Some months ago a lonely coder (far far away from home :) mailed me and
offered to bring a Falcon intro to AliveSX. Unfortunately Mikro, as we are
talking of him of course, met last minute bugs and finally had to cancel his
Luckily this incident didn't stop him and he went on and released his intro
with Chosneck 3. Tho not ass kicking, the intro looks and sounds good, bringing
fresh air to the Atari Scene, that's why I'm sending this interview to the man
as I'd like to yell "welcome" to the Fuji community !
STS : Hi Mikro ! As for every interview, we'll start with the usual stuff
like real name, country, age, occupation and so on. And do not hesitate to add
details when needed !
Mikro : Hi again, nice to know Alive! is still alive =) So.. my name is
Miro Kropacek, I'm living in Bratislava, a capital city of Slovakia and as
probably everyone except Western Europe knows Slovakia = Slovakia = Poland =
Slovenia :))) Sorry but this is very funny thing to me, I can't remember a mag
where our country was handled correctly - even in the last interview with
Coolgirls was the same bug; this is such hard to remember ?
We're a nation of champions in ice hockey !!! (ok ok, this time Sweden won, but
we finally kicked to ass Czechs and got 3rd place ! So, let's continue :-) I'm
21 since april'03, I study Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informations
Technologies in Bratislava, damn school, we're learning everything except
computer things :))
STS : And now with your Scene background. I cannot think of another intro
by you but Chosneck's, am I right or wrong ? Nice intro btw ! How long have you
been coding on Atari ? Have you ever belonged to a democrew ?
Mikro : It's correct. My first step on the Falcon scene was this crappy
intro, but I know scene for a long time. Firstly I was interested only in 8
bit section but here I came too late :-( It was around 1998 and in this time
most of polish coders were leaving the Atari :-( When I bought my MegaSTE, by
coincidence I got in touch with MC Laser/tSCc, he supported me with new ST
stuff for about 2 years via classic mail since I haven't acces to internet (I'm
at highschool since 2000) -- I have to thank him for this, it was really
amazing to got a letter from him full of cool stuff ;-)
How long have I been coding? Hmm... on small Atari I started with asm around
1999 (I could tell you a lot of funny stories how I bored and depressed Xi of
Satantronic with totally lame questions :-))), on ST I was lazy/dumb :) to code
and when I bought Falcon in 2001... everything has changed :)
Firstly, I looked every 4MB demo for about 1000 times, then I found in our
school shop (!!!) books about 68000/68030 CPU for unbelievable $1 (300 pages,
professional look, seriously printed under header of one of the biggest
computer publishers) ... I understood 68k syntax in one day and in august'01
during a session by Xi I remember my first asm try - filling a screen with
increasing colours :))) Then there was a one year pause, I mean in active
coding, since I've got a very time consuming work (let's add the school), but
it was good for something - I had a free inet access and I could to download
very useful stuff, I have to mention here Earx's MAKING OPTIMISED ASSEMBLY
CODE book, this is a basic stone of everything I use today! When I left this
job (May '02) I had a free hands, a lot of time and full disk of coding
tutorials ;) so I came to my grandfamily to country and during the biggest
floods in Europe I started with polygons :)
And since christmas'02 I'm coding on DSP... So, this is a long story of
my coding :) And no, I don't belong to any democrew, I'm alone runner :-)
STS : What are your projects now that you've released your intro ? Have you
received mails and/or offers from other crews who want you to join them ? While
we're here give us your email and url too since I remember you have a website.
Mikro : No, nobody noticed my coding talent :-)) I've got mails where ppl
wrote they like it, it's very good feeling to know someone find your production
nice :-) About my current projects : I just finished 6502 debugger for ST and
Falcon, but I need to find some GEM programmer since everything is working but
I need some GUI and this stuff I can't code :( But all my energy is in last 2-3
months dedicated to one thing: DSP asskicker :-)
Thank Tat, No and Earx who decided to release their source codes of their
DSP engines I could skip that phase of "dark ages" - I have a lot of examples,
Xi/Satantronic borrowed me DSP 56000/56001 User's Manual, simply I have
everything for decent DSP coding. But it's far away to speak about release
date... ah, yes, just one thing yet : game for Falcon. I think quite original,
but I didn't write one asm line yet ;-)) About my web : http://mikro.atari.org
(how unexpected =) there's an email contact, too.
STS : Tho i'm not sure if you're Polish or not, I guess that you must be
familiar with the Scene from Eastern Europe. So what's hot over there ? It
seems that after several years of huge activity the Eastern European Scene is
almost dead on 16bits ! What can you tell us about that ?
Mikro : I hope last misunderstanding about polish country :) But it's true
Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Estern Germany -- mekkas of
communism before 1989.. Hmm, what's hot... Czechs and Hungarians seems to
be dead from scene point of view, you know how looks situation in Poland -
Mystic Bytes' area, but I afraid they're dead, too. And what about Slovakia ?
Crazy Coolgirls, mainly 8bit oriented Satantronic and me. That's whole slovak
atari scene :-/ Aaaahhh, yeees, I have to write it here ! We (especially
Xi/Satantronic) started some weeks ago a news server dedicated just to Eastern
Europe's Atari scene: http://www.atari.sk ! There's a lot of things to do, but
Xi is collecting the news from this countries very seriously and very often
only atari.sk informs about some specialities.
STS : Do you plan to work again with Chosneck and Grey ? Maybe you've also
planned to attend the small party he's going to throw by late May in Gdansk ?
Mikro : I afraid not, it's too small and too far for us (the fact we share
the same boundary isn't important since Gdansk is for about 600 kms away from
us) BUT we want to visit very popular party in the past, QuaST Party in
Orneta in Poland. In this way I would to invite all 16/32 bit fans, you who
visited previous ones know it has a very specific spirit, these polish parties.
STS : Why didn't you attend EIL3 ? Oki with me if it's because of your
schedule/money problems, but I hope you're not scared by your fellow freaks :)
Never too late to attend next editon of EIL anyway :)
Mikro :-))) When I pasted this line to Xi/Satantronic he was very surprised
as I'm now :) Just for your information, we DID attend EIL3, we were there all
the time ;-) (we = Xi, me and Baky - Sandra's boyfriend and very active Atarist
in the past) I even wrote some lines to realtime text when we came back from
Melly's technoclub :) Great party btw!
STS : Since I seem to remember that there are lots of coding tutorials on
your homepage I cannot but think that you surely have already some nice screens
here and there. c'mon don't keep them locked up on a harddrive :) Btw do you
also code on ST ?
Mikro : I'm not sure what you mean under term 'screens' but if you mean
some cool looking parts of my demo experiments, no, I haven't any ;) In fact I
always wonder how can have someone filled disk with unused screens - I never
code anything just for coding, it's everything meaned to release :)
ST coding - officialy not, but when I had my monitor in Xi's house (-> no
Falcon), I did some experiments with polygon fillers (I hate c2p - in my
opinion this isn't ST coding - you can directly skip to Falcon's truecolor and
you'll get much cooler machine).
STS : As a Falcon coder you must be interested (or not :) by the so long
awaited CT060. Have you prepaid one ?
Mikro : Hey STS you don't read .txt files, do you? =) As I wrote in the one
attached to Chosneck's intro - I will be an owner of CT60, I'm awaiting it as
small child :) but I really afraid of future of demoscene... Super fast CPU, a
lot of FastRAM... I'm scared about vanishing that coding spirit, that
difference between Falcon coders and PC/Amiga lamers (yeah, Amiga too, what da
hell is cool on "coding" an INTRO (!!!) in C language???)
STS : do you think that other accelerators could give the Falcon a 2nd
life or are there still features of the bird that can be pushed further ? After
all the ST limits have been frequently broken over the 18 last years !
Mikro : I'm SURE Falcon breaking is only in beginning stage.. but ST's
boundaries have been broken so often because there wasn't any alternative
(PC = shit for office, Amiga = nearly the same parameters as ST). Now we have
PCs+3D cards, accelerated Amigas and even Falcons... I think this decreases
coder's motivation to hardcoding a lot :( About other accelerators: I respect
only 3 accelerators and one TOS clone : Nemesis/Phantom, CT2, CT60 and Phenix
project. All the others I ignore because of incompatibility (xTOS, Milan,
Tempest, ...) Especially that Phenix I find the biggest loss on Atari board,
this could be THE machine not only on Atari market... Fuck to Centek and
especially EXA guys who decided to make Phenix OS and then gave it up
completely... shame on you !
STS : I don't remember meeting you on IRC (not anywhere else indeed).
Does it mean you're a shy guy ? Too busy ? I hope you're not falling into
inactivity like the whole Polish Scene :((
Mikro : No chance, be sure :) I was on IRC sometimes (years ago :), I
remember how Ray/tSCc tried to explain me the principle of fixedpoint used in
S1/FUN intro :))) In fact I haven't any motivation to spent my time on chats if
I don't need something... I used something similar like IRC to communicate
with Xi (to save money for phone) but in other cases... it's more efficient to
code than craptalk on irc...
STS : You recently updated highly criticized Falcon demo REVERTANT so that
it runs on CT2. Tho it's far from perfect yet, that's quite brave to keep on
someone else's work ! How did you come up with that idea ?
Mikro : Firstly I would to say everyone who criticized this demo is in my
opinion a man who don't know the story behind this demo. Winio was for a long time
a swapper of Cobra group. That means everything except coder ;) In 1998 Cobra's
members joined to Whelpz and Winio left alone.. In LESS THAN ONE YEAR he
learned ASM code (total newbie in coding !!) and was able to do 3D things he
showed us in 'Generation Gap' intro from Last Party'98. After three months he
released Revertant demo... I would like to ask people like Moondog how much time
they need to learn 3D coding in asm ? This is a classic situation if a non-coder
reviews some demo - it's shitty slow, fuck it.
But back to the topic ;) I came with this idea because I'm owner of Phantomed
Falcy and my friend, Xi/Satantronic is even owner of CT2 and (hopefully) this
time you read this we're both owners of CT60. I was just curious how fast it
will be, that's all ;)
STS : Do you know the guys of COBRA (makers of REVERTANT if I remember
well) and/or did you mail them about your project ? Do you plan to make other
demos CT2 or CT060 compatible ? Is it for personal fun only ?
Mikro : I met Winio personally at EIL99, but this time I was too lame to
ask/talk with him I remember they selected textures for Revertant on Xi's
Falcon :)) Dunno if Winio has some active mail, I was lazy to check it/ask Grey
for it. Ofcourse it was just-for-fun project, I had even 38 degrees temperature
all the time I was hacking it :))) About CT2 demos - YES. Mentioned DSP demo
wont be only asskicking DSP code, but it will be THE FIRST CT2 DEMO, too.
(sorry, but Don't Break the Oath isn't CT2 demo... it's only... slow demo ;)
About CT60 demo - let's read Earx's log file attached to Delta demo. I 100%
agree with him. Aha, now I'm reading the question again, you asked about more
conversions =) Maybe, it's pretty easy if you have the right tools ;) I'm
thinking about 'IT' by Shadows, it's full of scenes that need to speed up...
Maybe some request from other ppl would be useful...
STS : wake up, it's brainstorming time. Use the first letter to complete
every word as it comes to you. to make things a bit harder I decided to add the
name CHOSNECK to your nick (hey Mikro is only 5 letters long ! :)
M : MegaSTE. Nice machine. I thought it is as fast as Falcon =)
I : Interpolation. The key of everything.
K : K instead of C? Yes, just to be original! :))
R : Revertant. My first experience with reverse hacking.
O : Operating Systems. The most hardcore thing at our school :)
C : Clipping. I remember my first line clipping routine, pain in ass!
H : House, techno, drum'n'bass and german commerce techno - I love it!
O : Obsolete. Very strange word :-)
S : Satantronic. The coolest ppl I know, but far away from Bratislava:)
N : No Limit Coding. The best demo music I ever heard (Tekkno Drugs)
E : Extasy? LSD? Alcohol? The first questions on german's boundaries
when we went to Berlin (Love Parade) :-)
C : Calculator. I can't live without hexa convertor :-)
K : Key framing. This was a real surprise in Revertant.
STS : thanks a lot for taking on your time to answer all these questions !
Any message you want to spread ? Maybe you're looking for collaborators,
whatever, but use this opportunity.
Mikro : Wow thanks :-) About collaborators, mainly free gfx man is wanted.
I found some guy in my city, but he's more 3D oriented (.3ds stuff) So if you
have some pics and want to release it in a demo -> email@example.com.
Or if you are talented coder and you're scared to release something alone. Or just
for fun :)
STS : I hope we're going to see more from you soon, meaning before the next
issue of Chosneck, don't be lazy ! :p
Mikro : Heh, lazy. Try to ask Xi how fucking lazy I am :) Everytime I call
him "Xiiii, my 3D engine was boosted up to XX FPS !!!!" his answer is in style
"I'll kick you to your ass and kill you I want to have as much time as you
have" :-) So, as you could see, I'm coding and coding, from 18.00 to 04.00
nearly every day... :)