Sunrise and Sundown Party Reports
Written by CiH
Sunrise 2011 – Party Diary
The interim party strikes
19.48hrs, Dare we try for a party report thing? Oh go on!
It's CiH at the controls once more, experiencing the strange but
exhilarating sensation of a demo party close to home! Well one that's a lot closer than usual.
It is the locale of Luton which has the honour or responsibility of withstanding the outpourings of demoscene related happenings. The original 'host' party, Sundown, felt some of the weariness of its old aged indigenous population slumped over at the retirement facility known as Budleigh Salterton, fell asleep on its colostomy bag and announced a year off. Not wanting to go without a UK demo party, certain others have stepped into the party-sized void and this thing is the result.
We're transmitting in a less than live sense from the Strathmore Hotel in Luton town centre, a confusing place full of angles and concrete tangles, where the location of anything useful is kept oh so carefully hidden from street view. I resisted the temptation to bring any more exotic hardware, new or old, so my faithful Dell lapdog is running this text. Felice sits next to me picking up on his internet addiction, right where he left off at home.
So we're doing things in a smart hotel conference style, with junkfood wrappings piling up at an alarming rate. Why did no-one think to warn the children?
My initial impressions are of a quieter than usual floor scene. Hearteningly familiar faces such as rc55, Dotwaffle (whose party it is, after all!) Ne7 and our Outline fellow traveller, Stavs are all here. There are some even more familiar faces such as Havoc and Haohmaru, who may well have been forced at gunpoint into some organising capacity? Elsewhere we have spotted Topy44, the guy and gal who are the Beeb-bashing combo CRTC, and even Spiny and Rhino of Torment who have promised "something underwhelming" for the Atari ST. A bit like this text file in fact.
Hardware sightings include the magic BBC Master which has cranked out some lovely productions at past Sundown parties, a random Atari ST from Spiny's cupboard, and a chap a couple of seats away has brought his 2011 edition Mini Mac. I've opted to leave mine at home. Maybe he should have done too, as going to another large party with it corrupted the hard drive, if I heard that correctly. And I spotted an Amstrad CPC machine nearby, unplugged as well. Pride of exotic hardware place will have to go to Gasman for his 'Speccy 2010' a Ukranian Spectrum clone made with modern techniques and connected to a flat rubber keyboard. Gasman is working on something, but he is downplaying the goodness of it, in proper party tradition.
This interim party has the bonus (for me) of being close enough to be able to go home for the night, thus bypassing all the fractured sleep on harshly inflated airbeds in sleeping area in name only traumas common to many other events of this nature. This means that the travel report part of this report will be shorter and less(?) thrilling than usual. Is that at all possible?
Consists of the following. Go back home from work, collapse for an hour vowing to shake off cumulative effects of a week of too-early morning starts, only partially succeed due to loud voices coming from the garden next door driving in through an open window. Then retrieve lapdog and other essentials, locate car, drive to party through evening lit M1 motorway, especially the bit that is being torn apart and rebuilt and does not like you going too quickly down it. Find Luton centre and eventually locate cunningly hidden car park at the railway station. The hotel is actually easy to find and I happen across a smoking Ne7 near the entrance (cigarette, not spontaneous combustion, before you all ask! Now that would be a hell of a wild compo entry!) From there, it has been a series of trivial journey related pleasantries, most recently repeated with Gasman, who has just arrived.
And that brings us up to date, time to pay an entry fee and locate a working network.
Some more time passes. The party newtwork (another appealing typo kept in) is proving to be elusive. However there have been plenty of distractions and people to talk to. Whilst over at the Torment table, proudly showing off an ST with Ultrasatan, we find out from rc55 that a return to Sundown is definitely on the cards for next year. The time off having refreshed him and got him back into a party hosting mood. The choice of venue currently lurches between a return to Budleigh, or else an alternative facility being investigated at Exeter University which has its own benefits. Still, another year to go for that one, let's concentrate on enjoying the party we do have!
There has a bit of Archimedes related chat between me, Stavs and an Atari Jaguar owner who has brought his whole ensemble, Jaguar, CD drive and all to the party. He is sponsoring the background noise with a session of Tempest 2000. I get to hear a heartbreaking variation of the 'computer would be really useful for my homework and not playing games at all story' which was popular back in the day. In this case, the hoped-for Amiga turned into an Archimedes, after the parents in question had actually been to their son's school and found out what they were using for the 'school computer' Damn you parents, with your partial computing knowledge, informed inquisitiveness and powers of taking suggestions at face value!
So far, no sign of any adherence to the admittedly easy schedule, so still waiting for the opening ceremony and the live act. Still, this is one of those parties that is running by itself very nicely. People have their appointed tasks and roles and are slotting in beautifully, even without asking.
Ah, a live act presents itself. Deathboy stands at the front of the improvised stage area, like a nervous stormtrooper awaiting his termination at the hands of the hero. We'll find out what the ratio of complaints from unhappy hotel guests to demoscene musicians will turn out like! On the other hand, it looks like there are compromises with a lower than usual for a demo party volume level.
We have proper typing in the dark levels of darkness now upon us!
The time compression effect often observed at these sort of occasions is in full operation again.
The last hour has melted away, apart from my removing a couple of proggys which have (hem) outlived their shelf-life on this lapdog. Still not able to find the Sunrise network, but whatthahell! I also guess it is time to stretch my limbs from the chair bound situation they are in. We had a welcoming speech from Dotwaffle. Apart from not using (and by implication killing off) the hotel's main wi-fi network, there really aren't any rules, apart from the normal UK-wide ones about taking a dim view of stealing from, killing and maiming people in general, This creates a notably relaxed atmosphere.
The live act 'Deathboy' is still going, he's very persistent!
Nothing too new to add, went for a breath of nicotine-laden Luton fresh air with Haohmaru and a few assorted UK others. The conversation fell back to the reliable standby of tales of drunken antics of assorted hilariousness, both in and out of demo parties.
General atmosphere is busy, there is more work going on at assorted screens and less 'boozembly' proceedings. I guess the hotel venue might have constrained some of the more out there antics potential? (Later on note:- However, quite a few people were considerably 'refreshed' from the bar which had opened in our suite on the Saturday night! This author was not among them, desiring to get home later that same night in one piece and all.)
At some point, not quite sure when, going to have to think about going home. Preferably before becoming too tired to do so. At least we've managed to avoid the 'emotional' part, having to go home by road cuts down on the drunken collapsing tendencies. Felice in particular is finding it novel adjusting to a sober condition at a demo party, which hasn't happened recently!
Anyway, closing down this text for tonight, see you all in the morning!
SATURDATE! 10TH OF THE 9TH 2011
I've actually been back here for over an hour already before doing anything with this text. Lazy, yes, also I managed to find the Sunrise network this morning, so I've been making use of the interwebs before it gets too crowded and disappears again.
The party is about half-full, Felice has not returned from the flat wilds of Cambridgeshire as yet, but a good selection of various others are here already.
I've been strangely feeling like I've slept overnight in a sleeping bag in a noisy sleeping room, IE general symptoms of numbness and headaches. This is in spite of me having the home comforts from when I got back at c.01.00hrs this morning. A retrospective brain fart reminds me that I was missing a caffeine shot from last night, so I sort of made up for this omission on the way over with a large breakfast attack with the biggest coffee possible.
Even the shortest journeys have at least one outstanding display of twattishness to enliven proceedings. At Newport Pagnell motorway services, I return from my big breakfast and find a car parked next to mine, alarm blaring, with a dog inside of it. Now what could have possibly gone wrong with that combination? If anyone wanted to create a perpetual sonic conversation piece based on a loopback fed terrified shitting dog in a locked car, there couldn't have been many better ways of doing this?
Anyway, off to browse a small and manageable part of Luton for refreshments of the refreshing kind. Back laters.
Been to the Mall in Luton, took a good gawping look at several varieties of human life and one or two life-forms made from other materials allowed free rein and stalking privileges in Luton town centre. Had enough and returned to the comparative peace of the party. Actually, it's very peaceful, restful and low key right now.
Felice has arrived and disappeared again.
The campaign to rescue stranded Alive 15 articles continues. This is the time-heavy mid-party bit, where the sights and sounds of industrious key-clicking around me prod my guilty lazy diskmag writer conscience into life.
I've found another couple of decent candidates. These include an article on emulation, which covers the stuff that PeP converted back in 2007-2008. I'm going to tag on some other things that I was planning to write about on to the end. So an old article is revived with surgical extensions. The other text where I've made quite a bit of headway is the painfully outdated 'Atariscene Awards 2008' text. This is undergoing a complete re-write, with just the categories being re-used in a skeletal fashion, to hang the flesh of entirely new paragraphs from. More current affairs stuff than normal is getting in, but it has been one of those sort of years already. In fact, if Luton was sucked up through a time/space continuum straw by a sinister myth-beast the size of Wales a couple of days ago, causing the Sunrise party to be cancelled, I wouldn't have been that surprised.
Time to update on the liquid throughput thing!
A hairy man is in the building. Well several hairy men are actually, but this one was Setok, otherwise known as the Alt Party dude.
He was in the UK this weekend, but an uncertain prospect to attend the party. However, here he is. Apart from some general quick life-updating, he reveals a possible thread of change for a future Alt Party. This could mean a lot less travelling for us if this were to come off, as he would like to bring the Alt madness to the UK!
I guess it is a question of finding a venue which is able to cope, so anything from a ruined castle to a disused tube (underground railway) station could be considered.
Setok considers that the party vibe here is lacking slightly, if anything, there is a background noise and hubbub, but this is one of the most relaxing demo parties I've attended. I point out that he's missed a live act from last night and that other things are planned for later, which should raise the volume level to 'satisfactory'.
In other news, an idea for a meal out has been floated, this is for later on. I'm currently connected to the world wide web via an unsecured network generated by something called 'Ian's iPhone' but less said there, the better!
For the latest interesting hardware round-up, a long-haired Australian surfer dude who works for Nokia is running an AmigaOne, which wrangles a PowerPC Amiga into a neat ATX format two seats away. I've also seen Gasman's other novelty platform, a visitor badge from some German event which, with the cover removed, turned out to be somewhat amenable to his special brand of code hackery. This was running a Wolfenstein dungeon walk around within a couple of days of him getting this. Off the shelf parts for this object include a mobile phone display and ARM processor, so rather more than the average visitor badge there!
Spent the previous interlude having a pleasant chat with the good people of Neurotypical/CRTC, who are some of the nicest people on the demoscene, especially MegMeg.
They inform me that a new explosion of thingyness for their Beeb Master is to appear in the competitions. Expectation downplaying is in full force as it is described as 'thrown together in three or four days'. They also had some rather handy coffee making facilities in-party, including a coffee grinder and hot water heater. This caught and dealt with any lingering symptoms from my caffeine withdrawal symptoms from yesterday.
MegMeg confessed earlier to breaking off part of a boat at last year's Sundown to provide driftwood for a beach fire. I hope it wasn't anything to keep it floating otherwise she could be implicated in nautically themed mass murder! I wonder if the Luton replacement bonfire will decamp to an outlying housing estate to set fire to an old Vauxhall Nova? Smell of burning plastic dashboard and rubber replaces the appealing crackle of beach driftwood?
I also got to show them my ill-fated attempt at capturing the whole Sundown 2010 experience on electronic celluloid, which was appreciated for some strange reason, Maybe they will look at it later with cold professional eyes and study it intensively for signs of impending mental collapse?
Gasman is playing the Speccy version of Nyan Cat. The stage has turned up its volume level to drown out the tinkling tweeness coming from his speaker.
Daylight has slipped away once more and the party is wearing its night costumery. We're in the period before the competitions get started. We've been promised a number of releases from the usual players, who are all busily downplaying their contributions.
We've also been out in the merry town centre of Luton to fix our food deficits. One of the better chain restaurant ideas, a Chinese food concept called 'Aroma' did the job. This has the fondly remembered rolling buffet style where you fill your plates and bellies until both explode. I left it on the right side of comfortably full, without overdoing things. We went with Gasman, Kieran, the Jaguar fan and another chap whose name I don't recall right now. In the course of this, Felice supplied the conversation of the party (so far at least!)
We ordered drinks, a favoured choice was a brew called 'Tiger beer', which is a popular lager brand out east. Felice recalled those Atari shows held at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, where Tiger bitter was sought after as the beer of choice. Felice wonders if they are in any way related.
"They're not, they're completely different. One's a bitter, the other is lager." I explain.
"So what's the difference then?" He queries
"One's a bitter, the other is lager.,,,"
Felice's experiments in the wonderful world of alcohol do not include any brands of beer, I feel I must clarify in a spirit of fairness. I might well google up some detail on the differences between the two brands as a later non-realtime insert, as the internet at the party has disappeared up its own fundament once more.
After party note:-
As promised, here is some helpful extra information about these two different, entirely unrelated brews. I will be setting a quiz for Felice, he will be expected to get an 80% pass mark at least.
Information for this can be found here
Everards Brewery headline Tiger Bitter as "The award winning taste of Leicestershire." Furthermore going on to describe it as;
'A quality, trusted beer which attracts customers. Brewed using premium quality ingredients, including Maris Otter barley and crystal malt. 'Dry hopped' by hand with whole, dry, aromatic East Kent goldings."
Derives from the Asia Pacific Breweries and described thus;
"Launched in 1932, Tiger Beer became Singapore's first locally brewed beer. It is a 5% abv bottled pale lager. As APB's exclusive flagship brand, it is available in more than 60 countries worldwide including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and various countries in the Middle East, Europe and Latin America."
So no, not similar at all.
Happily sated, now there's a lovely word, we head back purposely to the party, ignoring the animal noises coming from the various drinking pits in the town centre.
Compo's are due to start shortly, which is a good job as it is now 20.56.
The first spasm of competitions are all over. These were oldschool music and freestyle graphics. The Party.net gives you the chance to vote between competitions as it looks like they're wanting to get the prize giving out of the way in a hurry. There are some individually nice entries, nothing quite at the level of setting the world on fire though. This has included a few Atari entries including some remote entries from Nativ of Atari Forum infamy.
We do have the enjoyment factor of a party network where we are able to vote and backchat among ourselves. The Sunrise networks seem to be more co-operative and less broken than before, as long as you don't stray from Partymeister.
The freestyle or newschool music competition is running, which is mostly people I don't hear that often or seek out. Sorry guys. Nice work, but not really my thing so much.
Here's a spot, a perfect shiny little spot, for a Setok interlude chat type thing.
Post party memory struggles to fill the hazy gaps with some idea of what was actually discussed. I recall that some discussion about how the UK demo scene needs to get more diverse areas of geekdom involved with a more inclusive party format daring to try new things, and perhaps not just relying on tradition, ritual and extremely internalised in-jokes. Setok asked a few people what the UK scene in general was doing with technology, which drew some blank looks and facial expressions which indicated most people were into web-based scenes (Yes, Facebook again!) and games, but not so many demo scene advocates as we understand them.
There were some high quality entries from the photo competitions. I liked, as in kept, an appealing image called 'Mampf', a demolition claw at work and made to ever so slightly resemble the giant metal dragon that was going to eat Luton, right after the party had finished. This was the unsurprising winner. A masterpiece of close-up work on a dragonfly came from Spiny, and the inevitable selection of landscapes and cutesy animals got in there a little bit as well.
Wild competitions will be following.
This turned into a 'mild competition' with only a couple of entries, a nice music disk for the Peecee by Torment, trading heavily on their Atari ST heritage and some of the source material. This entry, which clearly showed it has some decent work invested in it, was pipped by a joke song entry called 'Don't come back by Angry woman', made as a party filler by mOd. Ah well, never mind, it was quite a funny joke entry.
A shorter than usual series of demo competitions has concluded,
There were some highlights, Gasman will have won the oldschool competition with his debut effort for the 16k ZX Spectrum called 'Justin Beeper' if there is any justice and sense of proportion. This is a major achievement as the 16k machine is a real bitch to code for even compared with its 48k brother. (This is based on information supplied by Gasman and in the demo scroll text itself, not from any detailed assessment by myself.)
The Beeb bashers were determined to leave no platform unsullied with the Nyan cat meme, so the BBC had its dosage of pop tart felines. It seems they were right to downplay expectations! Still, they know Sundown is coming back next year, so plenty of time to work up to a big show-stopper of a demo by then.
A couple of quick music disks held up the ST and Amiga side of things. Torment doing their thing for the Atari. Maybe one year they will get a little bit more time to stretch the art of what they can do.
There were a couple of nice PeeCee intros, including the procedurally mutating probable winner from Farbrausch, who have a habit of dominating these things. But there were no big demos! I Guess that demo coders were all partied out for this time of the year, plus this party is a very young and unknown entity, so little chance of scene glory etc. Anyway, all voted for now...
Our party involvement is going to come to an end after the prize giving, which is a little bit later. I'm going to wait until the cold light of morning, or early afternoon before catching up further with this text and there are a few topics mentioned earlier on, which need further development. Such as the beer education programme for Felice, which will have to wait until I can get to a proper internet connection.
After the party, definitely!
Oh go on, you could put fake time stamps on the text?
After the competitions, another of the billed live acts, DJ hOffman did his thing for a fair while. This allowed people to carry on with a diverse range of activities.
1. Carry on getting drunk in the bar downstairs, the in-party bar had closed for business, suffering money-induced muscle strain injuries from carrying away their profits or some other such reason.
2. Get down and groovy with the music in the frontal stage area.
I sought a change of scene and ended up having a lengthy late chat with Havoc in the bar. One new thing I learn (although I did hear it in rumour form earlier) is that Outline 2012 is definitely happening and at the same location from the last two years, the difference is going to be in the timing, as a May-June slot is not available, Instead they are looking at August or September. Let's hope this does not compete with next year's Sundown party?
Back upstairs, Stavs is a incoherent whited out blur, as this picture shows. It looks like he will be making a return trip to Outline, as he considers it one of his most favourite demo parties ever.
Time drifts aimlessly onward. The party has generally kept to schedule apart from some minor and easily overcome issues. However, the prize ceremony, announced for 01.00 hrs is moving inexorably to the point when the sunrise for Sunday morning will take place. At around 2-ish, Felice decides to call it a day and leaves, much to the surprise of Setok, who assumed me and him were somehow a symbiotic whole. Amazingly, when things are this local, the difference in locations does mean we have to use separate modes of transport to return to our separate points of origin. I'm not in a massive hurry, my presence elsewhere is required on Sunday, but not until the afternoon, so in the middle of an extended session of farewells, the results and prize giving ceremony suddenly wakes up.
In the photos's, 'Mampf' is an unsurprising first place Spiny gets a creditable third place. The freestyle graphics are taken by an Amiga style gothic medieval horror entry called 'Domgeist'. Another appealing old school hand drawn entry called 'Foreigner' only gets fourth place.
Oldschool music is won by hOffman and the new school or freestyle category by mOd. The wild competition, we've already discussed, and the most interesting to me competition, the Oldskool demo compo, is convincingly kicked into touch by 'Justin Beeper'. Well done that Gasman! I'll save my time and reproduce the results which gives the finishing order and number of votes.
Oldskool Demo ------------------------------------------------------------------------ #1 Justin Beeper by Hooy-Program 122.0 #2 8-Bit Jungle by Unstable Label 114.0 #3 BeebNyan by puppeh/CRTC 100.0 #4 Shorty by Torment 88.0
Which seems to be a bit tough on Torment? Well I voted for them anyway.
And of course, Farbrausch take the intro category with their procedural antics from 'fr-071 sunr4y'.
And that is really the end for me. Certain others will carry on for a while before the sweet lure of comfortable beds and the slow hungover return to the harsh light of morning follows. Head down into the driving rain, I stride back purposely back to the multi-storey car park, wondering where I've got the extra bag of 'stuff' from. (This was uneaten food I purchased from Luton mall-land earlier and a large bottle of diet coke which Felice left with me,) The rest of the journey is smooth to the point that I could even locate a parking space decently close to my front door at Northampton, which is never an easy task at the best of times. If we're talking about a formal end-point for the party for me, it would be at around 04.00 hrs when I finally did the bed-thing.
Some final thoughts, expressed in a spaghetti tangle of words and stuff.
Most of the usual faces were there from Sundown parties past. It was especially nice to see MegMeg for some reason. We quickly spotted Ne7, Stavs and rc55 relaxing into the role of participant, Now Dotwaffle is no longer a party organiser virgin! There was a heartening presence of some familiar overseas faces, especially Havoc, Haomaru and mOd with an unexpected visit from Setok, who took the opportunity to get some plugs in for the forthcoming edition of Alt party. `We also had the company of topy44 and some other nice German people helping with the admin side of things. D-Fox and hOffman, took a major role in helping to run things too. Then of course the irrepressible Gasman had something decent to show off, another new or old boundary broken on retro-hardware. The Atarian side was adequately represented by Torment and a surprise visit from Kieran of Jagfest with a selection of that console's greatest hits, but I guess this is his stamping ground.
A couple of noticeable absences included a lack of Psonice, He mentioned something about coding a Mac demo before the party for which he was asking about a up-to-date machine. However he ended up doing some cleaning work to sell his house and turning into Kirsty Allsop's love slave in the process? We also missed Carbon, of occasional Dutch party attendance infamy, who was down to attend but prevented by a lack of finance in the end.
For a replacement event, which was put together in a hurry from the ashes of an earlier failed attempt at relatively short notice, this party did amazingly well.
There was lots of atmosphere for a small first time demo party, even in the corporate surroundings of the Strathmore hotel, let alone the clone town incoherence of Luton town centre. A lot of people appreciated the extra comfort level and helpful staff at the hotel. To be fair to the town of Luton, it did have plenty of facilities very close to hand, even managing the feat of inexpensive car parking, which is more than some places can manage, what about it Northampton, eh!
A modest party with modest objectives succeeded admirably.
If this is a one-off, then let it be. But if this runs along with Sundown, perhaps alternating years, then I'd be sure to go again.
Sunrise 2011 Results
Sundown 2012: Potential Party report?
20.00hrs and the shops are closed, according to the official time table?
After a two year pause, the nicely proportioned monster that is Sundown is back, atBudleigh town hall. It's as if the last year at Luton never happened.
We've pulled off a repeat of our 2010 adventure. Wiser from experience of the early closing chip shop and looking forward to a helping of night bacon with a picnic-full of pre-packed supplies for tonight.. We've come via the favoured pre-demo party holiday destination of choice, Ilfracombe, in spite of it lacking a red light district, as we were led to expect by William Shatner previously. Curse his lies! We'll find out next he's not a real starship captain and that the starship Enterprise is just a cardboard fake!
The Enterprise 128 sitting next to this laptop isn't a fake though. It's mine and itstaking data input from the emulated version on this laptop. So the laptop is acting asa glorified tape cassette player from the 1980's. As happened at the previous Sundown, weare accompanied by two women who sort of came along with us. One of them is thoroughlyplay-testing the selection of games that come on tape images for the emulator. It is allbehaving nicely, after one or two minor glitches from setting up, that come from whenpeople are watching you closely and asking "Should it do that?" type questions. (Thecorrect answer being of course, "No it shouldn't!"
Everything stops as Nicky playing the Enterprise 128 version of Tetris has become strangely gripping. Not that she's the (Insert name of random sportsperson here) ofTetris, but her previous high score is in danger of being overtaken. And so she does, after one or two false starts.
It's been a while since I've written anything down that's not been a comment on Facebook.Now there's a story how I've finally become involved with that and my job situation, butmore of that in the slack bits tomorrow afternoon before the compo's, as they say.
Noticing the air-bed set up in the main hall, at least some people are going to approachthe party in a hardcore manner. We've got off-site accommodation again, not the HansardHouse Hotel, but a bed and breakfast called Stoneborough House. Like the Hansard, this is very nicely appointed, but like the Hansard, it is also a long way up a hill! In fact withDevon in general, there is a constant supply of hills, generally between you and yourdestination.
A man who is driving us to Outline in a month's time called 'Stavs' has introducedhimself to us. Among other things, we learn he is the designated collector for Gasmandue at 22.00. Also that Topy and Visy's Megabus has proven to be somewhat less than'mega' by breaking down on the way. We have also gone from typing in semi darkness totyping by instinct in near total darkness and outside has taken on the colour ofnight.
23.59 - Only just Friday..
Some time has passed. I had intended to spend more time before now on this report, but circumstances did not permit this.
Right after the Enterprise 128 version of Tetris, the original machine flatly refused toload any more tape images. Whether this is a problem with the hardware or the audio lead, the jury is still out. The cacophonous blast of sound from the deejay sets is hardly theideal time to investigate. Still, I do have a floppy interface at home for the Enterprise, sothis isn't a killer, but if the problem does not clear, it reduces the party role of it to a decorative brick with a blinking cursor. I also had to donate the laptop with the emulatorto Nicky to satiate her hardcore retro Galaxians action lust. This has only abated recently when I repatriated her back to the bed and breakfast on the hill.
Possible candidate for quote of the party s coming, as so often before, from Felice. Drum roll and take it away - "Prostrate cancer, that's mostly a guy thing?"
We have said hello to Havoc, and discussed another demo party coming up in a month's timeand other issues in his life. Also greeted one or two other Dutch scener people who came alongto Sundown as well. Stavs is driving himself, me, Felice and Gasman to Outline. Four people inone tiny car, what fun!
13.40hrs - Saturday..
There is an earlier report excerpt hosted on the Enterprise 128 built-in word processor. This might seem to be a reckless and impermanent way of recording for posterity without a meaningful way of saving to tape, apart from the fact that I grabbed a screenshot photo of it.
(Here is the earlier excerpt, taken from the original camera-grab and reproduced in a sane format.)
- Start of excerpt -
11.20ish, Saturday, Budleigh time. This is not the best place for a party report or the best keyboard either. Crazy German style with a space bar that tends to double space.
Also there is no eighties style tape player to save it to and the floppy drive controller is at home.
I would be showing some games on here but the tape loader decided to go into a big sulk last night, so we're using this as a beautifully featured doorstop right now.
However, we so have a device from the 21st century which might help out. A hand portable telephone with a camera! Who ever heard of such a thing?
Possible other quote of the party overheard in the main hall. "Bring me trifle and prostitutes!"
Our accommodation just provided breakfast (sigh!)
- End of Excerpt -
Anyway, to recap, we had a very comfortable night and a luxurious breakfast at the house on thehill. The direct route back to town was direct and nicely downhill. Going back uphill later might wellbe interesting though.
A smallish visiting party has been down to the beach at Budleigh and many photographs have beentaken. Some of these include recently bloodily caught fish for sale. The weather is promisingsun, there are a great many broken crab shells, crab limbs and pebbles underfoot. Some of these pebbles have been thrown back into the sea. A couple of pebbles came back with me as 'possiblyinteresting'. One of which showing some very clear and sharp geological boundary layers and asking for a geologist to tell what the hell went on. The other might have a pattern of a fossilised leaf on it, but we're not sure?
A pleading bladder leads us back to the party hall, where the party is still in an attitude of slowly coming around from a coma, lunch etc ensues....
Of people and demo news, Gasman announced a Raspberry Pi release, conspicuously hiding his laptopscreen whilst doing so. We also chatted with Spiny just before leaving at around 1.30am previously and he has a release for the ST.
I will be doing a sad thing and uploading the earlier mentioned screen-grab of 8-bit text to thedreaded Facebook shortly. An early test of this last night worked nicely, in the period before the Enterprise decided to refuse tape loading altogether.
Yep, that worked. The party ambience is still very calm and quiet, nothing much else to reportright now.
Encountered Gasman who advised that there could be three entries from different people for theRaspberry Pi in the demo competitions. The oldschool side of things may have taken a hit for thisbut there is apparently a ZX Spectrum remote entry out there as well.
Most of the preceding time has been spent sitting outside and enjoying the afternoon sunshine inthe company of Havoc, Megmeg, Puppeh and Gasman. The party mood is still quiet and relaxed.
Floppy disk throwing competition. An extremely unscientific way of measuring demoscener athleticprowess, in the process it becomes a tribute to the Paralympics, but not in a good way for thedemosceners. A tall Dutch person has set up near our desks.
Anyway, it is still very relaxed in general, the last week of summer has chosen to act seasonallyand not like a rainy pile of shite it has for the rest of the time this year.
Boring news letter part!
"…and Selina won the gymkhana and Hugh got an exciting new job at managerial level…."
In other life-changes, the job I previously had at a national level telephone and broadband provider was rationalised out of existence in July, along with the whole of the rest of our branch. We were told about this fun upheaval in April. Under current UK employment law, there is a 90 day consultation period, so three months of a very gradual winding down process ensued. On the plus side, they paid us some money to go away, which we were happy to accept after signing a whole wodge of waivers and legal papers. So I won't mention the company by name. I have had a nice break since the end of July, but I am starting a new (temporary but longish duration) job very shortly after this party finishes.
With the welcome cash influx, I have treated myself to what is probably going to be my dream Atari Falcon set-up. This was owned by 'Dal' of Atari Forum fame and includes a CT60 accelerator, CTPCI and Ethernat and fitted, with a Radeon graphics card doing the business onscreen nicely, thank you very much. I've had about an hour to play with it and at least personalise my settings, but nothing more yet. This machine is known as the "Un-taken holiday pay Falcon", which was another thing I got back from the end of my previous employment, especially as I had been struggling to get much time booked off previously. Nice eh!
In other computer news over the last few months, I've acquired an Enterprise 128, with some even rarer peripherals such as a 9-pin joystick adaptor, Scart monitor lead and the holy of holies, a floppy drive adaptor and controller. The last of these might be needed more urgently, as the inbound tape socket seems to have stopped working at the party itself?
Chip shop will now be open... Hint sent by illegal telepathy and SMS to the other members of our party. one of whom (Nicky) has gone back temporarily to the B&B on the hill.
The chippy is calling more loudly now. There is more big screen activity going on. Illegal telepathy and text messaging has worked and our missing party member is on the way there.
Nicky - "How are you going to eat all that?" (Referring to my large and long queued-for cod and chips.)
Me - "Just watch this!" - Then it was all gone!
Something called streaming music is apparently 'coming up'.
"Screaming music", sometimes known as "Screaming Lizard" through a Screbbel accent filter, arrives.
Quote from the infoscreen. "Did you know the hall has toilets? Some people didn't." Cheap joke about some sceners making 'alternative arrangements' in the nearby park and breaking dog-fouling laws narrowly averted. Then again, people were very careful when it came to the floppy disk throwing competition!
We have colour coded ambient lighting. Last night was red, tonight is code blue!
Oldskool music compo coming up and the wine bar has belatedly opened! It's red tonight, glug glug!
We've gone through most of the music competitions. The oldschool chip music seems to have gotlost in a haze of technical issues? We have also had a packed photography competition and we'rewaiting for some ascii art to do its thing. We're now six minutes behind the end of all competitions official scheduling, so only a little bit behind folks! Time to start laying bets on what side of midnight this finishes. There is still some voting and even the prize giving tonight, and a deejay set and a beach session still needs to cram into an increasingly compressed timescale somewhere.
Yet another potential quote from the party, this one via Ne7. "If you want streaming music duringthis competition, then stop downloading things!" And this being given with what he described ashis 'telephone voice'.
Late results are late....
CF-Storage United 1 - Amiga Workbench Albion - Nil
(The later match between Athletico Projector and STeem Rovers was abandoned due to a total reality inversion and pitch collapse…)
Competitions are being bumped back an hour due to multiple hardware failures, both of them with a Commodore logo attached. DJ Hoffman will play his set whilst the organisers get their entriestogether and resume. Better than a blow to the back of the head. Meanwhile, Nicky has given upand is returning to the hotel on the hill. She has learned how to walk up hills with confidencein the meantime so does not need car related assistance. Which is a good job, as driving in anything but an illegal intoxicated spiders web fashion is not possible now.
I'm not sure whether DJ Hoffman is including an eighties mix, or if this is just a spare soundtrack before his set? Paula is rocking in her seat at this point, and this is not due to cardiac spasms! mOd came around and said "Hi!" with his camera. The author of this report did his best to throw some convincing retard poses for posterity.
Party is going rather well, compos are delayed as usual. Some of us are harking back to the days of Error in Line, when entries were prerecorded to video first, before being shown as part of the compos. Maybe they will learn here ...
Amiga ascii compo resumes, and this side of midnight too (just!)
Oldskool music is finally running. The 2nd entry is from a nice dude from Lithuania called Justinas, whom I was talking to outside for a little while. He is better known as a ZX Spectrum AY musician and his tune was a cheery bouncy little Spectrum Protracker number.
In blurriness news, I think the wine has now been drunk. The half-bottle of Glenfyddich has beenopened and the text error count is shooting up.
Whisky overcoat is being added, people are commenting about how cold conditions are outside. We seem to have hit another lull between competitions, so I'll check it out for myself in a minute.
Nah, not that cold. Fresh and clear yes, but not icicle weather.
OLDSKOOL DEMO COMING UP!
Suddenly abruptly broken off report pause .....
10.32hrs, the morning after...
We got as far as the end of the Oldskool competition, when it was suddenly decided that the othervisiting members of the party had endured enough delays, so barely having time to gulp down the last of my Glenfyddich and close the lid on the laptop, I followed them back up the hill to the house of repose that was located there. As they were the only remaining key holders for our accommodation, the choice was compliance or sleeping roughly on the beach pebbles overnight.
It may have been due to the Scotch whisky overcoat that I was wearing. (With a decent layer ofwine undergarments), but the journey back was a lot less painful than expected. Apart from thefirst very steep bit, we didn't really notice a hill at all, then suddenly we had returned. Getting into bed by torchlight and sweet oblivion followed rapidly and in that order.
An initial headache was dispelled with the first coffee of the morning, and the luxurious multicourse breakfast hit all the right places, after an initial moment of doubt about putting alienfeeling things in my mouth. Getting cleared out and returning to the main hall was relativelyeasy and packing up has been mostly completed, so I am putting fingers to keys once more.
The room is starting to resemble an after-party place and less of a temporary mortuary set up in a natural disaster zone, which is what it looked like when I first got here.
Anyway, to hark back to events a few hours previously, the competitions were epically delayed, even by the generally relaxed standards of demo parties. We managed to catch a neat set of oldskool entries, taking in a neat ZX Spectrum demo from Noice, an Amstrad CPC demo from someof the other members of CTRC, a funky intro from some Amiga people, not forgetting Spiny'sintro for the Atari ST, which we nearly did, being in such a rush to leave last night.
So we didn't get to catch the Newskool entries, where it looks like all the Raspberry Pi entrieswere shown, or the Wild compo. A few hurried conversations with some almost awake partygoerssuggest that the competitions finished sometime around 03.00 and people connected with the beachparty would not have got to bed until after 04.00?
Time for some summing up type activity.
The report card for Sundown 2012 is slightly mixed. There was nothing really bad but there were some niggles to recall.
Accommodation - Offsite, reasonably costed, very well appointed and comfortable. The 'omigod, HOWfar away?!' factor diminished once we found the more direct route to and from the town centre. The breakfast contained everything needed to restart basic life support functions after a hard night's partying, which was helpful.
The party itself - A welcome return to a familiar and well loved location. The town hall seems to be more user-friendly than ever. Access to one of the lesser used communal refrigerators was a definite plus point for the vast food mountain and drinks lake that we had brought down with us from North Devon. Table space was in adequate supply, seats were comfortable. The live music sets were enjoyable without being overpowering. There was a decent supply of people if you subscribed to the view of "always find him in the kitchen at parties." Things felt a little bit 'Meh, seen it all before' for a time, but I did spend the first night sober! Second night livened up considerably.
There was even that most revolutionary of events, an internet connection that worked decently forthings other than the party intranet! This tended to lead to more Facebook interaction and mousepotato behaviour as if some people hadn't really left home?! However the FB connection came in handy when mere speech could not have overcome the live set, as Havoc and I maintained a conversation online whilst we were about a metre away from each other, whilst sitting in a direct line to the live act outputting a worthy decibellage!
Budleigh Salterton - We managed to find time to get to know the town itself a bit better, a definite highlight was 'out of party' on the beach, taking in the scene, chatting to some of the local fishermen and admiring their catches of the day, photographic evidence for this exists.
Catering - A combination of previously imported self-catering and the famous fish and chip shop with a constant queue did the business from where the breakfast left off. It appears that the paranoid Chinese restaurant from 2010 has definitely gone, with a sad disused air of closure from the premises and no sign of a replacement as yet.
People - There were a great many familiar faces, including people like Gasman and 'Stavs', the latter to be an integral part of our next trip abroad. Also the nice people of CTRC (Hi Megmeg!) had a chat and we got to spend quite a bit of time with Havoc, who made the journey over with a number of other overseas sceners such as Topy and a number of Dutch and Scandinavian people. Ne7 managed to stay sober. We also managed to speak a bit more to Spiny. Also I was able to put Facebook names to a number of faces, especially some of the other Dutch people. (Hi Honkey!)
Competitions - Oh dear! Niggle coming up! There was nothing wrong with any of the entries or theoverall quality of this. However, the end time of 22.00hrs was missed by around 4-5 hours, which may be a record? So we ended up missing out some of the final part, due to glitches and stuff-ups with the music competitions earlier in the evening. This is maybe an issue with running everything on one night, like Sillyventure, where the heavy number of competitions leads to more and more delays and stretching out.
I thought a 22.00hrs finishing time was over-optimistic, but even allowing for delays, I sort of expected the compo's to have been done and dusted not too long after midnight, allowing time for voting, DJ Hoffman, and just maybe, a golden moment of night bacon on the beach. As it was, we had to return to our accommodation before the competitions had finished, as we had fairly long driving return journeys home to follow and needed a decent minimum of sleep to accomplish that without spinning off into a hedge somewhere near Gloucester on the way back.
Apart from getting another day for the party, which might not actually be possible, there isn't an easy fix for that, I guess? Or maybe strictly enforced entry deadlines and pre-recorded videos? But then again, if there's a choice between losing an entry or extending the deadline.. Not an easy one to call.
Okay, that's yer lot!
CiH, latterly for Hugi, lid closed on this text, April 2013
Sundown 2012 Results
Sundown 2013 report
Written by Optimus
Sundown, the best and only UK demoparty. I always wanted to visit but never had the opportunity so far. I had another chance in 2010, because I was in London finishing my Master's degree. Having to write my final project and being extremely stressed at the moment, it was bad timing again. But this time, since I live and work in Glasgow, I decided to make the trip to the south of England and visit this year's demoparty. So, I got my trusty laptop and organized my trip, which was quite an adventure. Travelling from Glasgow to Budleigh Salterton is not a single trip. The option I chose was to get a plane to Essex (even if I was original thinking about the train because this is how I used to visit demoparties inland, but now I've seen the plane option was cheaper and less lengthy of course) and then figure it out from there. Or no, hehe, I did my homework. Ok, there was actually a bus to take you to Exmouth and then another bus to Salterton. The return trip seemed tricky since there wasn't a bus for Sunday to go back from Exmouth directly to the airport, but only to the city. I was scared about it, because I bought my return plane ticket was not very late to be sure I have the time. But anyway, later about it.
It's funny, the places of some demoparties are quite not expected. Even the big demoparties, one would expect to happen in a big city. So, this one was happening in a very small village, quite idyllic place though, quite beautiful and a place I would like to live in when I get older. In the edge of the south, I have seen the stars at night, in the beach alone. It's something I missed in Glasgow where you almost never see a clear sky and was still able to enjoy a bit in Greece. But here it was totally away from light polution. Well... that's a lie, you had some lamps above, so I went behind the shadow of a bungalow (I think that's its name) trying a bit to see whether the milkyway is visible enough. But I was tripping on the sand, was totally drunken too, and I was for some strange reasons afraid of slenderman. No, well it was an earie feeling of loneliness, which I kinda loved but also was scary enough. Ahh, those lonely places. Maybe they clear fears and mind.
So, anyway. The story I am saying happened the second night when I took a lonely walk. So, let's unscramble time again and get back. Funny thing, rainy outside, when I first arrived. Found the place, no people around, a silent looking Town Hall. A non scener would never think something huge is happening inside. Haha, so I enter and I see the computers and the people. Ohh... Don't remember if a demo was playing right then on the big screen. For us it's a big thing to the atmosphere. Some parties, like the Greek ones used to play random demos all the time, even not in compos, not in a specific demo show with a list. Just two/three people doing the Demo DJ. All your demoscene dreams playing for hours and days in full volume. Most foreign parties are showing sponsors and messages in loop. Except a few that might be different, maybe a French one I visited and others maybe? Anyway, this one had the right people/flashing screens atmosphere but not demo playing with music (and people dancing) at the moment. Oh, maybe they had some DJ with people dancing later, but not demo specific. It's ok, I am not complaining, just different demoparty culture.
So, I got some desk place and sat down. Needless to say, I sat down in the most unlucky place. Well, didn't mind much. But there was this oneliner message projector on the wall, sometimes blinding me. And I couldn't see that some messages where projected onto me, like the Cider that a girl noticed, making me the Cider-Man. Hoho! But anyway, I was so busy to try to find another place (I couldn't see one at the time) and also trying to finish my PC 4k for the compo, which was already finished actually, just thought I would have the mood to improve it a bit. Which I didn't. Nothing worked at the time. No party coding for me. Even when they announced a ShaderToy mini competition and I almost started trying something, I ended up with something not working, or I couldn't even concentrate for some reason I don't remember. So yeah, even the little 4k contribution was fine enough for me at those moments of loss of creativity or mood to work on anything.
So, can't say I remember much from the compo, so I am gonna look again at Pouet. We had two demos with dubstep that were nice. The first 4k was quite good, with mushrooms. We have psonice's 4k on Mac with speech synthesis and an idea. Mine. And few other stuff. We have an Acorn BBC demo (platform thumb). Two nice C64 demos, not spectacular but nice because it's C64. A NES demo with some glitches from princess knoeki. AtariST and Spectrum. All the bunch of oldschool funny, nothing that stayed on my mind though, that I want to rewatch. I think the most interesting demo for me was Crtc's wild FPGA demo. This was an FPGA where I think doz is also making a CPC core. But he used it for something even more cool (more cool than CPC? Nah!), the fractaland!!! Fractal boy walking on sierpinski mountains and stuff. It makes me wanna get an FPGA board one day and start learning it or something.
I heard sometimes people go to the beach and make a bonfire. This year's Sundown was quite rainy though. I heard that's a reason we didn't do it. One can see some photos on Slengpung though. I must have missed it. Anyway. Party was nice, I had a long time to feel the demoparty atmosphere. I met some people, like psonice or rc55, and spoke to doz about CPC and stuff. I also met some people who were surprised to meet me, even some guy whose nick I forget but took me to his car directly back to the airport. In the meanwhile I realized that he is coding some secret Archimedes demo for years and we exchanged knowledge and stuff since I recently bought an archimedes and was interested to start coding (although it all went bad, I must have busted my HD, or maybe not (I changed ROMs, tried some cards I shouldn't, or something) and no boot in OS, or boot in OS where only disks can be found. Anyway, still good and I can start coding at one point in emulator till I fix it or buy another one. So yeah, and it was time to go home.
P.S. I am glad that the UK has a small scene and a party to keep the spirits. It doesn't matter whether there are enough good releases or not. Well maybe it does, but imagine we continued to have a similar party in Greece. Although, how about a nice party up here in Scotland? Why everything is long down to the south from where I leave? Hehe, it's similar to my trip from Thessaloniki to Patra when the old Greek demoparties took place. A nice analogy...
Sundown 2013 Results
Sundown 2014 Invitation
Announcement: Sundown 2014, The Summer Scene Sensation!
June 20 at 04:00pm until June 22 at 02:00pm in UTC+01
Sundown 2014 is an established U.K. based demoscene party celebrating our tenth year of demoparty mayhem! The demoscene is a computer subculture dedicated to showcasing the talents of musicians, artists, designers and programmers in a competition based atmosphere with clearly defined limitations.
Sundown demoparty returns at a much earlier point in the year - from the 20th-22nd of June.
Partyplace: Budleigh Salterton Public Hall, Station Road, EX9 6RJ Budleigh Salterton.
Stay tuned for updates and feel free to ask any questionson our Facebook page or drop me a message directly here firstname.lastname@example.org – Ruairi (rc55).
Taking place at the Budleigh Salterton town hall from the 20th-22nd of June 2014, Sundown returns with all the wonder and chaos you’ve come to expect from our party – but we remain on our mission of constant improvement.
Along with all the competitions we’ll still have the huge screen, newly specced sound system with some super sub woofers and of course the excellent kitchen facilities!
Entry to Sundown this year is £45 for a standard ticket or £65 for a supporter ticket (for those who are having a good year!). For those in dire straits, get in touch and we can help if need be!
OLD & NEW SCHOOL
No platform or generation is a second class citizen at Sundown – we aim to fully support all platforms old and new, so bring your productions! We also allow remote entries for those who can’t make it on the day.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO SUNDOWN
Sundown 2014 will be the eighth consecutive annual UK demoparty and we’d love to have as many visitors as possible! If you have any questions or queries you can e-mail me (rc55) here. Those offering car shares or looking will be best served by the UKDemoscene Forum, same for those needing shuttle lifts from local train stations and airports.