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Alive 12
Alchimie Party 5
in a Nutshell
        The fifth session of the Alchimie took place in Tain 
        L'Hermitage, France, from October 29th to 31st. The Alchimie is 
        a meeting for alternative computers and digital creators. It is 
        also an Amiga-meeting open to non-Amiga machines. Three days of 
        good mood and lunacy with about 160 participants which are 
        mostly regular attendees but some new ones as well.
Who was there?
        Like previous years, Amiga-fans turned out in full force to show 
        what their weird machines are able to. Retailers, associations, 
        demomakers or simply enthusiasts, a lot of them answered the 
        roll. PCs with Windows were alas more numerous than usually to 
        the detriment of Atari computers. Sure, it's easier to move 
        around with a PC laptop running STEem than a real ST with its 
        monitor. Let's note there was some Mac Minis: the little Apple's 
        beast seems to be the victim of its success. Concerning the 
        Atari corner, there were some MJJ Prod dudes, Rajah Lone (author 
        of Cresus, Troll and D-Gem) and members of ST Magazine. Shazz of 
        MJJ Prod was working on a soundchip player for Sony PSP. It was 
        possible to listen to several music formats (ST's YM, Atari 800, 
        C-64, NES...).

The conference corner
        Conferences took place in a corner of the main room, like every 
        year. The one concerning the progress report of AmigaOS 4.0 was 
        a huge success. Members of the audience were able to see the 
        development since last year's presentation. On Atari, we haven't 
        such a software activity, maybe because users and developers are 
        less numerous. An Amiga developer showed a PowerPoint 
        presentation viewer. He made a titanic work. Indeed information 
        about Microsoft's products is extremely rare, and even non-
        existent. Another interesting conference concerned ZetaOS. It is 
        a free version of BeOS. Perhaps another serious rival for 
        Windows?  Among other presentations, let's mention: Linux 
        software, Pegasos and some Amiga applications.
        Another attraction of the week end was the digital creation and 
        competitions. Productions were rare but better than last year. 
        The award-winning demo runs on AmigaOne: it is "One: Geometry" 
        from Universe crew. A nice demo with a visual strength and some 
        excellent technical effects. No Atari demo this year, but let's 
        note the first Amiga 1200 demo of Tobe‚ / MJJ Prod. Although he 
        is an atarist, Tobe‚ designed a whole demo screen in only three 
        days, with no knowledge about Amiga's art of coding. However, he 
        told us he has much more pleasure to code on ST than on Amiga ;-)
        By the way he won the prize of the best intro: a 1040 STE, a 
        Megafile 44 and about ten cartridges.

Halloween Party
        Big surprise on Sunday evening: the party staff had organized a 
        Halloween party. They dressed themselves up as witches, vampires 
        and undeads. The meal consisted of pumpkin soup with streaky 
        bacon and chocolate mousse. Both supported the festive and 
        morbid atmosphere due to the nature of the event. During other 
        days we had good meals: pasta carbonara, paella, without 
        forgetting bottles of local rose‚ and red wine (the city of Tain 
        L'Hermitage is well known for its wines).
Next year?
        Yes there will be another Alchimie next year. Let's hope 
        atarists will come with real hardware and some productions to 
        win prizes :-)
                                   Strider / MJJ Prod for Alive, 2005-12-05
Alive 12