Text by Felice
Easter is a traditional
time of year for coding parties, and this particular
Easter was fortunately no exception. Although
it took a short time after Christmas before
we heard the final arrangements for the (since
then) fabled follow-up to the famous Dutch Atari
"Pre-Millenium Party" (PMP for short),
time went relatively quickly up to the week
before the Easter weekend itself.
Outline was organized
by the Dutch Atari crew, Lineout, itself a crew formed from active members of FUN
(Falcon Users Netherlands). The organizers
themselves are people that all Atari sceners
should recognize - Havoc, D-Force, TheMatch,
Tinker and Earx.
Having got the
ferry booked a matter of weeks before, Chris
Holland (CiH) came over to my place late on
the evening of Maundy Thursday. This enabled
us to get a bit of sleep before setting off
at around 06:45 to drive the hour and a half's
distance or so to the port of Harwich, ready
to meet the catamaran ferry, run by Stena Line,
that would take us across to the port of Hoek
van Holland, on the coast of the Netherlands.
Most named -
from right: Mr Pink (Leon O’Reilly), Paranoid
(Oliver Heun), Manou, Setok/Aggression (Kristoffer Lawson), CiH (Chris Holland),
the ticket and passport checks was very easy.
We both changed some of our money over into
Euros at the Travelex desk in the port building,
had a brief snack then waited a while in the
car until we were asked to move across into
the holding area, before boarding the ferry.
Soon after that, boarding commenced, after an
unintentional wheelspin on the upward ramp by
yours truly we got parked in the correct place
and vacated the car, to go up to the main ferry
deck. We got a burger meal each in the main
fast food eating area and sat down on one of
the front set of seats next to the huge video
wall. This very same video wall is the one that
you’ve heard about before in previous Atari
party reports, yes, the one that plays the cheesy
but amusing music videos! (Why not wire it up
to your Falcon and get all the passengers playing
Whip! Pong - Ed).
passed smoothly without any hiccups and it was
a little over four hours later that we disembarked
from the ferry, now at the Hoek van Holland
port, got through the passport check area and
away we went. We followed a slightly different
route to the one we normally take, which took
us to Richard Karsmakers’ (ST News) home city of
Utrecht. Rather than turning off here as we
normally do to go to Enschede via Apeldoorn
and Amersfoort, Bathmen and so on, we kept on
the same road, following it until we saw signs
for Doetinchem. There we turned off the
main motorway and joined the A18, which took
us to the N18 and into the village of Lievelde,
where the Outline party itself was being held.
The venue where
the party was held was a youth-hostel type place
called Beusink. A converted farmhouse, the place
itself was divided up into two areas, both with
sleeping areas upstairs. While we at Outline
had the big room with sleeping area upstairs
to the right of the building, a group of people
from a Dutch orchestra took the other room.
Even though both groups made a fair bit of noise,
we complemented each other well, with no obvious
signs of any trouble.
There were a
lot of people around at the party place when
Chris and I finally got in. We bumped into the
Reservoir Gods guys straight away. Mr Pink,
SH3, Damo, MSG and Partycle were among the first
to greet us. We also had a very surprising greet
from Twilighte, he of the Oric scene fame from
Alt Party and a fellow Brit, like ourselves.
We soon also let the organizers know we were
there and unpacked the car, bringing our stuff
out quite quickly and setting ourselves up in
a corner of the room, near a back window.
The party had
been on for some hours and was rocking already.
We spent some time making sure everything was
working OK, then dotted round the room, talking
to friends who were based in various places.
Baggio and Deez were spotted and chatted to
for a bit, followed by Lotek Style, Nemo, Mikro,
Xi and others also there. We weren't the last
ones to arrive though - a while after we turned
up, the rest of the Finnish guys, from the Aggression
crew, arrived. These were Setok, Wiztom, Lance
and another guy. We hadn't seen Lance for a
while so it was great to catch up with him and
the others again. Aggression appear to be back
in business now as a crew, we're hoping that
their forthcoming demo won't be too long in
appearing. They managed to work on a lot of
it at the party itself, mostly without sleeping.
arrangements at the party were top-notch. Upstairs
were a lot of wooden bunk beds very close to
each other, consisting of slats on each bunk
level. We all picked our beds relatively easily,
but the funny thing was about getting onto them
the first night. At least two beds had slats
that broke when people were lying on them over
the course of the night, whether that was to
do with the reaction of the wood itself to the
occasionally loud snoring and farting noises
you tend to get on scene party nights I don't
know, but I have my thoughts! Despite all this,
most of us including myself managed to sleep
quite well. Even the snoring, while in the background,
wasn't too loud.
On the Saturday
in the daytime, Chris and I went up to the nearby
town of Groenlo to find the supermarket there
to get some cheap food. There was plenty of
hot food served at the party as well, in the
shape of pizzas and pasta-based stuff. Along
with that, there was a bit of drink on offer,
soft and hard - with the speciality of a Dutch
breakfast after waking up on all mornings at
the party. This was a good chance for a get-together
in true style, trying out a traditional Dutch
breakfast and get going for the rest of the
evening played host to a bit of entertainment.
A short presentation was given by gWem and his
girlfriend on the topic of chip music and how
it may well be the next coming thing to hit
the pop world. We shall have to wait and see
on this one; keep our fingers crossed.
The former editor
of ST News and author of the Ultimate Virus
Killer, Richard Karsmakers, made his presence
felt that evening at the party. He had a new
release with him in the shape of the original
STNICCC party DVD. Taken from a video release
that only got spread around ten people or so
back in the day, this was more or less a complete
recollection of the original ST News International
Coding Convention, held back in December of
1990. Many of the old Atari demo crews are featured,
including Sammy Joe (Michael Schüssler of The
Lost Boys), Rich K when he was a lot younger
and others. Rich K has done an excellent job
with this DVD and reviews of it should hopefully
follow either in this Atari publication or elsewhere.
Towards the end
of the evening two of the competitions were shown.
These were the graphics and music compos. There
were some strong releases here, it ended up
being quite a hard job to decide which was
and, after a bit more conversaton after the
compos were finished, most of us cleared off
to bed. Later on that day it turned out to be
quite warm outside, so much so that some of
us were sitting outside on benches for a while.
The orchestra group also had regular breaks
as well and seemed to be quite talkative among
themselves. I personally didn't get a chance
to talk to any of them but there was nothing
holding us back. I guess the opportunities just
didn't arise in regards to that, although they
seemed friendly enough.
The Sunday evening
was soon upon us and the rest of the competition
entries were shown.
a fair amount of releases in all categories.
The Wild & Fake demo was won comfortably
by Dildo Fatwa, and judging by reports of the
party it talks about, things were scarily not
a lot different at this year's one!
Gods came in comfortably with their new game,
"Clogged Up". We should expect to see this released
in a couple of months or so. In the main demo
competition, we were treated to what is probably
(and if I'm wrong on this please forgive me)
the first new demo for Falcons with CT60 installed.
It was very good and is worth downloading, like
all the releases from Outline.
All the releases,
with the exception of the chip tune, "Wahoo" were
good to see and hear. The "Wahoo" tune was an
exception to me, but just from personal opinion
I was surprised to see this get released, with
it sounding very much like a famous BBC TV
series. I'll not name the series here but I'm
sure you'll recognize the tune when you download
All too soon
enough, Easter Monday dawned, and it was time
for us to start packing up our stuff and heading
for home, which we did around noon. We had an
extra passenger with us, in the shape of Twilighte
(Jonathan Bristow) who was originally booked
on a flight with British Airways but decided
not to make the return flight as the timing
was rather inconvenient. So he managed to call
and got himself a single fare across back with
us. When we docked at Harwich we dropped him
off at the train station there. Getting to the
port of Hoek van Holland was simple after an
hour and a half of driving, with a bit of waiting
around for the ferry to come in. It arrived,
we got on board and found our usual seats, this
time also getting some stuff from the duty paid
store on board. The cheesy music on the video
wall was amusing as well, this time. We got
through customs at the Harwich end and, after
dropping Twilighte off drove back towards Cambridge.
itself was a fantastic party. It was a refreshing
change and also a nice time to unwind with real
sceners. Yeah, people had a bit to drink and
got merry, but there was no carry on at all,
unlike at the other big party that happens every
Easter in Germany!