"Youth is wasted on the young."
George Bernard Shaw
"Life is wasted on the living."
Zaphod Beeblebrox IV
THE ST NEWS DEDICATION ARTICLE
TO A PERSON WE ALL KNOW *SO* WELL
by Richard Karsmakers
Originally, this issue of ST NEWS was to be dedicated to
acoustic guitar virtuoso extraordinaire, Mr. Bernd Steidl. We had
the interview. We had the CD. All in all we had plenty of reason.
Unfortunaly, however, a fairly major thing popped up that
warranted the dedication to be rescheduled (or, rather, dropped).
This article was written without Stefan knowing about it
beforehand for, indeed, this issue of ST NEWS is dedicated to the
Master Editor, or I should perhaps say, Future Ex-Master Editor,
of ST NEWS: Stefan Posthuma Himself, Digital Insanity Of The Lost
Boys, Coder Of Many Monochrome Scroll Demos, Person To Write The
First Entry Ever In A Real-Time Article, Instigator Of The Lost
Boys' Coding, Son Of The Man Who Discovered Plantiac (And Zen,
And Martial Arts, And Lots More), Adorer Of Jeff Minter, He Who
Started It All On A VIC-20, Organiser Of The 1990 ST NEWS
International Christmas Coding Convention, He Who Is Lost In The
Kenwood, Creator Of Many An Arcade Game ("Scuttle", "Hades",
"Alien Gate") and Writer Of The First Self-Destructive Review
Intro (to "Flying Shark").
Of course I wouldn't normally dream of dedicating an issue to
ourselves, not even to one of ourselves. But extreme
circumstances demand extreme measures: Stefan will step back
as the editor of ST NEWS and will, so it is thought, be virtually
totally lost to the ST world. He will join a life with his newly
acquired soulmate, a lovely female by the name of Ivette who will
soon move in from her native country of Guatemala.
Yes, this is the name of the girl that started everything off.
It is difficult not to become enchanted by her, engaging and
spontaneous as she is. I've met her on Stefan's 26th birthday
party and I can only say that these two globetrotters, even
though brought up at humongous distances apart, seem made for
each other. It's an incredible twist of destiny, in an almost
unbelievable way, that these two souls met in the first place.
For me, it's time now to look back at eight years so far of him
and me being the best of friends - eight years of which he spent
five as Editor of ST NEWS, five years that transformed ST NEWS
from a sortof odd small disk magazine with a meagrely coded user
interface into a lean, mean disk magazine. Without Stefan I doubt
whether there would have been any Nutty Norwegians or Extravagent
English. Without Stefan there might never have been any Lost
Boys, since they claim one of his earliest articles on horizontal
scrolling having gotten them to code on the ST. I think Stefan
has been one of those people with a very large impact on the ST
universe and, of course, with an even more significant impact on
yours truly's personal universe. Without him I may never have
discovered Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett or Stephen Donaldson. I
would not have learned to appreciate Dire Straits, Fields of the
Nephilim or Gandalf. Once, long ago, he got me my first Joe
Satriani record. He even got me in touch with a very nice brand
of Vieux called Lavaro - which, when it happened not to be
available one week, lead us to discover the mother of all drinks,
the smoothest of all alcoholic beverages, Plantiac. Probably I
would never even have had a chance with my current soulmate,
Miranda, if it hadn't been for Stefan - even though Miranda lived
on the other side of the hall at that time. I guess it's safe to
say that without Stefan I would have been a completely different
"Hi. I'm Stefan. I call myself Unicorn and I love hamsters,
I still quite vividly remember his first letter, which I
received in late summer 1986, back in a time when ST NEWS was
still only semi-legal and when it was still a document on disk
with no user interface whatsoever. I had heard of Stefan before,
when I still had a Commodore 64. I had enjoyed playing one of the
games that he had had released in the CBM 64 public domain some
time before, "Hades". I had tried (and failed) ripping out the
music from another one of his games, "Scuttle". He had started
coding on the VIC-20, had then switched to the Commodore 64 and
had now landed on the promising new Atari ST. Obviously he had
liked something about this peculiar little disk magazine that I
was doing, which gave way to an almost endless stream of articles
that was started off that year with "Writing your Own
As our cooperation continued we met on ever increasing amounts
of occasions. Sometimes at computer shows or user group
gatherings, or sometimes at his or my place. He continued
writing, and eventually he started to make small bits of code
that I could include in the budding ST NEWS user interface. After
about a year, most of the slick-looking routines in ST NEWS'
haphazard skeleton were actually Stefan's.
The thing about Stefan is that, when you're around him,
something happens. I guess it's chemical or something, but the
result is that your veins don't merely spend their time guiding
blood along your organs. Slowly but surely more and more blood is
replaced by liquid inspiration. After an hour in one room with
Stefan, with or without assistance from the appropriate alcoholic
drinks and fitting music, inspiration starts oozing out of your
ears, your pores, your mouth and your fingers. This inspiration
eventually resulted in us thinking of concepts like real-time
articles, absurd religion, crazy letters (and crazy footnotes,
for that matter), the ST NEWS home vid', introductory novels to
software reviews, monochrome scroller demos, the LateST NEWS-and
Norway Quests and the ST NEWS International Christmas Coding
Volume 3 saw him actually taking over ST NEWS as such. Although
the amount of writing done by yours truly didn't actually change
that much (or perhaps it just got more), ST NEWS changed almost
overnight into what's regarded as one of the most intuitive and
probably the fastest user interfaces a disk magazine could have.
From that moment on, ST NEWS has grown almost constantly. More
articles, a continually improving user interface, more friends
who wrote with us and for us, the exhillerating 1989 LateST NEWS
Quest, an ever increasing quality of ST NEWS demo screens (at
least up to and including Volume 4), the 1990 ST NEWS
International Christmas Coding Convention, and lots of other
Each issue was finished by the two of us together - an intricate
and almost sacred ritual of listening to Sodom, Metallica and
Jason Becker, drinking absurd amounts of Booze and playing
"Bubble Bobble" and "Super Sprint" until our eyelids would refuse
to remain open. Each finishing would also entail an intricate
sinusoid graph reflecting our moods as the happiness of
'finishing' and the sadness of a freshly discovered but
nonetheless particularly nasty bug battled for supremacy during
the last hours of each finishing weekend.
Return to Sender
ST NEWS has been through depths and heights. It has changed
editor once already. It died and went undead not much later. It
saw writers come and go. Now the time has come to change editors
In some way it's rather sad to realise that this issue of ST
NEWS is the last one where Stefan is The Editor. ST NEWS Volume 8
Issue 2 will see him as Ex-Editor, with me becoming (Ex-
Ex-)Editor. Although Stefan will still write for ST NEWS now and
again, and although not a lot will actually change principally,
Things will just no longer be the same. That's the reason behind
a nagging feeling that gnaws at my bowels, the feeling that urged
me to write this perhaps-somewhat-over-sentimental article.
ST NEWS will enter a new era. With a new editor and more
attention given to a new Atari computer.
Godspeed, Stefan. Best of luck with Ivette. Hope you won't be
totally lost to the ST world.
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.