Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 1 NO. 4 / SPRING 1987


Durrel Anderson, professional artist, was introduced to his first computer, an Atari 800, two years ago to produce screen art for an interactive fiction game. Shortly afterwards, Darrel bought a 520 ST and applied its graphics capabilities to various projects, including the package illustration for an upcoming interactive fiction adaptation of Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles (Bantam, NY). Using DEGAS, he designed 33 illustrations for Best of the New Wave, a science fiction anthology from Bluejay Books (NY). In another project, Ray Bradhury's Fever Dream, (Armadillo/St. Martin's Press, NY), he used a CAD 3-D model as a reference. Darrel was also the winner of the Antic DEGAS art contest. (See Antic, July 1986 for his winning entry.) He is also the author of the Future Design disk, a collection of CAD 3-D parts enabling you to build futuristic robots, spaceships, tanks and other science fiction vehicles. The Future Design disk is available from The Catalog.

Christopher Chabris, one of our ST language experts, has appeared in every issue of START and became a Contributing Editor as of last issue. A student of computer science at Harvard University, he is completing a book on artificial intelligence which will be published this year by Dow Jones-Irwin/Multi-science Press. Christopher is among the top 50 chess players in the United States under 21 years of age, and has won a National Master's rating.

Dale Giarratana, author of MacroPix, is currently a junior at Brick Memorial High School in Brick, New Jersey. Between the ages of 9 and 14 he engaged in the sport of Moto-Cross Racing, and at 15 acquired a yellow belt in Judo. Presently he is an instructor of BMX (bicycle moto-cross) at the Shore Area YMCA. Dale got involved in computers through a computer course in school, and improved his skills by working on the 8-bit Atari computers. Dale is familiar with Logo, BASIC, Action!, Fortran, and Pascal. MacroPix is his first published program.

Contributing Editor Tom Hudson is the author of DEGAS, DEGAS Elite, and CAD 3-D, versions 1.0 and 2.0. He was head of programming with ANALOG Computing from 1982 to late 1985 before leaving to become a free-lance software developer. Tom has written two previous articles for START-"Stealing the ST Printer Driver" and "Swapping Art With Other Computers" in issues 1 and 2 respectively.

Tom's first computer was an IBM 1620 that he played with in high school. He worked his way through college teaching computer neophytes, then landed a job as programmer/operator at a savings and loan while earning his BS in data processing. Tom lives in Mission, Kansas and is a SYSOP in the 16-bit section of CompuServe.

Tom Jeffries has, been a professional musician for more than 15 years. He has played first trumpet with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the San Jose Symphony. He has also recorded with Dave Brubeck and on numerous TV and radio shows.

Tom currently heads a company called Singing Electrons that develops and translates soundtracks and music-related software for microcomputers. He has written programs for the Atari ST, the Atari 8-bit computers, the Amiga, the Apple II, the Commodore 64, the IBM PC, and the Radio Shack Color Computer.

In addition to the ST version of MIDI Magic, Tom is doing development work for Dr T's Music Software on the ST and has written or collaborated on CZ Patch, a patch editor for the Casio CZ-101, CZ-1000, CZ3000, and synthesizers; Dr. T's KCS, a professional sequencer, and Dr. T's MIDI Studio, a sequencer for nonprofessional musicians.

Alex Leavens and his partner, Shirley Russell, have designed and created more than 30 projects for Atari computers and game machines. One of their games, the parody adventure Wombats I, is currently in the Smithsonian Institution. At present Alex is working on an ST educational program for Jerry and Roberta Pournelle.

Alex got the impetus to write the START Desktop Icon Editor when he got tired of looking at the ST's standard Desktop icons. "I brought in the original version of the program to START's offices, and the editors said, 'Hey, this is great!' Then they paused, and said, 'Ya know, there're some changes you could make.' So I made the changes, came back, and they said, 'Hey, this is really great!' Then they paused, and said, 'Ya know. . . ' This happened four times, but the final results are worth it." Alex and Shirley both graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.S. in Math and Sociology, respectively They live in Fremont, California.

Brian Lee bought his first computer, an Atari 800, in early 1981. After directing budgeting and expense control for The Gap Stores, Inc. he joined Synapse Software and established the Applications Product Division. He worked on the design and managed the development of SynCaIc, SynFile+ and SynTrend for the Atari. In February of 1984 he took over running Synapse after its acquisition by Broderbund Software. After finishing the final consolidation with Broderbund he left and formed Forte, in conjunction with Mike Silva, author of SynCaic. Forte specializes in custom hardware and software development work for the IBM market. Brian and Mike have completed several dBASE projects and are currently working on a major consumer software project. Brian holds an MBA in Finance.

Daniel Moore, along with partner Steve Ahlstrom, has written several programs for the 8-bit Ataris, including Paperclip and SynFile. He is also the co-author (with David Small) of "The Amazing Mousetrap" in START issue 2.

Dan recalls his first computer was a Hewlett Packard 2114B in high school: "It was the size of an extra-large, legal file cabinet and contained 8K words of memory. It used paper tape and a 30-line Fortran program took three hours to compile."

Dan attended the Colorado School of Mines. "We were six blocks from a Coors brewery and I remember waking up in the dorm, opening a window and taking a breath of Rocky Mountain hops." Dan is currently working on the Hometext portion of Russ Wetmore's HomePak for the ST, and on Paper-clip Elite for the ST.

Howard Oakley is a doctor in the British Royal Navy, specializing in physiological research. He became involved with computers over ten years ago, and has since progressed from mainframes to micros. He has degrees from Oxford University, Cardiff and King's College, London. He served with the Royal Marines Field Hospital during the Falkiands Conflict in 1982, then in 1984 spent nine months in the Antarctic, carrying out research during the Joint Services Expedition to Brabant Island. In his spare time he has run the expedition's database, first on an IBM PC XT and now on an Atari 1040 ST.

Dr Oakley lives in an early- nineteenth-century house in a rural part of the Isle of Wight, UK, with his wife and daughter. He particularly enjoys walking, camping and cross-country skiing, and has a large, all-encompassing library of books and software which threatens to take over his entire house.

David Plotkin, another of START's ST language experts, has written countless programs, in both BASIC and ACTION!, for our sister magazine Antic. In past issues of Antic, he has authored a series of beginner's programming tutorials. An engineer at Chevron USA, David designs and builds oil processing plants and offshore platforms. David recently had his first professional program, Miniature Golf Plus (for 8-bit Ataris) published by XLENT Software. Now, he is busily programming in Personal Pascal and hasn't turned on his 8-bit Atari in months.

David Small has contributed a wealth of technical articles to various computer magazines, including Creative Computing, Antic, and the first two issues of START ("Voodoo Computing" and "The Amazing Mousetrap" - the latter with Dan Moore). He has three books, including Guidebook for Winning Adventures (Baen Enterprises, NY., NY) which he co-authored with his wife, Sandy. Their fourth book was released in January.

David is also the developer of the Magic Sac (otherwise known as the Mac Cartridge), a plug-in card that allows your ST to run Macintosh software. He has worked for several computer companies and is now a consultant, freelance writer, and busy father of two children.