so there was this demoscene event happening in Eersel, Holland during the first weekend of Oct. called Outline and this will be my humble try to conserve and to report about some of the impressions.
I took some notes throughout the party but sadly forgot to save them before my netbook went down on low battery, so this is solely from memory. Apologies if i mix the chronological order of things up or forgot something.
But first things first.
The first day (friday)
I live in Bremen, which is aprox. a 4.5h drive away from the partyplace.
Allthough I already had booked train-tickets to Eindhoven, RbR (from DSS) happened to tell me he wanted to go by car and Bremen was (more or less) on route so I decided that a car-ride with him is much more fun and cancelled the train tickets.
But apparently there were some time-issues having to do with the Lego machine he started to build just the night before and his arrival was a bit delayed.
Hours of waiting passed and finally he arrived at my door around 8pm.
I threw my stuff in the car, we made a quick stop at the local supermarket to load up on beer, vodka and club-nate and hit the road 8.30ish.
We crossed some bad weather but all in all the trip went without special events until the very last stop in germany before crossing the dutch border.
At the parking lot RbR noticed he actually forgot his notebook at home which contained the development environment and some additional files needed for the Lego-machine.
Luckily still on german 3g we sat in the car browsing for the stuff we needed to download and like half an hour and some megabytes on my dialplan later we at least had the mindstorm development software on my netbook but couldnt use it there since it needs a serial port and windows (I run Ubuntu on that thing).
We figured finding some Computer with a serial port at the party couldnt be that hard so we drove on and finally arrived at the partyplace way past midnight.
There still was some serious partying going on (sceners are not known for going to bed early, after all) so we said hello to the people we know and finally got to meet Tjoppen from sweden who is with the DSS posse as well. Since he had some seats reserved for his DSS mates I sat next to them as well.
One friend we sadly didnt meet that night was Knoeki, who was planning to come but got sick just in time so he decided to shorten the party a day and stay home to recover.
One nice feature Outline has to offer are the beds at the partyplace, so nobody has to sleep on the floor in the hall, which is a very nice thing.
So after a couple of hours of drinking beer and talking we decided to call it a night and went to bed around 4-5am in the morning.
Somehow I couldnt find any sleep at all and after like half an hour of turning left and right under my sheets I decided to get up again and see if anybody is still awake.
Eventually I got to meet Superplek that way and after some talking we decided we could watch a demo or two on his fancy macbook.
Because the sound wasnt exactly brill over the tiny notebook-speakers he hijacked the PA of the partyplace and before you know what was happening we had quite an impressive soundsystem to listen to. Sadly there was a little problem with the cables or the mixer and one channel didnt work until the volume was pulled up to a certain level so… well yeah… I hope people weren’t too angry at us for blasting demotunes at 6am in the morning. If so, I’m sorry but we werent exactly sober and it was really a fun thing to do.
Around 9am or so I got really tired and finally retreated into my bed.
The second day (saturday)
I woke up around noon and didnt feel quite well. Of course there was the obligatory hangover from all the beer I drank the night before but i could already feel that theres a little more to it and my body wanted to complain for not getting a proper nights sleep.
When I got to the DSS-Corner Tjoppen and RbR were already up looking at some Atari VCS stuff Tjoppen had been doing for the 128b competition. They used RbRs Amiga-Monitor as a TV but the picture just wouldnt have any colors. Not really certain what the cause of the issue was they began to test different things but eventually failed to make it work as expected. I tried to help but since my knowledge and supply of old hardware is very limited I couldnt do anything about it as well.
However, the Intro was done and the compo-team later used an emulator to play it on, so it was all good in the end.
At the same time DaTucker was playing his set on stage, which was quite nice and energetic but most of the crowd (me included) were still too tired and hungover to actually dance.
Later on Knoeki finally arrived arrived at the party and brought a USB->Serial connector cable and a Windows-Notebook with him so RbR was finally able to start working on the software for the Lego machine.
The whole thing is based on Lego Mindstorms and its purpose is to mix vodka with an adequate amount of Ahoj-Brause[tm], a drink also known as Krawall-Brause.
One thing with the Mindstorm rcx is that the firmware in it is actually battery powered so if one of the standard AA bats in it is removed it needs to reflashed over the computers development environment, and that happened quite a lot. As it turned out the batteries RbR used were so cheap they were actually a milimeter too short for the battery-box in the device and it lost power with the slightest movement. Luckily RbR had some backup-bats which didnt have that problem and after one or two hours of work in the sleeping-area the KRAWALLMEISTER 2000 was ready for action.
Since we wanted to release it as a wild entry in the competition we needed to record a video, which was actually a lot of fun =). Several takes and cups of Krawall later the SD card on my camcorder was stuffed with material, we just lacked the approriate software to cut it.
Luckily Tjoppen came to the rescue and has some video editing tools on his computer along with quite a good idea how to use them accordingly.
Since we didnt plan on drinking all the vodka we bought by ourselfes the plan was to put the machine up after the competitions on sunday and give out free Krawall to everyone!
But since RbR had to be at the university on monday we already had to leave shortly after the compos and the prizegiving ceremony (which had not been scheduled at 11.30 at that point) so we decided that it might be better to build the machine up on saturday already.
So while Tjoppen was busy cutting the video RbR build up the machine in the front of the hall (which attracted quite a few curious looks) and then we started to make some good old fashioned Krawall.
Sadly the rushed design of the machine was beginning to show its flaws rather quickly: The bottlecap that was used to connect the pneumatic tubes to the vodka-bottle wasnt exactly air-tight and once the moving parts were covered in sticky Ahoi-powder the force of the motors went in all directions it shouldn’t and the machine ended up disassembling itself, so we had to turn it off after two hours or something.
Anyway it was still a lot of fun and the video-shoot was done so it wasn’t a complete disaster after all and we got quite some attention with it.
Another thing worth mentioning was the indian curry Shifter and his crew had cooked up on the party place. If you are, like me, not really used to authentic indian food (I ate at an indian restaurants maybe two times in my life) it tastes really strange and different but definetely not bad! The quality of the dish was really awesome, mad props to the crew for going through the hassle of cooking it up for 60 people!
Also on that evening was Gasman with his Speccy Orchestra, and allthough I have seen him do this before it was impressive as always.
So after some dancing and having more Krawall-Brause than I should I called it a night around 2pm because I was really tired and had a feeling I might need the sleep.
The third day (sunday)
The beginning of day 3 (and the last day for Rbr and me) is kind of a blur. After I woke up it became clear that the fearsome dutch cold was in full effect and together with the hangover from the night before it really put me out of order for a couple of hours.
Eventually Knoeki got to spin some of the records he brought with him and afterwards compo-hours were upon us.
First m0d held a good old floppy-disk-throwing-compo outside on the field next to the partyplace where he cleverly disposed of his old Amiga floppy collection. Of course the real Atari users were the ones throwing them the farest ;).
The realtime compos itself were quite small but taking into account the party had only about 60 visitors it was more than OK.
The above mentioned Intro for the Atari VCS by Tjoppen scored second in the 128b competition as well, the first place went to the x86 asm-magician Frag/fsqrt for an impressive 2d tunnel-effect who entered it remotely.
The combined Intro combo was one with a 4k entry by Atari oldschooler Mr. Coke, who recently seem to have rediscovered his love for Atari-coding. Allthough his intro showed only a single effect with a very long precalc, he managed to put some funny stuff into the loaderbar-scene which worked exceptionally well at the party and got him the first place in the compo.
Also noteworthy was the winner of the combined PC Intro/Democompo, a 64k called Variflux by Inque.
Probably the most polished release from Outline this year and consequently the one getting the most attention and thumbs on pouet.net afterwards.
After the competitions main organizer Havoc announced that the prizegiving-ceremony would be held at 11.30 in the evening, so RbR and me thought we could just as well get in the car and drive home afterwards.
The prizegiving came and winners got themselfes some really cool Outline merchandise and the obligatory can of fanta (among other things) and we spend the last hour at the party sitting around a cozy fire in front of the hall.
The trip back home during the night was tiresome but uneventful, and in the early morning hours I finally hit my bed to start the recovering process.
Allthough I wasn’t really at my best health-condition that weekend I managed to have a lot of fun (and beers) with a lot of nice people and am definetely thinking about attending again next year.
This shall conclude my report, I hope you found it to be an interesting read and dont care too much about the mistakes I surely made.
I like to give a shoutout to the following people:
rbr, knoeki, tjoppen, mog, m0d, alpha_c, mr. coke, superplek, saga_musix, okkie and of course to havoc and the rest of the orga-team as well as the DJs and musicians who kept us entertained!
(and don’t miss the prizegiving ceremony taking place at 11.30, I repeat: the prizegiving-ceremony will be held at 11.30. That’s eleven thirty for you and in case you havent heard yet the prizegiving-ceremony will start at 11.30. JSYK.)