Inscene '99 Report
Written by DJefke
Saturday 10/07/99, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon: I finally arrived at the party place in Wilsele-Putkapel. Since I didn't have any map, it took me more than one hour to find my way to the party place. Of course the party has already been going on for 22 hours. So I think I should explain first of all why I was that late.
Since I don't have an Internet-connection and there is as close as no BBS-scene anymore in Belgium, I had been totally isolated from the scene for about a year. Luckily P2 is in the same Linux-club as I. So he told me that there would be a party at Leuven. I asked him if he could bring me the infofile next time. The next time I saw him was Friday 09/07/99 and he told me the party had already started some hours ago. He also informed me he and Sleeping Dog wouldn't attend the party, because it seemed that the party would not be that great.
So I went home at 3 am in the morning to sleep and then decide if I would go. Six hours later I woke up and knew that I simply had to go. It was the only Belgian party this year, so it was unthinkable that I wouldn't be there. As mentioned above I didn't have the maps from the Internet, so it was a little bit of a search.
Well, back to the party now. When I entered the main hall (actually there was only one hall apart from the sleeping room) I realized that I probably wouldn't know anybody there, since most of the people I knew had left the scene or simply wouldn't come. The fact that there were less than 100 people only supported that feeling. But I ran almost immediatly into Seven (an independent coder). He told me that some people I knew were also there. So I installed my stuff near them.
After I had put all the entries of TakeOver on my FTP-server (this is one of the advantages of Linux), I started exploring the network. When my computer started downloading all the gigabytes of interesting stuff, I went exploring the partyplace. But something was wrong. And suddenly I knew what: Where were all those 'major' Belgian groups like Imphobia, The Natives, Pulpe, etc.? Luckily some other nice groups were present: Green, Prozac, Aspirine, PPP-team, Knights, Fuel and of course Ecolove and Extreme Weirdness. This is not a complete list, but I forgot the other groups names (sorry for that guys). A good thing was that almost all, if not all, people were sceners. Of course there was some gaming, but it was not the main occupation unlike some other parties.
There was no food-support at the party place itself. But I don't think that anyone really cared, since there was a 'frietkot' really close. The organisers also did 'food-runs' to a local pizza-place at a regular pace. This reminded me of Wired '94 where you also could order pizzas. The prices were quite cheap and unlike Wired '94 you could actually order a pizza at 4 am. There was also a bar at the party-place where you could buy drinks like real Belgian beer, Coke and Red-Bull (so you didn't have to sleep at the party). Again the prices were quite ok.
For those who didn't live on Red-Bull there was a separate sleeping room. I can't tell how it was, since I never use sleeping rooms at parties; I always sleep under my table or in my car. It was a fact that people were sleeping everywhere around the place; I even noticed someone sleeping outside at the parking-place.
Something about the party-network... In the info-file the organisers had promised a real SUN-server with 100 Gb hard-drive and a 10/100 Mbit uplink from a switch to each table. Well let's see: the SUN was there but there wasn't one uplink to each table... There was actually a 24 ports 10/100 Mbit switch on each table! So everybody could connect his computer right to a switch; this way everybody had a fast connection to the network.
Of course a network is useless if there isn't any stuff on it. Of course there was the obligatory IRC-server, but I think the best feature was the FTP-servers. I think there was more than 100 Gb on the FTP-servers, covering a wide range from lots of MP3s and MPEGs to demos and big Linux-applications.
One of the most annoying things that often happens at parties is the power failures (at least that's my opinion). So I was very happy that there wasn't any power-failure during the whole party. Lots of people could safely burn some CD-Rs.
Finally I come to the part about the bigscreen and the compos. Well, the bigscreen wasn't that good, but I think it was decent enough for such a small party; same goes for the sound-system.
The quality of some compos wasn't very high. Since I was late, I missed the ASCII, ANSI and the two music-competitions. So I can't say anything about them. The graphics- and raytrace-compos weren't really great; of course there was a raytraced Tux (by Cyclops). There was only one entry for the 4K and two entries for the 64K-intro compo. The 4K-intro was quite good and with sound. The 64K-entries were that bad that the 4K-intro would have easily won if it had competed in the same category. A funny thing is that one of the 64K-entries was only a batch-file, made by Al-Najjir (Aspirine). He also made a batch-game for the 100K-game competition. I think it was the most original game of the compo.
There was only one entry for the wild-compo and also only one entry for the democompo. At least there was a Linux-demo and some shitty would-be- winblows-demo. The surpise-compos weren't shown, but all entries got their prizes.
Although there were only a few entries, there was one guy that made about nine entries and got about seven prizes: Al-Najjir of Aspirine. I met him and he really is a real weirdo.
Conclusion: The compo's weren't really good. Same goes for the bigscreen. But there was a really good network and a nice atmosphere. And I think small parties are often better for simply having fun. So I think it was really good for a first edition and I hope there will be another Inscene next year.