"Woman is woe to man."
Anonymous (in the gutter)
SELECTED DISK MAGAZINES REVIEWED
by Richard Karsmakers
Once again, welcome to the column that is probably the one most
read because, it seems, disk magazines are only read by other
disk magazine editors. Read it and weep, dearest colleagues, and
perhaps there might even be room for the odd smile (or pleased
Maggie Issue 15
Another excellent issue of "Maggie" disk magazine crashed into
my mailbox not too long after it was finished, and with more than
the usual zeal I set to reading it. Concluding, however, I can be
quite short and tell you that it's quite simply an essential read
for any ST/TT/Falcon owner as usual. I somewhat resent Chris
reviewing ST NEWS Volume 9 Issue 2 as if enthusiasm is slackening
and all articles are rather too long, but I guess he may not be
too far off the point actually. Which does not go to say that
enthusiasm is sparse, it's just that perhaps it's not like in the
really olden days. Well, you get older and tend to be more sober
about things, that's all I can say. Thank god I still have
Michael Noyce and some others around to do computer-related stuff
for otherwise I am not sure ST NEWS would survive Chris'
"Maggie" as a whole is getting better and better. Or at least
its writing style - quite witty, full of humour - appeals to me
rather a lot. Even a usually boring article such as the editorial
holds its sparkling charm.
To acquire this ST/TT/Falcon essential, stuff a disk in an
envelope, include return postage or IRCs and send it off to the
84 North Street
Northants NN10 9BU
The next issue of "Maggie" is due in January or somewhere
If one disk magazine deserves a description along the lines of
"most promising new disk magazine" it's definitely Kev Davis' "ST
Beermat". Let me tell you right away that it has an intuitive
user interface, that it works on the Falcon too and that its
writing style is exactly the kind of thing I've learned to know
and love from "Maggie". Which is quite amazing as the editor is
only, what, 18 years of age.
The interface looks slick and the writing style is witty and
personal. I shudder to think of what some of today's older disk
magazines (I shan't mention names) would have been like if the
virgin issues had been anything like this.
Apart from the usual reviews (including some rather old ones, I
have to say), "ST Beermat" includes loads of info on the "Aliens"
films (all three), a "Computer Liff" article and attention to
books and Public Domain software. It's the perfect blend of
articles, grammar is remarkably good for an Englishman and
there's even an article on "ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha", which will
certainly make sure "Maggie" person Chris'll love it!
Some of the unique things about "ST Beermat" are its Selective
Swearing System (it will only use the profane words you deem
admissible) and the fact that it's a special kind of shareware.
The magazine contains a list of contributors' addresses and
you're requested to send £1 to the author of the articles you
really liked. Given the fact that almost all articles are
interesting, in the end that might prove to be an expensive
undertaking for the avid reader, sending dosh off to just about
every writer (even though you're not actually asked to send a
pound per written article).
I for one can't wait until further issues are released (issue
two is rumoured to be released around the same time as this issue
of ST NEWS). With one fell swoop, it seems like today's top disk
magazines have obtained another contender for the throne. I just
hope it'll survive, for it's too good to die.
If you want an issue, why not send a disk in an SAE (or with
sufficient IRCs) to the following address (if it fits on the
envelope, that is)?
Organised Chaos Licenceware
Worcestershire WR13 6AQ
Do note that there is a version with some bug fixes around. It's
got a "READ_ME.1ST" file on the disk. Make sure you get it
instead of the older version!
STOSSER Issue 15-17
Jeez I admire Keefy, the guy who does "STOSSER". Before I had
only seen issue 14 and it was pretty impressive with a totally
custom user interface that also had a theme. Well, "STOSSER"
issue 15 has a totally new theme, totally new user interface, and
a lot of World Cup associated stuff around it. In between reading
articles you get a complete randomized world cup result thing
hurled at you, and all graphics have to do with flags and
countries and football. No doubt, Keefy puts in a lot of work,
and I find it unbelievable that he still manages to release an
issue every month. I wonder what things will be like should he
ever decide to go to a fairly intense academic environment (or,
even worse, should he find a job!).
And my wonder even increased when I saw issue 16...which has a
"Circus" theme with matching graphics. And issue 17...with a
"Pink Floyd" theme that would probably please one certain no-
longer-very-hairy Welshman tremendously if ever he got his Jag-
infested hands on it.
As usual "STOSSER" is stuffed with half a zillion articles, most
of them of interest primarily to "STOS" users. The menu is a bit
cumbersome sometimes. In issue 15 it can take quite a while to
scroll from one article to another, and in issue 17 it's
sometimes difficult to see which brick you wanted to hit for a
specific article. It's not actually nerve-wrecking, though, so I
guess it's good enough. At least it's usually very original.
"STOSSER" still doesn't work on the Falcon (not even on my MEGA
ST TOS 1.07 actually) so that sortof makes it a bit less. I do
wish Keefy would address that problem. Otherwise, I think
"STOSSER" should rank as one of the most enthusiastic disk
magazines in the entire scene. I think we should thank the
heavens (or the hells) that Keefy is not in some other computer
scene. People like him make having an ST worth while.
Power Issue 23
James L. Matthews, keeper of the "Power" flame, has recently
(very recently, actually, for this issue fell on the doormat on
the finishing date of this issue of ST NEWS) released a revamped
version of his "Power" magazine shell - on December 1st to be
precise. The bad thing is that it now doesn't even work on the
Falcon with all the ST emulators in the world, so I'm afraid I
will be quite unable to comment on that user interface here. I
did manually decompress the articles so I can comment on those.
It is supposed to be mono compatible now, though.
For starters the usual 100-articles-about-1-Kb-long-each times
seem to have ended. We're looking at about half of the usual
amount with a total size of 700 Kb this time (when uncompressed),
which drastically increases the average article size. I know
"quantity" isn't everything, but I prefer fewer bigger articles
instead of loadsa small ones.
Still, not all "Power" has to offer is of interest, at least not
to me. I liked the "Disk Magazine Roundup" and the "Red Dwarf"
articles, though, and the usual collection of chit-chat,
solutions, competitions, jokes (although I think another lamer
test is a bit over the top), STOS tips & tricks and reviews. An
interesting extra on the disk is "Silly Reels", a fruit machine
I really appreciate James' efforts. Like I said, he's one of far
too few people who make having an Atari worth while. I do wish
he'd let go of "STOS" though and make a Falcon-compatible shell!
More disk magazine reviews? Try next issue's column.
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.