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Alive 9
Dying or alive as ever?

Views into

the Atari scene

               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:

The Nostalgia Group

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.

The 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.

The Coders

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.

The 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

Alive 9