Review: TUHBzine #5
Written by Adok
Month of release: November'98
RAR-packed size: 1,450,809 bytes
Language(s): English, Dutch
Related URL: http://www.tuhb.org
Main editor: greftek/tuhb
Co-editor: the watcher/tuhb
Code: the mad maniac, the watcher
Music: ryo-ohki, dynamix, silence
Text: bookie, buckshag, darius, eggbird, gec, greftek, hackwizzard, silence, skin, smoke, sweex, the watcher, tlight, underdog, yoji
This Dutch magazine has actually existed for a longer time. To be precise, the first issue was released back in 1996 when Imphobia still existed. After issue two there was a long break, and TUHBzine #3 came out in March 1998, to be followed by the fourth issue three months later. With a delay of two months TUHBzine #4 has now been released; I'll talk about the reason for this delay later. In spite of its long existance, TUHBzine is certainly a new name for you. I have to admit that until recently, it also applied to me, until I was contacted by the zine's staff who missed it in the list of well-known diskmags in my mags.faq. Actually this magazine, although it has always been mainly in English language, has never really been spread outside Holland. That is the reason why it is so unknown. But in Holland, it is said to be very well known and claims to be currently the most popular mag, even more popular than Insight, mainly because Insight again is horribly slow at releasing.
In the future, TUHBzine will do a cooperation with the OverFlow site (http://overflow.scene.org) and perhaps Insight, too. They want to create an online magazine together, which will also be released as a diskmag edition every month. The special thing about this mag is supposed to be that OverFlow, the scene central of the Netherlands, will feature pages that have been designed to motivate to write articles. They will also spread ideas for articles on these pages. In this way they want to increase their amount of articles and create a good magazine for Holland and the world.
Actually TUHB planned to release TUHBzine #5 quickly, announcing the project in it, and then start with the OverFlow magazine. However, they had to wait for their partners, Insight, who wanted to release their third and final issue before the OverFlow project would start. TUHBzine waited for Insight, but it did not come. In this way the 5th issue of TUHBzine got delayed, and the Dutch sceners, who did not know what was going on, got impatient and accused the TUHBzine staff of being late. So in the end as a compromise they released TUHBzine #5 two months after the original release date; Insight #3 is still not out, and therefore it is not 100% sure any more that the Insight staff will participate in the OverFlow project from the beginning on.
Will the OverFlow magazine's concept of getting articles work out? The future will show it. Now let's first have a look at this TUHBzine issue.
After unzipping the archive you will see a neat directory containing file_id-files, an EXE file, a resource file and some info text files. "Does this magazine contain no bonus programs and source codes?" you may ask. Well, it does! But they are hidden. When you click on the "save" button in the interface, often not only the article itself gets saved to the disk in a readable format (ascii, ansi, or WinWord doc), but often a whole ZIP-file which contains the source codes and example programs for the respective article. I find this idea nice! However, the disadvantage is that you have no good view of the bonus stuff and might overlook something. That is why I prefer common bonus ZIP files like in Hugi that are attached to the mag.
After starting the interface, you first get to the IMS soundsetup, then a title picture appears. Having pressed a key, the title picture does not vanish, but some animated buttons for selecting/leaving an article, saving, selecting the background sound and exiting the mag appear in the left part of the screen, as well as a vertical status bar which you can even scroll with the mouse like e.g. in Windows. The right part of the screen contains the text window with a nice-looking background that only disappears when reading the ANSI article (more about it in the "Content" section). One of three musical tunes starts playing.
At first the text window shows the article menu. After selecting an article by clicking on it, selecting it with the keyboard and pressing ENTER, or selecting it with the mouse and clicking on the "read article" button, the article is displayed in the text window, and you can browse through it with the mouse by clicking on the status bar or by the keyboard, as usual.
There are also pictures in the text, which is multi-coloured of course, and even animations.
The interface runs well both under DOS and under Windows, although in Windows it is slow as hell.
This issue features more than 340 KByte of articles, and thus has, as GrefTek half-jokingly comments in his Editorial, passed the "unholy" 300-KByte-border and, according to the mags.faq, has advanced from a small to a medium-sized diskmag. Most articles are in English; only the articles about Nederkomst '98 and a few other ones are in Dutch. Table of Content:
Zine Editorial How to use the interface Submitting Articles Submitting Tunes Contacting us Credits Greetings Scene (News) The OverFlow magazine project Ambience 99 info file (1/2) Ambience 99 info file (2/2) Fusion 98 The Christmas 1998 256 byte DEMO Compo Scene (Misc) Biz 98: 10 good things, 10 bad things Another Bizarre article Autumn Depression Scene(rs) for Dummies How to make my own ANSi en... Dead end Zolang der maar source bij zit (Dutch) Hackwizz & Co. Interview with a Viking Een lekka hak (Dutch) Misc (Misc) Musico Intermino Summertime, Swummertime Guidelines to avoid stupidity A gay trip to Amsterdam The KothogAardbei poolcup Nederkomst Hell om op Nederkomst te komen (Dutch) Live Nederkomst verslagje (Dutch) Nederkomst report (Dutch) Prsentie-lijstje (Dutch) Nederquotes (Dutch) Nerdkomst Coders Corner Coders Corner Editorial Advanced Inline Assembler A little intro on 2D tunnels The making of ... Purple Dreams II 2D rotations and matrices Bughunter V - Why won't they stay dead? Classes - for who, why, when and how Using Midas/JPEGLib with a file system (1/4) Using Midas/JPEGLib with a file system (2/4) Using Midas/JPEGLib with a file system (3/4) Using Midas/JPEGLib with a file system (4/4) Tanuki Studio's Corner Tanuki Editorial Tanuki Studio Report #1 Pocket info RPG Top ten manga pick-up lines Interview with Tanuki Studio How to draw antropomorphics
I have already retold the content of the Editorial in some earlier paragraphs of this review. As the other general articles are too general to be of any interest here, I have already informed you about the OverFlow magazine project, and the Ambience '99 infofile can be found in this Hugi issue, too, let's start with the article about "Fusion 98". Based on a 10-minute IRC-interview with Derange, The Watcher writes about a Dutch party which will be held in order to fill the gap between Bizarre and Ambience. However, this party will not be a real demo scene party but rather a network party, where you can play games and swap stuff. But if the visitors are motivated enough, gfx and music compos might be held.
Let's move on to the "Scene (Misc)" section. The Watcher already has experience in demopartying and therefore feels good enough to point out 10 good and 10 bad things about Bizarre '98. Bad things are for example that his group-mate Bookie's GFX-entry was not shown at the big-screen, though it took part in the competition, and thus got ranked 7th from 8th possible places, and that the User IDs were so wicked that you could hardly remember them if you staid awake for 40 hours. A good thing, on the other hand, was e.g. the increasing number of girls, The Watcher thinks. "Another Bizarre article" comes from GrefTek. Here we have a real party report, though a real short one, namely with a length of 90 lines.
In "Autumn Depression" Skin writes about his lack of motivation to work for the scene he has every autumn, how he copes with it and finally returns to the scene. "Scene(rs) for Dummies" is a rather interesting article by GrefTek in which he tells us about his experiences explaining the scene to non-sceners and giving tips how to explain it the best way in order not to scare them away.
"How to make my own ANSi en..." is the already mentioned ansi article. It is a typical tutorial about ANSI-making as we see it in many so-called artmags - that is, many ansi pictures, only little explanation, and horrible spelling.
"Dead end" was written by Eggbird/ClubLantic, a member of the tracking scene who only knows little about the demoscene. A big part of this text, however, originated after a long and interesting chat with Rythem, who recently left the scene. To sum it up, the article deals with the demo scene going down and lamers and commercial dudes taking it over. I think that rather applies to the tracker scene than to the demo scene.
The headline "Hackwizz & Co." contains a bunch of short articles written by Tha Hack Wizzard. The topics are "My life as a "scener" :)", "Linux, and the upcoming popularity of it", "My group Insomniac", "Some lame scene happings", "Some cool scene happings", "Last words & Greetinx". Below-average quality, mainly because of the length (most of these articles consist of two paragraphs only).
The "Interview with a Viking", to be precise Purple Viking, was made by The Watcher. Purple Viking has been a member of TUHB since Bizarre '98 and comes from the USA.
"Musico Intermino" is another article by Eggbird. This time he talks about his favourite topic, music. To be precise, it deals with the question if music will ever be used up, which the development as regards covering tunes makes some people fear. He concludes: "The only thing I say is that music will never be used up."
"Summertime, Swummertime" and "Guidelines to avoid stupidity" are weird articles written by TUHB's female member Bookie.
"A gay trip to Amsterdam" is a funny article by GrefTek that describes how a part of the TUHB crew went to Amsterdam in order to buy new PC equipment for Loki. Next comes "The KothogAardbei poolcup", which again is funny: Sweex describes how he and Limb played pool against the Aardbei group in Utrecht and Amsterdam, which resulted in two draws. They will soon start a third game and then publish the results on OverFlow.
In the Nederkomst section "Nerdkomst" is the only English text. It is a short article by Skin/Quad in which he explains why he did not go to Nederkomst '98 (the recent Dutch sceners' pub-meeting).
Now let's get to the coders corner. The Editorial summarizes the content of the articles in short words. There are some quite good tutorials. Especially interesting is certainly "The making of ... Purple Dreams II". Here The Watcher describes the effects in his winning 4k-intro Purple Dreams II at Bizarre '98. The full sources and the executable are included as an attachment that can be saved to disk. In "Bughunter V - Why won't they stay dead?", The Watcher gives us a live report about his coding an ANSI viewer in a VESA mode for TUHBzine #5 and with what bugs he had to fight. That is a cool article, long and funny. Unfortunately, the Classes tutorial is not displayed in the interface. One can only save it to disk as a WinWord doc file. I hope a fixed version of TUHBzine #5 which does not contain this bug any longer will be released soon.
The Tanuki Studio's Corner is the corner of Bookie's manga/anime drawing studio. Here are most articles by the Tanuki members. This is a really weird corner, consisting of a short report, an interview with the Tanuki Studio founders, some reviews of RPGs for video game consoles and a drawing tutorial in which the readers learns simply nothing. I guess the TUHBzine staff took this corner in their mag only to please Bookie, who is actually drawing rather good manga pics.
The spelling is okay in most articles, except some exceptions like the already mentioned ANSI tutorial. The content of the articles is a different thing.
I personally think there is a lot of crap in this magazine, such as the video game reviews or the "Guidelines to avoid stupidity". If we do not care about that too much, we can also enjoy some good (coding) articles. The interface is stable; only the bug with the Classes articles is disturbing. Moreover, it would be nice to exit the articles with the right mouse key. All in all TUHBzine #5 is a nice mag - nothing special, but not bad either.