"An ideologist is one who, upon discovering that a rose smells
better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make a better
SOME DISK MAGAZINES REVIEWED
by Richard Karsmakers
As usual, people have deemed it necessary to assail my mailbox
with all but a flurry of mailmen carrying disks with electronic
magazines. In this column I will try to put in some thoughts on
each of them. Not that they were actually that many, but you
won't hear me complaining.
Scriba Communis Responsum Volume 2 Issue 2
Nutty as ever, packed as ever, smooth as ever, totally warped as
ever, and militantly zealous ST and Falcon-compatible as ever,
it's "Scriba Communis Responsum" Volume 2 Issue 2 that saw the
light of day somewhere in November 1993.
I know for sure that there will never quite be a magazine like
it, featuring their highly illustrious load of verbal diarrhoea
intermingled with huge amounts of intellectual babblings and a
lot of prose as well. Apart from that, the user interface is also
faster than anything you're likely to find and it's the epitome
And the stupid thing is that I don't even get paid for writing
this. Probably because, by and large, it's true.
I will not bother you with a description of the articles and
features on its jam-packed disk. I think it will just be better
if I leave it to your imagination. And if you haven't got a lot
of imagination you can always try sending disk, SAE and IRCs to
the address below.
Gard Eggesbø Abrahamsen
P.O. Box 5061
ST Enthusiasts Newsletter #15
Unfortunately, yes let's get it over with right away, this will
be the last ever issue of the "ST Enthusiasts Newsletter", a
joint effort of British Dave Mooney and John Weller. I always
reckoned "STEN" was the best disk magazine around even though
their user interface couldn't quite match that of, say, "Maggie"
and "DBA Magazine". Their departure will be felt, I am sure,
especially in the realms of the somewhat more serious ST users.
"STEN" persistently featured high quality articles and always did
very well in the glossies' disk magazines polls (despite the fact
that "STEN" always criticised them, and rightly so!). Only in a
late last year's issue of "ST Review" they got to second place in
such a poll, closely followed by "DBA Magazine" (and the most
excellently reincarnated "Maggie", most remarkably, tagging along
on an inexplicable tenth spot).
Anyway, Dave and John wanted to wrap up a lot of loose ends. In
the process they have created another excellent issue, so instead
of fading away they appear to have opted for the "gone with a
"STEN" issue 15 features an interview with (who else?) God.
Maybe I've always underestimated the humorous side of "STEN" what
with my constantly emphasizing the fact that they were pretty
serious actually. Plenty of stuff to laugh at in this issue, as
well as the usual collection of reviews and tidbits.
Concluding, this issue should only be steered clear of if you
think one should not be joking about God (and, indeed, why
The address to send a disk, SAE and reply postage to if you're
interested in this issue is:
51 St. Luke's Road
Dorset BH3 7LR
From what I've gathered, Dave will be spending more time on his
academic career (involving PCs, of all things) and family, and he
has in the mean time found it necessary to sell his ST. John is
thinking of setting up some sort of, quote, "creative 'zine" on
the ST, whereas he will also write the odd bit for ST NEWS I am
glad to say.
Summer of last year saw the birth and, unfortunately, quick
death of a Falcon-only disk magazine. I doubt that many of you
will have heard of it, and I doubt even more than any of you will
mourn because of its demise, for "Falcom Magazine" was wholly in
Dutch and not actually very excellent.
I think the main reason for its death lay in its concept. It was
a weekly disk magazine only for Falcon users, and it was Dutch. I
have done ST NEWS for quite a few years now and I would worship
The One who could possibly put together a decent disk magazine
every week for more than a month. "Falcon Magazine" was no
exception to the rule that it's actually pretty difficult to get
a number of articles together. Hence its premature passing away.
But let us ruminate a bit about its history, and the three
issues that encompassed it.
The first issue was released on June 28th 1993, and was written
mainly by its editor, Jos van Roosmalen. Like the second issue,
it was just a text file on disk, between 40 and 50 Kb in size,
with added source material, tools and pictures on the disk. The
articles were of moderate interest, in this case covering "GfA
Basic" popup menu programming, a sampler program including "Pure
C" source code and various minor bits. Apart from 50 Kb of text
it contained about 100 Kb worth of tools and source material,
with an added 480 Kb of pictures. Not something to get overly
excited about, but it was a reasonable beginning.
July 5th saw the release of issue 2. This time it featured 43 Kb
of text, 160 Kb of tools and sources and a whopping 614 Kb worth
of pictures. Programs on the disk included a "Direct to Disk
Recording" program ("WinRec" 1.3) and a program to reset the
Falcon's NonVolatile RAM. Programming tricks were offering with
regard to programming submenus in various programming language.
The third issue, which would also turn out to be the last one,
showed both evolution and decline. Evolution showed itself
through the fact that it now had its own GEM text display shell,
boasting such features as the ability to use text styles and
display pictures, even though it was quite buggy and slow. On
the decline side of things there were only a handful of articles,
amounting to about 22 meagrely interesting Kbs and one 153 Kb
picture. Some 200 Kb worth of tools and source material could be
found on the disk. I seem to recall some "FPU" stuff being
mentioned here. It wasn't a very interesting issue.
And now, as was told already, "Falcon Magazine" is no more.
Maybe it will one day come back, but hopefully it will then be
written in English, appear on monthly basis (or even less
frequently, like quarterly), and be more interesting (not to
mention a really decent shell).
Maggie Issue 13
"Maggie" is alive again, and has been for a few issues already.
To make us all doubly aware of this, January saw the release of
the 13th issue in total, otherwise known as "Maggie 13" (ahem).
Whereas "Maggie" was one of my favourite disk magazines before,
with the demise of "STEN" and the perpetual lack of anyone
sending me "DBA" I guess it'll have to do with "most favourite"
status now. I really dig the fresh humour and large amount of
articles covering diverse fields that may nor may not be
connected with the computer scene in general.
Issue 13 contains, among other things: Game (p)reviews
(among others "Frontier - Elite 2", "Goal", "Ishar 2", "No Second
Prize" and even a PC CD ROM game (?!) called "Rebel Assault"),
demo reviews (among others "Froggies over the Fence" and various
smaller Falcon demos), interviews and various trivial things such
as a report on the Douglas Adams related "VoCon" happenings,
Maggie Thatcher (and her years), "16 Bit Computer Show" reviews
and an incredibly witty article of computer salesman anecdotes.
One of the interviews is with the Luigi Mario Brother, a
computer character features years ago in Nintendo games but never
spotted afterwards (and if you think the interview is witty, wait
until you read the disclaimer!).
"Maggie" works both on ST and Falcon, although there's no music
in Falcon mode and you have to boot in an ST-compatible
resolution (not on a VGA standard resolution anyways). The user
interface is still as perfect as ever, and on the disk you will
find separate "ST" and "Falcon" folders containing various
goodies ranging from demos to the latest version of "Backward"
I think there is no reason for "Maggie" ever to ever on number
10 in any glossy magazine's Disk Magazine Top 10. Rather, I think
it should be on #1.
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.