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U N C O N V E N T I O N A L   2 0 0 0              Lengenfeld, Germany
party report                                1.-3.September 2000


  Somewhen back in 1999 Mad Butscher/Foundation Two thought about
  doing a democonvention in summer 2000, but this time with a bigger
  weight on Atari 8-Bit Computers, than usual. The idea of "UNCON-
  VENTIONAL" was born.

  The convention finally took place in LENGENFELD, Germany. Lengenfeld
  is a small town in some mountains called "Vogtland." For anyone who
  cares, the "Vogtland" is situated somewhere between the Western part
  of Germany and Dresden. ;-)

  The date 1.-3. September was a bit bad, because another the RTSY-
  party in France was taking place at the same time. But I doubt that
  many French people would have driven that far anyway.

<-T-H-E---J-O-U-R-N-E-Y--- --------------------------------------------->

  No/Escape and me came back from our holidays on 30th of August and
  after this relaxing days, a quite stressy journey to Unconventional
  began. Due to some problems of organizing our travelling with the
  others of the Dresden-posse, we finally didn't know how to get to
  Unconventional anymore at all. But we still had to bring the video-
  beamer from Dresden to Lengenfeld. So it was very nice, that Mad
  Butscher/F2 picked us up in Dresden with our luggage to bring us
  to the party place. Thanks again!


  FRIDAY, September 1st

  After maybe 3 hours we finally reached the PARTYPLACE, located on a
  hill, from which you could see over the whole town and landscape. Nice.
  Inside the building there was everything a convention needs, a big
  room with an ok atmosphere, toiletts, sleeping room and a kind of bar.

  First, we went around to say hello to the few people who were arrived
  there on Friday already, too. A lot of people we had never seen be-
  fore, mostly from the Atari-8-Bit sector.
  One can say, that the room was divided in two long lines of tables.
  The one was full of XE/XL-freaks, the other one rather filled by ST/
  Falcon people.

  The evening started. We chatted with the friendly people and ate some
  pizza. When the hours passed by more and more people arrived, such as
  ST Survivor/LouD!, McLaser/tSCc and Paranoid/Paranoia.
  This first evening ended up in watching some nice demos, drinking some
  beer and discussing with McLaser who did which music in which screen.
  Of course he was right all the time! Grrrr... ;-)

  SATURDAY, September 2nd

  This sunny day began with "HARDDISC THROWING" outside the building
  on a meadow. Hell, this was funny! :-)
  It looked a kind of similiar to discus throwing at Olympia. Everyone
  was allowed to throw twice and the president of the Abbuc e.V. always
  marked the distances with coke-cans and threw the harddisc back.
  Especially funny was when the president threw and had to bring the
  harddisk back again..   In general the reached distances were pretty
  impressive for me, maybe about 35 meters. Don't ask me who won this
  compo, it was a cool thing anyway. :)

  After that healthy activity in the morning the party went on. Now
  the partyplace was much fuller!


  Walking along the line of tables, there were some cool DUTCHIES, who
  came in a big white bus with coloured atari-stickers on it.
  They coded some stuff for the democompo on their 8-Bit machines. One
  of them called "White Warrior" was so nice to let me do some musics on
  his computer. Thanks again mate!

  Between a nice guy from ISRAEL (!) had set up his 8-Bit stuff, con-
  nected to a PC. Further there was Markus from KAISERSOFT composing

  One other 8-Bit guy presented us a windowslike operation system named
  "BOSS X" with animated icons, start-button and..  a lot of more things.
  I think he was also the guy who was responsible for a HTML-viewer for
  Atari XE/XL, a quite senseful tool, which calculates some minutes
  for converting HTML to ASCII :-)

  Beside Mr.XY/Light had his seat. I don't remember if he had a compu-
  ter with him, but what I remember is that he arrived on Friday with
  10 liters of beer and had no more on Saturday evening..  He told us
  some things about his Falcon-demo-FAQ. It is a complete list of demos
  done on the Falcon, with info about who did what, how long it is etc.

  On the next tables BEWESOFT had built up their computers.
  I think they were 3 people from Czech Republic. Really friendly, but
  their English was a bit slow. Anyway, BEWESOFT were mentioned to be
  some kind of gods in the 8-Bit-sector. One thing they have created and
  which was tested there was a networkgame for XE/XL machines. I didn't
  see it, but after what I heard it must have been really nice.

  The next tables were filled with people from JAYSOFT, who are known for
  their practical Magic-tools, some games as well as for the conversation
  of big documentations to the ST-Guide format.

  The tableline in the other side of the room started with the famous
  Undercover-Magazine-REALTIME-ARTICLE, which will be mostly in german
  this time, as far as I remember.

  On the next table the men behind the "CLASSIC ATARI" Magazine and
  MILHOUSE ( !) played some games and... well did other
  things, too, I suppose. :-)

  Beside them Paranoid/Paranoia was finishing or better putting together
  his FIRST ASSEMBLERDEMO for the Atari Falcon "HERESY".

  Next to him there was Thothy from the STUNE DEVELOPMENT TEAM playing
  around with his Falcon and coding some stuff. The development of STUNE
  (a strategy game for ST/Falcon) is a kind of little at the moment.
  The reason is that Sokrates/SDT (the other developer) is in the army
  now and Thothy has discovered the joys of Linux.

  The next table belonged to me and NO/Escape who was coding a lot.
  For a musician it is hard to say if some coloured lines on the screen
  are something like good code, but it probably was just a test. :-)

  Beside us McLaser of tSCc and STSurvivor/LouD! had their places. Later
  on moondog/tSCc and modmate and Joe of Checkpoint joint our corner.
  Chats, demos running, laming around..   :-)

  In the entrance area of the mainhall Mad Butscher/F2 was sitting in
  front of his Falcon, showing everyone who wanted his new program
  NONCONFORM, which is a kind of program-builder for presentations.
  In other words, you can click you a program together, include gfx,
  modfiles, samples etc. If you want to see an exampleresult of NON-

  Around Mad Butscher some other organizers were jumping around, as well
  as some single visitors and some children who were enthusiastically
  playing games on the VCS 2600/7800. That called some memories into my
  mind.. :)


  In the afternoon the "INTERNATIONAL MILLIPEDE CHAMPIONSHIP 2000" star-
  ted. It took about 10 hours or so. Someone was asked to play, the
  scores were noted, next one...  Finally, Paranoid/Paranoia was the
  World Champion (!) until the next competition will take place.

  The night came, and brought McLaser aka LOTEK STYLE to our ears. He
  set up his DJ-equipment and did what a DJ does. The music selection
  was cool (nice electronic stuff!), except this shitty darkwave-crap
  (erm.. hi moondog;). The DJ-mixing stuff was done very professionally
  after my impression, although I don't know much about that all.
  I would have liked to watch McLaser, how he does all that, but I had
  to finish/select my music-compo entries and wanted to compose another
  song together with Joe/Cpt. So we had to move in another room..
  Maybe next time.

  SUNDAY, September 3rd

  Somewhen in the very early morning it was COMPETITION TIME. I just
  wanna mention some things I considered special:

  CHIPMUSIC-COMPOS: The ST-Chipcompo and the Pokeycompo were put together
                    due to a lack of entries in the Pokey-one. It was
                    cool to see Luebke/Paranoia entering the compo, al-
                    though he said he won't do musics anymore.

  MOD-MUSIC COMPOS: Shiuming Lai, former editor of the Atari Computing
                    mag entered the compo with a Protracker module.
                    Milhouse/Place2Be entered this compo, too. Cool :)

  GFX-COMPOS:       16 colours and truecolourpics were presented to-
                    gether. Moondog won with a 5 years old picture.
                    Paranoid did his best pic so far in my opinion.
                    Gildor, a Czech gfx-men entered the compo.

  WILD-COMPO:       2 entries: - ASCII-art by McLaser/tSCc
                               - a cool 128 bytro by Thothy/SDT

  16/32-BIT DEMOS:  "HERESY" by PARANOIA: Paranoia's debut demo coded
                                          in assembler for Falcon 030
                    "WAITING FOR THE    : ST-demo by LouD! coded in
                     APOCALYPSE"          GFA-basic.

  8-BIT DEMOS:      All I remember were 2 quite simple things. Nothing
                    impressing, after all.

 The presentation of the entries was quite funny, since a lot of things
 went wrong. It was maybe the longest competition I have ever seen so
 far. :-)    During one longer break, due to some problems, drunken
 Mr.XY/Light went in front of the visitors and tried to tell us funny
 stories. Very exciting :-)

 After the competitions most people went to bed. Just Mr.XY/Light kept
 on telling strange crap. He told me some things about Light, something
 about a 3D-matrix-graphics-card he would like to create, but since he
 has no clue how to, he cannot :-)   I just went to bed, and he just kept
 on talking with that whisky-or-whatever-glas in his hand..


 After some sleep, the sponsors and organizers congratulated the con-
 tributors. Everyone who entered a compo got some prize :-)

 The german computerclub "ABBUC e.V." supported this convention
 financially, especially aiming to have something nice for their
 members. The "Atari Bit Byter User Club" still has ca. 450 members!
 They release a regular discmag 4 or 5 times a year, sometimes even
 with a kind of little papermag. They organize meetings, atari fairs
 and support projects on the 8-Bit. Therefore members pay 2.50 euro
 each month which is still the same prize as when the club was founded.

 The "Classic Atari" Magazin, a german papermagazine which was founded
 quite shortly ago and that covered all topics from 8-Bit to Milan.
 They were sponsoring a high amount of money, although the "Classic
 Atari" Mag won't exist as it is any longer. The plans are to create
 a magazine for Atari/Amiga/Acorn computers.

 After the pricing ceremony people started to pack their stuff in order
 to leave. A lot of byebye's, just another coffee and endless talking
 before the final departure, as on every party. :-)


 OK, this was what I remembered about Unconventional 2000. A really
 funny and freaky party, as I think. Funny because of all the events
 (harddisk throwing, millipede open, compos, ...) and the people of
 course. Freaky because of seing things like big towers connected to
 Atari XE/XL's via SCSI, meeting someone from Israel, seing people
 code weird things, meeting people I never met before (as the guys
 from the Czech Republic for instance).

 The party was in its way "unconventional", not as other scene-parties
 I have been to. One important point of this party was to stress gaming,
 fun and connect between two different scenes which both make use of
 computers with the letters "ATARI" on it.

 It was nice to see 8-Biters having bought a new Falcon and telling me
 that they would like to buy a second falcon as mp3-replay-machine, soon.
 On the other side I enjoyed making music on 8-Bit or getting answers
 on many question regarding Atari XE/XL.

 All in all, i think there were as many Atari 8-Bit machines as Atari
 16/32 bit machines. The number of visitors was something between 30-40
 maybe. Everyone was using Atari in some way, which contributes a lot
 to the feeling, in my opinion.

 Let's just hope that Foundation Two and the other organizers will do
 another "Unconventional" meeting, maybe with some better prepared
 competition (as recording the compos on video) and with cheaper coke ;-)
 I would be there again for sure (well... a 3 hours drive:)

 Anyway, Thanks for all the nice party!


Alive 1