Vol 4 Issue 2


Realtime article: A visit to Thalion

Wherever you go, go TEX 'n' Co
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A visit to the place where dreams are made
- or -
Orgasmic experiences in a Peugeot 305
- or -

- or -

Germany, here we come!
- or -

Germany, here we go again!
- or -

Knuckles chained and busted
- or -

The Exceptions do it with plantiac
- or -

Being interviewed for a change
- or -

How to make an indoor swimming pool ceiling wet
- or -

The lethal five minutes after an editor's waking up
- or -

Exhausting times in a small town
- or -

What am I doing here?! Who cares about all these subtitles?!


Part I - March 4th 1989

Yawn. Right now it is 6:58 AM. On a saturday! Normally, around these hours, I am lying in my bed, wrapped in warm blankets and generally being utterly asleep. Yawn! Well, this is the day. This is the day the biggest computer orgy ever is going to be held. In less than an hour from now, Richard and myself will enter a car and drive to Germany. Gütersloh to be exact. There we will visit Thalion and a bunch of brilliant computer freaks better known as TEX. They will create a demo screen for ST NEWS and we will be there to behold it. We will be there to participate in it. We will be there to be awed. We will be there; mere mortals amongst the best and most famous computer hackers ever to appear on the Atari ST. This is going to be a commemorable day.

Sleep is still infesting my system so I will try to get it out by pouring large amounts of chilled water over my body. After that, I will try to have some breakfast and the journey will begin....... By the way, I did not have such a great night sleep. Remnants of a flu were haunting me (especially my nose has not completely recovered yet). But inspiration is driving me out of my bed right now and I will perform the actions mentioned above involving cold water, vanilla yoghurt, Corn Flakes and some grass having passed through a cow. [Stefan]



Outside, a meagre sound can be heard made by a flying animal. Darkness is releasing its grip upon Utrecht, where no other sounds than those made by the flying animal can be heard. The whole city is still, quite obviously, fast asleep. For today is the day! We will meet our good old friends in Germany, almost exactly one year later than we last saw them. I must admit I had kinda been looking forward to this occasion (who wouldn't?!). Stefan is at the moment washing himself, and I sit in the middle of a huge pile of assorted clothes and, chiefly, drinks and crisps that will have to make the long voyage with us. We have some Cola, lotsa crisps, Vieux (Plantiac, aaarrgghh!), beer, CDs and maybe even more that is now invisible because of the rest. "Let's do it!" Stefan just now uttered, and we're about to have breakfast. Well....breakfast....a load of various diary products and some Corn Flakes, rather. Stefan just now also pronounced the name of a certain part of a female's body that would normally cause significant excitement among us who are but the helpless victims of hormones as he bumped his toe into a somewhat large box containing about 300 little envelopes for my virus killer mailing. Enough said for now. Let's eat! [Richard]



Strange humming noises irritate my ears as Richard is in the middle of removing unnecessary amounts of hair from his face with a somewhat noisy machine. Breakfast is now inside of me and we are now getting ready to pack all the items and get going. I won't be able to write much anymore for the next hours because I have to control a certain machine with four wheels and a motor that will take us to our destination. Well, I'm off helping Richard carrying some of the various foodstuffs (both liquid and solid) before he collapses under the amounts of junk he is piling upon himself right now. See ya! [Stefan]



The final preparations have taken place. Everything is ready. We're gonna hit the road within minutes now (after having loaded Stefan's car with crisps, booze and CDs). [Richard]



In the car. In just about few seconds, every road between Utrecht and Gütersloh will be unsafe for Stefan the hazardous, first-time solo automobile driver. [Richard]



Sh*t! A car (a real one) with none of the commonly necessary audio appliances?! So we're now listening to an extremely boring craptalk program... Oh boy... [Richard]



Finally, this co-driver's Armageddon has stopped - at least for a short while. At the moment, we're filling up the car's internal energy supply at a Shell (oops) gas station, about 35 kilometres before Arnhem. Finally, a chance to get our hands on some decent liquids and liquorice for ourselves, too! [Richard]



A student driver just flashed by. Stefan burst out in sadistic hard-core laughter, causing the major part of the windscreen to be covered by strange substances on the inside which he is now trying to remove using his sleeve. Juck! [Richard]



It is this very moment, we pass the border to the country where dreams are made: The Federal Republic of Germany. The custom's people gaze at the crooked vehicle with awe. German road signs pass us with an ever increasing speed as Stefan hits the pedal to the metal and cranks up the poor car to its absolute top speed, which is (ahem) 135 kilometres per hour (about 85 mph). Wow! We're there! We're in Germany!!! [Richard]



Along the road, we can see high exhaust pipes spilling forth enormous amounts of dark yellow-browny and hazy grey fumes - we have entered the Ruhrgebiet. The air is colored in a grey shade of white (about color 333 on the ST's colour palette). We desperately try to hold our breath until we're past these sources of pollution but it's impossible... and we again lose a couple of years of our lives. [Richard]



The word "Gütersloh Rasthof" just appeared along the road - the first ever physical evidence of this town actually existing! This means that we're very near! I can already smell pizzas, lasagna, home-made wine and the scent of blood, sweat and tears. Gosh! [Richard]



The motor shuts off. We will now start on a quest for the right address, after which the car will have to be unloaded and the whole thing can start! [Richard]



The car has been unloaded. Ready to mosh it up! [Richard]



Well, we're here! We haven't caused any lethal accidents, no victims have been left helpless alongside the road and we are here. It is a nice office filled with computers, people, mattresses, Coke-bottles, crisp-bags, diskettes, audio equipment, assorted pieces of electronic hardware and a lot of other stuff that I cannot describe right now because I am simply too excited. [Stefan]



My "VDU" version 3.3 has just been tested on two of the Mega STs present in the building, and it both times crashed at some stage?! [Richard]



"VDU" bombs away all the time. I think it's very funny! Richard doesn't. [Erik]



Was it my imagination, or did I just spot a female here? Am I awake? [Richard]



I just have seen a new game created by these guys. It is a somewhat violent Kung-Fu game in which two little men beat the hell out of each other. Really great artwork and animation. The things I see here are really baffling me beyond the reaches of sanity. Is this for real or am I just dreaming all this? Did I really see somebody program something in about 15 minutes that eliminated all borders? Is this a dream? I have to stop now before I collapse in utter amazement. [Stefan]



Stefan and myself have just witnessed some utter delights of game programming; but the bad thing is that that darned Erik will not let us write anything about them! Well, there's one game that looks a bit like "Sorcery" but that's much better and has infinitely better graphics. The scrolling is also ultra-smooth.... Another game is now temporarily called "VGA" (Vector Graphics Adventure), a 3D vector game made by the TNT-Crew. A definite name is not known, and I doubt that we would be allowed to mention it if anyone knew.

Boy, we also saw some TCB preview demos and they were utterly amazing, too.... Oops. The batteries of the Z88 (on which this article is processed) just ran low. But we already replaced them ("It goes quickest when you don't hurry" - Andreas quote). I just caught some sentences involving the word "food" flying through the air: We will go and eat! [Richard]



I hear that we are going to eat. Well, since there are some strange sensations coming from my stomach I think it is about time that I get something to eat. Next to me is Level 16 busy creating some article-stuff exclusively for ST NEWS and I see borders disappearing like they were never meant to be..... [Stefan]



I have to vomit. I have just seen some graphics for a game that will also soon be launched (something with elves, dragons and orcs), made by a guy called Thorsten. I cannot simply get hold of all that graphical brilliance without it having some feedback on my metabolism. [Richard]



Raaaahhhh!!! I have seen some graphics that are so utterly brilliant that my poor brain....
Tarik Ahmia just entered (he is or rather used to be the editor of ST Magazin)
...is now gasping for breath and the overheated neurons are reaching a dangerous temperature. It is just too much for me. Gosh..... [Stefan]



At this moment, we're sitting in a Greek restaurant called "Auf'm Busch" in Gütersloh. Isn't it funny to realise what you can do with a true portable like the Z88? At this moment, we're here with a lot of people: Tarik (ex-editor of "ST Magazin"), Gunter (TEX), Erik (TEX), Jochen (TEX), Thorsten (an independent graphic artist), Michael (TEX), Andreas (Level 16), Udo (TEX), Michael (an independent programmer annex clock-cycle-counter) and of course Stefan and myself. What a mess! [Richard]



I want to tell you a short story about Jochen (the guy, who eats a lot and eats everything). It was at some time in the night. Jochen woke up and was very thirsty.... Without turning on the light he searched (half asleep) for his Cola-bottle, and found something... He opened it and drank. Hmmm, that didn't taste good!!! That was hair-shampoo!!! Ugh. The next morning Jochen was not in a very good condition. As he told us, he couldn't sleep for the rest of the night. He had to visit the toilet very often.... [Gunter]



I tell you, folks, this story is true! Really true! That morning I laughed myself to a thousand pieces and spent the rest of the day collecting them together again... [Erik]



The waitress brought me a large glass of Cola, and since I was completely dried out, I emptied the glass in one gulp. Really interesting odours are exciting my nostrils right now and I cannot wait for the "Der Grieche" dish to be handed to me. Jochen told me to get it and he said that it is really great. The first food is being served. Finally I can eeeaaaaatttttt!!!! [Stefan]



Nobody likes olives... and Gunter just devoured a whole pepper without blinking even once! [Richard]



Yeah. I just finished my Greek dish and my stomach is now fully filled and satiation is now the main thing for me. I had a really interesting talk with Gunter and he explained to me how to do really fast scrolling and I understood him! Yes, watch ST NEWS closely because I now really feel like creating great demos. New Colas have been brought and I have to wetten myself a bit.... [Stefan]



Ooof. Jochen and Erik told me that the "Der Grieche" (the dish we just ate) was quite much, bragging about them being able to eat it. Well, Stefan and myself just ate it and it's nothing special. Well...it is delicious but it was just a regular quantity. Just now, the Greek restaurant played a record called "Flim Flam" or something like that - a record in which a burp appears. Good morning! [Richard]



I see that Gunter likes tomatoes. He is now stealing them from Richard's bowl of salad. Udo is again reciting his MOVEM course for the very, very advanced. I hear muffled noises from the adjacent table where Jochen, Erik, Michael and Thorsten are stuffing Greek delicacies in their mouths. Gunter just told me that "The Union Demo" crashed quite painfully a couple of times because Jochen dared touch the $484 (keyboard bleep) variable. Jochen is now gesturing wildly to indicate that this is not true, he just exclaimed: "Abgestürzt ist es nie" (It never crashed!) [Stefan]



Jochen just handed over some pictures. "Hush, hush", he whispered, while winking one eye, "here are some X-rated pics!" We looked at them and were shocked. We saw the utterly bare internals of an ST. Complete with juicy details pointing to where you need to cut and solder, it succeeded into utterly disgusting us and we barely kept our delicious food inside. I never looked upon Jochen as someone spreading this filth, but I must have been mistaken. [Richard]



Remember the X-rated pictures? Well, it turned out to be instructions how to make some hardware modifications to achieve hardware-no-borders! Yes, your ST will then default display the screen without any borders, and you have all processor-time left. Isn't that wonderfully great? Of course, things like the desktop or anything else won't work anymore, because the resolution will be drastically increased, but it should be possible to create some switch so you can create the most fantastic demos. Wow, this is really something. [Stefan]



This hardware-overscan is very simple. At first some things, you have to know: The GLUE-chip in your ST produces a signal (the DE signal) which tells the rest of your computer when to display screen and when to display border. So all you have to do is to cut this signal and put it permanently to low (which means: display screen all the time). [Gunter]



Photos made (group fotos). [Richard]

From left to right: Michael "TNT Crew" B...B...Bittner, Thorsten "Gogo of TCB" Mutschall, Michael "Daryl of TEX" Raasch, Stefan, Erik "ES of TEX" Simon (examining Z88 Computer), Jochen "Mad Max of TEX" Hippel, Gunter "6719 of TEX" Bitz, Andreas "Ilja of Level 16" Franz, Udo "-ME- of TEX" Fischer and Tarik Ahmia ("ST Magazin" reporter).



Stefan sneezed just now. [Richard]



Back in the office. Everybody is again seeking their system and programming seems to go on. More graphics will be displayed... and I might just now again feel again the urge to throw up... [Richard]



Jochen is now demonstrating some new music he made for some games that will soon be ready..."5th Gear", "Battle Valley", and more... I feel something coming up... All games are made by Hewson, by the way. [Richard]


Richard's dream has come true. Jochen finally managed to create the "Knuckle Buster" music! To prevent Richard from hurting himself while listening to it, they actually tied him to a chair with iron chains. I took pictures and he looks really weird, writhing in his chains, drooling, crying, shouting and making spastic movements while the fantastic music is being reproduced through two giant "JBL" loudspeakers. This is really something, you know. "Knuckle Buster" has finally been converted! Yeah! [Stefan]


Yo guys! ES from The Exceptions speaking. After a long time, here's now another TEX-demoscreen. Among all the effectful screens of this demo you'll be shocked by its simple outfit, hm? Well, originally this program was designed only to torture Richard "ST News" Karsmakers from Holland. He was nagging us for years to convert the only Rob Hubbard-tune that Mad Max refused to do. But as the two weirdos hit the TEX-headquarters a few weeks ago, he was quite amazed (to say the least) to hear this sound. He was even more amazed as we chained him to a chair and slowly formatted the "Knucklebuster"-disk! What a fun! Read more about this in ST News.

Now just listen to an especially developed synthi-rout which is able to change the volume of each of the three digi-voices! That means ADSR-waves for samples together with some calculated waveforms - you'll get a whole new sound concept. The length of this sound (rout/ notes/ waveforms) is only about 20 KB. So we hope you'll like this extraordinary 18 minutes long tune by Mad Max and Rob Hubbard! I personally hope you'll also like the strange drummer that I've painted in order to motivate Mad Max. But now I'll leave you alone with this strange psychedelic and fascinating composition - and don't forget: It's 18 minutes of sound in here...

Cuddly Demos



You should know how many bottles of Coke are around here. I just discovered another box and another bag filled with bottles of the well-known black and bubbly fluid. I think these guys really live on this stuff. No, I don't think so, I know so! [Stefan]



I feel dead. I hope Jochen feels so too. I just witnessed the best music ever conceived on any computer and they formatted the bleedin' disk!! And that limitless knucklehead Jochen does not have a backup! It is for occasions like these that I feel a certain four-letter word is invented. I used it several times! [Richard]


The "Knuckle Buster" music has ended and Richard's agony is completed when Udo slowly formatted the diskette containing the music demo...... He is now even making more drastic movements as he desperately tries to prevent the program from being formatted totally. But this is quite difficult with a chair tied on your back with heavy iron chains and two guys holding it down! [Stefan]


I am alive again! Jochen still had a backup copy! After having tried to kill him with a baseball club (while he tried to kill me with a prehistoric Indian weapon) they rushed out with a backup which they booted up. I am alive again... And yet they say there is even more to come... [Richard]



I have just seen a demo of the Amiga (bwuurrgh) version of the most recent game made by this software company. You can get extra sound effect and things like that, and they proudly showed off the better sound capabilities. Graphics were identical, however, and the animation was sometimes a bit slower (the Amiga blitter, they told us, is slower than the software routines they wrote on the ST). [Richard]


General mayhem and chaos has passed. Richard chased Jochen around with a baseball club until Jochen found a somewhat large knife and assaulted Richard with it while crying various addresses of the ST's soundchip. After the entire TEX crew was injured trying to separate the two fighting computerfreaks, I got to my senses and booted the "Knuckle Buster" floppy and started the demo. Richard froze immediately and with a very swift movement, Erik wrestled the baseball club from his clutch. Jochen, not prepared for such a sudden change, crashed into a pile of floppy disks, still wielding the large blade. Peace has returned and everybody is now peacefully sitting in Jochen's lair, listening to some synth sounds he is creating right now.... [Stefan]



At the moment, Tarik is talking with Gunter and Udo about writing articles, and Michael, Erik and two others (Thorsten and Holger) are talking about priorities and stuff with regard to their arcade adventure they're writing. I surely think that this software company will come forth with at least half a dozen games this year that will each stun the world. When I was sitting at the Greek restaurant, surrounded by all those programming miracles, I wondered if ever on earth there will be such a talented bunch of people gathered in a single restaurant (that does not include Stefan and myself, of course, for our minds are but shrivelled walnuts when compared with their unimaginable intellect). Probably never. [Richard]



We just found out that the main routines of a well known five-disk karate game were written in GfA basic! We got it right from the programmer himself (Marc) who is here right now. Isn't that something, written in GfA basic??????? I just played around with Jochen's music editor and I fooled with his electric guitar (a busted Gibson Les Paul clone by Pearl). I even managed to get some sounds out of the music editor! The program to me is complete arfle-barfle-goop, but I managed to get some sounds out of it. They even sounded really nice. I guess I triggered some pre-programmed sound effects or something. Great! [Stefan]



I am aroused from my deep thoughts concerning all kinds of absurd scrollings, graphics, musix and other stunning stuff by Gunter who tells us that we have exactly ten minutes left to get us some stuff so we can have some breakfast tomorrow morning. So we dashed out of the door and entered a local drugstore to get some assorted items like bread, cheese and some gallons of milk. [Stefan]



We're back. The night can begin..... [Stefan]



A large door to the front balcony is open, and I type this message while the wind glides gently through my hair and the evening sounds of Gütersloh (some late driving cars, shopkeepers closing their doors, mothers crying for lost kids) are to be heard.

I just performed an interesting scientific experiment: What would happen if I throw a bag of "Amsterdammertjes" (crisps that are made in Holland and that are very nice) into the hackin' mob in the other room? I could have known the answer. When they had all tasted some and were licking their lips for more, the bag fell into the hands of Mad the Hairy. May the bag rest in peace (he even devoured the plastic of the bag itself). Tarik is at the moment interviewing the TEX crew and Marc (from Gigabyte) for "ST Magazin/ 68000'er". Everybody is still busy. This evening, some more programming will be done, for we didn't go to Gütersloh for nothing: We intend to leave here tomorrow with new ST NEWS musix, an ST NEWS demo and the funniest and largest real-time article ever written. And I've got this hunch we will succeed... [Richard]


Laser-time! Andreas some time ago bought a laserdisk player and he demolished it so that he now only has the laser. We have just now scared off harmless and purely innocent pedestrians using this small device to put small red dots on their chests, heads, or the ground before them. It was quite funny, as you can imagine. Some of them ducked to the ground crying "Die Russen kommen!", "War of the Worlds!" or "Schwarzenegger!" [Richard]



Laser-time again! Richard grabbed the small laser device, plugged it into the nearest outlet and started swaying it around. The people at the other side must have wondered what that little dot was doing on their ceiling. Also, that old man way across the street must have thought he was targeted by some kind of SF hitman ready to blast him to pieces with laser-precision. Big fun we had with that thing! [Stefan]



While going on with the laser, the man from the pizza parlour got scared and looked around. He said, when he had discovered us, that he was afraid the Mafia was here with a laser-pointed gun! Fun to the power of two! [Richard]



Jochen just demonstrated some of the capabilities of his synthesizer to me. That Roland is really capable of creating the most stunning sounds. I mean everything is in there. From tweeting birds to growling bears and from pounding basses to fiddling flutes. Richard just told me that Thorsten is going to give us some of his pictures to include in ST NEWS. This means that the next couple of ST NEWS issues will feature some of the best artwork ever to be created on the ST. Also, both Richard and myself will get a sound demo which is utterly stunning and uncopyable. Great stuff to make other people jealous.... What more can a simple ST user want? I am really sorry, but I fail to utter any more words. I am so gruesomely inspired right now that I just do not know what to write anymore. My head hurts from all the dazzling experiences I have had and I need some kind of break before I simply explode. [Stefan] (sob)



I spent half of the afternoon in front of an Atari monitor, gazing at some incredible good graphics. They were painted by Thorsten, who loves to sign his artwork with "Gogo". Too bad that this game was sold to the wrong company... Again they're shooting the innocent pizza-man on the other side of the street. He begins to shout some funny Italian words and wields a kind of club! I guess we'll never be able to buy a single pizza at his shop again... These two crazy dutchmen start talking about doing an ST NEWS logo which I should draw for them. I fear that they found a new prey after nagging Jochen to his total mental disease (he's now even more weird than he was before the Dutch invasion hit our innocent land...). At least, they brought a very tasty alcoholic drink with them. After drinking half a litre of this stuff, I will start to do their logo! [Erik]



Boy, the Plantiac is quite popular around here. Everybody is running around with small glasses in their hands, sipping away. Especially Erik (who does not care to take a glass, he just takes large swigs from the bottle) and Jochen seem to be really fond of it. If this goes on like this, the entire TEX crew will be utterly intoxicated, and we will be able to plunder all hard disks, stealing all sources, musix and pictures! We carefully planned this, of course, knowing the devastating effect Plantiac has on humans, even if they are humungusly brilliant computer programmers. Even Tarik, who seems to be quite cool, is busy drinking the brown fluid. This is going to be one hell of a night! [Stefan]



Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh! That Plantiac stuff is great, and all members of TEX and the others here seem to think so, too. I just took an enormous swig after having heard the music from "Comic Bakery" on the Amiga. It is nerve-baffling!! I just mentioned that I would like the "Parallax" music on the ST, and Jochen and Gunter went away mysteriously.... I hope they are now trying to surprise me again... Oh boy! What they did with me this afternoon (with "Knuckle Buster") was quite a surprise. But the chains.... Ough! My Adam's apple is still aching! [Richard]



Goosebumps, I had goosebumps! Normally I am not fond of Amigas, but this time I was glued to one as it was playing the "Comic Bakery" tune. To me this is one of the most breathtaking tunes ever made on any computer and I was completely overwhelmed when I heard it in stereo, programmed by Jochen himself. It is flabbergastin' great! My dear, I never thought computer music could have such an effect on me, but the shivers are still running down my spine as I remember the soothing tune. I think I will go back now and listen to it again. Oh dear, I am falling apart here.... Some maniac neurons in the back of my mind are right now considering the possibilities of buying an Amiga so I can connect it to my stereo and listen to the tune all day long, but that would probably drive me completely out of my overkilled mind. [Stefan]



No, Stefan, please don't do what your maniac neurons tell you to!!!!!!!! I beg you!! [Richard]



Orgasmic shivers are mangling our bodies as Thorsten hands us his "pics" disk. This means that ST NEWS will be filled with "hyper super ober affengeil" (just some German superlatives) pictures from now on.... Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! [Stefan]



Something wonderful has happened.... Michael just opened one of the many envelopes and found a scrolling message in there. Now not a digital one, but a paper one. Yes, 30,80 metres of a narrow piece of paper with a long message on it. Sometimes very humorous and they greeted Willeke in it! Wow. It was a reaction on the "B.I.G. Demo" by Dr. Solo and Mick. Fantastic guys! Superbly original and just utterly amazingly great. What a life! I feel sorry for Gunter who has heaped the task upon himself to roll up the entire "scrolling message". Jochen relieved him just now and he is rolling up the paper with a frantic look in his eyes.... Jochen is totally amazed by the fact that these guys have made a tape with some of the "B.I.G. Demo" tunes to play on their walkmans! [Stefan]



OK. I've seen enough. These guys must definitely be crazy. Especially this strange fellow from Holland, R. K. (you know who is meant) who's drinking all this brown, strongly alcoholic stuff. Finally he said that he feels more like drinking Coke for the rest of the evening. Jochen continues his creative work: After 22 minutes he has just finished rolling up this somewhat strange fan-letter. Well, R. K. was right, this brown stuff really makes your head swim (what?). I think we should change to real Bacardi Rum. [Tarik]



Drool! I have just seen another thing that nearly exterminated the few neurons in my poor brains that were not yet lethally overloaded. Level 16's whole-screen all-directions scroller. The whole screen scrolled smoothly in all eight directions, swaying and waggling along, changing backgrounds, with a scrolling message, a rather large and moving Level 16 logo and Jochen's eternally present music just like it is the simplest thing to do. The whole screen. Raaaahhhhh.... Richard is right now negotiating with the boss around here (Holger is his name) to write some introductory novels for some of the games that are produced here. Michael just photographed me, sitting serenely behind one of the STs, frantically trying to ignore the no-borders, the full-screen scrollers, the cannotbedescribed music and all other neuron-insinerating things that surround me while I am typing this. He told me that he just put a film in his camera. All day long, he has been taking pictures of the most crazy situations and there was no film in his camera..... This proves that TEX are human after all..... [Stefan]



Just come back from a very interesting lesson about one of the most advanced role-playing games for the ST with very, very nice graphics (Erik mentions, by the way, that he has strong neck-pains). Udo has shown some very impressive animation sequences of this impressive role-playing game and explained some of the game-logic. You can think that this game is some kind of a graphical molecular-simulation when Udo gives you a convincing impression of the very complex interaction that he put into it. Richard just said that he is a convinced capitalist. ES just tried to strangle Michael because of some minor problems with some strange photographs... [Tarik]



It seems that I have had a teeny weeny bit too much to drink. While the rest is watching a video that was used to create the animation sequences of one of the new "role playing games", I am here typing more and more crappy stuff into the word processor. I do make a lot of spelling mistakes now, by the way, because I am getting to be fairly drunk and because I have to type on a German keyboard (we have switched to an old ST somewhere after half past seven this night). [Richard]



I just took a far too large swig of "home made wine", made by the people responsible for Gunter's existence. Good!! Nice!! Nice!! (I said that already, didn't I?) [Richard]



I just found out that it's Udo making all those movements on the video (falling, dropping dead, making summer-saults, etc.)! Funny to the power of three!! [Richard]



Now, after watching this old video, I'm drinking a beer, thinking about the times when we worked on our role-playing game time to time and not with a fixed date to finish it... But this won't keep me drinking this beer and get drunk.... (by the way, did I mention that I had no demo to finish today? No hard working on spurious interrupts and other stupid things to do with the borders...) [Udo]



I just heard a hot rumour: "Spelunker" is almost ready on the ST (only the levels are not finished). Great! It seems that Broderbund is getting along fine on the ST. At the moment, I have difficulty controlling my fingers - they seem like fat and uncontrollable sausages now, after consuming far too much beer, home-made wine and Vieux. Terrible! I thought I was able to write down my thoughts at any time, anywhere, but it doesn't seem to be true... I even have difficulty finding the darned [Return] button... [Richard]



Some terribly drunk persons are getting crazy about our famous laser. Those maniacs cry "Here! Here!" (only in German) when they spot the small red dot of this amazing piece of technology. I think we should have had some dinner, as an empty stomach cannot stand too much alcohol. Richard said he could fall asleep at once if he would lay down. Already! This can be seen as a proof that he has never done any military service (don't mind, I have never been there either). By the way, those maniacs of the red laser just came back, now shouting "Kill it!" (the red dot). Someone's just trying to find out the limit of my tolerance by practising some kind of disgusting heavy metal guitar in Jochen's room, while Jochen and Erik are getting excited about the Atari 800 emulator. Please stop this guitar-playing! [Tarik]



Ha! Guess who was playing that guitar?! Didn't you think my "Smoke on the Water" impression was kinda neat? [Richard]



Jochen, Erik, Thorsten and Michael are now glued to a video screen where some pre-recorded Atari XL (vintage!) stuff is being displayed. The tape was made by an old acquaintance of ours, New Zealand's Harvey Kong Tin who was responsible for the "Garfield" picture over a year ago in ST NEWS. "Rescue on Fractalus", "Ballblazer" and other extremely old computer games are taped. But they are impressed by the techniques back then and Erik is muttering about the fractal-techniques they used on the 8-bit machines. "It must be fantastically fast on the ST" he says. Well folks, I believe we can expect some real-time graphics in the future, based on fractal techniques, knowing these guys! They are looking at it again and like I said, do not be amazed by completely revolutionary graphics stuff in the future!!

Michael is eagerly waiting for the laser to cool off so he can yet again use it to scare off some completely innocent inhabitants of Gütersloh. [Stefan]



Jochen is now making some musix for ST NEWS (including a soundchip version of "Knuckle Buster") while Andreas and Gunter are once again annoying people outside with the remarkable portable laser device... [Richard]



Erik worries about getting some swimming trousers for everyone tomorrow. He is really down. Jochen sighs "Well, that's a lot of work doing all these musix for Richard 'round midnight". An ambulance passes. I should have ate something tonight. [Tarik]



I just spent some time with Jochen as he was busy coding the ST NEWS musix. Something strange happened to his screen as he was busy modifying some registers. He banged his ST to the desk a little and the jerking disappeared. But a few seconds later the gibbering returned and he simply lifted the cover off his ST, wriggled a somewhat large (the GLUE I guess) chip around and replaced the cover. The jerking disappeared and with a slight grin on his face, he continued to program. I guess every ST in this office has been brutally abused one way or the other. I almost feel sorry for them.... [Stefan]

So far the first part of this story. Read on in part II, which will reveal even more of the intimate details concerning this computer orgy in Germany...


Part II - March 5th 1989

A lot of things seem to go wrong with the music Jochen made for ST NEWS just now. The "Alloyrun" music just now crashed: Terrible! But I am sure that Jochen will find a way to get it all working soon. It is now very dark and people here are either programming or looking at the television. You will never understand the atmosphere here unless you've been here. It's unique. And we're part of it! [Richard]



"Aller guten Dinge sind fünfzehn" (All good things come in fifteen times) [Jochen]



You can write a whole book about different packing methods for games programs. For example for this aforementioned role-playing game, as Udo explained to me. When do they switch off that bloody laser?! They start to giggle in a very strange way while using the "red point shock". [Tarik]



I'm soooo tired. Damn this Dutch liquid. Michael started some calculations about the planet sequences of our vector graphics game. He tried to explain me some of the details and I kept on nodding and saying "Yes, ah, hm-m, of course" and some other things that you say if you don't want to confess that you didn't get a single word into the alcohol flooded bunch of synapses which was a brain before Richard and Stefan came over us (I believe that this sentence sounded like one of good ol' Richie's, but it isn't). I'll continue with our watery adventures tomorrow morning! Sounds promising? I can tell you: It will be surely chaotic! [Erik]



Zzzzzzzzzzzz... [Erik]



Erik the liar... he is still running and tries to catch Richard, who made very negative comments about our "Riesling" (that's a very good wine)... [Udo]



The environment is really inspiring. I just found an unused ST and did some programming until Erik kicked me out of the office because he wanted to get some sleep. Better let him go. He was babbling about waking us all up at seven o'clock because we have to go swimming. Sure! I think I will try and find some place to rest my weary self. Sleep sounds really interesting now, after a long day filled with unforgettable experiences. See ya all tomorrow! [Stefan]



Sleep?! Yeah... it does sound quite interesting. I do not have my pillow nor my sleeping bag, but the enormous amount of alcohol will probably help me to get to sleep really soon.... [Richard]



Erik's threat was convincing: Everyone is busy getting into "bed" or finding a free corner in one of the rooms, anticipating a very early getting-up because of this strange swimming-expedition Erik has in mind. Expected countdown ends in 6 hours and a half. Unexpectedly I am one of the tired ones. Erik is asleep, Richard and Stefan are ready to crawl off. Although I'm not used of getting to bed before 2:00 in the morning, my subconsciousness demands some hours of rest to avoid a stack-overflow of all the impressions. Jochen, Gunter, Michael and Thorsten still watch the video about teenage-relationships. Ah no; the video has just finished. Jochen opens another bottle of beer and puts "Little Shop of Horror" into the video-machine. The others seem to be enthusiastic about this film. This is too much for me. Good night... [Tarik]



Tarik made a mistake. They are now going to watch "Labyrinth". And I cannot decide if I should go to bed or not..... [Gunter]



My first and last(?) text: Good night! [Michael]



OK. I give up. There are now only three people remaining: Thorsten, Jochen and Udo (watching the rest of the film). [Gunter]



Ahhh! That was really a fantastic film.... I could see it every day... but now the remaining three guys will also go to bed and sssssssssss... [Udo]



Waaaarrgh. I just found out that I (again) cannot sleep here. Something inside me just makes me refuse to go to sleep. I can't! I am yawning all the time but something....well.....something takes care that I cannot actually physically close my eyes and wander off to the beautiful lands of make belief. But I will try again. I might go and sleep again. You will read more in a sec... [Richard]



The first birds can already be heard singing as Thorsten and myself are the only two people left awake; everybody else is fast asleep. We have just now talked extensively about programming and him taking the chance of also starting to work here for this software company, and he's momentarily reading some ST NEWS vintage material (TEX in Holland article). I don't feel sleepy any more (I think). [Richard]



There is a serene silence here. Only the ticking of a clock can be heard, and the frantic typing of me on the keyboard. At short intervals, some additional key clicks can be heard made by Thorsten who is still reading ST NEWS vintage stuff. He seems to be quite impressed, I must admit. But he will probably not be impressed as much as Stefan and me were when we saw some of his pics. They are great... [Richard]



Isn't it strange? Just now I suddenly felt like I have had enough sleep! I feel quite comfortable and not even tired. Thorsten just finished reading ST NEWS and is now trying to grab some sleep himself. I am terribly glad I am not intoxicated by alcohol now any more - now I can at least type without producing the craziest spelling mistakes all the time. So, again, the time has arrived that I am the only one awake. In about two hours we will all be having fun in a swimming pool as far as I understand. To be quite frank, it has been over two years since I swam for the last time, and I never swam with these guys before - in a German swimming pool! My intoxication by a certain organic compound, by the way, has been replaced by a slight hint of ache in my tummy. A small hangover that might get bigger within the next few hours. Unfortunately, I do not have the H.O.D. with me (the Hangover Obliteration Device - my Aiwa walkman!) so I'll have to get rid of it in the swimming pool. Poor me! The problem now is that I have to keep myself amused for two more whole hours. Everybody is asleep and everybody is lying in miscellaneous places of the office - under desks, behind computers, between piled up furniture and probably even in the kitchen! What to do now? My brain gives signs that suggest throwing a shiny silvery disk in the CD player with some tummy-ache-obliterating Sodom trash metal, but I think they will then lock me into chains again - and never release me, this time!! [Richard]



I have spent the last half hour looking through various animation work disks, demo screens and some hot games here. I was flabbergasted (as usual). Thorsten is having problems actually getting to sleep - maybe because I am typing here?! I think I'll try to get some sleep myself after all. [Richard]


07:00 (precisely)

I think I managed to get some sleep after all! But I was just now woken up by sounds arising from a strange device here in the room that the people here presumably use as a clock to wake up on. Grrmmbbll. Thorsten yawns and can't really believe that he's awake already after such a short nap. The sound still continues. [Richard]



The sound has stopped. Everybody has been awoken by Erik, who is walking clumsily round the office wearing the most enormously sized pyjama suit ever seen. Andreas and Thorsten are already dressed and ready (probably because they slept with their clothes on, just like me). Life is returning here. It's light. Many birds sing outside. Inside, most people look like zombies with busted voices through excessive alcohol abuse and they look very tired, too. I understand that we'll go swimming right now?! I'll investigate. [Richard]



This is incredible. Some kind of Grizzly bear woke me up. It took me some time to realise where I was and that it was "only" Erik. [Tarik]



I don't believe it. Some of the faces that I happen (?) to see here are really X-rated! Andreas (L16) doesn't even manage to go straight, although he hadn't a single drop of the Dutch stuff. Thorsten falls asleep sitting in the front of a computer at this very moment. Just don't talk about Jochen, Udo and Gunter. I tried to wake them up, but I think they're dead! Who will finish all the games now? I will try to resurrect them at the swimming-pool... [Erik]



I just met a zombie! It was truly horrible! It moved and looked a bit like Jochen before he died... [Erik]



Thorsten is momentarily sitting tucked away in a silent corner. He looks like he has just been dumped by his girlfriend. We will go and swim. Now! [Richard]



Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz [Andreas]



I admit! [Udo]



Restful darkness. Serene peace and quiet. Sleep. Sweet dreams about the smile of a certain girl who is known to create the Divine Dessert. Sleep. Rest. Quiet. No maniac programmers. No crazy sounds. No STs being driven to limits they were never meant to be driven to. Sleep. Sleep. Quiet. Soft beeping noises. Small amounts of photons entering the room I sleep in. Even more, this time even louder beeping noises. Human voices. One of them grows louder and louder... What? Huh? Where? What? I wake up. Richard is standing in the room, telling me about the fact that we are going swimming. A quick glance at my watch tells me that it is.....


...what? A quarter past seven?! Raah! Violent thoughts concerning the mutilation of Richard race through my mind. But they are quickly replaced by amazement as we really are going swimming. After about ten minutes of collecting myself I put on some clothes and follow the gang of sleepy computerfreaks towards the cars. [Stefan]



In the car to the swimming pool in Herzebrock. Stefan's car closely follows the two Audis the other people drive in. Udo and Tarik are also in this car. [Richard]



We just entered a village called Pixel (no joke!). [Richard]



Yeah! We're now in the village of Herzebrock. [Richard]



Some time passed as I sat in the bar of the swimming pool. Swimming is not one of my favourite things to do, even if it means I can do things like keeping Erik's head under water for a few minutes so the earth will be freed from a man that dares to wake people at insane hours (this was all his idea, you know). Peering into the swimming area, I see some figures running around, chasing each other and throwing each other into the pool. There is also a large slide and it seems to me that this is the favourite object of the TEX guys here. I just witnessed Jochen (or somebody else with exceptionally long hair) racing down the slide, impacting the water with an enormous splash. Somewhere in the back of my mind I feel regret for not joining them. But I did not bring any swimming gear as I did not know about this until I was in Utrecht and Richard called TEX. Erik offered me a swimming-trunk which was big enough for both Richard and myself so I kindly refused it, picturing me in the water, frantically looking for a large piece of cloth while some vital parts of my body were exposed to the gaze of a lot of innocent dwellers of these surroundings. Besides, I cannot stand swimming-pool water (it does the craziest things to my breathing apparatus) so it wouldn't have been such a great idea after all. Enormous splashes are erupting from the water at the point where the slide ends. A large number of people are coming out of it at once and the water is splashed all over the place. Is that a swimming instructor there, that is speaking to this bunch of guys menacingly, obviously complaining about safety precautions and the fact that this particular bunch of guys doesn't heed them (crashing on one another at the bottom of the slide)? This is the first time I have been in a peaceful environment since 7 o'clock yesterday morning and I am enjoying it while it lasts. Maybe a good time to look back on the hours that have passed.

When you see what these people have achieved on the ST and when you see what they are still achieving, there is nothing else left but awe. If you see the artwork being done by some of these guys. If you see the programming skills of some of the others. If you taste the ambience. I do some programming myself, but I see I have a lot to learn. Now I'm not going to say that "I am just a mere mortal and my mind is just a shrivelled walnut compared to their unimaginable intellect" because it is not. I mean they're all normal humans (well, normal...) and they just have some enormous talent and feeling for handling computers. And I think everybody else who has any talent should try and exploit it to the fullest. If you see how these guys operate and how they work: It is like a big family having a great time. They sort of live here, between the Coke bottles and the computers. Personally, I think it would be great working like this (but I am totally happy with the job I have right now). But like I said, everybody with enough talent can get this far. Don't be put off by the things these people make. I am truly enthusiastic by the things I make on the ST (check out the scrolling message demo in this very issue) and I am not bothered by the fact that they are obsolete compared with the stuff they do. But everybody has to start somewhere and no way you just buy an ST and create a "Union Demo". Thousands of hours of puzzling and figuring out have passed before the "Union Demo" was actually finished. In spite of Richard's unlimited adoration of these guys and ruthless criticism on anything that does not equal their skills, I think there is still hope for anybody else out there who cares to program things like this (or at least tries to). You might spot a slight self-encouragement in the above, but I think it applies to more people....

I believe I just saw Erik hit the water in such a way that various other pool-users were completely drowned in large tidal waves or even hurtled out of the water by the violent impact. Some pool-attendants are rushing to the aid of the victims while Erik is preparing for another dive... Richard just appeared in front of the glass making wild gestures towards me. He looks very wet. Now he races towards the water and enters it just an inch from Tarik who was evidently not prepared for such a thing as he is now showing signs of asphyxication and is trying really hard to get out of the water. More and more people are arriving at the pool. It is amazing to see how the Germans are motivated to go swimming at 9 o'clock on a Sunday morning. Uh Oh, Erik just climbed the jumping board and is preparing himself for some areal extravaganza so it seems. The poor board is bending vigorously and seconds later he sails through thin air, heading straight for a cluster of TEX people who do not know what is going to hit them; subsonic shockwaves reach me as the pool explodes. Several things that look like very wet and very battered computer freaks are thrown around the pool. Some of them are submerged while several others are trying really hard to drag themselves out of the still boiling waters. Erik appears now and he looks around himself. Suddenly he seems to reach into the water and seconds later he produces a limb figure that turns out to be Jochen. After shouting the names of some soundchip registers in his ears, the figure seems to regain consciousness and dives into the pool like nothing has happened. They are all gathered around the jumping board, possibly preparing for another one of Erik's bomb-dives. Udo just dived in and he is frantically scrambling out of the water as Erik has followed him to the board. Another violent boom but this time they were prepared and nobody was in need of artificial respiration. Well, I want to play with this Z88 a bit more so I will stop describing the adventures of TEX in the pool. [Stefan]



Mayhem has returned at the slide. A lot of persons are coming down it at once and at the bottom of it, a pile of wet computerfreaks is forming. Arms, legs, heads and various other parts of the human body are hopelessly intermingled in one large, moving pile. The mess is instantaneously solved when Erik comes down the slide. As he crashes into the heap of people, it is scattered all over the pool, upsetting some old ladies who were doing their six laps they have been told to perform every morning by their doctors. [Stefan]



I wonder what the plans are for today. I do know that we are going to have breakfast and that we don't have to leave too late because I have to bring Richard back to Utrecht, copy some of the incredible demo stuff, port the article from this Z88 to his ST, say hello to Alida, drive home, dump my stuff, drive to Eindhoven to bring back the car and take a train home. Since I want to be in bed by 10, we probably have to leave about two or three. [Stefan]



Rags of boredom are drifting into my mind. The bar-attendants just arrived and they are now busy preparing for a long day of serving hungry and thirsty swimmers. I wonder how much longer TEX is going to fool around in the water. On the other hand, I haven't spotted any of them for some time now. Also, I haven't seen any giant explosions and no flying bodies for some time now. Maybe they are in the dressing rooms right now, putting on their various items of cloth. I was somewhat startled by a sudden outburst of music ripping apart the silence. They turned on some kind of radio. Boy, I hope it doesn't take them much longer because I am yearning for some breakfast.... [Stefan]



Richard is coming! Also, the nice woman just brought me some Coke. Richard is now urging me to write some stuff.... [Stefan]



Yes, here I am again! I have just had some of the funniest couple of hours in my life: Swimming with some of the freakiest freaks around. There is a truly magnificent slide with an astounding length of 83 metres. But please excuse me for not being able to type too much, because I'm dead-tired (or maybe even worse). [Richard]



Röchel, blubber, schnauf... [Udo]



Everyone seems to be quite exhausted right now while we are utterly occupied with our Lagnese ice creams. Michael couldn't resist and ordered a pizza! We discuss about our next project called "having some lunch at the nearest Chinese restaurant". I hope it will be successful. [Tarik]



Back at the office, be it only after some involuntary wandering through the infrastructure of Gütersloh. I have just heard the music from "Comic Bakery" on the ST! It is yet another extremely good achievement by Jochen - he never ceases to amaze me! [Richard]



Alright! A large amount of the extremely heavy and solid bread is now in my stomach and I have taken care of myself (washing, shaving etc.). Ready for anything! [Stefan]



That darned Jochen is still not programming, but....asleep!! Blast that crazy music magician! [Richard]



The major part of the crew just went out to have diner at the Greek restaurant. Some of us had already eaten some breakfast and didn't want to go (also because we're very tired). [Richard]



It's video time again! After watching 15 minutes Indiana Jones Part I, we turned to the comedy "Ruthless people" (or the German translation: "Die unglaubliche Entführung der verrückten Misses Stone"). Udo and Andreas are waiting and Tarik wants to write on this article again. [Michael]



Everyone is busy doing nothing. Richard would like me to interview these nice editors (sorry, editor and ex-editor) of ST NEWS. But I am too occupied typing these lines at the moment. It's a good reason for not working. It's somewhat strange, but I don't feel too inspired to interview them, because I already know everything about their history. And for asking all those boring off-the-shelf question I am simply too tired. There are many strange noises coming from that video (these guys are too young to watch this kind of movie...). I'd better go to Richard & Stefan now. We have to be productive! [Tarik]



With a somewhat dry throat from talking to Tarik, I sit here after quite an interesting interview by him. He even took some pictures of Richard and myself (with ST NEWS diskettes and a Metallica CD tucked away neatly in one of my trouser's pockets) and it is going to be published in "ST Magazin/ 68000'er" in the near future. We are going to leave in about an hour and Richard gets restless already, running around the offices collecting diskettes from the various people. I am going to do some more programming as I was interrupted for the interview. [Stefan]



Just like Stefan just now said, we have experienced something that makes it worth making ST NEWS in the first place: A true interview for a true magazine! Well, isn't that neat?! I am only afraid that my ego is now stuck to the ceiling... [Richard]



Yeah! The film has ended and Andreas has turned to ALF. [Michael]



Well, busy like the bees everyone's humming around. Richard convinced Jochen to donate some more music tracks to ST NEWS; perhaps it's one of them that you listen to right now. The lazy times for the STs round here are over! Michael is doing some fractal programming while Stefan sits in front of a screen that seems to display real source code. The rest of the guys quite hectically copy something, I can't tell what, I just hear them shouting "Ja ja, das brauch ich auch. Und die neue Backup-Software und...". Time is running out fast now. As Stefan and Richard intend to leave in half an hour everyone is trying to fill up his stocks... [Tarik]



Time to go. [Stefan]



In the car; overcome by grief and sudden wet emotions... [Richard]



We are now at a gas station of the "Rasthof Gütersloh". Probably the last time we will see this name in a long time....(weeeee!) [Stefan]



With 140 kilometres per hour (a bit less than 90 mph) we race toward Holland now. This has been some weekend, don't you agree? The things we have seen and the things I have experienced (a demo written specially for me!) are really too much to handle. In a couple of days, I will probably realise what I have experienced and I will then quite spontaneously burst out crying cries of obliterating emotions, and tears will well up in my eyes. I will be sad. Sad to know that it will be another long time before we will meet again. But at least we now have two new musical pieces for ST NEWS ("Comic Bakery" and "Sanxion Loader") and Jochen will soon send us the soundchip version of "Knuckle Buster" (a dream come true!!) and all "Union Demo" songs. And Andreas of Level 16 promised that he would soon send an article about using all of the screen (no borders). He did not want to give his source, though, because he worked too long for it and it is 54 KB GfA Basic that will create a 2 MB (!!) machinecode source. But we understand that. And then there's the interview: Great! This is what I have worked for for such a long time: International attention to ST NEWS! I think the editorial staff of a certain disk magazine from Holland (they know who I mean) will now eat their hearts out (har har)! [Richard]



We are now in a tiny village called Ahse, near Dortmund, and we have stopped again at a gas station to refuel the Coke because Richard only bought two cans at our last stop and that is not going to be enough. [Stefan]



Stefan is driven to the frayed ends of insanity because of all those loony Germans that overtake at twice our speed (and we are driving at about 130 km/h average). Big fat Mercedes cars and long, flashy BMWs are constantly whizzing past. We can sometimes see the frantic looks in the driver's blood-shot eyes. [Richard]



Oops. Slight panic. I just tried to save this file to EPROM on the Z88 and it said: "No Room"! Oops. This means that everything can be lost when power fails (I inserted new batteries several minutes ago). They should last long enough, although they weren't recharged for their full time... Let's just pray... [Richard]



Let me tell you the story of a German tradition. Did you know that each time when you pass under a bridge on the "Autobahn", you see a road sign with "80" on it. Everywhere, you can drive as fast as you can, but when you pass under such a bridge you have to drive 80 km/h. And the thing that's even stranger: In spite of the fact that this happens quite often, everybody does it (even the people with the blood-shot eyes I mentioned). Brown filthy substances are being exhausted into the afternoon air by very long and somewhat threatening symbols of male vanity. Zoooooooffff! A tiny Toyota (GTI, without any doubt) just went by. We could barely recognize it, for it was visible for but a few seconds. It was more like a black blur in our visions (and we're still driving 130 km/h). [Richard]



It won't take a long time and we're back in Holland again; the country of cows, cheese, wooden shoes, windmills, Hollanditis and ST NEWS. The border is already in sight. There is a long row of vehicles here - are the Dutch customs people having some nasty habits of checking every single car coming from the east? [Richard]



We have entered the flattest of all countries: Holland. Lucky for us, we were not checked out by the customs agents - they might have had some serious doubt about our reason of going back to Holland when they would have seen all the empty cans of Coke (fourteen in total), the enormous quantity of empty bags (crisps as well as liquorice) littered on the floor and the dashboard, and the 16 Milka Pause chocolate bar wrappers that are stuck in the cassette recorder, under the windscreen and in the ventilator openings. And then we're not even talking about the back trunk of the car: If they would have opened that, a distinct smell of beer would have cast them down, and they would have gazed with awe at the 54 empty bottles of Grolsch rolling all over its floor, the broken bottle of Plantiac Vieux and eight empty 1,5 litre Cola bottles, all logically intertwined with an enormous quantity of miscellaneous small silvery discs, underwear, filthy socks, swimming trunks, toothpaste and many disks containing some of the hottest stuff ever conceived. The delirious customs agents would have reached for their Uzis and considered us to be members of the Banned Society for the Spreading of Empty Packaging for Lethal Junkfood (B.S.S.E.P.L.J. in short). They would have put us against the nearest wall, searching us for hidden weapons. They would have dropped their Uzis and dashed for the nearest toilet when they would have taken out the contents of both our pockets, which consisted mainly of sticky pieces of soft white paper with green molecular structures in them (that have a weird tendency to keep on sticking to custom's agents' hands). But they didn't, so they couldn't. Lucky guys! [Richard]



I will soon start working for the same company TEX works for (Thalion)! I just truly realised that I have been asked to do novel writing work for this company (this happened last night, when I wasn't too sober any more)! The first game is a parody of many other games, a vertically scrolling game with excellent graphics. Erik made my swear not to tell its name so I won't. I only want to say that it starts with the letter... I forgot! I will probably also do the novel-writing for most of their future games. I might become a professional writer... another wish come true! [Richard]



Home. Stefan just went to do something necessary in a small room and I will do likewise. Bis bald (translation: See you soon)! [Richard]



Phew! We're back in Richard's little student room. After quite a long drive which went fine, I am now sitting here just a little tired. Now we have to do some copying and then I'll go home. Still have to bring back the car...... [Stefan]



Aaaaaaarrrrgggghhhhh! What a relief! [Richard]



Why stop when you're having fun? We are at the moment scanning through the hot TEX stuff we got and Stefan is deciding what he can use and what not. He's a bit disappointed because Alida (see ST NEWS 4.1) is momentarily not here. But worse things have happened to him. He will survive. This will probably be the last thing we will write for this real time article (the third one ever). So I will now say goodbye to all of you. I hope you enjoyed this method of news reporting - you can't get it any better! Jason Becker's "Perpetual Burn" CD is creating some great musical atmosphere. [Richard]

So far the thrilling story behind a visit of the ST NEWS editorial staff to some of the best programmers alive today. We hope you liked it. Soon, there'll be more... Just wait until one of the upcoming issues (what about Volume 4 Issue 4?)! I can't tell you any more about this issue, but it will beat this article for sure!

This text was published in the Atari ST diskmag "ST News" and is used by kind permission of Richard Karsmakers. Source for this article: http://www.st-news.com