News Team Current issue History Online Support Download Forum @Pouet

01 - 02 - SE - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14

Alive 9
alt inc

Alt Party Inc - The sixth and corporately reloaded edition...


Before we get started,  there's no realtime article.  Nothing scribbled down
in  the  heat  of the moment on hand towels,  and nothing tapped  into  some
ancient  computer that we carried with us through the sceptical  customs  of
various European nations. Instead, feeling a bit lower profile than usual, I
opted  for  the  revolutionary method of relying entirely on  my  memory  to
recall events from the party and afterwards.

Now  if I had known in advance how much of my brain function at Alt Inc  was
going to be impaired by lack of sleep and alcohol, I think I may have made a
bit of room in my baggage for some papyrus scrolls after all...

Friday morning or is it still Thursday night?

Due  to  an  unfeasibly early start,  we don't bother going to bed  at  all.
Felice promises a 02.00hrs arrival time at my door, and manages to keep this
unholy  appointment.  The  reason for this nocturnal keenness is due  to  an
earlier  than usual departure from Birmingham airport at around  06.00.  The
car  journey passes without traffic or incident,  and we arrive at the  off-
site  airport car parking in plenty of time.  There is a sizeable period  of
sitting  around in the cold,  whilst another family try to load on  assorted
pedal  cycles and ski-ing stuff,  which they are taking on their flight with

Ourselves and the driver of the airport bus express some doubt as to whether
this  lot  will  survive to the other end of their  journey,  without  being
completely flattened by the caring hands of the airport baggage handlers. We
are not planning to be nearly so active,  at least not before we remeet with
Q-Funk after the party ;-)

Birmingham airport at 05.00hrs is very much closed,  but we manage to find a
barely open eaterie and score some much needed caffeine.  The remaining time
to  departure drips away slowly,  and more and more people start to fill  up
the waiting area. Then our flight is called.

We are going across,  courtesy of KLM Royal Dutch airlines,  in the complete
absence of any cheap and direct operators going to Helsinki.  This keeps the
cost  reasonable,  but  it does extend the journey time to include  a  whole
other airport. So off we go...

We  manage  to  get friendly with the attractive stewardess  on  this  first
flight in the pre-take-off minutes,  a feat which we repeat on the way back.
In neither case were phone numbers exchanged though, (grrr..)

The  huge and glossy Schiphol Amsterdam airport,  manages to make Birmingham
look  small and cottagy in comparison.  It is full of smart shops,  and even
smarter people browsing in them, and then there we are, to bring the tone of
the place right down..  Some more time is killed, then it is time to proceed
to the second instalment of our Alt Inc bleary eye special trip.

This is in a slightly bigger plane,  than the little Fokker 100 that brought
us here,  and pretty soon, we are all crammed in, many people trying to make
up  for  lack  of  sleep,   shifting  uncomfortably  in  their  cattle-class
accomodations.  I  join in,  wanting desperately to fit in to this new peer-
group.  The rest of the journey passes in a blur of semi-consciousness. This
is  a  theme  which  I will be returning to  in  this  party  report,  quite

The  first  signs  of a problem in an  otherwise  smooth  journey,  manifest
themselves  at  the  baggage carousel in Vantaa Airport.  A large  group  of
people are waiting for luggage which never arrives.  This group includes us.
Eventually  it dawns on people that there seems to have been a rather  large
system glitch at Schiphol,  and the only thing left to do is to register our
losses at the airport services desk.

Time drags by, and we eventually take our place at the counter of woe. After
supplying  the helpful person with *hopefully* accurate descriptions of  our
baggage, and with a *hopefully* not too mangled pronunciation of the address
for Gloria,  the party venue,  we leave,  about a couple of hours later than

The first order of business is to get to downtown Helsinki,  to meet up with
the never too far away Q-Funk. We have opted for the comfort of the upstairs
Pullman bar in the central railway station.  Q-Funk and more caffeine arrive
promptly. We update on each other's movements, wait for Pahartik who doesn't
arrive,  and  head  our  separate ways,  as Q-Funk not going to this  year's
party. The walk to Gloria from the centre of town is made somewhat easier by
the lack of bags, especially compared to last year's arm-stretcher marathon.

Also missing,  is the white powdery stuff cocai-erm no,  Snow...  We seem to
have  hit  Helsinki going through a mild spell,  their definition of  "mild"
being anything above freezing,  so very little of the white stuff was on the
ground  this  time.  We will return to the theme of 'missing' things in  due

We arrive at Gloria,  Setok and the delicious Marycloud in attendance at the
infodesk.  The organisers are all dressed for the 'Alt Inc' theme, including
some people (hi Lobotomy!) who perhaps should stay away from business  suits
;-) Pleasantries,  baggage tales,  and money are soon exchanged, and we take
our places upstairs. By happy chance, Pahartik and Ian Smith have managed to
take  up our usual places on the left hand side of the upper gallery.  It is
not  too hard to join in with them.  Felice's laptop did survive the luggage
losing  debacle,  and  he  attempts to set up on the wireless  network  with
intermittent success.

Ian  Smith  seems  to  own several Falcon's of different  spec,  up  to  and
including  a Centurbo CT2.  I remember playing with a Nemesised and  recased
machine  that  he  had,  at the Jagfest last summer.  He is  regretting  not
getting a CT60 though.  So I point out that there may be a third batch to be
made, and he should get in touch with Rodolphe, asap...

There  is  not too much going on yet,  something is being set up  on  stage,
ready for the Friday night live music section.  Nearby, another UK'er who is
becoming well known to us,  Twilighte,  is doing his thing with a very small
and petite laptop, designed for very small and ladylike laps quite possibly?
The centre gallery has the organisers area, with some people doing things to
a  video  camera.  Down  below in the main hall,  not very much seems to  be
happening at all...

One of the things that I do,  in this early evening period,  is to check out
the  'business  class' facilities.  For an extra 15 euro's,  you can now get
access  to the organisers backstage area.  A quick exploration reveals a new
set of rooms, including a kitchen area, shower, storage areas 'borrowed' for
organisers  beds,  and  a useful bathroom/utility room.  Apart from corridor
space,  there  isn't much extra space for sleeping,  but there is a bit more
noise  protection  from  the  party racket.  However with a  total  lack  of
sleeping equipment, the floor space does not look at all appealing...

But  it  is the more pressing business of food which  claims  our  attention
next.  After  a day consisting of airline mini-meals and KLM issue  "Chicken
Shnacks",  even  a visit to the local Macdonalds seems like a fair idea.  We
collect  Ian Smith and go off to do the dreadful deed.  Whilst consuming our
McReindeer  with fries,  we get talking to Wiztom who is in the seat next to
us.   He  neatly  dodges  past  any  questions  about  the  Aggression  15th
anniversary demo for the STe, talking about the quality of the recent NoCrew
'Stocasto' intro instead. (He did reveal later that work was in progress for
their  demo.  A recent bug that was fixed in a fractal routine turned out to
be down to a compiler fault!)

After  managing  to pick up plentiful overnight snackfood  supplies  at  the
corner  shop,  it  is back to Gloria.  The party proper has kicked off,  and
there  are  more  people around than the rather quiet setting  that  we  saw
previously.  Friday  night is the traditional time for various live acts  of
variable quality, and we note with some trepidation, that the first of these
is setting up on the stage area.

It seems at first that the usual pattern of a bunch of guys noodling  around
aimlessly  with a load of gear on stage is going to happen on schedule.  But
suddenly, and without warning, something very much like a tune bursts out of
the speakers!  And this is not a momentary aberration either, as it seems to
keep on going that way...  This lasts a fair while,  and what follows proves
even more interesting.  This is the 'David Hasselhoff Big Band',  and whilst
the  uneasy  pre-gig  tuning-up  takes place,  we are put in  mind  of  such
"comedy" acts as Setok's own group 'Die Rebels'.  Clearly something not very
good is going to take place?

We  are happily proven wrong!  Starting with their own "live" version of the
Knightrider  theme  tune,  they go on with lots of lovely parodies.  A large
part  of  the  action also takes place on a big screen to the  side  of  the
screen.  For  example,  an old style demo 'greets' scroller plays on screen,
whilst the band do a 'live' version of a protracker style tune. The scroller
keeps telling Nosfe to shave his beard.  There is also a live performance of
the "Popular demo" music, a landmark PeeCee demo, with the demo itself being
shown onscreen.

Not surprisingly,  this act goes down very well,  and they finish off miming
to  a  really cheesy electro-pop eighties  parody  "Electronic,  supersonic"
(climb  aboard my love rocket!) So this is one of the big surprises of  this
sixth party, a good live act on stage shocker!

And  so we turn to the question of missing people and missing  stuff.  There
was  quite  a bit from previous Alt parties,  that didn't make it here  this
time.  We've already mentioned Q-Funk.  He didn't feel like taking part this
time.  Other regular attendees were missing. There wasn't really any Atarian
presence this time,  as both Baggio and NerVe were absent. There wasn't even
much in the way of Aggression attendence, as the only one I saw much of, was
Wiztom, and he tended to hide away in one of the side galleries. On the plus
side,  we  did  get the return of Pahartik,  missing from last year,  and the
continued presence of Ian Smith and Twilighte, to name but two.

The  computer inventory for Alt Inc confirmed the depressing downward  trend
for  the  retro machines.  There was one group at the back of the hall,  who
made a determined effort with various MSX and Commodore machines, and a huge
chunk  of some old mini-computer dragged into the hall.  They even had their
own  projector  screen  to  play games on at the back  as  well.  The  usual
suspects,  such as the souped up 16-bit C64, and the Vectrex were there too,
but  not doing a great deal.  Apart from that,  there was a preponderance of
laptops again, people getting to hate carrying lots of stuff around perhaps?
Interestingly,  among the usual Wintel ware, there was a large crop of Apple
PowerBooks, especially at the organisers desk. Even Pahartik had invested in
one, although he swiftly got rid of anything Apple related on it, and turned
it into a Linux machine.

Saturday? It 'aint stopped being Thursday yet!

We  get ready to face up to the long long night without sleeping  equipment.
To the side,  the Deejay on the FPU stage fills in where the live acts leave
off. For a while we've been getting a medley of C64 hits and remixes, but as
the hour wears on for rather late, this changes to a selection of very heavy
metal.  At  some  stage, Ian Smith leaves us to stay with his uncle,  and we
adjourn  to  the  only  really confortable spot in Gloria,  a  sofa  by  the
organisers infodesk.

After  a while of non-sleep,  I head off and spend some time with Twilighte,
who  is attempting to show a drunk young person around some of his  emulator
highlights.  Twilighte  often  opening  his demonstration of  a  classic  ZX
Spectrum game with the phrase "Now this was before you were born..." We  got
into  a  discussion over different soundchips for old  computers  and  sound
replay  techniques.  I'm  pretty sure that an Oric chiptracker got in  there
somehow.  Our aimiable drunk,  attempted to sober up, but ended up under the
influence of way too many cups of coffee instead. After spilling the last of
these  dangerously  close  to Twilighte's laptop,  he headed off to  try  to
sleep, but kept on coming back as a coffee-animated twitching zombie...

Considering  that  I have spent nearly 48 hours awake,  I'm in  surprisingly
good  shape  (48 hrs Thursday morning ----> Saturday morning!) But  I  think
that  some time attempting to get some sort of sleep might be a good  thing.
Around 5.30am, I wander back to the infodesk sofa, and Felice has taken this
over  completely and is sensibly asleep.  I end up at the quietened and dark
FPU stage area,  now thankfully DJ-less.  This has some very slightly padded
benches at each side and I settle on one of those.

Sleep,  a little bit,  The FPU stage benches are far from ideal, or wide, or
comfortable, and I wake up an hour or so later with the feeling that I might
damage  something  if  I stay on there too much longer?  Going back  to  the
infodesk  sofa,  and  Felice  has vacated it,  so I take up residence for  a
while. This is a far better idea so I stay longer.

Unusually,  the  main  hall  never really got too noisy that night.  A  good
question  to  ask  would  be "Where were the drunks?"  Apart  from  the  odd
isolated  incident at the Saturday night competition viewings,  there was no
noisy mob-rule of the party place at night,  which was something of a relief
really ;-)

We stagger into something like morning. I switch on my phone at around 08.30
to  find out that someone has attempted to contact me at around  06.30.  The
number matches that given to us by the airport lost property department.  At
around  09.00  I  ring it,  and find out that the baggage  related  news  is
entirely  good.  It  has  been found,  and after getting MSK to confirm  the
address, it is to be delivered here a bit later on.

The  gear turns up in the early afternoon,  sneaked in whilst I was browsing
the webbyness on one of the Sun terminals. KLM are well used to this, as the
luggage   comes  with  a  slickly  pre-printed  apology  label   and   small
compensation offer, I check the contents are all there, including the bottle
of after-party whisky smuggled into the Finnish state.  Good, there are some
honest baggage handlers out there after all!

It  is  whilst contemplating the 'business class' corridor  for  a  possible
sleeping place,  that I get to meet one of the Americans..  There are two at
Alt Inc,  and they both look like Michael Moore, albeit a version of Michael
Moore who spends all of his time sleeping rough at demo parties. I'm talking
to the American who is not known as "Sir Garbagetruck". He missed an earlier
flight,  and my luggage tribulations seem to have confused them,  as we have
the  surname "Holland" in common.  It's as if the man himself hasn't arrived
yet,  but  his  luggage  somehow got in ahead of him?!  I soon clear up  the

The  big screen entertainment picks up a bit.  I am watching some demos from
Finnish multiformat coders 'Fit'.  They even did a demo at the 2nd Alt Party
for the Falcon.  At the moment, I am watching a heavily evolved, but somehow
similar  version of that F030 demo running on a Mac Powerbook.  I get into a
conversation  with  someone,  forgot who,  and considered the possibility of
converting  some of their Amiga '060 code for the CT60.  I was left with the
information  that  their  source code in general was  highly  portable,  and
intended to run on as many different platforms as possible. Still, if anyone
is  looking to get a quick and easy release or two for the CT60,  there  are
links to 'Fit' from the Dead Hackers links pages!

I'm pretty sure some more McFood got in the early afternoon at one point.  I
think that the sleeplessness was starting to bite?  It goes a bit hazy until
we're  back in the upper gallery and watching a selection of Vic  20  demos.
This  includes many of Viznut's legendary productions,  such as the  Robotic
Warrior, and the slightly later 'Robotic Liberation'. There are a whole load
more,  including  some  convincing  multi-parters.  Yes,  we now have  bendy
rasters, full DHS-style tunnels, and Comanche-style voxel landscapes for the
base model Vic 20. There was even one demo which claimed to not run properly
in  emulators,  as it used new soundchip noisemaking techniques in making  a
deeper sort of sound.

At  some stage in the weekend,  Friday or Saturday,  I get to meet a devoted
fan  of  teh Dildo Fatwa way of demo making!  This is Visy,  who appreciated
last  year's  "Hilary Rozen" effort,  and he is disappointed that  there  is
nothing  for  Alt Inc,  but he has been moved to get his ST emulator in  top
shape to run all the other stuff that has been done by this kewl crew!

In the early evening period,  Felice,  Pahartik,  and I sally forth into the
outdoor Helsinki ambience, in a pre-arranged meet with Q-Funk. The aim is to
get some food,  and a group decision is made to goto pizza..  This turns out
rather a good one, a Baggio family size and crisply cooked and all.

When  we get back to Gloria,  we collect the recently reappeared Ian  Smith,
and  goto  the corner shop with him,  mainly to stock up on liquids for  the
long and thirsty night.

Indeed,  it is the Saturday evening, the time of the big competitions. We've
already had,  and missed a couple of the music related compo's,  but all the
big audio-visual ones are still to come. There was also another "handicraft"
Alt   style   competition  going  on  earlier,   the  plasticene   modelling
competition,  which  produced its own share of slightly stranger than  usual

We actually get back to our seats whilst the first of the presentation compo
entries is running.  This is courtesy of 'Numedia Cyclops',  and it strongly
suggests that the whole human race thing is poor quality and overdue a cull.
But  still,  as  it says in the end credits,  no actual fetuses were  harmed
during  the making of it!  The presentation competition is a typically 'Alt'
twist on a normal corporate style Powerpoint presentation, where there isn't
any restriction on the type of material used. Another highlight is the Nosfe
created  "Breakpoint  '04 report".  It can be best summed up by some  bullet
points at the start:-

"Hangover that lasted two weeks.."

"Some damage to laptop.."

"No clear memory of what actually happened.."

"Best party ever!!"

The  presentation  was a photo-album with commentary from the  man  himself.
Most of the pictures recall the scenes from Breakpoint, with Nosfe and other
people in shopping trolleys who were all in a major state of inebriation.

A fearless team of hardware hackers managed to patch in a live video feed
from Nosfe's optic nerve. This is a still grab of a Nosfe-eye view of the
floor at Gloria.

There  was  also  a pro-Commodore PeeCee  breaking  presentation,  and  more
ominously,  the Alt Party Inc bankruptcy proceedings financial report.  This
latter  one was only partially joking!  Party attendances were down to  120,
from over 200 people previously,  and there was a shortfall in cash revenue,
with  consequences which are still not clear for future versions of the  Alt
Party? I will discuss this in more detail at the end of this report.

After a little break,  we are into the second competition,  the music videos
compo.  Recollection  of this tends to suffer from more greying out from me,
although there was a brilliant parody of the Louis Armstrong classic "It's a
wonderful  world",  which  took a particularly Finnish alcoholic  tramps-eye
view of the subject!  Meanwhile,  off to the side, the masturbatory style of
the FPU stage Deejay is competing heavily with the competition entries,  and
threatens to overtake the main hall volume level at one point.  Then someone
discovers how to shut the side door...

With some time to spare beforehand, I crash out briefly before the main demo
compo kicks off. After an hour away I return, but the start time, as always,
is heavily delayed. Returning to my seat, I manage to kick someone awake who
was sleeping in the floorspace where our feet would normally go. The someone
was  female and attractive,  and dressed attractively,  but I didn't get her
name or phone number (curses!)

A rythmic rustling sound breaks through the pre-competition hall noise.  For
a moment I wonder if Felice's laptop is starting to break up,  but the cause
is far more amusing,  Ian Smith,  the man who managed to sleep properly last
night,  and well into today, unlike the rest of us,  has fallen asleep right
in  the  middle of the competitions!  He manages to sleep through the  whole
demo compo! What a wuss ;-)

It is Sunday..

In  the  pre-competition showing time lag,  one person decides to  fill  the
entertainment gap by themself,  as he gets up drunkenly on the stage, dances
around,  then falls off the stage heavily,  to ironic applause, which I led!
Maybe that was a bit hasty as they don't seem to be moving for a while,  but
he  eventually  gets  up,  and  is  dragged clear.  In a rare  move  by  the
organisers, this person is subsequently evicted from the party.

Through the sleepless haze, the main demo compo did produce some highlights,
which  I  subsequently  recall.  The non-Wintel entries tend to  stick  most
strongly in my mind as is usually the case. A contemporary looking Dreamcast
demo  "We Are going to KILJU" managed first place in the demo  compo.  There
was a Vic 20 buster,  not by Viznut this time,  but a group called Carillon.
There was even a mobile phone demo,  'Haiku', which although advertised as a
60-series, didn't seem to be that demanding of scarce resources.

Of  the  Wintel stuff,  most memorable was a paen or parody  of  consumerism
called  'Buick',  and  a  total pisstake,  by demoscene pisstakers  supreme,
'tAAt'.  Their  effort called "Lick and Feel" was intended to cater for  the
Helen Keller demo appreciation society,  that is,  blind and/or deaf people,
by telling them to "taste" their monitors!  There was another attempt at the
'Dynamic'  category,  which  proved to be markedly better than  last  year's
floptastic disaster.

There was one complete non-runner,  which was the "Accession Fucktro", which
had something to do with the two large Americans that I described earlier in
this report.

After  the  main  demo  competition had finished,  it was not  too  hard  to
persuade myself to goto bed, as my tiny brain is completely wasted, and this
I did at around 02.30hrs.

Sleeping  comes easily,  and I get as far as 10.00hrs before I even start to
contemplate  a slow waking up process.  It is a logical step to get my stuff
packed away, ready for the eventual departure. Some food remnants and coffee
are the next order of the day.

In the first floor bar area, behind the gallery, there is a dude with a home
made  musical  instrument.  It is keyboard based,  but most of the keys have
been cut away to leave just a few. There are lots of switches and toggles, a
microphone, a drum sequencer, and a CD-player, which you can scratch-mix, as
if  it  were  a vinyl disk.  There is even some kind of soundchip  thing  in
there,  so  the  combination  of sounds you can get from it  is  practically
limitless. There is a demonstration going on, but this gets sort of chaotic,
as too many people try to join in with the multimixer session.

Felice  and  company are struggling awake by now,  and we turn to  the  last
major set-piece before the prize ceremony.  This is the textmode demo compo.
It  is  very  similar to an identically named event shown at  the  last  Alt
party. Very briefly, it is an attempt to create full-blown demo's just using
the DOS text mode.  In practice,  this is less Dildo Fatwa looking, and more
of  a  really chunky ansi-mode,  which works quite well in a coarse  'retro'
fashion.  A  particular  highlight  was the re-creation  of  a  French-style
oldschool  "design"  demo,  in the fashion of productions made by  Equinoxe,
Dune, Sector One, and others.

The  prize ceremony is at least an hour overdue.  This is standard  practice
for Alt!

Here  they are,  the results,  most of this will be meaningless to non-party
attenders,  or  non-Finnish  people in general,  but it is included here for

The Alternative Party Inc
14th-16th January 2005 - Gloria Helsinki Finland
Party archive @

Plasticine Competition

 1) Kirahvi Karahvi / Giraffe Garaffe by MegaMies        72
 2) Miekka, lohikäärme ja tissit by Sivu/Byterapers      50
 3) Afterparty by Ansichrist/ACiD                        49
 4) Voix nää palauttaa?                                  48
    by Phobos (Ferrara, Geno, Devoirs, Caica)
 5) Lennu by Kraku/AEM&(B)                               46
 6) Olo by DDT/Accession                                 35
 7) Pussy Cat by Tazze                                   34
 8) The Goddess Returns etc... by Anna-Stiina            30
 9) Time Machine by Setok/Sleber Eid                     22
10) Virahki by DiamonDie/Numedia Cyclops                 17
11) Tyyppi & lintu by TM                                 12
12) Nori Nori Nori by Moyh                               10
13) Prebasker by Lumiufo                                  8
14) Lounas by Teuvo Tursas/RRR                            7

Logo Competition

 1) Toilet by Leia                                      122
 2) 160 columns // alternative binary. by               120
    by Ansichrist/ACiD^static^remorse1981^aerosol^aeroholics^sense^123^iSO!
 3) Asciiscene Get All Chicks                            56
    by aBHO & DMG/tWiStED & tRUEsCHOOl
 4) AltAnarchy by Nosfe/FLO                              47
 5) Futuristic by Jalava/Static                          33
 6) Alt Party Button by Tonic/Armada                     25
 7) Packman by Sbanc                                     21
 8) Alt Paryt Logo by Msk/Fishpool                       17
 9) Digging It by DiamonDie/Numedia Cyclops              15
10) Alt6 Logo by Visy/wAMMA                               5

Telephone Queue Music Competition

 1) Casio Funk 2005 by David Hasselhoff Big Band         76
 2) Barberchip by Shingebis                              67
 3) Fuck You I Won't Do What You Tell Me by Nosfe/FLO    58
 4) Hot Wait in Middle Asia by Pinza/Unique & Spöntz     57
 4) Ajankohtainen jonotus                                57
    by Bass Cadet/DHBB, ex-Embassy, ex-Phase^D
 4) Det kostar ingenting att köa                         57
    by Little Bitchard/MFX^KWL
 7) Going For the Movies by Dominei/INF & Melwyn/Haujobb 50
 8) Jarre on a Bad Day by Synteesi/MFX                   31
 9) Huono biisi by Sauli/Jumalauta                       29
10) Ootas viälä hetki by 333elite/ISO                    22
11) Telequeueannoyance by tArzAn/tAAt                    21
12) When Joe Turned 40 by Diper/proMille deZign          18

Presentation Competition

 1) Breakpoint 2004 Partyreport by Nosfe/FLO            124
 2) Bankruptcy Proceedings                               83
    by Chief Financial Office/Alt Party Inc
 2) Human Error by Numedia Cyclops                       83
 4) iso.ppt by Astu/F                                    75
 5) Yleissivistyssilta - All-Round Education Bridge      65
    by tAAt 2005
 6) noname.presentation                                  47
    by Ansichrist/ACiD^static^remorse1981^aerosol^aeroholics^sense^123^iSO!
 7) Alt Presentation by Pihti/PihtiSoft                  22

Music Video Competition

 1) Tanssi by Grey Park                                 100
 2) CONFIG.SYS by pL!RYHMÄ                               77
 3) Kaipaan by Kooma                                     69
 4) Surrender Your Doubts by Poemé                       60
 5) Asdf by El-bee & MF!                                 40
 6) Wonderful World by 333elite/ISO                      37
 7) Välipikseli by Mikko Tuomela                         31
 8) Global Identity by Tripper/Moods/LQS                 22
 9) Unununium by Numedia Cyclops                         17
10) Cycle of Days and Seasons by MRHC                    13
    I'm too Wasted to Think of a Name by FAG
    (reason: not a music video)

Dynamic Demo Competition

 1) Brokk1500 by MFX (Windows)                          195
 2) Dynamicro by Ananasmurska (Windows)                 159
 3) K by Kooma (Windows)                                114

Alternative Demo Competition

 1) We Are Going to KILJU by Jumalauta (Dreamcast)       92
 2) Lick and Feel by tAAt 2005 (Windows)                 67
 3) Buick by Jumalauta (Windows)                         65
 4) LOEYLY by Barfly/Extend (C64)                        61
 5) Volatile Minds by Static (Windows)                   45
 6) Quadric Ejakulation (Windows)                        43
 7) Brokk 1500 by MFX (Windows)                          33
 8) True Love by MFX&KWL (Windows)                       26
 8) Dynamicro by Ananasmurska (Windows)                  26
10) Around the World in 3.5K by Carillon (Vic-20)        25
10) K by Kooma (Windows)                                 25
12) A Haiku Demo by Kameli (Series 60)                   21
13) Hox by Jugi/Komplex                                  19
14) Accession Fucktro 2005 by Accession (Linux)          13

Most Obscure Computer Competition

 1) phObos team (Digital AlphaServer & others)

As always,  the end is quick,  not so much of a closing down,  but more of a
rapid  dissolving  effect,  as if hot water had been added?  In another  Alt
tradition,  we  meet someone new whom we've managed to avoid right until the
end.  The  lucky winner this year is a fellow UK person known as "Gasman" in
his  part of the scene.  He is gainfully employed as a soundchip composer on
the ZX Spectrum (128).  With his longer then usual hair, he looks remarkably
Finnish in this light, so not surprising we didn't spot him until now!

Pahartik is making his own way home, but he manages to produce a taxi for us
in  record time.  This vehicle is to take us back to the residence of the Q-

To  briefly update on the status of Q-Funk.  He has managed to overcome  his
Finnish residency hassles by marrying someone.  And no, it wasn't a scam. We
are going back to the current residence,  which was that of his wife.  After
we  get back,  not too much happens that evening,  apart from a trip out for
some  very  overdue food.  We wind up at a shopping mall a couple  of  miles
distant,  (by bus,  in case you were wondering about possible damage to shoe
leather)  There  is a good choice of food,  and we eat at a  Mexican  themed
restaurant, with Russian menus.. After that, not much else to report for the
Sunday evening, and we are in our inflatable beds by 23.30..

Monday, is a long time coming..

As  befits  another  Alt party tradition,  the morning after  the  party  is
entirely  taken up with the serious business of sleeping.  Even Q-Funk,  who
hasn't  been to the party,  and not suffered from the out-of-body levels  of
tiredness,  does not get up bright and early.  It is well into the afternoon
before  we are all fully functioning again.  The really important stuff  for
Monday comes later,  in the form of the afterparty.  Again, Q-Funk is giving
this  a  miss,  but  Felice and I will be going along for  more  sauna-based

We  drag our still largely tired arses to town,  having carefully  memorised
how to get back to Q-Funks place in the early hours of Tuesday morning.  I'm
hoping that Felice will be more sober and better able to remember stuff like
that  than  I  will.  Whilst we are in town,  we decide to take care of  the
important  topic of food.  Out of all the different places in Helsinki  city
centre, we chance upon a newly opened Italian restaurant, that has only been
around for a matter of weeks.

We  linger  for a number of courses,  at a nearby table,  some filming of  a
promotional  feature involving some unfeasibly skinny  actress/models  takes
place.  We're  not at all suspicious or worried about their enjoyment of the
food,  but we do wonder about their dashing to the toilets between courses?!
But  never  say Di?!  The food is rather good,  and we even manage to  avoid
falling  into the cliched sceners pizza trap,  going for different kinds  of
pasta instead.  Q-Funk displays an interesting way of eating ice cream, that
is  frightening to most people,  by blending it together until it gets to  a
room temperature homegenous mush, before eating it!

A  while  later,  we make our way to the Alco shoppe,  for purchase of  fine
wines  and liquors of an afterparty destroying persuasion.  In spite of  the
fact  that  I  had a bottle of Teachers well  travelled  and  garage-matured
whisky,  I  add  a quarter bottle of Finnish brandy to this.  From there,  we
make  our  way  to the bus stop and part company with  Q-Funk  for  a  merry
evening of sauna-related drinking fun.

We  arrive at the approximate locus for the afterparty soon after.  There is
some  momentary confusion over the exact whereabouts,  mostly my fault to be
fair, but before matters get too far out of hand, we summon Setok to drag us
back to the correct place.

By the time we get there, the afterparty is well under way. There are even a
couple of people getting ready to go into the sauna. The usual suspects from
last year's party are all there,  even one or two new people,  who disappear
relatively early on... We are relatively late getting into the sauna, having
started  on some serious drinking early on.  We also end up watching some of
Setok's dressing-up games,  where he does a pretty fair impersonation of the
commander  of the Helsinki-Espoo branch of the Provisional IRA,  for reasons
best kept to himself!

The  big  screen is running a selection of material from the party,  in  the
form  of stuff that has been filmed there.  In this way,  we get a repeat of
the  very  good  David  Hasselhoff Big Band,  and a  load  of  other  filmed
"highlights" from the party.  Later on, there is a more music video feeling,
with a lot of heavy and death metal getting in there.

We  end  up in the  big  electric  sauna with Osyn, one of the Alt-TV girls.
There  is just the three of us,  the mood  is  talkative  and friendly, Osyn
revealing a humourous and  lively personality at the afterparty, not  really
seen to any great extent previously.

I  transfer to the smaller woodburning sauna.  It is very crowded, and it is
at about this time that Marycloud enters the proceedings...  There is really
only  standing room,  although some of the seated people including Marycloud
attempt  a sandwich.  This is no simple three-layer affair,  rather it turns
into  one of those complicated and weirdly named New York  bagel  surprises,
with  up  to *five* people sitting on each other!  And the people  near  the
bottom of the layer were pleasantly surprised to be able to start  breathing
again, once the messy people pyramid had broken up...

Is it Tuesday yet?

Elsewhere,  Twilighte and Wiztom debate how demo effects were done on the ZX
Spectrum emulator. This goes on until the sauna has nearly run out. The mood
with this afterparty,  compared with last years, is noticeably more subdued,
with  a greater pervasiveness of tiredness.  Even the notorious party animal
known  as  Nosfe  is  very quiet tonight.  All too soon,  a  number  of  the
participants are calling it a night.

Wiztom manually re-enacts the texture tunnel effect from the ZX Spectrum
"Zzsploch!" demo in the direction of Twilighte. This is the most active
that he has been for a year!

But there is a persistent hardcore who refuse to give up and go home.  About
eight or ten of us,  still enough to make up the numbers for a good drink or
two.  In fact the rest of the night passes by in a haze. I recall Setok, who
left  the party with Marycloud,  returning some time later with a bottle  of
Bushmills Irish Whiskey,  which went down well after the teachers.  A rumour
of  reindeer steaks cooked by Nosfe turns out to be just that,  so any  late
night  hunger  pangs  are taken care of by large  family  sized  packets  of
crisps, and when these have gone, a limitless supply of chocolate bars.

On reflection, I should have stopped there...

Oh  yes,  someone  had  brought their sketchbook with them.  There was  some
nicely done works in it,  a lot of it you could call 'art'.  I've even got a
tiny  bit  of photographic evidence,  taken before the booze clotted  up  my
motivation to do things shortly after. Of course, everyone gets to add their
witless  drunken scribbles to it,  so Teh Dildo Fatwa have contaminated  yet
another previously unsullied beachhead!

At  around  04.00,  things  start  to get very hazy indeed.  After  a  brief
encounter  with the toilet to eject a tiny amount of content that my stomach
didn't  like,  I decide that I like staying exactly where I am.  Amongst the
stupor,  I  get  the impression that this is worrying Felice  slightly,  who
wants  to  get  away for the first daytime bus at  05.30.  Somehow,  as  the
appointed  time  gets near,  I make it into outdoor clothing,  and even more
miraculously,   manage   to  collect  my  diverse  and  scattered   personal
possessions back together before we leave.

After that, it is just a case of putting one foot in front of the other..

On  reflection,  I  would say that this was a 50/50 episode,  equal parts of
drunkeness and tiredness.  Others were even worse off.  There was one person
who fell asleep in the (fortunately cooled down) electric sauna, who was not
able  to  be  roused by the last of the partygoers,  and was  found  by  the
cleaners still later on,  and still out of things!  Twilighte,  whom we left
lying  down  motionless,  lost his phone,  until it was heard ringing at the
bottom of the rubbish bin.  Maybe some Finnish pixie was going around moving
stuff out the way?!

And so,  after a barely comprehended return journey,  it is back to Q-Funk's
and bed..

Another slow awakening follows,  especially slow for me personally,  who was
alright  until  the  minute I got up.  However,  by the time we get to  mid-
afternoon, I am in a more humane state, and ready for what the afternoon has
in store.

There  is nothing too controversial there.  In the form of town and a little
bit of shopping for various people.  Going around with Q-Funk in some of the
smarter   department  stores  recalls  the  whole  girlfriend/shopping   for
clothes/waiting  around experience,  but without him saying "Do you think  I
look  a bit big in this??" We do encounter a Sarah Michelle  "Buffy"  Geller
clone at the check-out, which raises all our spirits for a bit.

That  curious  hybrid  of an Indian restaurant and  opticians  described  in
previous party reports is still going.  The Indian Express plays host to our
emptied stomachs and does a very good job of making them less empty.

There  is an attempt to get together at Molly Malone's for the  last  night.
This is only partially successful,  although Twilighte and MSK turn up.  The
atmosphere,  like the afterparty,  is slightly downbeat feeling,  and we are
all  very conscious that this could be the final Alt party,  at least in its
present form.  All too soon,  we are back at Q-Funks, but with an optimistic
promise of seeing Twilighte again at the Outline party this Easter.

Wednesday, the end of things..

There isn't too much to add from here.  The morning time passed slowly,  and
we see light flurries of that winter weather which has eluded us so far.  Q-
Funk  manages  to  get  us to the airport with a  more  cunning  than  usual
combination of bus routes, so no hyper-expensive taxi fares, thanks mate. We
make  the best of our lengthy wait at Vantaa airport with a  final  farewell
pizza, and make it to our aircraft with time to spare.

The rest of the journey is routine, apart from one nasty moment at Schiphol,
where the section of the airport we needed to get to next was closed,  but a
kindly  Dutch  customs guy points us in the direction to  get  around  that.
There  is  also the little matter of a more exciting than usual  landing  at
Birmingham,  the  turbulence  factor  being  very high,  and the  pilot  was
determined  to stop on the runway really quickly.  Oh how we laughed,  as we
pulled our teeth out of the seat in front...

The baggage loss fiasco does not repeat itself here,  in spite of Birmingham
airport's best efforts at misdirection,  and before we know it,  we are once
more back home where we started.

Conclusions, is this the end?

I'm  going to kick off this difficult last bit of the Alt Inc  report,  with
some timely comments from some of the organisers.  I hope they don't mind me
quoting them in a slightly butchered soundbite fashion,  from what were much
longer and more informative original postings.

Firstly, we go with some thanks from the big man himself

Setok comment..
"I just want to thank everyone who came to what could very well be our  last
party ever.  Also,  thank you to everyone who helped organise the parties in
the past and who visited them and had a good time.  Your support meant a lot
to me and many others over the years.  I think we did some pretty remarkable
things.  Working together to bring some new colour to the demoscene, I hope,
and challenging it."

"Don't take me wrong,  though:  there were many good times this year too.  I
think  we had exceptionally good artists playing for us (remember,  none  of
them received any proper compensation). In addition, one of those ideas that
has  been  lingering  around for some time -- the dynamic  demo  --  finally
showed  some potential.  A lot of the Alt Party atmosphere was still  intact
and many cool people showed up. I really enjoyed the show."

"I'm  not sure if the decline of the Alt Party is a reflection of the  times
or a reflection in changing priorities on behalf of the organisers.  Perhaps
a  mix of both.  Maybe in some years the scene will need an Alt Party  again
but  at  the moment it would require a miracle to resurrect it.  For  now  I
believe it has had its day."

And then we follow with this from Matti (MSK).

MSK comment...
"Much  of  this has to do with that alt party has been  stagnating.  There's
been nothing truely different since 2003 when we had Jeff Minter around  and
there  seemed to be a lot of media attention as well.  Last year was  pretty
much more of the same,  with perhaps less exciting guests,  and this year...
well,  an  alt  party  is  always  an alt party,  it was as  usual  a  great
experience  but I don't think we really had anything new and spectacular  to

But  what do you think CiH?  Was this sixth edition the best Alt party ever,
or perhaps not quite?

Well  I'd think that this was possibly one party too many under the  present
system.  Matti was spot on with his Jeff Minter comment,  as that really was
the  high water mark of the Alt Parties.  I seem to remember some suggestion
last  year,  that  the Alt Party could be 'rested' from its  annual  January
slot.  I  also  seem to remember that there was a lot of opposition to  that
idea  at the time,  so we got this sixth party regardless.  Now the proof is
conclusive, that  Alt  Party,  as it stands,  is rather tired and run out of
fresh ideas.  Reading back over my report,  that conveys less excitement and
enthusiasm  than usual,  as if it were merely a case of ticking a check-list
for all the expected "usual" things that were supposed to happen?

A prime example of this  was with the  choice of guest for this year,  which
didn't even register on the main part of the report. Instead of someone like
the peerless Jeff Minter,  or RJ Michal,  we had someone from the Electronic
Frontier Finland,  which was something to do  with the more restrictive than
normal Finnish copyright laws.  They were there for  a mere fifteen minutes,
gave their talk in Finnish, and were missed out entirely from my memories of
this Alt Party..

There  are reasons why each Alt party was better or more distinct  than  the
one before it,  up to the current edition that is. These are mainly specific
and  personal reasons for myself,  and probably won't apply to other  people
for the most part.  However, some themes common to everyone can also be seen

Alt  1 was the first trip to Finland.  There was the heightened  expectation
from it being an Easter party replacement as well. Also the sheer novelty of
the  new country heightened our interest.  The party amazed with a  virtuoso
display from many obscure platforms,  especially the 8-bit machines. A heavy
presence  of other UK'ers including key Reservoir Gods members added to  the
fun  as well.  Then there was that first sauna,  which made some people very

Alt 2 was the Setok experience. The party was relocated back to Helsinki and
the summer. We got to see more of this party from an organisers eye view and
helped  out with the clearing up.  There was also the Fishpool Inc luxurious
office experience, and the best after-party so far.

Alt 3 established the current cycle of parties at Gloria, in January. We had
the  return of the RG,  and a cool guest in the form of Amiga co-creator  RJ
Michal.  This even overshadowed the main demo compo.  This was also the most
comedically  disaster-prone party,  from my personal point of view,  with Q-
Funk's  deranged alcoholic flatmate making our nights so memorable,  not  to
mention the bolshy airport taxi driver,  and finally not to mention the epic
hike with Q-Funk to the middle of nowhere. And there was a nice flight delay
right at the end.

Alt 4 is widely considered to be the pinnacle of achievement. Two words best
describe  the reason why,  Jeff Minter.  He was the perfect guest of honour,
and  also the perfect after-party sauna guest!  "Sheepies!" he cried,  as he
was  dragged  inside..  It  was also the coldest winter  season  ever,  with
temperatures down to a low - 24 celcius!

Alt 5 showed a lessening of impact in all areas,  apart from the afterparty,
which  had several moments of heterosexual enjoyment (hello Marycloud!)  and
general non-stop fun.

Alt  6  carried on the Alt 5 gradual decline a bit  further.  What  happened
there was nice,  but there was nothing new that revealed itself. Does seeing
people  like Setok and Lobotomy in business suits really cut it for  novelty
value? Maybe it is time to stop for a while and rethink?

I  really  don't  know  what will happen next.  Maybe there will  be  a  re-
invention at a different venue and at a later date?  Or someone could have a
really  bad idea to carry on with things as they are,  in a reduced and more
insular  and cliquey fashion.  The organisers were still confident of  other
related events like the summer 'Stork' parties, and the Alt-Zone at Assembly
continuing,  but  summer is never a good time for me to go on anything scene
related.  I hate to think that it would really be the last time, as I'd like
to  get  together with our Finnish friends again in their  home  environment
some day.

"Goodbye" is not a nice word to have to use..

CiH, for Alive! Mag,Jan '05

Alive 9