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Alive 9

"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
needed allies.

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

Alive 9