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Alive 5

So what the F*ck Happened?!

I'm  going  to try to keep this short, if not sweet.  Firstly,  don't get me
going  on the subject of Easter.  I've only just stopped screaming from  the
last time someone foolishly mentioned it, which was on the day after Easter!
In  fact,  my  views on the somewhat mixed blessings of the Mekka  Symposium
party can be read elsewhere in this issue,  and this isn't the time or place
to go into them.

The  blessings have been mixed for the activity level on the  general  scene
too.  Most  meaningful new releases in 2002 have come from the non-demo part 
of the scene.  Large pats on the back and general rejoicing are aimed in the
direction of people like New Beat Developments, for their release of the Ace
softsynth,  and the Reservoir Gods, with two new game for this first half of
2002. The  other  growth area for activity,  strangely enough,  has been the
enhanced  turnaround of disk magazines apart from ourselves,  with issues of
Chosneck,  and  a revived (and reviewed in here) Undercover Magascene.  This
revival  might  be down to a lucky coincidence of release times  after  long
production runs, but it is still good to see them turn out in force, even if
that is the case.

But  what will fill the tracks and sectors of future issues?  Apart from the
nice  and unexpected releases at Mekka from the Spice Boys  and Ephydrenia,
the  activity  level for the demo scene has stagnated.  No-one seems  to  be
putting  their  work forward,  coders seem to be more reclusive  than  ever,
happy  to leave their sparkling routines to turn into digital  compost  when
the next hard drive crash comes along? Not enough of the right kind of party
perhaps?  It  could  get to the stage where we're all reviewing each  others
competing  publications  to an inanely intense degree,  for simple  lack  of
anything else to go in them!?

And we're still awaiting the hardware event of the year, at time of writing.
The long,  long tale of the CT60,  its birth and development has been nearly
as  long  as  that of the Eurofighter,  and like the Eurofighter,  it's  in-
service  date keeps getting continually put back.  Just when it seems it  is
finally shipping,  a final bad-taste glitch farts in our face,  as the newly
made CT60 boards come back from the factory as faulty! So you won't see this
until  the  next issue,  or possibly the issue after that,  with the current
rate of progress?

Will  the  stagnant deadlock be broken?  People are making  hopeful  noises,
there  may be another online competition inspired by those oldschool  single
VBL  antics,  sixteen  colours  may rock,  and the Unconventional Party  may
suffer from crowd control problems in the nicest possible way.  An awful lot
of people would like to reconvene Error in Line next Easter,  although there
is nothing official there yet.  But these things are for another time. Right
now,  we're stuck with what we've got,  which isn't a great deal for what is
normally a busy part of the year.

One  last thing before I hand over to Seb for his bit.  I see that the  menu
shell  for the Alive/UCM shell has now been made open source.  If people are
interested, I've got a few simple things for my personal wish list.

Such  as,  giving  an  option for different text fonts.  I'd like to  use  a
cleaner  sharper  font for my ASCII stuff,  the current default  font  isn't
really  that  good at ASCII art.  Or how about breaking the two picture  per
article  limit?  We  could do a nice gallery concept,  especially if this is
combined  with my next suggestion,  making the shell able to display picture
formats other than .PI1.  Something like .GIF would be nice,  and then those
pictures  to  be displayed taking advantage of any  enhanced  graphics  mode
available  to  the  host  machine.  Yes,  I  am thinking of  the  Falcon  in

Okay,  that's what I came up with,  thinking about it for five minutes. I'll
be interested to hear what other people might suggest?

Okay, I'm  all  done for now,  see you next issue,  when you've all given me
lots to write about ;-)

CiH, June '02

                        STS HAS SOME WORDS FOR YOU TOO

Alive F*I*V*E isn't  completed  yet and work  is still going  on fiercely here.
Unfortunately CiH is so right : people still enjoy reading ALIVE but can't move
their ass to shorten delays between  issues. And we should call ourselves lucky
since some people joined us at the last minute  and wrote stuff, painted gfx or
coded an intro. BUT  WHY COULDN'T  THEY HELP IN  THE FIRST PLACE ? What happens
then is that we  are ALL pressured to get things wrapped up before June 26th. I
hope we can make it on time, since I just  WON'T be able to  do it later. Today
is the Day of Music in France and there are free concerts almost everywhere but
guess what ? I need to sit here more hours and write these articles no one else
could or wanted to handle ! I'm not even  angry you  know, just a bit sad but I
KNOW I want this  magazine to  stay alive and  will do my  best to achieve this
goal with or without extra help.

Many thanks have to fly to our many collaborators but such list can be found in
the Greetings section. However I really feel sorry for both Grey and Moondog as
they get even less support than us. Why again ??? I perfectly understand Eric's
attitude and issue  delays. I have to  say  that I REALLY  admire his  work and
motivation, working almost alone on a magazine isn't piece of cake ! Don't tell
me about mags  wars or  competition, write for Chosneck, UCM  or Alive, who the
fuck cares ? But DO SOMETHING ! It's not different  from crap talking on IRC if
you see what I mean...

Now what ? Well don't expect ALIVE6 before long if support doesn't get more
intensive... Do you really want us (I mean  ALL main  editors) to publish a
single issue per year ??? You decide...

Anyway I hope you'll enjoy this issue. Due to  few releases, it's been hard to
fill in the blanks and we had to have 'new' ideas, hope you like'em ! Btw have
you noticed  we  opened  a  forum  at ? We expect some
feedback in a near future (thx to Evl for putting up this forum !).

----------------------------------------------------------------------- STS -- 

Alive 5