Last issues user profile of Colin Fisher-McAllum was one of our best ever, it also gave me an idea - why not do a series of people from different areas.
So, this issue Kevin Beardsworth, Co-SysOp of 42BBS and another third of the AtariPhilers kindly did this for us. Next month, I hope to round off the trilogy with a profile of Domhnall Dods.
Right then Kev, let's get on with it...
Describe your Atari setup
My Atari setup? Well let's see. First there's the Falcon, it started life as a 4Mb machine with a 65Mb internal hard drive and TOS 4.01. The hard drive and TOS version remain but I've added an FX card running at 36Mhz with a further 4Mb of RAM. I've kept the Falcons ports pretty busy too. Currently bolted to the Falcon is a 15inch SVGA monitor, a 235Mb TUS hard disk, an IBM 4 speed CD Rom and a Syquest 44 mainly used for backing up.
Added to this is a Motorola 28800 modem, two printers (a Citizen swift 200 and a Canon BJ 200) and a pair of high powered speakers. I also use a Naksha scanner, however I only plug this in when it's required.
To make room for the extra memory I've removed the keyboard and use a Mega ST keyboard. The Falcon is underneath my desk with just its floppy exposed, everything else is sat on a Compo Unicenter, apart from the printers of course.
I use MagiC 5 as the main operating system with Thing dealing with my desktop requirements. Thing's backed up with Freedom2, Appline, Start, Win Commander and Stewart running in a res of 800 x 608 in 256 or 16 colour depending on what I'm doing. This gives me about 5Mb free memory which I find adequate for most tasks. I don't run any ACC's as I find it unnecessary with MagiC.
What is your Atari's main use?
These days it's writing. Mainly for AtariPhile. I do write for Atari Computing but AtariPhile is my first love so it gets priority over any other writing commitments. I'm also very active on line, especially on 42BBS. I'm kept very busy moderating 42 Local and N.Sup.Atariphile on NeST. I'm also a Cixen and Co Mod Atari.st when Joe Connor the main Mod is on holiday or busy editing Atari Computing.
There's a lot more to writing for AtariPhile then you'd probably think. I get great pleasure from spicing up reviews into HTML format. Designing the title graphics etc. The three of us split up the editing and Colin and I get quite competitive when it comes to designing pages and title graphics. That's where the real fun lies, not in the writing itself. Writing doesn't come naturally to me and I often find that aspect very difficult indeed.
I also do quite a bit of Beta testing.
How long have you been an Atari user?
An Atari STfm was my first computer back in the late eighties. I knew nothing about computers, to be honest the thought of buying one horrified me. My wife persuaded me to get one as she thought it would free up some time. I did a lot of repetitive paper work for the firm I worked for in those days. I was so busy during the day at work, the only time I could catch up with the paper work was in my own time.
Why did I pick an ST? It was a lucky accident. I went to Comet, they were just up the road from my house. I had about 300 quid and the salesman said you've got two choices, the ST or the Amiga. I bought the ST because he said it was better for serious work then the Amiga. Needless to say he was right. The first thing I did when I got home was format the language disk, that's how little I knew. After a few weeks of use I was hooked. Carol must have been totally shocked as it took up more of my time then the paper work and has done ever since. I think she's used to it now though. She always says at least I'm not down the pub every night.
What is your favourite Atari program?
There are so many and it changes from week to week depending on what's been released. At the moment I'd have to say Thing. It just has everything a desktop should have. MagiC would be a close second, the difference it's made to the way I work is amazing. The two together are unbelievable. After using these two I look at other platforms and can't see the attraction.
I'm also a big Alexander Clauss fan. Every piece of software I've seen from this guy is stunning. He really knows how to put software together. Cab is obviously his most famous but CD Player and OCR are just as good. If we can keep programmers like this interested the Atari will stay in pretty good shape.
Any information about yourself ie your occupation etc.
Well I've been in the motor trade since I left school in 1979. I qualified as a technician four years later. I must have been one of the last to do a full proper apprentership. I'm currently working for a Toyota dealers in Boston Lincolnshire.
I've been married for 11 years and we have two children. Elizabeth who's 10 and Alexander who's 6.
I'm a big Sci-Fi fan and never miss an episode of Star Trek, the X Files or B5. I also love books, my favourite author being James Herbert. I collect videos and CD's and I'm a huge F1 fan.
Where would I be without these. The Falcon FacTT File introduced me to Colin, who has become one of my greatest friends. Colin and I both replied to a plea in ST Applicatons made by William Hern. He wanted someone to set up a database of Falcon users. I won't bore with the history but it led to the AtariPhile and 42BBS. I'd like to think that these two play an important role in the British Atari scene.
Domnhall Dodds has recently joined us as co-organiser. He was always very active behind the scenes with the FFF and it was great when Colin persuaded him to join our little band.
The AtariPhile is attracting more and more writers which is great. It gives the three of us more time to concentrate on developing the mag. Colin does a terrific job with 42BBS, if you haven't visited it yet you should. The Atari community on there is thriving.
AtariPhile 4 is out now, and it's a bumper Christmas special. We think we've got distribution sussed. All issues can be downloaded from 42BBS, our web site at: www.walusoft.co.uk/fff/home.htm or Cix from atari.st/files96.
You can also order disks from Floppyshop, Goodmans PDL, ST Club or ourselfs.
If you wish to obtain disks from us state clearly which issues you require and make sure you send enough disks to cover the issues ordered. Please also send an SAE with enough stamps to cover the return postage. We'd also like an extra first class stamp included to cover our costs.