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PARACON 7 Party Report
        November - and therefore again time for the cool Paracon party 
        organized by Paranoia as it was for the last few years. This 
        time it was already edition no. seven.

        The last time in 2004 at Paracon 6 I had so much fun that I
        decided that I would attend next Paracon parties as well. So I
        bought myself again a nifty train ticket and got my train on
        15:30 on November 25th 2005 to make the ride to Selters. I had
        packed my "brand new" STE, lots of floppies and other stuff -
        and in any case I was very motivated.

        Weather was a bit snowy but I had no problems. My main ICE train
        at Hannover was about 10 minutes late but that is so common here
        in Germany that I didn't worry much. But things got worse -
        somewhere in the middle of nowhere near Kassel the train stopped
        inside of a tunnel without any reason. Result was that it was
        late for about 50 minutes in Frankfurt. There I missed the next
        train to Selters. Bummer - but luckily a fast S-Bahn brought me
        into the right direction into the Taunus Mountains where I could
        jump onto another one. All in all I was just a whole hour late
        when arriving around 22:30 in Selters.

        The party location was easy to find, especially since I've been
        there the year before. Just a loud knock and I was in.

        Quite astonished I found out that most people were already 
        there, the Paranoia and Paradox guys, Cyclone, gwEm, Thothy,
        Lotek Style, Ray, kRaDd, No, 505 and Charon. Only the Dutchies
        and the Frenchies were missing.

        Without much hesitation I unpacked my lot next to Cyclone and
        hooked my STE to the TV which was supplied by Paranoid. (I wish
        to place a big "thank you" again for bringing the device!)
        Seconds later all was up and running; although I have to admit I
        didn't had any motivation to code or do anything useful. I was
        happy and soon I had talked to most of the people there. I
        hadn't met some of them before but it worked out great.

        Besides trying some demos on my STE, there wasn't much
        happening. A lot of talk is all I remember from the first
        evening. We had some demos on the beamer but I was too tired to
        remember properly. Somewhere around 2:00 I decided to take a
        nap. ZWF and RA had already gone up so I followed their lead and
        went to sleep soon.

        The night was a bit heavy. People were staying up late until 
        5:00 in the morning. Someone up was snoring so heavy that even 
        the earplugs didn't help much. Well seems there is no Paracon
        without someone snoring to death. It is part of the fun, at
        least I guess that and after all it is part of the Paracon
        feeling. :)

        I woke up around 6:00 but decided to stay a bit in my sleeping
        bag. No need to make noise as the first being up. Around 7:00 I
        realized that ZWF was already awake so I went down to join him
        and realized that RA was awake as well. We played a bit of
        Obsession which seems to be the standard game at Paracon. I also
        coded a small clock utility for my STE which as a result didn't
        really worked too well. But at least some code was written that
        morning. Sooner or later it had to be - I also discovered the
        realtime article. Bah - no one told me the evening before. Well
        I cheated a bit and I hacked my "I'm here" snippet in.

        Around that time I decided to run some demos on my STE and I
        made the mistake to forget turning down the volume of the
        speaker. I don't remember it being really loud but compared to
        sleepy silence, it must have been loud since Cyclone and later
        gwEm complained a bit :( Guys, I still feel a bit sorry for
        that! Gareth later said to me, "Boy, don't take it too serious" 
        but anyway I felt a bit guilty.

        More and more people started to wake up. Thothy came down and we
        had another talk on Hatari and other things. We both were hungry
        which can be seen in the realtime article :D

        Paranoid arrived like the other Paranoia guys and breakfast was
        about to become a reality. Like always, it ruled. Paracon is
        probably mostly famous for this godlike breakfast. Nothing more
        to ask for!

        Somewhere around noon, 505 and No came down, as always being the 
        last ones but who cares. Thothy, kRaDd and me took a trip to the
        nearby Supermarket to fetch some food stuffs. Some gaming stuff
        followed, including the classic Ballerburg on Thothy's Falcon.
        This really ruled - I forgot how funny this game is! A bit of
        Dynabusters and Chu Chu Rocket followed, with kRaDd joining the
        fun. We spend the coming hours with a lot of talk and other

        The Dutchies did arrive a bit later than I had expected, but the
        Frenchies were still missing. That changed around 17:00 when
        they entered the room and started unpacking. After a short
        "Hello", machines were to be setup. It was a bit crowded on the
        table first but Cooper moved his Mega ST to another table soon.
        All worked well at first, Minz showed me the graphics for
        Nuclear Waste Dump and then disaster did struck Paradize. All
        new data files were brought to Paracon on Cooper's external
        harddrive. And that one stopped working about half an hour
        later. Too bad!

        Cooper said he didn't loose much really important data but the
        hassle of restoring the harddrive is the thing that makes things
        worse. The quick try to reactivate the drive with HD Driver
        didn't work out well so for the moment there was not much to do.
        Just two days before Cooper had joked that I would have to bring
        a pile of floppies to Paracon while he would just bring a
        harddisk. This was a sort of payback for me :)

        But jokes aside we all were happy that I brought some apps and
        spare floppies so Minz could get into gear. He is our new
        graphics man and soon he was talking with Cyclone about graphics
        and painting a Paracon logo which is quite cool.

        STS was playing with his GameCube and enjoyed few Atari prods
        during this party. Actually it was quite strange to watch him
        playing egoshooters on a Nintendo console. Same as last time, we
        came along very well and while he had his game on the TV, I
        talked to other people.

        Codingwise all stalled with Cooper's harddrive crashing, I had
        planned to code more on Nuclear Waste Dump with Minz doing the
        graphics simultaneously but the crash prevented that. Except for
        some minor code I didn't code much.

        Later that evening Cooper coded a bit, a small scroller which
        was trashed on a drive failure. For one way or another Paradize
        seemed to be trouble bound on that evening. But regardless we
        had a lot of fun together and none of us did regret anything.

        Next night was a bit better than the last one, less snoring and
        less activity early in the morning. I got up early, this time
        being the first one to be up. Seems in the process of getting
        down the stairs I woke up MSG who was sleeping behind the
        tables. (I wonder why? There was still plenty of space left up 
        in the sleeping area.) We did meet in the bathroom soon after
        and had a little talk. I then discovered that not only him and
        Earx were sleeping downstairs, the Frenchies did so as well - in
        the kitchen! Boy, kinda weird if you ask me!

        Not much to tell about the Sunday morning. People came down, we
        had a talk here and there. Breakfast was cool as always - and
        around 12:00 I packed my lot and left the party to take my train

        All in all it was a great party, I enjoyed it a lot and I was
        quite excited by meeting Minz, Thothy and kRaDd. Paracon is
        always great and I hope for edition 8 in the November of 2006!

        That's it for now....

        And finally for those who haven't seen them yet, my set of
        photos from Paracon 7 is available at
        for you to view!
Simon Sunnyboy for Alive, 2005-11-30
Alive 12