EDITORIAL - "ST NEWS", A NON-COMMERCIAL FORTRESS IN A WORLD OF
HARD CORE COMMERCIALITY
What'd you think if we would suddenly decide to start selling ST
NEWS on a heavily protected disk? Wouldn't you consider us to be
a bunch of suckers if we did? Well, damn right you are!
Recently I had a little chat with Mr. Frans 'Data Becker'
Ottenhof. We were talking about software prices and such when he
succeeded in explaining me why certain programs in fact carry
such high price tags. He told me everything there's to know about
things like advertisement, marketing, documentation, distributing
and fees of people down the line from software programmer to
computer shop salesmen. A program like "GfA Basic" is thus not as
expensive as it may seem to must of us.
The only way to significantly keep down software prices is to
write everything so that it can be spread through the freeware
circuit, or by selling it at real bargain prices without fancy
packaging, documentation and marketing. To support this
viewpoint, we offer a high quality PD service ourselves. We also
are active for ST Club Eindhoven (the biggest ST club in The
Netherlands), which has launched a very nice initiative recently
- they sell software written by club members at a really low
price. At the moment the "Strike-a-Light" group is very active
for this initiative and is currently writing "Picworks V2.0" (a
very comprehensive picture print utility) and a real arcade game
- "Pac Man". Much more will be launched in the future - and all
at real bargain prices!
In spite of the fact that a service like selling this software is
not free of charge, we hereby wish to attend you to the fact the
program "Strikey" (The PacMan-like game) can be bought through
our PD service by paying 29,95 Dutch guilders to my giro account
number. You will then have the program mailed to your home.
More than once have we in fact thought of becoming commercial,
especially when we heard that "F.A.S.T.E.R." had also become
commercial. But we think it's possible to offer high grade
services to our readers for nothing as well. A lot of the fun
of writing and supporting ST NEWS would then be spoiled.
Being non-commercial has several disadvantages; you don't get a
real income for instance, which makes it tough sometimes to keep
on giving yourself to your full extend when writing programs or
articles for ST NEWS. Also, advertising is very difficult to do
if you happen to have only PD projects running - wherefrom must
the financials for an extensive advertisement campain be gained?
But the advantages weigh up to the disadvantages real
heavily. For example, it is now possible to let a program be
spread by other people - officially - as well, which
significantly increases the actual number of people that are
reached by the magazine. Being non-commercial also takes care
that people who have not yet actually experienced ST NEWS do not
hesitate to order a copy - since it's free! I can hardly imagine
someone buying commercial software without finding out exactly
what he buys before it is actually done.
In the early days of computing - for me, anyway - I was hardly
interested in Public Domain software. On the Commodore 64, the
only computer that I then owned, nearly all PD software was equal
to trash. It was quite an experience to receive high quality PD
software once I bought the ST, being used to the usual PD trash
on the 64. The whole PD setup can now actually be prefered above
many commercial enterprises. The software can easily be copied
and the user can in many cases pay for it if he wishes to; if a
program is very well written it is highly possible that the
writer will receive quite a lot of money anyway. It is much more
fun, and the program author also gets an idea of what people
think of his programming skills this way. If a certain donation
is made, most software programmers offer source listings or
program updates in exchange, so that the user gets even more
benefit from that 'simple' shareware program!
I hope you'll appreciate us for keeping ST NEWS fully non-
commercial, and for offering as much information as we can on as
little space as possible.
(Editor of ST NEWS)
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.