Addybook 13 TCC'93 Report

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              report from               
    "the computer crossroads" (tcc)     
             in gothenburg              
by pri/tia/oxyron.                      
contents: 1.the party and its events    
          2.competition results         
          3.a list of the groups present
          4.a personal comment          
in this  report i will  restrict only to
c64 matters as  there  certainly will be
quite a bit of reports on the other sys-
tems as well.                           
the party took place  in the swedish ex-
hibition centre  in gothenburg  from sa-
turday 29 to  monday 31 of may, 1993. it
was  organized by  light, horizon (c64),
digital illusions/silents, phenomena (a-
miga), cascada, the code blasters  (pc),
electra, and omega (atari).             
  one very large hall  of the exhibition
centre was used - not even  to its  very
limit, from which you can deduce that it
must  have  been  really  very large, to
hold  all the users  which were, judging
by  the  eye, about  1500 (or even more)
people, at one time.                    
  as usual  on a party, there was  a big
screen as well  as some  sound equipment
on top of  the hall, which was also whe-
re the information  and  a selling stand
for all kinds of computer stuff were lo-
cated. at  the  very back  of  the hall,
protected from the  party noise  by some
walls,there was a snack bar to be found,
and, divided from there by another wall,
the sleeping section.                   
  when the screen  was not used  for any
of the competitions,mostly mtv was shown
on it - except for a swedish cartoon be-
fore the  prize ceremony, a swedish news
programme  (more about that later), and,
now and then, some information.         
  similar to  aars  last year, there was
a video  demonstration  by kyd/balle  at
saturday midnight. sunday was  all about
the competitions, whereas  on monday the
only highlight was the prize ceremony.  
  as to be deduced  from the party invi-
tation,  every  single  competition  was
suppused  to  last up to  one hour (e.g.
the maximum amount  of tunes for the c64
musiccompo was 20, and the  maximum time
allowed for each tune was 3 minutes), so
it was to be supposed  that this had all
been organized very properly. practical-
ly, however,  almost  every  competition
was delayed for at least a quarter of an
hour - mostly not even for an explicable
heason; at least  there was none given -
and, e.g. in  the  c64 musiccompo, there
were  even  more than  twenty  contribu-
  as always on the first day of a party,
people made  a lot  of noise (techno non
stop) which decreased  while  the second
day when  many of them had got tired and
were sleeping. curiously  enough, unlike
on all the  scandinavian parties before,
only very few  people  had brought their
video equipment, and none of them showed
a porno  or the like - in aars last year
you had been able  to see dicks and pus-
sies on every corner.                   
  there were almost  only cool people in
the place, except for some swedish right
extremists - partly  skinheads - who had
swedish flags  hanging  all around their
tables and went  through the hall, shou-
ting nazi paroles  and  annoying people.
luckily, they  were  only  very  few, so
they were  not able  to get  on people's
nerves all the time.                    
  a nice thing  was  that the organizers
had  invited  a tv-reporter  team  which
went all around  in  the hall, recording
on audio and video  and also doing small
interviews. a summary  of it  was  to be
shown in the swedish evening news.      
  in case of receiving  more than twenty
contributions per competition  there was
supposed to be  a jury, curiously enough
consisting of people  who also took part
in the compo themselves (e.g. danko, de-
coder, zyron and me  in the music jury).
however, these idea was not realized; in
the musiccompo all 21 tunes were allowed
to compete (what would have been the use
anyway - one tune more or less).        
  the show for the  musiccompetition was
first. the  competitors  were: ody/east-
gang,  zakk,  decoder/noice,  twoflower/
twilight,   thor/extend,   matrix/nordic
beat, sandman/megaunit, mr.giga+agemixer
/astral, quan+evony/nordic beat, fozzie/
gothic design, chock/maniax,  danko/cen-
sor,  syndrom/tia/crest,  creeper/antic,
ed/wrath designs, joe/antic, me (pri/tia
/oxyron),  tmt/wrath designs,  argon/ex-
tend and zyron/antic.                   
  the starting time  had been set  to 17
hours, but as it was delayed  for 15 mi-
nutes, it could  not  be finished  by 18
hours, which was the time  when the swe-
dish evening news - on which  the tv-re-
port  of the party  was supposed to be -
started. so what did the organizers do ?
when  the 17th tune  was  over  at about
17.57, they did not make a break  but e-
ven started to play the next one - which
was mine (pri's) - and  stopped  playing
right  in the middle of it ! as  it  was
only 2:38 long, there  would  still have
been enough time  if  they had played it
fully, but instead they preferred to ma-
ke  a  two minute's  break  before  they
switched  on  the news. finally, at  the
news' very end (at about 18.10) came the
tv-report, and after that they continued
the music compo show, starting off  with
my tune again  which they now played  in
full length.                            
  a striking thing was  that some people
who normally  are  graphicians (creeper/
antic,  ed/wrath,  joe/antic, tmt/wrath)
had also taken part  in the music compo,
namely  with  fully  digitalized   stuff
which had not been forbidden  by the or-
ganizers (see my comment).              
  the graphics compo show  luckily  went
without  any  disturbing incidents. here
the competitors  were: black samurai/ca-
melot,  tmt/wrath,  dane/twilight, elec-
tric/extend, avatar,  dragon/censor, ja-
son, ogami/fairlight, mehlhirn/ultimate,
death/topaz, creeper/antic, hiccup,  biz
kid/oxyron, joe/antic, rrr/oxyron, luka/
trance,  stasi/noice,  tgi,  and private
  of course already indicated by the na-
me, the picture by mehlhirn (in english:
"flour brain") was  a fake. in intentio-
nally  ugly  designed  letters  it  said
"west  bam  sucks". well, no comment  on
this childish action...                 
  in the biggest event for c64, the demo
competition, it were 7 groups who took  
part: censor design, noice, antic, booze
designs, illusion, topaz and oxyron. ca-
melot and twilight  had not been able to
finish  their demos  in time, which went
also for  fairlight, who therefore "con-
tributed" only with a picture not really
to be taken  seriously. the illusion de-
mo consisted of only one part  with some
very old efects. the part  which got the
most applause was  a part  in the censor
demo  which contained  a  very nice  and
colourful  invention - it is hard to de-
scribe, get the demo  and see yourself !
booze designs - who  by the way  consist
of  only two people - also impressed the
audience with some nice routines - to be
especially mentioned  here  are  an all-
border picture mover (x and y axis)  and
some  ultra fast  vectors and shadebobs.
however, many of the graphics and musics
were  ripped, but this  did not seem  to
have any effect  on  the result (see be-
low). antic also had some nice routines,
e.g. a fractal ball and a bitmap vector,
however, not in realtime. our (oxy) demo
contained  a  bitmap vector, too, a  bit
slower, but in  realtime. the noice demo
was not bad either, containing some cool
vector  objects (clock, bycicle...)  and
a nice "ozone layer"-part. the topaz de-
mo  featured  some nice  jumping "rubber
circles". i dare  to say  that  our demo
was quite good  as well, however, a fur-
ther evaluation i leave to others.      
  before  i come  to  the results let me
lose  a few words  about  the voting and
registration system which really was one
of the well organized things at the par-
ty: at your  arrival  you  were  given a
small sheet  on  which  you had  to give
your personal data. these data then were
registered in the organizers' computers.
this  worked  much better  than  in aars
where you had to give  your data  orally
and thus often  spelling mistakes  occu-
red, especially concerning people's han-
dles. everytime  a  competition show was
over, three pc's stood ready to be voted
on. you had to  give  your name  and the
numbers of your  thre  favourite contri-
butions  of which  also  a list was dis-
played. in aars  you had had to memorize
the numbers by yourself  and to put your
votes on a disk which was to be read out
by the organizers' computers, - this had
been quite fussy.                       
  at 13 hours  on  the  last day  of the
party there was to be the  prize ceremo-
ny. as  usual, it  was  delayed, but not
the  usual  15  minutes - no, 15 minutes
and one whole hour ! and not  one bit of
an explanation  was  given. meanwhile  a
swedish cartoon film  was shown. regret-
tably non-swedes were not able to under-
stand a word, but you were able  to fol-
low the action by the pictures. however,
i will not go on  and give a detailed a-
nalysis  of the film  as  you surely are
waiting for  the results, just  like  we
were when watching the film ! well, here
they are:                               
            1. censor design            
            2. booze designs            
            3. antic                    
graphics             musics             
---------            -------            
1. joe/antic         1. ed/wrath designs
2. creeper/antic     2. ratpoison/noice 
3. electric/extend   3. fozzie/gothic   
as the party was sponsored by coca cola,
every winner  received  t-shirts, sweat-
shirts and similar stuff from them. win-
ners on the other cumputer systems part-
ly also received letters from the german
software company "neon"  which contained
offers to produce for them  (on c64, big
commercial game production of course has
no future anymore, it is  the demo scene
that keeps it alive!). the  prize  money
was not fixed, but  the winners received
a specially calculated  amount  of money
according to the percentage of the votes
they had got. so if you  were  on second
place but  had received  almost  as many
votes as the winner, you also got almost
the same amount of money.               
  something  which should have surprised
many people, and especially me, happened
when ed/wrath who had won the music com-
po  came  to the stage: he said  that as
his contribution was  a digi he had done
just for fun, he would  not  deserve the
first place because  the digitized stuff
was not his own work. and - guess what -
he furthermore said that  i (pri) deser-
ved to be the winner ! i have to explain
here that i had not known him before the
party, and also many other people i tal-
ked to  on the party  said  that my tune
was the best, so  this  statement  by ed
certainly  was  no kind of "sympathy vo-
te". ed even wanted to give me his prize
money ! well, you can imagine i felt ex-
tremely honoured  by his noble  and also
courageous gesture, but of course i did 
not accept  this offer. anyway, i'd like
to take  the opportunity  to  send a big
hello to ed here !                      
  before i go on  to express my personal
opinion about this party, i will try and
give  a list  of the groups  which  were
present. if i overlooked  anyone, please
don't kill me, for nobody's perfect !   
groups present at tcc'93 in gothenburg: 
antic,  astral,  booze,  bronx, camelot,
censor, crest,  deicide,  eastgang,  ex-
tend, fairlight, genesis, gothic,  hori-
zon, illusion,  legend,  light,  maniax,
megaunit,  noice,  nordic beat,  oxyron,
paralyze, sunrise,  tia,  topaz, trance,
triad, twilight, vision, wrath.         
  well, now for some  general evaluation
of the party. in the invitation  it said
it was going  to  be  the "greatest  and
most  well organized  party  ever held".
there also were to be  two  high quality
big screens  and "superb"  sound  equip-
ment, furthermore  a restaurant  open 24
hours a day. well, first of all  let  me
say it definitely was not  the most well
organized party at all. it seems all the
things claimed  in  the invitation  were
only halfway true: the snack bar  closed
at night - perhaps  there  was a restau-
rant open 24 hours some blocks away, but
not at the party place -, there was only
one screen  which  was  of  not too good
quality as it was not very sharp and you
were not even able  to recognize  an in-
terlaced picture  by  any flickering. at
the  beginning - the  c64  music compo -
the sound did not come across very well.
i don't know  if  it was only because of
the equipment itself  or  because of the
organizers' inability  to handle  the e-
qualizer  and  proportion the sound: du-
ring  the first half  of  the tunes  the
basses were way too fat; then an organi-
zer came  to the front of the stage  and
tried to fix it by fidging about and gi-
ving signs  to the ones at the back. the
result was that now the basses were much
too thin... luckily, the sound later ca-
me across  quite  acceptably  during the
democompo show, however, not  comparable
to aars !                               
  there, the organizers  also  had  been
much  friendlier. here, you  were  given
short  and partly not very friendly ans-
wers  if  you  wanted  to know  anything
(this went especially for  bappalander).
there also were some girls at the infor-
mation  who  probably only sat there for
decoration, for they did not seem to ha-
ve an idea  of  anything  at all. if you
asked anything  they  mostly had to con-
sult  a  male organizer themselves; some
didn't even  understand  english: i once
asked  something  about  the  compo, and
what did the  chick say ? "speak english
please!" - argh...                      
  another thing i missed at the informa-
tion was a  detailed  time table  of the
events. only  some data  about  this had
been given  in the invitation, the rest,
it said there, should  be  a "party sur-
price" (note the spelling mistake there,
it has  to be  "surprise", analphabets).
well, it  really  was  a surprise, but a
bad one, because  the  rest  of the data
was shown on the big screen on the first
day for  only  a short time. i once went
to the information stand  and asked bap-
palander/light for the starting times of
the  c64 competitions. in  a  matter-of-
fact tone  i also criticized the general
lack  of  information. but  guess what -
bappalander felt personally offended and
said (quote): "why  don't you just go a-
round the party twice and then come back
and ask  in  a more  polite way ?" - now
isn't that ridiculous...                
  another thing  which  i did not under-
stand was  that  almost every compo show
- especially  the  prize  ceremony - was
delayed  for  quite  some time - without
any explanation from the organizers. but
the  biggest  impudence  was  that  they
stopped my tune  right in the middle. if
they  are not  able  to start  the compo
show in time  it is not my fault if they
cannot finish by 18 hours. they  perhaps
could have  if they wouldn't have played
some shorter tunes twice  or  even three
times  without  noticing their restarts.
but so  they just faded out  the tune e-
ven three minutes  before the news star-
ted  and  only said  they  made  a short
break - don't you think  they apologized
to me in any way...  i mean, they  could
have thought to themselves the tv-report
about the party  wouldn't be first on in
the news. but if they obviously  are not
able  to switch the screen display  from
computer to tv  within  three minutes, i
shall consider this very poor. taking my
tune up  again  after  the news  was the
least they could have done.             
  don't think me fussy, i'm just talking
about this so detailedly because playing
my tune twice (or to be exact, one and a
half times) in contrast to all the other
tunes obviously had an effect on the vo-
ters. quite a bit  of people  i spoke to
liked my tune best, and  i really  would
have had  a chance  to get  into the top
three which was lost now because of this
incident - and because of the full digi-
talized tunes which were allowed to take
  i think you will agree with me that it
is a higher stage of art if you do a mu-
sic all on your own than if you digitize
something by someone elso from cd or ta-
pe. here  you  only  have  to use a digi
program  and  an  appropriate interface;
the only "creative" thing  is  to  remix
the data, and the only difficulty to ma-
ke thl digi run smooth and in the measu-
re. but it takes  a  good deal more than
that to do good music yourself. you have
to  have  ideas, invent  melodies, soli,
rhythm, structures, do  instruments  and
know  how to combine all this  to a tune
- to  put it  in a nutshell, you have to
have  musical feeling. even  people  who
have no idea  of doing music  at all can
do a digi  which sounds  relatively good
- and as full digis were allowed to take
part in the competition, this influenced
the result  to  the bad. partly  because
quite a bit of c64 guys  like techno and
obviously didn't seem to care wether the
tune was done by the participant himself
or not, partly  because  the amiga users
thought  it  cool  that  on  even  a  so
"small" computer  like  the 64  somebody
was able to do  a  good digi (i'm really
not saying  it  was a bad one). however,
an amiga user  who has never owned a c64
- and there are  quite many  amiga users
of that kind - has  no idea  after which
criteria  to  judge  music  on c64. vice
versa  it is just the same - if i see an
effect on the amiga  i only see if it is
nice or not, but  i don't know  how hard
it is to code it.                       
  so what i'm saying is - for a competi-
tion  on  a special system, let only the
users  of the same system vote, otherwi-
se this will distort the result.        
  alright, but  enough  criticized here.
all in all  the party  was an event  you
absolutely shouldn't have missed. except
for  the swedish right extremists  there
were  only  cool people  there, and many
quality  productions  got  released. the
atmosphere was good and you could really
have fun. even though  i have put  a lot
of criticism  on  the organizers, i have
to thank them  for organizing  the party
at all and  giving  the summer  an event
one could look forward to - and certain-
ly doesn't regret having been to !      
  and if you  say  all this criticism is
unjustified because i couldn't have done
better - i don't know  if  i could have,
but i surely wouldn't have made promises
of which  i hadn't known  if  i would be
able to fulfill them.                   
in that sense...                        
                 see you all in aars'93!
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