Reflections on the 5th, 10th and 15th years..
When considering the 5th birthday of this fine diskmag, I couldn't help
thinking about a previous life, and the birthday celebrations of another
diskmag. We look back all the way to 1990, and the birth of Maggie. Was it
that long ago? Yes it seems it was!
Firstly. let's go back to August 1995, the year when the 5th Birthday of
Maggie was upon us. Back then, we had made plans in advance of the event.
This was going to be tied up with the release of a new super Falcon-enhanced
shell program being created by the Reservoir Gods. There was a fair bit of
work personally involving me as well, because I had decided on a gathering of
the Maggie faithful in my tiny residence in Rushden. This involved all the
normal party paraphenalia of invitations, directions, and in-house catering.
Also there was an external venue booked for the daytime part of the party,
where yet more people were invited to attend.
What happened then has been very well documented already, but it is
reasonable to say that the 5th birthday more or less went to plan, and the
'relaunch' of the new Falcon version was totally successful.
This was the most fervent and best celebrated of the anniversaries. There was
the party of course, much hard work in the development of the new shell, and
everyone concerned made a special effort to make it all work out. Of course,
the typical diskmag lifespan was rarely this long, so we felt that we really
had accomplished something by surviving to this point. Incidentally, there
was also the shortest gap from the actual birth date of the 31st May. Did I
mention there was even a birthday cake? I think I might have done!
Rare footage of the 5th Maggie birthday party, oh it's a cake!
Somehow, we made it all the way to the 10th Birthday of Maggie. This was a
feat only achieved by one other diskmag at that time, ST News, which had also
had a 5 year head start on us!
Maggie was still celebrated, but not to the same extent as before. Life
changes, some of them affecting this writer, meant that many important people
were too busy or unavailable to take part. This was a great shame, but a sign
of things to come. On the plus side, we still managed a reasonable stab at a
commemorative 10th birthday issue. This was tied in with a major celebration
of all things old and Atari at the 10th anniversary STNICCC party. This took
place in December 2000, which was rather a long way late from the 31st May
actual anniversary! The STNICCC release was a reflection of several missed
deadlines, and the last chance to see Maggie as a 10th rather than 11th
Of incidental interest, was the fact that Alive had already put out its first
issue the month before. it was clearly the end of the line for the Maggie
story, although vague hopes of some sort of afterlife lingered for a while
And now we're on the 5th birthday of another diskmag, the very one you are
reading right now! This almost passed by without any comment if I hadn't
mentioned it at the Outline '05 party! We've not exactly been inundated with
witty anecdotes from the early days of Alive by interested third parties (as
of August '05). I guess it's down to me to make sure the record shows that
we've managed to get this far!
At the same time, the Maggie 15th birthday seems to be going by totally
unremarked as well. It's as if that part of the scene has been ethnically
cleansed from people's memories? Then again, any talk of a revival has just
turned out to be that, with possible interested parties having too much to do
In fact, I've noticed something interesting about the present Atari scene and
its attitude to time. Are people averse to being reminded of the passage of
time these days? There seems to be a studied vagueness about this. I think a
lot of it is down to people being reluctant to confront the issue of just how
slow they have got, especially when there is less time to devote to scene
activities generally? The anniversary amnesia is a symptom of this.
And on that note, I think we'd better leave it there!
CiH, for Alive Mag, Aug '05