Our latest special collection: The ACE-St. Louis “NewsLine”

It’s time to stop waiting.

Years ago, I scanned and OCRed my own collection of eight issues of “NewsLine”, the newsletter of the Atari Computer Enthusiasts of St. Louis, or ACE-St. Louis, club.

Of course there were many more issues of the “NewsLine” beyond these eight. I held off publishing them for a long time, hoping to obtain more issues, or perhaps even the complete collection. I’m still working toward that, but I realize there’s no point delaying publishing what I already have.

So here you go! You can find the issues in the Special Collections section of Break Into Chat. These issues will also be added to the Internet Archive.

My history with ACE and the NewsLine

In 1990, when I was about 10 years old, my dad became a member of ACE-St. Louis.

Membership in this club meant we occasionally attended ACE meetings and we received the club’s newsletter, the “NewsLine,” in the mail.

An advertisement for Flash BBS in the ACE-St. Louis NewsLine.

The pages of “NewsLine” are where I first saw advertisements for local Atari bulletin board systems, like “Flash” and “The Word.” Later, Terry Shoemaker, an ACE officer and the publisher of the “NewsLine,” showed me how to set up a terminal program and connect to his BBS, “Gateway City.” I was online! My life would never be the same.

I always enjoyed reading the “NewsLine” when it arrived in our mailbox each month.

Perhaps my favorite article appeared in the July 1992 issue: “Convert a basic Nintendo controller to the Atari ST.

I was so excited to try this that I talked some neighbor friends into giving us one of their original NES controllers to hack. My dad probably handled the soldering. We followed the directions — and it worked! We could use a Nintendo controller to play games on our Atari computers instead of a joystick. It’s hard to overstate how cool this was to me as a teenager.

Over the next few years, I increasingly embraced the ACE club and the Atari scene, even as both were dying.

In 1993, my uncle helped my parents secretly obtain an Atari Jaguar 64-bit game system when it was released, which they gave me and my brothers for Christmas.

And then I reached the pinnacle of my Ataridom: I became the club’s ST disk librarian.

I even contributed two articles for the Winter 1994 issue of the ACE Newsline. One was a review of the Jaguar, and the other was about the ST disk library. By that time, Terry was desperate for articles. Atari was dying, and so was the club. But that didn’t dampen my teenage enthusiasm.

Now, 30 years later, I’m happy to share these eight issues of the NewsLine. I hope to add more in the future.

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