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Alive 8

       The Lizard People strike back!

21.21hrs, Friday night..

A  trio  of  geeks  with modified  Amstrad  CPC's  called  'Roland'  attempt
something  on  stage,  melodious yet odd,  which might give the East  German
secret  police  some suitable grounds for copyright infringement?  On a  big
screen  off  to the side,  the avant-garde experimental  Finnish  film-maker
Mikka  Fuckhaa  is showing off his latest production,  "Attack of the Killer
fluorescing Disco Mushroom!"

All is well in Alt-Party land ;-)

We  merry few Atarians sit altogether in a little huddle,  exposed fully  to
the  incoming  musical  gunfire,  in a specially reserved spot next  to  the
organisers  enclosure upstairs.  Felice and Baggio sit off to the left  hand
side,  engrossed in anything apart from what is slowly dying on the stage...
To the right,  sometime Jagfest attendee Ian Smith does his particular thing
with a Mac Powerbook.

Lizard  People  reference in the subtitle?  Well the design of the  identity
badges  issued to paying partygoers bears more than a little resemblance  to
the schlocky-horror eighties sci-fi series 'V'.

Aha some realtime applause (21.31hrs) tinged with more than a little relief.

Meanwhile, I'm working on this party report, in a semi-realtime sense, on my
very  own  Faclon '030!  It is also very useful as a jukebox with a  set  of
headphones,  for  locking out the more oppressive live acts from my ears ;-)
(This  is in fact the machine which was purchased as a spare for  the  CT60,
but  not needed.  It is due to stay with Felice on our return to the UK,  as
his own Falcon is feeling a little bit unwell at the moment.)

Okay,  you'll want some back-story stuff, what happened today so far and all
that, well hang on whilst I try to catch up...


05.00?  Wake up,  splitting headache/bladder,  insane thirst etc,  deal with
these promptly, then go back to bed and slowly realise that I'm not going to
get any more sleep before the kick-off time of 06.30hrs.

Get up around 06.15, and carry out the CiH boot-up morning routine. This has
a  specially  custom written subroutine including a large cup of  coffee  to
make  sure I carry out the driving task that follows successfully.  A larger
than normal checklist dominates the proceedings immediately prior to  07.00.
CiH  processes  are  to be carried out off-site a lot  further  than  usual,
Helsinki  in Finland,  to be exact.  This demands an extra-special effort of
remembering stuff from the system operations team.

08.00 - Arrive at Felice's residence in the quietly anonymous townlet of  St
Neots.  It looks like the driving thing went well, as I'm here in the normal
number of pieces, namely one.

Pause briefly whilst Felice finalises his packing, and take a moment to look
at his tragically poorly Falcon.  I try it for myself, but the magic healing
fingers have been left at home today.  The normal reassuring Atari Logo does
not  spring into life when the on/off switch is toggled,  but it seems as if
it  tries  and gets stuck?  A more expert view than mine is needed,  but now
isn't the time, as we load up Felice's car for the first stage of our latest
great Alt Party Adventure!

On the road and it's shortly after 09.00.  We nearly miss Stanstead Airport,
but  don't.  Checking  in,  wealthing  up at the Bureau de Change,  security
checks,  and  an airport-style expensive breakfast(*) all proceed  smoothly.
Felice almost gets hypnotised by the vast array of consumerism on display in
the Stanstead main terminal, but he remembers that he has still got a flight
to catch just in time!

(*) Have you noticed that everything is plastic cutlery these days!? Must be
the  terrorists!  But still,  those plastic knives can do a hell of a lot of
damage when they splinter off inside an airport issue sausage?)

So it comes to pass,  that the latest brave aviators to plough the Stanstead
to Helsinki route, for a price less than that of mere buttons, are the aptly
named 'Flying Finn'. These attempt to do a 'reverse-Buzz', namely very cheap
flights, but from a Finnish perspective. We're not complaining...

The aircraft is an older model,  something with rear-mounted engines,  which
seems  to make for a quieter than normal flight,  and a livelier than normal
takeoff.  I think the pilot was a defrocked fighter jockey with such a steep
angle of attack on his leaving the ground?

The  next couple of hours are passed topping up fluid levels,  and with some
heavy dozing,  which seemed to work better than my last hour abed. Just over
a couple of hours of this pleasantry sees us landing at Vantaa Airport  once
more. Their exit procedures are working very well today, as 17.00hrs sees us
on  a rather crowded and outdoorsey feeling bus service to the city  centre.
(Number 615 from memory.)

Attempts to contact Q-Funk (Martin-Eric Racine), target no.1 for the Finnish
Immigration  authorities,  prove successful and a meeting is arranged at the
vast central railway station.  There is more than one possible meeting place
at  this  sizeable  location,  but  we eventually  discover  each  other  in
different places.

Some  quick directions to get us to Gloria,  the well established and  third
year  running  party  location  are given.  Q-Funk  has  other  saunas  with
(terrified?) screaming women in them to enter,  and we are left to it to get
there ourselves.

Gloria  is  not much more than a ten minute walk away,  fortunate  from  the
point  of  view of those carrying heavy bags!  Even so,  the minus 5 celcius
evening  temperature  barely stifles the sweat flooding out.  On arrival  at
Gloria, we carry out the formal party arrival rituals at the front desk, not
yet including purchasing a T-shirt,  I wasn't strong enough for that yet. We
located  our prime spot in the upstairs gallery in order to be blasted  with
the live music performances of the evening.

(Post-Party  retro  note:- We were issued with some  nice  plastic  identity
badges, which cannibalised the 'V' sci-fi lizard cult series for the parties
own use.  The badges were well-designed and good looking, but rather crap in
the  execution,  as  they  tended to fall apart very easily.  Hasty  "system
patches" made from sellotape were brought in as a last minute fix.)

We manage to set up our respective hardware quite quickly, Felice and others
with  lame laptops ;-) myself with a proper oldschool hardcore machine,  and
loaned SVGA screen (thanks Q-Funk). Barely have I had the time to check that
a  certain competition entry,  'donated' by a mysterious demo collective was
running successfully,  when a large and hairy party organiser by the name of
'Setok' blagged my Falcy from me.

This was used in a variety of "interesting" photographic poses combined with
the  Alt  party official female mascot 'Marycloud',  as I discovered when  a
group of us headed out again to repair a pizza-related deficiency. There may
even be copies of these posted on the net, take a look below now!

Yes you will have to turn your head on its side. Portrait mode sucks! Grrr!
Then you can ask what is that girl doing with my Falcon! Put it down!

Note  to  organisers,  I would like some signed originals of  these  please!
(Retro-add  on note:- I got to see more of that very female person  in  just
the  right  amount of detail (grin!) somewhat later on,  at  the  afterparty

A  very  pleasant hour,  with dinner in the middle of it followed as  Wiztom
joined with Baggio, Felice, and myself at a handily placed pizza restaurant.
We  have  left in good time,  as the first of the live acts,  the  "Helsinki
computer  orchestra"  was  attempting  to  summon  the  coastguard  with  an
assortment of random squeaks and bleeps.

(Clatter  of imaginary helicopter rotorblades over the rooftops of Gloria  -
"This is coastguard response unit Victor Charlie nought-six,  now you've got
us here, what the fuck do you want?!")

The return has seen the departure of that orchestra of chaos,  and something
like  the trio of Amstrad CPC heavily disguised as Roland Synth fans that  I
mentioned, right at the start of this text!

So it's 22.35hrs now, time to log off, take a look around...

RUN B:\2nd_day\saturday.prg

01.20 - The party seemed to pick up a buzzing swarming vibe at around 23.00,
with the culmination of one of the better live acts,  an amusing guitar solo
set,  even if most of the amusement was in Finnish. (This was by a gentleman
with  the  nick of BassCadet.) Then around midnight,  most of  these  people
disappeared  again!  It is abnormally quiet for a first night at Alt  party,
even  sleep  might be possible,  but etiquette suggests that it is  far  too
early for that sort of nonsense!

I might add a few other early impressions of the party thus far.  This fifth
edition seems to be an 'Alt Party Reloaded Corporate'.  This is evidenced at
a very superficial level by the smart new Sun Java terminals in the entrance
hall  to  fulfil  the public internet needs.  Not to mention the  Epson  big
screen  projector,  and the involvement of a very well known Finnish  mobile
phone  and  hi-tech  company beginning with the letter 'N'  in  one  of  the
competitions. By the time Setok had finished thanking the corporate sponsors
in  his  opening  ceremony speech,  he was well into his third  cylinder  of

Laptop dominance(*),  with or without emulators,  is well established.  Last
years  trend is this years normality.  There is still a large smattering  of
oldschool hardware,  a fair number of Commodore hulks of different eras,  at
least  a  small amount of Ataridom,  including the arrival of NerVe and  his
CT60  (Yaay!) Then there is my proud and lonely Falcon,  sitting amid a nest
of laptops.

(*)Q-Funk  comments:   is  this why this whole party is turning into  a  lap
dance, with AltParty-branded condoms being sold at the entrance? :P)

But  I've  not  seen anything really exceptional running  on  the  oldschool
hardware  yet.  Most  of  the  Amigas seem to be here  playing  games  in  a
nostalgic fit of remembrance. I wonder if Viznut the Vic 20 killer can adapt
to the new dynamic demo requirement, which seems to my eyes to demand a more
contemporary level of power?  I've not seen any weird and out-there homebrew
devkits  for ancient consoles yet.  Twilighte has made a welcome return with
his  Oric,  but he is hassled with organisers duties,  and the Oric scene in
general  seems  to  be suffering a loss of interest.  His machine  has  been
mostly switched off.

Ah  well,  it's  difficult  to draw conclusions from looking  at  dimly  lit
monitors on the nocturnal Alt party scene. Let's see what daylight brings!

Ian has left the building,  he has an uncle living in Helsinki to go to, and
I  think  Q-Funk may have left the building too.  I've finished writing  the
.readme file for the competition entry, which is not so much a 'readme', but
more  a list of things not to do with the not-quite-finished party  version,
for the organisers benefit.

Off again to have a quick look around, survey the devastation as it were...

02.00 - We have spotted our first drunk of the evening!

He screams and lurches off into the organisers pit.  He has a good voice,  I
think it once belonged to a girl!!?

Felice has finished the century-long hunt for an IRC server that will accept
him from the wireless LAN connection at Gloria. He logs on gratefully...

*** MT-Felice has joined #altparty
*** Topic is: Altparty V
*** Topic set by Ravel's Bolero
*** MT-Felice and loads of finnish people.....
<MT-Felice> hi...
<MT-Felice. How's the party going so far?
<MT-Felice> Can you please STOP SPEAKING FINNISH!

Looking elsewhere,  #atariscne is a two-handed affair,  Felice, Gokmase, and
lots of lonely bots whose owners have gone to bed.

03.40hrs  -  The partyscene seems to be recovering a little bit of  its  old
belligerence,  someone  has got hold of the soundsystem,  a drunk lies face-
down on one of the empty tables.  Baggio and Partycle get ready to leave for
the evening, erm morning. Q-Funk has already made his Canado-Finnish excuses
and left for the night.

I've  set up my own airbed in a sort of enclosed space protected  by  cinema
style seating, with Felice at the other end, I'm immune to attack from three
of four directions,  which 'aint so bad! I figure I can stab anyone who does
get through these natural defences,  with the pointy end of my Alt Party 'V'

(Comment from Felice: I wasn't the one who was snoring ! :) )

05.00hrs - Last log entry before attempt at sleep.

The  drunks  returned in force at around 04.00,  and things pumped up for  a
while.  Now  the depressing effects of the alcohol consumed do their  thing,
and  the  buzz is lowering again.  Not to mention the shouts,  doors banging

After  a  quick spin on #atariscne IRC where Pink,  Keops and  company  rush
around  to  fill  the  disgraceful gaps in the  classic  ST  demo
archive,  it is time to go to bed, almost no-one sensible, is left, only the
drunks, and those people who have to stay awake are left standing, lurching,
or whatever...

Night all, be back, probably in a couple of hours ;-)

(Non-realtime  add-on bit:- The third year of Alt Party at Gloria  also  saw
the  second  year of an alcohol ban on the premises.  Unfortunately,  no-one
thought to cut the legs off the drunks who responded by stocking up on their
favourite  liquid refreshments downtown,  then came back roaring drunk a lot
later on!)

(There was also another innovation which had the effect of concentrating the
louder  people  in  a single space and all together.  This was  a  specially
designated smoking area in the left hand sided upper passage,  which rapidly
became  the  most  crud-filled part of Gloria,  and the source of  the  more
interesting noturnal noises as well...)

Insert coffee in drive a:\
reboot a:\saturday\cih.prg

10.10hrs - Oooh, not too bad!

The  space  from 05.00 to now was mostly filled with  sleeping  attempts.  I
never  really  got fully unconscious,  the closest was similar to the  'very
relaxed'  state assumed on the aircraft over.  The drunkeness tended to come
in  bursts  of  activity,  slowly mellowing down,  then a fresh outbreak  of
drunken shouting, doors banging in the middle of the night etc.

Anyway,  the  airbed was inflated to the right sort of comfortable,  and the
resting  spot chosen wasn't too bad,  as long as you weren't claustrophobic.
The spaces between the rows of cinema seating turned out to be narrower than
first thought, so it felt somewhat like sleeping in a opened coffin!

I  kept this up to around 09.00,  finally getting up and sharing the  bombed
out  bathroom  facilities with a hungover crowd,  then managing to  motivate
myself  in  the  direction of the Macdonalds down  the  road,  sampling  the
dubious delights of their breakfast menu. The MacMuffin looked somewhat like
a  Soylent  Green special,  or at least made from a factory culture of  pig-
tissue and powdered egg?! The coffee was just what was needed though.

There is this animated parody thing called 'Starwreck' on the big screen. It
is kind of cool in a very low budget way. "Full speed ahead Mr Fuckov!"

On the other hand, why not base your sci-fi parody on the legendary computer
game "Elite"?! Most of the model making has already been done here!

Realtime  note  to  myself:- Time I handed in  the  mysterious  compo  entry
supplied by a demo collective with the name of a well-known sextoy,  there's
only an hour and a bit to the deadline.

10.50hrs - Done the compo entry handing in thing.  Now we've just got to see
if  the disk in question survived being hurled to the floor  (accidentally).
Still,  the main copy of the demo is on this very Faclon,  so it's not as if
that was the only one of its kind?

Felice is limbering up for the poetry competition.  I've not examined it too
closely, but I'm sure the entry will be unforgettable!

It  also looks like that Viznut,  the killer of countless innocent Vic  20's
into  impossible  feats of screen wizardy at previous Alt Parties,  will  be
riding  again,  yelling  "Yeehaa!"  (in Finnish),  if the Altparty  realtime
report  is  correct,  there may even be more than one entry  (for  different
categories?) from him as well.

Right  now  (11.05) seems to be the quietest time of all at the  party  thus
far. Even the drunks have to sleep it off sometime?

I've  got  another  idea,  do  some  pruning work  on  the  STe  version  of
'' - Back later...

~ Space to be vaguely productive in! ~

13.23hrs  - The party vibe is still tremendously quiet,  as evidenced by the
gentle  snoring from close by....  Not much else is happening,  apart from a
bunch of PeeCee demos showing on the big screen.

The  time  between  the last log entry and now  has  been  usefully  filled,
pruning  the  STe version of a certain demo to work more quickly.  This  has
been  a  major  success,  possibly too much so.  But it looks like  an  8mhz
release  is on the cards,  as soon as Pink fixes the other problem with  the
audio  part  of the anim engine.  It might have to be 8mhz and  2  megabytes
though,  as it didn't seem to test too well (as in 'not do anything') on a 1
meg (simulated) STe.

Never mind,  we're still to try it without GEM and autobooting, to save that
last 32k!

Back in a bit...

14.05hrs - The strange guest fake demo story gets more interesting.  It runs
without GEM with 1 meg, but dirt slow like it was before..

To  run  with GEM,  it needs 2 meg,  but the speed situation is transformed,
given steroids,  even with 8mhz.  And yes, I've disabled anything that might
help the VDI additionally.

I  think I'm going to leave any further investigation until I get back to  a
real STe,  connected to a sensible screen.  Backwards and emulated STe/Falcy
running on a VGA screen doesn't give a correct perspective in my view.

(Q-Funk  comments:   come  to  think  of it,  I could not be  bothered  with
bringing  any computer this year,  nor with participating in any compo;  too
tired to haul the iMac over here and almost totally uninspired by the compos
offered  this year.  I'm starting to wonder if maybe I've become too old for
this  sort of anarchy;  perhaps Assembly has become a much safer heaven  for
me...  come to think of it,  this pattern repeats itself in other aspects of
my life:  Finland is considered by many Finns to be a lame,  predictable but
incredibly safe country.  I guess my life thus has taken a similar turn;  no
wonder I'm in the process of settling down and doing the daddy thing...)

14.40hrs  -  There  is a word that fits the lack  of  inspiration  described
above. We call it "lazy" (grin!)

(Q-Funk adds:   not quite.  I was thinking of submiting some short tune or a
gfx  of  some sort,  but the only gfx compo this year is the monochrome  gfx
compo *YUCK!* and there is no music compo this year.  Last year's Love Music
compo would have been fun,  if it had been offered again...  Honnestly,  the
only  compo I would have gladly participated in,  having had the equipement,
is the Silent Movie compo. I've had an idea in mind for a while, but lacking
the equipment and not having found volunteer actors,  I didn't get manage to
get it done.)

15.14hrs - Realtime comic drawing compo is running,  you have thirty minutes
to pictorially depict "A day as a Stethoscope". Here's my script idea...

"But Doctor, I'm sure you asked for the

"Foolish underling, now it'll take all
day to clean it up!"

(Stethoscope thinks)- "Jeez, this has been the worst day of my life!"

15.30hrs - It's down on paper now....

In  other  news,  I met the diminutive figure of Diamondie,  who seems to be
busy on a report of her own,  so as I had stalled for inspiration, I decided
to look in on hers. She is also involved in the 'Alt Magazine', which has an
eclectic  mixture of Finnish poetry and english coding tips.  At this moment
she is girding herself up for the poetry competition,  which involves a live
reading  out  on stage element,  which is very brave of her.  Come to think,
also Felice is doing that too!

15.50hrs  -  Hot system admins on the screen,  now 'Sceneboylove'  and  some
other  sites which indicate that the authors should get out more.  On second
thoughts, don't let them out on the street at all! It seems to indicate that
the  formal entertainment provision is suffering some sort of screen lag  at
the moment.

(Retro  add on:- Most of the competitions came off more or less as  planned,
but there was supposed to be a Scalectrix racing tournament,  with real live
cars,  that didn't, when the Scalectrix set in question died just before the

Some  shareware  thing  is now on screen,  based on old  'Kickstart'  styled
motorcross/obstacle game.  This one has some very languid and laid-back bike

Weird physics and rubber bikes rule!

17.00hrs  -  This lemon drink that I purchased is exceedingly  weak!  It  is
lemon-flavoured water.  It is useful for substaining life,  and the remnants
will give a pleasant wash in case the main water supply goes down to  Gloria
overnight ;-)

The  people  that  made the animated 'Starwreck' feature  arrive  on  stage.
Unfortunately,  the choice of language indicates that the cult factor is not
going  to go global just yet;-) - I think they are going to show a  trailer,
which will be good if it is subtitled...

(Q-Funk's  translation  & summary:  the whole point of why this goes  on  in
Finnish  is precisely because the guys feel that,  even though Finns are big
sci-fi fans,  nobody has ever dared produce Finnish sci-fi.  While this is a
Star  Trek & B5 parody,  it is nonetheless a first step towards showing that
Finns  would  be quite capable of contributing to the  international  sci-fi
movie industry.)

(It  will still need to be dubbed/subtitled,  unless there is a Finnish Borg
retrofitting Finnish language service packs to us all!?)

The  afternoon has been quiet,  apart from the good clean healthy rusharound
for  the various 'short' competitions.  We're really waiting for the evening
to kick off, with the main competitions taking place.

17.40hrs  - NerVe returns,  he had a very long lie-in indeed!  We managed to
see  his mighty CT60 working,  after he first reassembles the on/off switch.
For maximum bonus points,  he shows the reworked 'Ephidrenia' demo, complete
with hi-res enhanced mode and all. I feel a quick time-travel escapade is in
order,  all  the way back to the 2002 Mekka Symposium,  to demand a rematch,
and a better bigscreen projector!

17.50hrs  - A quick overview of the text shows we are nearly at the  crucial
"worth bothering to continue" 20k mark. Let's do something to push it over!

The  next part of the evening will most likely go something  like  Food/miss
out  on general MIDI competition,  and get back in time for the rest of  the
evening's fun massacre.  Also so far,  no indication that the organisers are
looking at the demo entries. They will need to borrow this Falcon to get the
full "benefit",  and so far,  no requests have been made. Still, as the main
demo compo isn't scheduled until 01.00 tomorrow,  and that is assuming there
are absolutely no delays before.

"Oh  yeah right?" you might say,  and you'll be spot on with that too.  So I
think it is safe to say that there is still plenty of time to go.

Ok, save text now, see what we've got. Back laters.

INSERT FOOD in a:\ run yumm.prg

19.40hrs - We just died and went to curry heaven!

A  food  raiding  party consisting of Baggio,  Partycle,  Felice and  myself
formed  a hunting party in search of a hot Indian slaving over  even  hotter
Indian  food.  (Captains  Log  Stardate  Saturday evening  -  "Baggio,  CiH,
Partycle and Felice have set off for food unknown armed with a pick, shovel,
and vague directions on how to get there - Have dug four graves...")

We  missed  out on both the Midi compo,  and also the softsynth  compo,  but
ended  up  very  well sated and stuffed instead.  Indeed,  only CiH has  the
greediness  factor sufficient to cope with the larger than normal  portions,
with  side-orders,  that  have  been  supplied  to us.  This  was  the  same
restaurant that briefly became famous for supplying Jeff Minter with a 'hot'
vindaloo  that  could not even approach the Yak's ability to eat  food  that
resembles the burning surface of the sun!

However,  they  more than redeem themselves tonight with Mount Everest sized
portions.  Well worth running on little more than a Macdonalds Egg Macmuffin
for the rest of the time preceeding.

Now  the  two-colour  graphics compo hangs heavy in the  air  with  imminent

20.00hrs - Two colour compo

1st up, cool entry from Baggio ('Bouh!')
2nd up, Anarchist graffiti..
3rd up, not sure, rocky hillside and raindrops?
4th up, Dolphin and raincloud, print style.
5th up, 'XTC legalised in Finland only minutes ago' (say no more!)
6th up, 'Turin', lots of greyshades and stippling. There's a bit of
        mirroring too, sort of kalidescopic effect.
7th up, 'Sad Creature', funny entry from ravel.
8th up, 'Really' Part-rendered, smart stipples, a possible prize winner.
9th up,  'This Forest of love', red monochrome, probable winner!
10th up, Apt pupil, trumps the last entry! Almost photographic quality.
11th up, 'Is it true?' Another strange/funny one to finish with.

Next compo is the basic demo competition, at 21.00.

21.00hrs  (Nearly)  I've  spent a chunk of the last hour crashed  out  as  a
result  of  food/fatigue,  perched  uncomfortably in an alcove.  It  took  a
welcome  repeat  showing  of the 'South Park goes  to  a  demo
party'  to  get me back awake again.  Large numbers of people cram onto  the
table space immediately adjoining me,  in order to set up for the Basic Demo
competition.  They  are  using a pump-up torch that generates about  half  a
candlepower's worth of light to see what they are doing. Apart from the fact
that  the minute they use their hands to do something else,  the torch stops

Batteries are good for this sort of thing...

We are informed this will take place in some randomly generated function  of
twenty  minutes?  We  are  told  cheerfully that things  aren't  running  to
schedule, so no big surprises there.

Taken from the big screen just now (21.10)

20 print int(rnd(1)*5); MINUTES"
30 goto 10

21.20hrs,  Darkness and shackled bigscreen projector,  is something going to
happen real soon now?

21.25hrs,  Yep!  Eleven  entries  in  all,  the last two non PeeCee machines
(Amiga and MSX). And a surprise at the front of the running order, with some
Casio FP2001 out there.

21.58hrs,  Basic demo mostly shown to plan.  Anything non-PeeCee baffles the
organisers,  so the last three demos are chucked into limbo-land.  One might
suggest  they try pre-recording stuff,  instead of having the chaotic huddle
of  hardware where no-one is sure right up to the last minute whether  it'll
work or not?

On  the  plus  side,  there  were some goodies among  the  semi-fake  stuff,
culminating in a demo running on Excel spreadsheet(!) which included  blocky
plasma and tunnel style effects in full colour! One to remember to take with
you  to  that  next  boring work meeting ("Never mind  the  end  of  quarter
figures, here's a lovely tunnel instead!")

Hang on, the Casio is ready to go...

That  was  short  and amusing,  with 1900 bytes of memory,  not a  lot  else
possible really ;-)

Now the MSX boots...

Oooh,  that's  a  nice one!  Loads of colours,  wonder if it was one of those
'Turbo-R'  machines.  Almost  on  a par with previous proper  ASM-coded  MSX
stuffs, a welcome return for that system after a long time away!

22.10hrs, Struggling to connect the Amiga to the projector now..

At last!

The amiga dudes who asked to borrow my monitor to check their machine worked
on  it  are up,  and their demo is Amigabasic,  takes time to get going,  but
culminates  in a series of nicely faked rotating lightmapped 3-D  cubes.  My
vote's still gonna go to the Excel demo, now that really is Alternative!

22.40hrs  -  Silent movie compo to start shortly.  Hopefully this will  ruin
(Wow good typo!) smoothly, with no video cable inspired culture clash.

Okay, I'll give you some impressions when they're done...

23.35hrs  -  We didn't get away without a hardware bug.  This one had a  big
Apple  logo  running through it.  Midway through this competition,  when the
Powerbook kept spiking on cpu usuage,  as soon as someone looked it it, time
to  reboot  and  start again.  Nice to see that Bill Gates has  some  decent
competition in the vital area of screw-ups at last! Well done Apple!

As  always,  there  were some good entries,  witness a very lo-fi cartoon,  a
poignant  and  amazingly  understated  entry  from  Nosfe,   and  a  supreme
performance,  by  a  supreme primal scream artist right at the  end!  (Nosfe
again..) Time for the bar indeed!

Live  poetry recital next at 00.00hrs,  or 24.00 as the organisers insist on
calling  it ;-) Felice is in that one,  as in  actually-reading-out-on-stage
his own poem that he composed. Wish him luck!

23.55hrs - Soon I'll need some luck myself when this machine is pressed into
action for the first public showing of "

Organisers just reshown the MSX basic demo, to its full length, and with the
soundtrack included this time.  It is an extended machine as I thought,  but
that second showing should pick up a few more votes for it.

The running order for the poetry recital is posted, with Felice to go first!
Nosfe is to bring up the rear, with fire in his heart!

RUN C:\alt_3rdday\sunday.prg


Felice is kicking off with an anti-RIAA protest......

00.10hrs  - He stumbles back to his seat with a sense of relief,  also of  a
job  well  done  :-)  This felt like more of a speech than  a  poem,  but  a
serviceable enough effort, and read out clearly too.

The  rest of the entries are in Finnish,  I see an international/local split
in the voting, with Felice as the main beneficiary ;-)

00.15hrs - Time to log off for a while, demo compo awaits....

   ~~~Space for Demo Compo to go in ~~

02.05hrs  -  A quick "BLOODY HELL!" for the fact that I  survived  the  demo
compo, and Mr Falcy behaved flawlessly with the bigscreen projector.

The  only  organiser-shaped fly in this happy ointment comes with  the  fact
that our entry got disqualified,  apparently it wasn't dynamic.  But we were
expecting  that  anyway,  and this 'slothful' non-dynamic demo also got  the
most  laughs of the night ;-) - The weak joke at the end of the demo  should
have  given  the game away in the first place?  Maybe if I had  attempted  a
skilful screengrab forgery of the desktop,  with an authentically long pause
before picking up the "second" runthrough, I could have gotten away with it?

There were seven entries in all,  the best looking one was the 'Micery' demo
on the Mac by the combined team of Fit/Bandwagon.  To be honest, it was kind
of  hard to tell how some of the entries had changed or 'evolved'  from  one
showing  to  the  next.  I think Nosfe's entry had some differences  in  the
soundtrack? The visuals were too fucked to tell...

There is also the question of 'evolve' over 'randomise', which I don't think
a lot of the demos had answered that clearly?

I would suggest to any Alt Party organisers reading this, that the 'Dynamic'
rule should be best forgotten, it sounds neat in theory, but sitting through
an entry that you can't get that inspired about in the first place again, to
try to spot the (often small) differences from before, ain't the best use of
our limited time and concentration span at this party!

In  short,  I  think that in the rush and keenness to embrace the  'dynamic'
principle, a lot of the demos sort of forgot about entertaining people!

A comment from Felice now ...

Hmm,  it's  a  bit of a pain,  even when the entry itself is a fake that  it
should  be  disqualified,  it's not a good state of affairs but  things  are
still open to speculation at this moment at time.

As  Chris  reported  earlier on,  I certainly did take part in  the  poetry-
reading  contest,  it'll be interesting to see how I have got on against the
might  of  our Diamondie,  who,  despite her small stature seems to be  very
talented.  Pete Jackson (director of LOTR) started off with short films such
as her other entry, maybe she'll follow in his footsteps with something arty
in a few years ?  Time will tell ......  but I think we'll hear something of
Maija Haavisto before too long.

Over and out ....

03.10hrs  -  Chilling out in a post-competition sense,  plenty of  music  to
soothe  the  long  night on.  Excerpts from Alt-TV are on  the  big  screen.
Trained  by  force of habit,  we try to spot the slight differences  between
sequences of random screen noise ;-)

Talking to Setok, the following become apparent.

He expected more from the Dynamic demo competition than we got,  some people
had  big  plans for this,  but nothing came from them.  He still thinks that
someday, something worthwhile could come from this concept.

There  is the possibility that Alt Party itself could be rested for  a  bit,
maybe going away from an annual release date?  It was kind of hard to follow
the big success of Alt 4,  with Jeff Minter as the sheepish guest of honour.
This  year  was a paler imitation in all areas.  A pause would refresh  Alt,
avoid slipping into a dull routine.

04.30hrs - It's another uncle-f**king late night, so time for bed!

~~~ Space for imperfect forms of sleep to take place ~~~

RUN D:\blearysundaymorning\cih.prg

10.25hrs - I'm up and doing the breakfast thing with the tasteless  remnants
of  the  food brought in yesterday.  The last tempting item,  the  chocolate
slab,  got  finished  off during the final moments of the demo viewing  last
night. Just stale crisps, and the remains of the weak lemon drink then, plus
the  first coffee of the day,  which is a consistency and taste of  caffeine
sludge. Which might just have a fighting chance of getting me more awake.

Sleep   definitely  happened,   it  wasn't  particularly  high-quality,   or
prolonged,  or  even  happening all in one go.  One of the party  organisers
prowled around the lower part of the hall, 'interviewing' people on the edge
of sleep,  or death?  I'm sure more than a few longstanding friendships were
put to a severe test that night, with a threat of knuckle sandwiches issuing
forth from the recumbent mattress occupants?

"You want to kill me? but you're live on ALT-TV?"

It  was  another  live broadcast,  that of the Gregorian  chant  hour,  from
Helsinki  Cathedral,  that  summoned me awake sufficiently to start  dealing
with the world. A quick trip to the bathroom reveals that it has crashed and
burned completely.  Never a healthy looking place at the best of times,  now
completely unuseable.  The quiet and hardly-used girls toilets stood in very
well instead, and a slow stagger to search for the nearest coffee later, and
I'm back here once more.

Felice  is still away with the sleep-fairies,  and I don't think we're going
to  remotely manage Q-Funk's suggested preliminary exit time of  11.00  with
the gear. Not there is too much to carry anyway.

One of the things I half-remember from the earlier part of this morning, was
a  conversation with Wiztom which touched on the fact that  Aggression,  the
demo crew,  were celebrating their 15th birthday, and that a celebratory STe
demo is in the works!  It seems that graphics man of excellent repute Lance,
has  started  coding!  (STeem emulator,  gawd bless them!) He has some  nice
screens  already to show,  which seems to be motivating the lazier members a
bit more (Hello Wiztom!) So if this thing does come to pass, it is likely to
be a joint or multi-handed effort, and out later in the year...

12.15 - Q-Funk has returned, a moby-cam photo competition is imminent.

Time looms large to start packing the Falcy,  in semi-darkness, and a hiatus
to the realtime script.

Back laters...

END OF THE REALTIME! - But not of the party report as a whole!

This is also the end of this first part of the 'Alive' edition of the Alt Party
report. Splitting the text file doubles the screengrab incorporating fun!

See you in part two, which takes us to the hilarious afterparty and beyond!

Alive 8