"We're the morality squad
Armed with the wrath of God
My name is Granbo
And here's my holy hot rod
Freedom for all the people
Brave and true and strong
Freedom for all the people
Unless I think they're wrong
Necro-bestial anal butt sex!
I got a couple of friend here
Trained by the C.I.A.
Special agents here to blow you to hell away
GWAR you're the worst, I'll put an end to you
You're even grosser than 2 Live Crew
My Grandson the super hero just back from the war with Iraq
CORP. PUNISHMENT: My name is Corporal Punishment
I want to scratch your back
GRANBO: My nephew Tiny, a hundred tons of Man!
TINY: (Inarticulate bellowing)"
The Morality Squad, off Gwar's "America Must Be Destroyed"
SOME SHORT DISK MAGAZINE ROUNDUPS
by Richard Karsmakers
Originally I intended to write several separate disk magazine
reviews, but in the end I decided it would be better to combine
all of those in one article - I'd rather have one article of
decent size instead of several rather small articles, which saves
space in the pull-down menu system.
AMAZINE ISSUES 1 AND 2
"Amazine", a disk magazine that experienced its debut in the
first half of this year, is made by the international hacking
group Mad Vision. They have members in France, Belgium and
France. One of their most active members, Dadu, is sortof a
living legend in the field of disk magazines down in France, or
at least so I came to understand.
All this aside, "Amazine" is a magazine made by and aimed at the
Atari ST 'underground'. Indeed, this means that rather illegal
viewpoints are taken here and there, especially with regard to
software piracy and that sort of thing. Like most disk magazines
that have appeared in recent times, the user interface is totally
customized, there are many articles, and the articles are
relatively short. Language is a bit too profane for my taste, at
least in some of the articles.
Issue 1's user interface consisted of a large medium res screen
from which an article had to be selected by typing in its
corresponding number. Not at all user-friendly, but the new user
interface (that of issue 2) is already a lot better. You click
the mouse pointer on a general topic name after which a submenu
is displayed in the centre of the screen where the individual
articles may be selected. Grafically, both menus didn't look
particularly impressive - "Ledgers", "Maggie" and "DBA Magazine",
for example, look way better.
The text displayer allows use of a big sort of font and
different colours within one text. This wouldn't be too bad, but
unfortunately they've decided to use a horizontal page division -
this means that the first page is located on the left side of the
screen, the second on the right. Going one page 'down' will
display the second page on the left and the third on the right,
etc. I find it cumbersome to read like that.
I normally like to refrain from judging fellow disk magazines
negatively, but I think "Amazine" is one of those disk magazines
that really takes care of feeding the good name of the medium (if
any of it is left still) to the dogs. The 'fucks' and 'shits' are
to be found literally everywhere (and quite tastelessly too), and
their views on piracy and cracking are rather provocative.
I don't like this magazine at all, and I wouldn't advise any of
you to get it (which is probably reason all the more for you to
do so anyway).
Dadu (whom I mentioned before) is also busy compiling various
bits from other disk magazines and spreading the interesting
parts in ZIPped (compressed) ASCII file clusters. Although his
selection is not without criticism, this initiative is a lot
better than the making of "Amazine" itself.
BIG NIGHT OUT ISSUE 1
Last year (in October/November to be more precise) Paul Bramwell
of Durham, UK, released his debut disk magazine, "The Big Night
Out Magazine". By mere coicidence it was launched on November
3rd, which also happens to be my date of birth.
"Big Night Out" is based around a "GfA Basic" program featuring
pull-down menus and a background picture. Articles can be
selected rather straightforwardly whilst listening to some nice
music. The intro piccy (plus demo and music) was very nice (the
word 'cute' springs to mind) too.
On a whole, "Big Night Out" features interesting articles, 48 in
total, amounting to just over 120 Kb of articles. There is loads
of further stuff on the disk that would make the average Public
Domain compilation disk go to shame. Especially for a first
trial, "Big Night Out" is a most promising disk magazine that I'd
like to see more of in the near future. I hope future issues will
also work on monochrome.
"Big Night Out" may be acquired by sending a disk and sufficient
International Reply Coupons to Paul Bramwell, The Corruption
Software Group, 28 Woodlands, Seaham, County Durham, SR7 0EP,
DBA DISK MAGAZINE ISSUE 6
I am always glad when I receive mail from Sietse Postma, a.k.a.
Slimer of the DBA (Disk Busters Association), who is partly
responsible for what must surely be one of the prime disk
magazines of today, "DBA Magazine". As it is I am very happy as I
write this particular bit of this article (October 1st), as I
have just received their latest issue, "DBA Magazine" Number 6.
Obviously there are loads of guys working for this magazine, for
they seem to publish an issue about each every two months and
this new one contains a massive 170 articles, some of which
contain pictures in the text as well - amounting to a compressed
total of about 500 Kb on disk.
But let me first mention the user interface to you.
I guess "Disk Maggie" and "DBA Magazine" must have the most
slick user interfaces ever found in disk magazines. Everything is
done by smooth submenus that scroll across the screen, the texts
are displayed by a smooth scrolling routine. There are multiple
pieces of music to choose from (in this particular issue they
were all done by the Misfits), and there's also a submenu
containing about a dozen pictures (varying from 'ordinary' to
'very good' in quality).
The editorial contents vary considerably. There are basic tips,
assembler stuff, CD reviews, jokes, celebrity birthdays, reviews,
previews, regulars and an enormous load more. As I said above,
they have 170 articles this time which is f*@king huge to any
disk magazine's standard. Disadvantage, however, is that most
articles are very short, often barely more than one on-screen
Disk 1 is taken up by the awfully stylish and extremely
brilliant intro by a Dutch group called Synergy (which boasts
some of the best sound quality (soundchip music!) I have ever
heard since I left the Commore 64), the actual disk magazine
program and some folders containing Public Domain stuff along the
idea of the ST NEWS PROGRAMS folder. One of the programs on offer
here is a "Thesaurus", which is a neat accessory along the lines
of "K-Roget" (but with the difference that it is for free, of
course). Most of the programs on offer are compressed with
LZHARC, which is also supplied on the disk.
An entire submenu is awarded to the new Atari Falcon 030. The
DBA guys have been to the Atari Messe, too, and they've obtained
about the same information I used to write the "Falcon" article
to be found elsewhere in this issue of ST NEWS. They have written
much more, however, based on the Atari Benelux Briefing which has
been mailed to many people. Further, another submenu is devoted
to 24 interviews with various demo crew members. In the review
department, one of their articles is about our previous issue of
ST NEWS, of all things.
Note to Slimer: ST NEWS does work on 512 Kb machines, even
though the few >50 Kb articles are inaccessible and the pull-down
system is slower (because it does not buffer its contents after
being drawn for the first time). The reason why the text mode
scroll seems to be jerky is that we don't scroll at all but just
print the whole page anew one text line higher or lower each time
we scroll up or down. And the reason why we only have one piece
of music (and only one picture) is that we are not prepared to
spend more disk space on it than we already do. The editorial
contents are the most important to us.
End of note.
Concluding, it may be said that "DBA Magazine" is an excellent
product. It looks well-designed and offers a wide variety of
articles, even though these are often rather short and the
English language is sometimes slightly bent. The programs on
offer are interesting (and good, too), the intro is great, the
music is good (the intro music is totally brilliant, even). There
is not much more left to wish for in "DBA Magazine" - except
maybe for monochrome compatibility?
If ever there is a magazine that gives "Disk Maggie" a run for
its money, it's "DBA Magazine". And if you ask me, I think "DBA"
will survive longer.
If you want to acquire the most recent "DBA Magazine" issue,
send two disks plus sufficient International Reply Coupons to:
D.B.A., P.O. Box 506, NL-9200 AM, Drachten, The Netherlands.
"Stellar" is one of the STOS-programmed disk magazines that have
seen the light of day in the last year or so. Mark Nobes,
initiator of this magazine, limited the menu to only allowing 10
articles to be selected only, and on top of that it only runs on
colour monitors. The articles are very short and all contained
within the program so that loading times, once it's all started,
are nill. The pageviewer is surely bound to be improved, for at
the moment it only allows 40 columns to be displayed, it is quite
slow, and you can only page down (you can only exit once you've
arrived at the end of the article, too). The menu picture has to
be reloaded each time after watching an article.
Mark Nobes added a short slideshow to the program as well, which
is quite witty. All pics (some of which portray slightly naughty
jokes) were done by Mark himself.
It seems that "Stellar" will remain having 10 articles, or at
least 10 submenus. One of the most original articles is one about
"the environment". We rarely read stuff like that in disk
magazines so I liked that a lot. Innovation if I ever saw it.
It's quite nice to read an article about the greenhouse effect
and stuff like that instead of the usual slagging off of
fellow demo crews and all that demo-related nonsense one usually
gets in today's lesser disk magazines.
If you want to get your hands on "Stellar", send a disk plus
sufficient IRCs to: Mark Nobes, Newholme, Aston Road, Chipping
Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6HR, England.
Only recently did someone send me the latest issue of Delta
Force's "Maggie" - issue 10. It's the third issue already with
their brilliantly smooth user interface that really leaves little
to be desired. On top of that, their English has gradually
increased a lot in quality - probably because lots of it now
seems to have been written by some English chaps. The pageviewer
now also supports text styles (at least I saw it displaying bold
and light), and the music (by Big Alec again) is superb. The
intro is totally excellent as well, with bitmap rotating stuff
and good music.
However, there is a fairly major change when comparing this
issue with the earlier ones. The major change is situated in an
"adult only" submenu that features a whopping 417 Kb of porno,
varying from a 13-year old brother going down rather explicitly
with his 12-year old sister to more in-depth and sortof realistic
stuff. Of course I would be the epitome of hypocrisy if I were to
say that I hate porno - but I do have to say that they could at
least have hidden this stuff. I am sure this is the sort of thing
that people are just waiting for when they're trying to ban disk
magazines. If I had a PD library, I would certainly refrain from
stocking this particular issue of "Maggie". It's not the kind
of stuff you would want to sell to young customers.
But now for the good bits. After all, I think "Maggie" is
potentially the best disk magazine on the ST still and I would
hate to slag them off here.
"Maggie" now incorporates a column called "Newscorner". This may
be compared with our "Did you know that..." column but it's got a
different set-up. I liked it very much indeed. There are lots of
demo reviews, though only four serious (games/utility) reviews.
One of the authors has good taste, and portrays this by reviewing
all films featuring Joanna Pacula he has ever seen. Nice! On top
of that, New Mode has written a from-the-heart article about the
ST scene and the way it is at the moment (i.e. it sucks
hellishly). The most spectacular bit is an article by Flix of
Delta Force about Full Overscan programming. A must for each
I guess this issue of "Maggie" is the biggest they've ever done,
too. There are about 100 Kb worth of programs on the disk, and on
top of that you have 64 articles totalling up to 985 Kb.
Unfortunately, 417 Kb of those are porno and 180 Kb of articles
have BBS fingerprints all over them (not counting the porno,
which seems downloaded from a BBS too).
Concluding, "Maggie" issue 10 is still potentially quite
excellent - although I would personally have left out the porno,
or at least I would have hidden it. I think this particular issue
does no favour to the public opinion about disk magazines -
that's already pretty low as it is.
That's all for this issue's disk magazine reviews. More will
probably follow in Volume 8 Issue 1, due out somewhere in 1993
(most likely around spring).
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.