Paracon 6 Party
This was the first time I did ever visit an Atari party and therefore I think I
should write another party report.
In the beginning I was quite unsure. ST Survivor convinced me to attend, telling
me about the nice party place, the breakfast and all over. So I decided to make
it, take my ST with me and enjoy it in its all glory. But there was a major
problem: how should I get there? By car would have been my preferred solution
for sure but I personally do not have one nor could I manage to get one. I
already wanted to ask Creature / XL but he told me he had no car at the time of
Paracon 6 and that he was looking for a way to get there too. Major setback, I
thought at first, as he had already kindly offered to take me to EIL3 a year
ago. But why drop my plans altogether? Another idea came to my mind. Why not
take on of my friends from Clausthal? He is a C64 fan so it would have been a
nice thing. But he too couldn't manage to have a car at the party date. In the
end he even decided not to go at all. It was already begin of November and I had
no idea. But then I simply opted to go by train, bought myself an affordable
ticket and made sure I was welcome. I surely was so I did go. I packed my STFM
and some other stuff, including my copy of The Atari ST Profibuch and a nifty
MC68000 manual. As I was going to take the train and I surely had no small TV I
did go without a monitor or TV. Cooper planned to come as well and he promised
to bring me a TV in his car. Whew - final problem solved!
As I had to book my train ticket in advance on fixed trains and all on the
weekend, I started the trip from my parent's home at 5:30am in the morning. the
train ride was ok although I had to stay one and a half hour out of six at ugly
train stations to wait for the next train.
Then it was 11:20 and I was at the "ugly greenish" train station of Selters. I
took out the invitation text with the description. Finding the pub and the road
next to it was easy. I just fell down the hill and stood on the small bridge.
Now the text said "the location is a few hundred meters ahead." Well, it was not
"a few", but a single. I could already see the public swimming pool and the
white building next to the street turned out to be the DLRG building. I must
admit, it was very very quiet around there and I decided to peek through the
front windows first. Not much to be seen so I simply decided to ring the bell.
Surely I was right, Ray opened the door and I could already see some old
computers running in the back with a few people. My first statement was "I'm at
the right place :)". The party was already going strong, atleast I thought that
but it looked not that productive at first. Most people were already there and
The Paranoid quickly showed me everything at the place. They had a comfortable
table for Cooper and me, although Cooper and ST Survivor were still missing. I
did unpack my lot on the table next to Manou who was heavy at music stuff as
well as Gwem next to her. I had no monitor so I just unpacked and soon got into
a very nice conversation with RA/Paradox. Soon we were talking about oldschool
stuff and techniques. He showed me his truecolor slideshow for STE and we
watched a bit of "The Dark Side Of The Spoon", all on Zweckform's STE as RA only
had a Falcon and I no monitor. Meeting the others was easy as well and I soon
felt very comfortable with all those nice fellows. Paranoia was at work to do a
party movie and they soon put my MC68000 manual on tape. I must admit at first I
had some small problems guessing who is who but I managed it.
As I had no machine and RA was coding, I looked here and there and chatted with
Ray a bit. Ray even had brought an RGB monitor, dunno anymore for whom it was
intended. But it seemed not to work properly on Falcon. Ray offered to try it on
my STFM and we did. But it didn't work either. The picture was crisp and stable,
for a mere 10 seconds, before it would collapse and Ray had to try the knobs
again. After 5 minutes of trying to stabilize the picture, we both decided that
it wouldn't work. Bad luck - but it was very kind by Ray to offer a try!
The party was going strong and the Frenchies were still missing. Paranoid said,
normally they would be at the location around 2:00pm, well it was already a bit
later and so it went. No monitor to code or even play a game - but I was not
pissed, there was so much to see. MagiC desktops around, Ray's cool CT60 in a
standard case with outer shell removed, Earx coding some interesting effects on
a very small TV, Gwem and Manou obviously doing music. I surely was the only one
to bring a standard STFM but no one joked or complained on that. I was simply an
accepted scener at a scene party. That felt very nice indeed! Time went on,
still the Frenchies were missing. Lotek Style however appeared in the afternoon,
greeting everyone and he soon deployed his Falcon as well. Now interesting stuff
begun as Lotek and Ray discussed, coded and checked parts of the latest TSCC
demo, Beams. Lotek even had some sort of script and Ray did work on the endpart.
It was very interesting to see the ongoing work and the design flow as well as
some effects on it. Very cool stuff indeed and I enjoyed watching the ongoing
Time went on and we played a bit of Obsession on Paranoid's Falcon. And sometime
around 17:00 the Frechies finally did arrive. "Better late than never!" was my
reaction and soon both Cooper and ST Survivor brought their gear in. And, thank
god, Cooper did bring a TV for me. Again, thanks mate, you saved my day! We had
a bit of chatting, coding, showing stuff and pieces and things were simply
great. A bit later, I accompanied ST Survivor and Cooper to the supermarket to
get some food and juice to drink.
The rest of the evening was filled with playing a few games, yes I played Xenon
and Lethal Xcess on Saturday evening. Both Lotek Style and Earx did join me on
LX for a round and it was a lot of fun for me. I coded on my upcoming game as
well, working close with STS who did another piece of graphics for me which I
integrated into my code. I hadn't coded for 2 months or more and now I did feel
a lot of motivation at Paracon.
Actually I started to get a bit tired at that point, I'm sure midnight was
through when The Paranoid connected the beamer to his Falcon and we all did
watch some Falcon demos on the big screen. They were all a bit psychodelic in
design so I felt a bit dizzy and together with my tiredness, I decided to get my
sleeping bag and take my night nap. It was around 2:00am on sunday when I
climbed the stairs and got to sleep. Sleeping was ok, although someone was
snoring very heavy. Well having been in the German Navy, I knew one could
survive that so it surely was ok.
I did awake in the morning when sunlight came through the upper windows of the
hall. It was probably around 8:30am when I climbed down the stairs. Only one
active at that time was Zweckform who was playing Obsession on his STE. We
chatted a bit but then I did hit my STFM and coded a bit more. One after
another, the others climbed down and geared up for the day. The Feske brothers
were missing though. It seemed they needed a longer nap compared to the others.
Soon someone yelled "breakfast is ready" and we had a very great breakfast.
Although I personally don't like Mini-Pizza for breakfast, anything I liked was
there. Rolls, croissants, strawberry jam, yoghurt and milk, I was happy and it
was great. Just as STS did promise me - a breakfast for gods, really! Noon was
arriving and most people started to pack their stuff. i had a final nice talk
with the Feske brothers, Lotek and Ray and then, one for one, did leave.
But I managed to get signatures on my STFM from all sceners there. You can see a
picture taken by Charon at the Paradize website, http://paradize.atari.org/.
Sooner or later in the afternoon I was the last scener there, all others were
gone, except for the Paranoia guys who cleaned the place. I helped them and
still had about an whole hour to wait at the train station. But finally my train
arrived and I headed home.
It was a very nice party and I did meet so many nice and friendly chaps that I
really would like to meet them all again. The small but friendly Paracon party
is really an event I will keep in my heart for a long time!
Great party, great breakfast and lots of cool Atari stuff - Paracon rulez!
Simon Sunnyboy / Paradize for Alive, 2005