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Alive 4
a short party report about the PARACON #3 convention - November/December 2001

 As the PARACON III convention, was a democonvention that really touched me
 somehow, I decided to give you a small party report from my view.

 As most people will know, the PARACON III took place in autumn. The party-
 place was the same as two years ago - a little house owned by the DLRG-
 group (they are the guys who pull you out of the water if you are almost
 dead, baywatch-freaks so to say). The partyplace was located in a small
 town called Niederselters, Germay, where two members from the organizers
 (Paranoia) do live. The town itself is not too interesting for strangers,
 according to my personal experiences, but more to this topic later on.


 Since thinking back to the PARACON II (1999) caused very nice feelings
 inside me, there weren't many doubts if going there would be a good idea.
 Of course it would be a good idea! Well, beside that a lot of interesting
 people announced there coming once again and after all it's always nice
 to meet the PARANOIA-Jungens.

 The travelling issue went without major problems. Then I took the train
 from Frankfurt to Limburg, which I supposed to stop in Niederselters.
 The more I was suprised when it just didn't. So this was how I ended up
 in foggy Limburg, the endstation, without knowing why. But well, the day
 was still young, it was about 10:00 am, so not a problem really. So I took
 a train to get back in the other direction, and even managed to get out
 of the train in Niederselters. So I stood there, on the train station,
 back in town, where I just stood two years ago. I couldn't really believe
 that time passed that fast, sniff..

 Finding the party place was easy, as it wasn't my first time there. After
 five minutes walk I stood there, the partyplace in front of me, just that
 it was locked. Hmm.. well.. Hmm.. I decided to walk around Niederselters
 a bit and see if I can find something interesting to eat or do. I finally
 found the city-centre, with many small shops and restaurants, which where
 all closed. It seems as in this part of the world people never go shopping
 before 5 pm - very weird. Weather was shit, too, so my mind was a bit
 bored by all this. I went back to the partyplace, where I phoned KOMTUR
 from PARANOIA. Some 10 minutes later he arrived and let me put my stuff
 inside the building.

 This was very good, since this way I was able to walk around much easier.
 The PARANOIA-members were just starting to fix all the tables and a
 defect in the heating, when I decided to discover the surrounding a bit.
 The most interesting thing to do actually was, well, going back to Limburg
 where I was just this morning. So back to the trainstation, and after a
 small ride I was there again. Limburg is a really nice and small town,
 I had a look at the oldtown, some gallery and the old castle or whatever
 this was on that hill. After that I went into some pub, which was really
 nice, since there was beer to drink and I met some friendly guy, which
 allowed some interesting chatting about East- and Westgermany.

 It must have been about 5 pm, when I wanted to go back to the partyplace,
 so I just headed for the trainstation of Limburg, crossing the X-mas
 marked. When arrived at the trainstation, I had some major trouble with
 the ticket-automat, which just didn't know Niederselters. Great, another
 hour to spend in Limburg, before I could go to PARACON after all. So what
 to do in this state of mind, is of course going to another pub. There I
 met some other guy, who was a football fan. Some small chats again, but
 not as exciting as the ones in the other pub, and this travelling and
 trainmissing disaster should have had its end.

 Back at the trainstation, I this time just took the RIGHT train and finally
 managed to arrive at the PARACON III!


 After this mess, it was really nice to be somewhere where you feel a bit
 more home. Some people had arrived, but the majority was still missing.
 I was overtired and slightly drunken, so I went to bed around 9 pm already.


 I woke up around midday and felt good. I don't really remember who arrived
 when exactly anymore, but within the afternoon it got more and more crowded
 and one could easily see, that more than 20 people/computers would just not
 have been possible in this partyplace. The afternoon and evening passed by
 really fast.

 PARANOIA were finishing their graphic and introcompetion entries, meanwhile
 Sage, Scy/.tSCc. and Charon/Escape were doing some stuff with a little
 Linux/XAes network. The Frenchies worked on some intro, too - and that
 really hard (they just had a hard fight against Paranoid again and again
 to extend the deadline a bit). Finally , the intro was finished in a preview
 version with the help of Ray/.tSCc. and Zerkman/Sector One.

 There were a lot of interesting and funny chats to follow, especially when
 Oliver Kotschi, the man behind FRONTIER SYSTEMS appeared. He told that the
 XTOS-computer will be sold together with the DEESSE-card as default.
 Furthermore, he and the guys from ESCAPE tried to install the new ECLIPSE-
 PCI card on some Falcon. For my taste, I wouldn't call it easy to get it
 working right, but regarding that the Falcon was originally not designed
 for cards like those, it worked quit good. The resolutions and speed were
 impressive, not all applications worked correctly with ECLIPSE though.

 D-Force and EarX/FUN, who arrived in the evening where working on some new
 stuff. D-Force worked on his compomodule in FlexTrax meanwhile EarX spent
 some serious time on doing some new effects. NO/Escape and Dynacore/.tSCc.
 where working on some new effect, too, Flash from The Naughty Bytes was
 painting and playing around with his new Milan, ... generally it was a very
 creative atmosphere there.

 Beside the usual Pizza ordering and movie showing on the big screen there
 was a high beer consumption - especially when I think back to ST Survivor,
 who was only able to say "bleurg" or "burp" and "ouuuiiiiiiiiiiiieee" in
 the end :-)

 Somewhen around 10 pm or so it was COMPETITION TIME. One picture and three
 musics where entered, and furthermore three intros for the democompetion.
 Ray/.tSCc. entered a nice 4k intro for Atari TT, Matt'us Alem did some
 >96k intro for Falcon (which was entirely done at the party, as the maker
 knew parties like being an event where stuff has to be coded, and not where
 finished stuff is released (oldschool eh!)), and finally Paranoia themselves
 released a 64kb-intro, which I personally consider there best effort so far.

 Regarding the size of the party, the compos where really nice and of good


 After the competitions some demos where shown on the big screen, and every-
 one could listen to the recorded mp3 of MC Laser's radioshow about chip-
 music, he did some weeks ago for some local radiostation. The usual long
 chatting period started between most of the visitors and went on till early
 morning. Also playing Chu Chu Rocket with four players caused big amusement
 in this period. It actually is just fucking fun with that many players.
 So the night passed by the usual exciting way, known from demoparties.

 In the morning, everyone was welcomed by a breakfast, which was just like
 for kings: eggs, cheese, sausages, jam, flakes, coffee, milk, juice, fruits,
 croissants, ... - just the best breakfast I have seen since ages actually.

 Now, the party slowly ended, people left step by step and everyone seemed
 to have had a nice time. So had I. Honestly, I already expected, that it
 would be nice to be there again, and it was again really worth to go there.
 Paranoia are just the friendliest host one can imagine, always helpful and
 what impresses me most, they have a fantastic way of working hand in hand.
 Everyone has his job and does it at its best. Thanks for all the work! :)

 The party was nice and small, and I underline AND. Paracon proofed me again,
 that little meetings can be very exciting, maybe because it's a rather
 intensive way of meeting people. Another good point was, that almost every-
 one was doing something creative, or to say it differently, there was not
 this shitty PC-game-playing-copying-CDs mood, I know from Interjam parties.

 Everyone who was there in 1999 or in 2001 would surely like to see another
 edition of the party somewhen. But however, my good remembrance of Paracon
 will stay till then.


Alive 4