Pure Bollocks

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PB #21 Ident
Pure Bollocks was an Atari diskmag which was published between January and September 1993. Only three issues were published, although articles were written for an uncompleted fourth issue. The magazine was self-styled "underground" in style, and took forthright stances on various issues including the Atari scene, piracy, hacking, the internet, and even political issues. It was also known for it's irreverent approach to virtually all aspects of diskmag conventions

Editorial Team

Members of PB Productions aka the PB editiorial team were:

  • EGB's Smelly Sox - Editor, writer, intros, code, putting together
  • Genie (Also of Network Trash) - Co-editor, Writer, GUI engineer
  • Flowerman - Intros, writer
  • Gigantic Left Teste aka GLT - Intros, writer
  • Dwarf (Also of The Enforcers) - Writer, code

Occasional contributors

  • Agrajag
  • Assassin of the Enforcers
  • BAT
  • Bip of Hopeless Lamers
  • The Coke fiend
  • ESP
  • Matrix
  • Mr Orb
  • MUG UK
  • Potsan of Lemmings
  • Rich Tea
  • Robo
  • Rolf Rolphnic
  • Wheee the Fibble
  • Wintermute

History

The initial issue of Pure Bollocks resulted from the remains of two stalled projects. One was a planned sequel for the Perpetual Dawn Demo by it's co-creator EGB's Smelly Sox; the other the Network Trash Megademo by Network Trash, an online crew. A major feature of this demo was that it would feature articles and discussions by the group in text format on it's own custom document displayer. The coder of this display, and chief coder of the megademo, was Genie, also a friend of EGB's Smelly Sox.

When the Network Trash Megademo fell through, Genie joined with EGB's Smelly Sox to make a one-off diskmag in around mid October 1992. Initially intended to showcase the Network Trash articles and general online issues such as phreaking and the Internet, the scope of the magazine rapidly expanded to include elements of the Scottish scene. An influence on the house style was Amazine issue 1, which was starting to spread around the UK scene. Also, as the magazine was intended to be a one-off, many of the conventions of Atari diskmags were treated in an irreverent manner. This is most apparent in the naming of the magazine as Pure Bollocks, and the decision to number the issue as 21, a random number. (Which also happened to be larger than any Atari diskmag published at the time.) As the magazine neared completion during the Christmas period, there was major downturn in Atari scene activity amid criticism of Atari's handling of the rollout of it's Falcon computer in competition to Commodore's already released Amiga A1200. Much of the criticism filtered through to the diskmag, particularly in an editorial excoriating Atari's behaviour, but also in a general irreverence to areas of the "offical" ST Scene such as magazines and public domain libraries.

PB #21 was released on 16th January 1993. In the endpiece article, written just before release, EGB's Smelly Sox admits that the magazine was intended to be a one-off, but was considering continuing depending on the reaction. In fact, the reaction was strong enough to lead to a 2 disk issue, numbered #22, on 27 March 1993. A further 2 disk issue, #23, appeared on the 18th of September of the same year.

However, due to the various members workload in other areas, momentum stalled on a fourth issue. Initially planned for release on January 1994, PB #34 (Based on a numbering system of (year+1).issue_no ) did not appear. Two attempts to resurrect the process, one in 1995 and another 1997, failed to generate enough momentum. A number of articles intended for the issue briefly surfaced on PB fan site. One of which, A Day in the life of a Console Freak was awarded Cruel Site of the Day. The last official release from PB Productions was The Jaguar demo, an intro for the Atari Falcon on the 4th Feburary 1994

Format

The magazine was released on 82 track 10 sector double density disks in a custom "dual" format containing two partitions: one a standard GEMDOS partition containing free PD and shareware files, (The "coverdisk") the other a raw sector data partition with custom filetable containing the magazine data. (In the two disk editions, the second disk was entirely raw sector data.) The magazine was entirely system independent, and used it's own custom memory management, loader, and GUI; and contained the following elements:

  • Bootloader - The initial loader and system were loaded off the bootsector, and intialised whilst the release date of the magazine was displayed. From PB #22, this also included a "cover picture". Once initialisation was completed, loading of the magazine started off with a "ripple" effect, displaying different logos throughout the loading process, starting off with the copying information. In PB #23, the ripples were linked to the disk loader's track seek command, resulting in the logos rippling in time with the sound of the disk drive.
  • "Made in Scotland" intro aka "Scot-tro" - The first two issues contained brief "ident" intros announcing the magazine and the fact that it was made in Scotland, both by Flowerman.
  • "Menu" intro aka "Mentro" - The "opening titles" of the magazine, in which the editor welcomes the user to the magazine, announces the contents, and give greetings to other crews. The user is then presented with the option to load the intro, go straight to the magazine, or go to the desktop to access the GEMDOS partition.
  • Intro - additional intro before the main magazine is loaded. After running, on the two disk edition, the user is prompted to insert the second disk.
  • Ramdisk - from the second issue onwards, the magazine interface and articles were pre-loaded into a ramdisk on computers with more than 1 megabyte of memory.
  • Article Menu - an article selector, with articles grouped by sections, allows the user to select an article my muse, keyboard, or by article number. The interface includes a vertical scroller on the left.
  • Network Trash Document Displayer - the main article displayer, originially intended for the Network Trash Megademo. Modelled on the GUI of Alien's Pompey Pirates Doc Displayer. The article is software scrolled in full frame-rate in medium resolution. There is also a help screen in lo-res with rasters and scroller.
  • Music Selection screen - the user can select accompanying chip music to play whilst reading the magazine, or save the music to disk. The display is a modified version of the "ripple" effect in the loader, with the ripples split into red, green and blue components, linked to the 3 chip music channels.


Links

  • Pure Bollocks issues on pouet.net [1]
  • Pure Bollocks issues on archive.umich.edu [2]
  • Perpetual Dawn Demo on pouet.net [3]