written on it in
The whole company gathers around the hole, except for one of the
four last prosessionists. He is standing behind a tree and is
probably doing whatever 'pee-pee' means.
The inaudible chanting now changes into a different song, and
the words become more clearly to discern.
Oh...how much have you given to me
It's quite a lot, but we gave our lives for thee
You have given us friends and Nutties,
The entire world you did appease
But now we have gathered here tonight
To fullfill our latest and last plight
To put to rest thee disk magazine great
On this sad yet historical date...
The women start to cry softly as the gathering ends the chanting
and the two men at the front bend over slowly, lowering the small
coffin in the hole.
"Farewell," they mutter simultaneously.
The women exchange their soft crying for blatant wailing that
nearly floats the hole (and, indeed, the entire graveyard).
After the coffin is covered with mud, the prosession leaves the
After setting fire to the large building, they return home.
We write summer 1986, almost four years ago - the first issue of
ST NEWS is launched.
Nobody, least of all myself, would have expected that it could
and would become as big as it eventually turned out to be. And
nobody, least of all myself, would have expected it to end after
the mere leap of less then four years in time.
But some sadness is making itself present in my soul, and some
tears well up slowly in my eyes. A nauseating feeling manifests
itself in my stomach. What you now have in your disk drive is the
very last issue of ST NEWS that will ever appear.
Almost four years after it started, and still on the height of
its popularity, Stefan and myself thought it wise to throw the
towel in the ring and give the opportunity to someone else to set
up a good disk magazine without immediately being crushed in the
hopeless competition with an 'mature' disk magazine like ST NEWS
For four years, ST NEWS has been our means to communicate with
the ST community; our means to help everybody getting the most
from their system by offering courses, tips & tricks, feature
articles and software reviews. For four years, we have been
pouring out enormous quantities of articles over the poor readers
- around 11 megabytes in 26 issues, spread in as much as 25
countries at the least. We have thoroughly enjoyed doing it, and
we still equally enjoyed making even the final issues. But it's a
plain fact that we haven't got the time anymore to make ST NEWS
into a magazine that proceeds to excel both in quality and
quantity. Stefan is working on an arcade game (a very zany one
that will surely become a hit) in his spare time, and I am
working for a German company called Thalion software.
We felt there was only one way to stop with pride. And that
meant stopping NOW.
I am at the moment listening to Metallica's "Master of Puppets"
CD, and some way or another this music makes me feel even more
melancholic than I already am.
It makes me think back of the great times Stefan and me had
banging our heads on this music during the creation of various ST
NEWS issues. It makes me think back of great moments with booze,
humour and no hangovers.
The sheer thought makes me feel sick with nausea in the stomach.
I really wish there was a way to continue doing ST NEWS without
neglecting it as much as we have already done between the last
1989 and the first 1990 issue. I wish there was.
There are some slight chances that the spirit of ST NEWS (as
well as articles by its authors) will continue to live on in
another disk magazine. But this is NOT YET CERTAIN AT ALL.
I just pray.
But now has the time arrived to thank some of the people that
have helped us so much from the start right up to the end. Of
course, many will find themselves missing in this list - for
otherwise it would become just too extensive. We would like to
cast mega (or even 'giga') quantities of sincerest thanks upon:
Frank Lemmen (for assisting in the Volume 1 and Volume 2 days),
Lucas van den Berg (for all his "Crimson's Column" articles),
Math Claessens (for solving giga-many adventures), Carel Jansen
(for the Forth Course), Mark van den Boer (for the MC68000
course), Rufus Camphausen (for the most spirit-widening articles
ever to appear in the computer press), Piper (for all the reviews
he did), Les Ellingham (for making us truly BIG), the Nutty
Norwegians (for everything - we love you!!), the whole TEX crew
(especially Jochen who wrote a massive number of musix for us),
the whole TLB crew (for being great friends), the girls (Willeke,
Evelien and Miranda - sigh - in particular), Ken Butler (for the
Ancient STatarian STories and his last Flightsim adventures), all
our distributors (for faithfully and zealously spreading the
mag), all people we visited in England (but especially Steve Bak
and Jeff Minter) and YOU. For YOU, among many others, made it
worth while for us to make ST NEWS. It's you we did it for.
All I can do is but sigh deeply and think back of everything
that has happened in ST NEWS history: The acquisition of the
distributors, the introductory novelettes, Stefan entering the ST
world, the SAG wars, the Nutty Norwegians, Agapi, the LateST NEWS
Quest, the real time articles (TEX, Computer Orgy, Norway),
Cronos Warchild and Korik Starchaser, and much more.
Almost all aspects mentioned above (and even those not mentioned
at all) will be found somewhere in the many articles that we have
compiled in this issue of ST NEWS: Articles taken from all issues
of ST NEWS ever published.
We feel that we can look back upon our ST NEWS time with joy as
well as pride. We have gained many dear friends and invaluable
contacts in that time, and we have met people we could normally
only have dreamed of meeting. We hope you have liked what we have
done in these few years, and that you will send some nice
'farewell' letters to the correspondence address:
Negende Donk 4
NL-5233 PJ Den Bosch
There's a time of joy and a time to cry
There's a time to meet and a time for goodbye
ST NEWS has been there all the way
And we are proud to be able to say
We have done what we wanted to do
And we hope you liked it too...
Until we meet again. Goodbye.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.