Volcanic 4, the story so far

Hello everybody !

Perhaps are you wondering about the title ? Hum, yes the Volcanic 4 is finished... But we still do not have the result of all the competitions ! In my case, since I participate to the Wild Compo I will be happy to have these results :)

I'm happy that the winner of the PC demos are some new guys. Their demo was not specialy fast, nice looking, or whatever you want. But it was a cool demo. If you ever see some policemen dancing like a boys band, just take a look to their demo !
The name is "Tiny Murder" sumething.

This demo party, was held from the 27th of february until the 1st march of this happy 1998 year.

Overview of this Volcanic region :) The place were Cournon, near Clermont Ferrand. It was really a great demo party !

For the few of you that do not yet what a demo party is, let me explain:

Just try to imagine a big room (in general a gymnasium, a conference room, ... ), filled by hundreds of computers. With theses computers, plenty of crazy people (in general (let's say 97%) young men) that try to persuade theses to display things there are not suppose to be able to display. Some other try to makes great musics, and another category try to draw wonderful pictures. All these guys are called demo makers.

The life of the typical demo makers is strange. The demo maker likes to drink coca-cola (for the real demo maker, pepsi sucks :), because it allows him to stay awake few more hours for finishing his masterpiece. The favorite tools of the demo makers are (depending of the above category) the assembler (Turbo ASM, Devpack, Seka,...), the painting program (Deluxe Paint, GFX2, Degas, Neochrome, PhotoShop, Paint Shop Pro, ...), the music editor (FastTracker, MachinTracker, chose bidule 5, ...), the 3D program (POV, 3DS, LightWave, ...).
In general, demo makers are living in groups (crews). Some crews are working on PC, some on Amiga, some resistant are still using Atari, some anarchist are trying to use Amstrad CPC, C64, Oric... But their common goal, is to present to the world the ultimate brainblasting experimentation.
Saddly, these experimentations often looks like an accumulation of features that were presented as single effects on previous productions...

A typical ST or AMIGA demo from 1986 to 1992 was based on raster effects, big sprites, scrollers, unlimited bobs, soundchip or soundtrack musics, (long) greeting list, plasmas, mini games, fucking greetings, reset demoes, mirror effects, vu-meters, double cosinus moving sprites, and plenty of other boring features like main menus (Atari speciality) :)

Do not worry, I do not throw everything ! I liked to do such effects. If you want perfect demonstrations of all that stuff, you can go on my Atari page !

Now, it changes. Since the computers are powerful enough for "better" real time effects, there is no room for rasters, scrollers are history, and soundtrack musics tends to be replaced by high quality audio tracks... And the main effects are now tunels, 3d objects, bump mapping, real time ray-tracing,...

Panoramic view of the V4 room...

As you can see on the above picture plenty of demo makers were at the Volcanic 4.
I was there, somewhere in the background, near of the exit (or entrance if you prefer. Cool for smoking. And near the bar). When arrived (around 1:00 pm the 28th), the room where almost full. I was with a friend of mine (bruno) with all his pocket computers (psion, 386sx portable computer), his Linux magazines, the QuickCam. My girlfriend (Melisa) was here too.
We could arrived before, but we have to go to Aulnat before (you can locate on the map), for taking an Atmos with a book.
When we ask to organizer were we can install our computers, they reply: "Put yourself were you can !".
30 seconds after, I find a table with 2 meters free of computers... Strange... We ask to people near if someone where suppose to be here... Noone, because the hub (network dispatcher) was full. No other network connection possible.
I do not have network adapter, and even if, I DO NOT WANT to be connected to a network. My Win95 is far from beeing secured, and I do not like to be Nuked will I'm coding.
But perhaps you want to see my equipment ?
The photo below is VERY BIG, and was taken by a member of Orange Juice. Cool guys.

My PC, and my orics

If you want more informations on the demo scene, a good start will be with the OrangeJuice site, at the following adress:


I'm too nice. They will be at 20.000 hits in few days. Or perhaps they have them already !

And what about ORIC ?

Our good old ORIC computer has got good time !

As you can see on the picture above, I was with 3 orics. One téléstrat, and two Atmos. One of the Atmos were almost always switched on (even if it's not the case on the picture above :). And in general, the Oric screen was displaying awfull stuff, as colored boxes on the screen.
So the reaction of people was funny :)

Since I do not know what to say about the Oric at the demo party, I just let you read a copy of the mail I send to the ORIC MAILING LIST the following day. Ok ? Perhaps I will synthesize all that later:

Hello back !!!!!!!!

Yes, the Volcanic4 is finished.
Yes, I was there.
And Yes, an Oric demo has been presented officialy in a Demo Party !
Before I talk about the Oric itself, let me sumarize:

- We leaved (A friend of mine called Bruno, my girlfriend Melisa, and me) Lyon Saturday at 11:00am. Direction, Saint Etienne, and then Clermond Ferrand. 200+ km In a Twingo. Not cool.
- In the car, my PC (high tower withe Cyrix P166+, ZIP drive), Oric Atmos,Oric Telestrat, Monitor, TV,microdisk, all Oric books, CEO mag, and Theoric... It's pretty heavy and takes room in a little car. Bruno was with his 386sx portable, and QuickCam...

- First step, we go to Aulnat (near Clermont Ferrand), here I get an Atmos and a Book. Optimisation, no ?

- 10 km later, arrival at the demo party, fill registration card, find a place for all equipment...

Pretty impressive !
A network with more than 200 connected computers, 2 BARCO projection system, with a 4x3metre screen. Stereoscopic system with light polarisation (we receive special glasses at the entry).

I find a room on a table, because the HUB was full. So no one wants to put his compy here ! Cool, I do not want to be connected :)

Ok, first try, send the pictures I've drawn to the Oric, by playing the WAV file to the line-out...
Arg... The Atmos is still on "Searching..."
It was working yesterday evening :'(
The reason ? To much electricity. To much computers, too much monitors ---> parasiting.
My friend Bruno has plenty of stuff in his bag, and find his "Electromagnetic Detector". Plugged to the 386 that displayed the magnetic field in graphical histogram... Terrific !
Ok, so I cannot use the Oric. So I just let it displayed boxes on the screen during the party :)

That was a good idea, since plenty of people have the following reaction:
1) Walking
2) Notice the uggly colors on the TV
3) Look down, and see the Oric.
4) Stopped, and sayd "Whaaooo, an Oric Atmos, I don't see that since 10 years !" (Or "It was my first computer", or "what is it ???")
5) Start the discussion
6) Shows the telestrat ----> Whaoo, it exists really !!! I heard about, but never see none...
7) Man take the telestrat, and examine closely -> Cartridges ??? Telephonic plug ? ??? RS232 ??? Joystick port ????? Accessible reset button ???? Whaooo.
8) I show the microdisk (out of order :( ), and again -> They were disk drive on oric ???? Cool.
9) And after that, I show my demo, and the soundtracker demo... Even someone ask me if I have Xenon 1 !

Nice thing, no ????
Plenty of people talk with me about Oric, my demo.... etc.

About the demo, now:
While I was coding, I often launch Euphoric to test my code, and often people stops behind me, trying to comment what was on screen.
Some of them notice it was Oric code...
Some of them ask me how it is possible to do that.
Few of them ask me WHY i do that... (I don't like to explain my motivations:
Why coding demoes in general ??????)

When I see them the code, they notice it is "C" and 6502. And the question "It is possible to code in C language on Oric ???"
So I explain the cross compilation, I talk a lot about Euphoric, and so on...

Really great, in fact...

If finished my demo around 6:00 am Sunday (it was the deadline for "WildCompo"). And have to wait until 6:00 pm before wild compo starts.
Since I manage to make the demo beeing presented on the emulator (explaininng that my disk controler was out), I ask them to launch the demo myself... It hard for a PC coder to launch euphoric, to press F3 for ASCII keyboard, and type CLOAD"LOADER.COD".... :)
And then, he gave me the keyboard, I launch EUphoric, and the Oric boot screen appears on the 4x3 metres screen.
While typing on the keyboard, I notice there is no sound.
I ask them to put the volume on,
And I try by ZAPing few times.
ZAP ???
Plenty of people notice they were an Oric on the Screen. Interesting to ZAP for getting attention of people !
Black screen.
Win95 boot picture appears.
Some people applause.
I press space.
Some blood start to drip from the screen...
Everybody applause (It's easy to make demo coder applause: just kill Bill Gates in a demo :)
EXPLODE, while screens beeing deleted...
Dbug scrappy logo appears
Applause, again (cool, I start to be REALLY HAPPY)
Little applause, because I do not have time to finish this part
Big applause when the scrolling starts. Cool, again
Mega big applause ...... niark niark.....
Ovation !
This time, someone give me the micro to explain why it was suppose to be impressive.
I explain that an Oric is a little bit like a C64, but without specialized graphics harware...
I explain that it there is black lines in the plasma, it's not to make it nice (it could have been a reason), but only because I draw all lines, it would be too much damn slow !!!
Credits. (code)
Credits (Gfx)
Credits (sound)
At this time, I explain that the final part is a kind of dedicace to one of the best computer musician ever, that all C64 owner knows. That this is one of the two musics he made on Atari ST, converted on the ORIC.
Final part, the big "ORIC megademo" bouncing, with the THRUST music from Rob Hubbard.
Final ovation,
I'm pretty excited.
Even if I do not win (not yet have the results for the Wild Compo), I will never regret this party !

I will put something on my page, with photos, but give me some times !!

See ya,

aka Dbug !

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