"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists
elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact
Calvin, Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson
by Richard Karsmakers
In the beginning there was mail. Then there were Bulletin Board
Systems that allowed amazingly quick mail to be sent to and fro
people from all over the globe, making it necessary to identify
ordinary mail by something that is becoming more increasingly
known as 'snailmail' (rather aptly).
Now, in 1992, ST NEWS starts something entirely revolutionary
(well, sortof). Though it's principally a variety of snailmail,
it's called chainmail - not to be confused with the protective
armour to all you role-playing affectionados!
In the PROGRAMS folder you will find a file called
"CHAIN_1.TXT". This is an ASCII version of a chainmail letter.
All you need to do is print it out 10 times (or print it out once
and copy it nine times). If you do not have a printer you can try
and find a friend who has.
How does it work?
The principle of chain letters is no true revolution - it has
been done before, and done quite successfully, for several years
already, and on several occasions. Some of them are of the "if
you send this letter to others you will get lucky but if you
don't you will perhaps die" variety, but the particular one in
this issue of ST NEWS is infinitely more harmless and equally
more worth your while.
What you do is the following:
You send the printed-out letter "CHAIN_1.TXT" to some friends of
yours. The letter contains instructions for them to do the same
thing - i.e. copying ten letters to their friends who will each
do the same, etc. In other words you're creating a giant tree
structure of letters.
Together with the letters, you will send an additional sheet of
paper with four names and addresses on it (in your case this list
is present as "CHAIN_2.TXT" in the PROGRAMS folder). Your name
should be the one at the bottom, the one who sent it to you
should be above yours, the one who sent it to the one who sent it
to you should be above that, and so on.
As you read all of this first-hand, this means that your name
should be at the bottom of that extra sheet, with our names above
that. The persons to which you send the letter will have to write
their name at the bottom so that both yours and mine move up one
position (this can be done by photocopying the original that they
get so that the top entry falls off, then writing their own name
on the blank space at the bottom).
What's the idea?
As soon as your name (or our names, or the name of any other
person in the chain) ends up on top, the person who will get that
letter will have to send that person a certain amount of money
(more about that later). If all is well, 10,000 people should
receive a letter with your name on top of it - who will then all
send you money.
A bit of mathmatics:
You send the letter to 10 people. Those letters have your name
at the bottom, and ours above it.
The people that you send the letters to will send it to 10 new
people each. This means that there will be 100 letters with a new
name at the bottom, yours above that and ours above yours. In
other words, your name will be on position 3.
The people that those people send the letters to will send it to
10 people each. There will then be 1,000 letters around with two
new names at the bottom, yours above that (at position 2) and the
last of ours on the top.
After that our last name falls off on top. Both of us have left
the chain and you are at the top. The people at the end of your
part of the chain, of which there will be 10,000 (10 * 1,000),
will then send you money. You will then drop out of the chain
yourself and the persons that you sent the letters to will be on
top (getting money), etc.
End of math lesson.
The monetary bit
When you get a letter with someone's name at the top, first
thing you've got to do is to send that person the specified
amount of money.
This amount of money should be 10 Dutch guilders, or 5 Pound
sterling, 10 US dollars, 10 German marks, or whatever equivalent
in whatever currency as long as it's paper money only (otherwise
the postal service might discover it and they don't like money
being sent by mail, which gives them the right to send the letter
by registered mail and charge the addressee for the extra costs
This does indeed mean that you spend about 10 Dutch guilders (in
case your're Dutch) plus postage-and copying costs, and that in
the end you should get your amount back 10,000 times! So you have
everything to win and only little to lose.
Let's get serious
Although it would be perfect if you would indeed get 10,000
times your amount back, this will in theory not happen very
often. An American institute (The Imperial Sales Company, 3095
Ivey Way, Knoxville, Tennesse 39714, USA) is trying to keep track
of the success of chain letters like these, however, and their
statistics state that 97% of all letters have become successful,
with most people receiving at least the equivalent of 14,000 US
dollars. These are facts, not fiction. The amount of money is
still quite substantial.
Nonetheless, it is of fairly vital importance that people do not
drop out of the chains. Not only does it lessen their own
potential advantage, but it also decreases the advantages of the
people who sent it to them (and the ones before that).
The letter itself
Below you will find the contents of the letter that is also
present under the name "CHAIN_1.TXT" in the PROGRAMS folder. You
can print out "CHAIN_1.TXT" using the desktop "print" option, or
by using a word processor.
"Normally I don't go for letters like this - but something about
this idea tells me it's different, so I decided to go ahead with
it anyway. It is best to send this letter on to dear friends of
which you know that they need the money.
Other attempts at a CHAINMAIL letter like this have had a 97%
success rating, with people averagely getting the equivalent of
14,000 US dollars within a couple of weeks after they sent the
If you do exactly what is asked of you, you will get the above
amount of money within a couple of weeks. Only four names and
addresses are important. After three steps YOU will be at the top
position, which is the position that will cause many people to
send you an amount of money each, equivalent to 10 Dutch
guilders, 5 British pound sterling, 10 US dollars or 10 German
marks (PAPER MONEY ONLY!), in any currency.
All you need to do is send the amount of money equivalent to 10
Dutch guilders, 5 British pound sterling, 10 US dollars or 10
German marks, folded in a white piece of paper, paper money only,
to the address at the TOP of the list. You should then get rid of
that top name on the list and add yours right at the BOTTOM. You
should then send this letter and the corresponding list to 10
good friends (in your own country, or anywhere on the globe).
SEND AWAY YOUR COPIES OF THIS LETTER WITHIN 3 DAYS, AND
PLEASE DON'T BREAK THE CHAIN!
Once your name is on top. Up to 10,000 people like you will send
money to you. All you need to invest is about two of those
equivalents (one that you spend when sending it to the person
that was on top of the list you received, and one that you spent
on postage and copying). If the chain remains intact, it will
keep working! Copy this letter entirely like it is, so that
nothing gets lost.
Please acknowledge your results, if you want to, to The Imperial
Sales Company, 3095 Ivey Way, Knoxville, Tennessee 39714, USA. At
the moment they claim 97% of all attempts being successful, with
an average of the equivalent to 14,000 US dollars being received
by most people in the chain.
Send this letter on to people who you reckon need the money, and
people who you think will actually go for it. If you don't want
to partake in this CHAINMAIL event, PLEASE send it back to the
person who sent it to you, so that it can be sent to someone
else and the chain won't be broken. Send the letters on within 3
days - you'll be amazed at the results.
If you feel like it, you can also specify the goal for which you
need to money next to your address in the list.
REMEMBER: YOU HAVE MUCH TO GAIN AND ONLY LITTLE TO LOSE!
THIS CHAINMAIL LETTER WAS INITIATED BY THE EDITORIAL STAFF
OF "ST NEWS", *THE* ATARI ST DISK MAGAZINE"
Adaptations for "ST NEWS" readers and their targets
You will have noticed that the list you have hereby received
(the "CHAIN_2.TXT" file in the PROGRAMS folder) has no name at
the top. This means that YOU will not have to send money to
anyone - you're lucky to be at the beginning. The name of your
sender (i.e. me) and the one above that (i.e. Stefan) are already
on positions 2 and 3 so that you only need to fill in your name
and goal and then send it all off to your 10 targets.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: The people to which you send your letters
will, just like you, not have to pay any money to anyone either -
they're lucky, too. Please add a note in your letters to the
effect that they don't need to send any money either and that
they should just get rid of the first (empty) entry and add their
own at the end.
The CHAINMAIL principle will take full effect after your targets
send on their 10 letters each.
Note about fairness
Of course you cannot print out "CHAIN_2.TXT" at all and make a
list yourself, getting rid of our names and just writing down
your name four times.
This is not the intention of all this. Play it fair. You'll get
profit from it anyway.
By the way, all of this to you is an offer without engagement.
You can read this article and let it be, or read it and go
ahead with it. The latter option would of course be the ideal one
to opt for, needless to say.
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.