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Welcome to my mid-life crisis!
Welcome to the September issue of MyAtari magazine and to my personal mid-life crisis! Allow me to elaborate...

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 hangover.

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,

Matthew Bacon

Matthew Bacon, Editor

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!

Useful links

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Dream system
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 wait.

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.

[Image: Ultimate set-up diagram]

[Photo: Atari's STE package trio]

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 ST games.

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 bookshelf speakers.

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

Shiuming Lai, Features and Technical Editor


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MyAtari magazine - Feature #1, September 2002

Copyright 2002 MyAtari magazine