THE FABULOUS STNICCC 10TH ANNIVERSARY REPORT!
One of the glass-fronted cabins contained what looked like a somewhat
ravaged looking she-male shop window dummy, dressed in PVC styled
dominatrix wear. It was standing perfectly still. Then I blinked, and
it moved! I moved too, smartly out of sensor range of the creature from
the planet weird...
How a large part of the Maggie/Alive! team ended up in the Red Light
district of Amsterdam will be revealed later. The answer has a lot to
do with our being in the Netherlands for the STNICCC 10th Anniversary
Convention, in December 2000.
Some time ago, a whole bunch of idle chat on IRC about the good old
days, turned into an idea that the ultimate slice of memory of the good
old days, should be resurrected on its tenth anniversary. This being
the 'ST News International Christmas Coding Convention', which was to
get that honour.
This was an event that was a long time in the planning, my memory core
dumps over at least a couple of years previously, in which other
memorable parties, such as Error in Line, came and went. By the latter
half of this year, the STNICCC 10th Anniversary was becoming harder to
We decided to tie in a certain other event with this, probably an event
of a similar level of significance. That was, the release of the 10th
Anniversary issue of Maggie. We had missed various dates before, and
STNICCC was really a 'last chance saloon' to get the issue out, whilst
the concepts of "10th" and "anniversary" were still meaningful!
The final weeks up to STNICCC were pretty busy for me, personally
speaking, as Maggie related concerns dominated over all else. Felice
was in charge of the travel arrangements, and I really was too
preoccupied to pay any attention to things such as looking forward to
the event itself. With a ten-month gap from the previous issue, it was
amazing how many people managed to leave their contributions, almost
literally to the last minute! Still, I managed to put Maggie together,
the final part being the final version of the intro from FUN, which was
going to join me on Saturday, at the party.
For the trip, I was taking my Nemesis modified (number 2) Falcon, and
my STe, the latter for the purposes of maintaining the official
realtime article for the party. The Nemesis machine was expected to
only play a minor role in Maggie building, as it was still inherently
wobbly in the mouse/keyboard stability area.
Departure is at a sane time, arrival at the Karsmakers place in
Utrecht, less sane. It is mid-afternoon on the 14th December, when I
load my car and set off in the direction of Felice's place in sunny St
Neots. I was greeted by an empty driveway, but I had been pre-warned
that Felice was picking up John Hayward, and might not be there
straightaway. Shortly after, the happy duo do turn up, and it is to the
serious business of loading up the car, that we turn to next..
Amazingly, this goes well, better than expected, as even Felice's
demands for load space are accomodated within the car, and we are soon
ready to set off, for the great journey into the unknown. Just as we
are setting off, we realise that no-one has any contact details or
address for Richard Karsmakers! A classic case of each assuming the
other had taken care of this issue was what had happened! We do have
his email address on the printed registration form, and John H. has a
mobile phone capable of sending emails, which he does, somewhere along
the lines of "Arrgh help! Need address and phone number!"
Richard K. manages to reply to this, as the much needed information is
on John's phone, by the time we reach Harwich. Also greeting us, is the
news of a forty minute delay (which worked out more like an hour). This
was going to make our eventual arrival seriously late!
Our ship of dreams was, once again, the MV Stena Discovery. I described
it in more detail in my SV2000 report, so I won't do it here again. The
Macdonalds, serving Dutch-sized portions of fries, is where it was
before, the video wall is showing a selection of great and not-so-great
hits, including a selection from that self-adulatory cosmetic freak,
Michael 'Crotchgrabber' Jackson. It is supposed to be the aftermath of
a storm, but we are not troubled by the crossing, and a few short hours
later, we are stumbling down the gangplank, into the Netherlands.
DAY 1.. (Friday 15th December)
A nearby thunderstorm stabs dramatically at the quivering landscape
below, as we head across country, to the sleepy residence of the
Karsmakers. Indeed we are hit by several showers on the way over. These
are not so much mere showers, more like whole city-sized clouds that
gave up the struggle to contain water, and dumped their entire contents
on us in a single outburst!
Still, no worries as we arrive in Utrecht, somewhere in the vicinity
of 2am! We make contact with the Karsmakers, who is willing to meet us
to follow in to his home address, but he is strangely reluctant to come
to where we are, in the grounds of the Park Plaza Hotel. The reason for
his reluctance becomes all too clear, as it is basically impossible to
proceed legally in the direction that Richard suggests, the road
network forces you in the opposite direction! We make it out of the
trap anyway, managing to startle a couple of late night cyclists on the
way, when we take over part of the cycle lane! A couple of dodgy
turnings later, and we are on the way again, and a couple of minutes
later on, manage to find the man himself, at a closed for the night
Getting back to his place is straightforward. It is in a neighbourhood
that can be described as 'featureless modern', apart from a giant
illuminated mushroom (The Tomb of the Unknown Mushroom, perhaps?) He
lives in an apartment block, and we park up beside it, and go into
'stealth mode', all the better not to wake Richard's wife Karin up, as
she has an early start in the morning. A choice of accomodation boils
down to Richard's computer room, cum study, cum heavy metal rumpus
room, as the wall-full of CD's testifies. Or there is a real spare
bedroom, with a proper guest bed, which I take over, after inflating
the air bed for someone else to use. Sleep follows, as social
interaction at 2 in the morning isn't really on...
Morning has broken, and Rice Crispies, especially, and expensively
imported for us, are on the breakfast menu. We have a food-related
surprise for Richard K. too, as his hunger for Branston Pickle, is
satisfied by our importations of the crunchy stuff. (This is apparently
very difficult to get in the Netherlands.) From there, the agenda is a
simple one, get to the party place in Sassenheim, south of Amsterdam,
dump our stuff there, and kill the remaining hours until the official
opening at 18.00hrs.
The journey down is punctuated with more of the sudden downpour events
that enriched our enjoyment of the journey up. It is between showers,
that we arrive at Rich K's workplace, and party venue, the offices of
Lanalyst.These are plush and modern, the corpse of the businessman from
the rival company, killed, stuffed, and placed in the reception area
causes momentary amusement, before we lug our gear into the main hall,
just as the next rainstorm appears. It is around 13.00hrs, so we decide
to head off to Amsterdam, taking the expensive parking, but easy access
Schipol Airport option, rather than trying to leave the car in the city
centre itself. On the train for the last part of the journey, we get
talking to a bunch of people from Birmingham, on a 'relaxing' weekend
in old Amsterdam, and ponder why you always seem to meet someone from
Birmingham, wherever you go abroad!?
We opt to wander aimlessly in the general direction of shops and places
for tourists. No Red Light District, just yet. Instead, we come across
an awful lot of places which seem to specialise in drug-related
souvenirs, subverted popular culture, and some really cool music shops,
one of which was showing a 3-D porno film from the 1960s! (It's
typical, you never have a pair of those funny little green and red
lensed spectacles on you when you really need them!)
Gift of the trip? - In amongst a whole bunch of more orthodox Delft
porcelain, in what looked like a fairly conventional souvenir shop, we
found a rather life-sized delft-patterned willy!
Eventually, after getting soaked, just once too often, we look for
somewhere congenial to spend our last hour or so. We find a small side
street bar, a traditional Dutch pub, which is tiny, seats only a dozen
people, but there is room for us three. After an initially rocky start,
when John H. asked for a Grolsch in a Heineken logo splattered bar, we
seem to get on famously. The time soon flies by, in a blur of Dutch gin
(Jenever) drinking, and edible items are passed around in a Dutch
version of Tapas. A warm glow suffuses the vicinity of CiH, by the time
we get back to Central Station, which doesn't go away until well after
we have returned to the party.
It is a little bit after the official 'doors open' time of 18.00hrs,
when we arrive back at the party, already, the first attendees are
arriving, some of the French guys, and Alex 'Thalion Webshrine'
The first thing that springs to hand, is the setting up and opening of
the grandiosely titled "Official STNICCC Realtime Article." My STe and
Felice's Atari Mono monitor combine to form a state of the art (for
1986) text inputting machine to record the thoughts and deeds of the
Next, is the business of clearing enough space in one of the adjoining
classrooms, to set up our own equipment. The Lanalyst classrooms, or
resource learning areas, or whatever, have been set up with around
twenty PC's each, all on a central server. For the duration of the
convention, we have been allowed free use of these, able to install
what we want, and to use the unlimited net access, in a free and easy
fashion. The only rule seems to be "No hacking!" Which is fair enough.
Also, it is suggested that nothing that is plugged in, should be
unplugged, which makes looking for space to set up non-PC hardware,
With a little bit of discreet shifting around, people do manage this in
the end though. We manage to "claim" a few sets of speakers that are
lying around, for the production of Senior Dads demo type noises a bit
In the confusion, various 'new scene' people arrive in our room, as we
are greeted by Defjam, mOdmate, and MC Laser when they turn up. Also,
Rich K. decides to settle himself in our lair, a bit later on. The tSCc
and Checkpoint people have brought non-wintel hardware with them, and
interesting chippy sounding and coding style activity soon ensues..
The party starts slowly, as it seems I am one of the few who is showing
off non-PC stuff, or doing something with non-Wintel gear, so I get an
unaccustomed audience for the Senior Dads, for instance. However, some
people are getting in their stride, as the Frenchies set up to do some
serious coding. They later disappear out of sight, in one of the
basement rooms, bashing away on a more or less uninterrupted three day
I seek out some food next. The catering has sort of started this
evening, as various sandwiches have been left for the party masses.
These are located in the smart looking restaurant on site. We are
promised free food with regular meals, and snacks available throughout
the day. Indeed, the catering turns out to be one of the most impressive
aspects of the whole STNICCC experience. Mega-sponsorship proving to be
a big help in this case, as we only paid 7.50 ukp for the party
admission! This free provision even extended to a virtually unlimited
supply of the top coders drink, Coca Cola on tap, or available in
tinned form from the drinks dispenser, again, free of charge.
For those people looking for something a little more caffeine-loaded, a
coffee machine sits just around the corner from the realtime article.
The level of provision really could not be beaten, and hats off to Rich
K, for getting the art of in-party catering to this sublime height!
The only thing that is missing, is a bar of the alcoholic beverage sort,
but some people manage quite well enough without this anyway ;-)
This event manages to attract its fair share of former luminaries of
the old style Atari scene, including original STNICCC attenders such as
the original Maggie editor, Sammy Joe, or Michael Schussler. He is
looking fine, a lot less hair than I remember him having, but still
the same indefatigable, ever-smiling Sammy Joe is in there. He has
also crash-landed in the wild hinterlands of respectability, as he is
now married with a child (who is at the ultra-curious two year old
stage of sticking fingers in electrical sockets?) Mike is glad to
see that Maggie is still going, indeed thriving, as he keenly follows
the internet charts that seem to keep us at the top! He is persuaded
into contributing something to a supplemental readme.txt for Maggie,
but that will have to wait until after he has returned from his planned
Amsterdam wild night out..
Other heroes of olden times include the membership of The Exceptions or
'Tex', including the odd wife or girlfriend in tow. They tend to stick
together in a slightly clannish fashion throughout the party, but at
least they do attempt to be sociable. This little gathering of the
great and good includes the famous Mr Hippel, who seems to be working
as far away from the computer games industry as possible?
Representatives of several other groups from the past, include people
from Delta Force, and Synergy, to name two off the top of my head,
are also present, but there are no people from The Lost Boys (Apart
from Stephan Postuma and Sammy Joe) or Carebears who manage to make it
to the party. I suppose the glamourous locations of the Entertainment
software industry being too strong an attraction versus the Netherlands
in the winter?
At least one Frenchman hasn't sought the safety of the cellar, as DBug
lets rip with some of his work on a fairly well known 8-Bit machine,
the Oric Atmos. He seems to be showing what is a new demo for this,
with lots of zooming and rotating effects. This looks wicked! DBug is
using techniques similar to the 2 Alt people, using audio files from a
PC or audio CD, to load in as emulated tape files. (He has the original
tape recorder handy too, should that prove necessary.)
DAY 2.. (Saturday 16th December)
Before we know it, it is midnight. No-one is tired, everyone is too
excited and wired to want to sleep. That is, apart from my unstable
Nemesis Falcy, which decides it has had enough for one evening, so I
switch off and wander around instead.
I encounter Rapido of Synergy, who had managed quite well without a
booze serving bar on the site. He is one of those people who gets very
friendly, when under the influence, also very hard to get away from,
when in that state! Still, you only live once!!
(He did not say "I love you!" in a drunken state, at any stage, which
I also find various 'Teenage' and FUN people in the building. No sign
of Earx just yet with the vital final version of the Maggie intro. He
is not due until later on Saturday. However, the giant looming figure
of Havoc is to hand. He is inflating a large air bed, more of a family
sized 'abandon ship' kit, with a big air pump. The other Dutch guys are
giving him every "encouragement"! The air bed is inflated, and Havoc is
visibly shagged out by the effort, but I manage to borrow the pump for
my much smaller airbed, which is quickly brought to a state of
readiness in case of any sudden nap attacks, later on.
D-Force is wrapped tightly in a set of headphones, concentrating on his
competition entry, NUT and Tinker are messing about, and it is quite
easy to join in with them.
Whilst in the centre hall, we get our first sighting of the fabled next
gen Nuon console, in devkit form. This is playing various things,
including Jeff 'Yak' Minter's latest work, 'Tempest 3000'! This is
cool, in a mad, sparkly sort of way, but we wonder if getting the Yak
onboard means that this project is dying, as he has a nasty track
record of selecting the romantically doomed minority formats, from the
Around the middle of this early morning period, say about three-ish, a
mouse cursor on the realtime starts to move oddly. A quick check with
UVK on the text disks reveals that the Ghost Virus is roaming loose on
No harm done at all, but a swift diskclean and reboot is needed. It is
still a mystery as to whether there was a problem at home that came out
with me,or someone at the party decided to add their own little touches
to the realtime!?
The mood is getting calmer, as more people go to sleep. Felice and John
H. take themselves off downstairs in search of a sleeping place. Even
now, I'm not really tired, but feel that I might regret it, if I don't
make the attempt. Instead of searching for the sleeping area, I make a
go of it where I am, only disturbed by the gentle key-clacking of the
assorted Checkpoint and tSCc members, as they work on.
This proves disturing enough however, as I never really properly manage
to get to sleep. A mist-crazed semi-consciousness is the best I can
manage at that time.
06.00 hours (approx) - CiH gets up.
06.15 hours - Sammy Joe and co get back from Amsterdam and go to bed!
A fair number of the rest are taking it really easy right now, so there
wasn't a lot memorable going on, until breakfast was ready, at
The insomniac wing of FUN and Teenage proved to be good company, in
this lull period, before the next bout of storms. Tinker shows off
various GFA routines with dots chasing each other around the screen...
Breakfast lived up to the early promise. As in addition to the standard
ham/cheese/bread staple continental breakfast items, there was also
some fresh hot bacon, and lovely scrambled eggs. Taken in conjunction
with the freshly baked crusty bread rolls, these combined to form a
totally delicious breakfast experience! I also found myself glugging
down more vitamin C, in the form of fresh orange juice, than I normally
get in a week.
At some point in this grey early morning, a tall ghostly figure,
familiar from the Symposium '96 appears. It is the former Diskbusters
mag editor, Slimer. He hasn't shrunk any, since the last time I saw
him, and looks as old and shagged out now, as he did then (grin!)
However, he is motivated enough to contribute to the additional
readme.txt that I am scraping together for Maggie, as a "live from the
STNICCC" piece. So far, Rich K has written something for it, Sammy Joe
will too, when he regains a vertical and conscious attitude, now it is
Slimer's turn. The Nemesis Falcy refrains from acting up, just long
Not long after, a figure, familiar from events closer to home, but
totally alien to foreign coding parties blocks the doorway. It is
Carbon, the Mancunian madcap pie fanatic, who got a lift in with Grazey
& co. I am amazed! Carbon soon makes himself at home. The net
connection quivers, as John H. smacks it around looking for 8-Bit Atari
stuff. Soon, Felice and company are back on the job too.
The co-organiser of the original party, and representative of the major
sponsor, Electronic Arts turns up. This is a ponytailed Stephan
Postuma, formerly Digital Insanity of The Lost Boys. Who seems to be
pleased to be here.
Stephan 10 years ago - "Here we are at STNICCC, got to go on coding all
Stephan right now? - "I want those beta versions on my desk by this
(There is a bit more on him at the party, a little later on.)
More UK people arrive, as the morning wears on, Stick and Bilbo of
Ripped off arrive, this time, not seeking to repeat their ICC "Look no
documents" escapade, and thus keeping their passports very very close
to them! Then about midday, maybe a little bit later, a solitary Earx
is spotted, plodding through the poor weather, into the party... This
means that the final bit of Maggie still awaited, the intro, has
arrived at last!
I check out Earx, who has borrowed Tinker's Falcon for this final
assemblage of the Maggie intro. An initial lurch of fear follows, as
the vital source code disk refuses to divulge its directory.
Fortunately, a second attempt with Kobold succeeds in shifting the
offending mass of source files onto Tinker's machine, and Earx sets to
This is easily finished, and my Falcy, which has been left switched off
for an extra long period before now, to allow the longest possible time
before it heats up and starts doing silly things with the keyboard
again, comes back into life for the final vital hours of Maggie, the
10th anniversary issue.
Finishing Maggie is just really a question of seeing that everything
works, after collecting the last bit for the extra readme.txt from a
drooling and barely functioning Sammy Joe. The next hour or so goes
something like this. Zip archives, check archives, split Falcon archive
into two, as it is approaching two and a half meg. Then check and make
sure that it still runs under a (simulated) four meg Falcon
environment. Fortunately, I had already done things like integrity
checking for the textfiles, before setting off to STNICC. Unpack
Zipfiles, and rejoin split archive, to make sure these work okay. They
do, so finally, get all of the above onto three disks, ready for
transporting across the internet, in a form that can be put back
Gibber to myself, but only for a short time....
For the final stage of the journey, Felice manages to organise a DCC
link on Atariscene IRC. At this point, it finally sinks in, the
struggle to complete the 10th Anniversary issue, and quite possibly, my
own personal struggles to keep the whole Maggie roadshow running, were
actually over at last!
Profound relief takes several forms. Playing loud and hopefully
obnoxious music of several types, from MP3, through modfile, and TaoSID
tunes. Pointing out to Richard K, that this is what the new age of
Atari based music sounds like. I'm also sure that 'Necrophilia', the
Falcon DSP softsynth, got in there too, but that may have been earlier
on in the day? There is also the little issue of a lack of sleep that
catches up with me, around this time, so I collapse for half an hour
or so, after installing Falcon Maggie on Tinker's Falcon, what a
nice person I am? (No - Ed answer!)
I come back to life, take a wander down the corridor. The faint strains
of some fairly familiar soundchip music filters in from the next room
along, so I take a peek in, to find virtually the whole membership of
Synergy gathered around a single ST, playing the Aenigmatica 'Genesys
82-track remix' demo. Another figure from the past, Bonus, had appeared
too. I'm also pretty sure, Stephan Postuma was in there too, reliving
a few good old days. The older sceners squeal with glee, with every
iteration of that old familiar demo, heads bobbing up and down as if in
a trance, when the singing heads screen do their YM-inspired chorus.
In the central hall or room, The Mad Butcher is spotted, amidst a pile
of 8-bit Atari stuff. It seems that his roadshow is very new to a lot
of people, as they are visibly amazed by what the 800XL can still
accomplish. SV2000 veterans like myself, already know what the 8-bit
coders mean by their version of '"No limits!" He also takes time out to
tell me more about his multimedia scripting system, which can be
adapted for demo or game use, and sounds very interesting, from the
point of view of a non-coder who might be reasonably handy with
graphics and sound. This is awaited with some interest!
Soon after, it is time for tea/dinner, and lasangne is on the menu.
This is sort of italian, but still not pizza. In fact, this was one
thing which didn't make an appearance at STNICCC 2000, making it the
coding convention without Pizza! What we do get is nice, if scarily
I end up back with Tinker, D-Force and company. They are having a
conversation with Havoc. This should normally go right over my head, as
it is in Dutch, but in the conditions of enhanced fatigue, I find
myself snapping between different states of consciousness, lurching
between this objective STNICCC reality, and dreamland, even almost
understanding the Dutch, as spoken by the rest. This is truly worrying,
so I crawl back to my sack for another session of immobile and complete
Meanwhile, Carbon, Felice, and company amuse themselves with the fart
machine website, which seems to have got loads of new noises, since its
last outing, at one of Dave Hollis's little soirees, a year or so ago.
John Hayward is inspired by the Mad Butcher's activities, to get a PC-
based Atari 8-Bit emulator running, with mixed success.
A little while later, I re-emerge, and checking out the internet
connection, find out that the Dead Hackers site is already on the job,
by having copies of Maggie available for download! This is quick
thinking, and fast work from them! This was a pattern that was to
follow for the rest of the weekend, probably making this one of the
busiest weekends that the Atari scene has had this year!
Also, I can monitor the activities of the convention, or the room next
door, through a webcam, set up by the Ripped Off guys. Fine if you want
to watch things happen in spooky slo-mo, and if your legs don't feel
like carrying you the half-dozen or so paces, from my bedside, to the
physical location that would let you see for yourself! I never did
check out the chat forum for STNICCC 2000, but I understand that Jeff
Minter made it onto there, and Rob Hubbard nearly did as well.
Whilst the rest of the party attendees engage in acts of more or less
constructive activity. We, in our little bunker, are playing around
with extracts from the cult 1970's childrens television series,
'Rainbow'! Carbon, in particular, is going all out with the sampled
dialogue, that was intended to appeal to innocent pre-school children,
but instead, was turned into something quite sinister and perverted by
"Zippy, leave my twanger alone!"
And so on...
One issue, which I had a few pre-party misgivings about, turned out to
be not so fearful after all. Stephan Postuma, ex co-collaborater with
the Karsmakers, and former Lost Boy, was here at STNICCC on behalf of
Electronic Arts Canada, apparently talent spotting and seeing what the
new generation of coders was capable of. Meeting him in the flesh,
revealed a laid back, easy going sort of guy. His approach to cherry
picking of the new talent, was similar, as literature was made readily
available, and Stephan was there to answer any questions, but there
were no overt attempts at dragging people away from their keyboards,
coshing them over the head, and smuggling them out of the country
stashed away in a cargo container. So after that, I felt better about
the presence of the Electronic Arts representative at the party.
At some point in the evening, we get curious about the fate of a large
group of Frenchies, from Overlanders, ST Connexion, and others, who
were seen upstairs initially, coding away quite hard on assorted Atari
machines. Now, they are nowhere to be seen. We assume they have stuck
themselves away in the cellar, a suspicion which proved to be correct.
Downstairs, we spot the de facto 'sleeping room' (In partial use), and
the big hulking server, which keeps an eye on the rest of the Lanalyst
kit upstairs. The French are cordoned off from the outside world,
apparently working on a non-stop coding marathon, and don't seem to be
too keen on outside visitors. This is apparently, normal behaviour, and
seems to echo the original STNICCC event, where they took over a room
for themselves back then too.
And what of us, whilst Atari history is being made? Well, we have to
confess to the fact that we shamelessly exploited the unlimited
internet connection to its maximum! More arsing about followed, as
Carbon fearlessly tracked down a whole load of cult television
material. This includes more hilarious stuff, on the aforementioned
'Rainbow', including a bottom-bitingly hilarious cartoon strip, which
has had its original captions mangled beyond recognition. In the
realtime room, the window is gaping wide open, a chill breeze hammers
in from outside, all the better to keep the realtime machine cool, my
original STe, purchased at the very same show, that the first issue of
Maggie was launched. This machine had been running continuously, the
brief Ghost virus cleaning interlude aside, since the beginning of the
party, over 24 hours ago.
Tiredness makes a quicker job of catching up with us, that night, and
it also nails down a number of the other people in the room too. So we
turn the lights off, close the door, and adopt an attitude of "We're
asleep in here, okay!!" Which works pretty well, as a deep dreamless
sweet sleep follows.
DAY 3.. (Sunday 17th December)
In fact, this perfect state remains, until someone, Milhouse or one of
the other chip musicians, starts up at 8am, which is mine and everyone
else's alarm call as well. We don't mind at all though, this is
appropriate 'mood music' for the party!
After a false start, breakfast does its thing at 9am. Similar to
yesterday, so another round of good food, including the raw ingredients
for a stripped down version of an English breakfast. Carbon is confused
by the hardboiled eggs on display. He seriously considers that these
may be raw eggs, and eaten as such as a local delicacy! (If that was
the case, then salmonella would be the Dutch national disease!)
(Supplementary food info note:- But they do like to eat raw herrings
around these parts!)
Checking the Dead Hackers bulletin board reveals a plea for help from
Deez, who has a Falcon competition entry for the party, with a link to
download it, for anyone who happens to chance upon it in time! So I do!
The entry was appreciated, but owing to the particular competition
rules for this party, was not permitted to be entered, as the entrant
had to have a physical presence at the party.
The next landmark event of the party is looming, the judging of the
various competition entries, which is due to take place at 11am. At
about five minutes to go, Rich K. suddenly decides that they need Atari
hardware to show the entries, and I'm to organise it, grabbing it off
people, if necessary! That drastic step does not prove to be necessary,
as my Falcon, and the realtime STe are more than adequate for the task.
This means the realtime falls silent for about a couple of hours
The competitions are divided up into various categories. The Java
competition (which gave rise to fears that this event was nothing more
than PC Dads getting together) had no entries. The 'ultimate cracker'
competition didn't get any response either (Dragonflight remains
unsullied to this day!) The first competition which gets a response, is
the soundchip music compo, and we turn to my Falcon, and a mix of the
SID sound composer, and SND Player. These entries are all good, Rich K,
and the other judging person, Alex Crouzen, are in full flow, making
copious notes. Err, like, another thing I wasn't warned about, and
didn't have time to organise, as the person in charge of plugging in
and hastily swapping around the competition entry showing hardware
Showing and judging the competition entries differed totally from
recent party practice. 'Showing' was not organised for the benefit of
the party attendees, there was no systematic screening of competition
entries. Instead, the only people privileged to view all the entries,
were the three man judging panel. Also, there wasn't a lot of
democracy, as again, in a departure from current party practice, all
decisions relating to who got prizes, were down to the three judges,
there being no 'view and vote' system available to the party attendees
Switch back to the STe for some of the demo viewing. This does attract
a bit of a crowd, as the viewing is taking place via a very large
screen display, which takes inputs from a number of sources including
ST! The effect, especially close up, is impressive. This goes
especially for a new demo from Oxygene, an STe-based 3-D stunner, based
upon the brilliant intro sequence for the 'Nostalgic-O' demo, but
vastly expanded and improved upon! Modfile music from the Amiga 'Desert
Dreams' demo is in there too (the major 'STe' part, I suspect!) This
fits amazingly well with the rest of the demo. Surely this looks like a
candidate for that coveted DVD player first prize? Just depends what
else comes up. Also shown, is a brief entry from the Overlanders, a 3-D
object in a bootsector, for the 'Commodore 64 revisited' competition.
Deez's entry 'Sleepless' is shown, and draws some gasps of
appreciation, as the only authentically Falcon specific production
However, it isn't allowed into the competition, for reasons already
discussed. We also get to see a very unfinished Falcon entry from
Idemline, which needs to have a separate modfile player (in this case,
Megaplayer) running. Also, Mr Ni! shows something which is very
familiar to UK scene people, but seems to take everyone else by
surprise! This turns out to be a 'C' Port of a Tony Greenwood STOS
game, 'Heartlands', but optimised to run in 1 VBL. (I speak to Mr Ni!
about this later, and it seems he knows what he is doing, especially
when it comes to the tricky question of what Mr Greenwood might think
That concludes the bit of the competition which is accessible to the
viewing public, for these later entries, we have to attend to the
individual coders where they are hurriedly scrambling to finish their
masterpieces. In the meantime, a couple of harmless diversions, as we
view the 'STNICC logo' entries (two of these), and the 'ST News in the
strangest place', (again two entries.)
The winner of the 'ST News in the strangest place' competition manages
to achieve victory by quite a margin. This is DBug of NeXT, who, in
his job coding for serious games industry types, has to devise a way of
filling in the blank spaces between bits of code on the master CD.
Rather than just using any old thing, DBug puts in the sublime, and
possibly subliminal messages "Atari and Oric are cool computers!" and
"ST News rules!" Carbon put up a strong challenge, with 'ST News'
inscribed in the inside of a Pringles canister, but he hadn't a hope
It is left for us to catch the remaining demo and C64 revisited
entries, with a prizegiving ceremony deadline breathing hard down our
necks. Firstly, tSCc are nearest to finishing, but we are sent away for
a few minutes more. We stop by DBug's second contribution to the
competition, which is his Oric Atmos based entry to the C64 times
revisited intro competition. This is fully fledged, brilliant, and full
of authentic zoom and rotate stuff. It could well be the winner,
depending on what tSCc have pulled out the bag?
Checkpoint pull out at the last moment, they feel what they have done
is too buggy and unfinished, so we'll just have to wait for Error in
Line part 2 then! But tSCc are brave enough to offer their mostly
finished intro for the critical scrutiny of the judges. What we get are
some incredibly high quality ST-based effects, including a sharp bump-
map screen, and a lovely enviro-textured 3-D object. This is offering
stiff competition to D-Bug's Oric demo, but its unfinished state may
just tip the balance against it? We then drop in on the Ripped-Off
crew, who have offered their 'Ultimate Music' collection as a
competition entry for the main demo competition. This is virtually
ready, apart from some last minute bugs on the Falcon.
Downstairs, the ST Connexion gang have absolutely used up their last
time extension. What we got there, was probably the most gorgeous
looking classic French scene 'old school' styled demo ever made! Or
about 50 percent of it. Again, the tricky issue of finishing has to be
weighed up in our final judgement.
We three go off into a judging huddle. Some decisions, such as the 'ST
News in the strangest place', and the STNICC logo, are easy. The
soundchip music takes a little bit of thought, but Milhouse steals it
by a whisker. We make good progress in placing the also-rans for the
main demo competition, but it is tight for the first and second place,
which is a two-way fight between the Frenchies of Oxygene, and ST
Connexion. In the end, it goes to Oxygene, just...
Same for the C64 revisited intro, where DBug claims his second big
prize of the day, by creeping in just ahead of The Galactically Hitch-
Hiking people. Here, the two entries were very different, excellent in
their own respective areas, and in the end, we had to count the
finished state, or not, of the two entries, which went in DBug's
Another area where the STNICCC differed from most recent coding
parties, is the fact that the deadlines were ruthlessly enforced. We
were only minutes late for the prizegiving ceremony, which was set for
1pm in the restaurant. This was very different from most recent
parties, where delays are much longer, and expected to be much longer
Apart from a few people who had already left, the entire attending
contingent of the STNICCC was in that restaurant. There were a large
selection of prizes, generously donated by the major sponsors,
including a skipful of NTSC compatible Playstation games, from
Electronic Arts themselves.
Then begins the long process of dragging people up to the front, to
receive their awards and prizes. People are generally happy, but there
are some last minute adjustments that are needed. Milhouse, the winner
of the soundchip music competition, is a confirmed Atari kid, but is
given a PC soundcard as a prize. He does accept it, on the basis that
he can give it to someone who needs it, or sell it on, as it is quite a
good one. This confusion extends to people who are given Playstation
games, and it turns out that quite a lot of people don't own this
console! Even DBug, the winner of the Playstation 2, arranges to
swap this for the other major prize, the pure DVD player, for the
reason that he didn't want to end up buying Playstation 2 games!
Even after all the rightful winners have been given their prizes, there
is still a surfeit of these. The next attempt to clear the table, and
get rid of these, is in the form of a raffle, where all the attendees
have been put into a hat, and the embarrassed Japanese girlfriend of
one of the French guys, is summoned forth, to act as official name-
The prizes, apart from the more obviously commercial stuff, include
signed original copies of famous old demos, such as the Union and
Syntax Terror demos, and even the sole 'ST News' inscribed baseball cap
in existence! This probably represents the largest Atari memorabilia
clearout from the Karsmakers household to date. I don't win anything,
but as I don't own an NTSC compatible Playstation, I'm not too sad
After that, the rapid disintegration of STNICCC commences, as people
start to leave from mid-afternoon. Most of the old scene have left the
building by 3pm, Alex Holland is heading to Amsterdam, to catch up with
some shopping that he promised to do, so Felice and John H. decide to
go with him. They are reminded that they have to be back by 8pm, the
official closedown time.
There isn't a lot else to do now, the realtime is reinstated, mainly to
catch the final thoughts of the departing hordes. A small interruption,
of around half an hour is suffered, as someone managed to knock the
power plug out whilst seeking to open the window. By teatime, there are
around twenty or so people left, a mixture of Dutch 'FUN' and 'Teenage'
people, and a few Frenchies. My not going to Amsterdam with Felice and
John is amply rewarded, when the final meal turns out to be a catering
feat, as several varieties of curry or chinese food are on offer. Owing
to the reduced numbers, there is plenty of it too! So the greedier
attendees make the most of the situation, I think some people even
managed to improvise 'doggy bags' to take some of this food with them?
I just settle for trying to see how far I can stretch my stomach wall!
After, that I just settle back for some leisurely browsing, and slow
packing of stuff. The clothing, bedding, and Falcon go back into their
bags. The realtime persists a little longer, to shortly after 7pm, when
cleaning and janitorial activities start to make themselves known. I
almost get the feeling I'm being chased out of the room with a vacuum
cleaner right behind me!
Alex Holland returns from Amsterdam, he has lost the other two, who
seemed to be heading off in the direction of a certain redly
illuminated part of the city, led by "The guy in the glasses" according
to Alex (this was Felice!) They had agreed to meet back at the central
station for a certain time, but were nowhere in sight. I lose no time
in letting the assembled crowds on Atariscne IRC know where Felice had
gone. Cries of "We're not really that surprised!" echo back..
My gear is fully packed by now, and finds its way to the lobby area,
awaiting the return of the still missing Felice and John H. I look at
Felice's set up and decide not to go too close to it, as he seems to
have a weird power switch modification to his Falcon, and his PC linked
to one of the Lanalyst machines. These will have to await his return.
The final minutes consist of various FUN and French people loading up
their cars, and me and Rich K, waiting around. Suddenly, Felice and
John emerge, slightly sheepish looking. It turned out that nothing
drastic had happened to them, and Felice certainly wasn't taking the
extra time out with impressing the ladies with the depth and power of
his lovemaking technique! Instead, they managed to catch the wrong
train, which sort of missed going to Sassenheim, and they had to wait
to get another one going there.
Felice and John attend to the remaining gear, I'm helping Rich
Karsmakers cleanse some of the PC's used by the STNICCC people, as they
are being shut down, and returned to a pristine state of normality,
ready for their day-to-day working existence on Monday morning. This is
very simple, running an autobooting disk, which wipes the hard drives
of all the party gubbins, and connects them back to the main server.
Whilst this is going on, Felice fetches the car, and we load up. It is
around 8.30pm, not too late after all. We are the last people, with
Rich K. to leave the party. The last act that evening is to follow him
home back to Utrecht.
This is straightforward. On the way back, we are making plans for
Monday, as Rich K. and Karin are having a day off together, presumably
to concentrate on neglected things like 'Christmas'. We decide to
revisit Amsterdam, with Felice as our experienced guide around the red
light district. Felice even makes a most generous offer with this in
mind "If you want to go with a woman tomorrow Chris, that's okay with
John and I almost shake the car off the road, we are laughing so much,
but trying to choke it back at the same time!
Back at the Karsmakers residence, we get to meet Rich K's wife Karin,
for the first time. She meets her pre-release billing, and turns out to
be a nice looking, and very pleasant lady, even when confronted with
some of the geeks who were responsible for her husband being seriously
distracted over the last few weeks. Tea (as in the drink) follows, then
the conversation turns to Richards Plantiac shrine. At this point, we
even get to try some of the 'heavenly fluid' as described by Rich K.
I'm used to many forms of alcohol, and I'm always willing to try out
new varieties, but this one does not really come across as that
impressive. A cursory description would be something like anaemic
brandy. The best thing being the fact that you can throw a slug of it
down in one go, and it doesn't take the lining of your throat off!
No-one really has a lot of spare energy by this time, so thoughts soon
turn to bed. This time, Felice takes the guest room, and John and I
camp down in the computer room.
DAY 4.. (Monday 18th December)
I sleep for a while, but this room seems to be doubling as a meat
locker, as a lot of the second part of the night is taken up with
trying to keep warm (it had got markedly colder since we arrived in the
Netherlands, this was in keeping with the five-day forecast, so top
marks to the meterological boys and girls for getting that one right!)
A chilly morning eventually breaks..
Not too early, or too late, we all get up. Breakfast is grabbed, and
Rich and Karin disappear off to do whatever it is they are doing. We
have planned to meet up later on, to have a farewell meal together.
Meanwhile, we set out to get a train to Amsterdam, first catching a
bus, which is the first one, since the 2 Alt party in Finland, or the
Gdansk citybus last Easter! What is it about UK public transport by
comparison, which makes it so easy for me to avoid it!? The same rule
goes for the trains, as the previous train travelling occasion to this
one, was again at the 2 Alt party in July!
We have decided to treat ourselves, as we are catching the 'ICE' train,
which is the Trans-Europe Express of Kraftwerk fame? It pulls in,
sleek, and on time. We find out we have to pay a supplement to travel
on it to Amsterdam, but it isn't too much, and what the heck, it's a
nice looking train anyway. The interior is as impressive, with decor
and seating in second class, that is as good as most other services
first class travel! About twenty minutes or so later, we are at the
Amsterdam Central Station again.
An early lunch, or late breakfast follows, then we set off to explore
the city a bit further. We skirt around the famous old city for a
while, Felice spots the word "free" on the door of one interesting
establishment, and almost dives in unchecked. I get a small inkling of
what John Hayward probably spent most of yesterday afternoon into the
evening doing, as we persuade Felice away..
And talking of drowning strange lusts and urges with an excess of your
hearts desire. We found the Dutch version of Maplins, the electronic
components people, so we kept John H. happy for quite a while there!
Eventually, Felice confidently finds the right co-ordinates to get us
to the Red Light district, and a scene totally unlike anything else
you've ever seen before, greets our eyes...
The 'red light' soubriquet comes from the advertising method that the
ladies use to attract customers. These are prominently displayed above
the glass fronted booths or cabins where they display themselves,
usually with very little clothing. From there, a prospective customer
approaches a booth, if he likes what he sees, and negotiates a 'deal'
from there, but why am I wasting time here telling you what you
probably already knew!
Many of these cabins are clustered together in fairly narrow alleyways,
the Red Light district is a major tourist attraction, even for those
people who are not actively partaking of the 'wares', as it gives some
kind of illicit thrill, even to browsers and 'window shoppers'. It is
like a form of sexual Russian Roulette to the male population, where
the only safety is in some form of numbers, and going down there alone,
would be like pulling the trigger on a fully loaded single chamber
Some of the girls, particularly the African ones, were more, ahem,
forward in coming forward, tapping on the glass panels, some calling
out "Hey, I want to ask you a question!" (Yeah, like "What is the
Polish unit of currency"?! er hang on, I know the answer to that one!)
We tended to hurry on by a little more hastily through those sort of
Generally, there was a fair mixture, a lot of Asian girls, some blonde
stunners, most likely from East European parts, a fair few black and
half-caste girls, and probably about three Dutch women working the
quarter, win a special prize if you spot one! (Stop that! - Ed note)
Anyway, Felice's honour remains intact, and we stop for a drink, and to
let the steam out from under our collars, at a bar in the middle of the
district. Here collectors of weird toilet anecdotes can sit back and
rejoice, as I find a single person urinal, which is a French style
'piss into the hole in the ground' affair. Thing is, there is quite a
drop down, and you have to stand in the doorway to take aim, so it
would be quite easy for someone on a busy Friday night, to push you
into the urine collection point, and drunkenly piss all over you. But
anyway, we didn't go anywhere near the gay fetish places, so this was
the nearest thing to that sort of behaviour we found!!!!
Whilst we are in the bar, we are able to glimpse at one of the booths,
which is occupied by a half-caste girl, nice face, cheerful demeanour,
a little heavily built up top for my taste, and bopping to the music
from the bar jukebox. One potential punter approached on bicycle, but
appeared to decline, when he was told where he could put his bike?!
Felice comes up with a 'nudge nudge, wink wink' style query, as to
whether I was going to be 'going with anyone', or other words to that
effect. But in the end, none of us did....
It is a relief to finally get away. I suppose people get hardened to a
place like that, but for us, it was the most surreal place, on this, or
any other planet!
Priceless Felice comment on the situation:- "When we come up next
Easter, we'll have to come by here again, I'm sure I'll have a woman
next time, and Matt and Franky would be interested!" (!!! - Ed note
We fetch up at a large department store, with some of the madness from
the previous few paragraphs following us all the way in! A deranged
Chinese woman continually swearing in Dutch and English, seems to have
a grudge against the foyer of a large posh hotel, but staggers off down
the street cursing. We duck into the shop, but the sounds of
multilingual cursing follow us in! Shit! We think, but eventually make
our escape up the escalator, figuring that she would have a problem
figuring out how the 'magic stairs' worked. This proved correct
fortunately, so we are able to turn to more harmless pursuits, such as
John H. tracking down a few presents and greeting cards.
This final phase of the visit goes back into the shopping area we
visited on the preceding Friday. John H. is looking for some clothes,
Felice goes off to the newsagent next door, and is glimpsed looking at
more top shelf material, as if he hadn't already had enough for one
The same newsagent proves very helpful in wrapping up a last minute
present from John H. with very little prompting, and we are almost
done, and back to the Central Station.
Just an ordinary train back this time, but we are back at Utrecht
Central, not long before our pre-agreed meeting time with Rich K. and
Karin. We stop at the main meeting point, where Karin finds us, just a
few minutes later. Rich K. is on the scene, and we head off into the
centre of town, to find somewhere to eat.
Utrecht main street has a canal running through the middle of it. This
historical part of the city is built up on two levels. A paved main
street on each bank above, and quays and wharfs down to the waters
edge, forming another level of the street, and mainly populated by
restaurants and bars. After an abortive search for one place, which
appears to have gone away, we settle on a suitably rustic Italian
styled pizza restaurant, our pizza deprivation state from the party,
reaching critical levels!
The meal is pleasant, the pizza is more home made and authentic, by
rustic Italian standards, rather than coding party Pizza Express style
delivery service standards, which suits the more civilised atmosphere
of the evening. We head home, suitably refuelled, back to the
Karsmakers residence, where more tea comes out, and we get on first
name terms with Richards escapee pet rats!
There are three of these altogether, all females, but no jokes about
lesbian rats, please! They are running around, enjoying the benefit of
their evening exercise period. One is good at jumping down from high
places, such as from the cage to the floor (it is the smallest and
lightest). Another one enjoys climbing all over people, not a problem
with Rich K. But John H. has a hair trigger phobia for rats, and
doesn't enjoy the experience at all. The third rat is good at getting
away from it all, and manages to get into our sleeping room. "But don't
worry," said Rich K. "They only crap in warm places, such as the bottom
of sleeping bags.." (Erm, thanks for that!)
Eventually, they go back into their cage, and the DVD player comes out.
Included with his great collection of stored electronic media (lighter
by a few ST demos as of yesterday evening!) are the Blackadder series,
and so it is, we settle down for a couple of hours of the second series
of Blackadder's elizabethan antics, before we call it a day.
DAY 5.. (Tuesday 19th December)
Back into the meat locker, but this time, I dress warmer, and sleep for
longer. (And there weren't any insulating layers of rat-poo present,
before you ask!) I awaken due to airbed induced stiffness, but struggle
back to sleep. Eventually, I start to get up, finding that Rich K. and
Karin have flown the coop and gone to work, but Rich has left a spare
key (for locking up purposes) and a note where to leave it afterwards.
There is also the question of washing or showering in semi-darkness, as
someone has managed to wreck the pull-cord for the bathroom light
switch sometime in the night! (It wasn't me!)
We are left to get on with things for ourselves, so we do for
breakfast. We are nice considerate people, and manage to leave the
place a little bit less cluttered in the kitchen than it was, for Rich
and Karin later on.
Time drifts on, but in the early afternoon, we start to make a move
back home. Getting out of Utrecht onto the ring road, then back to
Rotterdam for the Hook of Holland. The day is sunny, the journey easy,
and we get back to the Stena terminal in plenty of time. There is a
queue of cars, but the checkpoints aren't open yet, so we leave the car
to seek out lunch. This is memorable for the Dutch sized (very
generous) portions of chips, and the industrial sized containers of
tomato ketchup, another sign we are nearly home!?
We get back to find that the queue that was there before has dispersed,
it has weaved its way around our unattended car! So we check in, and
settle down to wait for our ship to come in, which isn't too long at
The rest of the journey back was uneventful, and can be summed up
Xmas presents - Two lots of perfume, and a cuddly toy. (All recepients
Food - Pizza, rather than Macdonalds.
Video Wall - That Madonna and Ali G. video, again.
Cash left over - Converted back to around forty three UKP.
Weather - Dark..
Side of the road - Drive on the left!
Arrival time back home - Around 9pm, GMT, which wasn't bad.
Oh yes, there was another classic Felice moment on the ferry home, when
we were looking at our first English newspapers for a few days,
catching up on all that essential C-list micro-celebrity gossip, that's
so important to people here. We read that a wealthy ginger geek called
Chris Evans, was 'dating' a young female singer called Billie Piper.
Now remember that Felice has a little bit of a 'thing' for Billie
Piper. This alleged "romance" is probably nothing, almost certainly a
publicity stunt to sell more records for her, but when we were reading
this, Felice's face darkened. He said "I hope this isn't true!" But you
could tell that he was *really* thinking:-
"She must be punished, and HE MUST DIE!!"
But Felice couldn't really hurt a fly, so if anyone related to either
of the above is reading this, don't worry!
Conclusions, this time around..
So what did we think of the STNICCC by the end of it? Well, if you are
considering it by the most objective standards, and comparing it with
those parties that I've attended in the past few years, it certainly
held up well. There was a good production rate from both the new and
old parts of the scene alike. Those initial fears about the Atari
content being downplayed or dispensed with altogether were happily cast
aside, as even people who had almost forgotten what an ST looked like,
suddenly rediscovered their keeness for that old grey mushy feeling
keyboard! So, on its own merits, and even without the special
'heritage' or 10th anniversary aspect, STNICC was one of the more
productive and successful parties of this year.
It was mostly successful in its secondary job, or was that its main
task, in reuniting as many of the original scene participants from the
first time around. But there were some notable omissions, especially as
no members of The Carebears and most of The Lost Boys were unable to
make it. On a personal note, I enjoyed seeing Mike 'Sammy Joe'
Schussler, the original Maggie editor, on the premises. The appearance
of that other diskmag giant, Slimer, was a pleasant surprise too!
On a related theme, the UK attendance was better than for some time,
with us three Maggie Team people joined by Carbon, (a first time for
him!) and Grazey and co, and even the Ripped Off team returning! It
could have been even better if Mr Pink and Griff had attended too, but
last minute problems from Griff's side apparently put paid to that one.
We also had the pleasure of Alex 'Thalion Webshrine' Holland's company
It was noticeable that the party divided into two distinct camps
(three, if, you consider the Frenchies hiding in the cellar) where the
'old' and 'new' scenes tended to keep to their own communities. There
were no overt attempts to enforce any differences, and people were
basically sociable. However, people naturally tend to seek out those
most familiar to them. So the 'old scene', such as the Exceptions,
accompanied by Alex Holland, tended to stick together in their corner
of the party, whilst 'new scene' people such as tSCc and Checkpoint
sought each other out. They also joined us in a room which became
predominantly 'new scene' in nature too.
The physical aspects of the party were good, indeed excellent. The
premises of Lanalyst, Rich Karsmakers workplace, were a plush location
to hold a coding party. It was truly a brilliant gesture on their part
to allow us to use the premises over that weekend. The provision of
spare computing facilities was luxurious in the extreme, with PeeCees
including internet connection available, even before you brought your
own! It wasn't too much of a problem to add some good honest Fuji-
badged hardware into the mixture either ;-)
My favourite aspect of the whole STNICCC experience, was the catering.
This was excellent, and probably the best of any party I've ever been
to, as food was more or less available around the clock. There was an
increased choice for the set mealtimes of course, and drinks of all
kinds, with the exception of alcohol and PG Tips were also permanently
available. Best of all, and a big hand is due to the STNICCC sponsors,
these were all free of charge!
There were some differences in the organisation and running of the
competitions from current accepted practice. Richard Karsmakers had
last been to a scene party around the time of the original STNICCC. A
lot of things have changed since then.
The competition deadlines were fixed and absolute, and rigorously
enforced. Also, the judging methods were varying a lot from current
practice, consisting of a three man committee with the final say on
everything. (I would have to admit to taking part as one of the members
of this benign dictatorship, if it wasn't already clear from the main
part of the report!) We would like to think that the end result was
more or less the same, as if everyone had voted on it? However, I don't
think that the committee method is likely to be used again at any
future event. One entry was submitted from outside the party, this
being based on the assumption that recent practice, where outside
entries are accepted, would be acceptable here. However, it turned out
that this demo was not eligible for the STNICCC competitions after all.
With these two points, it is fair enough. It is Rich K's party, and he
makes the rules, but it might have been a good move to have these sort
of procedures and rules explained better ahead of the party, to avoid
any possible hurt feelings on the part of people used to some things
being quite different?
Still, these are minor points to set against the overwhelmingly
positive things about the STNICCC as a whole.
On a personal level, we had loads of fun at STNICC, and outside it as
well. There was an colourful aftermath, in our post-party visit to
Amsterdam! Our hosts, Rich K. and Karin were both extremely nice
people, which we already knew of course!
Hopefully, this shouldn't be Rich K's final going away present to the
Atari scene, as he is talking, at least semi-seriously, about the 25th
Anniversary reunion! And one wonders what might be happening by that
For great days enjoyed take your pick, from anyone at STNICCC!
CiH - For Alive! Magazine - Dec '00