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Ben Mansill

The Atomic era concludes and we were magnificent

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3 minutes ago, Fenn said:

Like so many of you, when I think of Atomic the first thing that comes to mind are the friendships: the dozens of beautiful, wonderful people who are now some of my best friends; the hundreds of others who I love to hang out with at meets or parties; the thousands of casual acquaintances I always knew I could chat with and have fun with. Atomic was - is - a safe place. I can be myself here. I have always felt accepted without judgement (except by Leonid, of course). I've argued, flirted, joked, complained, trolled, insulted, lectured, fought, forgiven,  partied, changed my mind, made friends with some people I never thought I would be friends with. Through sixteen years Atomic has been the backdrop against which I grew up.

 

That's enough. It should be enough. I have made more close friends on Atomic than any other place - schools, unis, workplaces, hobbies. And yet - Atomic is more than that. It must be more than that, because I know that when the lights go out in the Green Room for the final time all those friendships will still be here; but I am in tears tonight as I have been every night since I heard the news. I am grieving for something that is more than the friendships I made.

 

It is no exaggeration to say that Atomic changed my life. In a very real way it set me on a completely different path. There are heaps of Atomicans who have gone into IT-related fields, or into journalism, thanks to their involvement with the magazine; my journey was a little different. One day someone posted a farewell letter on Atomic. Someone saw it, and flagged it with a mod. The mod called someone, who called someone else, and eventually a panicked someone called AD - they thought we might know this person in meatspace, could we find their real name or address? Could we get the police there?

 

We dropped what we were doing and ran for the car. While one Atomican called the police, we drove as fast as we could to his house, and I found myself sitting on the back steps feeling my way through my first ever suicide intervention, hoping like hell I could reach through the pain to convince this desperate man that there was a good reason to survive until tomorrow.

 

There were others. Sometimes in my PMs, sometimes in chatrooms or text messages, there were other Atomicans. It kind of got to be a habit. I don't know why you chose me. I don't know what you saw in me that made you reach out to a judgemental, holier-than-thou, argumentative brat but you did, and I came to understand that somehow this is something I'm good at. Better than that, it's something I love.

 

Eventually I decided I shouldn't keep blindly fumbling my way through crisis interventions, and I should get some training. I went off to Lifeline and applied to be on the phones. By the end of my six month training period - before I'd gotten onto the phones, in fact - they had offered me a full time job as a trainer. I quit my (high paying, very cushy) job in workers compensation and plunged into the (much lower paid and completely insane) world of a Lifeline trainer. I've not only done hundreds of suicide interventions, and answered a thousand other crisis calls, I've trained a dunnamany people in how to cope should they find themselves in the situation I faced that first day when I sat on the cold concrete wondering if I was saying the wrong thing, if this conversation would end with life or death.

 

I don't know - I can't know - whether any one conversation I had with an Atomican made any real, long term difference. If you hadn't spoken to me, you would have spoken to someone else. You might have gotten through it on your own. But you set me on this path, and I have saved lives. Maybe not in the same way as Noddy (and I sure as shit can't tell you any of the hair-raising stories), but there are people who lived another day because of me. It started with you, Atomic.

 

I remember when you reached out to me when I was suffering back in the day (and I never properly thanked you for it I don't think, so believe me, I am thankful). It doesn't surprise me that you've taken that compassion and made a life's purpose out of it.

You're good people.

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Thanks Fenn, that helped stir up some memories in me.

 

At the time I bought the first edition with the T-shirt (which was the initial reason to look at it, unusual inclusion at the time) and was surprised to see overclocking as an article subject (though my knowledge of it at the time was probably limited to stuff like running a 4x33 MHz Pentium at 5x33 or something like that, my interest in computing had only just started a resurgence.

I'd been in the industry, and out and in since the mid 80s and at times was disillusioned by the whole thing.   I think Leo posted something similar as in you work with these machines then can just come to hate them.

 

Anyhow, I jumped in just about to the point of obsession and from 2001-5 or so lived on the bleeding edge where we'd try and sometimes get burnt by the latest betas coming out of VIA and nVidia.  At times through that or a failed overclock or memory tweaking session, trash the Windows 98 install to the point of having to reinstall.  I guess luckily in those days you only had a few Gig of data online and quickly learned to segregate stuff to a second drive.

 

Next thing you know, I like these infernal machines again, and for a time I spent more time tweaking and fiddling than I did using it as an appliance like most people do.  And I was able to provide tech advice around here.

 

Then the meetings and social stuff started around early 2002.  DaJoBo was probably the first Atomican I met for real, shortly followed by Chef, Tin Reaper and Lord Teaspoon.  Then followed just hours later by about another 150 or so at Latrobe in Melbourne for my first major Atomic meet down there.

A year or two later, met much of the remainder of the Canberra crew.  We had our share of small and medium social events, I recall even organising a golf game and camping trip or two.

Also remember having about 10 or so Atomicans packed into my lounge-room (with apologies for me smoke-filling it) after a meet, and giving them the funny pic slide-show from PC to TV.

 

I also remember the LAN event around Cronulla in early 2003 - the exact day the bushfires were happening here.  I was partying on but DaJobo and Chef were taking it easy, getting the occasional phone calls from their wives, and wondering if we'd have to suddenly pack up and head back.

 

Late 2004 at Fox Studios (the old Sydney Showground) I'm fairly sure was my last major event.  And that was thanks to AD paying my accomodation as I wasn't in very good financial shape at the time.

In the few years after that though, I can remember attending and even organising a few small local ones.

 

And a memorable camping trip to the nationa park near Bermagui, NSW south coast.

Tin Reaper was my driver and we met Lancer2K en-route.  I think it was just a one night camp.

On the return home he was good enough to stop at the aged care home near Bateman's Bay while I went in for a half hour visit.

I didn't know it at the time, but that was to be the last time I ever saw my grandfather, in early 2005.

I'm grateful to have been able to have seen him, and with him still in reasonable health at the time.

 

The role of this place in my life changed a bit after the mid 2000s.  My computer became more appliance than toy (though still played and play games).  The tech sections started to take a back seat to General Chat/Green Room.  Then the magazine went away.

 

But this place and the Atomican spirit - survived.

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, AccessDenied said:

IT's sad.  Not unexpected.  But sad

 

TBH, I have been pretty much continually surprised that it hadn't been given the axe already, every day since the last buy-out.

 

 

Edited by Cybes
Cropped out a dp.
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Ugh it kinda really sucks, the more I think about it.

Atomic is special. It was my first non-boring computer magazine, it came out just as I was starting to build my own PC's and I loved it. I know that there's other mags still out there and going strong, but they lack a certain je ne sais pas that Atomic had.

Couldn't exactly explain why but Atomic felt different. I still have a poster on my wall that came in I think an anniversary issue, that had the Atomic logo made out of everyone's forum avatars.

As for the forums, Atomic was the first online forum I ever joined. I was never prolific, but I was always lurking. I have fond memories of joining [AC-DC] when Battlefield 3 first came out.

I remember that guy (whose name, forgive me, I can't remember) that used to post a lot in the gaming sections about how amazing PS3's were, and how Heavenly Sword was the best game ever. He used to get a lot of shit (Though it was generally good natured), but then he died in a car crash and everyone was really sad.  

Or the time in 2005 when I started WoW and posted here asking for advice and got heaps of help and pointers.

And, obviously, the green slushie.

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It certainly do suck  Dapper_Dan  ☹️

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20 hours ago, Dasa said:

Guess I wont be doing another update to the parts guide here.

Shame the forum is dead as it is still the sexiest forum out there with the black background and colored text options.

And then there is the people... some of the few that are left really know there shit.

 

Hi Dasa,

 

I don't know how many years it's been but your parts guide has always been my first port of call when doing a build for myself, family or friends.

 

For me it encapsulates the Atomic I first joined - helping others build the best they can.

 

Thanks for the thousands of hours you put in to that thread, I'm sure there are many Atomicans who have been helped by it and the advice you offered.

 

Cheers and take care.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mac Dude said:

Thanks for the thousands of hours you put in to that thread, I'm sure there are many Atomicans who have been helped by it and the advice you offered.

Your welcome.

Tech is a passion so I enjoy following the hardware and I have more free time than most which makes it easier to pass on.

I have a bit of involvement in the whirlpool parts wiki if your looking for another parts guide in the future even if it doesn't look as nice it still has some good info.

https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/rmp_sg_whirlpoolpcs

Edited by Dasa
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10 hours ago, Dasa said:

Your welcome.

Tech is a passion so I enjoy following the hardware and I have more free time than most which makes it easier to pass on.

I have a bit of involvement in the whirlpool parts wiki if your looking for another parts guide in the future even if it doesn't look as nice it still has some good info.

https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/rmp_sg_whirlpoolpcs

 

ha !  i have recently grabbed the ryzen 5 3600 and a mortar max myself, quite independently if that excellent recommendation

 

i have recommended that wiki to many people over the years  🙂

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Posted (edited)

We're doing OG avatars?

 

Let's go OG avatars.

 

<---- THIS takes me back...

 

Edit: What tak said.

Edited by SquallStrife
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8 hours ago, SquallStrife said:

We're doing OG avatars?

 

Let's go OG avatars.

 

<---- THIS takes me back...

 

Edit: What tak said.

 

As you know, I never had one...................but since the forum automatically assigns you one now...............I might as well load one up!

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Thanks for all the great times during the early 2000's, the lan parties, the outings and the community. 

Plenty of old faces floating around OCAU so I'm sure I will continue to see many of you around there.

 

Best of luck with everything in the future.

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Posted (edited)

The end of an era.  I check in from time to time, but life has moved on, priorities have changed... but it was always nice to come back to the green on black world that is Atomic.

 

I gave away all the physical magazines a long time ago, although I still have at least Volume One of the digital collection (was there a Vol 2?)  They are in an older djvu format which requires a viewer and exporting them to PDF or something more useful is very very painful.  One day I might spend the time.

IMG_5612-2016x1512.jpg

 

 

To go with the last, lets remember the first:

atomic2.jpg

Edited by The_Hawk
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Oh hey Ben.  Thanks for all your efforts over the years, it was a great learning experience for me and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. 🙂

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Posted (edited)

The pleasure was all mine good sir. 🙂 

Edited by Director
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5 minutes ago, Director said:

The pleasure was all mine good sir. 🙂  Which character was than again?  😛

Mr. Bean PNG images free download, Rowan Atkinson PNG

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I'm someone who went where Ben went - from Hyper to PCPP to early Atomic. Ben, you were the voice of PC journalism at that key point. You set up some great platforms and I bet a large proportion of professional nerds in this country would still recognise your name with fondness!

 

 

 

And I guess this settles the atomic vs powerplay thing once and for all. In the end they both lost. 😄

 

 

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1 hour ago, .optimus. said:

And I guess this settles the atomic vs powerplay thing once and for all. In the end they both lost. 😄

 

 

 

Powerplay lost first tho. 😛

 

 

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3 hours ago, Director said:

Wait wut?

 

 

I've been waiting to see you  hope life is treating you as fairly as it can :)

 

now I just need to see @tantryl and @SnowSquirreI and @twinairand, well, it will be a little less questionable

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