STOSSER Issue #1 (April 1993)

Tony’s Article



This is to show you all just how easy it is to write an article, so there will be no reason why the postman won’t be crawling up to my doorstep with a sack-full of mail.

It’s a license to waffle on about things without anybody butting in. You can have a moan or, or, or whatever you want. For instance, I’m going to have a moan right now!

Is it just me being paranoid or has anybody else noticed how STOS users are treated as inferior among the coding community? I noticed in this month’s ST FORMAT (by the way, I’m not knocking the mag – it’s very good) they ran a few pages on programming and how to get into it. They reviewed the various languages that could be used and well … I don’t know if you saw it, but I wasn’t impressed with what they had to say about STOS.

I know it’s billed as “The GAME CREATOR”, but they did make it sound a bit naff, like you could make some sprites and make them shoot at each other and that’s about it. In my opinion they showed it in a very poor light.

A good program written in STOS, compiled and crunched, and you wouldn’t know if it was made in C, assembler, pascal or any other language – as long as you change the mouse pointer and don’t use the fade command.

In the same edition, in the letters page, was a piece written by a gentleman who writes in C and all his letter consisted of was how hard C is and how easy STOS is and how C users have to work everything out for themselves, while all a STOS user does is look it up in the manual and that’s that. Huh! WHAT !

Picture this … It’s three in the morning and I am sat at my computer still trying to figure out how to do a certain routine or remove a certain bug. The program is nearly finished but I’ve got to do this last bit. I am pulling my hair out, I am swearing like a trooper, I am close to a nervous breakdown, it’s killing me, I can’t do it. And in walks the bloke who writes in C and calmly says, “WHY NOT LOOK IT UP IN YOUR MANUAL?”



By the way, does the above scenario sound familiar or what? I can’t believe it some nights. There I am, with the best of intentions, “Oh, I’ll just do an hour”. Next thing you know, it’s nearly time to get up and you haven’t even got down, so to speak. Ever thought of topping yourself? If you have done any amount of programming then you’d have done half a program or more, then LOST IT!

Since I started programming in STOS I’ve had to buy a cat … Well, you’ve got to kick something haven’t you? (joke).

This is one to watch out for … Did you know that if you use a pound sign in a REM statement it will erase all of your program from the line you used it on, honest, try it and see. Put a œ at the end of your REM, run it and it will either erase your program straight away or when you list it or be really nasty and erase it all when you save it to disk, then you only find out when you load it back up. You have been warned!

How many times have you had STOS jam up on you? Nothing happens, no matter what you press … and it’s always just before you were going to save!

I shouldn’t be saying all this really, because the good far out ways the bad. As far as I am concerned, STOS is the best language available and not just for making games. If someone will send me a program that’s not a game, I will review it and, if you want, I will give it away in this diskzine. Go on … do it.

Have you heard the latest , Atari are bringing out an STFM for £159 and are expecting to sell 150,000 of them ,Well the more people who own ST’s then the more people who will want your P D program’s etc , So get coding, but don’t make them 1 meg programs as the new machines are only 520s and by all account’s will be very expensive if not impossible to upgrade, I will also be interested as to what TOS will be installed ?

I now have proof that the new FALCON computer is NOT a figment of Atari’s imagination, You see i met someone, who knows someone, who has a brother , whos girlfriend’s dad works in a factory where the canteen assistants nephew best friend know’s someone who has a friend who’s dad has actually seen a FALCON so there! it does exist !


Well, I think that’s about it for now. As this is the first issue, I have to do all the files myself. Hopefully, I will be getting something from YOU to put in. If you haven’t already, click on the WANTED box and you will see what I am after.

Until next month …

This is TONY GREENWOOD signing off.


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About author View all posts Author website

Neil Halliday

Neil started coding in STOS in 1989 just after it was released in the UK.

During those 31 years he has written numerous demo screens, routines, games and extensions, most of which are now lost due to a massive hard disk crash. What remains on floppy disk is still being discovered and posted on the STOS Coders website and stored in the cloud for everybody to enjoy (or laugh at).

Neil is the author of the GBP Extension which added some pretty cool commands to STOS, along with the "Development" extension that enabled enhanced STE functionality, including probably one of the simplest hardware scrolling routines around.

Along with Bruno Azzara, Geoff Harrison and Mike Halliday we had loads of fun back in the day trying to push STOS to it's limits. We are all now enjoying bringing our knowledge to a new generation of STOS Coders.

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