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Datastorm 2010 Report
by Taper/Triad

There were five us in the car, going from the very south of Sweden, heading towards Datastorm on the westcoast, in Gothenburg. Jackasser was behind the wheel, and iopop, Jucke, Raveguru and yours truly Taper filled the rest of the seats. Mood was at it's best, sharing scene anecdotes and laughs during the 2 hour drive. After some geographical confusion as there weren't many signs put up, we finally managed to find the partyplace.

Upon entering the partyplace, we were greeted by Sixx/G*P who firmly held his ground as we tried to storm the premises, forgetting to pay the entrance fee. After completing the required economic transaction we were admitted to the party area. I instantly realised that the place actually felt a lot like the old milk factory where some of us in the car arranged Big Floppy People a few years ago. For those who didn't attend BFP, that means a freaky place, filled with artsy installations and with the capacity to withstand filthy databoys for a whole weekend!

Some familiar faces greeted us, but not that many had arrived yet, so we started to check out the facilities. A bar selling beverages, food and chocolate was available, hosted by some ladies that also took care of cleaning and garbage disposal. The control booth was facing a large bigscreen where all the action was waiting to happen. Then there was the "Christer Rindeblad lounge" right infront of the bar, consisting of sofas, named after the famous editor for the best swedish commercial commodore mag back in the days, Datormagazin. Of course, heaps of old computer mags were available for a good read while slacking.

More and more sceners appeared as the evening was closing in. Amiga's, C64's, consoles and other gear was quickly filling up the tables. For me, the rest of the evening basically consisted of chatting with old friends, meeting some new people and checking out releases. As the night fell, I quickly grabbed a couch to sleep on, not to face the grim destiny of having to crash on the floor. I had some minor panic while packing at home, I couldn't find the pump for my airmatress, nor my sleeping bag, so I simply travelled without this time, only utilizing a blanket and a pillow.

It's been a while since I last visited a party at winter, and the place was pretty cold the first evening, but heat picked up as more people showed up and the glow of the blue screens kept us warm. When the soundsystem was muted sometime during the night, I finally managed to get some of my well needed beautysleep.

Next day I woke up, feeling surprisingly fresh. Courtesy of the party, every paying visitor was entitled to two breakfasts and one dinner. This was truly a great feature! Buns with cheese, yoghurt, cerials and juice kickstarted me this second day of the party.

The TRIADers present at the party (myself, iopop, Ne7, Itch and Spot) decided to finally put out the musicdisk "Manifold" that had been waiting for release for quite a while, containing a lot of tunes by Ne7. So, we copied up a few spreaddisks, and Ne7 ran a presentation of it on the bigscreen to the pleasing of the crowd. Unfortunately the organizers did have some sound issues, so we had to run it a few times before it sounded okay, but it was eventually sorted.

GGS Data, the only remaining swedish shop selling commodore related things, showed up to please us with decent prices and interesting products. People were working on their releases and the Fins were more drunk than the rest. In other words, all the necessary party features were present!

Later that day, the included dinner was served, a nice vegetarian dish. A few radical predators didn't really like that though, and some complaints were heard. I'm no vegetarian myself, but the dinner was totally satisfactory for me.

Some of the founders of Digital Illusions were also present, showing off their unreleased Megadrive game "Hardcore" from the 90s, that was completed but still not published thanks to the masterminds at Psygnosis (who owned the license).

The compos were closing in and the crowd gathered in front of the bigscreen. First out was the C64 music competition with 10 contributions. The quality was overall high and a lot of enjoyable tunes were played. Next up was the Amiga music compo with 8 tunes played, with a short break in the middle because of a technical problem. The quality varied, but some good tunes were heard in this cathegory as well.

After another break, the Amiga ASCII and Amiga graphics competitions followed. Straight after that, it was time for the C64 graphics. Only six entries, which was a little disapointing, but still better than the meager four entries in the Amiga category. It was interesting to see that three of the entries were made by sceners active on a different main platform than the C64. While we might ask where the C64 graphicians were, it's always fresh to see new faces getting interested in making graphics for the C64.

Four Amiga intros were next in queue, but only 3 made it to the big screen, since the one by Booger/HT for some reason couldn't be run on the compo Amiga. Then it was finally time for the event that so many of us had been waiting for, the start of the demo compos!

Three Amiga demos were first out. The one made by Supergroup, "Super Original" (coded by Britelite), was really good. At times I thought it ran on an Amiga 1200, but it was an A500 demo all right.

At last the C64 demos appeared on the big screen! 7 demos were handed in, and most were enjoyable to watch. The crowd was really in a good mood during the compos, shouts and hands in the air appeared regularly. Dual Crew appeared first with their demo "White", and while not revolutionary it's a nice and polished production with a neat vibe. Fairlight made a return with "One Little Wish", a good demo which managed to secure the first spot in the competition, and the crowd of course went wild, chanting "Fairlight, Fairlight". Also Panda Design contributed with a demo, "Patterns", and although quite short, this was the demonstration that appealed the most to me personally. I must also mention "C64MP3" by Mahoney, which totally blew my mind (and all the others at the party too). You had to be there to feel the amazement when the crowd just went bananas.

By the time all the compo entries had been shown it was time for voting. Sadly Magervalp's C64 voting system was not used, but you were supposed to connect to a WLAN and surf to a voting web. While perhaps a good idea in theory, in practise it did not work too well as the WLAN didn't work properly and the computer acting as webserver was slow. As a result, a bunch of people didn't vote because they simply fell asleep before being able to cast their judgements. Next time, go for the good old votingsystem on the C64, or even papersheets, guys...

I managed to get some hours of sleep, and when I woke up on Sunday it was time for a party breakfast again. Then it was time to pack and head back home together with the others, after a successful and enjoyable event. The organizers deserve praise for all their hard work, that obviously paid off and resulted in loads of happy sceners! Talking to Sixx before leaving, I learned that about 130 people in total had been present at the party. The number of Amiga sceners was larger than normal compared to parties like LCP or Floppy, but the C64 sceners surely made the biggest impact in the compos.


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