On this date, one of the most prominent, influential, and gentle guys in the Atari 8-bit scene died: Radek Štěrba, also known as R.A.S.T.E.R.

On the 30th of July, I was preparing my stuff for the Fujiama party. When I was there last year, I met Raster personally after all the years of admiring him and using his tools, games, demos, and hardware. He always had the strangest and funniest ideas of what to do and how to do it on the Atari. We all competed in his multijoy game, Cervi. He won - of course :-)

Radek and me at Fujiama 2010
Radek wins at Fujiama 2010
I was hoping to see him again next week. Now I'm devastated and, to be honest, don't know how to handle it. I met him on the 30th of July, and that's also the day I lost him.

For those who did not have the chance to meet him personally, I recommend having a look at the more than 100 releases from Radek. And that's only the software part. Therefore, I provide the English translation of Fandal's blog entry from 2008-01-28. Thanks to twh for the German translation.

Tribute to Raster

When writing something about Radek Štěrba, you cannot but write in superlatives. For most Atarians, he is a living legend, simply superhuman. For some, even a demigod. Imagine that. Raster is dedicated to software and hardware development, is an outstanding musician, graphic designer, and coder, and writes games and demos. In the world, there are not many people like him, especially not here with us. When Jirka Bernášek (Bewesoft) and Davi Spilka (Datri) left the Atari scene, he had absolutely no competitors left in the Czech Republic, and nothing indicates that this situation will ever change. So, let us take a closer look at Raster.

Let's start with software. The database on "a8.fandal.cz" contains more than 80 (!!) entries with his name - quite unbelievable. Some of the most famous games from Raster include undoubtedly the outstanding Naturix, Magnetit, Videopoly, and Dangerous Street, as well as the games series created in cooperation with Robert Knill, including Gunhead, Predator, and Imagine. He recently made top-rated Multijoy games like Cervi, Cervi 2, and Shot Them All. In the demo scene, Raster scored a lot with his "Self Demo" and his 1kb intros, with which he beat his competitors at the famous Forever Party on more than one occasion. Of course, we should not forget the famous Raster Music Tracker, a Windows music editor that unleashed a real revolution in the musical development of the small Atari. Finally, Raster created a large amount of native and cross-platform utilities. All this is just unbelievable!

And the list does not end with Raster's software activities in the Atari Scene. He is also a hardware guru. By creating Multijoy, Raster created an interface that makes it possible to connect eight or even 16 joysticks to a single Atari. This hardware wonder allows you to play together simultaneously. Moreover, our hero is responsible for the S/XEGS RAMCart Project, a programmable 128 kB cartridge supporting most of our beloved Atari computer's cartridge types. At present, Raster is working with "Bob!K" on another - initially top-secret - hardware project, which will make an impact again – you can be sure of that.

To summarize, Raster is a hyperactive Atari all-rounder, an Atari master at the professor level, Atari Club Prostějov's driving force, the Flop magazine's first man, and a superstar with the format who deserves a monument. He is by far the most notable and famous Czech Atarian of all time, and his popularity will continue growing yearly. We can be glad to have him in our midst. I believe that not only foreign Atarians but also people from other platforms are secretly envious of us. P.S.: If this tribute sounds like some heroic epic, then you should know this is entirely intentional. This man deserves it. Someone just had to say it.