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Charts "Manipulation"
by RRR/Oxyron

I have heard much about "we are family" and that the CBM 64 scene is a wonderful place consisting of friendship and respect. If you have a look into different discussion boards it's big deal to see that the situation is still the very same like it used it to be many years ago. Causing disruption and disorder, making as much noise as possible and flaming around without a single logical argument still seems to be quite popular, even in a shrinking scene in the need of an every single active scener in order to keep the scene alive.

Especially in Poland rumours claimed that Cactus, Oxyron and even my person are supposed to cheat the charts in our publication "Attitude". Following please read what I think about this rubbish.

Fact is that we have decided to take influence on the charts since Oxyron and its members have been removed. The reason for it is quite simple. Oxyron is the responsible publisher and in order to avoid any upcoming discussion concerning the positions of the group and its members in the charts this step is quite understandable. Unlike other publications we don't intend to include "Attitude" or our members into our very own charts, too, even if the magazine, the group and the members are definately receiving enough votes. Terms like quality, honor and pride arenot just words and shouldn't be associated with oldschool cult only.

The only Oxyron related production remaining in the charts is "Deus Ex Machina" in the demo section since it is a cooperation release with Crest and seen in many eyes, but definately not in ours, as Crest only production. Otherwise we had to remove an every single production containing material by Oxyron members and to be honest, how much is left to be accepted in the charts chapter? ;-)

However, a group of five Poles has tried to cheat the charts by abusing the online-voter. Those blokes have placed a production called "Chmielina" on the top spot of the magazine section.

In an IRC session Wacek did not hesitate to spread his very own opionion about "Attitude" and disliking Cactus in general. Asking him for the reasons impressing statements like the following have been made:

What are the reasons for the bashing?
<Wacek> Cactus excluded a magazine that people voted for.

What magazine?
<Wacek> Chmielina.

Chmielina? Never heard of.
<Wacek> it's a (nonexistent) magazine :)

And why should a non-existing magazine be included into charts?
<Wacek> People voted, it should be placed in the charts :) Because it's not an editor's job to judge what SHOULD be in the charts and what SHOULDN'T.

If an editor is taking care about the production and its content he's supposed to keep the contents realistic and reasonable. The charts are supposed to be a mirror for the scene related skill and activity level, and this can only be reached by people/groups/productions participating in that specified category and the scene in general. Everything else is unreliable!

There has been a thread @ CSDB regarding the topic fake labels, which is in my opinion rather identical to non-existing sceners or productions, even with the difference that fake labels create or release EXISTING stuff:

VENGEANCE, editor of Vandalism News:
"As for them being put in charts with real groups, thats inexperiance and mistaken fortunes on the editor or the magazine in question. If the editor is dumb enough to mistake them for a real group then the magazine has to be in question. Investigative jornalism I think we call it."

STRYYKER, editor of The Beergarden, stating his opinion concerning this topic, too:
"Well, blame those that vote! Some mags may or maynot filter ("The Beergarden" will filter some charts in the future)."

I personally think we can not call it censorship or manipulation if the editors are forced to filter. Perhaps the set of rules for the charts should be rewritten and new paragraphs need to be added, clearly stating that votes for fake labels, non-existing productions, sceners or groups won't be counted, and that all because five "clever" blokes think they can outwit the system?

Let's continue with the IRC log:
<Mac_DMA> If he would have included it, you would have blamed him for not removing it
<Wacek> Mac_DMA: It's not the point. What if i make that mag tomorrow?

This is exactly the point we are talking about. The opinion and judgement of those self-proclaimed judges holding the "high" standards of the scene alive, is quite clear.

Case 1: "Attitude" includes the fake votes
Result: Cactus is an unqualified editor printing fake votes

Case 2: "Attitude" excludes the fake votes
Result: Cactus is an unqualified editor manipulating the charts

Conclusion: all possible solutions are inacceptable for you. Fact is: Cactus is a devoted and motivated scener contributing to the scene with some releases to keep the scene alive. Nobody is perfect, there is always something left to improve, however people should get the chance to raise their qualification level.

My question: What do you expect now? If that non-released magazine is going to be released and written in English there's no reason not to include it. Non-existent persons, productions, false platform votes and self-voting can't be counted and won't be accepted. I guess most people will agree. Period.

Taste varies from person to person because it is individual, and that's normally a positive aspect. In case all people would share the very same taste life would be extremely boring, don't you agree?

Critism is always welcome, especially magazines can develope further by receiving valueable feedback. Writing a few short flames without any basis might be a hell of fun for the responsible aggressor, nevertheless it won't really help anyone, not you, the scene, the production and the overall quality level of the scene is not going to be raised by spreading flames, too.

To answer some "feedback":

- "I saw 20 better mag outfits coded some years ago"
I can't remember Cactus claiming that he setted a new standard with the very best magazine outfit ever. Having a look at the magascene these days this outfit is definately not the worst one around, even if there might have been better outfits coded some years ago. The past of this computer platform was brilliant, and it has seen its best days before the ones complaining entered it. Those were the days when our beloved Commodore 64 was the #1 home computer. Those days ended in the late eighties and very early nineties, nevertheless a few enthusiastic people continued to support this machine. That's the reason why there's still a scene around, why some of us can still have some fun and enjoy working with a machine being already about 20 years old.

- "Proportional text displayer is fucking slow"
True. I am quite sure this routine is going to be improved for the new issue. Nevertheless you can't explain me that you are reading and understanding the text screen faster than the text is displayed.

- "The code is not cycled"
True. Keeping in mind that even software giants like e.g. Microsoft do NOT deliver bug-free software and here we are talking about well paid professional programmers and expensive software. A NOP is missing so there appears a minor flicker on emulators. It's annoying for the coder himself but it has no major impact on reading the magazine itself.

It's no secret that you can always find a reason to complain. Maybe it be the music, the graphic, the charset, the background color, the responsbile group or maybe because it's just you don't like the responsible author. Constructive critism, critism can be both positive and negative, and support is always welcomed and especially requested. Mistakes are there to be made, fortunately mankind uses to learn out of mistakes most of the time. It's more productive to support each other with constructive critism and a few good advices to make sure the production is getting better next time. Attacking someone just with the intention to show off, having a different point of view or a completely different taste is NO acceptable solution, atleast not in a civilized world with hopefully grown up persons. Most of us have grown up in free countries with the freedom of speech, a right nobody wants to deny or reduce, but maybe some people still need to learn how to live with it and how to use it?

If you just want to attack or bash anyone you better consult your psychatrist and tell him about your desire. I am quite sure there exists a sort of cure for the misbelief that humiliating or demotivating other persons is a sort of personal success.

I am realising that this article is getting too long but I have the strong belief and hope that some sceners can follow and will agree with the content.

It's the present we are talking about and facing, it's the future we can actively influence and it's an unforgotten past we will always remember.

Best regards,
RRR.

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