Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged – Zombie Edition

Aeons ago, well, in the mid 90s, I programmed the then latest version of a swearing accessory for the Atari ST(E)/TT/Falcon called “The Automated Final Grandson of Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged”.

Wowbagger: A fictitious character from Douglas Adams’ “Life, the Universe and Everything” who, after an incident with a liquid lunch and a piece of elastic band became immortal. Having quickly discovered immortality also has its downside, he decided to insult every being in the universe, in alphabetical order.
Accessory: A program on an Atari computer, that loads upon booting and then remains in memory. In the case of my particular accessory, it remains invisible until a user-configurable number of minutes have passed, after which it will pop up and insult the user (in English or Dutch, depending on the language setting).
Atari: In the context of this article, one of a range of computers popular in the late 80s and early 90s. They were 16-bit computers running an operating system called TOS (The Operating System), not 8-bit (like the Atari XL), nor the old classic Atari VCS game consoles.

In the throes of nostalgia, I fired up an Atari ST emulator, configured it, and decided to upgrade that swearing accessory with the current building blocks used on It was practice I needed for when I’d get around to doing the 42nd Anniversary Edition of ST NEWS,

There were a bunch of things I needed to do:

  • The RSC file needed to be updated;
  • So I needed to re-learn how to work with an Atari RSC editor;
  • I wanted  to  replace the original building  blocks  with  the vastly extended building blocks straight from;
  • So I needed to write VBA code in MS Access to create GfA code with the building blocks in it;
  • So I also needed to re-learn how to work with  the  GfA Basic editor and compiler;
  • I wanted to fix the bug that caused a bomb crash when the .CNF file wasn’t in C:\;
  • I wanted to prevent the entire system from freezing each  time Wowbagger was actually putting together the building blocks  into insult phrases (this was a minor problem before,  but with  there being MANY more building blocks now,  it would now freeze the  system for up to half a minute);
  • The older version of Wowbagger had 3 ratings (U = friendly; PGA = raunchy; XXX = terrible),  but the main database only had 2 (U = friendly to raunchy;  XXX = raunchy to terrible). To  prevent me from having to go through the thousands  of  words one by one,  I changed the 3 old ratings into U = friendly, XXX = terrible, and PGA = a mix of both.

This ‘Zombie’ version has one major improvement:  it can make a lot more insults.  There’s also a disadvantage,  however:  It grew in size by about 180 Kb, so it’s probably of limited use on original hardware with only 1 Mb of RAM. But it is like it is. If you happen to have original Atari hardware, or an emulator, you can download it here!