NEWSLETTER February, 2000

President's Corner
by Michael Current
February, 2000

What a nice SPACE Christmas party, and how great to see some "old" familiar faces we haven't seen for a while. And whoever thought of the circular seating arrangement, I thought that was a really nice touch too, it seemed to help pull us all together to some extent.

For the holidays I spent a week at home in Michigan. As it turned out I had a nasty cold the whole time I was there. But there was an Atari advantage. I spent quite a bit of time playing the old, classic 8-bit Atari games that I don't often make time for. I rolled over Missile Command, I scored close to 200,000 on Pac-Man, I figured out how to play Star Raiders II again without the manual... and I made it a long ways though the Grand Loop on JumpMan, another real classic. Super BoulderDash.., the list goes on. It was fun!

We have a couple of Bylaws issues to discuss, concerning Article V. These were mentioned in the Newsletter last month, so no need to reprint here. If we can continue pressing ahead, maybe we can get through the rest of the Bylaws this year!

Thanks, keep using that Atari, and please come to your next SPACE meeting, Friday, January 14.

Secretary's Report
by Greg Leitner
by Mike Weist
February, 2000

SPACE held their first meeting in the new millennium on January 14, 2000, and seven members were present. Michael , President, Greg , VP & Treasurer, Glen, DOM & Membership chairman, and four other members attended the meeting which started around 7:45 PM.

Opening the meeting was the Secretary's report from the December meeting and because of the Club Christmas party there was no Club business to report. Greg gave the Treasurer's report by stating that the balance in our treasury was $1,434.20 at the end of 1999. He also said that the billing for the room rental arrived after posting the balance for December 31, 1999 and that amount was $325.00 for the third and fourth quarters of 1999. This would drop the SPACE balance to about $1,100.00.

Glen gave a briefing on the DOM for January and he actually had two disks ready for the January meeting, one being demos from Poland. Glen also gave a count of 13 paid up members for the year ended December 31, 1999.

Getting on with business of the January meeting, Mike brought in a new video from the 1999 Fall Computer Gaming Show. He was also approached by someone from the Northfield News to do a short interview about Atari. It seems that this reporter new nothing about Atari being associated with computers, he thought that Atari was only a game machine. Mike said that he would bring copies of the Northfield News in to the meeting after the article is published.

We discussed changes in the by-laws and we are ready to vote on them next month provided we have enough members to do so. It was decided that we should vote on making it a formal SPACE meeting if at least one Officer and one other member was present at any given meeting. We finished the meeting by agreeing to have a small auction next month which will include the beginning of cleaning out the storage room at the SPACE meeting hall. The meeting came to a close around 9:00 PM.

Treasurer's Report
by Greg Leitner
February, 2000

A great start for the new year. Seven members were present out of thirteen and that isn't so bad. At least we are able to make some important decisions with over half the membership attending. We need to vote on some by-law changes next month so I hope even more of our SPACE members will show up for that meeting. We have decided to have an auction next month and this will include items from the SPACE storage room. Some of the items to be auctioned off are; a 400 and 800 computer, an 810 disk drive, some miscellaneous IBM (can you believe it) PC JR software, a Zenith monitor, a disk file and a set of paddles and more. Please plan on attending the February meeting as you never know what will show up on the auctioning block, it may be something you have been looking for.

Starting this new millennium I will be posting in this report all the activity that involves the spending of every red cent from our Treasury. This month the expenses paid out and income received are as follows starting with the beginning SPACE balance from 12/31/99:

Beginning balance for January 1, 2000        $1,434.20

         Income for January:
                DOM sales                       $54.00
                Membership                       15.00

                Total receipts                   69.00

         Expenses for January:
                Room rental                    $325.00
                BBS phone                        10.00

                Total expenses                  335.00

          Net gain/loss for month             ($266.00)

       Ending balance for January 31, 2000   $1,168.20

As you can see the Club is still doing very well and now that the room rent is paid up through the end of 1999 the Club really has a chance to build on the treasury once again. A good start to doing that would be to come and bid on the auction items at the February meeting. See you all there.

(A submission for the XEST and JYBOLAC newsletters)

(Just Your Basic On - line Atari Computer)

By Greg Goodwin

It was in the fall of 1999 that a new wind blew through the AUNT encampment. A feeling of old was mixed with a feeling of new. A clash of ideas led to a whirlwind of chaos, and then.. creation, like a lava flow after a violent eruption of a volcano.

The Atari Users of North Texas had stumbled in darkness for a year. Having been kicked out of their meeting area that they had for over a decade and loosing their president of three years were probably most of the reason. For a year they continued on through the enthusiasm and efforts of new faces, and finally, after catching their breath realized who they were. They realized they cared not for the computer equipment per se, but the people they had met due to the equipment. Happily, the old time members smiled at this revelation, and realized that after all this, it was each other they really cared about.

Meanwhile, some newer members and hackers were left wondering what exactly had happened. After the whirlwind was over, they brushed themselves off, realized that the older members had gone off to continue to drink coffee with each other and smiled at them from a distance. They tried to show off the latest hacks they had done on their Atari equipment. They tried showing off some games on a variety of Atari platforms. But the president simply smiled and said (a paraphrase from the December issue of AUNT BYTES) that the clunky old machines were all right occasionally, but always bringing such things to meetings were wearing out the club members, especially when a portable PC could emulate the clunky platform with less setup time. "After all," he said "our problem has been our focus on the computers and not the people. Now we wouldn't want people to feel unwelcome." And so AUNT started on a path to be more social as a club, and looked across their table at their old friends, laughed, and had a good time amongst themselves.

"So that's that" said the rest, realizing this was the direction that the old timers of AUNT wanted to take. Realizing that this was their wishes, the others put their heads together and formed a new mission statement.

Some, though a handful at first which grew, were finding fascination with their own computers like a car hobbyist who rebuilds a Model-T to soup it up as a hot rod. There was mention that some missed the days of calling BBS's, downloading and trading of games, getting into fun debates with Commodore users, and of course all the good gaming that was involved there.

It wasn't long before one of the founders of this group, "Doctor Clu" met up with "Doctor X", another person who remembered the same BBS and the same sysop that had gotten it all started for them. A BBS where stories were written, and much of the Atari memories took place from roughly 1986-1988.

It was a place called the JYBOLAC BBS. The original sysop, Scott Ian, was looking for a name for his BBS and on the fly similar to TANSTAAFL (Their Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) decided on the fun name JYBOLAC (Just Your Basic Online Atari Computer). Scott Ian not only gave his blessings to use the name for the intrepid group and brand new HTML version of the BBS, but has joined in the chat sessions as well.

As some reflected, others remembered the fun they had on the Atari 2600 and how the game play was unlike anything that has been offered since. To this day, though the graphics may have been raw, the game play is simply addicting.

And so a few ST users stepped forward, and other game systems' users. But one thing was clear amongst them all, whether it was dusting off old hardware, or making new hardware visit the platforms of old, the spirit was the same, "Let's crank these babies up and see where they take us!"

And so they meet Online every Thursday at 8 PM Central Standard Time at:

(java based chat)

And with apologies to those without java script in your web browsers; the AUNT chat session has been going for quite a few months now (helped along by some of those newer members) and we've found that for ST/TT users, the URL below works quite well:

(Non-java, non-frames based chat)

The AUNT chat session starts around 8 PM CST on Saturday, and due to the friends made on that chat session and in AUNT, you will usually find JYBOLAC folk there as well.

The moral of the story:

Much the fun of what we have come to know Atari to be is the memories those cool machines have brought us and the wonderful people they have led us to.

Some disembark from their machines believing the ride is over, deciding to spend time with those they met.

Others hold on to find out where they'll go and who they'll meet next.


Published by the Saint Paul Atari Computer Enthusiasts (SPACE), an independent organization with no business affiliation with ATARI Corporation. Permission is granted to any similar organization with which SPACE exchanges newsletters to reprint material from this newsletter. We do however ask that credit be given to the authors and to SPACE. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of SPACE, the club officers, club members or ATARI Corporation.

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Maintained by Michael Current, mcurrent@carleton.edu
Last updated: Monday, March 27, 2000