ST SOFTWARE NEWS by Richard Karsmakers
Hi, and welcome in the (only) spring issue of ST NEWS. Outside,
the birds are singing their mating songs, the sun shines its rays
upon the greenest of grass and trees filled with red, yellow,
pink and purple blossom. The leaves are freshly green, the sky is
blue, and fluffy white sheep's clouds wander through the skies.
People dress in happy clothes, and they feel happy, generally.
The girls of the 'Household School' opposite my students' flat
look ravishing with their sunglasses, wide blouses and tight
Yeah! Let's get on with it ((p)reviewing software, I mean)!
The window is wide open and some Cacophony music (that's a band,
in case you didn't know) is bulging through the windowpanes. A
soft breeze blows through my hair.
Some of the ravishing girls look up to my room on the third
floor, only to see me typing frantically.
It's 'Software News' time!
Strip Poker II
There are certain nice factors about being a virus killer
programmer. Not only do you get to be well known and (of course)
extremely stinkin' rich (ahem), but you also get the strangest
programs sent off to you. Programs with bootsector viruses on the
disk, or programs that are infected by link viruses. Before I
send them back, I sometimes play them a while to see what they
are like (don't worry if you're one of the people sending stuff
to me: I only PLAY it, and don't even copy it to my OWN disks let
alone to OTHERS!).
One of those programs I recently received from Norway was a
program called "Strip Poker II". It was, quite obviously, a
hacked preview copy. The program was just the original "Strip
Poker" (including the names "Suzi" and "Melissa"), and only the
graphics of the girls and the introduction picture were changed.
But none the less!
What can be expected from "Strip Poker II"?
Well, there are two new girls. They have been digitized VERY
well, and I must admit I had an immediate tendency to play the
game until I had undressed them both. They look very well indeed,
and some time ago I might have fallen in love with them
And was it my imagination, or was gameplay tougher as well? One
of the two (I can't remember which) was very hard to undress so
that I, after playing the game for a couple of hours, eventually
had to rename the picture files to see them in the nude.
The only thing that will HAVE to change about the program is the
sound. It's very scarse, and the scarse sounds you hear are VERY
DULL and EXTREMELY BAD.
That's about it. I'll give the program a 7.
Our German friend Claus Brod (the disk drive expert and main
author of "Scheibenkleister") recently sent in some news about
the disk belonging to the book to be included in this "ST
Software News" column. Here be it:
Good news for owners of SCHEIBENKLEISTER: The new software
(KLEISTERSCHEIBE V2.0) shipped with the new edition
(SCHEIBENKLEISTER II) will also be available as an update. The
most important news:
- Supports new CBHD HD driver (up to 12 partitions!)
- Numerous new options: create/change disk label, delete files
and disks completely, read and write FAT entries, graphical FAT
display, compare FATs, find and save lost clusters, find defect
and glued clusters, re-scratch files, jump directly to FATs,
root dir or sub dirs, change file attributes and date, show
whole file tree, display all folder names, find a file in the
file tree, rename files and folders, sort directories
- RAM monitor: change/load/save RAM, disassemble RAM or sector
contents, load and relocate programs
- Also runs as .ACC
- 14 sectors/track (nearly 1.2 MB per disk) with some tiny
additional hardware hack (to be published in SCHEIBENKLEISTER
II and 'ST Computer')
- 13 sector format (1.1 MB!) is faster than any other format
- New options: settling delay, verify count...
ATARI compatible hard disk driver: Up to 12 partitions per
drive, two drives per controller, boots from any partitions (AUTO
folder, DESKTOP.INF, even ACCs!), write protection for any
partition, solves the 40 folder problem... - with configuration
Reset resistant, bootable and extremly fast RAM disk; with
utility to fill the RAM disk at startup time
- Disk monitor for ATARI's CD-ROM
- Shows complete file trees of High Sierra or ISO CDs
- Copies files and complete folders from CD to HD or disk
- Audio options to start songs, repeat, program the sequence of
CACHEADD (accelerates the internal GEMDOS cache manager), BITTE
EIN BIT 3.5 (well-known PD copy program), PACKER/DEPACKER (packs
whole file trees into a single file), CHKHD6 (transfer & access
test for ATARI compatible hard disks), MEDIA (forces GEMDOS to
recognize media change on any drive)...
All other programs have been revised and improved. The software
is now more than 1.2 MB in size. A manual has been produced for
this update which exlains all new options and programs. The
update costs 29 DM plus p&p; you can order it by sending your
original KLEISTERSCHEIBE to:
MAXON Computer GmbH
TCB's Newyear Demo
Judging by the name, I suppose this demo is about five months
old. Anyway, I only got my hands on it a couple of weeks ago.
Probably, this demo was made by TCB (The CareBears, member of
the Union) before they actually participated in the "Union Demo"
Anyway, this is what I discovered when fooling around with their
"New Year's Demo".
The first screen, the menu as such, features many colours (I
suppose 512) and a scrolling message in the typical TCB font. Too
bad that on some machines, the color effects do not really work,
they just flicker a lot.
From this screen, you can select three other screens using the
function keys F1-F3.
The first demo screen was coded by Sync, it contains a flipping
logo with the digitized pictures of the (I guess) CareBears
members (nice sunglasses). There is a very large raster moving
around and there is a scrolling message composed of sprites which
rotate and do a lot more things. After pressing space, a sample
screen with some digitized music will come up.
The second demo screen is done by An Cool and this one is
superb. First, you will get a 'snow' screen with used the left,
right and lower border and a tiny distorting TCB logo (they just
can't give it up). After pressing space, you will get a VERY nice
It contains some sprites and some wildly distorting logos plus a
very special scrolling message. At first, it looks normal, just
a scrolling message, but after a while, a second scrolline will
be added which rotates around the first one. It is more like a
The third screen was done by Omega and contains a huge Atari
logo (distorting of course) and some music, nice graphics (also
in the lower border) and a scrolling message.
The flop of 1989 is no doubt "Kennedy Approach", a game that got
quite a lot of hype from its producer, Microprose. I didn't
receive a review copy and I only saw it briefly at a user
gathering, so it could have been a pre-version.
If it was no preview version I saw (which is very likely because
all the mags had already reviewed it as well), it is indeed the
flop of the year.
"Kennedy Approach" is even SO bad that I consider every byte
spent on describing it a total loss of space and time. The
graphics are of average 8-bit quality, the digitized sound is a
billion times worse than the original 8-bit speech (which was
very well indeed - better than the Amiga's built-in speech
chip!), and the gameplay that I used to fancy a lot in the
Commodore 64 version has vanished completely.
I know I might be a bit too critical here, but I fear it
deserves no rating higher than 3 (probably even lower, but '3' is
already low enough).
It's a shame that a game with such high potential is slammed
onto the ST with such lack of quality (lack of ANYTHING). It's...
Some of the ravishing girls, still looking up to my room where
those heavy vibes of hard core guitar master metal are coming
from, now display a certain irritation on their pretty faces. One
of them is particularly ravishing, with beautiful brown-black
hair, a red blouse and light tight jeans. Her face is beautifully
cut by the creator's hand.
Why is she looking so irritated?
I now see a small device standing on the pavement.
It's a portable cassette recorder. Its volume knob is turned up
to its maximum.
Yet the do not appear to hear any of the sounds coming from it.
They only hear Jason Becker and Marty Friedman (the two
guitarists of Cacophony) blast their amps and rape their guitars,
logically intertwined into a cacophony of sounds.
The girls disappear from the street.
A couple of moments later, I hear suede shoes, sports shoes,
high heels and army boots stampeding up the stairs.
A couple of more couple of moments later, I hear violent
slamming on my door. The ravishing girls and their sturdily built
boyfriends barge into my room (complete with Pitbull Terriers),
seeking for the device that spills forth the vibes that they so
fondly seem to resent.
One of the ravishing girls (as a matter of fact, the one with
the red blouse I kinda fancied from the distance) unfolds a piece
of paper and reads its contents aloud:
"We, being representatives of the veneraters of L.L. Cool J.,
and being thoroughly disgusted by the awful cacophony of sound
you thrust upon our humble eardrums, have decided to put an end
to our own misery."
I look at them, with the first signs of fright in my eyes.
They were right about the 'Cacophony' bit, of course, but I
didn't think I would quite agree with what they would maybe do
within a couple of more couple of more couple of moments.
"There!" a very muscular-looking guy cries as he spots a large
black piece of equipment labelled "Pioneer" in one the corners of
my room, pointing it out to the rest of the lot.
They all fall down on their knees, heads directed to their
portable casette recorder, chanting something like:
L.L. Cool J., we'll have to do what we may
We will have to destroy, for us to to enjoy
The music that you made, and for which we often prayed
Will have to prevail, and maybe we'll go to jail
As we destroy the audio machines of this mortal fool
So that your hip hoppin' rap may again here rule...
I cannot say that I really liked the ring about their chanting.
They all stand up now, and they all start banging their heads
against my beautiful Pioneer Audio Equipment. Blood flows, a CD
drawer pops out and gets brutally broken, a shiny disc falls to
the ground and gets trampled upon, LEDs drop to the ground as
well, and soon there's sparkles and smoke in the corner that was
formerly occupied by a proud piece of machinery.
I sit on my chair and behold. Flabbergasted.
There's no music now anymore, and their enthusiasm slowly dies
out as they realise that they have succeeded in achieving their
holy goal: Making my music disappear.
Rapping sounds can now be heard arising from the pathetic little
Philips portable cassette recorder.
You should know that there are a couple of things that people
should keep their filthy little hands off of. ST NEWS, my "VDU",
girls I like and....my Audio Equipment.
They all look in awe at a transformation that is going on in my
body. My muscles grow to enormous proportions, and my skin seems
to grow green a bit. My teeth get longer, and so do my hands and
feet. Shoes and clothes get torn off my body, and hair replaces
"An American werehulk in Utrecht!" they yell, nailed to the
I lash for their throats, and soon bleeding heads are rolling on
the ground. The blouse of that one ravishing girl now fits neatly
to the overall color of the limbs and bodies of her fellow-reli-
"Grrrooowwllll" I growl.
"Help! May the divine L.L. help us!" they cry, as if replying to
They now all dash down the stairs, some of them leaving parts of
their bodies behind in the rush. I hurtle the parts after them,
in spite of the fact that they look like a nice snack for a
hungry werehulk. Instead, I devour the pathetic Philips thing.
The rapping sounds slowly come to a halt as the device proceeds
in my metabolic system.
About two hours later, I wake up.
It's a bit chilly. I look down and see what I'm wearing (which
I do not seem to remember the last couple of hours. Why is my
Audio Equipment lying all over the floor, brutally slaughtered?
Why is there blood all over the floor?
Why am I having these terrible aches in the lower part of my
I burp a bit; is it my imagination, or does a soft rapping sound
arise from my mouth?
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.