The Diary of a Diskmag Editor
The Making of Hugi 21


Editors are intelligent. Only intelligent and well educated fellows can write good articles which are worth reading.
Antithesis: Editors do not have to be intelligent. Writing articles is a matter of practise and dictionaries."


Diskmag editors are the poor suckers who have to edits piles of bad ASCII text into some kinda readable thing... *grin*"


Welcome to a new, unique section. Like so many good ideas, this one came to me when talking with TAD about Hugi. There are many myths about diskmag editors and my person. Like, that I have to be "hyperactive" to release a mag like Hugi very often. Or that I'm an arrogant ego-centrist. It is commonly believed that making a diskmag is hard, highly exhaustive work, because diskmags editors like telling that their audience. Yet sometimes things happen which show that some people don't really know what a diskmag editor's work is all about. "Wait a moment, I have to format a last article, then I'll pack the mag and upload it." - "Format? What? What do you have to format? The Hugi interface, the bonus pack or...??"

And hey, this is just one funny scene. Knowing what's behind something, background information on how something was created actually is often much more entertaining than the actual product! This is what made me promise TAD to keep a kind of diary about the making of a full Hugi issue on the next possible occasion. The diary now begins!

Thursday, August 10

The day of the release of Hugi 20 is the first day in the story of Hugi 21. Actually these release days - or let's better say nights - are one of the funniest and coolest things I experience in my life as a diskmag editor. Traditionally, I finish off issues online. It's simply a great feeling to do finishing touches to the design while checking mail for last-minute contributions, formatting the last articles and chatting to the waiting masses at the same time.

So it was for Hugi 20. Actually I could have finished the mag some days earlier. But CoaXCable, who wanted to send me an updated version of his tune that was going to be used in this issue, had been at Assembly2k in Finland. He would not return to Israel before August 9th. So I set the release date to the 10th of August so that he could send me the updated tune. What I didn't know then was that he had the tune along with him in Finland anyway, so he could have sent it to me from the party place. Anyway, on August 5th I had also been promised a party report from the Nextempire guys, which would take "2-4 days" to finish. Besides, I had to write the editorial, finish the news corner and other regular columns, and wanted to create some filler articles for the then still small diskmag corner. So it was just fine to have some more time.

In fact I didn't announce the release date on the official channels, that is the website and the mailinglist, but I mentioned it to several people on IRC. I therefore assumed the word was spreading in the scene and I had to be punctual.

Actually I had not posted anything to the Hugi mailinglist for weeks, not even HugiNews - I had not made a new newsletter since the first of July. So I guess it was pretty much of a surprise for most people when this posting appeared on their screens: "Hugi 20 will come tonight! Just that you all know... so if you want to have a news or even article to be published in it I need to get it before 6:00 pm Central European Time (about two hours from now). Then the mag will be closed and uploaded." In the meantime, having the editorial and section design finished, I sat down in the garden and read in order to relax.

Short after 6:00 pm it was time to go online - during the next hours, the phone costs would be less than one dollar per hour. I had arranged with Kozmik on the day before he should send me the party report until this minute. Well, it wasn't in my inbox yet, but I had got two news items in response to my mailinglist posting. Anyway, the Hugi 20 bonus pack was finished and ready for upload, so I decided get it onto an FTP server first and then check if the report had arrived. Meanwhile I was already flooded by a couple of people via ICQ asking me when they'd finally get the mag - "the scene is waiting :)", as Morph put it. I knew why I had decided not to log on to IRC yet. Already now the few people on my ICQ contact-list that were online had so many questions regarding the contents of the mag ("So tell me a pre-secret, did I get any votes for best writer?", to quote Morph once again - yeah, he talked the most) that I could hardly concentrate on evaluating and including the news I'd just received. Finally, when an email by TAD with some graphics for the option and quit screens arrived, I simply had to log off...

Back online, having noticed there seemed to be something wrong with the button feature and thus implemented the quit screen in a different way, I was reported by the people whom I had given the URL of the bonus pack that the file contained CRC errors. Damn! Recently things like this had happened several times: upload a large, but okay zip file in binary mode, then select to download it and get an equally large, but erroneous zip file back. It had happened on different two servers, using two different freeware FTP clients. I hadn't been able to find out the cause. Talking to Sulphur about this, as he happened to be online, I was suggested to use command-line ftp. Now, however, the server was slow, I didn't manage to connect to it. He then gave me an account on his own server. Well, the result was a successfully uploaded file. Neither of us still knows what the reason for my CRC errors was, but at least a method had been found to avoid them.

In the meantime the Assembly report finally reached me - two hours after the "final deadline". Just in time, as I was about to upload the mag! Under high pressure, while being regularly bombed by CoaXCable and consorts ("man sopes :> was ist met der hugi zwonzik :>?"), I proofread and formatted the text, encountering a few - maybe two - sentences that seemed to make no sense, as it seemed for grammatical reasons, and trying to carefully alter them so that the content would be preserved. Usually I'd have contacted the author but there was not enough time. Having finished the text, I decided it'd be better if the names of all demos were written with a starting capital letter, so I went through the thing again...

Meanwhile I got a reply from Domainator, whom I had lately reminded to send me his article if he wanted it to have published in Hugi 20. What? He had already sent it two weeks ago and was wondering if I hadn't got it? Well, indeed I hadn't received the article or I'd have had answered to his mail. Quickly I replied, the mag was going to be released on this very day, but if he submitted his article "NOW", I'd probably be able to include it, as I was formatting a last article.

I also received an update by Venior of his Writers-on-Writers statement about Morph... (now you finally know why their statements about each other look so similar!) Including this resulted in misaligned pictures and paragraphs on the next pages. I had to reformat about half of the article. Furthermore, Andromeda sent me an update of his article... fortunately just a little change in the members list that had no bad consequences on the layout.

When I'd finally selected seven of fifty pictures I'd got for the Assembly report, scaled them to fit the column width and put them into the article at appropriate places (that is: start mag - open article - check for a suitable location for the first pic - close mag - include <image> tag at this place in the article script - start mag - open article - check for a suitable location for the second pic - ...) - well, as far as I remember, then the mag just had to be encrypted and packed. Then it was finished. "Now it just depends on my modem :)", was my response to all further requests. At the same time I uploaded the mag I also replaced the html documents at the three mirrors of our website and, finally, logged onto IRC where the hungry wolves were lurking.

They were especially on the #pixel channel, where the topic had already been set to "HUGI 20 = Y2K = year 2000". But now I had time to respond to all questions with humour and enjoy chatting.

I still had to do other things simultaneously, too, of course: like posting announcement messages in the mailinglist, the most important newsgroups and news sites, and adding new download mirrors to lhugi20.htm. But the baby had been born, the rest wasn't so serious.

I could tell several more anecdotes about Hugi 20 day, like the fact the first download mirror,, was stormed by so many hungry wolves that it took minutes until Distance managed to access the file in order to copy it over to - which itself was equally unreachable for outsiders, especially as many people were still leeching Assembly stuff from it. I also met a Latvian scener, Raver, who told me what I hadn't expected in my most megalomaniac dreams: that Russian sceners regard me as god and take my word for absolute truth. "Well, nice to see they like the Russian edition of Hugi", I replied. Maybe I am the Prophet of Scene Journalism, but just for fun, because nobody else claims this title for himself, but God, infallible, absolute truth...??

Then the first feedback reached me. The usual online-liners - hugi rocks, hugi rules, hugi ownz, and of course, but seldom, hugi sucks, mostly intended to provoke the others. Of course I couldn't expect long comments on individual articles such a short time after the release. If anybody would claim on that day he had already finished reading the mag then I'd have to be sure he either lied or hadn't read it thoroughly at all.

On the first day, serious, valuable criticism was only expressed concerning the size-to-text-ratio. Indeed Hugi 20 was pretty huge to download, 3.8 megs packed, which mostly was due to the music. Unfortunately I had promised two musicians to use their tunes in this issue; in one case actually I had already promised almost two years ago that I'd use this tune as soon as it would be possible to play .it tunes in Hugi. .it support had been implemented in issue 16, yet I hadn't used the tune. Now I hadn't been able to postpone it any more, I had to use it in Hugi 20. I've sworn no more to promise that anything will be used in a particular issue.

I must also mention a rather unpleasant experience. Around midnight I heard the release of Hugi 20 had obviously been the cause for a discussion on #coders.ger about my person. "Your image is being damaged badly", I was warned. I didn't intend to interrupt the discussion, but my contact suggested me to join the channel to "put the facts straight", so I did so. Immediately I was flamed by a few people there in a very rude manner. "When you talk about shit..." was how they greeted me. I was called "gay" and the lyrics of a song were quoted: "i know you want respect ... but contempt is all you get from me". It is clear that in such an atmosphere you can't lead a constructive discussion, and I decided to keep rather silent.

It's a fact that some people on #coders.ger are not the politest gentlemen in the world, but how come they show this disdain for me? I suspect it's to do with several things. First of all, envy. Remember, Hugi originally was a German-language mag and didn't have to do much with the demoscene before issue 11. The sudden rise of popularity among the international scene made some of the people who had first dismissed the mag as lame and uninteresting especially hateful. In the course of the time some of these people became friendlier, others left the scene - as you can guess people with such attitudes don't have enthusiasm for today's scene. Yet jealousity probably remained, even if it was not expressed. Second, when I published articles about some people containing too personal facts, the growing enthusiasm among these people quickly came to an end. It was replaced by increasing hostility. After a discussion among how to treat person-related articles ended without a definite conclusion - people wanted me to send all articles they're involved in to them before they would get published, while I preferred no more to publish personal articles at all - I began to avoid entering German scene IRC channels. Hence the contact broke off, and the situation is like it was a year ago, just a little bit more hostile.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to find a solution. Although I published a new version of the issue without the articles in question, many people and some ftp servers certainly still have the original one. If something is published in a diskmag, it's incredibly hard to get rid of it. Although this usually is advantageous, as in this way it's not likely that these pieces of computer culture will get lost for ever one day, it sometimes can have negative consequences.

Well... at about 2:00 am, I logged off and went to bed.

Friday, August 11

It was around 10:00 am and 12:00 pm when I left my bed and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Okay, this hasn't got anything to do with diskmag-editing, so I guess I could've skipped it :) Anyway, one of the things I had sworn to do more often is updating the Hugi website. As already six people had sent me emails that showed they had found Loxley's hidden tune in Hugi 20, I spontaneously decided to update the page including this news. Nothing so special, of course, but just so that the visitors would see that there are some fast dudes.

Well, looking closer at the new emails I saw something that actually was a better reason for updating the page: Domainator's article on his OS project. "Well, it may be the last day (God this is just like school :)), but here it is"... Damn, had I got it a few hours earlier, it would have made it into Hugi 20. What to do, publish it in Hugi 21? Sure, but it contains a status report that won't be up to date in four months. An article for HugiNews? Well, I had a better idea, I htmlized it and put it on the Web. At least a good occasion to post another announcements to news sites - and after all, announcing Hugi at some decent place once every day has been another of my plans.

The first feedback mails had arrived, yet they didn't contain too many details, either. But, then again, we know from earlier reactions what kind of articles the people who regularly send feedback like or dislike, and the ones who submit feedback for the first time are usually willing to tell a bit more on request. Probably some authors have been contacted directly via the email links included in the articles.

Interestingly, nobody has submitted a support sheet yet. Well, probably that's because the online support form isn't linked to from the Hugi 20 download page. After all, now that we don't have charts any more it's mainly about feedback, and how should people give feedback before downloading the mag? And afterwards, they rather write freely instead of using a form. This is good anyway. The form should only encourage people to contact us.

In the evening I get the last hidden part notices. That is, the last in order to fill the top 10. In fact Zyrax, who's made the 10th place, told me about it on IRC by passing. I had to make him aware that he had to use the email link included in the hidden part so that his discovery could really be counted...

Louk bugged me to tell him where to find the hidden part. Now that the top 10 was filled I could give him a hint, as I was planning only to publish the first ten people in the "hall of fame". After some guessing he asked me if the hidden part was in the options screen - "yes", I answered, as it applied. Happily he boasted on IRC channels that he was the 11th. But as it turned out a few minutes later, he in fact hadn't found the hidden part yet: "i didnt know it was secret because i went into impulse tracker before loading hugi to check out mods :)" Erm, the secret tune is in the encrypted data file - he couldn't have played it in Impulse Tracker! It turned out that he thought one of the three tunes that were listed in the options screen was the hidden one. But none of these was. The hidden tune was, as said, hidden. After some experimenting Louk did find it in the end and, as nobody had reported having found it in the meantime, he remained 11th.

I didn't decide to put the hidden part "hall of fame" online on that day as I wanted the visitor's attention not to get distracted from Domainator's article.

Saturday, August 12

Wayfinder reported me the hidden tune was a chiptune remix of a track by Elwood. I hadn't known this before, otherwise I'd have included this information in the hidden part.

I put the hall of fame together, mentioning Louk and the others who had meanwhile sent me noticed as after-rans. Obviously I hadn't been hard enough to resist Louk's begging to include him although he was just 11th and I had helped him. But anyway, he isn't in the actual table, so I guess this is a fair compromise.

Actually I found the name "hall of fame" to be quite stupid and replaced it by "page of honour". That may be a bit exaggerated, too, as it's really not a great achievement to have found a hidden tune (although the little time some people needed is indeed impressive). But at least it fit our royalistic corporate identity.

The statistics showed that there had been a thousand hits on the main Hugi website alone since the release of Hugi 20 - even though only the direct download address from had been spread at first.

In my inbox, I found a new background picture by Tomaes - much better than his last attempt - and a tune by CoaXCable, whose samples reminded me of his used in Hugi 20. A phrase I had lately grown accustomed to was included in his mail: "hehe i am almost a hugi member/crew dude". On IRC/ICQ it has been possible to avoid reacting to this hint by emphasizing on another detail, but what should I reply to his mail? I decided to consult the other Hugi Core members. TAD suggested: "tell coaxcable he first needs to write 500kb of articles.. hahahah". Hmm, at least Dante, our new proofreader who also dreams of joining the Hugi Core one day, would have something to do then... :) Anyway, in my reply I thanked CoaXCable for the tune and forwarded TAD's suggestion to him.

Apart from that, as far as I remember replying to email-feedback was what I mostly did on this day for Hugi. I went out in the evening so I hardly organized things on IRC that day.

Sunday, August 13

CoaXCable kept firm. "well can i become a hugi member.. i am definitley looking for some good things to do... like music and some outlines and active things..." was the beginning of a rather long email in which he explained what he could do for Hugi. I replied to him I'd ask the other Hugi Core members about it and opened a new mail addressed to all of them. This was a good occasion to send my fellows the most interesting feedback I had got on Hugi 20 and inform the others of Dario's and TAD's ideas to base the design of the next issue on a horro/alien-abduction theme mix. I already had suitable title pictures and backgrounds, and even a good tune with the right atmosphere. I attached a couple of the graphics to the mail.

Also, I analyzed why there had been a decline of article contributions from outside, from the readers, since issue 18. It is a fact that becomes obvious immediately when you count the number of people in the credits and even more when you count the number of "main authors" - i.e. not interview-partners and contributions to Writers on Writers, but people who wrote entire articles or posed the questions in interviews. This is my conclusion:

1. People got the feeling enough articles come in anyway
2. People didn't think contribs were important
(only in h20 I reinstalled a "how you can support us")
3. Maybe lack of advertising?
4. Newssites (e.g. ojuice or cfxweb)
5. Lack of enthusiasm among "oldtimers"
6. No specific deadline until a month ago if I remember well - now the deadline has been included in support.txt

In any case the 'How you can support Hugi' is included again in Hugi 20, the submission deadline has been set to OCTOBER 31st (and is included in support.txt), and I'm trying to get an announcement about Hugi posted to a different place every day.

The place where I announced Hugi on this day, by the way, was

In the evening I received a funny response from TAD starting as follows: "I cannot express my views concerning the matter of a Mr. CoaXCable joining Hugi strongly enough. It would be against my religion, my honour and my moral convictions if such a, a, bounder such as Mr. CoaXCable managed to infiltrate the sacred inner circle of the Hugi cult. As I am a free mason this would be a gross injustice, a crime against humanity and above all else take up more space on the credits screen. So why must we humour the scally-wag with his satan inspired graphics and blatant demand that he would be shown into the underworldly realms of Hugi?" Of course it was a joke to catch my attention. As he wrote in the end of the mail, he'd be happy to see CoaXCable join.

Of course I ran into CoaXCable when logging onto IRC. It was then that he became a member of the Hugi Core and thus automatically the Royal Family as well. Actually his initiation rite was quite funny: He said he currently was "CoaXCable of trsi/taat/he/ne/wij/xtg/bnc" and as a Hugi member would write "HUGI/TRSI/tAAt/STAM" in his group list. I said "the latter would look cooler" - which he understood as: "Okay, you're accepted."

Actually it's nice to have CoaX in the group, as he's on IRC practically all the time, or so it seems. He can advertise for Hugi and answer people's question when the next mag will be released. He also makes weird but occasionally - in my opinion - good pics that could be used in Hugi as illustrations. And of course he is a musician and a friendly guy, too.

On this day I wrote a kind of political-theorist article about the left/right scale and how nonsense it actually is. TAD was even more diligent: he sent me two articles. On electronics and the scene, respectively. Actually it's in some way similar to the usual the-scene-is-dead rants that occasionally make their ways into diskmags, but in a more elaborate style. Yet a pretty uncommon article for him. Well, I guess all these three articles are rather "fillers", but at least it's good to have something in stock.

I also did some organizing stuff on IRC... I got Rigel to make an interview with Ska of Apocalypse Design in Italian, as Ska isn't so good at English. Rigel will send the translation on Thursday or Friday. Good...

Then someone stated on IRC, apparently a bit disappointed, the Hugi Size Coding Competition had still not begun. This called into my mind that there are actually a working example program and a test suite, and I could easily finish the rules. I told him I'd start the remaining work on the rules now - "right now? great". Well, not now, but tomorrow, I had to slightly lower his enthusiasm, but apparently he didn't mind: "heh, its your compo, you can release them any time you want ;)"

At least I knew what I had to do on the next day.

Monday, August 14

I didn't reply to any email on this day, although I had got some interesting ones, including the offer to take another scene magazine over for just one issue while its main editor was busy with his professional life. Rather than that, I redesigned the Hugi Compo website and created the final rules. I was out almost all day, so I could upload and announce it only in the evening.

Tuesday, August 15

As I was planning to update the descriptions of both public mailinglists I moderate, I checked out parts of the eGroups index and found directories that were more sutable for the lists than the ones they had been in before. As a side effect, both the Hugi Magazine and the Hugi Compo mailinglists will be listed at the top of these directories, as they have more subscribers than the other lists in there.

In this way I also found a website called Ezine Links to which I added Hugi. It's mostly about electronic "magazines" spread via mailinglists and similarly lame stuff, but I couldn't find a better equivalent to diskmags outside the scene. In return, by the way, I got the address of an Ezine Archive - something like the diskmag archives hosted by public scene ftp servers, but for all kinds of electronical publications. This archive seems to be pretty new, in fact it's still under construction. When you go to the site you are asked to fill in a poll, including questions like how unique the Ezine Archive is and what you'd be ready to pay to have your magazine stored there. Of course I selected "not unique at all" and "0 dollars". Too bad there wasn't a comment box where I could have explained that these things are common and free in the demoscene, but I included my email address. Will they dare answer me?

At lunch I remembered I had planned to write this article to document the making of Hugi 21. So after finishing my vegetarian pizza (yum!) I started Notepad and typed in everything you've read so far. Now it's 7:48 pm.

August 16-18

On Wednesday I was at a kind of private demoshow at the WIFI in Vienna... It was organized by Entropy and Crest with the intention to convince the authorities of the plan to organize a similar demoshow for the public by the end of the year. I started writing a report after returning at about midnight, but didn't finish it as I was tired. Now, re-reading what I've written so far, I don't like it. Too much of a naive event-report. Well, I'll try to re-write it and then decide if it's worth publishing.

Got some more articles of course... good ones at that, like StyX's Assembly partyreport. Also nice fillers like an article by BloB about the idling on IRC. Well, I still have to look out for some very interesting scene-related articles to write about and make interviews.

Chris also updated his engine. He fixed the "primary bug" (some black pixels that appeared when you moved the scrollbar - you see? :)) and made a universal version that works for both diskmags that currently use it, that is of course Hugi and a little hackmag named Anti-social Magazine. A BeOS port is out, too... I guess it needs being reported on the website.

Today (Aug 17... no, Aug 18 already!) during an answer-all-emails-fit, which somehow has now ended with only 23 unanswered emails in my inbox, I polled my mailbox and noticed Ghandy has started spreading my Showtime & Hugi joint voting form! Damn! Actually it was just meant as a draft, and meanwhile I had decided to stop the charts in Hugi, as I wrote in Hugi 20... Well, if he gets some votes in the PC categories, I'll store them, and perhaps I'll spread the sheet after all. But I'll publish the results only if I get enough votes, at least 100... Hm. Some extra work coming up...

Tuesday, August 22

Hell, I'm a lazy diary writer. So many days have passed... and I didn't open this file. Why? Maybe because I thought "oh well, some more articles and graphics - will this really interest anyone"? Then again, I'm writing this stuff to show you what's happening with Hugi in detail. Anyway, my "real life" activities occupy a lot of time even in the holidays (I guess... I can't remember doing much specific, actually)... so it's not like I write 100kb of articles a day as I often want in my dreams.

But this is getting boring, let's come to the real thing... I wanted to publish this thingy on Saturday on the web but didn't do so. I just announced the BeOS port of Hugi, then probably wrote a lot so that in the end I forgot that in the same posting to the Hugi mailinglist, I'd announced to put "something more" to the Hugi website on the same day... Well.

Of course I got some more articles and graphics, good suggestions blabla... and on this very day... erm. I had better start with yesterday, or was it the day before yesterday? Or maybe already Saturday? Anyway, on one of these days I put together a preliminary design for Hugi 21, that is a selection of music and graphics. No background picture really fits in, though. But I received a new background on the next day - yes, I'm sure, it was Sunday - with wrong proportions, but which generally didn't look that bad. I replied to the author, of course (I guess I won't be listing all the mails I've replied to in this diary...), and he said he'd try to make the place for the text window bigger.

I also had to fuss around with the Hugi Compo as there were problems with time measurement on Win98, so this took some hours which I'd have otherwise spent on the mag.

Well, I was at Fiasko2k on Sunday so this day I couldn't immediately work on Hugi, but as I am able to write a report it might result in an extra article for the mag. And after all the mag is not something isolated, it's a part of the scene and making it part of my so-called scene-activities, just like the party.

I got some cool topics to write about, only that I'm not sure if all would result in really interesting articles. I guess I'll just start writing sponaneously, then see what will come out. In the worst cases I'll have to rewrite the texts or move them to c:\adok\articles\_unused\bad.

At least I wrote a little review article today and also embedded the first articles which I'd already formatted before in the mag. I played around a little bit with headlines and decided to make them a little bit larger than the normal font. As a compensation the space between the author name and the start of the actual text will be a few pixels smaller, but that doesn't matter. I'm still uncertain whether to stick to the standard font or use a different one for headlines. But thanks to the fontstyle command of Panorama 2 it's possible to define such things globally. So I will just have to change it in the config file if I want to have a different font in the headlines of all articles.

Ah well, I also translated stuff - got one article in German, which was for Hugi and not for the GER mag. Actually it isn't much of a problem for me to translate technical articles from German into English. No need to look up anything in dictionaries, which would be inevitable for prose & poetry... anyway, this is getting too boring.

Saturday, August 26

Well, I thought only three days had passed since the last entry, but I guess I am not correct here. Actually I don't remember any more what I exactly did, except that on these days I thought I had done something valuable that would make a good entry in this diary. I just remember I finished the Demoshow article after getting Crest's and Entropy's feedback to the internal pre-version. Only little details were changed. I also wrote something about trends in the demoscene. And digital haze said he had planned to write about two of the topics which I covered in this article. Now he didn't want to write his own articles any more but I convinced him it would be good to write them anyway as he could go more into depth about these topics than I did in the article that summarized all trends I noticed. Well, maybe it was also in one of these three days that I included my Scene Fiction story about Neuroticism into the mag. I also wrote some other little texts, I remember. Maybe some of them will be used in Hugi one day. Anyway, yes, I was somehow inspired to write. That was my main activity during these days. Ah yes, now I remember: I also wrote a review of a book! Actually primarily for school, but it also fits into Hugi. A cool topic, biotechnology. I'm also looking for material on how computers and computer science are used in the Human Genome Project. This would be a nice topic... linking the scene and current research. Ah, and well, there are lots of smallie news to report but not all of them are that interesting...

I wonder if anybody will make the effort to continue reading this strange diary if I continue in this style. I guess I should resume being more disciplined. At least you see how much style can vary in one text, if it is written over a long period of time (and, besides, kept rather colloquial)...

Also trying to get some more graphicians for Hugi... Soda has offered to do something. Great. MysteryBit aka BitMystery also made a bg pic and sent me the second version today, but it still needs some change in order to suit the mag. The contrast in the upper part of the text window background is still to high. Or, let's rather say: this part of the picture is too bright.

Monday, August 28

Okay, I didn't do anything for Hugi yesterday (oh well, apart from collecting news), and now it's Monday morning... perfect! My timing, my synchronization with reality, has improved. Now I can just report Converse/A51 sent me an article and a tune. Ah well, and there is feedback... but if I list everything I get... no, I forget the most interesting things anyway. Like 10 new votesheets forwarded by Ghandy. This time not only the Amiga sections were filled in. Maybe it will be possible to get a decent amount of votes.

Update. In a fit of nostalgia I've now read through Hugi 17 and 18 again, and I'm fascinated by both of them, both contents and design-wise. Hugi 17 with its fresh flame-stories and beautiful colour-set, the issue that was made within only a month's time and thus features only articles about really up-to-date topics, like an Assembly 99 special... and Hugi 18 with Dines' cool graphics design and the two columns, with "Charts suck!" and these things. It was fast to browse through them compared to the work that had been put in them. After all, what the reader sees is just the final layout. There have been dozens of drafts in the meantime... "Do we need the reviews we have?" is also an example of an article into which more work has been invested than the average consumer would notice. The article minus the author's signature at the end occupies a couple of full pages. That means, as I usually put a line-break between the end of the text-body and the signature, the signature would have appeared on the next page. This would have looked very ugly! So I had to place the signature in the same line as the end of the text. (Perhaps this even meant removing some unnecessary words from the text in order to get space in the line at all... I don't remember this any more.) I thus had to insert a <space width> tag and count the number of pixels in order to get it exact! After trying ten times or so I had finally found the number that made the signature really right-aligned.

Now, what could I write about? Perhaps another book-review. I still have one book to ramble about. But, this isn't scene-related. Although genetics is far more interesting than the demoscene, people mainly download Hugi to read about the scene, so I had better write something scene-related. Maybe a report about Fiasko2k? But I was there only on the second day, just to see most of the compos and talk to people. Well, maybe that has been the most important part of the party, anyway. Still, if I write a report, I'll also have to get photos, i.e. contact Shakul and AdaMM about it, otherwise... a text alone makes no report. And then I'm not sure what to write in the text. Maybe the peculiarities of this party when compared to what you can induce about "normal" demoparties from other party reports. Well, let's see if I'll do it.

Wednesday, August 30

Good that I opened this diary, otherwise I'd have thought that today was August 31, and one of my articles (the Fiasko report) would have had a wrong date in them. Yesterday I wrote a review of another book, which is also useful for Hugi. Chavez sent me cool chiptunes. Four good ones, all of them 19 kbyte zip-packed! I should be using just chiptunes in Hugi. At least I like them. But I'm not sure if the majority of the readers will agree. On the other hand, you can also play external tunes, so if you want to have a big tune, download it and play it. Now I'd just need real oldskool but good gfx to fit the chiptunes. I should look out on #pixel tonight if I catch someone who could make it. FloOd also offered to make a flash intro yesterday, and yes, now it's here... for the Hugi website, not compulsory but as an add-on, in another section, so that only people who want to afford downloading 100 kbytes for some minutes of animation need to watch it. Kinda nice, maybe he could experiment a bit with the colours?

The daily hits number to has sunken to the standard 70-120 - Hugi 20 is no longer new.

If I were to write as detailedly as I wrote about the first days, I'd have to mention a preview of a new chapter of The Wake Up Call which I've got to read, as well as Virtual's suggestion to release the Russian translations of articles from Hugi 19 and Hugi 20 now, although there are few, so that they will not become outdated.

Some days ago I got the idea to make a biweekly online magazine, and I'm still wondering if it would make sense. At least during these two weeks since Hugi 20 I've written enough stuff for a first issue. More than 50k. But I'm not sure if I would be ready to keep such tight-knit deadlines. This is my sparetime. If I remember how irregular HugiNews became... Perhaps it's better to stick to the concept of a mag released every 3-4 months, filled with around 800k - 1.4m of good stuff, presented in fine design. I have not yet made the perfect issue, the perfection of this concept, so maybe I should keep trying until this dream materializes.

Ah well, now, in the evening (the former paragraphs are already a few hours old), I'm sitting online, trying to find a good person who could contribute cute graphics. People are, however, pretty idle on IRC, and so I do what I usually do, open Free Agent to check the newsgroups. While Free Agent is loading, I'm surfing on a new website and then ponder over what to do next - ah, I should read the newsgroups, I decide, and only then remember: whoops, that's what I had just been planning to do! There's a limited range of activities to get information and inspiration online... 26 new postings have arrived in csipd since the last time I polled - maybe three hours ago -, but I see there are hardly any new threads, mostly replied to older postings. That makes it less interesting, as the topics recently discussed aren't much of my taste.

I should be contributing stuff to the outer world by uploading what I've written so far into this diary, but I can't, as I've updated the site on my PC with the Flash intro, but FloOd has told me in the meantime it's just a beta-version... and I don't want to make an intermediate update, as I'd then have to remove some of the changes I've made in the meantime, or store the current website to disk and then modify it. Nah, let's wait for the final intro and then upload it. Then, some days later, this thingy may go online.

Actually it would have been better if I had already upped it several days ago, perhaps on the same day as I started it, as it's becoming long and of incoherent style now. But well...

What I'm actually doing in these last days of my last vacation from school is to wait until I can enter school again.

Thursday, August 31

Perhaps it is time to release the Russian edition of Hugi 20... soon. It's making little progress at a slow pace. Better to release 100 kbytes of articles now than to wait until they are outdated. So I was suggested, but others think it's better to wait... Wait? Work... I wonder if it makes sense.

"It" being what I write, perhaps?

Anyway, this day FloOd sent me the final version of the Flash intro for the Hugi website. I'll upload it tonight. The differences to the beta are big... Only the rotating vector object appears in the final version, too, everything else has changed. The fonts look better, there is a vectorized Hugi logo, and even the code is smaller (90 kb). FloOd sat on it six hours in a row yesterday... wow! That people make such great effort!

Also got some photos to include in the Fiasko2k report. Some are pretty dark but I have no other choice... As I wrote in the report, there were no windows in the party hall (or were there some? Don't think so).

I've reduced the contrast of MysteryBit's pic so the title bar is a bit more readable... I've sent him the pic for his approval. Well, I'm still desperate about the graphics. I'm glad there are people who help. But nothing is perfect. I've experimented a bit rotating the pics, moving the status window and such to other places... changing the title pic... I don't get a glimpse of oldskool feeling into the optic appearance of the mag.

Hugi 17 and 18 still looked best.

Now I've re-read the whole diary. It is a good feeling. Now the world will see what a desperate idealist I am who doesn't even dare to approach a most talented guy and say: "Hey! I'm the main editor of the leading diskmag, we can get your name spread around the world! So make some gfx for us!" I always ask myself if it wouldn't sound too impersonal, too much like if I was just demanding without caring about the actual person, if I acted in this way. Damn, I should be like all those guys who pretend sympathy but still manage to get what they want.

Maybe I should try something different, a co-op project with all other still active diskmag editors. Some have contact to great graphicians, after all. Someone else could take over all the design, I could do the contents or just a few sections. But then our views might be too different...

My aim is to make a mag with the current engine and text layout, consisting of the 300 kbytes of most interesting articles I usually get/write for an issue, with cute graphics, cute chiptunes and a packed size of no more than a meg.

Well! I decide to finally pre-release this thing. I wonder if anybody will read it thoroughly. But maybe... let's see. I'll release this simultaneously with FloOd's flash intro so there will be a lot for the readers!

(And then I've forgot to write that I've brightened up the link colours at the Hugi site... that Ghandy's method of getting votesheets is cool... that TAD has had a nice flyer idea... well, and more.)

Friday, September 01

Got just one feedback mail on the diary so far, but it was very positive. The hits number from morning to evening today was nice, more than 250... Perhaps this is also because the site Flashkit nominated FloOd's intro for the monthly competition. It seems like the pseudo-3d objects with transparency are indeed something special! And people seem to notice the URL in the intro and check out the site - an effective advert.

Perhaps there will also be a little intro to Hugi 21, in the mag. Black sent me an effect and I proposed he could make a full intro too, if he wanted... and it seems like he hasn't immediately rejected this idea.

The Fiasko report is now finished. I sent Shakul, whom I met on IRC by chance, a copy, and AdaMM too.

I've counted the formatted, unformatted and unfinished articles... in total there are already 250 kbytes for Hugi 21. A promising number regarding the time, but of course more is needed.

Sunday, September 03

Party report of Remedy'00 by Rieha yesterday; this day Acumen's tune for the horror theme. I've adjusted the Hugi 21 configuration for this theme. The Sid the Spider background (the only one that fits) and two tunes (one 1 mb, the other 100 kb) are used. Excluding the data file, this is 1.3 mbytes packed; Hugi 20 without data file was 1.5 mbytes. The difference is not big - so I should not blame the music for the big size of Hugi 20 but rather the loads of photos in the data file. The articles have been heavily illustrated.

Saturday, September 23

Phew, it's about time that I write a bit into this diary. A lot has been done for Hugi in recent days: three new releases - Hugi 20 Russian Edition, Hugi.GER #2 and the Source Code of Hugi #11. So nobody can speak of laziness. :) But yet I haven't opened this file - well, maybe because I just have limited time for Hugi now that the holidays are over and I focus on just the essential work, so that I don't manage to "log" it. FloOd made a very cool Flash intro. And now he also created a cool title/background/close picture set, with which you can use black text and chiptunes. This would make the style of the mag a bit different for a change - it's worth a try. Netrat and Virtual have made much effort for the Russian edition. 25% of the articles from Hugi 20 were translated! And they are still continuing, because they want to make a final edition with all articles except poetry and prose translated. The action around Hugi is really cool in fact, also some interesting articles were written, e.g. a 3d modelling tutorial - but we still need more, we have to continue working on it.

Wednesday, October 11

Kthulu, Mali and TAD have made new pictures. Now we have a new title picture for Hugi #21 that fits the horror theme, as well as backgrounds and closing screens.

There are some interesting new articles: about female sceners, a 3DS tutorial, party-reports,...

Thursday, October 26

Chris ran a Perl-script over the Hugi 18 and 19 data-files, which converted them into the format of Panorama 2. Now I had to do the final touches in order to re-release these issues with the latest engines, so that it would be possible to use them with the BeOS frontend and other ports, if they will be created, too. Two emails document what I did on this day:

"Hi Chris!

I've compiled Hugi 18 for Panorama 2; I had to do little changes to the config.txt since an article (help.txt) used a font of a height of 15 pixels; this article now uses the scheme contiguousa.

Furthermore, I had to change backgrnd.jpg as it contained a part of the progress bar thumb, which was not overwritten in p2, unlike in p1.

I'll now do the same with Hugi 19.

I'd need the current version of panorama.exe with the Hugi icon in it so that I can release the stuff."

"Hi Chris!

Hugi #19 is done, too. I had to slightly change main.txt (it was still assigned the contiguous scheme - now it uses the main scheme). I also had to fix a lot of texts... the converting program had inserted lots of 0Dh characters where they shouldn't be. I guess it got to do with the length of text-lines as all texts concerned didn't use line-break except after paragraphs; does Pearl have a string-length limit or something like that? Then I noticed there had been a misformatted text in Hugi 19, tadcow.txt. I wonder why nobody in the feedback had complained about it? Well, now it's fixed."

Also re-conducting the poll about the task of hugi compo #13, since the last one had pretty ambiguous results... -

- 80x25 Textmode, 2 votes, 8.70%
- 40x25 Textmode, 10 votes, 43.48%
- 320x200 Graphic Mode (13h), 11 votes, 47.83%

My comment: "So a small majority is for text-modes?"

"I don't want to come off sounding too much like Slobodan Milosevic, but you got to admire the ambiguity of the results, as so coyly pointed out by Adok" - right, Boreal.

But this got nothing to do with Hugi #21.

Friday, October 27

"Greetz !
> Then I noticed there had been a misformatted text in Hugi 19,
> tadcow.txt. I wonder why nobody in the feedback had complained about it?
Actually I did...

Oh, sorry... My memory is not infallible.

Well, now I got the exes, so I'll upload the stuff.

Wednesday, November 15

I've really forgotten that I've been writing a diary (or should I write "wrote"?). Anyway, something came into my mind which I wanted to write down, and I thought this diary would be the right place for it. Last night I dreamt that after having a lot of uploading problems I finally managed to upload Hugi 21 and announced it everywhere. And on the next day I found out that Hugi 21 was yet unfinished, that I had uploaded an unencrypted data file in which many articles were missing and which contained many dead links. What a nightmare.

Monday, November 20

After a short time of sickness I resumed formatting and proofreading articles yesterday. In these two days, 70 kb of articles have been processed by me. I'll try to continue like that.

Perhaps I should be quoting from emails I sent in the last days in order to fill the 'holes' in this diary:

"Work on Hugi 21 has been advancing very slowly in the last days - I came home late in the evening from Monday to Thursday as I helped other students preparing for their maths exam and had to fix a computer at our school. The regular compo entries and emails have to be done then, then I can format articles. I'm also working on an index of the articles of all Hugi issues so that it'll be easier to find an article about a particular topic. But I'll postpone work on it; Hugi 21 has the highest priority."

"No idea when [Hugi 21 will be released] exactly; I've formatted 200 kbytes of articles so far so I guess there's something like 600k still waiting out there. I have only about 2 hours a day for work on Hugi these days. But I'm trying to finish it as fast as possible. New articles are also coming in rather often - but I want more, of course."

"I'm fine, and yes, I'm studying. I'm in my last year at school now, and I already have to prepare for my final exams apart from the regular tests. School really takes more time this year than what I was used to. But I enjoy it. On two days a week I also have classes in the afternoon (Latin and computer science), and sometimes I spend the day at classmates' in order to give them tutoring lessons. I'm not as much as home as I used to be - therefore, I unfortunately also have less time for my computer-related activities. But I'm trying to work on Hugi whenever I can after replying to e-mail. I still have to format a lot of articles for issue 21; so far about 230 kb are done, but the number of articles in the /incoming directory is rather increasing than diminishing. I had a cold in the last days, so I spent my spare time in bed reading books rather than working. Now I'll resume work."

At the beginning of this month, just after the article-submission deadline, TAD said hi on ICQ. I greeted back and told him about the latest progress and the thoughts I had had about the set of pictures of Hugi 21. I'd tried to make a synthesis of the two themes favoured by him and Dario Phong, that is Alien Abduction and "terror" (which I'd call "horror"). He didn't answer for a while... then he sent me an email saying, to make it short and sweet, that he was quitting Hugi - "not enough time.. bored etc..." I was stunned. What had happened that made TAD, one of the fathers of the modern Hugi, give up all of a sudden? I didn't get a clear explanation at first, but on the next day he reacted to my enquiries in the end by sending me TADquit.txt, which is published in this Hugi issue. Obviously his enthusiasm has slowly faded down in the course of the time without me having noticed it. I should have guessed from some of his ideas he had presented to me in the days before, like making a 64k diskmag and founding a new UK demogroup, that he was entering a transitional phase in his scene-life and looking for new concepts. The fact that my attempt to make a selection of graphics for Hugi 21 based on a synthesis of both design themes did not feature a title picture made by him (although the majority of images in fact are his) probably was what brought the camel's back and finally made him make a decision. I'm very sad about his departure. I've offered him to become the graphic art director of Hugi so that in the future he'd select the pictures to be used in an issue himself but he rejected it. So all I could say was that if he would ever change his mind and decide to return to Hugi, he'd be welcome.

A couple of days later Stonda pointed my attention to CFXweb where TAD had posted some of his yet unused graphics he'd made for Hugi. Well, there's really a problem with graphics and music submissions: I am very grateful for every single one, and there are a lot which I'd love to use in Hugi. The problem is: every single issue can only feature a limited number of graphics and music... So many contributions stay in our pool, to be used in a future issue. But how much time will pass until all of them will have been used? And: Will there ever be a Hugi 200? TAD's pics in the CFXweb gallery are great... especially the closing picture with Hugi written in 'stone letters' is something I'd have liked to use in the mag. As far as I remember, TAD sent it to me short after Hugi 19... In fact I had initially included it in the Hugi 20 data file. But then he sent me another closing picture, which he had especially made for that issue, so the release of the other pic had to be postponed. For Hugi 21 he'd also made one that suited the design theme better, and in Hugi 22 I'll have to use FloOd's scheme, which consists of a title, a background and a closing picture - I've kinda promised it to him. Perhaps the stoney pic would have been used in Hugi 23 - which will probably be released about a year after TAD sent me the picture. You see, a lot of time may elapse until a submission (except articles) gets used... There's still a good tune which Steffo sent to me in fall 1998 waiting to appear in Hugi...

Mali has made the effort to create a main menu and section logos for Hugi 21. That's great. Now the design of the issue is finished. I can entirely focus on the articles and editing - my actual interest in making a diskmag.

I've also released Hugi 18 and Hugi 19 converted to Panorama 2. Still having CRC problems... I was forced to upload from school. Baloo gave me the tip to check out my TCP/IP settings - perhaps something is wrong with them. Hopefully. After all, trying various ftp servers, ftp clients, and reinstalling the modem drivers didn't fix the problem.

Sunday, November 26

383 kbytes of articles are formatted and corrected. GOOD. Still, a lot needs to be done. I can't even count the text-amount of the remaining texts: The .txt-files in c:\adok\_hugi21\incoming make up 143 kbytes, but a considerable part of the articles is stored in other formats, such as .htm, or hidden in .zip files. Yesterday I decided to include my reviews of the two books on genetics and biotech, and did so. Perhaps a permanent section on these topics might be installed sooner or later in case I'll keep pursuing this area of science. Dante, Doz, Dendrite and Louk are helping with the proofreading. To give contributors inspiration for coding articles - which Hugi 21 currently lacks a bit - I posted a request for topics to the Hugi mailinglist, and there has already been some response. Wavelets, PHP, sound programming, three of many suggestions I remember. Also an interesting suggestion: write about the internal communication in demogroups. It would be pretty cool to read a survey on how different demogroups are organized... perhaps comparing them to companies as well as cracker groups. A lot of research will be necessary.

Saturday, December 9

Two hard editing days: Yesterday 3DS Max tutorial, this day the article on female computer freaks. Phat stuff. 70k in total. Nice. Now I have realized that there are so many gfx and music articles that I need an extra corner for them: the other articles in the scene section already occupy a whole screen. It's better not to make the size of a section exceed the screen size or the articles on page 2 might not be recognized. I've contacted Mali. Maybe he can change the menu accordingly.

Also, I've done the quit "article"... The "really want to quit?" thingy now pops up in the main menu. Looks cool.

It's great that Chris has added a printing option to the engine. That was the last big thing to be done, I think.

Having asked in the mailinglist for coding topics that people could write about has also proven successful. I've put the list to the Hugi website and a few people have already said they'd write something. Let's see if it'll be possible to get these articles in for Hugi 21.

Venior expects to read me in Hugi in 1-2 days. Well, in this case I'd have to stop sleeping.

Still having problems getting all the articles in the mag. There is too much in the scene section, while the other sections are almost empty. I guess I'll have to reduce the font height in the scene menu to 13.

There are especially many party reports and few coding articles... which is rather strange for Hugi.

Saturday, December 16

"Subject: hugi21
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2000 20:09:10 +0100
From: Adok/Hugi
Organization: Hugi Diskmag -
To: Chris Dragan, Dario Phong, Dendrite, Ghandy, Virtual, CXC


I've finished editing and formatting the articles for Hugi 21. They are 700 kbytes in total.

What's left for me to do is: - write the editorial
- write the news corner
- do the party calendar
- arrange the credits
- hide the hidden tune somewhere
- make file_id.diz/.nfo file/...
- encrypt the data file, pack Hugi and remove tunes or images if the archive exceeds 4 mbytes

I will also check all articles with Winword's spell-checker to get rid of overlooked errors and I'll quickly read all of them in the Hugi interface to find formatting errors as well as mistakes in their contents.

I've attached the index files so that you get a quick overview of the contents of this issue. If you are interested in a preview of the issue to check it for errors and for making additional suggestions - drop me a mail."

Monday, December 18

Well, the Winword spell-checking stuff has been done, too... the credits corner has been created, the hidden tune is well hidden somewhere in the mag. I've chosen a .diz file. Well, let's make the news as the next thing. I've got 150 kb on my harddisk, so I'll first try to create something sensible based on this data.

Tuesday, December 19

Okay, a long afternoon is about to start: I'll have a lot of time for Hugi today. From the points above the following remain:

- write the editorial
- write the news corner
- do the party calendar
- make .nfo file/...
- encrypt the data file, pack Hugi and remove tunes or images if the archive exceeds 4 mbytes

I will start with the .nfo file: It will be the fastest thing that can be finished. Then I want to "jump" into the news corner, for arranging this corner is a pretty interesting and enjoyable task provided there is enough thrilling news. Let's see how much I'll manage to do this day.

A few hours later. After the .nfo file, I discovered I also had to create the sourcepack, and noticed that it would occupy rather little space this time. For this reason it can be included in the archive of the actual issue. Creating the overview of the bonus files (h21bonus.nfo) took little time, but then I noticed that in Hugi 20 I had not taken account of the tradition of including the best entries from the latest Hugi Size Coding Competitions in the bonus pack. Why? I cannot remember. But including these entries makes sense, as people interested in Assembler coding who do not follow the compo series regularly may find them useful and even be inspired to take part in the contests themselves. So I packed the winners of the three entries and created a "Hugi Competition Results" column like in Hugi 19. - This accounts for 20 kbytes of text. Well, that's not something to be proud of, for this file mostly consists of table formatting commands, which take pretty much space. :) On the other hand, the two columns in the table of scene-related articles are now of equal size again. (The first column had shrinked a couple of days ago when I had removed my article on the WIFI demoshow in Vienna, which I finally thought of not being professional enough to be published in Hugi signed with my name.)

In the evening. All right. The party calendar has been done, some of CXC's cliparts have been added to the mag, and I've written the motivation article in the coding corner. The news corner has been started.

Wednesday, December 20

Replying to the well-done icon by CXC which I put into the credits corner, I also wrote: "I'm working on the newscorner, then I'll write the editorial, add the remaining two writers_on_writers contributions, add the diary and perhaps some of the feedback, then Hugi 21 will be finished. I want to be finished before Dec 24." Basically that's it. The news corner is already 5 kbytes in size although I've not even finished processing my first newsfile of five yet.

Friday, December 22

Just formatting this file. :) And of course reading it (a bit). Sounds quite good. I guess it will be pretty interesting. After this, all that's left to do is basically just the editorial. But I also have to check the links in the news corner and try to catch some especially fresh news straight from the horses' mouths. I've also heard about a party which isn't yet in the calendar - but I am unable to find the date on which it will be held. The website seems to be at most under construction...

While creating the news-corner, I realized how many good, recent topics no article has been written about for this issue. Like: Merregnon (wouldn't an interview with some of the makers have been cool?), the question whether software patents in Europe should be legalized (which in the end I didn't even put into the news corner as the case has been resolved for the benefit of the programmers - software patents haven't been legalized), a thorough investigation of what "real-life" media report about the demoscene and whether it's correct, and stuff about demoscene radio projects. Well, perhaps this will be something for Hugi 21!

I'll now go on-line and find out more that could be useful for the news corner...

Later. All right. It was hectic, as always, but fun. Talked to a lot of people. Arranged a lot of things. Got a lot of news. Helped a lot of dudes. The news corner has grown indeed. And now it also features a nice pic. :)

I'll write the editorial and arrange the feedback corner tomorrow... then I'll pack the mag and try to upload it! I'm already very happy now that the mag will finally be presented to the world.

Saturday, December 23

After releasing the final results and sourcepack of Hugi Compo 13 (which was also scheduled for today), I went to work on the Hugi magazine. First I went through the feedback again and integrated as many suggestions as possible into the mag. Now I've opened ededito.txt in order to write the editorial. What will I write in there? I don't have a clue. But I should, as I'm going to switch the editor window in one second. :)

Later. Yes - the editorial is finished. I wasn't sure where exactly to put the photo exclusively shot for it - if I put it at the end of the article, the layout would have looked horrible, as the picture would have been displayed in the next column. But I decided to place it at the beginning, and this looks good in my eyes.

Now it's time for me to close this file, too - for ever, probably. The magazine is ready for release.

Hopefully I won't forget to encrypt the data file like I did in that nightmare a fortnight after helloween. :)