THREE PART TWO
Picking up the story where we left off..
In an attempt to introduce screenshots into the text, I've chopped the EIL
report in half. We now pick up the messy results of that amateur surgery in
the second part of the report.... Now read on!!
10.32 - CiH
The gap between the end of the competitions and now, can mostly be accounted
for by time spent in the sleeping gym. The rest of the time can be explained
away by breakfast, including one unfortunate diversion into a hot beverage
which I'll call "corpse tea", owing to the colouring and texture.
This started life as a fruit tea, but added milk puzzled the hell out of the
organising femmes, who think such a thing is not normally done. Events
proved them right, as it tasted alright, but the look of the thing was more
than enough to put you right off it!
just woke up and had some stale bread for breakfast (yum!). so i'm
'reanimated' now ;) have to say that the archimedes is a nice machine. the
demos i saw were a mixed bunch. but it seems there were alot of generations
of these exotic machines. hhmm, i seem to have no inspiration at all. might
call that a writer's block, except i'm not a writer. cih suggests the term
'coder's block' which has more logic to it, but then again i'm not coding
here. okay, before this turns into a scrolltext type of thing:
i saw some interesting ppl last night. i was actually worried that alot of
familiar faces wouldn't show. but who was there just last night? it was
defjam. eventhough he said on irc that he didn't know about coming over.
nice to have met him again.
i seem to have missed gfx and msx compos, but there will be a 'rewind' in an
hour or so. earx.
10.55 - CiH
The 'stale' bread seems to be stale for a reason. The name on the packet
"golden toast" gives a useful hint. Running the O/S on the organisers very
slow pre-pentium toaster transforms the unpromising stale bread into
something rather tastier.
Pity that almost everyone in the hall seems to have got this bread, when the
toaster will be packed away shortly!
Woke up about an hour or so ago, had a better sleep this time despite the
snoring that was going on in the sleeping gym. Slept in virtually the same
place as before, this time hearing some extra contributing sounds from
Asteroid's backside early on before getting to sleep. Been listening partly
to an 8-bit demo show that CiH was also watching. People are around in a
mildly plentiful way, judging by the late start to the compos last night
some ppl are probably still snoring, I'm sure they'll be up later on. Have
seen STSurvivor wandering around in a zombified state towards the bar area
earlier on too, I wonder if he's planning to be an extra in a remake of 'Day
of the Dead' or something ?
The Gods are chatting amongst themselves atm, Damo just woke up a short
while ago, now he's woken up finally :)
12.31 Yeah Gym is a bizarre place to sleep, as to start with the corner I
was in, was in near total darkness so using the backlight of a mobile phone
is necessary to get some visibility, and even then I have to use touch to
see the bag and sleeping bag was mine in the corner I was heading to.
Sleeping bags suck heavily or at least my one which is incredibly old, and
getting in and turning your self round and round to avoid gaps in the top by
the shoulders from getting cold, which then means you get stabbed by the
zip, argh. Once in bed a few well executed farts reverberate the hall, and
in the morning Felice nearby decides to pump out a few.
Went to bed at 2am, as extreme delay of compo entries means sleep take
priority, not wanting to be a wuss, but last time I stayed awake until ~4am
at a previous party, I slept in till lunchtime missing some of the
activities happening in the morning.
Some nice Pokey music coming from one the Atari XE systems in the far corner
of room, and seeing a Jaguar in the corner I feel the need to do some
Tempest 2000 in a while.
CiH back, been resting up, and making necessary sanitary repairs under the
thermonuclear power showers. Must be set to some "sport and fitness"
specification for top athletes, which I am not! Still, it is what is needed
at this stage, and I'm quite refreshed. Not at the "young god" levels that
Moondog described in a previous party realtime, but not too far off...
A bit earlier, I finally got to see what all this fuss about the 'ultimate
8-bit Atari demo' Numen was all about, and yep, I agree, it rocks, in places
like it is a superior 16-bit demo!
Pizza ordered, let's see how long this one takes...
14.40 - CiH
Back again, barbeque outside starting, demo compo deadline extended to
17.00, first lot of pizza's arrived, still waiting for mine ;-) Let's see
how the giant sausages are cooking? Sound and gfx competitions will be
showing for the second time in a few minutes. Giant horses willy-sized
sausages, audio visual treats, and the promise of pizza, what more could you
15.15 Pizza arrived.
End of the tracker compo-o-hours... Pizza eaten...
(End of RTA (for now! We'll be back!))
I manage to rouse myself enough, sometime after the hour of nine, to partake
in the famous Dresden free breakfast experience. And experience has taught
me, that it is a very good idea to take the edge off the seemingly stale
"golden toast" bread, by "toasting" it to a "golden" hue with the provided
That way, the resulting sandwiches came out rather better than if the bread
had been uncooked. Where things went a little bit awry, was with the tea,
which turned out to be one of those continental fruit tea perversions, with
added milk, which looked like the aftermath of a fluid extraction from a
large cyst. It tasted alright, just looked odd enough for me to quietly
dispose of the remnants of the disaster when no-one was in the toilets to
Back in the party rooms, and whilst updating on the realtime, I get a closer
look at what some of the 8-bitters are doing. It seems that there is some
random demo showing of various productions from all ages of the scene on
that machine. I get around to mentioning the smash hit demo of last year,
the Polski production by Taquart called "Numen", which has been raved about
in various quarters, but I have yet to see it. The 8-bitters, being very
nice people, say, yes, we can have a look, as soon as they can find their
copies of the 5.25 inch disks with it on. In the meantime, we are treated to
a close-up exposure of a number of other demos, most of them old friends
from the Sili' 2000, I might add, but it is nice to have a re-run of these
About an hour earlier than I expected, the disks containing the magic code
for Numen are produced, and these soon load up to reveal something which
does match up to the hype. From the 3-D walkaround tour to get to different
parts of the demo, an engine featuring in some up and coming Duke Nukem
style game, through to several bumpmapping effects that are almost Falcon
quality, and a lot of careful thought in their interlaced still pictures,
putting these on a par with Amiga efforts. The culmination, a fully 3-D
Rubiks cube, rotating itself back into position, fits in perfectly with the
overall high quality of this demo. Thus, we are inspired to look forward to
what else might transpire this evening, in the demo competitions!
This enjoyment proves to be on the tiring side, and I crash once more, back
in the sleeping gym for a couple of hours. When I do get up again, I am
tempted to try out the somewhat communal looking showers. These are
deserted, and also very good at their job, of getting the maximum amount of
water out in the minimum time. I spot NerVe, who has just completed a
mission of his own to clean up.
By the time I get up, the others are awake, and indulging in nocturnal
flatulence related recriminations on the realtime. The day is gloriously
sunny, recovering after the uninspiringly wet Saturday. Various outdoor
treats are promised, a walking tour of the city, and even an outdoor patio
barbeque, where the organisers take a cruel fancy to heating up lots of
german style sausages, and serving them with the leftover stale bread from
breakfast. Waiting the long wait for pizza, I decide to indulge, and the end
result is not too bad, as the sausages have had decent exposure to the heat,
and have got a nice suntan as a result.
My pizza does turn up in the mid-afternoon period, and at about the same
time, the graphics and sound competitions reruns itself. I catch most of
this, but missing the ascii compo for the second time around unfortunately.
A bit later on, Felice and Asteroid, with several other people, head off on
their walking tour of Dresden, with the lovely Anje in charge. This sounds
like too much exercise to me, so I stay behind with NerVe, his girlfriend
who missed going on the walk by about thirty seconds, and some of the other
Scandinavians, the Nature brothers in particular.
And this is a perfect time to recap on the RTA..
(RTA bit with a bluesy evening mood to it..)
16.59++ - CiH
Not a lot happened, pizza, the second run-through of the competitions from
this morning, and a guided tour of the Dresden city limits from one of the
organiser babes (I think the redhaired one is taken by Zerkman..!) Some
other people with demo entries have got deadlines confused, as in 17.00 is
not 18.00hrs! Hope they managed to talk to the organisers in time?!
Associated Felice Press - "When's the wedding guys!"
Some of the Swedish scene, and Nerve were running an impromptu garden party
in the front of Tusculum, so I joined them for awhile. Of news from there,
the Nature brothers CT60 graphics card has been making great progress, and
is almost ready for the board to be manufactured. We think that at this
stage, they will need to get their hands on a real CT60, or detailed plans
thereof, to make the graphics card fit onto the CT60. Nerve ducked back
inside, with his girlfriend, to get their demo handed in when he realised
what the deadline time was ;-)
Still fairly quiet, I think that all competition deadlines and extensions
have passed, judging by the fact that Evil has been seen moving around in
the past few minutes. The Res Gods have disappeared, probably on their
'MacDonalds adventure' that they were talking about earlier, and those
people who went on the guided tour haven't got back yet. I used some time to
top up on my sleeping batteries a bit earlier.
just been outside for a few seconds and came back in. the air is sure smokey
in here! ;) esp some hours ago we smelled something coming from just outside
of the window. suspicious. can't believe the time. it's going quite fast.
luckily i nailed the dspdit/qdsp bug and am ready for release of a new qdsp
shortly. great news about the supervidel.
19.35 - CiH
I've got a caffeine overdrive! Emergency top-up of caffeine levels after
CiH-HQ belatedly realises there is a shortage of this substance. Still no
sign of the Res Gods or city tourers yet...
Res Gods back now, room volume level goes up dramatically.... I have been
previewing some stuff from Earx's post-EIL demo, which was very nice, and
will rock. He'll have to see what comes of tonight's new demos and what can
be beaten there?
Been out with John, D-Bug, Havoc, some of the other guys whose names I
forget right now and one of the ladies for a wander around Dresden. Very
interesting, lovely city, particularly with the old buildings and such like.
The trip included a visit to a Biergarden, where most of the guys had some
of the famous beer in the equally famous German beer-glasses. Overall, an
interesting trip. Now have just ordered a pizza, am I feeling rather hungry
now or what...
21.20 - CiH
The Amigo Spag Bol is slightly dry but otherwise okay, even better with the
single bottle of ice-cold beer remaining in this building, which I was lucky
enough to get hold of!
People are clustered around in small groups, sitting behind and watching
over the shoulder of those few people who are doing something productive ;-)
And no, I'm not even thinking of any times until the competition starts yet!
The waiting starts, as we attempt to distract ourselves by counting the
number of bags under Norman Feske's eyes.... This task could take a while,
hopefully most of the remaining time until the demo competitions start. Also
it might take more digits onscreen than the majority of bog standard
calculators, and even some top of the range scientific calculators can
I've also been talking to STS for a while, whilst he was indulging in a
communal herbal cigarette sharing scheme with some other Frenchies. This was
about our plans for Alive! mag. Yes, there are some, and already some work
(from this end) has been done. Including what you are reading now... It
looks like this next issue of Alive! will be a very fat issue indeed!
Baggio update Big News!! He advises that Checkpoint have entered their very
long awaited demo into the competitions!!! Way to go!!
(End of RTA bit, can we take any more?!)
Well, no.. But that bit about Checkpoint coming in with their demo "Posh"
was big news, and the one genuine surprise of this party (apart from Bud teh
Chud of course!)
The Sunday evening of any demo party is always the longest time, as it
consists of waiting around for the main event, and trying to find ways to
pass the time until then.
People start to return from their various external adventures, the Reservoir
Gods get back from their epic search for a working Macdonalds, and the
walking party have had their legs walked off them, and got into major
hassles with some bats (vampire variety?!) I'm pretty sure I managed to fit
some more outbreaks of tiredness back in the sleeping room, then I realised
what the problem was!
Very simply, I had inadvertently managed a strict caffeine avoidance regime
all day. NO coffee with my breakfast, and NO coke to drink all day. No
wonder I was feeling tired all that time, what a lamer I was! So I got
myself down to the bar, and ordered an extra large coffee, to go, with
another one. Soon, I was back to normal functioning levels of toxic
Newly boosted, I got to see some of the tSCc Falcon demo. This has still to
be entered into the competitions, even some hours after the official
deadlines. All the tSCc people present nervously watch it run through one
more time, MC Laser gives it a curt nod of approval, and rushes off with the
disks, to the organisers bunker in the main screening room.
I also get to see some of Earx's screens for his new Falcon demo, which is
down for a strictly post-EIL appearance, and these routines rock somewhat as
well. We agree that there has to be a post-EIL focus for new productions,
and Earx is perfectly placed to provide this.
For the evening meal, I decide to try something other than the ever present,
and over-present pizza, trying out their spaghetti bolognaise, in a foil
container. Sh3 made that experience all the more enjoyable, by accidentally
buying me the only properly chilled bottle of beer in Tusculum. Thanks Kev,
I owe you for that one! :)
I get talking to various people, also spending a bit of time with STS, who
is enjoying a shared 'special aromatic tobacco' cigarette with some of the
other Frenchies, and we get on to discussing prospects for this evening, and
the next issue of Alive.
Fortunately, to break up the interminable waiting, the organisers have
organised the second championship competition of that EIL 2 favourite, the
The first rounds are dominated by comedy, including one person, who was
trying to get a television series out of his performance of mocking laughter
on the screen, but it soon settles down to a fairly intense competition.
Clearly some people have been practising! Whip-Pong winners include our own
Asteroid, who manages to get to the third round before being knocked out.
The final is itself a thriller, with a three-nil behind ST-Ghost managing to
claw his way back to win, a move popular with the Frenchies. This passes
some time to the competitions, the following chunk of realtime from Asteroid
passed some more....
(RTA bit, take 'er away John!)
Much happened this afternoon/evening, went out for a walk with one of the
German ladies who took about 15 of us on a tour of Dresden, old buildings,
the park, sports stadium, lake and beer garden, we actually got a bit lost
so walk turned out to be 2-3 miles or so. I didnt mind as the weather was
nice, although kind of tricky to find a toilet, so I had to sneak into a
posh restaurant. The beer garden was an interesting affair, with workplace
style canteen albeit outdoors you order your bevvies or food and then walk
around the corner pass a little hut which you then pay and go and sit down
on the picnic tables. There is a bandstand in the middle, and a jazz band
are playing, and next to the beer garden is a Polish registered Mercedes van
with a company name on it, which appears to be the band's vehicle.
On the way back was a large park which we walked through, with lots of
people rollerskating along a wide path with quite a few residents who seem
to be out and about in the fresh air during the Easter weekend, and a number
of rollerskaters. This kind of reminds me of Venice beach, part of LA
Surprisingly a bit later on, are some strange looking birds hovering around
next to this large stately building. The birds turned out to be bats, long
time since I've seen these rare and interesting creatures, which seem to
have bags of energy just flitting around the air and trees without actually
landing on anything. They are quite big too, the common ones I've seen on
British TV are very tiny, their bodies are only about an inch long, these
are quite big in comparison.
A very strange thing happened when I got back. I made a B-line for the
toilet as soon as I got in, after using the urinal I decided to flush it, as
there is a button above. I turned quickly around hit the button with my
left foot, but the sudden movement of turning around and moving my leg a
metre high gave a sudden pain in my upper leg/hip. I had to stagger back and
sit on the floor of hall as I appear to have strained a muscle, which was
really really painful and it was about half an hour before the pain went.
I spent the rest of the evening speaking to a Norwegian couple (Nerve and
his girlfriend) plus D-Force, Comp7, Havoc, plus CiH and Felice joined us a
bit later. Then news of the famous "Whip Pong" competition is announced, and
there is a list to sign up, which I do so along with about 20 other people.
If you have not seen this game, it looks like a normal game of Pong, but
operated by two microphones which contestants shout/scream/yell down to
operate the paddle downwards. This is not as easy as it sounds, the
collision detection of the game is a bit suspect, and it takes some skill to
holler at a correct pitch to get the bat to move down accurately. It's an
extremely amusing and bizarre concept. When the game commences I actually
manage to do quite well and got as far as the 3rd round, and the contest is
won by ST Ghost, so the fellow Frenchies are pleased to win the cup, and STG
goes away with a strange joystick specially made for one of the RG's games.
(A single button installation specially made to play 'Superfly')
00.20 It's now Monday, and we await the start of the demo compo's...
(End of RTA and 'ting)
The time gets near, we are told of a 'definite' start time for 01.00, and it
looks like the organisers will keep this deadline, having learnt from their
delays on the graphics and sound. People start to gather in the main hall,
spare seating is dragged in from adjoining rooms, I manage to get a seat
near the doors, in company with the Swedes. The lights darken, a hush of
expectation falls over the assembled company of Atarians...
And we return you to the realtime for the first competition impressions!
01:15 (Looks like Earx got here first!)
Ooh, compos are over. and it was more than i expected! there were some
suprises even.. last week defjam said to me over irc that he was just
cracking some games on st. and i was happy he was actually doing something
with atari again. *rotfl* there was some high quality stuff in there. also
some other things like crews rising the dead and stuff being coded for
things you don't think codable. maybe next time a coded coffeepot?? :)
Overall: the quality of the releases is good and there was a big burst of
activity. the technical side (code) as well as presentation have been pushed
a bit further.
Freeing up the keys for cih now! goodnight =)
It's 03.10 actually ;-)
CiH on the keys. too much post-competition euphoria, too many impressions,
too much stuff shown?? Err no, there can never be too much Atari stuff
With six ST demos, three Falcon demos, and a slew of smaller intros, this
has been a very active and productive party. The balance of the best stuff
is with the ST this time, as smashers from DHS, Checkpoint, Dune, and even
the Reservoir Gods all were shown. Many of these were slightly (ahem)
incomplete, and Moondog said that this could be considered to be a "party of
previews". Which was especially the case for Nerve's release We now know
what happened to Griff's old code from the early 90's, it stayed in cold
storage until tonight!
Personal high spots - DHS demo, this was a "Don't break the Oath" killer, on
an ST! - The Checkpoint Demo was not *quite* complete, and can be considered
as a flawed masterpiece, but with the emphasis on the 'masterpiece', rather
than the 'flawed'. The last third of it being all new was particularly
Bubbling under, was Damo's release, which offered a different take on the
usual run of demos. For the Falcon, tSCc managed to come up with slick and
different production, in the style of a contemporary PeeCee demo, but with
more invention, especially on the soundtrack. (Tip to tSCc coder, don't be
ashamed of your 3-D objects, some of these were almost brushed aside!)
Escape had another preview, but the makings of something truly great,
especially with the bumblebee flying through space! And we hope that Cruor's
ten year birthday present to the Falcon manages to get its bugs fixed!
Fake demo, less said, the better (aaagh!) But some people seemed to like it
And, of course, "There are no US troops in Dresden!"
This EIL is the best one yet!
We've got a long day, mostly spent staring at an Autobahn road surface
tomorrow, so time to close this down for tonight, and off to bed soon.
(End of RTA extracting the piss!)
It started slowly at first, with a couple of 128-byte-tros. The minuscule
category, that was so fashionable at the first Error in Line, managed a
couple of entries, one not so surprising from the Reservoir Gods, and a
return to Atari coding from D-Bug, who didn't want to stray too far from his
Oric roots, with a "simulated Oric desktop" on the ST!
The 4ktro category bats a couple of lightweight but pleasant Res Gods
efforts onto the screen, then the first Defjam masterpiece, a pretty good
attempt at effects cramming to rival the Dead Hackers definition of "less is
The Fake demo is next, a strange but compelling effort in ascii called "Bud
teh Chud in Ascii Minor", from a previously unknown group called 'Dildo
Fatwa', of which the author of this textfile had some considerable insider
knowledge(!) (Strange thing was, it even got some applause for the 'Shadow
of the Chud' sequence, as if a proper impressive and hard to do demo effect
had been carried off! Weird, but thanks anyway! ;-) )
Regrettably, there were no other takers for this category. Maybe other fake
demo crews can be stimulated back to life, or maybe Dildo Fatwa might have
to carry this part of the scene with future releases on their own?! ;-)
After the laughter died down, we got to see the Wild category. (Forgive me
if my minds-eye rerun of that night is slightly in the wrong order!) We were
treated to a number of different releases, a picture telling us what the
unfortunate "there are no American tanks in view" Iraqi information minister
was up to nowadays, to a couple of movies. Baggio clearly spending too much
time on the scene, and in his toilet at the same time! There were even a
couple of demos coded on 'non-standard' platforms, such as the little demo
coded by Paranoid on his Dreamcast controller or memory card thing with the
tiny LCD screen. Of course, Defjam manages to productively re-emerge once
more, with a rather nice multi-layer and multi-effect screen coded for the
Gameboy Advance. Now, we are seriously wondering what he has coaxed out of
an ST this time around!
The 96ktro or intro category brings a diverse body of releases. With a neat
'coded at the party' 96ktro for the Falcon, from combined Swedes, through an
artful attempt by the Reservoir Gods to use up the remaining effects from
their entry to the demo competition. There was a little bit of a (funny for
once) joke entry for the 8-bitters, from Mr XY, but the other surprise of
the evening was a demo coded for the Lynx by Sage, he of the Lynx conversion
of Bunion Canyon fame!
All this was of course an appetiser for the main event, the big demo
competitions. The hour is to hand, and we kick off with the Dead Hackers ST
entry. For an ST demo, it is very newschool, and the 3-D is great, virtually
a 'Don't Break the Oath' killer on a much less powerful system. A large part
of the attraction is due to the gorgeous still graphics. As the endtext
reveals, this was almost a last minute release, as their intended CT60
Falcon demo had been put on ice until the CT60 arrived, and this demo was
intended originally to be a guest screen for an ST demo by Evolution.
Instead, it turned out to be something able to stand on its own as a
release, and was shown as thus. Wonder what happened to the Evolution demo
it was supposed to go in?
The Reservoir Gods demo-factory has been putting in lots of hours, without
coffee breaks, for the next two releases bear their greasy thumbprints!
These are an innovative and rather cool demo by Damo, their 'hidden' member,
who had been quietly working away. The only fault with it, is that it could
have been twice as long! Then a distinctly oldschool, and proud of it
release from the main part of the Gods. This is the Hallucinations demo,
which to a large extent uses ancient and justified routines, developed a
long time ago, in an ice-cream van by Griff. However, this is not the easy
option that it sounds, for as originally delivered, the routines were
somewhat spartan, lacking things like 'design', or 'presentation', or any
sense that they were ready to go into a complete demo. A lot of work was
done to get them to the state that you all saw on the big-screen, both in
improving the code, and with a lot of work on the graphics and music side to
make the complete demo.
Coding is the new Heroin Chic!
More oldschool mayhem comes from the mightily productive Frenchies, under
the 'Dune' label. These are one of the big surprises of the party, not only
content with resurrecting a long-dead demo, they give us an all-new
productions too! This turns out to be good enough to get a hard-fought third
A nice but very incomplete entry from the Creators (NerVe and others) adds
to the interest, then we are thrown into the eye of the storm with Defjam's
much awaited demo "Posh".
This manages to match the classic EIL '99 entry for length and quality, and
general 'epic-ness'. The only criticism could be, that it felt ever so
slightly unfinished in places, and suffered from a bit of screen glitch on
viewing, which turned out to be the fault of the viewing equipment in the
The last third or so was very new, with one section giving a very good
'Wolfenstein' sequence, and even a successful re-creation of the first good
Falcon demo, the 'Terminal Fuck-Up' Zoom 'n rotator by Sanity, complete with
the original modfile for the ST! Rock on Defjam!
With that, there really isn't anymore to say from the ST demo category. So
we turn to the Falcon demos to finish off..
(Retrospective ed-note: the post-party finished version seems to have fixed
the minor faults described on the realtime.The next time I saw this demo, at
home, seemed to be even better than before, and strangely, over all too
quickly! I don't know what sort of feedback you are getting on this Defjam,
but I'd like you to go on making new demo stuff, this one was too good to
miss! The Terminal Fuck-Up take off was pretty damn close to the original!)
There are fewer Falcon demos, one entry from Cruor celebrate the Falcon's
10th birthday, but is very clearly unfinished. The entry from tSCc called
"Beams", is a brave and successful attempt to do something different. The
effects are pretty good, and the presentation is very much in an 'arthouse'
style favoured by recent PeeCee and Amiga demos. This is a style rare enough
on the Atari to be fresh and interesting. The soundtrack is a song, linked
closely to the effects, including a singing 3-D 'vocalist'! I hoped that the
amount of work put into this demo would pay off in the voting for it.
And we cannot have a demo party, without the smash-hit crew of the second
Error in Line party having a last word. Which they do, with their untitled
and unfinished 3-D DSP-powered effects blitz. A lot of this is a
continuation from the 'Hmmm' demo, so not as novel or surprising as before,
but the culmination is something brand new and awesome, with a stunning
flight sequence of the bumblebee 'busy' Atari mouse pointer, made large and
fully 3-D, and set free in space!
(Another retrospective and reappraising ed-note from sometime after the
party: So what I thought was 'unfinished' was clearly more or less finished!
Watching it again more closely,I noticed that Charon, rather than Norman was
the main coder, and that Charon's DSP code seems to be even quicker than the
routines used in the 'Hmmm' demo! The _Underscore_ demo works pretty well in
its own right, if you don't compare it directly with the 'Hmmm' demo.)
And with that, the curtain comes down on another great Error in Line party,
with just the votes to be counted now.
After an hour or so's jubilation and adding to the realtime article, those
people who still have time on their side head off to bed, the rest pack with
an imminent departure in mind. Some much-need sleep-related darkness
My cellphone alarm jabs me awake at around 09.00, reminding me to get up to
catch the results, I struggle up, and get back to the main hall, to find out
that the presentation of these is due at 10.00. So I catch up on yet more of
the fabulous free EIL breakfast before these kick off. Felice and Asteroid
are up as well, as thoughts are also turning toward the journey back.
The results are presented using the now traditional 'racing' progress bar
method, the longest running bar garnering the most votes as the winner.
There are no major surprises with the results, with the prize winners being
the entries that we expected. So Defjam manages to crown his first EIL
achievement as the ST demo winner, but only just beating off a strong Dead
Hackers challenge. Even with an untitled and unfinished preview, Escape
manage first place in the Falcon demo, perhaps that result was a bit unfair
on tSCc, who did manage to present a complete demo to the party.
The Swedes do manage a fightback to claim the first place for the intro
competition, with their combined Falcon production 'Echoes'.
Baggio's "real-life" take on demo making gets him first place in the wild
competition, 505 dominates the music competitions, and Flash is another easy
to predict winner in the graphics competition. Sh3 is a deserved ascii
graphics winner, and the Reservoir Gods pick up the 128byte winning place,
whilst Defjam gets his second prize, with his winning 4ktro entry.
And as for Dildo Fatwa, what can we say, 31415 points, thank you guys. Thank
you all! (blush!)
And with that, thoughts on all sides are rapidly turning to the departure
for home. Moondog closes down his Undercover realtime with almost indecent
haste. Perhaps he wanted to make sure his vehicle was still intact this
time? We soon pack our stuff, and with prior arrangements made with some of
the already departed Dutchies, we arrange to take Earx back with us once
more. A large round of farewells to all the people still yet to depart
follows, as we load the car more or less satisfactorily for the return trip.
After a lot of goodbyes involving ST Survivor, NerVe and others, we set off
in the late morning sunshine in a westerly direction.
The day is fine, and the journey back straightforward. It is easy to find
our way around in the daytime, so we are back on the neverending motorway
without any misdirection or false starts, and some seriously fast driving
Felice, as the expert thrasher of higher than sensible speeds out of his
car, takes the first leg of the journey. We make good time, stopping at a
service station once we hit the main western heading drag a couple or so
hours later. After topping up the calories, and after an unfortunate
encounter between Asteroid and Sauerkraut (unfortunate from an anal
emissions point of view). I take over in the dwarf-sized driving hotseat.
Which is a position that I manage to maintain, all the way back to Enschede,
ignoring the pains in my knee joints and other places. Time goes on, and the
fuel gauge dips ever nearer to the red line. We are momentarily distracted
by a border crossing which seems to contain a fuel stop, but doesn't, but we
soon have the tree-lined avenues of Enschede in our front view. We have made
good time, getting back in around six hours. We have even managed to beat
the rest of the Dutchies, who set off before us, the single pit-stop
strategy working in our favour here!
When Comp7 does get back, a little while later, he has to depart again to
take Tinker and his girlfriend back to the town of Zwolle, before returning
to Utrecht. Earx bids us farewell, and decides to make his own way home from
Enschede. This leaves us a little bit of relaxing spare time at Havocs,
before we have to set off back to Comp7's place.
If we had been stopping at Enschede, as in past years, then the totally
sucky last part of the journey may never need to have happened! As it was,
ominous rumblings from the back seat resolved into a sauerkraut powered
miasma which, erm, enlivened our journey back.
Slowing down our journey back was a slowly rolling continual traffic-jam
between Apeldoorn and Amersfoort. Comp7 was caught in it too, which was
small consolation. After about a couple of hours of this, we broke free and
dashed to Utrecht, whereupon we came off the motorway at the wrong place,
again, and it started to rain, heavily with thunder. It seemed like a poor-
taste joke rerunning our end of journey hassles at Dresden here too!
We had twenty interesting minutes following a road around a suburb to
nowhere in particular, eventually winding our way back out, and then somehow
back on the motorway, which was where life started to get easier again.
Finding the right exit in about a couple of minutes, and finding Comp7's
neighbourhood in a couple more. He had got back home not that long before
us, so maybe it was a good job we went on a darkened rainswept tour of the
Utrecht outer limits. (One of the places we spotted and remembered from a
previous visit, was Rich Karsmakers neighbourhood!)
After an hour unwinding, tea drinking, and watching some Discovery Channel
thing about crash-test dummies on Comp7's idiot box, we decided to call it a
night. A spot of nocturnal relaxing before our big day out in Amsterdam was
urgently called for.
Tuesday the 22nd of April, and we're all off to Amsterdam!
The morning is bright and clear, we are not..
There is a plan, favoured by Felice, to check out, for the umpteenth time,
the sights, sounds, and possibly some of the smells of Amsterdam, the Dutch
capital, and city of adult pleasures. It isn't too hard to persuade Comp7 to
take us to the railway station, with his fancy Routemaster style navigation
system that plots a route three times longer than would otherwise be the
case without it?
Comp is to meet us sometime later on, for a final evening meal and a drink
together, we opt for 20.00hrs, which seems like a bit of a while to wait.
The train to Amsterdam is quick and easy, and once we disembark at the
Central station, we make our way over to the retro gaming and computer shop
discovered by Felice this time last year. Heading down an unpromising
alleyway, it is still there, very much in business, with an assortment of
old and rare computer and console gear cramming the window display. Going
inside reveals even more stuff, and a proprieter who is clearly used to
hordes of geeks coming inside to worship at this temple of retro-computery,
without necessarily buying anything. He even has a fuji tattoo on his arm,
which might be taking love and devotion to the cause a bit too far?!
There is plenty to seem, including lots of old computer stuff, original
boxed Vic 20 software, including some very early Llamazap material, quite a
bit of stuff for a very old Philips console, even a boxed and ready to run
full BBC microcomputer system. This shop also has a rich assortment of rare
console gear, including some of the more recent post-Atari Lynx games, and
some very rare Japanese hardware, including the Bandai Wonderswan, yes, with
Gunpey as well! We enjoy ourselves thoroughly for twenty or so minutes, and
leave without buying anything...
After a Macdonalds related foodstop, we take in quite a few different shops,
including one dear to Felice's heart (Can I have a pound of sex please?")
Which was full of a bunch of giggling middleaged annoying Brits.
We also managed to cover quite a lot of record and video shops as well with
Asteroid asking about a Dutch artist too obscure for the Dutch record shop
staff! ("He's very popular on the internet!") One record shop has a resident
cat, who seems to be content to sit on the displays, and soak up all the
affection coming his way.
After picking up some mobile phone accessories (Felice), our walking tour
inevitably takes us to the land of the red light bulbs, Felice leading the
way. In this afternoon period, things seem a bit subdued, which isn't
necessarily a bad thing. Apart from one woman, who may have been on her way
to "work", who took an interest in Asteroid, whilst making duck noises and
making a grab for him! Poor old John was rather less interested. (I am *not*
making this up!)
We arrive at our destination, the "Old Sailor" pub, in the heart of the red
light district, and a few pints of lager follow, apart from Felice who
indulges in a glass of red wine once more, to the amazement of the barman.
From the safety of the bar, people-watching on the red light district proves
to be an interesting sport. Of momentary amusement, is a fiftyish
Rastafarian, who appears to be dancing to a tune only he can hear inside his
head. A little later on, this person concludes an extremely blatant drug
deal with a passerby, virtually in the pub doorway, ignoring the risk of
getting caught by the frequent police bike patrols.
Eventually, our legs and heads rested, we head back to sanity central, to
catch a few more shops before the evening closedown. The Dam square has a
funfair running in it. A real one, with proper full-sized scary rides, and
ferris wheels, and something that fires people into the air in a capsule on
the end of an elastic rope. Instead, we opt for the gentler option of a boat
trip on the canals of Amsterdam, at Asteroid's suggestion. For passing an
hour, this was a good suggestion, as we took in a whole lot of canals, and a
fair bit of the old harbour as well. By the time we get back to the
departure point, the time is getting near to meet with Comp7.
Comp7 arrives at Central Station, more or less on time, and we thankfully
pick our way out of the morass of suspicious characters hanging around the
place, looking for somewhere to eat.
We don't get that far, before succumbing to the temptations of a steak house
called 'Latino', or some such, promising authentic Argentinian beef, cooked
the way you want. (Which turned out to be rare, rare, or rare!) Relatively
underdone is the way I like my beef, which is how it comes, and the portions
are good. The restaurant is one of those places that continues onto the
pavement outside, so the atmosphere gets rather outdoorsy as the evening
draws on. Once our appetites are satisfied, we decide to return to the Old
Sailor for a final drink, crossing a redlight district which is teeming with
life by now, a lot of it elderly. A guided tour seems to have hundreds of
senior mums and dads following in its wake for some unknown reason. ("You
remember sex grandad? It was all a very long time ago, well this is what it
is like now!")
The Old Sailor is at a standing room only pitch of activity, and the place
seems to be full of Brits again (damn tourists!) And a beer or so later, we
decide to head for home.
There is some confusion as to where the train to Utrecht is going from,
owing to some rebuilding work at the station, but we just about catch an
express going our way, and settle back for the brief journey home. The very
last leg to Comp7's place, is on the tram, and briefly enlivened by a shit-
thick fourteen year old entertaining the assembled passengers, who thinks he
is some heavy illin' sweary rapper dude, rather than the over-accessorised
no-brained little prick he really is!
Some more sleep follows, after a post-trip crash and burn back at the
Wednesday, the final day.
I hear Comp7 leaving for work first thing, but do not wake sufficiently to
see him go. We get up sometime later, at around 10.00hrs. After breakfast,
and the final packing of our clothes and bedding for the journey home, we
turn to the sadly neglected realtime, in the form of a final outburst on
Felice's laptop, for some final thoughts on the party.
(The very last RTA bit!)
Closing Thoughts for Eil 3
11.05 Weds 23rd April..
Last day (sigh..) - CiH
After a couple of days where no-one has had the time or inclination to set
up a computer to record any thoughts for posterity, here we are, on our last
hour of free time on Dutch soil, waiting to start the journey home.
Yep on the last day, have spent last few days kind of chilling out with no
computer use at all, spent some time in Utrecht and Amsterdam, despite the
obvious dubious references to things you will find in large Dutch cities,
good respectable pubs and restaraunts are not hard to find, and the ones in
the very centre of Amsterdam had a strict no drugs policy. Some of the more
interesting shops included a couple of specialist record shops, and a retro
gaming store in a dark alleyway, which had a whole host of 80s technology
with neatly stacked boxes of different games behind the box, as the
propreitor was a friendly chap and seemed knowledgable and even had an Atari
tattoo on his arm.
Yep, yet another good EIL party. It was great to get down to the familiar
city of Dresden again, ok so we were at a new partyplace which proved tricky
to find at first, however, the advantages more than outweighed the
disadvantages. As John says above, we spent the afternoon and evening of
yesterday in sunny Amsterdam, taking in such delights as a funfair in the
city centre and also the pleasures of the RLD. The computer retro store that
is also mentioned above has been there for a while now, but it was a first
time visit for John and CiH.
Alls well that ends well, gonna make a move in a bit across to the port and
get booked in for the ferry home.
11.26 - CiH on the keys..
After a couple of fairly intense days, we are all very tired. Happy with the
quality of the party, didn't get quite such a great leap in quality of
releases from before, but the standards and expectations are a lot higher
now than ever. So with that, I'll move off this final bit of realtime and
close down, let the main part of the text pick up the end of the story..
(End of RTA, yes, really the end!)
We leave, after reading Comp7's final note to us ("Don't forget to slam the
door, it needs some force to make it shut properly!") The journey back, is
spacious and uneventful, in gloriously fine weather. The waiting around at
the Hoek van Holland is bearable for this reason, and for the generous
amounts of food served at the terminus restaurant. The ferry journey is
easy, less crowded than on the way over, with one of the ferry bar-persons
even recognising us from previous trips on their ship.
Harwich is trouble-free, after the document-losing drama of last year, and
after a brief stop to return some keys that Asteroid brought out with him
from the Queens Arms hotel, we are soon on our way back to Felice's domain.
Sometime after the final self-driven portion of car journey from St Neots
back to Northampton, I stumble into my premises at around 22.00hrs. Another
killer party adventure has finished, another great party has run its course,
all bar the releases turning up in the day and weeks ahead!
Impressions and conclusions!
I usually have a few things to say at the end of a party report from a more
distant perspective, this is two weeks later now, so why be different this
time? Anyway, first thing above all else, Error in Line 3 rocked! That issue
was never in doubt.
It was an unqualified success. The essential EIL party spirit survived its
transplant to the new location at Tusculum. It did feel 'different' in some
ways though. The original cellar party had its own unique if crowded
atmosphere. People had no choice about interacting with each other back
then, as half the time, you were literally climbing over them, to get to
somewhere else. At Tusculum, it was roomier, but also easier to keep
yourself to yourself, if that is what you wanted to do. I don't think some
people made a serious attempt to explore what was going on in the other
rooms, for the duration of the entire party? The numbers made it the biggest
EIL yet, with 120 plus people subtly changing the atmosphere in itself.
More people means more productivity, as we saw the biggest number of
releases yet, which was a welcome picking up after the drop in EIL 2. In
that respect, the third party felt much more like the first one.
With a two year gap since the last really major Atari party, a lot of people
were motivated to try harder, or even to come back completely from the dead.
Did I hear the name "Dune" quoted at this point? The big surprise for a lot
of people, was the reappearance of Defjam with the legendarily awaited
"Posh" demo, plus a couple of intros. Defjam has been a busy kiddie, and it
was great to see the end results of all that work here.
EIL 3 further enhanced its resemblance to EIL 1 with a rebirth of a large
interest in ST demos in particular. The Falcon part of the scene seems to be
hung on waiting for the CT60 to arrive. This is the explanation for the Dead
Hackers 'Darkness' ST demo, which was almost a last minute stand-in for
their CT60 Falcon demo, which quite reasonably, can't be coded properly
without the CT60 being ready! My favourite demo moments were the Dead
Hackers demo, Defjam and 'Posh', (of course!), but also Damo of the
Reservoir Gods pulling something somewhat different out of his coding hat,
and tSCc and Escape for their fuji-stretching efforts on the Falcon. I look
forward to seeing all of these, and the rest of the EIL 3 entries being
completed and released.
The overwhelmingly positive response to EIL 3 seems to be the catalyst for a
more general revival of the Atari scene. The big question being, can we make
it stick in the longer term? After all, two years until the next Error in
Line is a long time to wait.
There are some personal points to relate to this party. On just about all
counts, it was a much better trip than last year's flop. We encountered no
major disasters, and with the minor direction-finding related ones, we
managed to keep our heads and find our way out of them! Comp7, in place of
Havoc, was a very good host, and his apartment space and time were very much
appreciated before and after the party. May Bassment Productions rule the
As has come to be expected, the in-party facilities were very good, and
plentiful. The organisation and the organisers were of superior quality, and
the female components were babes! (hi Antje and Christina!)
There was a little bit of a downside, not nearly enough to spoil the party,
but it was there. With Grey absent, we seemed to lose contact with the rest
of the Polski's :( Damn shame, as one of the great times of EIL 2, was the
drinking party that we had, I was looking forward to a rerun of that!
Back on the upside, we did enjoy seeing the extra Frenchies this time
around, and also a packed Reservoir Gods section. It was especially cool to
meet Damo for the first time, and see Strata-RG again in a place other than
One person on the UCM realtime text said something to the effect of "I'm in
heaven, I don't want to go home at all!" I wouldn't quite agree, as 3-4 days
is just about right. But I would love to think that there will be an EIL 4
sometime, and some other great coding parties in the future!
Thanks to everyone who attended, for making it such a great party! And see
you at the next one!
(Several people contributed to this article, some without their prior)
(knowledge, so it is now that I praise the following...)
Photographic credits:- D-Force, Stratagem/RG.
Writing credits (RTA):- Asteroid, Felice, Earx.
Writing demerits! (Report and RTA):- CiH
CiH, for Alive!- April/May '03