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Alive 7


----------------------- by STS  ----------------------- 

During the last days of  May 2003 a  small party  organized by Amiga freaks 
was held in Villers Les Pots, a small place not so far from Dijon, France. This 
was nothing more than a friendly meeting where all kinds of freaks were invited 
regardless of the platform they used and cherished. Recovering  slowly from the 
great Error In  Line 3 I  thought  this  was a  nice occasion  to keep the good 
feeling  alive and  to meet  some  friends who  had not been  able to  drive to 


    Being lazy I almost missed the  opportunity as  preregistration was sort of
officially closed when I decided  to join. Indeed the organizers had planned to
welcome about 50 people but one more  freak wasn't  such a problem, so I made a
step forward and moved my lazy  ass at the  last minute :) Preparation was very
short too : I got some maps, checked my car, packed  some stuff and went to bed
late on Friday 30th after I set my alarm clock for not so late departure on the
next morning. This time I only had to drive 180 kms what still  took me about 2
hours and a half as I had  decided to avoid  typical  damn heavy fees on French

Day One : Welcome to Hell :)

    I reached the place safely and smoothly on Saturday shortly before noon and
soon faced a certainty : the  sun was  high and so  hot that  we were  about to
spend  a sauna-like weekend ! I  unpacked  my stuff and  managed to  put my STe
among its fellows. I have to say that the Atari freaks were cool enough to find
room for me and C-rem was once again a great  friend who, not only  helped, but
also brought me the first beer :)

    Who was there then ? Well from EIL were C-rem, Strider, Frost and ST Cooper
but also most of MJJ members as  well as some  French  Atari Sceners  such as :
Fel'X, Monsieur  Nours, Rajah, Exolon, Hervv, Gloky, Zorro 2, Aldyn and maybe a
couple of others I have forgotten :)

    We soon got our first meal as food was accounted for in the entrance fee of
23 euros. We had sandwiches and drinks  with a fruit. Tho a bit  sober that was
enough to  get us  happy for a  while :) Cooper and  I then  drove to a  nearby
supermarket to buy some more drinks (juice for him and beer for me of course :)
We were ready now !

    The hot and sweaty hallroom was divided in 2  main rows of tables and seats
while the center part was dedicated to further meals. Atarians invaded the left
part while Amiga people and Peecee lamers spread over the right and front. To
be honest we didn't mix at all... Explanations may be given later :)

    Browsing thru my harddrive partitions I showed  my fellows and visitors gfx
but also the latest ST demos released at Error In Line. I  mostly amazed  Aldyn
(formely a member of ST Knights  who  had left in  1997) that our  Scene wasn't
quite dead and that we still had things to show the world ! This egotrip proved
quite entertaining on the first day. I also took  some time to talk to the  MJJ
guys who  were  mostly friendly (well, Zorro 2  still  believes I  am  Satan or
something :) C-rem kept painting, as usual, esp as he  planned to enter the gfx
compo and I worked on Alive 7 for a while. We spent a lot of time talking about
the Scene, its evolution (or lack of ? :) but also about life and that was cool
since that's the main thing in parties : talk to people you mostly meet in that
virtual place called the internet.

    The heat was just unbearable surely due to the too many Peecees running
here and there (hey it can't be hot Ataris, these machines are so cooool :)

    In the evening  we were  offered an "ap‚ro" by  the place mayor, understand
bottles of  wine with  appetizers. Seeing the  end of the  bottles come closer,
Aldyn saved us with his magic juice :) Then we had a real meal, again with wine
(and the magic bottle was "killed" by C-rem :p) and we ended sort of drunk, tho
not too seriously. It was still hot and we spent more time outside having talks
than  before our  Sts ! I forgot  to say  that there  were about as many STs as
Falcons on the Atari side, not to mention one or two laptops running emulators.
This first day came to a quiet end until I grabbed my  sleeping bag and reached
the sleeping place, it  was  getting  cooler, in other  words time  to enjoy it
before another day in the furnace !

Day Two : Compos and Deeper Thoughts

    Woke up after about 6 hours of troubled sleep  tho I don't have to complain
here since some fools did not sleep at all ! Breakfast was also included in the
fee so that I was happy to get my hands on a cup of coffee. Unsurprisingly this
second day seemed to be as hot as the previous  but somehow we were prepared to
sweat again. Funny thing is  that I was the  only one who  took his shoes off :
dunno about you but when I am hot, bearing shoes kinda sucks (and stinks in the
end too) so  that I  opted for the hippy  style :) But no one  dared follow me,
suckers :)

    Let's now focus on  the so called party itself : C-rem was still working on
his gfx for the compo  while his coder - Gloky - was  debugging his nice screen
featuring  a  bouncing flexiscroll. On my own, I was  slowly but  surely fixing
some stuff for Alive7 (hey, what ? D'ya think I'm trying to look like active ?)
and others were doing obscure things :p

    On the Amiga side  of things, it looked oddly opposed : first, from a quick
glance it was damn hard  to make a difference  between a Peecee  and an Amiga !
Huge towers, huge screens, gamers, stupid samples looped for hours... Geez what
has happened to the  Amiga Scene ? Is it  called 'evolution' ? Later on we were
given a presentation of PEGASOS, which is (if I got it more or less right) some
sort  of a  new  OS  for Amigas ? Or maybe  a fully  new computer ? Anyway  the
presentation didn't come without some  troubles like crashes, screens frozen or
stuff that just... did not work  as planned :) Saddly the show turned into such
dumb demonstration that it reminded me  of some Micro$oft stuff : "see, you can
magnify all icons up to 500% without wasting CPU time... bla bla". That is pure
bullshit to me ! From what I  heard most Amiga  people aren't that drawn to the
PEGASOS project anyway...

    Most of the time, the giant screen was used to show crap, namely play MP3s
with Winamp while some animation was  displayed... Such a lack  of imagination
terrified me ! No Amiga demo was shown on the big screen and when they offered
to connect a Falcon and show demos... we realized that the Falcon video output
was NOT compatible with the beamer :(

    Soon enough the  compos entertained us or so I thought but I was SO wrong !
The msx entries were brainless MP3s replayed  on that Peecee... Why didn't they
use an Amiga at least ? The gfx compo  was plain ridiculous with rendered crap,
photoshop  reworking of no  interest and... a  SINGLE  original and  pixellised
picture  presented by C-rem of course !! As for the demos or wild entries, they
only gathered dumb  videos and more shit ! The only thing  worth was the screen
coded by  Gloky ! In  other  words the  only Scene  based entries were  done by
Atarians. From the shit I saw from Amiga people I can tell you that today their
motto seems to be "Power without the Pride". Man, I'm so happy to be on Atari !

    I want to seize this opportunity to tell you my feelings about accelerators
on Falcon : so  far it's  been an individual  war between all  projects hence a
huge waste of time, skills and money. Now  it seems that most people interested
in such cards are  expecting the CT060. And  then what ? Once the 100 cards are
out you'll  end up with a collectible Falcon, good for you mate ! I doubt we'll
ever reach a standard as far as acc cards are concerned but to speak the truth,
I just don't give  a shit :) the ST has  grown 18 years  old this year and it's
still kicking, then I see no  reason why the  Falcon shouldn't  follow the same
path. Maybe  that  accelerator issue  explains why the  Falcon Scene  gets even
smaller while the ST Scene is still so strong... Whatever... If you want to get
an accelerator, do it, your decision anyway but I will cling to my good old STe
and  I know  that  many  people agree  with me : the ST(e) has  limitations and
breaking them IS where the fun and challenge lies ! I don't  want a Peecee like
Falcon... End of this parenthesis :)

   Once the "compos" finished, we all felt like  going home. We started packing
stuff again on Sunday late afternoon and atfer another 2 and a half hours I was
back home, longing  for a  shower after two  days spent  sweating  like a pig !
Did I forget to say there were no showers ? :) I have to  thank the  organizers
for the  nice meals and the work they've put into that small meeting.

    Now for the plus and minuses (slashing time ! whip ! whip !)

+ nice to meet good old fellows and see new ones like the guys of MJJ
+ friendly atmosphere
+ nice meals included
+ hmm, beer ?

- the heat ! I felt like trapped into a fucking shoe box !
- poor minded use of the giant screen
- brainless activities of Amiga ppl, really hard to make them from Peecee
     suckers !
- no releases, nor even interesting compos entries but from MJJ Prod.

I have to thank C-remwho kindly gave me an SC1425 monitor for my STe ! I 
can tell you my heart was heavy when I removed the tele I have been using for 
more than 12 years now (yeah so stupid, isn't it ?). Anyway now that I have a 
decent  monitor, painting's gonna  be easier, no  bad suprises with colors :) 
About a possible HUNO  2004 ? Hmm all Atarians  agreed that Amiga ppl act and 
sound like stupid kids bragging with their  Peecee... It would be nice tho to 
have such meetings  in France but only with Atari people. Future will tell if 
that happens and when...

Greetings are sent to the fellows I met and talked to at the HUNO party !       

Alive 7