"Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds.
Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl."
MAGGIE 5TH BIRTHDAY PARTY REPORT
By Michael Noyce
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|:: M A G G I E :|
At least it got used in the end, eh, Chris?
It may have slipped you attention, in which case Chris Holland
(CIH) doesn't have your phone number, that "Maggie" celebrated
its 5th birthday this year. In July I was one of the chosen ones
to receive an official party invitation to the party on August
19th at the Rilton Hotel in Rushden, Northants.
All kinds of events were planned, the biggest event of all being
the release of "Maggie 18" and the new Falcon specific shell
courtesy of Reservoir Gods.
Since Richard couldn't make it (due to a lack of funds or
something) I was the only ST NEWS regular contributor at the
party and what follows is a report on the events and happening as
seen form my own personal view-point.
Saturday 19th August 1995
An early morning start meant I would have to forego my usual
Saturday morning lie in. In a rare state of forward planning I
decided to pack all the necessary survival gear (i.e. Walkman,
cassettes, batteries, reading material, clothes, money, young
person's railcard, and, of course, disks) the night before just
in case I slept through my alarm. As a precaution I also
programmed my stereo to turn on at the same time. If I didn't get
up after that then I'd probably be dead or, worse, (very)
Fortunately, I woke at 07:00 after a few hours sleep and was
quickly in the bathroom doing the usual early morning shit-
shampoo-shower-shave routine. By 7:50 I was in my dad's car being
driven to Chichester Railway Station to catch the 08:11 that
would start me on the journey to Wellingborough, where I'd
arranged for Chris to meet me at 11:33, barring any little BR
My journey was divided into three stages; Chichester to East
Croydon, across London to Luton and from there to Wellingborough.
Nothing very interesting happened, which, frankly, makes a change
from missing connections and facing delays that usually screw up
my travel plans.
Arriving at Wellingborough as near as damn it to 11:33 I waited
for Chris to turn up. It was then I realized I didn't know what
the hell he looked like and vice versa. After a few minutes it
dawned on the two people who looked as though they were looking
for someone they'd never seen, who the other was. Even then, it
wasn't until Chris spoke that a familiar voice confirmed the
identity of the person I was waiting for.
After a short (and quick) drive to Rushden I was dropped off at
the Rilton Hotel, while Chris went to fetch James "Power"
Mathews. The room where the party was being held wasn't difficult
to find the sound of music led me to a room with numerous Atari
computers and persons all busy at their machines - this had to be
it. I quickly dumped my bag in a corner and started to mingle as
best I could, which meant sitting next to a bunch of people (who
turned out to be Reservoir Gods) coding on a Falcon, waiting for
someone to talk to me. Eventually, someone did. That someone
being Richard (a.k.a. Felice) who turned out to be a jolly nice,
talkative chap indeed. It was also nice to hear some genuine
feedback from a fellow Atarian about my articles (both ST NEWS
and "Maggie"). I was shown some Falcon demos which left me unable
to speak words other than "Gosh" or "Amazing". It also resulted
in me having a moan about my financial dire straits preventing
the purchase of a Falcon. I was also shown the finished "Maggie
18", with the Falcon shell due to be finished later that day.
Richard was also kind enough to buy me a Coke and let me read his
copy of the latest "Atari World". I also caught a few peeks at
the new (impressive) Falcon shell as it was being worked on.
Across the other side of the room some guys were playing "Sub-
Station" so I had a quick look at that. It was about this time
that Chris returned and the news that James Mathews was... er...
lost somewhere in Somerset!! This resulted in much piss-taking
for the rest of the day and well into the early hours of the
next. Poor guy!!
A vacant computer with "Maggie 18" loaded had me sitting in
front of it having a closer look at the contents. Beside me,
Richard was at the keyboard of a Portable Commoredore laptop
adding to the realtime article. It wasn't long before I'd made my
first entry, announcing my presence for posterity, at the same
time achieving one of my life's ambitions.
Back on the Reservoir Gods' Falcon some of their other stuff was
being demonstrated. "Bubble Bobble 2000" looks and sounds very
close the arcade original. It's very close to being released as
shareware and I think that it will be one of the best shareware
releases ever!! Look out for it and get it as soon as you can!!
By mid afternoon people had come and gone. Ralph Lovesy of
Impact Software had arrived with a copy of "Team", which was
loaded on Reservoir Gods' Falcon, while they took a break from
coding. By coincidence the Premier Football was being broadcast
by the radio in the room. By this time things had reached a sort
of low point. Not much was happening and it was a bit quiet, due
to the considerable afternoon heat. It was getting damn hot, but
relief came in the form of ice cold cokes from the bar.
At some point during the afternoon someone arrived with a new CD
drive for Chris. He was rather excited by this and it was quickly
set up on an unused Falcon in the corner. After a few minutes we
were perusing though the contents of some CDs - some of an...
er... adult nature.
Having spent some quite considerable time wading through various
CDs my attention was drawn to some people playing "Stardust" on
another machine - rather badly it must be said. I decided I'd
show 'em how it was done and I think I managed to do quite a good
job showing off. Well, at least I could get to world two!
As evening approached, attention was turned once again to the
finishing of the new "Maggie" shell. All the remaining people
were digitized using "Expose" and "Apex Media" which was a good
More people came and went as the evening proceeded and,
thankfully, the temperature started to go down as well. At this
point the "Maggie" Shell is all but finished and we are invited
to write something for the scrolltext that will appear in the
menu screen. We take it in turns to write various stuff,
unfortunately, I couldn't think of anything (original) to write
so I wrote something I hoped would be slightly funny. Again, I
achieved another one of my ambitions. To write something in a
Shortly after writing some stuff in the scrolltext it was time
to pack everything away and transport the lot back to Chris' flat
which was, to my great surprise, about two minutes walk away!?
We managed to cram everything in with all remaining space taken
by the various bodies of those still present. Some more realtime
article writing was done as Chris connected a Falcon to his
monitor for the unveiling of the new "Maggie" Shell!! An historic
moment delayed by Chris' monitor blowing a fuse! I guess the
excitement and emotion of the occasion proved too much for it.
Another monitor, made of sterner stuff, was found to replace the
broken one. Some more stuff was added to the scrolltext, mainly
quite a few greetings and other stuff. Once that was done the new
shell was finished, compiled and loaded!!! Quiet celebrations
abound as it appeared on the screen in all its glory!!
Things started to wind down a bit but not before Richard
Karsmakers made his presence felt during the proceedings, albeit
a few hundred kilometers away in Holland on the end of the phone.
As people started getting ready for bed, those luck enough to
have sleeping bags, some more stuff was added to the realtime
article which was also concluded at this time. Then it was time
for us all to hit the sack/floor/chair/cushion.
Sunday 20 August 1995
I woke early in the morning just before Chris appeared to wake
up some people to take them to the station. The various members
of Reservoir Gods were still very much asleep so I took the
opportunity to have a quick wash and find a more comfortable
place to doze for a while longer.
After Chris arrived back everyone was up and about by 10:00,
helped by cups of coffee and tea. Breakfast came in the form of a
birthday cake that had been bought for the occasion. It was
After some more copying and chatting it was my turn to leave
with half of Reservoir Gods. After dropping them at Northampton
Station Chris took me to Wellingbourgh Station where we parted.
The journey home to Chichester was a long and almost unbearably
hot one, especially as the train crawled its way through London.
The only noticeable relief that distracted me from the heat was a
Kathy Ireland (the world's most gorgeous woman!) look-a-like who
was on the train all the way to Chichester - she even got off
there as well!
I arrived home at 17:30, tired, hot, thirsty, smelly, but very
happy. Once I'd had a shower and a hot meal inside me I felt much
better and sat down to write this article.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself over the weekend and had a brilliant
time. I'd like to thank Chris for inviting me and being the
perfect host. Cheers Mate!!
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.