UK 2003 continued...
was the official closing time for day visitors
action showed no signs of slowing down as we
approached dinner. In the Dutch room, the Dutch
were still playing Worms like crazy. In the
bar room, Thomas was showing a port of Doom
on his Milan, then started processing screen-shots
of it in Smurf. Matthew Preston ran the ST version
of Xenon, the Bitmap Brothers' vertical scrolling
shooter, what memories that brought back (anyone
remember this on the UK Saturday morning kids'
TV show, Get Fresh?). Matthew Bacon worked on
the June issue of MyAtari, at this point still
not on-line, due to a lack of things including
a cover image. We experimented with various
design ideas and also manipulated some of the
photos I'd taken during the day. Bearing in
mind we wanted a theme to tie in with the month's
main feature, it was not easy to come up with
something suitable. A stroke of inspiration
came when I saw Nico Hofer walking around in
his very eye-catching red Atari T-shirt, pure
and devoid of any other details. I got him to
stand outside as soon as he finished playing
his game, then simply photographed his T-shirt.
Perfect, this would be the cover feature, our
two articles about the "new" Atari.
in over 30 issues of MyAtari we had never done
the obvious for a cover design, that is, one
big Atari logo. Now you may ask why we didn't
use a "flat" one as opposed to photographing.
Simply, the T-shirt gave a subtle and interesting
texture with mild distortions. Originating everything
in the digital domain imparts a sterile quality,
so we like to incorporate elements of the real
world in our design.
around 20:30, we holders of weekend passes stopped
activity and all marched into town for
dinner. Some guys had to go to a cash machine,
so during the wait, we stood in the street discussing
what to have for dinner. Only Nick Harlow and
I wanted Indian, such a pity we couldn't show
our European friends this great British tradition,
and Thai was deemed too exotic and just as undesirably
spicy(?). So we went back in the direction of the hotel,
to the Dragon Inn Chinese restaurant for a buffet
meal. Bemused diners peered out of the windows
at this 30-strong mob of Atari freaks, as a waiter
stood at the door telling Nick there were
not enough seats available! It looked like this
restaurant was going to lose our custom (Great!
Let's go for Indian...) but
we were advised to come back in 30 minutes,
so we went down to the nearest pub for a drink
before our meal.
the restaurant, there was a birthday party next
to the main Atari table, accounting for the
lack of seating. During our extended
stay (or are some people just slow eaters?),
Jagman showed signs of his mettle to come yet,
shovelling down a third plate of food
and topping it off with ice cream! Well done
to the beer drinkers with the good sense to
accompany their meal with imported Tsingtao.
It was also incredibly funny hearing Sacha Hofer
tease Matthew Preston for drinking "fake"
Budweiser! In fairness, the Czech version doesn't
seem to be offered in mainstream restaurants,
but it's the one I personally buy at the supermarket.
Sacha was sitting next to me and we discussed
the state of the scene regarding magazines,
particularly the impending closure of the German
st-computer print magazine, and its implications.
Some ideas were raised that hopefully will materialize
into articles in MyAtari.
back to the hotel after dinner, I showed the
group a shortcut to the rear instead of walking
up the hill and around, I was surprised none
of the others who'd come by car remembered this
route! Within minutes, machines were up and
running, blasting out intense electronic music.
Walking around sipping sweet rum, I saw many people
relaxing with conversation, some still played
games, and I also saw the beginning of CiH's
report (that's report, not real-time
I stand corrected!) which I guess will appear
in Alive! issue 7, that will definitely be worth the
stayed chatting until well past 23:00, I was
under the impression he wouldn't even be at dinner so it was good
of him to hang around with the team.
The late night atmosphere was most enjoyable
and I wanted to stay up all night to catch up
on some gaming and magazine work, take it to
the extreme and be able to say I've done it
(like I did at Unconventional 2001). However, I'd been burning
hours already and these feats of endurance become
more difficult with advancing age, I did the
sensible thing and went to bed. How convenient to
be in a hotel.
like Sunday morning
I woke up before
Matthew. Turned on the television and there
was Transformers, the cartoon, though it was
obviously a modern day series and not the one
I watched in the '80s, as one of the characters
was using a PDA!
and Felice were already finishing off their
breakfast along with some others when Matthew
and I arrived. The weather was just as clear
though not as hot as on Saturday, it was a beautiful
calm Sunday indeed. Not to waste time on trivial
things like breakfast, let's get straight to
Demming came to the MyAtari stand with his Jaguar
system and Alpine card to give a more in-depth
explanation of his CD recording software. I
was looking at this on the Saturday and thought
it would be good to feature this as a JagFest
enthusiast Mark Branson appeared once more to
man the CCC area, having gone home for Saturday
night. He came from quite a long way, I don't
understand why he didn't just bring a sleeping
bag and kip on the floor or something! Derryck
Croker and Peter West didn't attend on Sunday,
so Mark brought his Falcon system to replace
Peter's. I sat down with him and we talked about
MyAtari, he showed me the home-brewed web page
he made for browsing back issues - it was stripped of
pictures to speed up page rendering, though
there was little that could be done about the
graphical content of the magazine itself, except
for install a CT60 accelerator, which he will
be doing! A Nature Super VIDEL graphics card
is also on his ambitious shopping list. While
demonstrating the magazine in CAB, he pointed
out some quirks with the way some elements of
the pages are displayed. I'm aware of these
as I personally do the CAB testing every month
(except for one month recently when it slipped,
and it would be the one where a last-minute
change by Matthew caused a horrendous display error
in CAB!), some issues can be fixed, some can't.
The good news is last month we fixed a small
bug in our HTML tables, so now the navigation
menu will look neat and tidy in CAB. It was
silly because we knew about the symptom and
found the fix, but didn't implement it in all
applicable areas. There I was wondering for
ages why our navigation menu didn't look totally
right in CAB, thinking it was something extremely
obscure when the answer was right under our
spent considerable time telling me about his
Falcon acceleration project, especially the
trouble he went to in search of a suitable tower
case to house the finished article. This man
means business, also shown by the high quality
peripherals he had on display. Members of CCC
are contributing engineering skills and documenting
this, it should make an excellent upgrade feature.
the Dutch room, gaming tournaments continued.
A networked BattleSphere session was in progress,
as was the Barkley Shut Up & Jam tournament.
Ice White Noise.
Moss with his PC joystick adapter.
Hero CD demo, with Stone's modified
Sega Saturn light gun on top
of the monitor.
having a great time.
people were present on Sunday, as expected.
This didn't detract from the enjoyment of the
event. We still had new visitors turning up,
like Elliot Swanton, owner of MyAtari's mirror
site. Elliot's another very local resident
but was prevented from coming on the Saturday
as well by one of his company's clients. I would
later beat Elliot in the Tempest 2000 duel by
cunning use of The Cube which he didn't know
about... otherwise I'm sure he would have thrashed
Hofer won the Barkley Shut Up & Jam tournament
- his prize, a set of nice wooden Jaguar
catridge racks emblazoned with the Jaguar logo
and a certificate. After his prize presentation,
those of us wishing to have lunch had to move
quickly, as the Hofer brothers had to catch
a flight back to Switzerland mid-afternoon.
to the town centre we strolled once more. Ironically,
in this beautiful English town full of individual
character, we ended up in a Wetherspoon pub.
In my mind that seemed like going to Italy and
dining in a Pizza Hut, though it was actually
not bad at all, the food was reasonably priced
and we sat in the beer garden. CiH and Felice joined us later, I managed
to forget I was supposed to wait for them
near the end of the high street because they
didn't know where we'd decide to go. I didn't
quite expect my sandwich to be served with crisps
when everyone else got proper chips, I should
have paid more attention to the menu.
talked and talked, as if we had all the time
in the world, but the Hofer brothers didn't
have that much time,
and they left early to go home, hopefully taking
great memories of their visit to the UK.
who said they were going to
turn up and demo or show off
various things, did, about
35 in all. Then on the Saturday
we had 20 folks turn up on the
spur. Now these were the people
we wanted because they made
a real effort to come even though
they didn't have anything to
show or demo. They wanted to
see what was happening. Really
impressed by this and they probably
have ensured next year's show.
Harlow, 16/32 Systems
was amazed at the turnout. All
this from one simple post on
AtariAge! It was fantastic to
put faces to all the names we
see regularly on the 'net. It
was good to see how much interest
there still is in the Atari
scene as a whole. The amount
of interest was also good enough
for us to agree to do it all
again next year. So with new
friends made I look forward
to seeing them all again next
year at a bigger, better and improved
JagFest UK 2004.
JagFest UK organizer
from last of the major events was the prize
draw, top prize being an Atari Jaguar Alpine
interface board for developers. Fox-1 and TXG
drew the winners. Stone wanted that Alpine badly
and spent £30 in raffle tickets. It was won
by Stephen Morton, the local chap, who isn't
a Jaguar programmer and wasn't even there
on Sunday! Another unclaimed prize was a brand
new XE Game System lightgun, a very cool looking
piece of hardware. Fox-1 got a prize as well,
Robinson's Requiem for the Falcon. My purcahse
of one single raffle ticket got me nothing!
up the day sooner than initially planned, the Tempest
2000 duel final was held around 16:00. The two players
left standing were Jagman, already triumphant
in the Worms tournament, and Xirius from France.
A furiously close match was fought,
certainly the best of the whole event, lasting the full five rounds. Each
player gave as good as he took, though Jagman
just edged it towards the end
3:2, making it a fantastic double
victory for the local boy. He walked off
with a Jaguar rotary controller from Tyrant,
what a superb prize!
was JagFest UK 2003 in a nutshell, there was
really a lot more going on than I've described here. For
more information, check out our JagFest highlight articles this
issue and also the links below.