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Alive 7

        It's been a while since we've seen one of these, hasn't it?

        You know what I mean:  Those  itsy-bitsy  executables claiming to be 160
bytes in size (although that's a blatant  lie,  since they take at least 8 times
the space they claim on disk!) that you  run'em, see a very bare effect (most of
the times people get disappointed by  them  too!),  and then it's reset time, as
there is no-returning-to-system-due-to-incredibly-small-space, or because of the
has-the-wrong-voltage-it-works-ok-on-my-computer-honest-RTFM-next-time   affair!
And I'm not just saying that because I haven't coded one, because I have!

        Squeezing the most out of 128  bytes  (which  is at most 64 instructions
due to the architecture of the 68K family!) seems to trouble coders at one point
or another. It's a nice coding excercise,  and  some people even get their kicks
out of it, but I get the feeling that for  most users it's a bit of a chore even
running them.

        But, still,  for  us  coders  it's  fun!  Some  (including  myself) jump
straight into the challenge of opening  a  debugger (or disassembler) and try to
figure out how the heck it was done.  Jolly  good fun (not!)! So let's get to it
and kick off (in alphabetical order) to...



         By D-Bug II/NeXT (D-Bug of Defence Force?)

        Ah. Here we have something new from  someone which isn't that new to the
scene! Mr. Mickael Pointier, alias Dbug II of  NeXT. A coder and graphist at the
same time. Complained (in the early days)  that people always bugged him to draw
graphics and that activity didn't leave him  enough time to code. Then there was
the Phaleon Demo and one very  good  STE-only  screen called Illusion. Then some
utilities on Falcon, such as the  art  package "Rembrandt" (sorry, can't comment
on that). Allegedly some work on Oric Atmos. Then, the big turn to the consoles,
where he and Mr. Oliver  Lhermite  AKA  Mit/NeXT  (sorry  if  I got the spelling
wrong, but I'm getting old :) wrote "Little Big Adventure" 1 & 2 (I think - it's
all from memory :). Also, a PC/DirectX conversion of the Illusion demo. And, for
extra brownie points for my research, if  you've  got  the PC CD of the game "V-
Rally  2  Expert  edition",  install  the   game  (on  Window$)  and  open  file
CDRuro\rootspec.pak on a hex editor.  You'll frequently see the message: "STNICC

        Now, let's get to the proggie itself.  It's  a ST-Low res affair, and D-
Bug claims that it runs only on STs (due to the fact that Falcons don't have VT-
52 emulation). He also claims that  it's  like  the boot-up sequence of the Oric
Atmos micro, which I'll have to take his  word for it! (mabye some day I'll deal
with this machine) This sequence  is:  Printing  a message, then dislpaying some
bars of colour, using VT-52.

        Ok, this isn't the  most  brainblasting  intro  you've  ever seen on 128
bytes, but that's what you get when you take one's ST away and return it after 8
years and tell him to code in it! Everybody has to start (or re-start) somewhere
and I guess it could be much MUCH  worse!  Well done, and we all await your next
release with interest... (will you remember  some  cool tricks you used 10 years
ago? I certainly hope so!)


                          By MrPink of Reservoir Gods

        Reservoir Gods. Having  a  name  directly  linked  to  Quentin Tarantino
(whose movies  I  can't  say  I  particularly  like)  didn't  make  such  a good
impression on me. Also, when I entered  the  scene  they were sort of going into
hibernation status. Anyway, not owning a Falcon,  I couldn't judge most of their
stuff, so I sort of forgot them for a while...

        ...Until, last year,  when  they  came  back  and  start releasing W4R3Z
(well, let's admit it, they  didn't  have  a  license  to publish Chuchu rocket,
right? ;) and their main coder, MrPink  getting involved in a myriad of projects
at the same time! (more about RG  in  some other articles, don't worry, they did
release an awful lot of stuff at EIL 3)

        As with the previous intro in this  article, this one too needs the same
specs (ST/E/Flacon Low res), only more machines are supported. The effect itself
is our good ol' friend Bob  (you  know  him,  from the ST's character set? ASCII
characters 28-31? Don't ring a bell?  Never  mind,  I  thought I was refering to
real Atarians :)))), only he's  zoomed  in,  and swinging horizontally in strips
(each strip being 16 pixels high).

        A quite pleasing effect, I might say. Taking a quick view under the hood
I noticed that Leon uses Line-A calls,  so  as to get some system specific stuff
(such as the screen address, the  font's  address,  etc.) without using too much
system calls. BUT, if  I'm  not  mistaken,  Atari  Corp. discouraged coders from
using direct Line-A calls, as at a  later  date,  they would take it out of TOS!
Bad boy, Leon! But, of course, all's fair in love and demos, so it's fine by me!
All in all, a nice effect for your 10 seconds of interest that, for all we know,
might have taken Leon months!

GGN/KÜA software productions/Alive Team

Alive 7