"Big Change at the top leaves diskmag unharmed!"
So we made it once again, we're back and with only the one major change of
co-editor to contend with. The overwhelming emotion is relief, and a feeling
that we are safe for a few issues yet.
But in the period immediately after the release of Alive 8, it was really in
doubt there would be an issue 9. Seb had done an amazing job with Alive up
to then, but his patience was wearing very thin. I recognised a mirror image
of myself, in the final Maggie days, from the tone of Seb's communications.
Somehow he got that last issue out, but in a horrible accident of timing,
any positive karma and feedback from the rest of the scene was swamped by
the following wave that was Chosneck! I think, on reflection, this killed
off any final flickering feeling of commitment he may have had to Alive?
Still, that is a very useful lesson for the future, diskmags, whatever else
you might do, don't clash your release date with a new issue of Chosneck!
It was in doubt for some time after what was going to happen next? I
certainly wasn't willing to take the whole burden of editorship, going on my
own past experience, and what had happened to Seb in the past weeks. I
carried on writing for a while after, signing off my articles with "CiH, of
???? Magazine". It wasn't until June, that I was confident enough to predict
this next issue that you are reading right now.
And there was a saviour. Step forward, CXT, a major contributor, not least
in his maintenance of the online webzine issues. He has stepped willingly
into the large hole which was left by the departure of Seb. He has taken on
the large tasks of organising the physical infrastructure of the menu shell,
the related graphics and sounds, and the overall layout and organisation of
the issue, leaving me to do what I do best, that is, act as a huge text
So in spite of the very big change wrought at the top, it seems to be
business as usual!
Next item. Yes, I know we're damned late!
Speaking from the smug perspective of someone who handed the bulk of his
stuff in back in July, I'm blaming CXT, and some other people (grin!)
I don't know about the rest, but I do know that CXT has been involved in a
prolonged bout of house-moving, renovation of the new property, long term
storage of computer gear in cardboard boxes etc. I always thought that
tedious house and home interior design 'makeover' television series were a
UK-specific affliction, but it seems that there is now a German version of
"How dull is your home?" and CXT has got himself star billing in it!
This wouldn't have happened under the old management. Seb would have been
banging his head against a tree by now, and I'd be having to constantly tell
him that life really wasn't that bad!
Mind you, the reason why I got my stuff done in July wasn't a nice one..
I remember hurriedly sending that main batch of zipfiles to Heinz at the end
of July, on the clear understanding that I could get some very bad news in
the middle of the night about my father who was in hospital. This was done
rather late on the Friday or Saturday night, I can't quite remember which.
Anyway, he held on until Sunday evening...
Funny thing cancer. The cunning little shit can hide itself away until a
proper diagnosis is too late. Then it can really get a move on. I wonder if
it is possible to clone a self supporting and genetically modified
demo-completing version that doesn't attach itself to people and kill them!?
We'd have a really productive scene then!
There isn't a moral to that little tale, but if there was, it might be "Demo
coders, don't keep putting things off until tomorrow, because there isn't an
infinite supply of tomorrow, and it has a nasty habit of running out sooner
than you think!!"
And with that thought, I hand you over to the other half of the management..
CiH, Alive Issue 9.
... as you probably have already guessed this is Cyclone/X-Troll torturing
the keyboard, just to tell a few words about the current release and my role in
the future of Alive.
What can I say? Being a main editor of a disk magazine was nothing I ever wanted
to be, and to be honest I never asked for it. I am still not sure which bad trip
caused STS to quit his baby and drop the remains at my front door. Anyway it
certainly wasn't one of his brightest ideas, especially since my personal and
professional schedule is always filled up with lots of urgent tasks and a disk
magazine is nothing you can create easily along the way.
The task of reformatting, articles and graphics and also "debugging" articles
due to some shell limitations is quite time consuming. However writing tons of
articles is even more. It's quite hard to pull this off as a two man show. Only
Moondog was crazy enough to perform that stunt on his own. Working solitary on
projects can be really demotivating, so it became clearer and clearer that we
When I saw Moondog asking for supporters at DHS BBS I decided it was time to
join forces and told him about the idea. As you might have already guessed by
looking at the title of this issue he willingly agreed. Obviously he had the
same in mind. Hopefully this action will not kill a magazine but save two of
them by merging the main supporters into a team and creating synergy effects
this way. Critical items like music, graphics and intros can be shared, allowing
us to go on even with lower support levels from outside.
Speaking of support, I won't complain about the situation, because I think if
people want to do something they should just do it, no matter if others are
supporting them or not. However it's kind of boring to wait for promised stuff
for ages, especially since articles don't tend to get any better by lying
around. Becoming old news is in fact a major problem for disk magazines, which
brings us to another topic: Alive 9 is late, much too late for my taste. I won't
tell any names but this time it was mainly the graphics which caused the delay.
We had to switch the artist because the guy who originally agreed to do it fell
of the planets surface or was snatched by some hideous alien monster from outer
space. Beside that, it's mostly myself who is to blame for being late, I was
simply to busy with other "unimportant" stuff like working and of course the
house move CiH mentioned above. To be honest I am still digging for my stuff
inside giant card-boxes but it's getting better every week. So I feel sorry for
all those who managed to send their stuff in time and I think we will have to
discuss some measures to avoid such problems in the future within the team.
We are planning to release our next issue shortly after Outline 2005 (yes, you
read right :) and all arrangements for music and graphics have already been
made. I hope you enjoy this issue and also the stuff that comes released along
with it such as Triplex or MusicMon 2.1 SID.
Stay alive, stay Atari ...
Cyclone / X-Troll for Alive, 2005-01-15