User Profile: Chris Holland


center 1. Describe your Atari setup

’My primary setup is a Falcon ’030, ’early’ TOS 4.01, 14MB of RAM, and various hard drives up to c.500 meg capacity. The Falcon has had a Nemesis accelerator fitted to get a 50% speed increase across the board, which is nice.. The screen sometimes shows some isolated green speckly bits when running in 24 mhz ’high mode’ though.. This is a nuisance, but only a small one, this maybe due to my early Falcon having a dodgy DSP, according to the nice man from the Upgrade Shop.. There is also a SCSI Double Speed NEC CD-ROM, which was picked up a couple of years ago.. I hardly need to mention the array of used and abused mice, joysticks and Jagpad, but I will..

Sitting atop this lot is a battered and much used Philips CM 8833 RGB monitor.. Sitting nearby is a very cheaply acquired 14400 modem, which is used for plugging into the Internet.. Which is fine and dandy, at least until the phone bill comes in!

My spare machine, which came to prominence at the ’97 Spring Atari Shows, is a fairly senile 1040 STFM (TOS 1.2), which seems to have lost its sound, but works okay in all other respects and has the added curiosity value of having the case spray painted black.. This latter machine had to do quite a lot of standing in, when my Falcon became unwell after the first attempt at having the abovementioned Nemesis fitted..

There is no Wintel based PC anywhere near here.. To be honest, I’m not the slightest bit tempted.. Okay, maybe for emulation of other computers, but that isn’t saying a great deal about the attractiveness of the native platform on its own merits though.. The only other major plus point would have been the easy access to the Internet, but now I’ve got Atari access in a relatively trouble-free fashion, there’s no need for that even, is there?’

2. What is your Atari’s main use?

Maggie, Maggie, and Maggie!! Most ’constructive’ activity is related to writing, reviewing, or testing for the diskmag.. I’m quite fond of the odd demo or two, play the occasional game, and enjoy fiddling about with music/modfile composition software.. There are quite a lot of Commodore 64 tunes lurking on my hard drive as well.. A more recent pasttime that has come into play, is using the Falcon as a ’Net PC’.. Once you’ve got CAB and STiK/STinG configured and working (never easy), then the ’net is your oyster! next question, and a good one too, can someone come up with a Java browser for the Falcy?’

3. How long have you been an Atari user?

Since April 1987, when I bought my first 520 from Silica Shop.. The mousemat that came with that machine is still in use! The machine is a long time dead and gone though..’

4. What is your favourite Atari program?

A tough choice unless you want a list of some kind? Okay then, my fave utility has to be Grauomf Tracker, arguably the best multichannel modfile composer on the Falcon today.. Quite a lot of people swear by Digital Tracker, but Graoumf pips it as it is able to replay third party formats much better than Digital can..

Favourite game, looked like ’Running’ for a while, might yet turn out to be Willys Adventures but with a stiff fight put in by Crown of Creation.. Nice to be saturated with a choice here on the Falcon!

Favourite demo.. That one is easy, the brilliant Sonolumineszensz demo by Avena!

Internet, CAB 2.5 and latest versions of Newsie are pretty cool, but look out for a new Web Browser coming in 1998 from some people who are pretty close to Maggie!! (I guess it is safe to start dropping big hints, if you have got this particular groups latest release (as of Mid- Dec 1997), they are dropping some big hints themselves in the form of a name for the browser...)

Most used, has to be a text editor of course, I favour 1st Word for Maggie stuff, with Everest putting in a strong finish for my emails..’

5. What is your opinion of the Atari market today?

The Atari Market in the commercial or semi-commercial shareware sense, is pretty stable and self-supporting, as long as you don’t expect miracles from it.. It has the capacity to go on for a very long time, and only long-term defections to other formats, and eventually, hardware failure, will bring it low.. Very long term survival prospects may depend ultimately whether someone is willing to bring new, powerful, and affordable hardware to the market to replace the great many ageing Ataris out there.. I certainly don’t expect anything from Atari/JTS now, and the jury is still out on the future of the Pacifist emulator on the PC as being helpful for long-term development.. Most of the people that have got this emulator have only really got it on a nostalgia ticket to play their old ST games.. Though if something new and exciting does come out of the emulator scene, I’d be one of the first in line to want to see it!’

6. Any information about yourself ie your occupation etc.

’My real name is Chris (i) Holland - CiH, easy, innit?

Older than the average Atari bod, but still younger than Tony Greenwood, and far too young to take an interest in Desktop Publishing.. (Which is like owning up to having a passion for Morris Minors in my view..)

My first machine was a ZX81.. (Brilliantly emulated on the ST/Falcon.)

I agree totally with Jilted John that ’Gordon is a Moron’!

The day job is to do with insurance, but maybe not for much longer?

Single and open to offers (ladies only, jeez, what were you lot thinking of?) (Offer = 37p)

I’m the chairman of the League for Dangerous Couch Potato Sports..

The Reservoir Gods are doing a NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) emulator.. This is the 8-bit predecessor to the SNES of course, it will be called ’GodlyNES’ - Not sure if it is Falcon only, as it started out as an STe project under the Aegis of Ed Cleveland.. Damn, should this be in the news pages instead of here?’

Chris Holland

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