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To make your computing life easier?

Some people may be aware of a publication called 'Viz' Magazine. Amongst all
the  Biffa Bacon and Johnny Fartpants related mayhem,  there is a small  but
persistent column called 'Tips and Tricks'. This is our version...

Why not...

Get  all your broken Sinclair Microdrive cartridges out of the desk  drawer,
and  piece  the  tape loops back together carefully.  You might just  get  a
useable video tape out of them!

Save  the  tear-off bits that occur at the side of  old  style  tractor-feed
printer  paper,  you  could  make  some improvised  Xmas  white  snow-styled
decorations from these, or maybe some crude and crap form of ticker-tape?

Or wedding confetti...

Get some disused PC components,  sound cards,  processors, that happen to be
lying  around,  paint them up,  and sell them to the Borg Collective as Borg
costume jewellery.  NB.  The terms 'disused' and 'worthless' generally apply
to any Wintel PC equipment that is more than five minutes old.

See  if a typical Wintel PC owner can use the internet for  non-pornographic
purposes  for  more  than five minutes at a time?  Confidentally  bet  large
amounts of money on the outcome!

Stop  worrying  about organising a paintball fight without either  paint  or
balls to hand. If you have a bunch of floppy disk drives with a strong eject
mechanism  and  the  PD  collection of someone  you  don't  like  very  much
available,  then  close  quarter combat using the disk drives as  improvised
'paintguns' and the disks as 'paintballs' is perfectly feasible!

Simulate  the entire coding party experience whilst not leaving your  house.
Simply  stay  awake for three days,  listening to Protracker  music  through
headphones,  ordering  take  away  pizza  and only eating half  of  it,  not
venturing outdoors at any time, and throw piles of toilet paper and clothing
into  the toilet whilst pissing and excreting around the edges.  This misses
out the demo competitions of course,  but by then, you'll be too frazzled to

Sharpen  and serrate the edges of those unwanted America Online  free  offer
CD's, to use them as throwable Ninja killing tools!

Stop wondering how much of a slapper,  the breezy,  patronising, ultra-prim,
page boy haircut possessing girl from the America Online Tele adverts really
is?  Do speculate that her name 'Connie', is some kind of inside joke on the
part of the advertising agency - 'Connie-Lingus' (Geddit!)

Remind your local Wintel PC owner that they haven't thrown away an expensive
part of their machine to 'upgrade' it within the last week. Stress that they
should  make themselves really popular by bragging to all and  sundry  about
the impressive sounding,  but in reality,  pathetically marginal improvement
in performance,  which is more than offset by Windows suddenly taking a huge
dislike to working properly!

Strip  and  gut those old PC tower cases.  They make a wonderful  hotel  for
asylum seeking refugee mice.

Make  sure that your local boxshifter or computer reseller is following  the
boxshifter  code of practice.  If they are actually selling goods advertised
at  a knock-down price in the press,  rather than not having them  available
and trying to stick you with a more expensive alternative,  then they are in
breach  of  that  code of practice,  and should be hounded out  of  business

Persuade iMac owners,  that in order to get the best use from their machine,
they  should  really try the 'on' button sometime,  and that it isn't  there
just as an elaborate colour co-ordinated desk ornament or paperweight.

Find  more uses for those millions of unwanted America Online internet  free
trial CD-ROM's. Stick a load of them together, taking care to leave the hole
in the middle clear.  Put a bar or pole through them, push to the end of the
pole.  Then  take  another equal amount of stuck-together AOL CD-ROM's.  Put
these  on the other end of the pole to balance it up.  You now have a superb
set of training weights for a fairly weak weightlifter!

Complain  bitterly when the first CT060 specific demo is  released.  Shudder
nostalgically when thinking about the 'old' scene, and how the current scene
simply  doesn't  match  up to it.  Then switch on your PC.  (German  readers

Glue stacks of America Online CD-ROM's to the heels and soles of your shoes,
to  make  some  ultra-fashionable,  but  totteringly  dangerous  high-heeled
platform shoes! (Spice Girl and fashion model readers only.)

Persuade "Maurice Collins" of 'Computer Shopper' Atari column fame,  that he
can  start to go around with his real name of Andrew Wright once  more,  now
that their Atari column has been killed off.

Stop getting Computer Shopper altogether. Since they killed off the minority
computer columns,  it really is just wall-to-wall Wintel tedium now. (And we
are talking an advertisment to article ratio of at least 8 - 1 in favour  of
the ads!)

Re-enact  episodes  from the original Star Trek series.  I was  thinking  in
particular  of  the classic 'Trouble with Tribbles'  episode,  with  America
Online CD-ROM's to play the part of the ever-multiplying Tribbles!

Code  a  mobile phone tone emulator for the Falcon '030  DSP.  Then  convert
classic  C64  SID  tunes and ST Sound tunes to play on  it,  in  a  warbling
monotone parody of their former magnificence!

That  last suggestion,  for grud's sake,  don't let anyone out there take it
seriously, it was only a joke! Especially you, Thomas of New Beat!

And  finally,  declare an 'Atari Day' over a specific area of territory.  It
could be a town,  city, region, or even an entire country. Those people with
any Atari equipment,  from the humble VCS 2600,  right through to the latest
generation  Milan,  will  be saved.  Those with more than one item of  Atari
equipment, will be thrice blessed. Those with lesser items of interest, such
as a Jaguar Joypad, Atari calculator, or Atari coffee mug, may yet avoid the
flames.  But  for those who consort in an unclean fashion with Wintel  gear,
the ultimate price has to be paid!!

CiH, for Alive! Mag - Oct '00

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