To gain a minute
You need your head
Your brains are in it"
THE NUTTY NORWEGIANS' HOLLAND QUEST
VOLUME THE FIRST
This real-time article sequence all in all contains entries by,
in order of appearance, Leif Claus, Kai Holst, Richard Karsmakers
(Cronos of the Quartermass Experiment), Tjeerd Bruinsma (Scum of
Sewersoft), Jurie Horneman (Relayer of the Quartermass
Experiment), Laurens van der Klis (The Mind of the Quartermass
Experiment), Alex Crousen (The Nutty Snake of the Quartermass
Experiment) and Roeland (who is an independent, actually, whose
name just might actually be spelled with a 't' instead of a 'd').
Sadly, Lucifer (Eksod), the only other person to appear where
this article was written, did not get himself immortalized.
Ars longa! Vita brevis! Lucifer morti!
Monday, December 28th 1992
On the Atari Portfolio...
THE Journey begins!
After a long night of good sleep (three hours on the couch!) I
really feel my inspiration flourishing (Kai's choice of words,
That was sarcasm... I think I'd rather hand this thing over to
Kai who is right now reading a magazine article on Harrison Ford.
In other words he looks rather bored. We're on the plane by the
way, working our way out from Fornebu, Oslo. Bye for now.
Kai behind the keyboard of Leif's faithful Portfolio now! Well,
bored and bored... I was bored yesterday while waiting five hours
for Leif at the airport.
"Yo! People are looking at us!"
"Yo! We have just left the ground!"
Before that, I had been onboard an uncomfortable bus for
six hours. But the "ascent" up the mountain side (on the bus
yesterday) from Øvre Årdal, my place of dwelling, is nothing
short of breathtaking. I enjoyed the view while listening to
Maurice Ravel's "Bolero". Oh yeah! And today we are on our way to
Schiphol, where we are to meet Richard...
We have been airborn for a few minutes now, and breakfast will
be served almost immediately. Apart from a sweet old lady
stealing my window seat (it is at times like this I appreciate my
polite attitude...) leaving me by the aisle inhaling the
cigarette smoke from Euro class, everything is more or less
alright. Signing off.
Still no sign of my inspiration showing up anywhere although I
am searching intensely. Last night, by the way, we slept at a
friend's house in Oslo, among other things getting a demo of his
1400 W (I am not kidding!) audio equipment. Mindblowing,
literally. Here we can talk about HiFi heaven! The old lady who
has taken Kai's window seat is not a Norwegian, so she has been
told (in Norwegian of course. We are so polite!) how we feel
about the case! I have to visit the toilet. Signing off.
What a view - the clouds hanging majestically over the
landscape, the sun shining gently on my face... Only too bad I
can't look out of the window I was supposed to sit next to. Well,
in less than thirty minutes we should be landing at Schiphol.
Whoops. Leif wants to show me some pictures he took of his dear
cute little twelve-year old girlies up in Vadsø, so I have to
"Gooiing dooown!" Aerosmith quote...
Wow! The sun is shining (on me)! I haven't seen the sun in one
and a half month, since I live north of the polar circle. That
means I have travelled quite a distance to reach the Netherlands
- at least 3000 kilometres. Not strange that I feel tired.
Flaps going out. Schiphol (and Richard!) up straight ahead! No,
wait, a bit to the right! I'm really excited. I have never met
this ST guru before. Kai hasn't either, and he is every bit as
excited as I am. Now, the plane is descending (J.M.J. quote).
Touchdown 10:19 sharp!
On the Cambridge Computer Z88...
We have arrived at Richard's appartment.
My inspiration suddenly returned! Coincidentially I have just
looked through Richard's CD collection and if I don't shut my
mouth now and stop drooling, everyone will surely drown. I wonder
if this thing about my inspiration returning and Richard's CDs
may have something to do with each other!
Listening to Jason Becker and with Kai and Richard discussing,
quarreling, insulting each other, ripping each other's throats
etcetera in the background, I will try to give a short account of
events that passed since we experienced touchdown at Schiphol.
Richard and Miranda both met us at the airport holding this
nicely decorated poster with lots of Norwegian words on it
gathered in some kind of sentence order. That was sarcasm in
fact, cause both me and Kai were both very impressed. I have
never even talked to Richard earlier, so as I said before I was
very excited. Now after actually having met him (and his charming
companion in life) I must say I am relieved to find him a very
nice guy. It's as simple as that.
Wow! I just saw Richard writing on his ST (I am now writing on
his good old dusty Z88) and he is writing much faster with his
two fingers than I do with all ten! Well, back to THE Journey!
Everything on the airport went fast and efficiently, except for
some customs personel officer asking me silly questions. If I had
a bag full of heroin I would of course reveal everything at once
when a stupid officer asks me to. How silly can one get? And they
just asked little innocent me and not big, bad, ugly, long-
haired, prototype-of-a-smuggler Kai!
In spite of the aforementioned officers we all got on a train
(continually called 'plane' by Kai. He is a bit high-flying
sometimes!) eventually. Quite an uneventful journey from Schiphol
to Amsterdam, except for Kai almost crushing an old lady with his
carefully positioned suitcase... By the way the clock now
displays 14:10, and Kai and Richard are still continuing to do
whatever it is two virus killers would do when they meet and will
stay together for a while. For the time being there seems to be a
ceasefire since Richard has discovered a growing minority complex
because of his laziness and Kai being very clever at telling him
Well, again I'll try to get back to THE Journey. Where was I?
Yes, after the train trip we entered another train in Amsterdam
heading for Utrecht. There Kai and Richard started some serious
programming discussions and I, out of pure self pity, stopped
paying attention instead turning it towards the landscape
The Dutch ones tell us that the biggest mountain in Holland is
around 300 metres 'high'. We promised not to laugh, but it's
really hard not to. Suddenly I understand why Stefan and Richard
had such difficulty mountain climbing during their stay in Ørsta!
I reckon people down here ought to have very well-developed eyes,
since they have to see so far all the time , but then again maybe
not, since the landscape is quite monotonous and people may soon
get bored and watch their steps instead.
Richard said the magic word: FOOD. See ya!
Interesting meal, I must say. Dutch people eat pure chocolate on
their bread. Tastes good, but I'll discuss another time how
healthy this must be. Time to go out.
(Actually, Leif refers to several chocolate-containing
delicacies we tend to put on our bread: Such as chocolate flocks,
chocolate hagel and chocolate spread. It's not as if we actually
buy bars of chocolate and slam them on our bread, ED.)
I don't quite know what has happened to my poor self in the last
couple of hours. The thing that is most poignant to me is the
word "insult" that is flashing inside my head in bright,
coruscating neon letters. These guys seem to be a totally
different bunch of Norwegians than the individuals I have been in
contact with almost exactly three years ago. These two particular
northerners have so far insulted some of the things most precious
to me: My virus killer source code ("Oh my God it's slow and ill
programmed!"), the Dutch public transport ("Is it always this
crowded, and are the buses always that ill-designed?") and, most
divine of porcelain altars, my loo ("No! It's one of those where
you can examine your shit afterwards!"). And I don't even mention
(or rather, I am going to) that they consider it weird that we
put chocolate on our bread (chcocolate paste, chocolate hagel,
etc.) and the fact their our bread is pre-sliced.
I really don't know how to react to all this properly. Here I
am, sitting and living in a country where I feel at home, you
know, and then these two chappies from the North come in to yell
abuse at it (with the exception that they don't actually YELL it
but instead use the calm tone of voice usually associated with
parents who tell their children off for having been in the
Where is Stefan? Well, actually I know where he is. He's
probably lying with his ass in the sun, flanked by a gorgeous
Guatemalette, having no problem at all with forgetting all about
me and my terrible ordeal of having to entertain two totally
insulting Norwegians who have at this moment taken up possession
of my own ST, to leave me typing this on a battery-powered Z88.
And on top of that, the local video store considered it
appropriate to send us home with the knowledge that they allow no
videos to be reserved during the festive season (which we are,
needless to say, quite in the middle of). With a pending video
orgy on coming wednesday, this might well be the magic ingredient
needed for the creation of a disaster (i.e. about 10 people being
at my place, looking at me expectantly, and me going around for
Sigh. What lies ahead of me? I feel very strange indeed, what
with me being the only person to defend the Dutch Culture (do
mind the capitals there!). I usually spit on Holland, but all of
it becomes painfully different when other people start
criticising such personal things as your own toilet!
I gather we haven't been very nice to Richard so far, but I hope
he will forgive us tonight when we will celebrate a late
Christmas Eve. We have got some very nice gifts with us. I'm
definitely looking forward to it! Still I think Dutch people are
weird. Why do they grow moss on the pavements, for example?
Plants are supposed to be growing in flower beds not in the
(I am not at all certain what Leif actually refers to here, ED.)
I guess these chaps are not too bad after all. The music gets
better (Whistler Courbois Whistler's debut), the light gets
dimmer, and I've just increased the bootsector virus analysis bit
in my virus killer after some short ("But definitely required!",
Kai addition) suggestions by Mr. Holst. Somehow, it's now over 7
times faster instead of just 4.5 times or something. I feel
eeriely content about all this. I have no inspiration now,
though, so I will quit for now.
So now I've taught Richard how to save a lot of code in "GfA
Basic", I've debugged his as well as my own viruskiller, I've
been listening to some divine music (with exception of the last
WCW song), and this entire X-mas journey really seems to be going
well. The food is great, however unusual it may be. I anticipate
some creative days ahead of us all, hopefully both concerning the
programming of certain competing virus killers as well as the
writing of real-time articles and short stories. It seems as if I
have convinced Richard that my programming just might be a tiny
little bit better than his, and he is at this very moment
converting some part of his DATA into a faster format. The music
in the background is gently comforting my ears, and another meal
is actually coming up in half an hour already. My inspiration to
write, however humble it may actually be, has now totally left
me. Therefore I shall leave this Z88 in order not to bother any
eventual readers with a lot of craptalk!
Inspiration seems to be the topic of the day! Lacking in all
departments. Only I am left with anything remotely resembling it.
When it comes to programming there seems to be no end of
inspiration. This may become a long night... How many virus
killers does the world need anyway? There is only a finite number
of viruses out there, but apparently there are infinite ways to
kill them, or at least to the appearance when the killing is
actually executed. Why couldn't just people start being nice to
each other and stop making viruses altogether? Am I being naive
or what? ("Very much so!" Kai quote) Of course then all virus
killer programmers would lose their jobs and would become
unemployed, and that wouldn't be very nice would it? And then
maybe they become angry and start programming and spreading
viruses to gain revenge on society, since that is in the worst
way ever they could imagine taking revenge. Much worse than
running into a supermarket pumping holes into everyone with a
shotgun or farting in an overcrowded bus. And then obviously
people wouldn't be nice to eachother anymore although the virus
killer programmers would have gotten their jobs back.
Actually Leif had not finished the above, but in the mean time
we have unpacked various nice XMas presents and we'll be watching
"Twins" on BBC. So basically this is all I'll be writing for now.
We have just finished watching Twins on British Broadcasting
Company. Cute little film, just totally marred by the inevitable
"I'll be back" and an incredibly pathetic ending (as far as it
was visible in the first place, because BBC reception seems not
to be too excellent here).
Kai and Richard are back tearing out each other's hair over
their respective virus-killers, just underlining my point
concerning the world being far better off without virus-killers
and virus-killer programmers.
Well, continueing my argument, virus killer (I just asked if
they write virus(-)killer with or without a hyphen, and got two
different answers leaving me somewhat bewildered) programmers
being back in business simply completes the circle, since they
will start quarreling again and we will again have to be nice to
each other and here we go again.
The neighbours are apparently having some kind of party or
aerobics workout or something, so I had to visit the stereo
putting on a WASP CD I brought with me.
Kai just now started looking over my shoulder to what I've
written and suddenly my inspiration decided to take a night's
"Is there a love, to shelter me? Only love, come set me free!"
Sorry about that one: I was just slightly overwhelmed by the
music we have put on here, but which will probably be turned off
in a matter of minutes as Miranda seems to be about to want to
watch the "Cosby Show". Or is she? I'll leave the subject for a
while... Oh, yeah - This night has been a success so far, even
though I know my dear friend Leif would very much like to have a
sip of the divine fluid to top if off. Myself, I have tasted it
before, as Richard actually gave me a bottle of it for my
eighteenth birthday, some four and a half months ago.
I will leave it to Richard to describe the most important of the
Christmas presents we gave him. He is currently pouring over some
simple problem concerning something as BASIC as recognizing
bootsectors. To me it seems as if he has written himself into a
corner (To use a literally translated Norwegian Proverb, I guess,
ED.)! Wait - An admission just came: The reason why he couldn't
recognize a simple virus on the bootsector of a floppy disk was
that he actually IMMUNIZED the disk some ten minutes ago. no
wonder. That must really be the Bug of the year, Richard...
Anyway he's sorted it out by now.
1992. Well, it has surely been a rather hectic year for both of
the present Nutty Norwegians! I have moved around a couple of
times and begun at a new school, Leif has also moved a couple of
times and has a new job as a teacher, and to top THAT off we are
both in Holland. Some part of my mind still hasn't understood the
reality of that statement, and has to repeat it again and again
to realize it. However, the topic of the evening, inspiration,
still hasn't joined me here, so I'll abandon the keys...
YES! I feel the divine flows of inspirations surging through my
carpals! Somehow, the sight of Leif reading ST NEWS Volume 7
Issue 3, Kai coding "Antidote" on my ST and Miranda sitting on
the couch reading "Dragonquest" by Anne McCaffrey. The atmosphere
is totally relaxed and, indeed, the first Plantiac has been
inserted into our digestive systems. No matter how often you
drink Plantiac, each first sip of an evening is pure magic - not
as if there are angels urinating on your tongue, but an entire
host of angels gently masturbating all of your taste papallae.
Our aural cavities are being assaulted benignantly by Wasp's
"The Crimson Idol". Kai dotes on it, really, but they seem to do
so even more fanatically on a Norwegian band (from Tromsø) called
Bel Canto - that they bestowed upon my humble being just a while
ago. They seem to be on some sort of holy (or perhaps
chauvinistic) quest to expand my musical horizons, and it looks
like they have added another band that does so in an aurally
excellent way. After Mads Eriksen, this is the second band/artist
that I might just really start to dig seriously. Anyway, THEY are
out to start digging Dutch band Whistler Courbois Whistler, so
some mutual cultural exchange will harm noone I suppose.
As a matter of fact, Wasp just ceased playing and Bel Canto is
in the CD player now. I surely like that female voice. They
reckon it beats hell out of Mariah Carey, but it would be like
saying that Jean Michel Jarre beats hell out of Ritchie Blackmore
or something - although they are both female vocalists, that is
just about the only thing they have in common.
I have not described any of these Norwegians yet, by the way. I
suppose such would be beneficiary to you being able to absorb the
atmosphere here. Of course (no hard feelings, Leif!) I would like
to start off with Kai. He's got sortof long dark brown hair not
unlike that of Mad Max of TEX. He's incredibly thin, too. His
belly seems like a black hole or something.
I see Leif pouring some more Plantiac right now. Alright! This
guy just tasted his first Plantiac in his life, and I guess it
goes down smoothly. I just hope he will not enter the almost
proverbial drunkenness that Skandinavians often get into when
they come to countries where alcohol is not only more readily
available but a lot cheaper too (the Carebears are notorious for
drinking, let's say, sortof large-ish amounts of alcohol that
would render them unconscious for the better part of the ensueing
I have changed the bootsector core routines of my virus killer
once again (just before and after "Twins") and this should
potentially result in a speed increase. After I've manually
converted about 2000 data lines of source code, that is. I just
hope I will get it all working before the deadline, which is the
first week of January. It's a mind-killing piece of work that
requires one's full attention. A bit of a bummer, really. I wish
Kai would not keep on telling me things to improve my virus
killer code or its speed!
I am afraid I am in for a lot more.
I would like to remark briefly, by the way, that the actress
playing Marnie in "Twins" (Kelly Preston) is probably one of the
most lush females ever seen on the white screen. Especially the
way she draped herself on the bed, half moons showing, to entice
Schwarzenegger (the lucky bastard!) into becoming interested.
I see I almost forgot to mention Leif. Well, he's sortof long
with blond hair. He has a really characteristic face, with
interesting edges and that sort of thing. So far I've experienced
him as a very dry person with a peculiar sense of humour that's
not too difficult to relate to. And that's about it.
Anyway. I trust someone else might want to type something. Or
Richard is already getting drunk (Well, I wonder why...), so I
told him to let me know when he started seeing things double.
That way I can nag him double up without having to work twice as
hard on it. Our first day in Holland is really promising
concerning everything. The Video Orgy is going to be held on the
30th, and I foresee a long night filled to the brim with a lot of
great movies and a lot of fun with Richard and the guys of the
Quartermass Experiment, and whomever else Richard might have
invited. We just had a look at their two atlases (Map-books) to
have a look at the latitude difference of Vadsø, where Leif
lives, and Utrecht, where we happen to be right now. It was some
rather miserable excuses they had for atlases, probably made in
the early sixties or something (As a matter of fact, one of them
was made back then - and the other one was made as far back as
the fifties, ED.) so we didn't actually get much out of them.
Anyway (I really like that word!), as we have just entered
another day, I will leave the keyboard to someone else...
P.S. A great book hint from the entire writing staff of this
article: The author Guy Garviel Kay has written a trilogy
called "The Fionavar Tapestry", consisting of the books "The
Summer Tree", "The Wandering Fire" and "The Darkest Road".
These are more than worth while reading...
Tuesday, December 29th 1992
Shutdown! That was about time. Miranda finally got a firm hand
into business, physically shutting down Richard's computer.
It was a truly divine moment when I at last got to taste the
divine fluid! Talk about seeing angels! Cheers to God that
doesn't exist! Richard and Miranda are having great fun trying to
learn some Norwegian phrases like "tilslorte bondepiker",
"lekkerbisken", "kan jeg fa en manikyr?" and so on, "oksestek"
was just coming up. I am starting to feel kind of strange from
the amount of Plantiac already consumed, which does strange
things with my inspiration and my English language as well.
It seems that my humble abode has been transformed into some
kind of school. Norwegian and Dutch phrases fly to and fro,
sometimes delicately interlaced with various bits of Anglosaxon
origin. Of course, all of this is certain to cause loads of
hilarity, and indeed it does. An interesting musical note: At the
moment the CD player gently plays some of Kai's classical take-
alongs, in this case a piece called "Aquarium" by Saint-Saens,
excerpt from "Carnival of Animals". It's quite impressive - the
sort of stuff you would want to buy if you came across it for 10
Dutch guilders (or less than 40 NOKs, in case you're wondering
how much that is).
Knåckebrødpeuterneuken etc. Kai and Leif have lapsed into
Norwegian again. I think they're talking abnout a girl called
Nina or something. One of them seems to want to do something
interesting with her, but I could be wrong there.
It's getting late! Statement of fact. Me and Kai have just
finished our night meal, which our Dutch hosts didn't participate
in. As usual we had lots of chocolate on our bread. Strange
Yeah, it's late, but we are all going strong. Both Kai and
Richard working vigorously on both their machines, fixing
extremely simple bugs in their neverending virus killers.
Although they are at two different machines they are still at
each other's throats. It's probably the Plantiac urging forward
certain emotions in both of them. Sometimes they both act like
mothers protecting their newborn children.
Miranda has by the way gone to bed. Not a bad idea really
considering the lateness. She was probably getting weary of all
the Norwegian grammar talk, although she was actually quite good
at it. The best way to describe her would be to say that Richard
is one hell of a lucky guy. I wish them all the best of luck in
the future! I think we will soon be signing off all of us.
These guys just go ON and ON! By now I would really have been in
bed, but I think I am going to be rather rude and just tell them
to hit the sack...or else...
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.