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Alive 7


Some months ago a lonely coder (far  far away from home :) mailed me and 
offered to bring a Falcon  intro to AliveSX. Unfortunately  Mikro, as we are 
talking of him of course, met last minute bugs and finally had to cancel his 

Luckily this incident didn't stop him and he went on and released his intro 
with Chosneck 3. Tho not ass kicking, the intro looks and sounds good, bringing 
fresh air to the Atari Scene, that's why I'm sending  this interview to the man 
as I'd like to yell "welcome" to the Fuji community !

STS : Hi Mikro ! As for every  interview, we'll start with the usual stuff 
like real name, country, age, occupation and so on. And do not hesitate to add 
details when needed !

    Mikro : Hi again, nice  to know Alive! is  still  alive =) So.. my name is
Miro  Kropacek, I'm living in  Bratislava, a capital  city of  Slovakia and as
probably everyone  except Western  Europe knows Slovakia = Slovakia = Poland =
Slovenia :))) Sorry but this is very funny thing to me, I can't remember a mag
where our  country  was handled  correctly - even  in the last  interview with
Coolgirls was the same bug; this is such hard to remember ?

We're a nation of champions in ice hockey !!! (ok ok, this time Sweden won, but
we finally kicked to ass Czechs  and got 3rd place ! So, let's continue :-) I'm
21 since april'03, I study Faculty  of Electrical  Engineering and Informations
Technologies  in  Bratislava, damn  school, we're  learning  everything  except
computer things :))

STS : And now with your  Scene background. I cannot think  of another intro 
by you but Chosneck's, am I right or wrong ? Nice intro btw ! How long have you 
been coding on Atari ? Have you ever belonged to a democrew ?

    Mikro : It's correct. My  first step on  the Falcon  scene was  this crappy
intro, but  I  know scene for a  long time. Firstly I was interested  only in 8
bit section  but here  I came too late :-( It was around  1998 and in this time
most of  polish coders were  leaving the Atari :-( When I bought my MegaSTE, by
coincidence  I got in  touch with  MC Laser/tSCc, he  supported me  with new ST
stuff for about 2 years via classic mail since I haven't acces to internet (I'm
at highschool  since  2000) -- I  have to  thank  him  for this, it  was really
amazing to got a letter from him full of cool stuff ;-)

   How long have I been coding? Hmm... on small Atari I started with asm around
1999 (I could tell you a lot of funny stories  how I bored and  depressed Xi of
Satantronic with totally lame questions :-))), on ST I was lazy/dumb :) to code
and when I bought Falcon in 2001... everything has changed :)

   Firstly, I looked every 4MB demo for about 1000 times, then I found in our
school shop (!!!) books about 68000/68030 CPU for unbelievable $1 (300 pages,
professional  look, seriously  printed  under header of  one  of the  biggest
computer publishers) ... I understood 68k  syntax in one day and in august'01
during a session by Xi I remember  my first asm  try - filling a  screen with
increasing  colours :))) Then  there was  a one  year pause, I mean in active
coding, since I've got a very time consuming work (let's add the school), but
it was good for something - I had a free  inet access and I could to download
very useful stuff, I have to mention here Earx's  MAKING  OPTIMISED  ASSEMBLY
CODE book, this is a basic stone of  everything I use today! When I left this
job (May '02) I had  a free  hands, a lot  of time  and full  disk of  coding
tutorials ;) so I came  to my grandfamily  to country and  during the biggest
floods in Europe I started with polygons :)

    And since christmas'02 I'm coding on DSP... So, this is a long story of
my coding :) And no, I don't belong to any democrew, I'm alone runner :-)

STS : What are your projects now that you've released your intro ? Have you 
received mails and/or offers from other crews who want you to join them ? While 
we're here give us your email and url too since I remember you have a website.

    Mikro :  No, nobody noticed  my coding talent :-)) I've got mails where ppl
wrote they like it, it's very good feeling to know someone find your production
nice :-) About my current  projects : I just finished  6502 debugger for ST and
Falcon, but I need to find some GEM programmer  since everything is working but
I need some GUI and this stuff I can't code :( But all my energy is in last 2-3
months dedicated to one thing: DSP asskicker :-)

    Thank Tat, No and Earx who decided to  release their source codes of their
DSP engines I could skip that phase of "dark ages" - I have a lot of examples,
Xi/Satantronic  borrowed  me  DSP 56000/56001  User's  Manual, simply  I  have
everything  for  decent DSP  coding. But it's far away  to speak about release
date... ah, yes, just one thing yet : game for Falcon. I think quite original,
but I didn't write one asm line yet ;-)) About my web :
(how unexpected =) there's an email contact, too.

STS : Tho i'm not sure if you're Polish or not, I  guess that you must be 
familiar with the Scene from  Eastern  Europe. So what's hot  over there ? It 
seems that after several years of huge activity the Eastern European Scene is 
almost dead on 16bits ! What can you tell us about that ?

    Mikro : I hope last misunderstanding about polish country :) But it's true
Slovakia, Czech  Republic,  Poland,  Hungary and Estern  Germany -- mekkas  of
communism  before  1989.. Hmm, what's  hot... Czechs  and Hungarians  seems to
be dead from  scene point  of view, you know  how looks  situation in Poland -
Mystic Bytes' area, but I afraid they're dead, too. And  what about Slovakia ?
Crazy Coolgirls, mainly 8bit oriented  Satantronic and me. That's whole slovak
atari  scene :-/ Aaaahhh, yeees, I  have to  write  it  here !  We (especially
Xi/Satantronic) started some weeks ago a news server dedicated just to Eastern
Europe's Atari scene: ! There's a lot of things to do, but
Xi is collecting the  news from  this countries  very seriously and very often
only informs about some specialities.

STS : Do you plan to work again with Chosneck and Grey ? Maybe you've also 
planned to attend the small party he's going to throw by late May in Gdansk ?

    Mikro :  I afraid not, it's too small and too far for us (the fact we share
the same boundary isn't important since  Gdansk is for  about 600 kms away from
us)  BUT we want  to  visit  very  popular party  in the  past, QuaST  Party in
Orneta in Poland. In this  way I  would to  invite all  16/32 bit fans, you who
visited previous ones know it has a very specific spirit, these polish parties.

STS : Why didn't you attend  EIL3 ? Oki  with me  if it's  because of your 
schedule/money problems, but I hope you're not scared by your fellow freaks :)  
Never too late to attend next editon of EIL anyway :)

    Mikro :-))) When I pasted this line to Xi/Satantronic he was very surprised
as I'm now :) Just for your information, we DID attend EIL3, we  were there all
the time ;-) (we = Xi, me and Baky - Sandra's boyfriend and very active Atarist
in the past) I even wrote  some lines to  realtime text when  we came back from
Melly's technoclub :) Great party btw!

STS : Since I seem to remember  that there are lots of  coding tutorials on 
your homepage I cannot but think that you surely have already some nice screens 
here and there. c'mon  don't keep  them locked  up on a harddrive :) Btw do you 
also code on ST ?

    Mikro :  I'm not sure  what you  mean under term 'screens' but if you mean
some cool looking parts of my demo experiments, no, I haven't any ;) In fact I
always wonder how can have  someone filled  disk with unused screens - I never
code anything just for coding, it's everything meaned to release :)

    ST coding - officialy not, but when I had  my monitor in Xi's house (-> no
Falcon), I  did  some  experiments  with  polygon  fillers (I hate c2p - in my
opinion this isn't ST coding - you can directly skip to Falcon's truecolor and
you'll get much cooler machine).

STS : As a Falcon coder you must be interested (or not :) by the so long 
awaited CT060. Have you prepaid one ?

    Mikro : Hey STS you don't read .txt files, do you? =) As I wrote in the one
attached to Chosneck's  intro - I will be  an owner of CT60, I'm awaiting it as
small child :) but I really afraid  of future of demoscene... Super fast CPU, a
lot  of  FastRAM... I'm   scared  about   vanishing  that  coding  spirit, that
difference between Falcon coders and PC/Amiga lamers (yeah, Amiga  too, what da
hell is cool on "coding" an INTRO (!!!) in C language???)

STS : do you  think that  other  accelerators  could give  the Falcon a 2nd
life or are there still features of the bird that can be pushed further ? After 
all the ST limits have been frequently broken over the 18 last years !

    Mikro : I'm SURE  Falcon breaking is  only in beginning  stage.. but ST's
boundaries  have  been broken so often  because there wasn't  any alternative
(PC = shit for office, Amiga = nearly the same parameters as ST). Now we have
PCs+3D cards, accelerated  Amigas and even Falcons... I  think this decreases
coder's motivation to hardcoding a lot :( About other accelerators: I respect
only 3 accelerators and one TOS clone : Nemesis/Phantom, CT2, CT60 and Phenix
project. All  the  others I  ignore because  of incompatibility (xTOS, Milan,
Tempest, ...) Especially that Phenix I find the  biggest loss on Atari board,
this could be  THE  machine  not  only on  Atari market... Fuck to Centek and
especially  EXA  guys  who decided to make  Phenix OS  and  then  gave  it up
completely... shame on you !

STS : I don't remember meeting you on IRC (not anywhere else indeed).
Does it mean you're a shy guy ? Too busy ? I hope you're not falling into 
inactivity like the whole Polish Scene :((

    Mikro : No  chance, be  sure :) I  was  on IRC  sometimes (years  ago :), I
remember how Ray/tSCc  tried to explain me the  principle of fixedpoint used in
S1/FUN intro :))) In fact I haven't any motivation to spent my time on chats if
I don't need something... I  used  something  similar  like IRC to  communicate
with Xi (to save  money for phone) but in other cases... it's more efficient to
code than craptalk on irc...

STS : You recently updated highly criticized Falcon demo REVERTANT so that  
it runs on CT2. Tho it's far  from perfect  yet, that's quite brave to keep on 
someone else's work ! How did you come up with that idea ? 

    Mikro : Firstly I  would  to say  everyone who  criticized this demo  is in my
opinion a man who don't know the story behind this demo. Winio was for a long time
a swapper of Cobra group. That means  everything except  coder ;) In 1998  Cobra's
members  joined  to  Whelpz and  Winio  left  alone.. In  LESS  THAN  ONE  YEAR he
learned ASM  code (total  newbie  in coding !!) and  was able to do  3D  things he
showed us  in 'Generation  Gap' intro  from Last  Party'98. After three  months he
released Revertant demo... I would like to ask people like  Moondog  how much time
they  need to  learn 3D coding in asm ? This is a classic situation if a non-coder
reviews some demo - it's shitty slow, fuck it.

But back to the topic ;) I came with this idea because I'm owner of Phantomed
Falcy and my friend, Xi/Satantronic is even owner of CT2 and (hopefully) this
time you read this we're both  owners of CT60. I was just curious how fast it
will be, that's all ;)

STS : Do you know the guys of COBRA (makers of REVERTANT if I remember 
well) and/or did you mail them about your project ? Do you plan to make other 
demos CT2 or CT060 compatible ? Is it for personal fun only ? 

    Mikro : I met Winio  personally at EIL99, but  this time I  was too lame to
ask/talk with him I  remember  they  selected  textures  for Revertant  on Xi's
Falcon :)) Dunno if Winio has some active mail, I was lazy to check it/ask Grey
for it. Ofcourse it was just-for-fun project, I had even 38 degrees temperature
all the time I  was hacking it :))) About  CT2 demos -  YES. Mentioned DSP demo
wont be only asskicking DSP code, but  it  will  be  THE  FIRST CT2  DEMO, too.
(sorry, but Don't Break the Oath isn't CT2 demo... it's only... slow demo ;)

    About CT60 demo - let's read Earx's log file attached to Delta demo. I 100%
agree with him. Aha, now I'm reading  the question again, you  asked about more
conversions =) Maybe, it's  pretty  easy  if  you  have the  right tools ;) I'm
thinking about 'IT' by  Shadows, it's full of  scenes that need to  speed up...
Maybe some request from other ppl would be useful...

STS : wake up, it's  brainstorming time. Use  the first letter  to complete 
every word as it comes to you. to make things a bit harder I decided to add the 
name CHOSNECK to your nick (hey Mikro is only 5 letters long ! :)   

M : MegaSTE. Nice machine. I thought it is as fast as Falcon =)
I : Interpolation. The key of everything.
K : K instead of C? Yes, just to be original! :))
R : Revertant. My first experience with reverse hacking.
O : Operating Systems. The most hardcore thing at our school :)

C : Clipping. I remember my first line clipping routine, pain in ass!
H : House, techno, drum'n'bass and german commerce techno - I love it!
O : Obsolete. Very strange word :-)
S : Satantronic. The coolest ppl I know, but far away from Bratislava:)
N : No Limit Coding. The best demo music I ever heard (Tekkno Drugs)
E : Extasy? LSD? Alcohol? The first questions on german's boundaries
        when we went to Berlin (Love Parade) :-)
C : Calculator. I can't live without hexa convertor :-)
K : Key framing. This was a real surprise in Revertant.

STS : thanks a lot for taking on your time to answer all these questions ! 
Any  message  you   want to spread ? Maybe  you're looking  for collaborators, 
whatever, but use this opportunity.

    Mikro :  Wow thanks :-) About  collaborators, mainly  free gfx  man is wanted.
I found  some guy in my city, but  he's  more  3D oriented (.3ds  stuff) So if you
have some pics and  want to  release  it  in a demo ->
Or if you are talented coder and you're scared to release something alone. Or just
for fun :)

STS : I hope we're going to see more from you soon, meaning before the next 
issue of Chosneck, don't be lazy ! :p

    Mikro : Heh, lazy. Try to ask Xi how fucking lazy I am :) Everytime I call
him "Xiiii, my 3D engine was boosted up to XX FPS !!!!" his answer is in style
"I'll kick you to  your ass and kill  you I want to  have as much  time as you
have" :-) So, as you  could  see, I'm coding  and  coding, from 18.00 to 04.00
nearly every day... :)


Alive 7