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Alive 13

                              Outline '06 Report

                             by CiH for Alive mag

                   (At least partially done in realtime...)


It is 22.40ish, on the 2nd of June 2006....

And here we are at De Panoven, in a very delayed Easter party sense, sitting
in  my  fortress  of solitude and plastic bags,  and waiting on  rumours  of
pizza.  Conicidentally,  this has now just arrived, so bear with me, as I go
away for some minutes of chomping happiness....

Or  possibly longer,  as it is now 00.35 on Saturday morning by the time  my
attention returns to this report.

We're reporting from the Panoven at Zevenaar in De Netherlands.  This is the
latest location to host an edition of the megamighty Outline '06 party.  I'm
still trying to get used to my situation, and the strangeness of this venue,
so  I  might  put  that task off until tomorrow.  The fact  that  Felice  is
distracting me and Earx by showing off Japanese panty-grabbing candid videos
on his laptop does not help here.

Still, we should try to update on things for today, erm I mean yesterday.

This  latest  adventure  started off innocently enough,  with  an  overnight
crashing  out at the residence of Felice and Paula.  The two evil women have
wisely  declined to travel over this time,  opting to stay at home with each
others company.  Looking at how things are unravelling here,  maybe that was
the sensible decision? ;-)

The  following morning,  Felice and I set off at the crack of 06.45  hundred
hours,  only managing to wake the entire household in the process. For added
interest for 'Top Gear' fans, Felice is road-testing his new Astra, and also
his new iPod which has a short-range radio widget so it can be picked up  on
the  radio part of his car stereo.  This is illegal,  and possibly akin to a
very  localised pirate radio station,  according to him.  But we are happily
untroubled  by  over-zealous  law  enforcement  agencies  objecting  to  our
enjoyment of various soft rock power ballady tunes on Felices' playlist,  as
Harwich,  the toilet with a port attached, hoves into view. It seems to work
pretty well,  apart from one occasion where a local radio station decided it
wanted to "share" the borrowed bandwidth.

This  part of the journey is notably trouble-free,  apart from Felice having
to  stop  at  a roadside supermarket to buy a replacement  for  a  forgotten
sleeping bag.

Back  at  the port,  the Stena Discovery,  mysteriously spared a  threatened
cancellation of its route for the time being,  is running nicely on time. We
are not too troubled by excessive numbers of people on this trip either,  as
the  ferry is running with about half of the normal easter  passenger  load.
There  are the inevitable stag do's,  with national team football shirts  as
the  chosen  costume of the hopelessly deluded and willingly drunk.  Of  the
generous selection of oddities shown on the video wall for the trip over,  a
catchy  little  number by Columbian songstress and total  hornbag,  Shakira,
stands out.  In it, she uses her voodoo powers to transfer the life-force of
her  unfaithful boyfriend into his car,  and then crush the life out of  the
car at the scrapyard, and him at the same time, or something.

The  ferry trip seems to be quicker than normal,  and we disembark at around
15.30  hundred  million  hours,  full of hope and anticipation for  a  quick
arrival at the party.

Such hopes are cruelly dashed to the floor, when we encounter the first wall
of non-moving cars in Rotterdam. Approximately fifteen million Dutch people,
in  nose to tail formation,  moving at walking pace,  lie between us and the
party.  They  are  there to ruthlessly exploit every weakness in  the  Dutch
motorway  system,  and  the  plan works brilliantly of  course.  We  finally
stagger in to De Panoven some three hours later.

There  is  a  little direction related confusion to  spice  things  up.  Our
journey  is  straightforward until the last half-mile,  as is so  often  the
case.  The  first  failed attempt,  comes with a turning taken too soon,  and
takes  us  down  a country lane hardly touched by  the  internal  combustion
engine.  We turn around in haste, suspecting that the locals, wearing ethnic
costume including wooden shoes, might still refer to our car as "The Devil's
infernal  horseless carriage" and throw stones and burning straw at it!  The
correct turning takes us through an industrial estate, not normally the sort
of  place  which  can  be  taken as a  through  route,  but  eventually  the
distinctive  single upright chimney of De Panoven can be seen in the  middle

Pulling up hopefully at the front doors of the main hall,  we get out of the
car  and find in the main hall,  a large splodge of Reservoir Gods,  various
PeeCee  guys  set  up,  and  arriving at the same time as  us,  the  Swedes,
including the Nature Brothers,  Deez, and the mighty Baggio! Also spotted in
these  early  stages,  are  Grazey and MUG UK walking off into  the  distant
reaches of the campsite, looking for their sleeping accomodations.

Some  initial  unloading and setting up of gear follows.  After  some  power
socket locating confusion,  we find a suitable place opposite the organisers
desk, and quite close to the big screen. A quick check to make sure that the
CT60  falcy  survived  those  last couple of speedhumps  which  took  us  by
surprise in the final stage of the journey, and we are off and running! Also
arriving  in a smug and early fashion is Cyclone,  who has happily set up an
'Alive  mag' realtime article,  which sort of negates the need for  Felice's
laptop to take that role.

But  the party isn't just about the focused and "serious" computing  in  the
main hall.  As is so often the case,  the 'real party' is outside the venue.
In  fact there is a bar located further down from the main hall.  This seems
to be the place where you can mostly find the organisers!  We catch up again
with MUG UK,  Grazey and co, and also we meet GGN of Kua, in a sense of "Hi,
and who are you actually?!" Not having seen him in the flesh. He is with his
rather  nice  girlfriend  Rana.  She has not yet learned  the  lessons  that
feminine  notions  of comfort sort of clash with demo scene  parties!  Never
mind,  she'll remind him of this weekend,  for years to come! It is at about
this  point  that we identify ourselves as officially arrived  to  Earx  and

To  give you some background info about the party location,  De Panoven is a
former brickworks or tileworks.  The chimney comes out from a pudding-shaped
kiln building,  which I think gives it the name. There are lots of traces of
its former industrial life, in fact large parts look like they were, the day
the site was abandoned from its original purpose.  The "industrial heritage"
aspect  is  stretched to the limits of credibility,  with abandoned  rusting
junk and equipment some of which looks no older than c.1959.  It is a bigger
site than either of the previous places that have hosted an Outline party.

De Panoven is a very spread-out sort of venue.  A lot of the critical access
points seem to be across open ground, which could get potentially very muddy
if  it gets any rain?!  I think we're really really hoping that the  weather
stays  fine for these three days.  And there have been no guarantees of that
with the lame and wet spring in Western Europe so far!

There is also a little sting in the tale with the sleeping venue. This looks
like  General  Custer's  worst nightmare,  a trio of Indian,  sorry,  Native
American  style  teepee's!  Other smarter people heard about this before  we
did,  and booked themselves into one of the cabins. Those accommodations are
very  reminiscent of the wooden shacks which provided so much  enjoyment  at
Braamt last Easter.

Of course, one of our first destinations is to the cluster of tables hosting
a virtually complete outfit of Reservoir Gods.  Leon,  who has been 'off the
scene' for reasons familiar to me in 1998-99 seems to be ok. He's gone a lot
further  and given up smoking and is "taking healthy exercise"!  Surely  his
suppressed inner geek is going to burst out in an explosive fury of code and
clog-pun related humour before too long?!  The other Gods are fine,  more or
less where they were,  the last time we met. These include SH3 (Kev D.), MSG
(Malc),  Damo,  Strata-RG, and Partycle. Wiztom is loosely attached to them,
as some joint Finnish-UK venture, we think.

Cyclone  soon  makes himself known to me,  as he shows me around  the  Alive
realtime article.  With an air of mounting excitment,  he also shows off the
demo  that he is doing.  This is the "Alive Jukebox",  for which I have seen
partially completed previews of. This consists of screens of single bitplane
'acid' style effects,  and some very advanced soundchip stuff from the likes
of Stu and Marcer.  This has about 45 minutes of tunes all told,  and around
9-10 screens. There is also the little matter of some bootsector intros that
he  has  coded.  One plasma-studded beauty is a real competition entry,  the
other  is  a  cunning fake of a beastly crew!  He then thinks  that  another
ascii-inspired faketro crew might be having its own entry to the  bootsector
compo,  so  off I go to rummage amongst the 'We dream of Atari demo' pile of
unused ascii stuff just to check and see if it is in there.

The  organizers are slow to get going,  but a pizza ordering service is just
about running, with Cyclone getting the first ticket, and photographic proof
of this.

Whilst we are awaiting the food,  the copious booze supply that Felice and I
have  brought  with us is cracked open,  and we start to relax.  During this
stage  of  the evening,  I show an unnamed Amiga guy around my CT60,  who is
very  interested to see how this kind of upgrade is done on the Atari.  I am
pleased  to  show him around,  and he is impressed with how the  temperature
gauge  and  the  CTCM cpu throttle work.  By that time,  Pizza does  finally
arrive.  It has been a long time since the last Stena-meal,  and as they are
standard sized pizza's, I ordered a couple to quell the king-sized hunger!

Apart from the end crust on the second pizza,  I manage to eat them as well!
The  pizza's  weren't the greatest,  but good enough for the job,  and at  a
discounted price of 5 euro's, you couldn't go too far wrong.

At about the time when the party as a whole is nicely relaxed,  and wrapping
itself  around  its  third or fourth drinky,  the organiser  meister,  Havoc
bursts in,  with an air of a man with important news that can literally wait
not a second longer...

Apparently, we are in breach of some organisers terms by drinking alcohol in
the main room.  And on that bombshell, most of the Atarian contingent got up
and  left the room (to gather outside and carry on drinking legally,  not at
protest against this shock move, in case you were wondering!)

Meanwhile,  with all the Atarians out of the room and devoting their evening
to  building a better and stronger hangover,  the peecee crowd sit in  their
corner,  quietly working on stuff.  So in case people were wondering why the
Atari  scene  isn't  so prolific with their releases,  here's  one  possible

Over  at  the bar,  I chat with Baggio,  Deez,  and Wiztom,   who are getting
ready  for  bed by drinking as many beers as possible,  to help  them  sleep
through the first night! I think I might need a bit of help there too!

Amongst  all  the lighthearted recollections of past parties,  there  is  at
least  one  new and really exciting bit of information.  At this  point,  it
might  be  a good idea to look into seeing what demo  rumours  are  floating

Firstly,  the  real  news,  which  is that the non-attending Evil of DHS  is
looking  at  submitting a 96ktro!  He is asking about the deadline.  We  are
informed that this is going to be set for Sunday morning, but the organisers
can  be  infinitely flexible,  given enough warning.  Next up,  I suppose I'd
better  tell  you  of  a "release" or "escape" from  the  Dildo  Fatwa  demo
wormhole which is coming this way!

After  that,  the  news is less clear,  Evolution are working on a shootemup
game,  and  may  have  a level preview?  The Reservoir Gods are  not  really
prepared with anything, bearing in mind the ongoing distractions of Mr Pink.
I  guess  the Frenchies have got something with them?  With regard  to  demo
rumours,  I've  learnt  not to ask too much,  as the crushing disappointment
might be too much to bear. I almost forgot, the mighty but only occasionally
appearing  Defjam  is  present  at this party  too.  Some  wild  speculation
suggests that he's been coding, but nothing is certain, not even with Defjam

Cyclone  had  been  busy,  apart from the acid styled music  demo,  and  the
bootsector  coding,  he 'found' a scrolling ascii Dildo Fatwa bootsector  on
his hard drive, donated by an anonymous well-wisher.

It  turned  out that the person who coded the Dildo Fatwa  bootsector  is  a
German penpal of Pongo's called 'Kaiser Cheeks'.

He looks something like this:-

             .'     {@}     '.
            /   :.........:   \
           /== |\_________/| ==\
           |  /             \  |
          /__/  \__    __/   \__\
            ) ) (a_)  (a_)  ( (
            \{       \       }/
              (    (__)     )     Der Kaiser Cheeks!
               ' (_______/ '
               \           /

Hmmm, I think we can spot a familial resemblance somewhere?!

Eventually,  thoughts do turn reluctantly  to bed, and Felice retires to our
temporary  cloth  and canvas home.  I get sidetracked into a big  chat  with
Damo,  SH3,  Norman  Feske  and  Nils  about the day's events  at  the  bar.
Eventually,  I  head back with Damo to his Reservoir Sleeping Gods  complex,
then on to the Apache reservation shrouded in total darkness,  and stumbling
across the darkened muddy field at 03.30hrs.

First surprise is, that the teepee dorm is deserted. There is only Felice in
there, the concept proving to be massively unpopular. Later on, Norman joins
us to make it three. This is in a space which is supposed to hold around ten
people  in  some  degree  of tightness.  This comes as a  major  relief  for
providing  some space and privacy.  The temperature is about as cool as  I'd
expected,  but thankfully not right down to Mekka Symposium 2002 levels.  My
sleeping  equipment is just about up to the job,  and I manage some sort  of
sleep,  with  strange  and  feverish dreams of an 1870-issue  US  Army  Colt
revolver poking through the tent flap, until 08.30ish.


Sleeping  in  a  cold tent means you wake up feeling like  you  slept  on  a
hangover  a little bit.  There might also have been some influence from  the
booze I consumed as well?  Upon searching for a bathroom, I discover someone
who has decided to stay outside in the open air to sleep! Better still, with
the  noisy farm animals providing a background chorus,  he managed to do  it
too. The bathroom that I found nearby was a bit basic, with working toilets,
but  no showers,  and a choice of cold or very cold water.  The real showers
are still to be discovered, but hopefully that will be soon.

Once freshly dressed,  and cleaned up as best I can,  the return to the main
hall  uncovers a very quiet scene,  with the Swedes mainlining yoghurt prior
to the real breakfast, which has a 10.30 deadline. By the time we get to the
bar where the breakfast is to be served, the vultures, mainly in the form of
the Frenchies,  and the Dresden posse,  are circling also,  but Baggio and I
manage to get the first pick of the breakfast table.  In the great tradition
of  the  party breakfast,  this one ruled as well,  with a copious choice of
cereals,  meats, cheeses and bread-related items, also potato salad. We went
back  for  seconds,  and  gulped down huge amounts of their  gorgeous  black

When  that important business is concluded,  the Nature brothers are setting
their  gear  up.  Better still,  they have the first run of Ethernats in the
building with them.  Cyclone is lucky enough to be getting one of these, and
they are fitting his for him in his towered CT60.

A little later that morning,  the familiar figures of gwEm and Manou arrive,
Manou is on crutches for a knee-related problem, but they seem to be pleased
to finally be here. They have kept their hardware requirements modest with a
couple of laptops, although we brought over some items needed for gwEm's ST-
DJ performance later on.

Presently,  the  bigscreen was tested with some nice loud peecee demos,  and
the room in our area went a little bit dark to accomodate it.

In  the  early  afternoon,  Felice and I left the site,  and went  into  the
Zevenaar  town  centre,  for the all important search for food  and  liquid.

After  finding  900  hairdressers,  clothes retailers,  and  other  non-food
selling  places,  we finally locate a distant 'Edah' supermarket in the  far
corner.  Felice  almost  forgets we haven't brought a car with us,  but  the
resulting  bulk-buy of food and drink will probably keep us fed  for  weeks.
Apart  from the bits which Felice drank first in a hurry!  Still,  he's been
back into town to replace these.

Lotek  and  Ray  arrive in the mid-afternoon,  and a search  for  tables  to
accomodate their needs takes up much of the rest of the afternoon.  Activity
levels  are at a late afternoon torpor,  the weather hangs heavy with  rainy
expectation, and that just about brings us up to date for now.

It  seems  that  there are lots more people here now,  so  we're  no  longer
isolated  with  the  organisers opposite.  Most of these are  needing  extra
tables,  so  the  venue owners are even looking into obscure storage  areas,
taking the tables they find in there,  and cleaning off the years accretions
of dust and spiders before pressing them into service!

A  bout  of late afternoon laziness and a lack of focus  followed.  This  is
quite common at this point of a party.  Rainclouds threatened, but held off.
The weather in general is very variable and strange at times.  When the wind
gusts  up,  it is like a prequel to something really nasty happening in  the
'Omen' or a similar horror movie?

The  next significant event blip is the evening pizza round.  A small  group
sits  chatting  in the lobby of the main hall.  This has a  heavily  Swedish
influence,  with the usual suspects indulging in some drinking,  oh yes much
drinking!  Baggio  was extolling the virtues of Trappist beer,  meanwhile we
were making a determined inroad into the 3 litre wine-box that came out with

The  evening  pleasantries take us right up to mere nanoseconds  before  the
chipsound compo.  There are entries by DMA-SC, SH3, MSG, Crazy Q, Marcer and
others.  All of these are newschool tunes, and technically excellent. All of
them very recognisable from the individual styles of their composers.  There
was no real standout favourite in my ears,  so it will be interesting to see
where the winning votes fall.

The  next competition is the 'Oldschool Music compo',  which is a fancy name
for  4  channel modfiles.  This had more than the usual share  of  technical
problems,  as  it  started ok,  but then distorted,  and it was only when the
organisers  were  deep into the second song,  that they realised  the  sound
quality was not all it should have been.

After  several  diversions  with "haxx0red  cables",  this  competition  was
eventually  run on a real Atari.  Whilst all this was going on,  people back
home  decided  to renew their interest in our welfare.  The beepy zik  tones
were  punctuated  by  the sound of text messages,  many of  them  requesting
chocolate,  the  rest  wondering if I had entered Felice for  a  competition
without his knowledge! I lied through my teeth and other parts, saying "no",
but of course, a certain fake demo guest-stars him as one of the effects!

The graphics compo followed in a hassle-free fashion at around 22.00hrs. The
16  colour section was dominated by a mass invasion of the Reservoir  God's.
Both  Sarah_RG  and  SH3 entered.  There were also some  nice  entries  from
Exocet,  and a stunner from someone in the group 'Hooey Program'.  This last
one could be a possible winner as Exocet's picture was unfinished.

The raytracing compo was short and sweet,  and didn't really leave a lasting
impression on me.

The  next  anticipated event is the live performance from  '303F'  and  gwEm
doing his ST-DJ.   But an appearance from 303F in the main hall is shot down
in flames,  possibly down to the previous dispute with the venue owners?  It
looks  like gwEm is huddled in the darkness enveloping the stage  area,  and
getting something ready.

I  take a tour of the main hall with my camera,  and the Reservoir Gods  are
caught "hard at work" playing a Nintendo DS game,  photographic evidence was
obtained, and is available for a price for Atari scene blackmail purposes!

I'll  take a look at the constantly shifting and mutating state of the  demo
rumours.  GGN is doing a bootsector entry.  I got to see this, and so did my
camera (but not very well). Also our favourite coding dark horse Defjam goes
from doing a GBA screen to a last minute Atari 4ktro. I see him hard coding.
It  turned out he did both.  Also some earlier loose talk suggests  Ray/tSCc
doing  something for the CT60?  I'm still not sure if the Dutchies are doing
anything  or  not?  The  DHS 96ktro was safely received by Baggio,  this  is
described by Evil as not the final version, but ok for the party.

With  the  collapse of the live performance,  about half of the people  went
over to the bar.  Back in the main hall,  I was witness to a determined push
by  Felice to finish off the whole three litre wine box!  So it seems we are
busily  driving a tractor back and forth over the crushed corpse of the  no-
alcohol rule for the main  hall!  Not that we're acting all cool and hard by
doing  so.  That  is just how things turned out by accident!  So sorry 'bout
that Havoc!

At  last,  gwEm is ready to hit the airwaves with an ST-DJ-set,  and he does

After  a  while,  I make a move to the bar area,  to see what is going  down
there.  it  turns  out that the answer for that question is "quite a  bit!".
303F are performing in the bar, there is a lively and busy crowd, mostly the
Limp Ninja and other Peecee guys. Felice finds his chatting-up skills put to
the  test with a blonde female there,  and he seems to be doing better  than
the  Nature  Brothers with their more direct "Me drunk,  you go to bed  with
me!" approach!

So  back to the main hall some time later.  I belatedly discover the Outline
party intranet, which allows you to create a user-account and upload details
of your party entries.  So I do.  At the same time, gwEm is trying to figure
out  the  voting system,  this needs a (so far) non-existent key to make  it
work.  And  in  the final stages of day two,  Earx blags Felice's VGA to  ST
adaptor to try with the bigscreen beamer.

At around the unearthly and wicked hour of 03.00,  it is time to contemplate
the  night  terrors  of the freezy teepee.  If anything,  the tent is a  bit
colder than last night.  Also various other guys turn up at different stages
of the morning,  so the teepee is now mostly filled up.  Sleep, or a version
of  it  punctuated  by wild-west tundra dreams follows,  and that  does  get
easier once the sun is over the horizon,  and the ambient temperature slowly


I got up about 9-ish, after someone's alarm stirred me to action. Seeking to
get clean, I was directed to a shower block by a helpful Dutchwoman. I half-
wish  she  hadn't,  as the shower turned out to be lukewarm.  It had another
nasty surprise, as it also dumped most of its water over my clothing left on
the  floor,  when there was no other place to put them.  At least I did feel
clean afterwards, so score 5 out of 10 for that shower. And the clothes were
due to be changed for something clean anyway.

It   is  now  just  gone  10.00hrs  the  official  deadline  for  the   main
competitions,  and  there  is no sign of any organisers,  or even that  many
people in the main hall as yet?

Breakfast  is another long and leisurely affair,  and it's at a special rate
of  1  euro!  Food fanatics such as Baggio and myself scramble to  the  food
serving table,  and with added coffee, we are soon content again. Summer has
woken up,  and it is a pleasure to sit outside.  Various Reservoir Gods join
in the food-related fun.

We  talk to an attractive brunette seen in the company of Lotek and  others,
who  has  decided  to join our table.  She is here on her own  behalf,  from
Vienna,  and  she's  interested in the demo scene.  This is the first  Atari
party  she's been to,  and she finds a different atmosphere from the  bigger
parties  that  she  has  also  been to.  The interest  is  not  just  casual
fangirldom,  as she is researching for a dissertation on the demo scene!  By
the time we go away,  we may have either given her some new and useful lines
of  enquiry  to follow,  or we may have ruined that project altogether!  She
does have a name, but I'll reveal that later!

Back at the main hall,  the organisers have woken up after breakfast. A full
schedule for the next two days is on the bigscreen,  compo's start at 16.00,
but all times are subject to some delay, I'm sure!

A  quiet period follows,  so I take advantage of this to grab some down-time
in the deserted teepee. This is quite a pleasant place in the afternoon sun.
Also  I  take the time to rearrange my sleeping accomodations into  a  shape
resembling  something which will be easy to get into in the dead  of  night,
without  endless fumbling around in the darkness,  only able to see anything
with  a Nokia phone backlight.  I think part of the reason for the  previous
suckiness  of the sleeping arrangements,  is the fact that I wasn't able  to
properly organise them into something too comfortable before.

We try some more optimised and enjoyable waiting around at the bar area.  On
the way I spot a completed quick and rough Defjam made intro for the ST,  it
features  a zooming scrolltext and the thought of the day is expressed  here
"What  do you expect?".  gwEm and Manou are seen sitting outside and wrapped
around  a  cold beer (a cold beer EACH,  not the same one for both of  them!
That  would make life too difficult!) A crowd of Reservoir Gods  arrives  at
the  next  table,  SH3  trying on various beermat/skullcap  combinations  to
protect his head from the scorching sun, before opting for the jersey/turban
terrorist look.

Arrival back at the main hall at 16.10 reveals a new problem with the  sound
system,  the start of the competitions has been delayed to 16.30hrs, this is
probably not going to be the first setback of the evening?

Oh yes, demo rumours, I was forgetting, Paradox were working on some sort of
ST demo or intro, is this going to be presented tonight?

The  running  order of some of the compo's was slightly changed.  The  Atari
bootsector compo was kicking off early at 16.45.

The  bootsector compo produced five entries,  including the two fake ones  I
knew  about.  The most impressive,  the one which screamed "winner!" was the
voxel landscape in a bootsector,  by p01.  Cyclone's boot plasma should come
second.  (In fact,  the voting went the other way,  with Cyclone getting the
winner's step on the podium.)

The other competitions are awaiting the arrival of a new and unbroken  sound
system, which should be with us shortly?

The electronic voting is neat, when it works! People are still struggling to
come to terms with it.

To  break  up the pre-compo waiting around,  Ray gets his TT version of  the
plaudit-winning  'Beams' demo out.  This is a pixel-perfect conversion  from
the Falcon, and it is certainly smoother than on the standard F030.

Newschool  music (which is a posh name for multichannel compo) was  supposed
to be coming next. A long time coming, as things turned out....

In  the meantime,  the entertainment gap is flled with the guitar and  duck-
call playing from an unknown peecee dude in a lilac shirt.  I find out later
he  is  'beerTBP' of the  megamighty Belgian Beer Squad. I find out from him
that he also  knows Nosfe of various Finnish sauna terror party fame,  which
doesn't seem very surprising!

In  one  of  the classic party moments,  the Reservoir God's  opt  for  some
healthy outdoor pursuits, with a traditional game of street cricket, jumpers
for wickets,  grown-ups impersonating small boys in the park etc. Of course,
with  certain non-UK participants included,  this unique match has a certain
disregard for the formal rules.  A lame and limp underarm lob from Stratagem
was  caught  on digicam,  which inexplicably bowls out a busily looking  the
wrong way Mr Pink, to the delight of everyone present!

Unfortunately, they were stopped from playing cricket by the concerned venue
owner  when Pink started clearing away shots into the windows!  I think they
restarted  the match in a more open space,  but you got the feeling this was
another black mark against us from the venue owners?

The  organisers  had  managed to avoid bringing a CT60 with  them  for  some
reason,  And like last year, they were seeking to borrow one for running the
sole CT60 entry on.  This job,  like last year,  fell down to me. So I got a
Brucie  bonus  with an early look at the DHS 96k with Earx,  Of course  this
will rock!

We  ordered  pizza for the last time,  and opened the final bottle of  wine.
Analysing  the totoal alcohol consumption over the last three days might  be
too  depressing,  but certainly all the pre-brought supplies were killed off
with  falling  down  and talking shite capacity to spare,  and  with  a  few
bottles of beer thrown into the mix for good measure.

At  about  this  time,  a small debate with Skrebbel and  Earx  breaks  out,
concerning  the  destination  compo for the Dildo  Fatwa  entry.  It  should
rightly  be entered as a fake demo,  but the great philosophical question is
asked, in the absence of a specific fake comp, whether a fake demo is closer
to a real demo or the wild compo.  They decided in favour of the Wild compo,
as  there were no other entries for the Falcon demo compo.  So score one for
expediency over philosophy then!

The  voting  terminals  were finally fully working,  so I caught up  on  the
competitions that had been run so far.

Back outside,  I got talking to the nice brunette thesis researching Mittel-
Europe femme we discussed earlier,  she now has a name,  Gina.  Somehow,  we
exchanged  a lot of contact information,  just in a 'professional' demoscene
capacity, you understand!

I  then spotted some seriously cool Defjam coded screens.  These weren't for
anything being shown today, but almost certainly, these were going to be for
the  next big Checkpoint demo!  I managed to film a couple of these with the
digicam  movie  mode,  but  then had to go under the  Defjam  Non-Disclosure
Agreement ;-)

Writing  in  a post-party sense at this point,  my party notes go  something
like "Newschool music,  then pizza,  then compos",  which is,  I guess, what
happened  next.  Here's  some  comments made at the time about some  of  the
newschool entries.

'De Dakpan Tidal Wave' - May be Tinkercore reinvented for the noughties, but
is it music? No, not really!

'A  bit of Nostalgia ' by Cyrex,  in the style of a mid-nineties XM  tracker

'Is there Something' by Manou,  a bit different,  with vocals,  nice!  Could

The  organisers  step into some more cowpats from the  devil's  own  satanic
herd,  as there is a suggestion of a problem with the Dildo Fatwa entry. No,
this is not the content or overall concept, but it is not unpacking from the
zipfile properly.  A quick check, and it turns out that Earx ran out of hard
disk  space!  A  bit of reshuffling and deleting stuff later,  and the  demo
unpacked and checked out fine!

The  final Pizza's arrive,  Baggio having got a couple in against late-night
munchie attacks, and Strata-RG indulges in a fit of wild compo sneezing!

It  is  now 21.00,  a bit before the compo's,  and BeerTBP,  Chuck,  gwEm and
Manou  indulge  in a mass guitar jamming session.  The folksy atmosphere  is
only slighty interrupted by Skrebbel checking the party audio.

At last,  the main competitions kick off.  The 4K compos are first.  The in-
party demo rumours totally fail to pick up a little stunner from gwEm, which
consists of green-shaded effects,  fairly conventional newschool stuff,  but
with  better than average synching to the rather good soundchip  tune!  From
the reaction,  this is a likely winner.  To be fair,  I vaguely remember him
talking  about something like this a while ago,  but it was an open question
whether it was going to be a Noise party entry,  or for Outline.  Yes,  that
long ago!

Defjam provides a quick but worthy entry in the limited time beforehand, but
it is clear where the winning votes will go.

The  Atari 96k intro's are next,  Paradox's effort is described by them as a
collection  of  leftover  effects,  but it all hangs together  pretty  well.
There  are  a  couple  of  minor  entries  from  Paradize/Sector  One,   and
MJJ/Checkpoint, but these aren't offering any major technical breakthroughs.
I  step  in  with the mighty CT60 and the Dead  Hackers  entry,  which  runs
nicely, and gathers a favourable audience reaction.

The games competition falls between a couple of retro-themed little crackers
made  for  the PeeCee,  by Grazey/PHF,  one of which is a tribute to the old
'Backlash'  shooter,  the  other a neat mixture of asteroids,  defender  and
others.  There is also an in-party hack by SH3 and others, which is a comedy
card game based on the members of Atariscne IRC channel! Not quite up to the
usual  polished Res Gods standard,  but with their main coder off the job at
the moment, it is as good as you can reasonably expect.

The  PeeCee demos are a mixed bag.  There is some standard 3-D flyby  stuff.
There  is  one fake demo scraping the outer edge of weirdness  called  'Tik-
Tak'. This is  based on a  Belgian kids television show. It is an entry  you
either understood, or else didn't and hated it or possibly as a third option
didn't  understand  but  went with the general weirdness  flow.  This  is  a
concept  well and truly understoood by the makers of Dildo Fatwa  demos.  We
respect  the  Flaming Marshmallows for it!  I might note a PeeCee 64K  entry
'Scary Dinosaurs',  by the Bobby Davro Snooker Experience,  which was rather
good when seen in that way too.  Hey, maybe we would have had enough entries
for a combined platform fake demo competition.  Then we may have been beaten
only into third place, rather then fifth!

Then  it is the Wild competiton.  gwEm's FPGA project is up first,  and well
received  it  is too.  The might "We Dreme of Atari" demo is next!  Heart in
mouth  and  dinner  ready  to leave large  intenstines  etc!  It  is  loudly
appreciated in some quarters, well at least Damo will be needing to claim on
his underpant insurance (third party, fire, theft, and uncontrolled shitting
peril!). There is a neat conversion of A.N.Cool's 1989-tastic 'Acid' demo by
Defjam,  to  the Gameboy Advance. We have Cyclone's "Alive Jukebox" to  wind
things up. That is the end of the competitions, there is a hiatus for voting
to take place in.


With all the queuing to use the voting terminals,  after-party drinking etc,
there  is a fairly long wait for the results and prizegiving  ceremony.  The
effects of the past three days are starting to catch up with me, and it is a
struggle  to  stay with the proceedings.  I spend some  time with  gwEm  and
Manou, with Damo, Wizton, and Partycle in close attendance. In a shock move,
Mr  Pink had apparently gone to bed before the compo's even ended!  Has  his
true  geek personality been ripped out by his significant other,  and buried
on unconsecrated ground at midnight?

The results shuffle back into the building at about three-ish. Of the ones I
tend to remember easily,  Manou wins the streaming newschool music. gwEm has
a  brilliant  evening  by winning both the wild compo and  the  Atari  4ktro
compo.  Not  unexpectedly,  DHS  win  the Atari 96ktro.  Cyclone has a  good
evening  too  as he carries the bootsector compo.  Even  less  surprisingly,
Dildo Fatwa don't win a thing... Ah well.

The prizegiving ceremony has an added slight complication, as the power goes
off suddenly when we are about halfway through.  Sabotage on the part of the
venue owner was a popular conspiracy theory,  and the outage came around the
time  the Frenchies were shouting "DMA,  DMA!" at the success of their man's
soundchip entry.

We  are  unabashed  at  this  latest mishap,  and  manage  to  complete  the
prizegiving in a hail of whatever illumination is to hand.

In spite of Havoc's final shouted and unamplified entreaty for everyone left
to party the night away, I am off to bed straight after, as we have to be up
for around 8.00am.

The tent is cold again,  but not quite as much as the night before. I manage
to sleep, but wake up some time before Felice's alarm kicks off. An imminent
bladder overload flashes a warning light in my subconscious,  so I deal with
that, then go back to sleep.

I  manage to get up at the official wake-up time,  get dressed and clear out
of  the teepee for the last time.  Some people are up and around in the main
hall  even  then.  Earx and Tinker are starting out on the long clearing  up
road.  Some Frenchies are about too, packing for an early departure on their
part.  It is initially still very dark in the main hall as the missing power
hasn't returned yet, but some of the blinds are opened to let some light in.
I soon pack up,  sort of having half-started last night,  and Felice is soon
on the scene, so he packs his stuff too.

There is a "hangover breakfast" timetabled for late morning. We are going to
miss this, but manage an impromptu breakfast off our pre-bought supplies.

With everything done,  bar the actual leaving of De Panoven,  I go to wander
with Earx and Tinker up the railway tracks,  to take a look at the landscape
near  the  nice looking lake.  There is up to 1km of rusting  railway  track
connected  to this site,  which will take a little too much time to explore,
so we give up on that idea fairly quickly.

The  Frenchies  are loading their car,  at the same time as we  are  filling
ours, and they are handily around to say goodbye to. They swirl off in their
fully  loaded  Peugeot,  with some suggestion of a French-based Atari  party

We  say  hello  to  the just emerging Swedes  and  the  Nature  Brothers  in
particular.  They mentioned that they had an Ethernat for me! This turns out
to  be  correct,  so I am handed a small box with the precious cargo in  it.
Unfortunately,  they  don't  have  time to see if they can fit  it  into  my
standard ST-cased CT60, which was originally sort of planned.

A  final round of goodbye's to the people in the vicinity followed,  and  we
set off at around 09.30ish to make the reverse journey home.

There  is a reason for our earlier than usual departure as we  are  breaking
our  journey  at Gouda,  and stopping at diskmag legend Richard  Karsmaker's
house there for a quick visit.

The motorway back turns out to be straightforward. And we manage to navigate
ok  on Rich K's instructions most of the way.  There is some small doubt  on
the  final part of the directions.  A quick phone call to Rich K.  sorts it,
and we are only a couple of minutes away anyway!

We get to meet Rich K,  and his family. Including his post-Karin wife Laura,
and 2 year old daughter Anne.  The latter, after being initially overawed by
strangers in the house,  hits her stride in the 'terrible two' stage, and is
not feeling at all co-operative!

Laura  is taking care of Anne's afternoon nap,  so the menfolk can go out to
lunch with a clear conscience in the not too unattractive Gouda town centre.
A cafe in the main square does the job nicely, as we dine on beers and Dutch
style  cheese  and  ham  toasted  sandwiches  and  catch  up  and  generally

Heading  back  to  Karsmakers GHQ,  and soon it is goodbye to  Rich  K.  and
family.  There  is  a  heavy exchange of foodstuffs as Felice swaps  a  bulk
consignment of Branston pickle for 1kg's worth of geniune Gouda cheese!

This final bit of the trip back to the ferry continues in a  straightforward
fashion,  even  the scary Rotterdam interchange which slowed us down on  the
way  over.  Back  at  the Hook,  well within the appointed time,  I spot and
photograph  a  rally of vintage cars and bikes getting ready  to  board  our

For the rest of the journey home, there is little to report. We manage to be
one of the first cars off the ferry and through the Harwich customs.  We are
therefore  back home at around the previously predicted time,  where several
questions  were asked by the girls about this earlier.  This includes  about
20-30 miles of excitingly tense driving on petrol fumes, as Felice announces
that he is right on the fuel gauge red line,  as if this was not too much of
a problem!  I can tell you that the A14 contains absolutely NO services from
where it is still the A12, until we are nearly back at Cambridge!

Back  at  Bar Hill,  the females we left behind on Friday are  running  300%
louder  than usual caricature versions of themselves.  The first remark  not
being  something  like "How are you?",  but "Where's my  chocolate?!"   This
instantly  reminds  me  of the Blackadder series 2  episode  'potato'  where
Blackadder  and the gang are returning from their trip to the Cape  of  Good
Hope,  and on their return 'Queenie' demands "PRESENTS!!" on pain of a swift

I've  also been handed the job of shepherding supper,  some chile bolognaise
hybrid  thing they made earlier,  to a fully cooked safe ground without  any
prior warning either.  Somehow,  the meal comes together alright, and we can
relax for a bit.

In fact, we relax so well, it is not before 23.00hrs before me and Nicky get
going  for the final stage of the journey back to Northampton,  and get back
at around midnight.  Miraculously, I've not fallen asleep at the wheel of my
car  after 3-4 days of "party-sleep",  which is why I'm writing this  report

After a limited amount of unpacking,  and some "essential" internet using, I
get to bed around 01.00, which is the official end of the party!

 Conclusions and stuff..

Was Outline '06  a valid replacement for the missed Easter party? This would
be  more  of an Atarian view?   The real Easter party,  'Noise',  deserved to
attract more people than it did, but it was just too distantly located for a
lot.  Outline  '06   managed  to bring in more than the usual amount  of  UK
people,  including MUG UK,  Grazey and a virtually complete set of Reservoir
Gods.  We  also  had the pleasure of getting to meet GGN and his  girlfriend
Rana  in  the  flesh  for the first time.   Outline  was  also  notable  for
attracting various Frenchies,  gwEm and Manou,  and even a large part of the
Dresden posse,  including the not seen enough Defjam.  Of course, one of the
party pleasures was in socialising and catching up with people.  So for this
year,  Outline '06 was a good replacement for the Easter party we didn't get

Outline  '06  had  an  extra task,  to promote a  greater  co-operation  and
understanding  with other parts of the scene.  The multi-scene nature of the
organising team reflects this.  There was some success from the contact, and
better  appreciation of each other's point of view.  People thrown  together
for the first time in a new situation tend to be clannish and stick to their
own  when  socialising,   which  is natural.   I would give  an  outstanding
services  to the scene award to Gina,  who turned out to be the great  party
mixer.  She  was  genuinely  interested in the different and  relaxed  party
culture  that  Outline offered,  from the more frenetic larger parties.  For
some reason, I thought she was Lotek Style's girlfriend for the first couple
of days!

The  PeeCee and Amiga guys that we met were pretty cool to  socialise  with.
'BeerTBP'  springs  instantly  to mind.  They had their eyes opened  to  the
mysteries of the Atari scene.  On the other side,  it was shown to Atarians,
that not all PeeCee guys are like the mindless attention-seeking idiots that
you stumble across at the bigger parties,  so yes, Outline '06 was a success
here as well.

And  did  Outline  '06 live up to its billing as a   mellow   summer  party?
Going  from  the large  amounts  of  accoustic guitars  being   played   the
mellow  vibe was most definitely there!   The weather was the only  slightly
disappointing aspect,  as it was still stubbornly clinging onto late spring.
Summer  only  got  going properly when we were hit with a  heatwave  a  week
later,  which  would  have  been welcome in the evenings,  but  the  daytime
conditions were very pleasant.

Still,  if we had the party even a week earlier, then the weather would have
been very lame indeed!

The  numbers  turning up were healthy.  Outline '06 attracted  around  80-90
people, of which, roughly fifty percent were Atarian.

Outline  '06  succeeding  in maintaining the relaxed  and  civilised  'Atari
party' atmosphere to the extra guests.  The reinforced organising team did a
great job in providing this.

The  accomodation  was memorably  weird.  We were expecting something  along
the  lines  of  the  previous  Outline parties,  that  is,  dormitory  style
accomodation.  We  did  not  read the small print,  and it was too  late  to
realise  that this was under canvas!   To be really honest,  the weather and
night-time  temperature  weren't quite up to sleeping outdoors.  This  would
have been okay for a party at the height of summer, say in July or August.

The  food and drink,  following the high expectations from previous  Outline
parties,  was a success.  Our pre-brought alcohol was totally consumed.  The
Pizza  service was  fair to middling,  with a limited selection,  but a good
price  (5  eur).   The on-site catering was very good too,  with a series of
excellent  breakfasts provided very cheaply,   and beer sold at a tidy 1 eur
per bottle.  Financially,   this party turned out very cheap for us,  and we
came  back with oodles of cash to spare,   up to the point where we hit  the
ferry  tax-free shop, ah well!

From  a personal point of view,  I went into 'annoying Japanese tourist with
new digicam' mode.  This was a real camera,  as opposed to the ropey mobycam
snaps that I took last year.  This was a roaring success,  with a great deal
of  still  and (still to be sorted out at time of  writing!)  movie  footage

There were plenty of prods and new releases.  We had a more varied diet than
usual,  with  the  extra  platforms coming along to play.   There were  more
bigger  demos  coming  from the PeeCee end of the party.  There was  nothing
really major showing for the Atari.  In general, the releases we got were at
a  similar  level to last years party.  But then you have to  remember  that
Outline expectations would have been diluted by the previous major CT60 demo
shown at the "Noise" party, and also the Chosneck Supplement and Menace demo
releases, which were intended for the Noise party originally. If you were to
add  all  of  these up,  then the period from Easter 2006 has been  quite  a
fruitful one for us.

So   overall,  Outline '06 was a great success.  I guess if we're staying on
the  multi-scene  road,  then it won't re-run as an Easter party  in  future
years,  but  it  would be likely to be a late spring/early  summer  occasion

To end this report,  a big thanks goes to Havoc,  Skrebbel,  and the rest of
the organizers for making Outline '06 yet another classic.

 CiH, for Alive Mag, June '06..

Alive 13