INTERVIEW WITH RAJAH LONE
------------------------ Done by Cooper/Paradize -------------------------------
Applications on atari are not dead yet !
There are still some developpers for serious stuff , and I wanted to know
what could be their motivations so i decided to get in touch with Rajah Lone,
member of the 'Renaissance' crew...
Cooper : Hello Rajah, Let's start with the usual stuff : introducing yourself.
Can you tell us what is your real name, age , job, atari activity, or whatever
Rajah : Bonjour Cooper :) Pierre TONTHAT, born in 1971, earning my live as
web/java developper , but have studied pharmacy/chemistry (and obtained the
diploma).My parents wanted my brother and me to be skilled at computers, so they
bought me a TI99/4A to begin with. I have learned to code it with its very slow
Basic, writting plenty of listings of Hebdogiciel. At last,I was creating my own
games and grafx, saved on audio tapes, but all are lost now. Two or three years
later, my brother got an Amstrad CPC464, but it wasn't enough for him: he told
my parents I wanted the new Atari 520STf (that was a very nasty lie ;)).So I got
a 520STf in hands, without asking anything, nor having the desire to use it.With
time, the machine revealed its qualities, and I fell in love with this piece of
hardware: playing a lot, reading ST Magazine, learning to code with GFA Basic
and trying to understand how the GEM worked. My brother used also this ST, but
wasn't statisfied. He wanted something more exciting and powerful : an Amiga500,
and he obtained it ! Then started a big competition between us. Coding or trying
to code, comparing games and hardware... Our configurations were growning up...
Finaly he lose and sold his Amiga to buy a PC. The evil part of my brother was
revealed at last ;) I have learnt to love the Amiga system, though it was
very strange to me. And no desire nor need to buy and use a PC, so I kept my
Atari until today, coding GEM applications for my needs or games for my pleasure.
Cooper : I've seen that you are a member of 'Renaissance'. Can you tell us more
about that ? Who founded the crew ? who are the other members ? When was it
Rajah : Renaissance is a small party. I was coding on DGEM, a Dungeon Master
clone for GEM environment, and Jean-Marc aka Daroou wrote emails for support and
suggestions. Since he helped a lot with bug reports, tests,susggestions,building
all the DGEM maze and creating characters with my utilz,we decided to associate.
I do not remember when, but it corresponds to the DGEM upgrade 0.10 to 0.12.
I proposed several names, and 'Renaissance' seemed the best. For Dungeon Master
hardcore gamers, it's the altar of 'Rebirth'. You can find in our logo the magic
symbols of high power, life, friendship and sunlight. Renaissance is also a
period of History I like very much: Shakespeare, paintings, English and Italian
Daroou is the only other member of Renaissance. He's also a coder, and use C and
ASM. He has started with GFA, so he can read me very easily and find bugs.
Jean-Marc have its own products available on http://perso.wanadoo.fr/daroou. The
last are released with the 'Renaissance' label and they are very interesting :)
Cooper : If i remember well, you have an interesting amount of atari equipment.
What is it composed of ?
Rajah : some configs have names, and maybe souls. That's silly of me ;)
- Metro : tower Falcon030, Eclipse/ATI RageIIc, EtherNEC, CDROM and HD drives,
TFT screen (Sony M51). Main system, for the Internet, playing,testing,
working, chatting, etc..
- Nef : tower MegaST4, Viking (not used), EtherNEC, CDROM and HD drives, for
- Nomad : Falcon030, Sonic Eagle32, for coding parties
..and 520STf (for old school games and ripping), Jaguar+JagC
and my old TI99/4A ;)
Nef & Metro are connected on the LAN via a Netgear DG814: I have an aDSL
connection to the Internet (128K is enough ;))
Cooper : Can you remind us all your productions for atari, to refresh our crap
memories ? :-)
Rajah : Well, you'd better go to http://rajah.atari.org, near all of my products
are listed. Trying to finish what I start, there are no rubish or unused code on
'Nef', except for an old project named Kheiron, a 3D modeler for organic
molecules, with a Calamus look and feel. I'm not skilled in 3D maths (I'm not a
true scener ;)), so I gave up.
Cooper : Why are you still coding in GFA ? Ever tried some C or Asm stuff ? And
which tools do you use to create your wonders ?
Rajah : I love GFA since I started with it, and found no limit to what I wanted
to do. Seems perfect to me, it's enough to code GEM applications, though it has
a lot of (known) bugs. I typed ASM listing long ago and got an headhache. Tried
to understand it, but my brain is now too old to be efficient and receptive :(
C could be a great thing to code: I can read it. But I have tried many time and
failed to "make a project" and compile. Learning to write C would take my
precious time also :( Since my projects or products upgrades do not need the
quickness of C or ASM,I continue with GFA.As for the tools other than GFA Basic:
my brain, eyes and hands... But no wonders, I'm afraid ;)
Cooper : you entered the Gem Candy competition (www.gemcandy.org) with a GEM
version of Teenage Queen (Teenage Queen Reloaded). What motivated you to do this
game ? How long did it take you ? Some funny stories about the development of
this project ?
Rajah : Well, a Atari friend of mine was astonished when I made my coming-out to
him. "You'are gay? I can't believe it ! You have coded the remake of Rosemary
Racoon's Strip Game!". Seems I like naughty games with naked women,though I have
a gay version of Manga Puzzle with Kinu Sekigushi's artwork ;) I loved playing
with the Teenage Queen fifteen years ago, and I planned to rewrite it for GEM
environment. That's becoming an habit to rewrite for GEM, since I use a 1024*768
TC screen on my Falcon (Eclipse ;)) , I hate to have to reboot to test something
that runs in another screen rezolution. It took 2 months to code Teenage Queen
Reloaded,and some weeks to get it a bit more perfect (some bugs remains though).
Getting the grafx and samplez was a long and tedious part, but I'm accustomed
with DGEM (and its more than 2000 sprites now). It was pleseant to assemble all
parts and see the program grow, with some basic parts of the DGEM code .
But the very very tedious part was the Artificial Intelligence of the lady...You
do not know how difficult it was to be to enhance her brain. She was a 'blonde'
with one neurone in her head! It got me nervous and I started to nickname her
'salope' with means slut, bitch, harlot...
Cooper : What are your future projects ? We've ever seen your GEM conversion
from Dungeon Master, some news about it ? Tell us more !! ;)
Rajah : I have to release some bugfixes/updates of my programs (ie Cresus), and
I'll try this year to code a NEWSie substitute called 'Atari Troll Machine'.Then
continue to work on DGEM. Coding this program is a great adventure, and I thank
Daroou for his help. I would have not continued without him in the party :)
Cooper : There was a strange story about your picture in the #atariscne dhs
gallery. Can you give us more precision about these facts ? :)
Rajah : I have a TRENDnet TV/IP200, connected to the Netgear DG814, so people
connected to ircnet can get my IP and see me surfing the Net, chatting, drinking
tea, eating, doing fitness, walking nearly naked... hum...I also love bananas...
...and men ;p I strongly say that I have no dildo at home, but I will not take
offence if someone offers me one ;)
Cooper : Now it's time for a litle STS-like brainstorming :) You surely know the
principle, i give you a letter, and you must tell me what does it reminds you.
Let's go :
J: Jampur (the name/flavour of ice cream I love)
A: Angel (no letter G for Gay ?)
H: Home and away
O: Obi Wan Kenobi (private joke ;p)
E: Elite2 (Frontier)
Cooper : We are slowly arriving to the end of this interview, and if you have
something to add, just do it now :)
Rajah : Well... "May the Fun of Atari be with you" :)
Cooper : Thanks you for your patience, and good luck for all your future stuff !