to my mid-life crisis!
Welcome to the September issue of MyAtari magazine
and to my personal mid-life crisis! Allow me
A few days ago,
I celebrated my 25th birthday. Now I know what
you are thinking... why is he making such a
song and dance over this? Well, while I agree
that I should be able to think clearly and rationally
about this, and it shouldn't
be a big deal because I am only twenty-five...
but I'M TWENTY-FIVE!
OK, perhaps I
am overreacting a little.
Or am I? As social
pressures and the demands of work mount on my
generation, we are seeing what used to be considered a
thirty-something problem becoming a twenty-something
problem. But what are the long term repercussions
of having a mid-life crisis so young? Well,
recent research indicates
that the human species is living longer than ever
before. Therefore, as it is highly
likely that I will reach 100 years of age, this is technically
only my quarter-life crisis. Oh no!
The frustrating thing
is that until I began to write this foreword, the
thought of being twenty-five
had not bothered me. The build up to my birthday
was nothing out of the ordinary: work, followed
by sleep, followed by more work, followed by
a party in which I drank huge amounts of alcohol with
friends and family, followed by an enormous
Although it wasn't particularly
obvious at the time, with hindsight I'm amazed
it took me this long to work it out. For example,
I recently began thinking about getting a pension
and a mortgage as well as actively taking more
exercise - I can't believe I even considered
joining a gym!
Thankfully - before
things got out of hand - a dear friend of mine
told me to stop being stupid and join him down
the pub for a drink. So there you have it, my
life in a nutshell (which is also a very good
song by the Barenaked Ladies).
On a lighter
note, I would like
to quickly take the opportunity to thank everyone
who recently e-mailed us to tell us what a "fantastic"
issue August 2002 was and how it was our "best
issue so far!". Thank you, we really appreciate
it :-) I can assure
you that we have no intention of sitting on
our laurels and are continually trying to improve
the magazine. So, if you have any comments
or suggestions, please e-mail them to me at
the address below.
Until next month,
P.S. For the
record, I'm not having a mid-life crisis ;-) honest!
However, for those that are, below
are some web sites you might find of interest.
P.P.S. Just a
quick reminder that next month we will be celebrating
our second birthday here at MyAtari - hurrahhh!
How do enthusiasts differ from
mainstream consumers? For a start, they read magazines like this one, and when
it comes to buying, they know exactly what they want and why they
want it, all beforehand. Furthermore, just to get a job done is not good enough,
it has to be done a certain way and be forward-thinking, even if only to fulfil
idealisms of luxury rather than day-to-day needs. That means careful planning
(and perhaps a little dreaming), as I did at school during many a GCSE Science
lesson over 11 years ago.
The situation: A stock 800XL and 1050 disk drive
formed my system of the time. In late 1989 I had re-discovered Page 6 magazine
as New Atari User, at a newsagent on London's Charing Cross Road. By issue 41
(December/January) the magazine was advertising the Dutch High Tech Team's Big
Atari 8-bit Demo, starting off my great interest in new software and
accessories. Before long I had also been struck by acute ST fever and also
wanted one of those, to supplement my 8-bit. Atari's newfangled STE was out of
the starting blocks and its revised specifications seemed worth the
Starting with the 800XL, its screen, a television
set, would be relinquished for the ST, and in its place would be a Casio pocket
LCD television. Having seen the Lynx hand-held in action, I thought the XL's
graphics would also look very smart in miniature.
Daisy-chained to the 1050 disk drive would be Page
6's Taritalk serial interface for data transfer. You can tell that's an STE in
the diagram because it has stereo audio outputs. It would be the 520STE Turbo
Pack, a really slick looking bundle including Blood Money, one of my favourite
Hard disks were still the exclusive preserve of those
with very deep pockets so an external second floppy drive would have to suffice.
A MIDI keyboard and stereo sampling cartridge would round off the music
abilities while both machines would be connected to a Tascam Portastudio (no
idea how much those cost but the school's music department had one and it was a
definite step up from the radio-cassette players I'd been using), for recording
all those demo and game soundtracks to play in my Walkman. For enjoying the
music "live" I'd have a quality reverb unit and amplifier with a good pair of
Since then, and without really noticing because of
all the hard work along the way, I've gradually built that dream system and then
some, thanks to technological evolution and twists of fate.
Do I get any work done? Of course not.
Shiuming Lai, Features and Technical Editor