Shine 7 reviewed

A Reading Prophet of Hugi

Yesterday, Shine issue 7 was released, without any advertisement or other announcement I noticed. I found it just by coincidence: I was on IRC when Tomcat asked on #pixel if any Shine editor was online. This inspired me to check the Shine website, and there it was - plus a bugfix, "version 3". So Baloo has managed to finish the mag sooner than planned: The article deadline had been April 15, the release scheduled for Mekka & Symposium 2k - and the actual release a week before it.

3.4 mbyte plus 100 kbyte for the bugfix was more than usual to download. I felt a bit reminded of Hugi 18 (*grin*). Yet the size is moderate, compared to how huge modern demos are mostly... So although I still creep around with a 56 kbps modem, the size was okay for me.

I unpacked both the mag and the bugfix and first executed fixme.bat, which added some data to the mag library, replaced shine.exe and cleaned up the directory a bit (e.g. renamed the file_id.diz.txt to file_id.diz - obviously the diz had been created and saved with Notepad), without deleting itself though. So I did that manually. Okay... ah yes, I could have also deleted libattach.exe, but I was too curious to look at the mag, so I quickly scanned for viruses, opened the diz and then started the exe.

A nice little option menu appeared in front of my eyes... yes, the settings were okay, so let's start. For one second's time, the loading screen (or better, window) appeared, with a nice picture showing a girl. Actually this is the highest quality pic in Shine, as the rest of the mag is underlaid with rather minimalistic background graphics, like for instance colour fades, or just one colour altogether. Doesn't look too bad though. Next comes Baloo's welcome text screen, with the question whether I'm the spring or the autumn type - spring type of course, although I was born in fall. Well, this takes me to a green-blue-yellow main menu layout, accompanied by music by Steffo/Cryonics - it's his typical style, I suspected him to be the creator even before looking at the credits. Had I selected autumn, I'd now see the same stuff in brown-red-dark red, with some slow, rather sad-feeling music by a-move in the background.

The text layout, as Baloo once told me in IRC, has improved a bit indeed. The font in the menu and the charts is a tad small, but no problem for my trained, glasses-doped eyes. In proportion to this, the spaces are still pretty large, but okay. The main change, however, is that Baloo has this time taken the time (ok, this sentence construction has been a bit lame now.. but who cares) to edit the articles so that the dots aren't glued to the following words and they use the full screen-width. Yup, fine! Also, the picture alignment works better now: No pictures hidden by text written over them...

Text-wise, the following is to say: This issue contains about 30 general articles, plus a special about The Party 1999. This special was originally planned to be released as a separate issue before Shine 7, but Baloo decided to merge these two issues to a bigger one.

Let's start with the special first... We have two reports by Replay's coders (Baloo and Whisker), which tell us in detail how they got to the party and what they drank there. Of course illustrated with some pics showing some of TP's guests with the highest SQ (Scene Quotient). Then we have reviews of all the most important releases, enhanced by a rich amount of screenshots; the texts usually have the length of a screen-page or a bit less. Interesting may also be the polls regarding The Party, with questions like "How often have you attended TP?" and "Do you think the right demo won?". Out of the 18 people who took part in the survey, 14 have been at the party at least once. In every category except intros, only a minority thinks the right entry has won. In the intro category, Haujobb's "fuckwit daddy" is accepted by about 61% as the right winner. Furthermore, there is a chart that shows what the TP results would be like if only the survey participiants had been there.

Concerning the general charts, not much has changed, except the design: The buttons are now invisible, you only see a rectangle when you move your mouse over one. And, in addition to the jury charts (9 people), there are also public charts again, this time with 49 voters.

Now to the articles. Hehe, you have been waiting for them, or how shall I interpret the look in your eyes? (Actually I don't even see your eyes, but it's a bit boring just to write without interacting with one's readers, so I try to anticipate your state of mind a bit... Actually I anticipate my state of mind, if I were to read this, but I assume that people who read this weird diskmag section of Hugi's have similar interests as me...) Well, shall I disappoint you and tell you that there's nothing special? Okay, let me list some of the highlights: movie reviews, cook recipes, CD reviews and some stuff about charts and party voting. The author list ranges from Fred over Makke (who decided to send the few texts he has time to write during his military service to various mags he finds worth supporting) to PS, to list the writers with the highest reputation. And we even have a classic IRC log for all people who are very bored.

All in all a nice mag, which does not fully satisfy my hunger for a good read, but might still be pretty enjoyable.

Adok/Hugi - 18 Apr 2000