Datastorm 2010

Some kind of party report. In english for the masses! Update: Now with pictures
A couple of months ago, random demoscene sites I usually visit suddenly had info about a new swedish party in the making. As this had happened the year before as well, I was rather uncertain at first about wether or not it would actually happpen. Luckily for me I decided to trust that the guys from Up Rough could make things happen, and signed up.

Happy organizer Skope

Happy organizer Skope

Happy organizer Spot

Happy organizer Spot

This turned out to be really lucky in fact, because in a few days the pre registration was full. Unheard of in Scandinavia the last couple of years, but then again the setup was perfect. Who can resist an oldschool party where PC’s are only allowed for cross development, taking place in a bar with both computer tables and a lounge. As an old Amigascener, this was perfect for me – and seemingly for a lot of other oldies as well. The list of visitors on the website sported huge amounts of known names, half of which hadn’t been seen in parties in years.

As opposed to 10 years ago, I don’t go to school anymore. For that reason, I actually had to work the whole day the party started, instead of leaving early like I normally would have. Luckily for me, Gothenburg is only 4 hours away by train. Leaving at 18:00 would thus pose no huge problems, granted the train was on time. The fact that I always get a travel fever made work slower than it had to though, but I managed to get enough things done in the end. The departure time was delayed a bit by Krill, who had missed his flight and wanted me to convey to various people that he would arrive the next day.

Meeting up with Quarryman at the main railway station, we headed for the train. Quarryman, who had gotten all four tickets (plus some extra) we needed for the trip, suddenly discovered one ticket was missing – and we spent some time looking for it around the vending machine before asking a clerk. It turned out the ticket had been found and delivered in the ticket booth, so we went there instead – only to be told a random guy working for the railway company had taken the ticket “down to the train”. We went there, located the guy, and got told he in turn had delivered the ticket to the train conductor. Now there were only a few minutes for the departure, so we went into the train and put our gear down in some seats. I managed to locate the conductor, and after he had gotten the train moving we finally got our missing ticket.

The train trip went without any more problems. The time was spent socialising, drinking some alcohol (teenager style), playing some games and reading some books. Halfway I got a message from Gouafhg, who told me his train wouldn’t make the connecting train in time, and that he thus wouldn’t arrive to Gothenburg at the same time as us. With that in mind we decided to go straight to the party place without waiting.

Getting to the party place from downtown was simple enough, just get a bus ticket and hop on the right bus. Having been to the general area only a few months back (as the party place was close to the IT University of Gothenburg, where FSCONS took place) we probably had less problems than all other foreigners, but still, really easy. Getting off the bus, finding the place would have been a bit hard if we hadn’t looked at a map first, but we manged. Bigger signs might be needed next year though, for the ones not as clever as us.

The party place, featuring maktone, goto80 and more..

The party place, featuring maktone, goto80 and more..

The venue turned out to be even more awesome than we had imagined beforehands. Old furniture, lots of wall decorations, funky lights and a bar. Along with the huge amounts of Amigas and C-64s this all gave the place a real underground feeling, something I’ve missed in most the parties I’ve visited the last years. It really felt like the good old days in your basement. Oh, and I’m quite certain none of us have seen that amount of the good old computers in a while (the backside of not going to X and LCP, I know).

Aside from the venue, both the amount of visitors and who the visitors were was a real treat. Lots of old friends I hadn’t seen in years, along with some new friends, made my evening worthwhile – even when I didn’t bring a computer since my Amiga is lost somewhere in Denmark and my laptop was both brand new and probably unwelcome. Thus, the evening was spent hanging out with friends, drinking a few beers and in the end watching a made up demo show.

The only downside to the venue was that it was, for some reason, really cold. As a result, everyone kept their jackets and hats on for the whole evening, and my sleeping bag, thin for light travel, was certainly not enough. I rather envied the guys with hotels for a while, but in the end I did manage to get some sleep. I didn’t get sick after the party, so I guess it was good enough after all.

Waking up the next morning, I had to play IT phone support for my brother, before getting a bite of the free breakfast provided to all the attendants. Breakfast company was provided by Slummy, and entertainment was provided by the stack of old computer magazines lying around on the sofa tables. After a while, Slummy left to grab his computer (which he needed to actually make something, for once) – and I went back to sleep. Getting back up again after a few hours, I went shopping with Quarryman. Sweden seem to have stricter rules in their alcohol stores than Norway, and I actually got asked for an id. Nice way to get told you look 10 years younger than you actually are, so I’m not complaining.

Slummy, caught in action

Slummy, caught in action

Back at the party place I teamed up with Sir Garbagetruck and Ziphoid for a small meeting regarding the Scene.Org Awards. The meeting went fine, despite being interrupted a few times by DDT who wanted to share the latest gossip of the finnish amiga scene. During the afternoon, more friends arrived, including Gemini, Gouafhg and Krill. Most of my time was spent hanging out with Slummy and Loaderror, providing good company while finishing “Liknar Doom”. Origin of the name? Random comment in one of old computer magazines – reviewing a game. After a while, I decided to skip the dinner provided at the venue and went for a pizza at the nearby pizza place instead – my mind was set for grease and cheese.

After hours of more socializing, it was compo time. Lots of people had been working at productions at the party place, including the hardcore swedish amiga sceners of Tulou/Traktor/Nature (or as Loaderror would say: the guys you can never tell apart because of their ever changing haircuts). Unfortunately, for this party, in the end those guys turned out to be working towards Breakpoint. Luckily that didn’t matter much, because there were still plenty of entries in all the compos. The organizers did a good job at running them as well, including a few nostalgic events such as “oh, some bitplanes were missing” and “oh, we only played two channels”. The compos had just the right blend of serious and not so serious entries, and everything turned out fine in the end.

When the compos were over, it was time to vote, which turned out harder to do than anything at the party place. The wlan provided for it seemed to be a bit so-so to get to work (especially for drunk people). In the end, we gave up, and I went to sleep instead.

The next morning was spent having another free breakfast, packing up and waiting for the prize giving. This took some time, as the organizers did their best to get people they knew to have won back from the hotels. The prizes were the usual mix of old hardware, which is actually really cool at a party like this. Following the prize giving we quickly head downtown, to catch the train back home. Luckily for me, Archmage hadn’t left town yet, so I could hand his prize over to him instead of dragging it all the way to Oslo myself.

Loaderror and Blueberry, waiting for the prize giving

Loaderror and Blueberry, waiting for the prize giving

After some fast food, we boarded our train back to Oslo, making it home relatively early. Dead tired of course, but that’s to be expected after such a good party. Hopefully it’s not the last edition. There definately should be more of these. And that concludes the so called party report.

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