Dying or alive as
thoughts and comments by Simon Sunnyboy / Paradize
Only days ago one of my friends asked me why I'm still doing stuff for the
Atari? Why do I still spend time on an old architecture that has no more users
left? Beside the fact that I don't agree with the last question I could hardly
convince him that it is fun and a hobby like playing football or collecting
stamps. He couldn't understand and I'm a freak in that respect if you follow his
findings. He exactly said just "Freak!" in any respect.
Actually that made me think about the scene. But this scene has many faces. Lots
of different Atarians are out there, some doing more the nostalgia thing with
emus, some are still coding for the various Atari platforms, some still use
their Ataris big style.
So before going any further a little classification of Atarians:
First of all the emulator fraction. This particular group actually helped me to
get my ST back from the attic. But sadly many of these people do not share the
spirit of those who still use their Ataris for more than gaming. Many (but
gladly not all of them) have a leecher attitude. They want to play the old games
but they hardly give anything back. Trading disk images is all they are about
but never one of them will do more for the scene. Not all are that bad however.
I met lots of very nice and kind people from the nostalgia group of Atarians.
Those were very kind offered help and they do things themselves. They actually
help to keep this part of the scene alive. But these people lack a feeling for
the real thing in many cases.
real thing Guys
Another part of the Atari scene have a real Atari, STEs or plain STs in most
cases, around. In general they are also part of the nostalgia group but they are
in general more attracted to the real thing, interested in running real software
and not just in emulation. Although they have their STs around they hardly
produce anything new for the platform. Enjoying the old stuff is still their
main area of interest concerning Atari. However still using real Ataris
qualifies these people into a somewhat more active part of the scene.
Actually I'm really sure that most of my readers belong to this group. Anyone
who is still coding programs and demos for any Atari, belongs here. In my
opinion this is the most vital and most interesting part of the Atari scene.
These people really love their machine and the results are really impressive in
any respect. Some of them squeeze the last out of the old hardware and they
really show us that Atari is not dead. As long as there are people that care
about new software for a particular platform, this platform, Atari in our case,
can be considered to be alive.
real Atari Users
This is another part of the Atari scene. Most of them can be met at the various
groups on usenet. They use their Ataris for music and for allday work. Although
becoming rarer these guys are the next interesting part. They keep the Atari
platform alive by demanding more software, by providing new software and with
their support in hardware questions. For sure anyone still using an Atari for
productivity can be considered to be alive and active.
What do you think? This short classification of the Atarians around clearly
shows us that Atari is by any means not dead. The scene lives on - even in the
incarnation of emulation and the specific habits of these people. No sign of
dying - although small, the Atari scene as a whole seems vital and healthy to
me. A scene does not need hundred thousands of followers to stay active - the
spirit counts more than numbers and therefor I conclude:
Stay active, stay alive, stay Atari!
Sunnyboy / Paradize for Alive, Feb. 2005