V PART 2
Okay, so this is a lot later, and not at all realtime. I had planned to do
some more realtime text-tapping when I was back at Q-Funk's place, but
limited opportunity, inclination, and space to set up in, meant that I
didn't. So anything else written from here on, is going to be in a past
One of the corporately sponsored competitions was the mobile phone camera
picture competition. This was laid on by Nokia, generously providing the
facilities, and also a prize for this, namely one of the top of the range
mobile camera phones in question. Entrants to this, had a short time with
one of these cameraphones to rush around Gloria and the surrounding
wilderness, to take pictures of whatever they thought would win a prize.
This one goes to a judging panel, rather than a vote, I am surprised to find
myself part of that panel, but the bulk of the decision-making is left to
still photography fan Q-Funk, and probably a good job too.
In the meantime, I am distracted by another competition being outputted to
the big screen. This is the Text Mode Demo Competition, organised by Finnish
sceners tAAt, with the entries for this one gathered in earlier, and
screened here at the Alt Party. This uses a hairy combination of PeeCee demo
coding, and the ancient ANSI text mode, beloved of a thousand and one
bulletin board logo's c.1991.
Apart from the blockiness evident in using such a screen mode, the effects
being shown bear every resemblance to contemporary demo stuff. It looks like
there are more colours used, than for an old-style CGA/EGA PeeCee, and the
level of sound support is 'improvised' in places. The overall standard is
very high, and all the demos seem to run from within a smart 'shell' which
details the ranking of each demo, counting back to the number #1 entry.
In the end, a cool Amiga style oldschool demo, pips a more recognisable
Newschool effort to the winning post...
With all thoughts of going back to Q-Funk's place before the prizegiving now
gone, we decide to repair a food-related deficiency at that purveyor of
near-substitute foodlike substances called Madonalds. They do their thing
rather smartly, and we return to Gloria, grab a vacant table upstairs, and
pig out on the food-substitutes.
Soon, the end of Alt Party V is near, only the prizegiving and closing
ceremonies are left....
Here is the official results file, with comments added by myself at the end
of each category, where it might hopefully help to explain things better.
ALTERNATIVE PARTY V - Results
Compo: Realtime Mobile Gaming
That one slid right past me...
Compo: Realtime Mobile Photography
The event which was judged rather than voted on. There were quite a lot of
cool entries for this one. Only one prize winner though!
Compo: Two-colour Graphics
1) Is It True? by Ansichrist 85
2) Sad Creature by Ravel/Sleber Eid 84
3) Apt Pupil by DiamondDie/foobug^Numedia Cyclops 53
4) This Forest of Love by Nosfe 47
5) XTC Legalized in Finland Only Minutes Ago by Geel/Faktory 46
6) Bouh! by Baggio/Evulution 45 (*)
7) Really by Serialthriller/Moonhazard 38
8) Paeaestaekaeae minut pois kalliosta by Scoopr 36
9) Uncle-X:n iloksi by 333elite/ISO 27
10) Turin by Visy/Tukka 6
Sadedelfi by DiamonDienpikkusisko/Numedia Cyclops
(reason: author not present at the party)
Mun bestiksen penis by 18v jatkaeae jonka mutsi jne of Jumalauta
(reason: wrong file format, should have been png)
(*) Not such bad going from our Swedish hero. A few more votes would have
put him in the prizes.
Compo: Realtime Short Story
1) 6 by DiamonDie 43
2) 5 by Elfie 37
2) 2 by Nosfe 37
4) 4 by MegaMies 35
5) 1 by Sauli/JML 20
6) 3 by Molox 19
7) 7 by jobe 15
Compo: Elite Ship Building
1) Battle-damaged Viper by Depressio/Naemok 84
2) Shadow by Spiikki/Dekadence 60
3) Kukkia ja mehiläisiä by Tazze 30
4) Nosfe by Nosfe 30
5) Kirkkovenealus by Britelite/Dekadence 29
6) Afrikka by Ansichrist 28
7) Sidewinder by Ravel/Sleber Eid 26
8) j1g54w by DiamonDie/Foobug^Numedia Cyclops 25
9) Cobra MK-1 Backwards Edition by Scoopr 10
10) Cobra MkII (?) by Tuoppi/Sleber Eid 9
This was a cool competition. Most people contented themselves with colouring
in advanced origami recreations of classic Elite spaceships, but the first
prize winner was a decent attempt at model-making, including authentic
battle damaged laser burning and scarring near the rear of the craft. Now if
it could have been flown?!
1) Pupu by ISO 44
2) "Dragon" Lohikäärme by Elfie 41
3) Freedom Alt 2004 SEW by Entil / Fractal Kru 31
4) Sunflower by Spiikki/Dekadence 26
5) Alternative Pacman by DiamonDie/Numedia Cyclops 25
6) Squat the Planet by Nosfe 18
6) A Stupid Dog on a Surfboard by MegaMies 18
8) ? by Karvaisten rkkien kasvatusyhdistys 17
9) Growth by Stibe 16
10) Old School by Kristoffer Lawson 14
11) Kala-allas by Molox 12
11) "Die Rebels" by Tuoppi 12
13) How to Get AMIGA by DeLada 10
13) Porkkana by Maarit "Tazze" Klami 10
15) Bernhardilainen by Rasputina 8
15) Squiggly by Liberty 8
17) QBE by Scoopr 7
18) OM by Atte Joutsen 5
Yes, there was such a compo, and the idea blows my brain as well.
Compo: General MIDI Music
1) Gone Laserdancing by Little Bitchard/MFX^Kwl 137
2) Blue Sparks by Pinza/Unique 90
3) We Operate by Jobe/Matt Current 76
4) BaBiBu by Paaris/Tukka 48
5) Sunny Games by Sauli 44
6) Rue Tama by Tonic 32
6) Mun Biiisi by Nunna/ISO 32
8) Hiippailua by Waffle 19
Missed this one, sorry, food was more important.
Compo: Dynamic Demo
1) Juustomaariageneraattori by Exile Studios 194
2) Micery by Bandwagon & Fit 141
3) L'art_pretentiux by MFX 61
4) Noir by Mäyrä 32
5) Tukkage! by Visy/Tukka 17
6) TI-557 by Paaris/Tukka 12
Hilary Rozen by Donkeysex.com (Atari Falcon) (*)
(reason: demo not dynamic)
(*) That result wasn't unexpected, but we could have got around it, if we
knew in advance the calibre of some of the other entries. (Falling far short
of the competition rules by going for some lame randomisation, in my view!)
Still, it got shown, and got the most laughs of the evening, which is what
The first place entry was some kind of cartoon with a random conversation in
Finnish going on between two characters, apparently using incomplete
fragments of sentences, and very funny for that part of the audience. The
most impressive entry, technically, was the Mac-based 'Micery' demo, which
seemed to be more of a simulation with packs of minature clockwork mice
roaming around a maze, being chased by different kinds of bouncing balls.
Third prize went to Nosfe, for something that was a little bit too messed up
through the projector, which had problems handling heavy screenmode
The fourth place 'Noir' was a black and white photo slideshow, with a film
noir soundtrack, both parts playing randomly. Tukkage, the other oldschool
entry, was a fairly simple Vic 20 demo, which managed to randomise colours,
and the TI-86 demo did something fairly dull with sine waves.
Compo: Software Sound Synthesis
1) Glowing by ld0d 165
(Windows; c; executable size 20480 bytes)
2) Trollenscheisse by Viznut/pWp 140
(GNU/Linux, c & assembly, executable size 2100 bytes)
3) Llamazonia by Gasman 95
(GNU/Linux, perl; source size 1259 bytes)
4) Wavebuilder by Bass Cadet 65
(GNU/Linux, c; executable size 8231 bytes, patch file 2186 bytes)
Jormation by Vesuri/da Jormas
(AmigaOS, assembly; 7 executables, ~6370 bytes each)
(reason: author not present at the party)
Missed that one too, (See MIDI music compo). It was a really good curry
Compo: Poetry Recital
1) Poetry Resist by ISO 69
2) Fire in Our Hearts by Nosfe 56
3) Elämä by Ravel 55
4) Poetry Recital by Abho 54
5) Ode to the RIAA by Felice/Maggie Team 50
6) Aamukuva by DiamonDie/foobug^Numedia Cyclops 43
7) SMS by Lobotomy 21
A closely packed top order there, only a handful of votes separating 2nd
from 5th place, Felice was unlucky there! Felice was also the only english
language entry, as far as I remember?
Compo: Silent Movie
1) Vihannexia - Vegetables by MegaMies 125
2) Harmu 19,417 by Kameli 59
3) Paranoid by Numedia Cyclops 45
4) Agnosia Live by Agnosia 33
5) Virne voittaa Nosfen kompossa by Virne 30
6) The Last Best Hope by Ravel 25
7) Infinity^2 by Nosfe 22
8) Untitled by Stibe 20
9) Aropupu by ISO 19
10) Mun on niin paha olla by Perselintu! 17
11) Kohtalon tanssi by Tukka 13
One of the more memorable competitions, apart from the fact that all the
entries blur together in a series of half-recalled impressions and images,
so the war grave movie blends into the silent band playing a gig, closely
followed by a couple of cartoon detectives blowing up a petrol station! Bass
Cadet on piano, with his classic 'silent movie soundtrack' style, proved to
be an effective accompaniment to these films.
Compo: Realtime Comic-drawing
1) 11 by Ansichrist 51
2) 5 by Britelite/Dekadence 39
3) 1 by J. Pupu 26
4) 3 by DiamonDie 25
5) 7 by Nosfe 21
6) 6 by Jobe/MC 20
7) 16 by Spiikki 19
8) 13 by Modust/Exile 18
9) 10 by Gasman/Hooy Program 16
10) 4 by Uhef/Exile 14
11) 12 by Kanttu 11
12) 2 by cih (*) 10
12) 14 by Felor 10
14) 15 by Antti Mikkinen 9
14) 9 by Paaris/Tukka 9
16) 8 by Vizy/Tukka 3
(*) Yes I did have a go at that. Twelth place reflects the fact that from a
thirty minute competition, I spent ten minutes on my entry! The funniest
entry was a satire of 'Clippy', the Microsoft annoying desktop widget, given
'alternative' work as a stethoscope.
A: You are feeling a funny pain in your left arm.
B: You are about to die!
C: Why don't you reboot windows..
D: Please buy this expensive health insurance!
Or something like that, anyway, I hope it won.
Compo: BASIC Demo
1) Excellence[tm] by Ananasmurska 90
2) Solutus by ISO 71
3) Hikiliikkuja - Perspiratual Motion Machine by tAAt 2004 61
4) Sieni pakottaa by Nyyrikki 49
(MSX Basic 4 & X-Basic)
5) Threederles by Spiikki/Nalleperhe^DKD 40
6) Oksennus 2 by Megamies/Gluterol 34
7) One Last Time by Lucid 16
8) Sikakreisi by Pahamoka/Naemok 14
9) Mutsiis kans by Visy/Tukka 12
10) 288 Lines of QBasic Power! by RV-1991 11
11) Weeden by Depili 4
Cool! The Excel demo won! The overall standard of this compo was pretty
Compo: World Domination
This was the obligatory Setok fit of self-indulgence competition. The
general aim of this competition was to achieve 'World Domination', or a
state as close as possible, and to have this process documented by the
media. This could have meant anything, from Finnish demo collective advances
world revolution agenda with excessively preachy manifesto, to finnish demo
collective swallows and destroys Microsoft through cunning use of global
Compo: Most Obscure Computer
1) Bethvoid/Bleubtreu (Texas Instruments some model)
Do you get the feeling that the original interest in older hardware is
slipping away rather too quickly to be decent?!
------------------------ A:\ Run exit procedures --------------------------
The prize giving ceremony goes on for a while, with all the different
competitions. The lucky (male) winners have the added bonus of being greeted
by the lovely Alt Party mascot 'MaryCloud', and more of her later, yes yes,
you've said that before!
From there, dissolution is remarkably quick, and the end is near. it is at
that point, that we get to meet some last minute people, in the form of a
couple of UK'ers who we managed to miss seeing for the entire duration of
the party up to now! These are a couple of Welsh females, with the look of a
mother and daughter set-up. I didn't get enough information about the
precise nature of their relationship to each other? They are connected with
the inner workings of Llamasoft and the sheep cult surrounding Jeff
"otherwise quite sane" Minter. We get on like the proverbial house-inferno,
they mention something about a Llamasoftie camping trip that might well come
about in the summer. With that news, Alt Partygoers are flying in all
directions, and soon, it is our turn to leave the scene of the crime too.
Q-Funk has managed to book a massively luxurious taxi-like minibus. A
vehicle which can carry seven people and luggage in comfort has no problem
with us three, and our slender baggage requirements, and pretty soon, we are
at the new Q-Funklie GHQ, somewhere in the outer reaches of Helsinki.
Whilst we have been running in a self-contained manner in the party
environment, outside, some fresh falls of snow have been making life
interesting, as we slather the last couple of yards back to Q-Funks
apartment. We soon settle in, a large degree of tiredness takes over for the
next couple of hours or so, as Martin's bed is so very comfortable, and he
catches up with various domestic items and IRC'ing, and Felice makes various
people reassuring phone calls to distant parts of the world.
Thoughts eventually turn to getting an evening meal. This is within a short
walking distance at the local Chinese restaurant, which is having a quiet
post-Xmas Sunday. Whilst waiting for the three-course meal that we ordered,
Q-Funk explains that the Chinese restaurant trade around these parts is very
helpful, as they are the only places open on Xmas day! Fine if you can't be
too bothered yourself.
Whilst we are eating our meal, Q-Funk starts to worry about a French guy
called 'Nystep' who turned up to Alt, who is staying at some seedy dive in
the downtown part of Helsinki. Nystep latched onto Marty as a friendly
French-speaking source of help, in an otherwise strange country. Nystep is
experiencing hassles with the owners of said seedy dive, and having
difficulties in drawing cash out of the hole in the wall ATM. (Both of these
problems proved to be entirely solveable upon closer examination.) Anyway,
there is a pre-planned pub crawl taking place from 20.00hrs on, in that same
downtown area. So it is, we are headed there just a bit later on...
The journey to downtown takes in quite a lot of public transport, both above
ground, and the subway and also about half a mile's worth of sliding across
snow-covered pavements. Setok is tantalisingly imprecise about where he and
the other organisers have located themselve to, but a phone call later finds
us in the right place. We gratefully enter the bar, and the bartender seems
to be glad to see us, to the point of shouting greetings....
"Hey hey!" he shouts, we think, "Great, he knows us!", but his remarks are
addressed to the two drunks nearby, who are busily twatting each other in
the near corner. Well it was mainly one guy hitting the other, who seemed to
be rolling rather well with the incoming punches. We conclude that it would
perhaps be a bit premature to start ordering drinks at that moment?! The
warring parties are disentangled and evicted, with a cheery "Fuck you!"
issuing from the more insulted and aggressive party, and we are able to
settle down for the rest of the evening, robbing the chairs that have just
been forcibly cleared for our own use! Apart from Setok, several other
organisers and their guests are present as well, including Baggio, Partycle,
Wiztom, and several females seen in various places around the party. Q-Funk
goes to talk to Nystep, to sort out his situation, even leaving the bar with
him at some point, to sort out the hotel hassles.
The rest of the evening passes very pleasantly, but we gradually become
aware of another fuckwit starting to intrude on our enjoyment horizon. This
is a middle-aged drunk, complete with a Saddam Hussein style untidy beard,
whose idea of haute couture is to wear clothing with the beer company logo
printed on it. He is not unpleasant at first, even speaking some drunkard
French dialect to the unfortunate Nystep. He, without his prior consent, has
been previously appointed this evening's "Loony magnet", thus freeing the
rest of us from such drunken menaces!
By the time people are starting to leave, it is almost the midnight hour,
and this guy is offering to fight people in English. We don't get to witness
the aftermath, but gather that a vigilant bar tender managed to sort out
this person, and send him on his way too.
Back across town, and a dash for a late bus home. Miss late bus, pass a few
not unpleasant minutes waiting for the next one, and reflecting on the fun
and games of the party thus far. We get back home soon after, and put an end
to Sunday, a general collapse into various forms of sleeping equipment
Ah, pleasant blackness, soft but unyielding. Well almost, as when it is just
starting to get light, a dreamstorm across my cerebral cortex blasts me to a
brief wakefulness. A quick bathroom pitstop helps greatly, and the next bout
of sleep is a much more relaxing affair.
Eventually, at some point very late in the morning, or early in the
afternoon, we all manage to stir ourselves very reluctantly, eventually
doing the getting up thing. I finally get to meet Q-Funks' new room-mate,
who came with the new apartment. He is a big improvement on the mad drunk
from the two previous Alt sleepovers. His only fault is to look something
like a Finnish edition of Yahoo Serious! In the adjoining room, his very
nice cutie blonde girlfriend can be seen playing something with a shooty-
death mayhem theme on their PeeCee..
We are only able to rouse ourselves very slowly, in the post party
aftermath. It is getting into the late afternoon period by the time we
manage to drag ourselves off to town. We make sure that our after-party gear
is taken with us, as we are planning to make our way straight there in the
evening, without coming back to Martin's place. Outside, it has been snowing
somewhat, not too heavily, but enough to provide something of fresh interest
to walk on.
A bus looms out of the grey and blizzardy conditions and we get on
gratefully. Then a very lengthy episode of bus and local railway gets us to
the residence of Q-Funk's current squeeze, whom we met briefly at the party.
She is at work, but Martin catches up on his sanitary refreshment there, and
that apartment is very comfortable, too much so, when we have to venture
forth into the snowfields once more..
We go back into the city centre, this time on a search for pizza. This is
duly found, in a neat bar-cafe not too far from Rax's, the domain of 'Eat
until you explode'. Q-Funk is a regular there, and the bar person seems to
know him well. What is given to us foodwise, is plenty to be going on with.
Whilst we are contentedly pigging away, Nystep turns up, his hotel and
monetary hassles solved, and he is seemingly pleased to see us.
The next vital and necessary step, is to secure some inportant alcohol
supplies for the after-party, and it is to the 'Alko' booze shoppe, that we
adjourn to next. We spend an enjoyable fifteen or so minutes mulling the
many choices over. Felice opts for a bottle of fine old red wine, I am
caught in a dilemma over several different varieties of flavoured vodka,
choosing a big bottle for public enjoyment, and a smaller bottle for my own
abuse! We pay for our liquor, carefully averting the distainful gaze of the
cashier, who no doubt has had state-sponsored training, with periodic
refresher courses, in the art of looking down on people who choose
intoxicating liquids for pleasure.
Time is getting on by then, the appointed hour of sauna is near! Thence we
goto the mighty After-party!
A bus ride gets us to the spot where we came upon Jeff Minter and visiting
party last year, and we head, bottles clinking, firstly to the place where
the Reservoir Gods refused to bow down and worship the sauna after the third
Alt Party. This turns out to be the wrong venue, so we head on over to the
scene of last year's Yak-baptism of steam, which happens to be the right
location for this year's shindig.
Now this afterparty left lots and lots of different impressions. It might
take me a while to gather in all the juicy ones, so bear with me a bit.
Anyway, I can tell you straight off, that we were there nice and early,
before most other people had arrived.
We donate our booze to the kitchen supplies, and start to discreetly crack
open the odd bottle or two ourselves. Felice develops a taste for the vodka
that I brought. Meanwhile, he has unpacked his laptop, having first
remembered to bring it with him, and we are initially absorbed in browsing
off the 'No Fragments' ST demo collection CDR, via the STeem emulator.
Other people gradually start to arrive, the sauna is warming up, a big log
fire crackles invitingly in the fireplace nearby. Another stout Atarian,
Baggio, has opted to stay around for this afterparty, which was a good
decision on his part. Setok turns up briefly, and disappears again for a
time, the better to catch some more sleep, other recognisable faces, such as
Twilighte, Partycle, and Wiztom all turn up before too long too.
The expensive Epsom projector, which made the Alt Party bigscreen so
viewable, is back with us again. The sponsors would no doubt be horrified to
see it put to work in such a drunken and bohemian environment! There is a
muchly varied menu of things shown on the big screen. A strange game by
Finnish demo collective 'tAAt' seems to be very popular, which is a person-
mashing game at the hands, or wheels of a big truck. You take turns to crash
this person and truck into a wall, tweaking settings for position and angles
of ramps, and even where to have this person sitting, inside, outside, or
right in front of the truck! Damage points are built up, according to how
catastrophic your "solution" is!
Nobody we saw got into the really big points shown on the highscore, but we
did have some amusing moments on the way, such as the run which catapaulted
the player perfectly onto the top of the wall, or the crash which suceeded
in lobbing them over the wall, but the camera panned around just in time to
catch the last limb-twitch of the newly created corpse! Finnish sceners,
criminally insane? Naah! Just "differently moralled"!
There are lots of different PeeCee things. A wide selection of demo material
over the course of the evening, fortunately without the Amiga gayscene
material which blighted last year. We even have a little bit of a go
ourselves, as Felice manages to hook up his laptop, with the No Fragments
disk, and bash the population with a selection of the ST's greatest hits, he
chooses oldschool stuff such as the evergreen Mindbomb, where as I opt for
some newer smash hits, such as EIL 3 hit 'Darkness'. Of course, the still
mighty 'Brain-Damage' got a choice spot, out of respect to the members of
Aggression who attended the party. Wiztom delights in telling us which bits
of that demo, were cunning coding cheats!
And did we manage to get away without playing "H-Demo IV"? Of course not! It
is made even better when we are able to point out one of the participants in
that notorious video capture, namely Baggio, who tried to accentuate his
lack of hair and growth of beard compared with back then, but without
It may have been a couple of hours, or possibly even more in, by the time
the sauna kicked off?
The arrival of a still uncharacteristically quiet Nosfe changed the mood, as
he was in there first. Soon, a stream of people were making their way to the
changing rooms, for the latest instalment of naked steam powered action!
This starts off in the usual manner, familiar to readers of past Alt Party
reports. But after a while, certain format changes become apparent. A number
of females conncted with the Alt Party have also turned up. This injection
of the fairer sex includes the fragrant presence of the delicious Marycloud!
Marycloud Satan, erm Setok!
It soon becomes apparent that these female members are not waiting for the
creation of a segregated sauna area, as they strip off and join right in!
Suddenly, those people not already committed to the Sauna, become more than
usually interested! Without going into details, and looking like a bit of a
pervert in the course of writing this report, I might take this opportunity
to pass my compliments on to all the women who entered the sauna with us, on
the night of that afterparty! You were all very nice indeed!
Notwithstanding the interesting fact that a mixed sauna is not so common in
Finland, most people take matters in their stride. A hotbox with added steam
isn't the sort of place where you get too excited. However, others weren't
so easy with the concept, as poor old Nystep managed to get a stiffy upon
sighting the fair and unencumbered female flesh. (I'm not taking bets, but
I've got a feeling it was MaryCloud 'wot triggered that reaction!?) When
this was mentioned to her later, she took it as a compliment!
The whole sauna thing goes on for quite a while, a lot longer even than at
the previous after-parties. The action transfers to the smaller wood burning
sauna. I was one of the first in there, whilst it was still getting to full
temperature. It was a very nice sauna, especially when the steam was up.
According to sauna expert Setok, a lot less harsh and easier to tolerate for
longer periods than the big electric one.
Some people went outside briefly, Nystep with the ladies rolling in the
snow, possibly to reduce his groinal swelling?! I went outside for a while
with Twilighte and others, which was a tolerable feeling, apart from
everyone's feet getting very cold.
The sauna action climaxes (ahem!) with a record of sorts being established
for the most people in a confined space. This would be two women, and a
dozen blokes in a space which would fit nine people comfortably! And I was
in there, at one stage, sitting next to MaryCloud, who was the 'middle
layer' of a lap-sitting 'sandwich!' She was clearly enjoying the situation,
and the guy underneath had never suffocated more enjoyably!
The whole sauna experience, naked chicks and all lasted a long time, I
reckon past midnight. In between skinny-dipping sessions in steam, Marycloud
was indulging in a series of make-up experiments on various people, who were
prepared to put up with the minor inconvenience of her wrigging on them!
Twilighte and Partycle were painted up to look like Rocky Horror Show
Partycle walks like an Egyptian, Wiztom and Felice reflect on a lucky escape!
In the meantime, our old friend, and the refuge of the labouring classes,
DRINK had not been forgotten. There was plenty of it brought into the party.
I soon managed to finish off my own personal supplies, with the enthusiastic
help of Felice, who turned into a little bit of a vodka fan that night! Then
it was time to tuck into the substances that others had brought with them!
Quite a bit later, some people fell off the pace. Twilighte was one such, as
he crashed for a couple of hours near the end of the party. Some people
resorted to a Playstation dance-mat game for crazed entertainment. The log
fire roared on, the drink was gradually searched out and drunk. I seem to
remember carrying out a search of the kitchen area with someone, possibly
Wiztom, and carrying on a loud conversation like something out of the Viz
Comic "Drunk Bakers" strip.
"Looks like all the vodka's gone... Good stuff that is.."
"Here, have a shot at this Pastis that Nystep brought, it's strong stuff on
its own, but better with water, turns all milky..."
"Mmmm, not sure about that one, tastes funny, like aniseed.."
A bit later still and some people get an attack of the munchies. This
entails eating anything to hand... There was a nice open fire, which some
people were in danger of falling into, but there was no reindeer stew, or
barbeque sausages organised. The snacks and crisps supplied had long gone by
then. I do remember getting my hands on a small microwave pizza, which
tasted fantastic in the booze-fuddled and hunger-sharpened conditions.
Eventually, at around 06.00, the party is beginning to run down. Everything
fun or useful has been done, and everything consumable has run dry. I am
starting to feel more than a little sleepy myself. There is something of an
en-masse departure for early buses, as the bleary-eyed crowd staggers into
the new day..
Our bus takes us most of the way home. Not quite all, as we walk the last
half a mile partway across the bridge back to the city centre, which was
alarmingly described as 'two kilometres' by the Q of Funk. So either he is a
very poor judge of distance, (See Altparty III report!) Or a particularly
miraculous "beer taxi"(*) was operating that morning!
(*) Definition time, ho hum, "Beer Taxi", the means whereby you somehow get
home when you are very drunk, without being able to recall too much of the
So about ten minutes of walking later, I recognise that I am back in Q-Fey's
neighbourhood, and the cheer in my heart substains me the last hundred
metres or so to my waiting bed and SLEEP!
We struggled awake sometime around midday, maybe a bit later. There was a
simple plan for our last day, which was to meet up with the remaining
international visitors, at the premises of 'Molly Malones for one last
It is late afternoon before we have pulled ourselves together properly, to
be able to get away to town. Q-Funk's room-mate is very helpful with a big
supply of fresh hot coffee on tap, but he has to leave as well.
We meet with Twilighte in the rather congenial 'Pullman Cafe', which is on
the top floor of the Central Railway Station. This has a limited but tasty
menu, so we order food, and linger for a fair while there. We do get talking
about various ALT party issues, and dishing out the gossip on some of the
people at Alt. We also get to hear a bit more of the inside story of 'Alt-
TV', and the people doing silly crazy things with it, early in the morning!
We get to Molly's first, order drinks, and find out that a lot of our first
choices aren't actually available, for one reason or another, try again, and
again, until we all have something we're reasonably happy with, then proceed
to find a spot in the far corner that can accomodate us, and the rest when
they turn up. Baggio, Partycle, Wiztom all arrive soon after. We spend a
considerable dollop of time at Mollys, at least getting another drink or two
Some kind of live music act is setting up on the small stage nearby, so most
of the visiting party leaves, apparently going on to some snooker place. But
Q-Funk, Felice and I stay where we are, as Q-Funk's girlfriend, and her best
friend are coming to meet us at Molly's. The band start to play, and it
turns out to be an undemanding rock outfit, playing cover versions of middle
of the road stuff, at a not too harsh volume. Clearly the exposure to the
many and varied live acts at Alt, has raised our game for musical endurance!
We even get talking to some of the local females who are watching the band
next to us. I end up chatting to a redheaded girl called Miha. (excuse
spelling of the name?) She had been to the UK, and had gained some
interestingly hairy work experience over there. She was good company, a good
laugh even, and she revealed that she had just finished with her significant
other, and was going out with some friends to cheer herself up. It seemed to
be working... I get the feeling that I could have been onto a good thing if
the situation had been slightly different? But then again, I could be
kidding myself ;-)
As the midnight hour approaches, Mollys is getting very crowded, awaiting
the climax of the live music, but we bid farewell to our new friends, and
start back home, as we have a bit of an early start for the flight home.
Wake up, stagger in darkness, lights go on, bathroom, get dressed, pack
everything, crush last gasp of air from air mattress. Between the three of
us, this final act is carried out awesomely quickly, to the point where we
are ready to set off by 07.00.
So we do..
There is not a lot more to add, we are well-served by the various buses
going from Q-Funk's to the airport, the latter service being the luxurious
direct shuttlebus connection. It is still very dark out, as we glimpse the
rush hour traffic building up but going the other way into town.
The flight back is a weary action-replay of the flight over, and all too
soon, we are back in time-adjusted to GMT Britain. Stanstead proved to be
easy to negotiate, and we reacquaint ourselves with Felice's car, driving on
the correct side of the road, and so on.
One little surprise was brought back with us, no, not Nosfe springing out
from the aircraft undercarriage well screaming "Fire in your heart!" in
Finnish, but an increasingly Suomi-style snowfall, which got more intense as
the journey back to Felice's wore on. I pause for a short time at his place,
in order to deposit the Alt-travelled Falcon with him, and take up my car
keys for part II of the journey back.
Now the snowfall is really looking serious, and by the time I get back to
the Northampton traffic mix, I have more to fear from the stumbling idiots
failing to cope with the wet and slippery conditions than I ever did in
Helsinki. I do get home in one piece though, and gratefully collapse, before
logging on to check out all the lovely spam that has silted up my mailbox
while I've been away.
Another Alt Adventure is over!
Okay, so what have we learned from our latest soujourn to Finland, this time
This fifth edition was never going to be quite able to match up to last
years Minterquake. This years guest, a Finnish geek turned MP was most
notable for keeping his appearance brief and to the point, but then again,
where were they ever going to get another guest of Mr Minter's calibre?
The view in some quarters was, that perhaps some of the competitions were
perhaps a bit too alternate? The main demo competition suffered from an
interesting idea, which turned out to be not so great when people attempted
to put it into practice.
We also have to sadly note a certain number of missing people from this
year's party. The big man Teque briefly arrived at the party, but wasn't
seen by many people. Pahartik didn't make it at all, and also on the list of
the missing, was Oric killer Dbug, who couldn't make it either.
The party atmosphere felt a bit more self-contained and parochial in places
this time around. There seems to be a confusion over wanting to attract more
international visitors, but there was a feeling that Alt could equally turn
inward into a very local event, with little to appeal to outsiders. There
was a tendency for the organisers and their friends to be a little bit
cliquey and self-indulgent in some ways. Is it possible we could all be
running out of sharpness and excitement and stumbling into a well worn rut
of routine now? Maybe we were feeling the acute lack of something
Minteresque, to act as a sharp poke in the eye of complacency?
A lot of the competition entries and general entertaiment was in the Finnish
language, and much of it tended to run on in-jokes made for the benefit of a
few select people. This is fair enough, as it was their party, to run as you
wish, but it got a bit teeth-grating to be told that something like that is
the "funniest" thing on this planet, when it isn't to your ears, which
happened to me more than once!
The 'oldschool' computer theme staged a brave rearguard action against an
increasing marginalisation, aided and abetted by a certain Falcon '030,
against the waves of relentless laptops. There was even a semi-respectable
amount of entries from Amiga, MSX, and Vic 20 in the competitions this time
With regard to the usual rowdy crowd, they were there as well, very much in
a nocturnal sense. I thought of making some kind of simulation, computer
wargaming Drunk Polski vs Suomi sceners! It would be too close to tell which
would out-drink the other?! These seem to be a well-established ALT
tradition by now.
It was great to see many familiar people again. The usual suspects like
Marty (Q-Funk), Setok, Partycle, Wiztom, and Ravel all came forward.
Lobotomy, another of the organisers, and the evil arch-compo entry
disqualifier, became better known to me this time. Of newer people, I got
talking to Diamondie, sometime diskmag queen (writes for Hugi) and we met
some new people such as Nystep and the welshies for the first time. There
was also the welcome presence of fellow UK'ers like Ian 'Jagfest' Smith, and
the return of Twilighte. He now seems to be more involved in the Alt-TV side
of things, and attended last year's Assembly Party in the summer. Also
Baggio made up for the rest of the Swedes not being there, by sticking
around for the afterparty, a good move, even when H-demo IV was being
I seem to remember that there was at least one other UK person there, an
individual going under the nick of "Gasman", but we never got around to
The afterparty rocked! It gets better each year! No other words needed
Well, just one more thing. I send out greetings to Marycloud, Osyn and the
other females who joined in the sauna with us. You were all fantastically
cool! (In a very steam-heated way!)
On a personal note, it was great to get the second Dildo Fatwa production
out of the door, and onto the big screen. Even if it didn't get anywhere in
the competition, we did seem to wake up those parts of the audience sent
comatose by some of the previous entries. Maybe some people capable of
making proper demos on Atari might be more motivated to challenge at the
next Alt Party?
I also give a lot of thanks to Martin (Q-Funky person) for putting up with
us as always. We hope that this year goes a lot better for you than this
last one. Thanks again pal!
To conclude, I ejoyed this Alt edition a hell of a lot, I'm looking forward
to the next one, but I won't get too wound up if it is rested for a little
while, and allowed to freshen up a bit.
CiH, for Alive Mag,Jan '04.
Photographic credits on those pictures I 'borrowed' for use in this report
go as follows to Timo Rossi for the Battle Damaged Viper, and those stunning
After-Party pics. MSK takes the rap for that suggestive piccy of Marycloud
doing "things" with my Falcon!