"Ignorance may be bliss, but it still pisses me off."
THE ULTIMATE "ST NEWS" REFERENCE GUIDE
Part 4 - "SAG War" to "Z88"
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 cultimated 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
cooperation was short-lived, though.
Salon de la Micro. A computer show in Paris in autumn 1990 where
Richard had to represent >Thalion on the Ubisoft stand (Ubisoft
were the French distributors). It was an interesting experience,
including 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-Garner, 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 only finished the first trilogy,
though Stefan had them both and probably read them all - I could
never get rid of the impression that I could have written them. 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 there. Those were good times.'
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.'
Sodom. German band, arising from the thrash metal explosion
there, together with Destruction and Kreator. Destruction have
long since turned crap, and 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 to
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."
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.
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
'I have regularly regretted giving that CD single away. It was,
after all, quite a good and catchy track. For all I know,
however, Lord >Hackbear might still be enjoying it.' (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.
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 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
'Both Frank >Lemmen and me 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
ST Connextion (STCX). 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.
'They seem to have a thing with the phrase "hey potje jam",
which they repeatedly sung on camera on the >STNICCC Video. Odd
Stead, Roy. Author of a variety of short stories in ST NEWS,
eventually climaxing in the publication of his entire first novel
- "Cui Bono - The Bloodless Coup" in the final four issues of ST
'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. 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. We still
write regularly.' (Richard)
ST Logo. Useless disk that came with old Atari machines that
could be used for other matters after having been erased.
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 and Oxygene of >TLB. ST NEWS Volume 6
Issue 1 was dedicated entirely to it, and also featured the
results of the "VIC 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 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, although
there have been plans for a reincarnation, this never happened.
'It 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.'
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 are 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.
'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?'
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 and Venom.
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, I am not kidding.' (Richard)
ST World. The first computer magazine that ST NEWS was ever
mentioned in, though it was as part of a PD library's advert. It
folded several years ago, 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 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, "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 "126.96.36.199". At the time,
Richard was having this thing with >Trea. The numbers correspond
with the number of the letters in the alphabet, forming het 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 play it with some
regularity, now an, er, acquaintance cracked my original for me
so it works on the >Falcon. The copy-protection disabled that
previously, you see.' (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 actually done 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. It was slated for release on
10 July 1988, but problems eventually prevented it from ever
'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)
TCB (The CareBears). A Swedish crew consisting of, arguably, the
finest and most talented individuals ever to roam the Atari demo
scene. Original members were Nic (Niclas Thisell), Tanis (Niclas
Malmqvist), An Cool and Jaz. 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), 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 was never heard of again after he left
>Thalion in the summer of 1990 (he'd worked there for about a
year). A bit of a shame, for he was the one who invented sync
'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 came to live among fellow coders, which he all dwarfed.'
TEX (The Exceptions). Legendary German crew consisting of Daryl
(Michael Raasch, PR person), >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" Herzfort 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. Thalion is now rumouredly just a
distribution company (or maybe no more even that) and the
remaining employees have taken up work for Bluebyte 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
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 (German, also known to intimi as "The Hammer") and Sammy
Jo (Michael Schussler, 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)
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 current fantasy
fiction trilogy craze which started ten years ago or something
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 Favriel 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.
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.
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 hommage to the
Toronto. The city in >Canada where Stefan currently resides. 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 enjoys 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.
Trea. Although a vegetarian smoker who studied chemistry,
something made this into one of Richard's two semi-sleazy affairs
he had in autumn 1988. It was fairly brief and then kindof
'Possibly the strangest relationship I've ever had. I was never
really in love with her, she smoked - and I loathe smokers - and
she had a boyfriend already. I guess she liked the attention I
gave her and I, well, I guess I was just desperate and afraid I
might be a virgin forever, or something along those lines. I am
glad I am a totally different person now when compared to the one
I was back then.' (Richard)
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). Six issues appear
every year, and it's edited (and, unfortunately, mostly filled)
'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)
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 thirty 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 (as
"VDU") appeared in December 1987. The final version will see the
light of day by the end of 1996, probably. In July 1996, the book
was released as shareware on disk, using the ST NEWS user
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 Cees >Janssen's "Forth Course". That ceased
after going undead.' (Richard)
University. State institution that Richard studies 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 hopes to
round 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.
'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 four addresses in Utrecht, which were at least
three too much. I loathe moving.' (Richard)
Vangelis. (b. 29 Mar. 1943) Synthesizer 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 album is "Voices" (1995). See also >Eureka Event of
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.
'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 about 15 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 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 summmer 1992 to summer 1995. They release a five-yearly
magazine called "Bacil" (English "Germ").
'A really cool society, through which I've discovered many a
fine band - Theatre of Tragedy and Dark Tranquillity in recent
months, as a matter of fact. We go to gigs together and to Dynamo
Open Air, in tents. Great people. Just great.' (Richard)
Viruses, Computer. Nasty things discovered in 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) 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".
Warchild, Cronos Jehannum. 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
'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.'
Table: Cronos Warchild stories and their authors
Fire & Forget Richard
Star Ray Richard
The President is Missing Richard
Circus Games Richard
Last Ninja Richard
Populous I Richard
Rambo III Richard
Airborne Ranger Richard
Dogs of War Richard
Blood Money Richard
Populous II Richard
The Troll Stefan
Prehistoric Tale Richard
Oh Yeah Richard and Stefan
Fire & Brimstone Richard
Torvak the Warrior Stefan
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 CDs. The >Den Bosch counterpart of
"White Noise" was "Elpee". "White Noise" is cheaper than most
record shops and offers unrivalled choice in the, say, 'heavier'
section of the music industry.
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 two 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 guessed 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.
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 isn't as flexible as some of the sound routines by people like
Jochen >Hippel and Rob >Hubbard.
Z88. Portable, lightweight, A4-sized computer designed by Clive
Sinclair and marketed as, in full, the Cambridge Computer Z88. A
really handy computer, one is owned by Richard. 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.
'This machine was bought early 1989, for use during the >"LateST
NEWS Quest". It's a magnificent little thing, and inspiring to
type on, without a power lead, somewhere in the sun on a lawn. If
someone has a Falcon<>ST RS232 adaptor, or the PC side of the
software, please contact me, so I might use it again on the
This reference guide should, hopefully, make it onto the World
Wide Web some day (probably like some kind of "ST NEWS
Lamentation Page"). So if you feel you are enough of an insider
to correct some of these entries (or just add to them), or if
perhaps you would like explanation of a keyword that hasn't been
added yet but that has constantly baffled you, please contact us
at the correspondence address. Your pains will be appreciated.
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.