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Alive 11
Senior Moments!
          You know you've been too long in the Atari scene when....
Do  you  get the feeling that we might have been hanging around for  a  very
long time in this particular corner of the scene?  I'm sure that some of the
things on the lists below will strike a chord with you, and it's not just me
making this stuff up, help me out here please ;-)

In General..

You  never  really  got the hang of hard disk sizes  in  gigabytes.  It  was
something that came along with bloatware on newer machines.

Or the fact that programs for fairly simple applications now take up several
megabytes on modern computers.

Things  were better in the olden days,  summers were long and hot,  and your
monitor output was bright and cheery.  You shout at people who disagree with
that firmly held view, and wave your walking stick about a bit.

You  find GEM applications more and more appealing,  the older and  narrower
your brain's blood vessels get. (This is called creeping dadness syndrome!)

One of the first things you look for when getting a new more modern  system,
is  a  good Atari ST emulator.  And you make a serious effort to ignore  its
quirks  if  it  is  still a work in progress  and  the  only  decent  option

In unguarded moments,  you get stupidly nostalgic about the ticking sound of
your floppy drive when it was loading files.  In reality,  you vastly prefer
the ease and convenience of loading .msa images off a CD-Rom file collection
into an emulator.

You  have a detailed history of the Atari demo scene in your head,  and  you
subdivide it into periods distinguished by effect type,  for example, 1993-5
the  years of poly texture mapping with the first Boris Vallejo  picture  to
hand, or 1998-2000 being the era of endless texture tunnels in demos.

You  have spent the last fifteen years of your life arguing that "The  scene
is  dying!" In reality,  you would be a very very lonely bunny if that  were


You  have  a  personal favourite soundchip  musician,  and  have  passionate
debates with your fellow sceners about their different merits.

One  of  your fondest memories is the first time you heard a  new  soundchip
technique,  in my case the Legacy Middle Earth tune by Jess was my first ST-
SID  sound.  On  reflection,  that may have been the famous Scavenger DBA  6
intro tune. The Middle Earth zik was more 'special' in my mind though, as my
first hearing of it was a communal experience at the Wellingborough computer
club,  with  a small band of the real fanatics appreciating the significance
of that moment.

You decry remixes of famous soundchip tunes that get over-elaborate and  too
far away from the source material.

You  still  find  it  in  yourself to get shirty  with  an  Amiga  dude  who
disparages  YM  chipsound.  This  goes double for those who  complain  in  a
twattish fashion on Nectarine.

You  think  that  acres of mp3 files of pristine unaltered YM  tunes  are  a
perfectly good usage of hard disk space.

You jump for joy when a new chiptracker is released,  even knowing full well
you will have little or no time to actually use it.

You  actually  brought  TCB tracker at full price back  in  1990,  and  made
something on it.  Listening back on it now, you are too embarrassed to share
the results with the rest of the world!

The  'iPod in your head' contains at least 50% soundchip music.  You find it
comes  in very handy to suppress any crappy boyband music that  bleats  onto
the radio without your consent!  (At this moment of writing, Scavenger DBA 6
intro tune, thanks for asking!)

The  iPod in your pocket contains at least 50% soundchip music.  You find it
comes in very handy to suppress any crapness coming from the outside  world,
tune out irate spouses, bosses etc.


On a cultural day out appreciating high art, you look at a famous picture or
painting,  you seriously consider how it could be reduced to sixteen colours
and a 320 x 200 resolution.

The person you are with at that same art gallery is a fellow ST  graphician,
and  you both get thrown out for fiercely arguing the merits of  applying  a
512 colour ST palette against a 4096 colour STe one.

You look at an awesome real-life landscape on the holiday of a lifetime  eg.
The Grand Canyon, and wonder how it would look in chunky pixels?

You have a favourite oldschool art package,  and firmly held views as to why
it is the best.


You are motivated to code your own YM zik player on the Peecee, feeling that
all the others somehow still don't quite get it right.

You  find yourself disparaging new releases which demand more  than  default
hardware saying "I could do that in 16mhz/4mb/1mb!" (delete as  applicable.)
But strangely enough, you don't!

You  disparage  'new school' Chunky to planar 3D and techniques  running  in
rather  more than 1 vbl for ST,  for this is killing the true spirit of  the
scene, but admire these same techniques on the Atari XL.

You think that 128 byte-tro's are sloppy and elephantine coding.  (Sorry,  I
meant that one for the Vic 20 Scener FAQ!)

You are an oldschooler who hasn't actively coded on Atari for a decade,  you
find  yourself at a recent demo party,  watch the current generation of kewl
prods  onscreen,  all  done on a bleeding edge peecee.  You then work out in
your  head how it can be done on a standard STFM,  but not a single line  of
code will leave your fingers!

You  try  to  read back on some of your early source code,  and give  up  in
disgust on the unholy tangled and uncommented mess!

Following  on  from the previous item,  you spend more time cleaning up  old
source code,  prior to releasing it to the public domain,  than you ever did
coding the original project!

And Finally?

When  you're  dribbling,  smelling  of  wee,  and being measured  up  for  a
residental care home,  you make your choice on the number of available power
sockets in the rooms.

The  hardest  and  most thought-provoking part of making your  will,  is  in
deciding who to leave the Atari kit to!

You request that the B-B-Bittner rap fron 'Life's a Bitch' is played at your
funeral service!

Your other final request is "Bury me in a diskbox-shaped coffin!"

And your memorial stone has the legend "Not dead, merely rebooting" engraved
on it.

Ok, so that really is it!
CiH, for Alive! Mag, Sept '05
Alive 11