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Alive 9

CiH's (mostly) live and "as it happens" report of the Lineout Outline Easter
party (errm?) April 2004 for Alive Magazine!

Easter  is  upon  us,  with the traditional Easter party,  and  the  equally
traditional  lengthy  Easter report by me.  This takes the form of a  mostly
realtime  diary,  largely  written  under party 'live' conditions,  that  is
showing  a load of glaring grammatical defects emphasised by lack of  sleep.
There  has been a discreet bit of tidying up of the bits that really  didn't
make sense on a second time reading back. We hope you will enjoy this report
regardless. - CiH in April '04

START!              Outline is Good for you!

It's the 9th April, Friday, it's spring and that..


We're  here,  and  we're all set up in the charming olde worlde  Dutch  barn
atmosphere  of the Beusink campsite.  Mr Cockup managed to avoid  travelling
with us this time,  thanks to careful route planning. We think we misled him
into catching a plane to Oslo instead?!

Even  Mr  CT60  has  made  it with us,  and  is  running  happily  on  Dutch
electricity  made ecologically from burning carrot peelings,  or  something.
Countless  other Atarians,  well the thin end of seventy of them,  have also
turned  up,  I  see  assorted  Gods of  the  Reservoir,  several  Frenchies,
including the beloved STS. Various German guyz are also in the building too,
and a still to arrive Scandinavian contingent is believed on its way, to hit
these  shores around midnight?  Not to forget our lovely Dutchie hosts,  who
inbetween  waiting  for pizza,  have been aimiably force-feeding the  party-
goers Grolsch and chocolate cake! Not too bad at all!

Well  we have to leave this cosily present-tense narrative for a  time,  and
dive back into a little history. The origin of the Outline party seems to be
a murky combination of a need to fill in a missing gap, as in "Insert Easter
party  here",  and also a desire to follow up on the last Dutch Atari  scene
event, the famously mellow and cool Pre-Millenium party from 1999. Havoc and
company  managed to get the Beusink venue together,  in a way which suggests
careful professionalism and last minute panicking at the same time!  Outline
is  shaping  up  to  be a very cool party,  but a  large  contingent  simply
couldn't make it here,  so I don't think we're going to get another Error in
Line.  On  the  other  hand,  I'm pretty sure we are going to get  something
unique  and brilliant.  Time,  as it unfolds in the corners of this journal,
will tell...

We  are  sleeping in the loft!  The sleeping accomodation consists  of  many
bunkbeds  packed  together  in the rafters of the roof.  Anyone  wishing  to
benefit  from this facility had better not be claustrophobic.  It is only  a
matter  of  time before we get a 03.00hrs screaming fit from someone  a  bit
drunk  and  with a fear of locked cupboards,  who wakes up suddenly in  this
crowded attic!? Also the resilience of the beds themselves, made as they are
of cheap firewood, might be a bit suspect (snap?)

20.30  note,  this  diary  is a bit slow,  but Lotek Style has  entered  the
building with his ponytail glued to the back of his head!

As  for  prior developments today,  thus far,  read on for a while whilst  I
ramble on.

We  throw  a  breezeblock  into the memory pool to stir  a  few  ripples  of

Phew, only the class metaphors get in here! What will he think of next?

I  spent  the nighttime before today at Felice's place,  every  damn  waking
minute of it! A strange fever kills off sleep, I am variously, too hot, then
too cold.  I am unable to get comfortable,  and fail to sleep completely.  I
think  this  is  some kind of stress-related thing  that  sometimes  happens
before  parties.  This lack of sleep and shitedness most notably reared  its
grizzled head before the Polish SV2000 and a couple of the Alt Parties..  It
is not the fault of Felice and co, their best efforts to make me comfortable
were up to the job.  However,  a perverse subconcious decides to take things
personally,  especially if there is something new and unknown in the offing.
So by the time the official kickoff of 06.00 arrives, to put it mildly, I am
not in my best condition.

Attempts  to reboot with caffeine booster packs are partially successful.  I
feel  this  malaise ever so slowly slipping away,  so I am able to  doze  in
Felice's  car  on  the  trip to sunny lovely Harwich.  Harwich,  as  in  the
international  ferry port is not unpleasant,  and does not detain us for too
long.  Heavy  consumption  of  chocolate and carbohydrate  related  products
follows,  to  build  on  the caffeinated bridgehead.  By the time  the  ever
faithful M.V.  Stena Discovery pulls away from the shore,  I am feeling more
and more part of this world,  rather than the next one.  En-route, some more
feelings  of  tiredness follow,  but a really greasy burger rocks the  joint
back  to wakefulness,  so by the time we are setting tentative paw-prints on
Dutch soil, I am fine again, if a little bit spaced from the tiredness. So I
think I will sleep well tonight, plywood bunkbeds or not!

The  roadtrip part of the journey was straightforward beyond belief.  It can
be  summed up as "Get on the road to Rotterdam/Utrecht,  and stay there!" It
all  went  smoothly apart from the last mile,  where a  slightly  misleading
direction sign puts us onto some country backtracks,  but these happily lead
us to Beusink in any case, so smiles of relief all round.

So now it is the present,  time to logoff for a while, as the organisers are
sweating  nervously about getting all the yet to arrive people in,  and most
of the space in the hall has gone already!

Also it is time soon for Pizza!

21.30 - Aniplayer mp3 is an effective blocker for some of the stranger post-
dinner  soundtracks..   Just now,  I ate a calzone pizza that felt more like
the twilight zone!

And  yes,  here  is  news of an unexpected arrival,  as Alt Party  attendee,
Jonathan  Bristowe,  aka  Twilighte,  aka  the  Oric dude,  has  turned  up,
apparently  on a last minute whim!  With the Finnish contingent expected  to
arrive tonight,  it seems to be an Alt Party reunion lite!? I keep confusing
him with Eric Bristowe,  the darts player,  in my over-tired state.  Ok, the
rest of you are scratching your heads wondering what the funt he is on about

Ok, hint taken, better stop there for now..

21.35  A  Swedish  invasion force has entered the  building,  Baggio,  Deez,
Nature Bros all unloading Falcon goodies from their longships!  From the not
at all stereotypical and totally fresh and alert CiH!

22.35 - Beep Beep! Time signal, another hour gone.

SATURDAY, the am! It is 00.17. Baggio has retired, ermm, tired. We are still
awaiting  the Finnish contingent,  but they are coming from grud knows where
(Finland  actually.)  There  are tantalising hints of  lots  of  nice  stuff
around,  but  who  knows  what  will be in a fit state to be  taken  to  the
competitions.  On  which  subject,  a certain demo collective has managed to
hand  in  their  partially ascii-based disk of  mayhem  to  the  competition
organisers. Still, there's plenty of time for it to be lost again!

01.12,  I'm thinking of tripping the sleep fantastic shortly.  So I'll leave
you  with  a final thought for tonight,  which is to ponder the  dilemma  of
looking at what people are doing in the way of demo effects and graphics, in
case it is a competition entry, and you don't want to spoil the surprise. On
the other hand, it might be something that doesn't make it as a compo entry,
and as you might never see it again, why not take a look?!

MORNING!  "Shhhshh will ya!"

It's  09.30,  and various wakeful influences,  from a warmish shower and the
best  efforts  of the breakfast club,  are fighting to get me back from  the
bedtime  zombie state.  The sleeping room proved as interesting as I thought
it might.  The cardboard beds were comfortable enough, the noise levels were
bearable,  with  a good-natured burble filtering up from downstairs,  rather
than  the  maelevolent  roar  you  would  get  from  a  much  bigger  party.
Eventually,  even  this  died  away,  as the majority of people  sought  the
remaining  places  to sleep,  with the aid of torches and  Swedish  whispers
piercing the gloom.  I eventually managed to sleep myself for a time, slowly
waking up to the point where I was ready to face the party world again.

"Gerrout  of  thur  Zeke!  There's no way that old pit prop  will  hold  the

One  other thing about the sleeping area turned out as expected The bed  was
resilient  whilst  I  was in sleeping mode,  but one of the very  cheap  and
brittle kindling wood supports underneath managed to break when I was  first
getting up. I might add I wasn't the only one to experience this sudden loss
of  support,  and  I  am staying away from the top bunks  like  the  plague,
otherwise  I  could  be re-entering the party place in a  death  from  above
manner, all too quickly!

I'll just have to be very careful tonight then....

The  showers  are coin-operated,  and last a little longer than the  average
arcade game.  This is happily long enough.  A quick turnaround is encouraged
by  the small mob of other people waiting to use the showers after  you.  On
the  subject  of arcades,  what are the 'kidz' in their hooded tops  playing
these  days?  I've been out of things for so long now,  ever since the first
wave of beat-em-ups swept clean all before them, I think?

The  breakfast club,  (should that be "Brekfaast Klubben" in Dutch?) a great
innovation from Paracon and EIL parties rules the kitchen here too. This has
been  the  most pleasant part of my early morning experience so  far,  as  I
dined alfresco, with Baggio, Twilighte, and Felice to name the three nearest

Okay, sign off for now, see what early am action develops..

10.40  -  In  a  vain attempt to wake up some  more,  I've  been  playing  a
selection  of  favourite  hits on the CT60,  such as playing  the  'extreme'
version  of Falcy Defender clone 'Spice' when my brain is better  geared  to
Solitaire. On a 386 PeeCee..

Most  of  the  rest  are awake and back in the hall  by  now.  Deez  has  to
reassemble  his  Falcy  to  get coding.  Might be a  bit  of  a  demotivator
actually?  "Right,  let's get coding, but first I have to plug this lot back
together,  in semi-darkness...  Uh,  ok nevermind that, pass me a beer..." I
say  that ready to run out of the box rules!  Dune and STGhost (and  adoring
female  acolytes)  arrived  sometime very early in  the  morning.  Meanwhile
outside,  various  sinister country cousins prowl,  offering to make some of
the party people "Squeal like a piggy boy!" in Dutch.. This last sentence is
rather fanciful and exaggerated of course..

13.53 - We've been toying with the concept of grocery shopping stuffs.  Then
we  acted  on  it,  and  assembled lunch from our travels  to  the  town  of
Groenelo.  Outside  is  drizzly  wet,  but what must be done,  was done.  The
encounters  with  the  local  population  of  Groenelo  that  we  had   were
businesslike and useful, with no comedic potential whatsover, and now we are
returned with assorted cakes,  pastries,  crisps and fat supplements to kill
off the party calorie count altogether.

On our return,  the invasion of the extra tables has crept closer,  as Bonus
and  Wingleader  of  Synergy are set up within  elbowing  distance,  running
ancient hits off a partially dismantled Falcon. They've admired the glory of
CT60 briefly, before plunging off into the darkening weather for some scooby
snack shopping of their own. These were totally unexpected arrivals, pushing
the  wizened  old scene Dutchman count ever higher,  especially  when  we've
still got to budget for the arrival of Karsmakers later on!  They seem to be
contemplating some sort of revival, more likely a CD compilation of previous
stuff than anything new.  Still, good to see the boys back in good shape and

Prior to that all happening, we played another little game, which was to see
what  would  have  happened to the CT60 in an alternative  life,  where  VGA
monitors  were  banned,  and  Philips screens reined supreme.  A  couple  of
results stand out in particular.  It was nice to check out 'Echoes', the no-
longer-96k CT60 friendly version,  which displayed a treat.  We also managed
to  get partway into the notoriously slow 'Revert' demo,  at least the Mikro
remix,  and jeez, does that move in turbo mode or what!? Well the tunnel bit
at  the start does,  the title,  with the corkscrew polygon runs at a decent
lick too.  After that, we can't tell, as the display seems to hang, although
the MP2 soundtrack goes on playing happily.

Conversational exchange of the day (As of 14.00hrs)

This was with the lovely Sebastien,  aka STS, who was showing off his in-car
music collection, in the same furtive manner that a drug dealer might use to
show off their warez in the precinct's darker corners...

Us:- "Hi Seb, how's it going?"

Seb:- "Ah, do you like Septic Flesh?!"

Us:- "Is that to listen to, or eat?!"

Another  misc  topic  which is gathering speed,  is that  of  the  overgrown
matchsticks  used  in  the  making  of  the  beds  in  the  sleeping   area,
specifically  the mattress under-supports.  Damo ended up with two  missing,
and was the star performer with a crippled spine this morning brought  about
by  sleeping through into an unsupported hole in the bed!  Others have  gone
down too. We wonder what we'll be sleeping on by the end of the third night?
I guess that the organisers are used to catering for whippet-thin boy scouts
in  this  accomodation,  and  they  were caught out  by  the  pizza-fattened
Atarians attending this party.  I've just had a hellish vision of a computer
party of the future with an upper weight limit,  and,  I'll whisper it,  *no
pizza allowed!*

AAAAGH! Excuse me whilst I go to lie down after frightening myself!!

15.52 - A Karsmakers is in the building!  This just after I've been carrying
out  some  orchestral  manouvres in the toilet.  The Beusink  main  hall  is
divided  into  two parts,  with a large room off each side,  from a  central
reception area.  We have booked for one side of this complex. The other side
is  taken up with a superior sort of band practice,  by a proper  orchestra.
The  soundproofing in use must be pretty good,  as we have managed to  avoid
inflicting  our different forms of noise pollution on each  other.  However,
the  gents toilet is located at the orchestra end,  and whilst paying a sit-
down  visit,  I got the aural delights of their band practice.  This is very
civilised, especially compared with what I was doing at that moment in time!

18.50  - Now we're getting patchy on the updates!  Dinner in pizza form  has
been and gone,  Sentry have turned up to add their oldschool forces to those
of Karsmakers,  Bonus and Wingleader. The resulting nostalgia fit included a
showing of the first Dead Hackers megademo 'Demolition', which I remember at
the  time  was a lot of diskspace for the duration.  It seems to  have  aged
quite  well  though.  I  spent a bit of time with 505 in  the  Finnish  sofa
corner,  and also I was not doing too much at all for a while as well, as in
comfortably comatose.

For a compact and well filled party, the average work-rate seems to be quite
high.  Most  screens  have Devpac,  or an art package,  or a tracker of some
kind. It would be entirely possible to expand this party to twice the number
of people,  and end up with the same amount of work being done,  the rest of
them would be arsing around, have gone for a walk etc... It is debatable how
much  of  this activity will end up on the big screen tomorrow.  One of  the
expected  major players is making predictable noises about not finishing  in
time.  We  will  see.  I'm  personally not looking forward to a  competition
evening with Dildo Fatwa as the main or even solo highlight, will it come to
that? Surely not!

We have also been watching..

1. Some Amiga demos, on an AGA Amiga A1200 provided by one of the Frenchies.
It's in classic Commodore casing, so I'm not sure if an accelerator has been
added  to it.  The demo stuffs showing were from the mid-nineties,  so not a
PowerPC class of booster, if there is one lurking in there.

2.  The  prototype Coldfire ACP evaluation board running,  using a laptop as
the  frontend,  but showing off the amazing multi-windowing,  multi-tasking,
realtime demo effects each running in their own window.

3.  There's  also  prototype  hardware on show,  relating to the  SuperVidel
provided  by  Nature brothers,  and I hope to see that doing something on  a
screen before the party ends..

21.01  - The first part of the evening's formal entertainment  has  started,
this is the Micromusic session, which is formal, as in a powerpoint seminar!
They'd better not be asking questions afterwards,  I'm in no state to answer
them!?  Let's hope things get less stiff, formatwise, in a moment. Otherwise
I'll  lose  all my very hard earned staying awake points  that  I've  slowly
built up, blasting various sounds into my ears etc..

Said  of certain recorded excerpts from the presentation:- "I'd rather  have
root canal surgery performed on my ears than listen to any more of this!"  -
Karsmakers quote..

A little digression on demo rumours. These bear no resemblance to the actual
truth as it will eventually turn out, or if it does, damn, that was lucky!

Evolution CT60 demo,  well we're hoping,  but you know what Deez is like for
finishing stuff to deadlines.. The sequence I glimpsed is dead cool!

Reservoir  Gods,  say  they have buggerall to present,  but may be  entering
something in spite of their cleverly posed denials? - Not sure, but Pink did
say they were working on a little something for the competitions previously.

Paranoid,  Paradox etc, supposed to be working on an STe demo? We're hopeful
in this case..

Aggression,  there's a heavy Finnish visitation to this party, of a strength
not seen for years at an Atari event, see Paranoid, above.

French  guys,  there  are  lots of these around.  They are showing  lots  of
different  things being worked on too.  I saw an intro text for a 96ktro  by
Dune. Likelihood of a party release is good!

Escape etc, not sure, they seem to be spending more time on Coldfire board.

As  for  the Dutch people.  I'd be very surprised if we didn't get  anything
from these, at a party in their very own native country?! Earx was mentioned
as having something prepared.

Dild-erm!!  Well I know there's one dead cert release!  And I overheard talk
of at least one other fake entry. Great, a real competition!

That  is all to reveal tomorrow,  for we have the graphics and music compo's

21.25  - The Micromusic presentation is over,  at least we got the chance to
catch up on this report whilst it was going.  Thanks to Gwem and company for
making the effort, although I might have done it slightly differently?

22.15  - Old sceners rule the bigscreen tonight,  with the STNICCC 1990  DVD
director's  cut.  A lot of old scenerati were very young back then,  both in
bodily age,  and attitude.  Karsmakers is there with hair, as is Sammy "Look
I've  got  a 1970's haircut" Joe.  How did those grand old men of the  scene
find  the  time to code any kewl left hand border removal hacks,  when  they
were  spending  their days sillyarsing around,  and trying to apply  various
substances to each other?!

Karsmakers  leaves the building shortly after this concludes,  he manages to
sell me a DVD copy of the same. Now I'll *have* to get a player!


00.00  -  Such  a nice symmetry for the numbers on the time.  We  are  still
waiting  for  the first lot of competition viewings.  Vote sheets  with  the
entry  details  have  been  issued,  with  belated  name  badges.  Only  not
*complete* vote sheets perhaps,  as at least two or three pictures have been
left off the 16 colour compo. People like Sh3 are not best pleased. I wonder
if  the  delay to the competitions has something to do with  the  organisers
trying to make amends?

Defunct  vote  sheets  make good mouse mats,  or better mouse mats  than  my
regular mouse mat does!

Poor  Malcolm (MSG) has not been so well today.  His drinking of dodgy water
from   a   (Delete   one,   or  what  the  heck,   keep  'em   all!)   liver
fluke/cholera/typhoid/malaria/ ducks widdling in the water supply,  has been
suspected.  That,  or  the fact that he was sleeping up against a cold brick
wall, without the benefit of a bed last night?

00.46 - Baggio outdoor nocturnal question and answer;

Q. "How's it going Baggio?"
A. "I'm nicely stoned, thank you!"

01.12  -  Organisers have now made amends with the voting sheets.  It  looks
like the graphics competitions have doubled in size now!  This is great, now
can we have the competition viewings please!

01.45  - Graphics compo's have been and done.  Preliminary thoughts are that
Exocet  will  probably win the 16 colour compo,  with his entry 'St Rose  du
Foie', just pushing ahead of Lance and C-Rem's entries. Exocet will probably
also clinch the truecolour compo with his witty Far Side humoured 'Pets Pub'
piccy, ahead of Sh3's rather splendid 'Saab', of which a lot of people won't
be able to shake the suspicion that it is a retouched photo.  But I know Kev
better,  he's a good honest trouper, so don't go down that road of suspicion

Music compo's are to follow shortly..

02.35  -  Music  compo's  coming to the end.  A very  high  quality  set  of
chiptunes were presented,  it is very hard to choose between them.  I picked
Gwem's  "Hardcore  Never Die",  as a mere fingertip ahead of the  rest.  The
modfile  stuff  was  less numerous,  and less good quality,  ok rather  than
brilliant.  And  I  think Lotek Style will come home first with his  cunning
blend  of  soundchip melodies and conventional electronic music on  the  MP3

Noteworthy  feature of this compo,  is that we've started to see tunes  done
with the new version of Triplex tracker.  It has a very nice SID-sound, very
reminiscent of the classic C64 SID in places!

02.45  - I think with that,  it is time to confront the paper-thin bed  once


10.21 -  I'm back once again,  and this time, I did sleep whilst managing to
avoid  breaking the bed more than it already was.  I got up at around 09.00,
sensing that to sleep anymore would make matters worse rather than better.

The brekfaast klubben for this morning was a lively affair (for shit-brained
dead tired party zombies, that is.) D-Force was experimenting with some type
2   diabetes  recipes,   such  as  the  chocolate  omlettes  that   remained
mysteriously  uneaten,  and a kind of sugary sprinkly thing for bread  which
looked  and tasted like sugar cake decorations,  in spite of his lying mouth
assuring  me  it  was  nothing  of the sort!  I think  that  based  on  this
experience,  a  'Revenge  Cuisine  of Europe' styled cookery book  would  be
perfectly in order!

An excerpt from the yet-to-be-written volume swims into view....

"Pork  scratchings?  That's  just  a harmless local nickname for  this  high
quality british foodstuff D-Force!"

Not to mention that old lie of the century (Runner up to "Things are getting
better!" and "I'm not just any old politician, trust me!")

"Don't let the look of it put you off, it really tastes fantastic!"

Now  we're  back and holding station on this textual mound  and  of  course,
we're  minding how the official UCM RTA is going just opposite.  One of  the
French  guys  is being suffocated by his Japanese girlfriend,  or  something
that looks like a reverse rescusitation attempt anyway?!

Today  is the big day,  what new demos and sprouting forth of demi-holy code
will take place?!

Odds on for the Demo Compo... (C/O Arse and Scratchet Bookmakers, the honest
punters friend!)

Dildo Fatwa on its own - 4 to 1 on
Dildo Fatwa and a couple of intros - 3 to 2 (Favourite)
All of the above plus Deez's CT60 demo - 8 to 1
All of the above, plus Aggression - 16 to 1
Everyone, including the Frenchies and Paradox releasing full demo - 50 to 1
tSCc anniversary release of 'Beams' demo from EIL last year - 200 to 1!
All  of  the  above,  even including the last one,  and NerVe turning up  to
release  a completed 'Sprell' from EIL last year - Come on,  now we're  just
getting into fantasy invention for its own sake!  Let's not get stupid about

Ok, logoff for a while, see what's happening elsewhere..

12.30  - Latest info suggests that Deez and co are trying to put together  a
preview of their CT60 demo.  This would be cooler than a polar region! Other
information,  coming direct from the tired mouth of Baggio himself, suggests
that  an intro is coming via the cunning coding hands of Evil,  all the  way
from  sunny Sweden.  Some kind of lo/high tech solution between a wap  phone
and a modem will be involved. Good job it is an intro, and not a chairbuster
Mega Demo....

13.25 - Twilighte is now included on our automotive return journey passenger
list, as his flight, tomorrow, courtesy of Bastard Air, would otherwise have
forced an early party departure. Now with three of us travelling back to the
Hoek van Holland,  we can indulge in crazed in-car singalongs, or maybe not?
Spartak  Reservoir Gods FC,  in the form of Damo the toastmeister,  and Sh3,
were  taking  advantage of the tentative afternoon sunshine  to  practice  a
kickabout in the yard, at least until they got too near the windows, and one
of  the  Beusink staff told them to "Shhtopp!" as their  football  targeting
skills "Verr not ready yet!"

13.40 - The ghost of Setok wanders into our little enclosure,  I am stuck in
SID-space,  hellp!   (Post-mortem post-it note:  This is one of those things
written 'in-party' which really makes no sense at all,  and is of no help in
recalling memories from the party!)

Setok  more  or  less  confirms what he said about the  Alt  Party  back  in
January.  It will be 'rested' for a time. But he was also trying to get more
of  the  people  here  aware and enthused about the  Alt  Party  concept  in
general,  which seems to match my perception that Alt was lacking an Atarian
presence,  and generally has got stuck in a well-worn and self-indulgent rut
of routine for the last one.

16.53  -  It's been a while since the last time,  well what is there new  to

Not a lot really, well some small pieces of news. The DHS intro successfully
downloaded, so score one for Wap-phones then. There will be a preview of the
Evolution  CT60  demo,  and  probably most of the rest will  fall  into  the
intro/preview  size category as well.  It goes to show that the ideal notice
period for a Easter party would be sometime in July the year before,  with a
statement of intent and a good plan ready. Then the plan should be firmly in
place, hall booked, and the first pizza orders taken by the end of the year!
This should give enough forewarning for people to have megademo stuff ready.
Then  again,  that might qualify as the most stupid thing that I've said all
year! (Out of a strong field of entries in general.)

D-Force update,  as of 17.00hrs,  he advises a number of fake or wild demos,
so  it looks like the Dildo Fatwa genre revival plan from last year  worked!
YessSSss!  Also there is going to be 1x Falcon demo,  1x 96ktro,  3x 4ktros,
and  some wild compo stuffs.  Maybe more to come as the deadlines loom?  And
yes, one set of these has already been broken!

Personally,  I've been finding it very slow,  waiting for pizza, and heading
back  upstairs  for a while to attempt a bodge repair on the  broken  wooden
slat underneath my bed.  Chemmad who was in the top bunk above me,  opted to
deal  with his broken slat problem by moving to a vacant bed elswhere.  I am
strangely  relieved,  and stop having nightmares about standing underneath a
snow-covered hillside,  next to the avalanche warning notice! There was time
for  a little Sunday afternoon contemplation of my eyelids in the  soft  and
comfortable sofa-zone,  and I even took a trip out to the village,  to enjoy
the  cow-poo  laden air of Lievelde,  whilst taking a close up look  at  the
abundance of eff-all to be found there.

Right  now  (17.15)  Chuck  and assorted  French  people  are  indulging  in
traditional  French(?) folk-dancing on a Playstation dance mat.  Except that
this one is no mere plastic sheet, it is somewhat more solidly built!

17.21  -  Is it me,  or can I smell pizza?  Maybe it is someone giving off a
pizza-like body odour(!)

The  mystery  of the food aroma has been solved,  unfortunately,  it isn't a
bulk pizza delivery! The lovely petite blonde Kristin, the serving femme who
survived Error in Line from behind the bar counter, is eating some microwave
nuked  spaghetti surprise.  (The surprise was,  that it had survived uneaten
for a day??)

18.35 - Pizza delivery,  with minimum identification,  and maximum confusion
followed. I got something *fairly* like what I ordered, eating it perched on
top  of the realtime STe,  and leaving a couple of permanent 'souvenirs'  in
the realtime text from there (hem!)

Grolsch still rules though!

The  French  dance-mat/speed  dating phenomonen  carries  on  unchecked  and
possibly  growing in a viral sense?  We are definitely at that awkward pause
in  the  evening between the competition entries being handed  in,  and  the
eventual competition viewings?

19.06 - There are thirteen competition entries in all categories. These have
been  largely  combined together for ease of reference.  There is a  preview
votesheet floating around, actually anchored to the hands of Havoc..

The  Falcon  section  is being held up by the combined efforts  of  DHS  and
company,  and Evolution. There are ST releases from the French guys and FUN.
Also intros from Paranoia/Paradox, and the whole fake and wild sections have
been combined together.  There is another fake demo entry from Cerror. So we
have managed a genre revival! There were a couple of games in there as well,
including a nice release from the Reservoir Gods.

And  then Havoc said something about a preview presentation for  stuff  that
Aggression had done so far...  It's going to be a pleasant evening's viewing
for sure!

I'm also looking forward to seeing something in the future of the stuff that
was  being worked upon here,  which was quite a bit.  A whole second part to
the Evolution demo is one such thing mentioned before now.

20.10  -  The entertainment lag pre-competition starts to bite.  People  are
queuing up to read the realtime article. Mind you, *just* to read it, not to

20.45 - Voting forms are handed out.

~~~~~~~~~~~ Competitions running ~~~~~

22.17  -  We're back,  and we've seen the compo's!  For a party with  modest
numbers  and  expectations,  things didn't turn out too badly.  I think  the
overall  winner,  above anything else at the party,  was the one entry which
was  put together away from the party by DHS and Ephidrena.  I've got to ask
NerVe  what  he  was  taking,  when he coded his effects!  This was  a  CT60
showcase  per  excellence,  even coming out slightly ahead of the  Evolution
preview.  I've  got  high hopes of this striking back firmly when  they  get
their extra new effects added though.

Of  the  rest,  the Froggies intro was very well presented and short,  Earx,
wearing an old 'FUN' coding hat, did some nice ST code whilst lurking around
in a stone tower. And Paranoid needs some more candles for his birthday!

Of other highlights,  Nemo was back on 'Ace' form with his Wild compo music,
and  at  least one new limit,  that of taste and decency was  shatted,  erm,
shattered by those reprobates behind the notorious Dildo Fatwa label!

To  end  with,  the  RG's  and  Mad Buscher went head  to  head  with  their
respective  games.  I think Pink's brand of multiplayer clogging hell  might
just push that one into pole position!

The  other thing is,  I'm finding it a bit strange to have a party with  its
main competitions finished this side of midnight! The party feels like it is
over to a small extent already? Lotek will be showing that missing since EIL
event of a Falcy demo, 'Beams', mainly to show that it is still alive ;-)

22.51 - 'Beams' add-on notes a year later.. The whole is still very good, we
got to see a new greets section with a speech synth reading out the names on
the soundtrack. Parts of the main demo came up slightly simplistic, now that
I've been spoilt by the detail level made possible by CT60. The tune came up
sounding  better than I remembered it from before.  On the whole,  Beams has
aged well in the last year, but get it kicked out soon please!

23.40  - New game in da' house - 'Clogged Up.' Or "Wear them on your feet!"
as someone might say?   I've got to say, really impressed in particular with
the work of paradox.   Proper 'hacking' 15 years later..  640x400 resolution
6000  colour  whatever has got to be recognised!   Reeeespect to  you  guys!

yesh yesh (msg clunking on the keys) surely not clunking...maybe blumping ?

or surely not oinking ? :)

00.06 - MONDAY!  Final day,  Who's been messing up my journal!? I think that
the  'oink'  expression firmly belongs to the fingers of Felice.  The  other
muddy footprints on this journal bear a toasty impression on them!


01.02  - "They did it,  the crazy fools went and did it!" (C) Planet of  the
Apes.  They  voted  for Dildo Fatwa,  with all its lapses in taste for first
prize  from  the  Wild Compo!  It was a closely fought  compo,  with  strong
entries from all around.  (Whaddya mene "lapses in taste"??  It waz one bigg
lapse from start to finnish! - Charcole add-on noete!)

In  other  news,  DHS/Ephidrena  won the main demo compo,  Exocet swept  the
graphics board clean,  and DMA-SC won soundchip to the enthusiastic cries of
the other Frenchies! Gwen took the four channel modules on and won, and Pink
grabbed the game prize by a decent margin.

The  prizes,  apart  from  the nice party t-shirt,  do bear  an  unfortunate
resemblance to things that I already got for myself earlier on.  The STNICCC
DVD was swapped for a walletful of Fading Twilight stuff,  which,  erm, I've
already  got.  Never  mind,  I'll  donate that to someone who hasn't got  it


This  is  the most sociable phase of the party,  there is lots of chat  with
lots  of  different people,  Setok emerged to the front of the  party  hall,
mainly  to  appeal to the Atarian public to goto another Alt Party,  as  and
when  such  an event is next held.  People seem to be very happy  with  this
party,  and  perhaps are thinking more about a rerun for next Easter at  the


This keyboard rules!  Eh yeah,  just wanted to say that! :) Earx at the keys
and  I finally get a chance to write something hear.  Don't worry,  it won't
make  sense.  The  party's over in 12 hours and I feel relieved that  almost
everything  went according to plan.  And ehmm..  *badger* *badger* *badgeur*
*mushroom* yep, it stings, but in a nice kind of way!

(What  stings  in a "nice kind of way"?  - What kind of demo parties do  you
normally hang out at, Mr Earx?!)

01.40 - CiH to try for early bedtime shock horror!

I'll do the final stuffs on here tomorrow, at least that which is meant in a
realtime sense. I'm having lots of nice conversations with people, the usual
post-party mush-pit of sentimentality in other words. Time to close down for
tonight, But I'll be back (after breakfast) in the morning..

MORE  SLEEPING  ENSUES,  but not after a little noisemaking from the  people
downstairs, especially Malc and Damo....

09.25 - We slept in the end,  and got to bed around 02.00 as planned. Others
planned on keeping the party going though, so we got to hear the broadcasted
highlights  of  the Malc 'n Damo show ;-) - Eventually got to sleep,  to  be
reawoken at around 04.00 by Malc 'n Damo in the episode "Abortive search for
unbroken beds".  Got back to sleep again. Woke at 07.30 when Mr Bladder said
"Relieve me, NOW!!" Made it to the toilet with time to spare, not wanting to
do  a  live liquid re-enactment of the grossest bit of the  'Braekpoint  '04
Invitro'.  Woke  up  again  properly around nine,  and went down to  do  the
breakfast  thing  with  the Nature brothers,  Earx,  and a  growing  Swedish

There was a little bit of news to put in the "interesting if  disappointing"
bin.  Nature  had  got to within a small amount of work left to getting  the
Supervidel  demonstrator  hardware ready to run and display  something  this
morning.  The only problem is, that the person with an EPROM burner, or some
kind of cable for the same, has gone home overnight!

It  looks like the new issue of Undercover Mag has also been  released,  but
only very late last night. It is not generally widely available as yet?

Well,  we're  outta  here by 12.00hrs,  so better start with the packing  of
assorted crap into assorted bags fairly soon...

10.10  -  I've got hold of UCM 25.  I've just had time to make sure my  bits
came up ok,  and the 'Alive' issues 7 and 8 reviewed,  were suitably adoring
and respectful ;-) Thanks Moondog, you rule!

The  air is alive with the massed sounds of packing right now.  I'm going to
add  on  to this report after the party,  but I'll close down this live  and
realtime from the party section with a few final thoughts..

The party didn't replace Error in Line,  it wasn't ever going to be able to,
but  instead it managed to assume a distinctive (nice) identity all  of  its

Generally,  people  had  a  very relaxing time here.  The comfort factor  at
Beusink  was  one of the best I've experienced at a party for a  long  time.
More  parties  should  have deep soft leather couches  to  cope  with  those
lurking  moments of tiredness related ennui!  The last time I felt this well
looked after, was another Dutch party in fact, the 10th anniversary STNICCC.
(Not  to criticise the efforts of others since,  apart from M*kk*  Symp*s**m
2002 of course!)

There was a decent response to the competitions,  considering the short time
frame  from when the party first become a confirmed booking..  More  warning
and a longer lead time for next year might be useful.

Parts  of  the presentation were quite amateurishly done,  but not in a  way
which slowed matters right down, or which spoiled it.

Most crucially, it was NOT Braekpoint, erm Breakpoint!

Ok,  I'll do something in more detail at the end,  leave it for now, see you
all later. A car beckons..

(In the absence of many extra adventures etc..)

The  end came quickly for the party,  as the majority of people were  packed
and  leaving before midday.  By the time we had stripped down and  repacked,
there were only the organisers,  the Finns, and the Reservoir Gods that were
left within the building.  After saying goodbye to Havoc,  who was trying to
get  to sleep in one of the fragile top bunks for about the  fifteenth  time
that morning, we were ready to depart.

It  was a glorious sunny day,  and we managed to fit in Twilighte,  and even
found room for Sh3's Amstrad 9 inch monitor, which he was disinclined to lug
back  home with him.  Just as we were setting off on the stroke of 11.30,  a
voice  from the crowd was heard to say "Your rear left hand tyre is  looking
very low!" The unfortunate thing was, that he was right!

Still,  we limped across to the garage which was at the gateway to Lievelde,
but this was most definitely shut,  and attempts to get the air pump working
proved to be fruitless (or airless!) An attempt to find another open garage,
took us in a roundabout loop,  but back onto the main road,  facing back the
way  we were wanting to go.  At a junction,  a concerned female driver jumps
out from behind in a traffic queue,  to tell us what we already knew,  but a
service station is mere yards and metres ahead of us.

This  place is happily open,  and their airpump is delivering.  It is only a
matter of minutes to sort out the tyres,  and we are back on the road,  just
before  the hour of noon.  There isn't a lot else to report for the rest  of
the journey,  the day stays fine,  the traffic levels remain generally good,
but  near the Hoek van Holland it all slows to the foot-dragging pace  of  a
sullen child being made to go to school, but we've plenty of time in hand so
it doesn't matter. The ferry part of the journey goes smoothly as usual.

There  is  one  small change from last year,  as Stena seem to  have  sacked
Macdonalds from running the burger bar,  and now offer their own generically
styled  'Linux' burger or "Discovery Burger".  At Harwich, we take our leave
of  Twilighte at the railway station,  where he is able to make the rest  of
his journey home from there, and our last UK part of the journey concludes a
little while before 22.00hrs.

An Assessment:-

For  what  was almost a last minute party,  Outline managed to get a lot  of
support,  and provoked universally happy reactions from the partygoers.  The
question  on  people's  lips  now  seems to be  "When's  the  next  one?"  I
personally enjoyed the party as well, for a number of reasons.

The venue was a winner, Beusink successfully fulfilled our requirements. The
size  of venue turned out to be just about right for the size of the  party.
If there was a full Error in Line sized party,  we may well need to hire the
other hall as well!?

It was atmospheric,  the dutch barn concept rules, and it was comfortable. I
was grateful more than once for those lovely sofas!  There was a good effort
made  with the sleeping arrangements,  as real beds were provided.  The only
downside  there  was that many of the beds weren't quite up to  bearing  the
loads  of the Atari pizza fans that used them.  An interesting twist to  the
story  suggests  that these beds are brand new,  in which case,  we think Mr
Beusink  should be asking for some money back from his suppliers!  There was
an extra element of fun to be added,  as the guests living in the other side
of the barn were a largely female orchestra!

The onsite and organiser provided facilities were up to the job as well.  We
had the coin-op showers to keep us clean,  and the best plan with these, was
to  avoid  the  early morning rush.  The organisers revisited  a  very  nice
tradition,  which  was  the breakfast club idea,  all you could eat for  1.5
euros,  even  if  some  of it was enlivened by D-Force's  stranger  culinary
experiments with sugar based products!

There  was  a  good  supply of Grolsch on tap,  or in  bottles,  which  made
everyone  very  happy.  Also  decent 1.5 litre sized bottles  of  coke  were
selling  for  1  euro,  which  means that someone was  doing  a  tasty  deal
somewhere.  I recall parties where you pay that amount for a small bottle! I
also liked the fact that wine was available, eventually in insanely generous
mug-sized quantities,  for a euro at a time.  In an incidental note,  it was
nice  to  see Kristin from the last EIL,  back behind the bar here.  We were
just missing Antje a little bit ;-)

The pizza ordering service was just about up to the job. Like Amigo pizza in
the past, the key to success was to order well in advance. There weren't any
shops and services within the village of Lievelde, but those of us with cars
had easy access to nearby towns which did.  Felice and I replenished in this
way.  I'm  not  sure what happened to the internet grocery  ordering,  which
looked great, apart from two things. 1. It was in Dutch, and 2. There was no
internet  connection  at  the party.  I'd be interested to hear how,  or  if
people used it at all?

The  organising  team  did  a  great job for the  party.  The  best  way  of
describing   the  overall  mode  of  operation  would  be  "amateurish   but
effective".  The competitions managed to run reasonably smoothly, even after
a  glitch  on the first night's entries,  where a lot of these got left  off
v1.0  of  the votesheet.  The atmosphere was notably very relaxed  and  laid
back,  which  had  a  lot to do with the expectations and behaviour  of  the
participants themselves.  Needless to say, there was no trouble of any sort,
and  I  doubt  you  could say the same of  a  certain  other  bigger  party,
somewhere across the border, also running during the Easter weekend?

There  was  the  strange spectacle of a competition viewing  that  was  done
before midnight. This is a first in recent parties. It was also cool to have
a  prizegiving that concluded before we went to bed that night as well.  The
competition expectations weren't kept too high, we weren't expecting another
EIL this year.  What we did get was pleasingly good,  with a strong graphics
and music set of competitions. The 16 colour and chipsound compo's were of a
very high standard this year. The demo competitions had some nice stuff, but
nothing  too  jaw-dropping,  with the possible exception of  the  CT60-based
entries.  The winner came from outside the party,  a last minute hack by DHS
and  friends.  I'm  also  looking  forward to the finished  CT60  demo  from
Evolution,  based  on  what was previewed on the bigscreen,  and some of the
effects that I saw as work in progress at the party! These really rocked!

On a personal note relating to the competitions, I'm pleased that so many of
you voted for Dildo Fatwa.  I think we sure managed to scrape new bottomings
of taste and decency there! Thank you all!

And  we  had  a  partial revival of the old Dutch scene!  We  saw  a  triple
visitation  from  old-time sceners Bonus,  Windleader,  and the main man for
1989,  Karsmakers,  aka Cronos! Not to mention a Sentry dude who also turned
out as well.  These were only here for the Saturday, but they managed to fit
in  an  enriched  session  of Crapman  playing,  STNICCC  Dvd  playing,  and
intentions  to produce some kind of revivalist CD-ROM.  There was a smallish
formal  entertainment provided by both the STNICCC screening,  and a seminar
about chipsound, which was okay, but could have done with losing some of the
corporate sounding stiffness about it.

People  are  the cement that binds a party together,  either making a  stony
wall of ill-feeling,  or building a house of happiness.  As always, with the
people that we know,  it is the latter that applied here!  I personally wish
that I had spent a bit less time collapsing from tiredness,  but it was cool
to remeet old friends once more, and meet one or two new ones. A big hi goes
to Gwem and friend,  the music man and sometime YM-Rocker, who is an Atarian
now,  whether  he  likes it or not!  Greetings go out to the (Aldn?) Spanish
guy,  who made it to the party with his insanely gorgeous Atari logo towered
CT60,  and who set it up next to us.  I should have spent more time checking
it out :-)

It  looks like we are not going to get another Error in Line just  yet,  not
for  next  Easter anyway.  I'm not sure if Havoc and co want to  repeat  the
experience,  but Beusink could well be the place to go for next year as well
if they do!?

Thanks for the great party guys! Job well done!

CiH for Alive Mag,April '04

Alive 9