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Alive 7

Some words in the beginning..

After two years of waiting  it was finally  time for the  third edition  of the
great Error in  Line Parties. Time  for  meeting  old friends, talking crap and
beeing productive. As a member of Escape this time I was involved in organizing
the event. But  since I'm  the  only  member of  Escape that  is not  living in
Dresden I wasn't able  to organize the location, insurances and such things. My
part was the search for sponsors, which easily can be done from anywhere.

Therefore I wrote dozens of emails  and 51 letters  to well known big companies
here in germany. But only a  handful of  these companies  answered to my letter
and noone of these 51 companies was willing to support us with one single piece
of  hard- or software. However  the emails  were more succesfully  and with the
prices  organized by the Reservoir Gods I think we had really enough prices for
the competitions. Special thanks  goes to flash  for sponsoring 25 of the Error
in  Line T-Shirts. A big THANKS again to all, who supported us in any way :-)

...and now a small party-report

Friday, 18th April 2003

My trip to Dresden started with a big surprise. I had  an agreement with R.I.K.
and Mr XY, both from Foundation Two, to drive to Dresden. R.I.K. was the driver
and wanted to pick up Mr XY  and me here in  Kaiserslautern, but before he left
he made an entry  to  the EiL-bulletin, that he  would start now and pick up Mr
XY, me and Mad Butscher... How could that be? Four people in one car going to a
convention? From trips to other  conventions I knew, that three people seems to
be the absolute maximum in one car.

However, we three  left  Kaiserslautern at  about 14 o'clock and picked up Mad
Butscher one hour later in Wiesbaden. Luckily he had no monitor or TV with him
and only very little luggage. So we managed it, to get with four people in one
car to Dresden, although I had  to snuggle  with Mad  Butscher on the backseat
;-). Another 6 hours and one Burger King later we arrived in Dresden and first
had  some problems  finding the  Tusculum. But suddenly I saw  many flickering
monitors in a building and so it was clear, that we were almost right.

One month  before  EIL I visited the  Dresden  guys  for one  week to  do some
demo-coding (indeed we  played much  more with  Coldfire-evaluation Board from
Motorola, than doing demo-coding). In this week we (Norman, Nils, Christin and
Robert) made a trip  from Norman's  place to the Tusculum, but when we arrived
everything was closed  and it  was dark  already. So I  saw  it only  from the
outside and had no idea how it was looking inside. And to be honest I had some
doubts since it looked a bit scruffy.

But when I entered the Tusculum these doubts  flew away very fast. The location
was really nice and had a great atmosphere - most people enjoyed it I think. So
first I had a walk through the three  big rooms and  said hello to some people.
But after that I immediately built up my falcon beside Norman and Nils, since I
wanted to finish the _-demo, that had no name so far :-).

In the week before EIL I had some sparetime and worked hard on most effects. It
was much fun to code  on the  one  monitor and  chat on the other one with ray,
creature, Remo and Lotek Style, who were also hard working on their beams-demo.
Anyway there was lot of work left. Only the effects were finished more or less,
but all the timing had to be done and till then there was no real plan, when to
show which effect. So Norman was very sceptical, that  we could finish the demo
in time. Therefor I had some 'Kinderriegel' with me, to motivate him a bit :-).

I made some green tea, which  is a great stimulant drug if you don't want to get
tired, even  better than coffee. Norman  started to do some  final polish on his
effects, while Nils put the timing-points into the MOD-File from the first part.
And everything was put  together on my  falcon. Since Norman's  effects were the
first three, his job was  done very  quickly. Nils  and  me sat  there till 7 in
the morning and almost finished timing of the first part.

When I entered our sleeping place - the gym - I had first to laugh out loudly !
Snoring from  every corner, which  was very funny :). Luckily I  remembered the
last Paracon and so  had some ear  protection with me. So after  rolling out my
sleeping bag I didn't recognise the snoring anymore.

Saturday, 19th April 2003

Some 4 or 5 hours later I stood  up and had some  breakfast. Unfortunately I was
too late for the  organized  breakfast, but luckily  I had a bit  bread with me.
After  that I  had  time for going  around  and  talk to  some people. But  this
was only a little time, since a  bit later I started to  type in the competition
entries  for  Norman's  reliable  presentation  program. This  took  much  time,
because  there   were  many, many,  competition  entries  in  the  musician- and
graphican- competitions, and  when  you  thought, you  were  finished some  more
entries arrived. Maybe at 20 o'clock Nils and me started to record the video for
the presentation later. It took about 6 (!) hours to record  this damn video - I
was  very  happy when we were  finished  with this... The problem was, that some
people had special  hardware-wishes for the  presentation, suddenly a CT2-Falcon
appeared  that  had no TV-out (never  seen this  before, didn't  even know, that
such Falcons exist).

Then we had to organize adapters and cables to be able to connect the Falcon to
the videorecorder. Or for another entry  we had to build up an 8bit-Atari. As a
result I got very stressed  during recording and needed some recovery. A partie
of Checkered Flag in a ComLynx-network therefore  was very welcomed. Finally we
managed to finish the 70 minutes  long video and showed it at 2 or 3 o'clock in
the morning, although most people were sleeping  already. Just imagine how long
this would have taken in a live-presentation...

After the presentation I sat around a bit with scy  and dynacore talking about
old  times (well  I  wasn't  a  member of  the scene yet, when  they had their
Atari-times), which was very nice. So  far nothing had  happened with the demo
this day, and I was thinking  about  doing  something. Because I felt tired, I
decided to have a fresh shower that should wake me  up. But it didn't work and
so I went to bed.

Sunday, 20th April 2003

Next or better this morning I was  early  enough for  the  organized breakfast.
Since  Nils  was still sleeping, I  couldn't do  anything for  the  demo and so
walked around. Very interesting was the development board of the coldfire-team.
I think most people didn't  even  notice this  board, for  they were  busy with
their own productions for the soon  coming competitions. The  guys of  tscc had
big doubts about finishing  their  demo in  time. They  even thought  about not
showing it at all.

Meanwhile the weather was keeping up and even the sun looked out a bit. Mad
Butscher and R.I.K. were so kind to do some grilling behind the Tusculum. I
think this was a  welcomed variety, because you  had the possibility to eat
something different (i.e. "Bratwürschte") than pizza.

In the afternoon Nils  and me  started  working on  the  demo again (I think at
this moment we still had  no name for  it, hehe..). But it was impossible to be
productive in  the 'organizer's  corner'. Every few  minutes someone  comes and
asks  something or  wants  to give  away his  competition  entry. So we finally
decided to build up my Falcon in the kitchen, where nobody could see us. It was
a funny picture : The monitor  was standing on a cupboard, while the Falcon was
standing on some cola-drinking-boxes. This time Norman did the recording of the
video and so we had time  in the kitchen to be very productive. We finished the
1st and the 2nd part in a very short time (well the bee  was already timed from
my visit in Dresden...).

Since I coded the last screen with the arrow  a day before I left for EIL, Nils
had to compose a third  short track in a hurry. He  really did  a fantastic job
with this. When  Nils was finished, it was my  part again to fix  some last big
bugs and put  all  three  parts  together, but it  didn't work. It  was  awful.
Everyone was in the mainroom playing whippong, while I was sweating in front of
my Falcon in the kitchen.

Finally - with some hints from  Norman - I made the demo work, so I saw it only
maybe half an hour  before  Norman recorded it  in one piece !! That was a near
thing... Same with the guys of tscc. They finished their demo even some minutes
later.. However everything was fine and I  even could enjoy the last minutes of
the Whippong-Compo, which was as 2 years ago very funny.

After this stress, I drank a glass of  red wine (thanks  Christin :) and just
settled back for the coming demo-competition-video. It was amazing, many many
competition entries  and most  of them  had a  great quality. Especially  the
ST-demos really rocked.

OK, life of the organizers is hard, and so after the competition we started to
collect and enumerate the vote-sheets. With  about 6 or 7 people we sat around
the bar and  counted  and  counted  and counted... Finally  Frank Naumann, the
FreeMiNT maintainer, did the  final  counting  in the early  morning. At  this
time (about 6  o'clock) Nils  and  me  started  to  decide, which  competition
place won which prices. So we did it without knowing, who reached which place.
One or two hours later we  were finished with this  and so I had a bit time to

Monday, 21st April 2003

But after two hours Nils woke me up again  for the awards show. Before starting
with it we went through  the gym and  asked everyone to  stand up for this last
event of the Error  in Line. Finally at 10  o'clock we made  the results public
and gave the great prices away. Many people had already left and you could see,
that this event was  coming  to an end  very soon. After  the awards  show many
people  packed  and left very quickly so the  whole partyplace  suddenly looked
very  empty. At 13  o'clock  Mad  Butscher, R.I.K., Mr XY  and me left as well,
leaving the rest of Escape  and Checkpoint  back with a  lot of work.. Again it
was  time for some snuggling with Mad Butscher on the backseat. 7 hours and one
MC Donalds later I finally arrived at home and fell dead into my bed.

So this was the third Error in Line for me. And for the first time I was active
as an organizer. It was very different to the previous ones. I was a bit sad at
the end, since I really would have liked to  talk longer to more people. But as
Norman told  me  before, you  can't really  enjoy such  a event, if  you  are a
member of the organizer-staff. Anyway it was a great event and of course it was
worth all the work  and  stress. And  again the Error  in Line  showed that the
scene is still alive.


Alive 7