July 5-7th 2002
|On the road...|
|Twilighte, err concentrating on the road
On the road to St Priest where the VIP4 coding party held on July 5-7 2002. The party began at 10:00 AM. Dbug was at the party since the opening because he was not very far from there... We left Paris at around 9:00 since someone was late due to some traffic jam (oups sorry...)
OK, strange photo but I was shooting from the rear seat... Some traffic around Paris... Had some techno music, some Deep Purple, some strange music (?) and of course the A-Z Game of oric softwares... Jede tried to sleep but it wasn't easy with Twilighte harassing him to have some oric games beginning by O or N...
We were supposed to have signs showing us the way, we never found them so we had to ask for the way. I scared two old ladies who thought I would steal they purse but in the end we got there around 15:30 or something like that...
|Things are getting serious...|
|Overview of the room...
Nice room, nice people, in fact a lot of young people at the party, even Jede who is always saying some members of the group are old was considering himself old for the party...
Nevertheless a lot of people were there to download stuff from the LAN, my neighbour had to buy some CD because he had not enough room on his harddrive. Some wood tower PCs (hence the name of the group: Woodtower, they are interested in the speech synthesis of the EXL100 8bit computer,maybe they will do something next year on this machine). Some Atari Falcons (3?), 1 or 2 Amigas (but no demos)...
|Defence Force corner...
The first step was to set up the network to freely share files between the Defence Force members. Some problems to have Linux, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows ME working together but we managed to share files and everybody wondered how we could do that.
|The oric setup : microdisc + 3.5" master and 3" slave
We also had Dbug's atmos + cumana, an oric 1, and Dbug's pravetz 8D (sorry I forgot to take photos)... One was used to show the VIP3 demo and some VIP4 effects to those asking questions and another one was used to test the ongoing work...
The laptop and keyboard for the music, the 3-way selection switch, wires everywhere... Everything was there to have some wonderful music in the demo...
|Dbug on the left, Jede on the right...
We had a very long Friday, a lot of stuff to do and some problems.
Everything was more or less depending on the loader which was bugged. It was working on the emulator but not on the real oric. During the week before VIP4 Dbug and Jede were all day (and night) long on IRC working on the debugging of the loader but it wasn't working yet when arriving in Lyon.
Twilighte: working hard on the music...
It was very important to have a custom loader since we would not have to use Sedoric (and the ROM) and thus we would have 16k extra-memory free... Furthermore the demo could work on any oric machines-clones since it was not ROM-dependent... The overlay RAM (some 16k) had by default been allocated to the music parts... But Twilighte only used 3.3k...
in case of emergency the previous version of loader, released at VIP3, could have been used but there was also a random bug.
At that moment the datas were loaded but no way to have something running....
Dbug at the keyboard ;)
Dbug optimized some code, communicated a lot (see below) worked on Mooz and Exocet pictures which were really nice... Romu worked on the new VIP4 logo which has to be modified because it was a little yellow... It would have taken too much time to do it on HIDE so it was done with Paint Shop Pro with oric constraints (see Dbug's Defence Force page to have an idea of the pain it is to have some nice color graphics on the oric) and then transferred on the oric. Dbug's new version of pictconv (dos tool to convert pictures from PC to oric with oric attributes) could have been used but the output picture still had some annoying color shifts problems so Romu used Symoon's PCHIRES and finally modified with Twilighte's HIDE.
|Jede still working on the loader|
|Coding has no side-effects...|
|Jede was getting crazy with the loader which was running ok on the emulator but not on the real oric... Another problem was that there is no debugger in the linux version of euphoric so it's even harder to see what's going on in memory... If you look carefully it seems jede is more and more getting mad...|
|Twilighte never left his keyboard, coding hard for the music and sometimes having a break to eat or to play some games on the oric... or maybe it's the tea...|
|Jede was getting really really crazy with the loader|
|Dbug likes press and public relations...|
|Dbug is a real public relations specialist. In fact he knows a lot of people so... But I can tell you that in the end noone could say he has never heard about the oric... The VIP3 demo and some VIP4 non finished effect were shown to a lot of people who were amazed to see things like that on such a computer...|
|He also had to explain some technical stuff to people who wanted to do some 16-color graphics for the oldschool graphics contest.|
|Things are getting even more serious...|
|In fact we worked a lot on friday, and we easily somewhat lost the notion of time when working for the demo. So we went to sleep around 5:30 AM...|
|Sometimes it's hard in the morning...
|But a mug of tea, and back on the saddle...
Saturday it's good news: in the aftrnoon, the loader is working, but another problem: the second side of the floppy. Jede said it wasn't a big problem, it could easily be solved (and it would)... Kind of rush now since the deadline is tonight.
For the beginning of the demo, we all agreed on the DTS image + sample and then we wanted to have a 20th century fox screen along with another sample. But it was a problem since we needed a film with the 20th century fox's screen and music. In fact it was not a real problem to find those since there were some on the FTP. So we had to rip the screen which was fairly easy, but for the music it was harder since we did not have the tools to do it... But some people did that for us. Then we worked on converting those to the oric...
Since the loader was then OK and that Twilighte managed to use only 3.3k out of the 16k we had from the overlay, we had a lot more room for the effects but not that much effects indeed. While discussing with Dbug we decided to try to have Dbug's interference effect mixed with a dancer (like in Spaceballs's State of the Art demo on amiga).
While Romu was ripping the dancer from Spaceballs's demo, Dbug was modifying his code. Twilighte was working on the beginning of the demo (DTS and 20th century fox samples) and Jede was coding the Think Different animation.
Since we felt we were lacking some effects for the demo, Twilighte and Romu began to re-work on some stuff (but a lot of work and little time to do it ok so after the dancer effect was ok we stopped working on this one).
So after a little more tweaking the code and images for the interferences + dancer, Dbug had to slow down the speed because it was going too fast (yes too fast on the oric, we never thought we would say that). We also decided to add a second dancer.
Jede and Dbug then worked on the building of the demo, to see how to go from one part to another and went through a big debugging session... It was also time to add some texts in the scrollers...
Saturday 11:30 PM: we needed a final effect to close the demo, Twilighte tried to modify one of his nice scrollers. Where are the goddamn sources for the scroller... Ok he managed to do it another way, but the thing was that it needed the atmos ROM to work so the code had to call back the ROM...
Saturday 11:55 PM: Final test it's ok. 1 or 2 things to do.
Saturday 11:57 PM: problem, Romu's microdisc was not working anymore (heat? bug in the demo?). The demo wasn't working on the Cumana anymore (which had some heat problems in the past). We decided to stop here, it was working just before, it was working on the emulator.
Deadline is 00h00 (some extra-time was granted) so some sleep is necessary, the show begins tomorrow at 9h00.
|Have a good sleep Dbug...
After some rest, during the night Dbug tested the modified oric (with RGB output) on the giant screen but some problems with the colors. He then prepared a pack with the working demo, the emulator and all the necessary stuff to have the demo launched from a PC, the problem is that the green color disappears when having the emulator output on the giant screen but since it's the only solution we had...
Sunday 8:00 AM : Jede, Romu and Twilighte woke up, not knowing Dbug had prepared an emulator package... We tested the demo on an emulator (not working) and on the cold microdisc and cumana units... Not working either... Arrrggghhhh... Jede had a look at the code and began debugging, but soon Dbug woke up and told us it was ok, the demo would run on the emulator which was more (but not fully) giant screen compliant... Our wish was that the demo would not freeze...
Sunday 9:00 : the contest began, all the demos were showed and some people applauded when they saw and heard Quintessential (the official VIP4 oric demo)...
|Now we just have to wait for the results...|
|A lot of people there but not that much oldschool computers. Only something like 3 falcons and 1 or 2 amigas... The guy on the left, Fabounio, won some music prize... 2 other guys coding on the PC were considering trying to do some demos on the exelvision exl100... Maybe in the future...|
|Twilighte said he was learning some flash programming stuff with Cicile...|
Results: ranked 1st in the oldschool contest (but we were the only ones). Ranked 2nd if we consider all the contests.
Name : Quintessential
64 KB of Ram
306 KB on the disk
Available on Telestrat/oric1/Atmos Microdisc/Cumana !!!
Guys behind the demo: Dbug, Jede, Twilighte, Exocet, Mooze, Romu, Spider
|Oh, I had alsmot forgotten that there was light outside...|