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Subscribers : 2449
DemoNews 150 - 04 February 1998 Archive Size : 5.4Gb

THE FINAL ISSUE

>------------------------------------------------------------------ Contents --

Introduction .................................... Snowman
Calendar
In Review
/demos ........................................ Snowman + Phoenix
Articles
That's Entertainment .......................... Dan Wright
The Grey Day .................................. Eye
The Rise And Fall Of The Demoscene ............ Zippy
What Is Oldskool .............................. Trixter
Interview With Hunz ........................... GD
Disintegration Of The Old Graphics Scene ...... Danny
Coding Mathematics Part 3 ..................... Tiberius
ASCII Adjust For Division ..................... Submissive
Pipe Generation From Arbitrary Shapes ......... Ranganathan
Jason, The Man, The Musician, The Story ....... roboMOP
A New Hope .................................... Trixter
Interview With Snowman ........................ Ryan Cramer
General Information

>-------------------------------------------------------------- Introduction --

Hello all, and welcome to DemoNews 150.

_____Introduction

This is the final issue of DemoNews.

Why? See the interview at the end of this newsletter for details. You
might have to dig through the text a bit, but I do explain things there.

Perhaps more effort has gone into this issue of DemoNews than any other. I
personally have spent over 15 hours in the past month, collecting articles,
contacting others to contribute articles, formatting text, checking and
rechecking for errors. Overall I'm quite happy with the result. We have
solid articles about demos, music, graphics, and code. We snuck in some
quality editorials, and I finally got a chance to reminisce about the "old
days" in an interview. I appreciate the time that everyone spent attempting
to make this concluding issue an excellent one.

New article submissions are still welcome. If you send them to me, I will do
my best to use them. This might be accomplished through TraxWeekly or
Imphobia, html-izing the article and putting it on the archive, or even
giving it to another quality site maintainer.

There is no need to unsubscribe yourself from the listserver. Who knows...
I may actually make use of the list in the future.

_____Conclusion

Thank you all for taking an interest in this newsletter over the years.
Without your support, it would have ended much earlier.

Take care fellow sceners. Keep the community strong.

Christopher G. Mann (Snowman / Hornet) - r3cgm@hornet.org
04 February 1998, 18:06 PST

>------------------------------------------------------------------ Calendar --

The calendar has been moved to http://www.hornet.org/ha/pages/calendar.html

>----------------------------------------------------------------- In Review --

-- /demos ------------------------------------------------------------------>

:: Snowman / Hornet - r3cgm@hornet.org
:: Phoenix / Hornet - phoenix@hornet.org

[Note: This was originally sent as informal email within the group on 13
Jan 1998, but Trixter suggested it be reformatted as an article for
DemoNews.]

[Snowman writes...]

Last night I went home and watched all of the demos from TP97. Good thing
I burned them on CDROM because I didn't relish the thought of downloading
55 megs on a 28.8k modem. :)

Anyway, I just wanted to share a couple brief thoughts about the demos this
year (and I hope Andy can expound upon this):

- The code in almost all demos seemed really well optimized. I'm running a
really nice vanilla machine at home, and was impressed with the
framerates I got (for the most part). The current system configuration
for radar.hornet.org is:

Pentium 133
32Mb RAM
Synergy ViperMAX
Diamond Stealth 32 w/S3 (2 meg)
NCR SCSI controller
2 gig HP SCSI drive
4x Toshiba SCSI CDROM drive

For one reason or another, this hardware works together really well and I
love my little machine. But this is beside the point.

- I didn't have ANY of the 30 demos hard crash my system.

- Only one demo wouldn't run correctly for me (Lessons by The Polka
Brothers + Cubic Team, 3rd place). The music played, and it was obvious
that the demo was going, but the video mode was initialized wrong and I
didn't wait through the entire thing to see if they'd switch back to a
more forgiving mode.

- Unless I'm missing something, I disliked the 2nd place entry (Mundai by
Blasphemy). Object show.

- The 4th place entry (Kolme Pient Pukkia by M0ppi Productions) rocked the
party! Oh man... cartoon-style 3D, a plot, well-designed, and very
funny. This is one of my 3 recommendations for demos to get
(m0p-3pp.zip).

- Uhm... maybe Phoenix mentioned it and I forgot, but have the rest of you
seen the demo that Andy coded for TP97? Although this demo didn't seem
to be a contender, design seems to be a skill that American coders have.
This is #2 of my 3 recommendations (dc5-caq2.zip).

- And the grand finale. Tribes by Pulse. This demo is one of those things
you really NEED to see. I can't say enough positive things about this
demo. The rest of you should know by now that I am a deeply symbolic and
metaphorical kind of guy. This demo fed my mind. The effects were as
effects should be... they were there and didn't distract me from the real
gold of this demo, the plot. I'm still trying to figure out if I see
this more as a demo on abortion, animal rights, parenthood, isolation, or
any number of other possible interpretations. Pulse did such an
incredible job with this production that I find myself trying to figure
out exactly what the message was, long after watching the demo. If I
ever show someone outside of the demo scene what a demo is like, I will
probably change my standing "Machines of Madness" to "Tribes". This is
my #1 recommendation for demos to get (tribes.zip).

[And Phoenix replies...]

Well, being home for the most part on a modem connection, and working on
the Hornet Charts and reviewing older demos, I didn't get around to
downloading most of the TP7 demos yet. But here is what I've seen so far.

"Square" by Pulse. Really artsy. Uses backgrounds to snazz up the
effects. This demo overall ran rather slowly on my machine, leading me to
think it stores floats like no tomorrow. [Phoenix has a Cyrix processor.]
Rather creative design, I think, but, no effects that reached out and
grabbed me.

"Tribes" by Pulse. A nice one! The effects ran VERY fast on my PC, only a
couple 3d engines have run faster. The music synchronization is a little
odd in the beginning (abrupt changes). I also dislike the attempt at
poetry toward the middle - there's a trend of showing words that don't make
any sense. Oh, and the pointless nudity too. OK, put that aside, and you
have a great 3d movie of sorts. Parts like the transition to the colored
bobs world gave me warm fuzzies only ****+ demos like Contrast are capable
of. But, it ends abruptly toward the end - right when I'm into it..

"Elektroniks" by Doomsday. Well, they said it was a 5 day demo, but it's
very solid. Everything fits together, and there's a lot of graphics/design
to accompany the effects. There were no real cool-ass scenes like Boost
had, but I think the overall quality of this one was as good if not better.

"Trip" by Kosmic. Er, well, I THINK this one got shown at TP7. It's
another GooRoo vector show. But, the scenes are pretty good.. there's some
metaballs hovering over a large hand, a T-Rex with gold chains stomping
through some terrain, and a spaceship flying through a city with some video
billboards. Unfortunately, the design is just simply not there - the
infamous GooRoo still screens are abound. We'll have to see how the final
release, if any, turns out.

"Cack 2" by DC5. Err, I'll move on to the next one. ;)

"Herring" by Fobia Design. I only saw this since I got it off a web site
for Howler to enter :). It's a little nicer than most Fobia design stuff -
lots of neat ideas. But, a few borrowed ones, and the gratuitous
chick-pics are abound. Still, decent.

"Lessons" by Polka Bros/$een. An attempt to cash in on Polka Bros/Amiga
fame, I think :). You can tell where the Amiga ideas were (2d) and where
the PC ideas were (3d). This one just didn't seem to pack in too much
power to me. I liked the 3d scene toward the end, and the quick cartoon
animation, but random flashing words kind of ruined things.

"Forever Dreaming" by Acme/Quad. If anything, get this for the music. Vic
proves again to be a Dutch Necros. Other than that, it may have a bit of a
thrown-together feel (made in 3 days), but it's still nice.

That's it for the demos. I did see ALL the intros, too. Quite a good
selection of 64ks, I think - not many outstanding ideas, but a good level
of quality. Unfortunately, since I went from a S3 Virge to an ET6000, one
intro won't work and another has messed up colors. Sigh, either I'll
figure it out or try to get my old card back. :)

>------------------------------------------------------------------ Articles --

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "That's Entertainment"
:: Dan Wright - dmwright@aracnet.com

When I started writing this column for this last DemoNews I began with a
couple hand written pages on how I discovered demos and a little bit of the
Hornet demo site history. Well, I decided to scrap it since I've been
there and done that. If you happen to be interested in that sort of stuff
check out previous editions of this newsletter or read the demo FAQ.

Today's lesson in life is about moving on. After I passed the buck to Mr.
Mann I drifted further and further away from the demo/music scene. I guess
it has something to do with getting older and the trading off of time.
I've seen many people come into this scene, produce great things and then
vanish. Kind of like as a kid when you build models, ride a skate board,
BMX, etc. Very few people stick with it for a lifetime and far too many
end up departing from whatever scene it was way before reaching their full
potential. I didn't, nor did others, wake up one morning and say "Okay,
that is it, I'm leaving the Demo scene today." For most of us
participation slowly fades away as other "more important" tasks consume us
in our everyday world.

Some might consider the Demo/Music/Computer scene as a big escape but for
me it was a hobby. I still enjoy demos the rare times I download them and
get them working on my machine. I do feel the demo heyday has passed us by
though. The WEB with all its fancy graphics and multimedia is the new
medium pulling talent from the dwindling demo scene. Only you know what
the future holds. Make some choices, go with your gut feeling and best of
luck with your new endeavors.

Oh yeah, one last thing. If you find that you are the last one left please
close the door on your way out. Thanks.

It's been fun.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "The Grey Day"
:: Eye / UniSex

It's Monday morning. It rains today. I look out of the window, and I see
packs of young school girls, running around under colourful umbrellas.
They scream and shout. It's the start of the new school season. This
world is strange. We all live on the same ground, but deep inside
ourselves we all belong to different worlds.

Whilst those school girls giggle and discover boys, others spend their days
making demos on a computer.

I am one of those who make demos on Amiga. I await the release of new ones,
watch them with careful eyes, think about their concept and wonder about
their makers; sceners like me, who use high tech hardware and tools on PC
(more than often at work), to make non-interactive software on Amiga. The
Amiga scene has become very similar to the C64 one - everyone works on PC
and finishes the product on the target machine (Amiga/C64).

Coders code in C, graphicians use pressure sensitive pens and Photoshop
filters, musicians make 8 channel modules. Swappers die one by one, and
BBSi turn into FTP sites, still with a ratio rating. The scene changes and
Java demos gain popularity. The room for exceptions (sceners who
communicate via mail, graphicians who use an old Deluxe Paint versions,
musicians who make 8K chip tunes, writers who produce a magazine on disk
every 4 months) exist, but it is small, dull and will lead nowhere. These
uses of making demos belong to another scene which was different. Nothing
can exist forever and the tendencies of the scene are no exception.

Now that coders have coded whatever there was to code in 3D domains,
someone gains inspiration to drop the accent on developing new and better
looking environments for 3D scenes. The code exists, the underground music
is ready. It is the modeller that decides when a new demo is made. He must
make the textures. He must make the objects. He must provide animated
scenes.

Without the Amiga, the demo scene would have a totally different meaning.
Together with the C64, the mother of all scenes, the PC scener must look
and understand. We must learn from the errors of the ones before. We must
study old concepts to procreate in our scene. Else the PC scene will
eventually become a phantom of itself.

The bell rings. The school day is over. The scene continues to exist, to
morph into new forms. Old wizards leave and users turn into new-coming
sceners.

This is the scene of young teens. The old names now belong to the books of
history. They are episodes of another scene, to be read and talked about.

Nothing more, nothing less.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "The Rise And Fall Of The Demoscene"
:: Zippy / unIon - thezippy@rocketmail.com

_____Introduction

Hello folks, just found out that my BIOS handles the transition past year
2000, so I'm in a good article-writing mood. However you may have noticed
the quite ominous title of this article, and well, it is an ominous
article. Ever seen one of those guys running around the street trying to
make eye-contact with people while he yells "Armageddon tomorrow!"? Well,
how should I put this? ... Armageddon tomorrow!

_____Little Jimmy, The Icon-Hacker

In the last couple of years the demoscene has been tearing itself away from
the underground. In my opinion it wasn't ready. Or maybe the outside world
wasn't ready. A lot of people got connected to the demoscene through the
warez-scene, or the classic "I saw 2nd Realty, and became a scener". This
kind of thing made the scene grow.

Little Jimmy grows up, gets a computer, gets hold of a modem, and masses of
warez. He sees a cracktro, or a game cracked by some demoscene
related-people, and becomes interested. For starters games are getting so
huge, and copy-protection is getting a bit better, so few kids bother to
sit for hours on end to DL a game. And of course there are so few good
hackers nowadays too. People actually exist who "hack" from Win'95 with
some ready-made programs. "Point 'n Hack", sorta thing. Not exactly
potential demosceners...

Then there's the Second Reality thing. If little Jimmy had seen it three
years ago or something he would have been impressed and devoted his life to
the scene... maybe. The thing is that today little Jimmy has his PC
stuffed with Microsoft programs, and is used to "I click on the little
picture, and the game starts". Little Jimmy becomes one of those kids who
has parents who thinks he's a whiz with his computer, but really doesn't
even understand what a computer is.

Today little Jimmy can't get 2nd Reality to run. He tries looking for a
little picture to click, but when he finds it his screen goes black. He
doesn't know much about "that thing with Windows called DOS", and laughs if
someone asks him to perhaps use a different boot setup. Little Jimmy
doesn't even know he HAS an AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, or a COMMAND.COM. He
definitely doesn't have the guts to mess with MSDOS.SYS (the easiest way to
make a Win'95-based machine start in DOS, by the way, apart from DELTREE
WINDOWS ;). Little Jimmy gives up, and plays a game coded poorly that
still manages to take up 4 CDs.

_____Friendliness

So some sceners think "Oh well let's try a Win'95, or even a Java-demo",
then it'll at least get seen by more people, and maybe some people will be
attracted to the scene. Talk about turning to the dark side of the force.
:) Now little Jimmy actually CAN click his little picture and see a demo.
He won't bother to mess with anything in his system, and definitely won't
try to make something himself. I once tried to explain to some
non-demoscener friends of mine about how programs are made, and such, but
they just kinda smiled and said they thought that programs were just sort
of magically made at some factory or something. Seriously!

Something needs to be done to save the demoscene. I don't think the answer
is to blend in with the rest and start making Windows-stuff. I think the
answer is friendliness. Yeah, people should just be more friendly. Why
didn't I think of that earlier? Would be good for world-peace and stuff.
:) The scene is too full of people who think they "rule the scene". I
don't wanna mention any names, because I'm a total wimp :) , but I'm sure a
few names will spring to mind.

People tend to think that being a newbie is synonymous with being a lamer.
This is especially true when it comes to the elite sceners. It is just so
wrong. Everybody has to start somewhere! Everybody has to learn. Nobody
gets born with the ability to code, track, draw, etc. It's a learning
process. People with masses of potential don't dare to explore the scene
because they fear ridicule, and because nobody will talk to them.

Think of how much better the scene would be if those who were really good
helped out those who were just starting. Perhaps the scene has become too
competitive. Perhaps the prizes have gotten too big for there to be any fun
involved. Recruit sceners! Take newbies under your wing instead of
ignoring them. There's a huge difference between newbies and lamers. I
think most people know that. You just have to be able to see clearly
enough to separate the two.

Talk to some friends, see if they've got a potential scener in them, talk
to the little dude 'tuggin at your leg saying "How is it I code a
.PCX-viewer again?", and for gods sake answer e-mail! The most discouraging
thing in the world is to send mail to some guy you admire and not even get
a response. When I first got into the scene, in '94 I think it was, quite
a few people didn't bother to answer my mails, but the answers I got were
much more friendly than today's "go away little lamer" attitude.

A little ironic fact I'd like to mention is that Future Crew got a lot of
people into the scene through their great demos, but they also scared a lot
of people away with their cocky attitude.

_____Shameless Plug #1

If you happen to be pretty new to the scene or would like some info you
could try DL'ing "The DemoScene Starter Kit 2.0", that I've made. It'll be
available from The Hornet Archive, and various BBS's sometime during
January, or February '98. Look for DSSK20.ZIP. There you'll find masses of
info, including an e-mail list with about 350 addresses, coding-tutorial,
plus much more. All with it's own interface. You could DL previous
versions, but frankly they suck.

_____Conclusion

Armageddon tomorrow?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "What Is Oldskool"
:: Trixter / Hornet - trixter@hornet.org

[The following is the introduction to the upcoming site www.oldskool.org, a
website dedicated to classic demos and classic PC games. www.oldskool.org
will open in March, 1998.]

_____Introduction

What is Oldskool?

Oldskool is my flavor of "Old school", a term commonly given to something
that, while old, was (and still is) innovative, fresh, proper, clever, and
generally correct and the right way to do things. The old school begets the
new school (anything new and modern), for you certainly can't get to
anything new without going through the old. For example: Robotron is the
old school, while Quake is the new school; Sister Sledge is the old school,
while En Vogue is the new school; and so on. Old school is, ultimately, a
term of respect.

Why "Oldskool" and not "Old school", then? That is easily understood if you
know me and my background. I am currently a member of Hornet, a demogroup.
I was a member of INC back in '87 and '88 (definitely not a demogroup ;-).
Both types of groups are known for keeping the bastion of hobbyist
computing alive, with roots back to the beginning days of the "homebrew"
computer clubs -- achieving the impossible, and then sharing that
information with the world.

_____Software Pirates

Software Pirates promoted the Universal Truth that information should be
free, and also amazed me because they unraveled sophisticated and clever
attempts to prohibit that Truth -- and most of them weren't old enough to
drive a car yet and knew nothing of conventional programming techniques.

Back then (before 1985), most pirates were one-man productions -- the same
guy obtained/stole the software, stripped it of its protection, modified
the graphics to put his signature on it, then spread it around. They were
distributor, cracker, and courier all rolled into one. Sometimes they even
managed to improve the software by fixing bugs or making it more compatible
across different hardware variations -- all without the original source
code.

Nowadays, cracking groups (the term "pirate" has fallen into obscurity)
have at least three distributors, crackers, couriers, organizers, ANSI
artists, PR, etc. per group, which turns it from a hobby into a machine.
It's all about 0-day warez, which, as a cultural philosophy, is just
pathetic. It's lost about 95 percent of its culture. It's rape, pure and
simple.

_____Demo Coders

Demo coders created (and occasionally continue to create) demos, which
achieved the impossible -- excellent colorful graphics in non-colorful
low resolution display modes, wavetable music on systems without
wavetable hardware (sometimes even without a sound card), real-time
fluid three-dimensional graphics on systems without dedicated 3D
hardware (and in some cases like the Commodore 64, even without the
convenience of a DIVide instruction!) ... and all with a fresh sense of
style and conviction that asked only one thing: "Admire me. Admire
this. I've achieved the impossible." It's hard NOT to admire.

While I have respect for the people who broke new artistic ground coding
demos and discovering/cracking clever copy-protection schemes, I have even
greater respect for the people who coded software for the early PCs -- they
were "elite" before elite was coined. They wrote compilers in assembler,
they wrote assemblers in machine code, and they pushed the PC to new limits
because they were clever and because they had to make do with what they had
(unlike today, where you can program as lazy as you want because you can
always buy a new PC in six months). They achieved the impossible because
they didn't know it was impossible. That's oldskool.

_____Conclusion

I used to admire oldskool, continue to do so, and probably will until I
die. Now that I'm older and educating the new blood with what I've
experienced (and learned from that experience), I have BECOME oldskool,
and this site is that extension of myself.

Some of the younger folk in today's popular culture use "old school" as an
interchangeable term for "retro"; some even use it when making fun of the
past. But oldskool is a term I proudly use with the utmost respect. I hope
you will, too.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "Interview With Hunz"
:: GD / Hornet - gd@hornet.org

_____Introduction

Hunz is a PC musician living in Australia. With a strong root on the Amiga
platform and the Protracker environment, he has adapted well to Triton's
Fast Tracker 2 after migrating to the PC platform.

Some of his recent notable works include a musicdisk, "Barcode," and a song
titled "Clone it." His co-op MC5 entry with Basehead, titled "Digital
Ritual", ranked 5th place in the veteran division. His music is unique and
displays a tremendous amount of talent and effort.

_____The Interview

Q: Can you tell us about yourself?
A: My name is Hans Van Vliet. I'm from New Zealand and my parents are Dutch.
I'm adopted, so I'm not Dutch at all, although I like all their food. ;)

Q: What was your first computer system?
A: I had an mc10. Man, those things rocked. Its music was so 'leet. ;)
One channel and and one instrument.

Q: One channel? That's insane. :) What was your earliest experience with
music that you can remember?
A: When I was 4 or 5, I used to sit at my parents' organ and write crappy
lead tunes on it. I used to say to my mum, "Mummy, come and listen to
this tune," and off I would go. She would just smile, and say, "Hrm,
that's nice dear, now go and play with your toys."

Q: Over the years, what different music/computer interfaces have you used?
A: I've used, um, mc10, vic20, c64, amiga500, amiga600, amiga2000,
amiga1200. Then I had to get this stupid thing... damn this PC. ;)

I used this lame extension thing for the c64 that was a plug in cart,
and I had to program all the music in through basic... that really sucked.
Then I advanced to the amiga using soundtracker, then I moved over to
Protracker.

Then a games company wanted 8-channel music, so they got me this PC
computer with Scream Tracker. Scream Tracker was crap compared to
Protracker, then Fast Tracker 2 came out and everything was fine.
Thanks Triton. ;)

Q: Was that your first game music job?
A: I worked on a game called Stargunner. I started this in year 10/11 of
school and it took away a lot of my time (but that was the least of my
worries). Later on they basically said, "You're crap," so they got
someone else. Who knows, maybe I was crap.

Q: Ouch! What company was it?
A: Apogee, the American company. George was the team leader; he was the one
behind Duke Nukem 3d. American music is so different from the Euro music
I was weaned from. ;)

Q: Have you done game music since then?
A: I did one other game, and I've steered away from games, but I would
love to get involved with them again. I need to prove to myself that I
can do theme type music. The other game I did music for was Kingdoms at
War. I did all those tunes in one day, and it was rather crud. ;)

Q: What musical instruments or equipment do you currently own?
A: I only have a crappy Casio which is rather 'leet hooked up to a guitar
pedal. That's about it. I have a pentium 133 and just the usual sound
programs. Oh, I have about 6 sample cd's that I pick to bits. ;) (This
is where I get all of my sounds from). I have an sb16... yes, the king of
hiss soundcard. I'm not ashamed. =)

Q: How and when did you first come in contact with the demo scene?
A: Hehe, hrm... with this lame demo group called "Southern Guild". This was
back in 1993-94. I used to go to some of their meetings, which was just
an excuse to pirate all the latest games. We never released anything,
but we did have a fun time (I think).

Q: Was "Barcode" your first musicdisk?
A: No, barcode was my 2nd. I released one on the Amiga called "Jukebox
fantasies"... I used to be called "jukebox" back then. Jukebox fantasies
was a joint music disk with some other person. It was rather lame, as I
can remember. It had a crappy interface, but it was damn good for an
Australian release. ;)

Q: What was the reaction to your "Barcode" musicdisk?
A: I don't know, I guess I didn't get much of one. I remember a few people
saying it was "different but well done". Personally I think it's ok. I
could have made it a bit more. It was too simple in some parts and other
songs didn't really work well together. What I mean is, as a FULL music
disk some of the tunes didn't quite work in there. ;) But Barcode isn't
my normal style; I was trying to create something new.

Q: Where does your current handle "Hunz" come from, and how long have you
been using it?
A: Well, it's kinda how I want my REAL name to be said. Here in Australia
they say "hAAAAAns," but when I spell it "hunz," they say it right. ;)
I've been using it for about 3-4 years.

Q: You mentioned that you get sounds from sample cd's. What kind of effects
processing do you use?
A: I didn't use any back then (for "Barcode"). I just had to use the sample
as is. But now I'm using the most 'leet program I've ever used,
Soundforge 4... (I'm sorry I haven't purchased it yet, but I will as soon
as I make money). ;) Soundforge is amazing, I can't stop using it. Oh,
I did use a 2020 (which is a guitar pedal), awhile back.

Q: Have you had any music education?
A: Not really, but I've managed to pick up a lot over the past few years.
At school, music was only offered for years 8-10, so for year 11-12 I
couldn't do music. )= I then applied for music college and I got in,
which only lasted one year, but I learned things from that. As for music
instruments, I'm Mr. Selftaught as a lot of people are these days. I find
this is that best thing sometimes.

Q: What is your current occupation?
A: Hehe, don't laugh, but I work at McDonald's (well, that is my paying job).
Other than that, I have 3 bands, and I work tv/theater in my spare time.

Q: What do you do in each of the bands?
A: I sing in 2 of the bands, and write techno music for the other band.

Q: Can you talk about some of the demoscene projects you're currently
working on?
A: I'm working on a some very weird music with Basehead... we are trying to
create something that the listener struggles to listen to. We are putting
a lot of time into it, and don't expect to release it until late this
year.

I'm working on a co-op music disk, were I co-op with a heap of people and
release it as one big co-op music disk. I've got heaps of people working
on it: Basehead, Wave, Tito, Radix, Thefear, Scirocco, Mickrip, and heaps
of others as well. I'm really looking forward to it ;)

Q: Sounds like it will be a great disk! Good luck with it. What groups are
you currently in?
A: I've just joined analogue and vault.

[Editor's note: since this interview was performed, Hunz has also joined
Five Musicians.]

Vault is an all Australian music group with Mickrip, Yannis, Ozone,
Chuckb, Pulse, Chris, Firelight, Clef, Jase, Legend, and me. We will be
releasing expose2 I think. ;) Oh, and I'm working on a musicdisk with a
twist: it's going to be all singing tunes. None of this lead stuff
anymore. ;)

Q: "Clone it" is a very unique song with original vocals and a humorous
twist. I'm assuming the conceptual inspiration was from the supposed
sheep cloning, but where did the musical inspiration come from?
A: Well, the song just happened... everything fell into place. K8to half
inspired it when I was chatting to him one night... dennisc did the same
thing to me too... both these people are so cool to talk to. ;) Oh, and
you GD (suck suck)... but, yeah... I just got the instruments and
started tracking, and everything fell into place. Later on, I dumped
the tune, then forced myself to finish it (which I wish I didn't, because
some of the parts I added just don't work).

Q: Do you have any plans for the future?
A: Yeah, I want world domination. ;)

I just hope that I continue to do music for the rest of my life and if
it takes me everywhere then I will be extremely happy. I have no other
plans, except MUSIC and more music. I will be doing a solo cd this
year/next year too, which should be very weird, I hope. ;) It will be
fully tracked... the tunes are about 16-32 meg each... hrm. ;) I'm going
by the name "dweeb"... I think the album will be called "smoke me"... but
these are just ideas. I've written the title song "smoke me" already. ;)

I'm hoping that my home band "Beanbag" gets signed soon... cuz I just love
our music. ;)

Hrm, that's about it... oh, I want more time... and more sleep. ;)

Q: Are there any demo groups that you actively follow?
A: Not really, but I do like Nooon, only because of their Amiga involvement,
and I like Complex and Orange. I wish Spaceballs and Red Sector would do
something again. ;)

Q: What changes would you like to see in the demoscene?
A: Not much, just a bit more understanding. I was reviewed in the mod
weekly review, and I got a really cool mark, but the thing that stood out
was this statement, "he could have done this in less channels... like
10-14 chns" (clawz). I think he's missed the point: the music is what
works, who cares how I achieved it. I thought that was a dumb reason to
mark a tune down. I thought that was rather silly. ;)

Q: Do you want to send out any greets or messages?
A: Thanks everyone for listening to my stuff; I love you all. Thanks heaps.
HigherBeing, you rock, one day you will live in America. Stein, thanks
for the cd, you also rock. Ari, thanks for your support. Everyone who
talks to me on #trax, <hugs>, you all rock. I could write every bloody
name that I know, but what would be the point. ;)

Q: Are you still active on amiga?
A: Nope, not anymore... I just sold my a1200 and left it behind. The PC scene
is so strong, why ignore it? I know this amiga user and he is still buying
stuff for it... AMIGA IS DEAD! Leave it in peace. It's not Jesus, so it
will never come back to life.

Q: What do you think of amiga groups that are heavy into proclaiming "PC
SUCKS!" ?
A: I just think it's funny, because they are so right. =)

Q: Thanks for doing the interview, and thanks for putting up with gd math
(1 hour = 2 hours). :)
A: Hehe. Thanks; it's such a buzz to be the center of attention. ;)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "Disintegration Of The Old Graphics Scene"
:: Danny / Eidos Interactive - danny.geurtsen@eidos.co.uk

Many of you have probably heard in the past few weeks that I have decided
to no longer continue my creative efforts for the scene. I know that until
recently I have not been showing any signs whatsoever of coming to such a
harsh decision. As a matter of fact, in an interview I gave for a scene
magazine somewhere around the last months of 1997 I claimed I would become
more active than I had been ever before. During the often long periods
between the pictures I released I continued to develop my styles and
skills.

My professional career however kept me from showing the scene the progress
I always force myself to make in order to become a better artist. When my
busy schedule at Eidos cleared up more or less I saw chances to invest some
serious time in the scene and show everybody the wonderful ideas I had for
new pieces of art.

What initially stopped me from doing so was a gradual understanding of the
way the scene evolved, or rather disintegrated into fractions. Recent
events such as the disappointing contents of TP7's graphics competition,
the introduction of a web-page called "The No-Copy?-page" and other events
somehow proved to be the final drop that tipped over the balance for me. To
make my point clear, I'll start from the beginning...

When I started out in the scene back in 1992, the whole scanning business
wasn't even an issue. Hardly anyone had even heard of that form of
technology. Nowadays it seems the other way around. Where there's
competition, there's bad, average, good, better, best, also in the demo
scene. As the scene-pictures in general became better and better, it
became harder for the any artist in general to keep up and stay on top. The
lesser artists disappeared out of the charts or just kept releasing
pictures of lesser quality...

At the same time however the Software and Hardware industry kept making
improvements too. Better art programs were made but more importantly
scanners and digitizer prizes dropped way down to the point where the
average financial income could afford them. Therefore people started buying
them. After all, what better way is there to show your friends your
holiday snaps, and oh boy, isn't it fun to scan in photos of people and
mess around with them, giving them giant mustaches and pimpled faces. Joy
all around.

But there are always the smart ones amongst the less talented artists
struggling to keep up (or perhaps even just starting out in the tough world
of the graphics scene). They were thinking "Boy, I wish I could draw like
that.. it almost looks like a photograph. Hang on a second... photograph,
scanner... I HAVE A CUNNING PLAN! I'll just scan in some bits and pieces
of photos, paste them together and retouch it here and there, sign it and
people will think I have drawn it. I could be famous.. a V.I.S., my name
high in the charts..."

Of course, the very first attempts were crude and anyone could spot the
difference. However the temptation of wanting to become a respected
artist, or in some cases the sheer laziness of other people (even of some
otherwise quite capable artists (you know who you are)) seemed too great to
ignore. Demos started using scanned art, gfx competitions started showing
scanned art, even demo-groups based all of their visuals on scanned-in
images... calling it a new form of design.

A large part of the scene however could not respect this easy way of
producing imagery, and a lot of criticism was aired in the direction of the
offenders. The offenders in their turn initially started coming up with
lies (claiming they were honest artists, pixeling the whole lot). As the
pressure continued to increase, calling for even better and more original
art, the lies turned into cleverly constructed excuses that bent the rules
and definitions the art scene had created on its evolutionary path. Keep
saying those excuses long enough, and their acceptance will gain ground.
And so they did. Thus, the scene got divided into three areas: those who
had accepted the use of digital fakery, those who opposed to it, and those
who just did not care either way.

There only remained one step to get to the point where we are now at the
time that I write this (the first month of 1998). There are quite a number
of artists (even some famous ones that get much respect) that have
practiced so long on making a scanned image look hand drawn, that their
lame efforts have become almost undetectable. There is almost no way of
telling if the image is created through blood, sweat, and tears, or the
powers of modern-day technology. Usually, an artist falsely accused of
scanning could prove his innocence by showing the 'work in progress' --
steps he had saved along the way of the creation process. Now there are
groups of scanning people that backtrack their picture and create
in-between steps from a retouched scan. Erasing certain parts to black,
drawn a sketch line here and there, you get the point. If people go to such
lengths to cover up their lies to steal away the respect people have from
honest artists, then the fun for me in the scene is over.

Another thing is that for many people the use of a scanner has become so
accepted that they see absolutely nothing wrong with the use of it. Often,
their opinion is that art can be created in any way. This is certainly
true and I won't argue with that. But what I can't get out of my mind is
that this new media is so popular with people that have little or no talent
for drawing in the first place.

For me, art is about two things. 1. The feeling of it. Making art is just
a very relaxing and (to me) rewarding feeling. It's also a way to express
your feelings. 2. The challenge of competing with other artists from your
genre. The challenge of trying to be one of the best, to create the
ultimate picture. Art becomes interesting when you can combine those two
things successfully. I have yet to see a scan and retouched picture in the
scene that managed to capture those two things successfully together.

If you happen to go and venture into new areas of creating art, fine, but
do it with honesty and determination to make something special of the
medium. Otherwise don't bother, cos you won't stand out of the bland and
grey majority. Art is something special, a bland and grey majority isn't!
Scanning in photos of people and doing some weird things here and there and
running some filters over it may feel good and allow you to express your
feelings. But it isn't special. It doesn't take true determination.
Anyone can do it that way. Scanning in photos and drawing on top of them,
or retouching them into a hand drawn look and claiming you drew them MIGHT
require a LITTLE form of talent, but it isn't honest and should NOT feel
good. You only fool yourself in the end.

What people ALWAYS seem to forget is that art can come in so many different
forms. Even with using scanners. However, I have yet to see a picture
that was scanned and pasted and filtered together that set a standard
unreachable by others. And that is why I don't take this medium seriously.

All this that I have just described is so clear to me and somehow it seems
to be so UNclear to the scene. There is so much debate going on about
this, so much misunderstanding, so much lying, cheating and basically
downright crap pictures being made, that this outweighs the fun and good
things there are about the scene.

I did my best to come up with quality pictures, to set new standards for
the scene. I know quite a lot of people enjoy my efforts. However, more
and more often I get attacked on IRC by scene-newbies just fresh from a
visit to the no-copy? page. Telling me I'm a fake, that I scan and that
I'm no real artist. Considering the many many hours I've spent drawing my
graphics for the scene, this hurts. So naturally I try and defend myself.
However, the moment I engage in a conversation with these people to try and
let them know they're wrong, they tell me I MUST be guilty because 'the
truth hurts' as they put it.

If I don't engage in a conversation with them they claim I'm ignoring them
because 'the truth hurts'... Now what am I supposed to do with that?! This
is truly a situation where I can never win, simply because the scene is
being flooded by newbies who never knew the roots of the scene. I can't
bring myself to spend time drawing graphics for a scene that is losing its
mind.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, another thing that has bothered me
is the whole copy/no copy attitude. Yes, I copied work of artists such as
Boris Vallejo and Don Lawrence, but I did it for reasons that every good
artist has copied work of of other artists. To learn, to see and to help
find your own style. When I found mine, I stopped using other peoples'
drawings and paintings as a source of inspiration. I began to find my own
inspiration in ordinary things around me, photos in the media, shows on TV,
whatever.

Then all of the sudden along comes the aforementioned web-page... the
"No-Copy? page". Displaying an artist's work alongside the reference
material they've used. Nothing wrong with that. I personally found it
quite an interesting site to watch. However, there are always those
narrow-minded, short-sighted people that are negatively influenced by this.

They immediately "label" the artists displayed there as lame copy cats,
unable to do anything by themselves. They are totally forgetting that for
countless generations artists have always used forms of reference to aid in
the creation of their works of art. Totally forgetting that EVERY ARTIST
COPIES! The only difference is that one might use a photograph, the other
a living model, and yet another the trees he or she is surrounded by.

Would you claim that Rembrandt was a copy cat when he had all those people
lined up when he painted his "Nightwatch" painting? Or would he be a copy
cat even when he painted his own reflection in the mirror while working on
his famous self portrait? Monet a lame copy cat, sitting in the middle of
nature merely copying the things around him. Boris Vallejo a lame fake
artist because he has his on photo studio in his house so that he can take
photos of his models that aid him when he does his paintings? If that's
your opinion then consider every artist that has every lived to be lame!
(Except for maybe the odd modern artist that considers an entirely blue
canvas a work of art).

The fact is, everybody is inspired by the world around him or her. Where
do you draw the line? When is something considered acceptable and the
other unacceptable? What is copying and what is not? Often times people
say they have more respect for people that use no reference at all
(whatever the hell that might mean, after all even memory is reference).
The fact is that it's just another GENRE. Just like model drawing, or
landscape painting, or whatever. Like any method, it has its advantages
and disadvantages. Again, it's not HOW you do it, but it's what you
ACHIEVE with it. That's what separates artists from non-artists. And
again, I have yet to see a picture in the scene that was drawn without
reference (from the mind) that managed to impress me.

Another worrying thing is that computer artists like myself, who draw
everything down to the last detail by hand, have a very very hard time
struggling against the scanners. There's no other form of art that has a
similar situation. For instance, a conventional painter will never be
accused of sticking a photograph on his canvas simply because he just
wouldn't get away with it. It's too easy to spot. And if he would, he
just wouldn't be taken seriously as a painter.

In the world of computers just about everything is much more easily
achievable in ways of art by letting a mechanical process do it for you.
That also brings me back to the rest of the scene. The reason why the
focus is so much on the individual graphics artists is that they are
incredibly easy to keep track of.

Perhaps the focus should be on the entire scene instead of the artists
alone. Many coders take shitloads of info and source code from books
written on the subject. I mean, go to any bookstore and you can find
shelves full of books on how to code specific routines. Even your basic
phong shading routine can be found in there. And what about the issue of
source code ripping. How many times have we seen a demo display a wicked
and highly original new effect. So original that it was incredibly
difficult to even conceive. And then a month or so afterwards other demos
started showing similar effects, only to be followed by more and more
copies of that effect. Within the space of half a year, all the demos
feature this effect.

Now Hang on a sec... Wasn't that effect so radical? So revolutionary? So
difficult to come up with that no one else has ever done it before? So how
come that all of the sudden after one coder introduced it, all the other
coders seem to have come up with the same ingenious idea in the short span
of only a few months?! Does this strike you as incredibly suspicious or am
I the only one? I'll tell you what it is, it's another form of copying!
And perhaps this form of copying stinks just as badly as scanning and
retouching. I'm sure there are some clever coders out there that just need
to see an effect to understand how it was done. But we all know that it's
a fact that most coders don't stop at that. One looks at just the effect
itself, another peeks at the source code, and the next one starts ripping
the code.

Or what about musicians? How many times have musicians sampled whole parts
of CDs or records?. Or use sample CDs? CDs filled with the sounds of all
sorts of musical instruments and sound effects. Or hook up a sampler to a
synthesizer and get their instrument samples like that? And then they
always claim that they do their own samples. What would be their own then?
The fact that they took the time to get it out of a keyboard and into a
Fast-Tracker sample?

If you demand from artists not to use any form of reference, how would this
translate to musicians? Create all your own sounds by constructing
waveforms by hand, and just using your memory on what a guitar sounds like?
Of course not, no one does that. Consider music "styles". I remember times
when new styles of music such as rap, techno, trance, jungle, Drum 'n Bass
etc. got popular with the crowd. The scene musicians where very quick to
pick this up (or should I say copy?). My point is that everybody copies.
Some do it to learn, others do it to grasp a bit of fame in a very
challenging environment. It's not just the artists that copy, it's the
whole bloody scene. And everyone that makes any form of art. Artists just
get all the crap for it because it's easiest to spot.

The scene should be looking itself in the face...

As an artist, I have copied from other artists IN THE PAST just to learn to
do my own stuff now, here, at Eidos. I wouldn't have been asked to join
Eidos and to come up with high quality pictures for marketing purposes for
their hit game Tomb Raider 2 if I didn't have what it takes. I wouldn't be
at Eidos if I was merely capable of copying other artists as some people in
the scene claim.

At least in the professional industry artists are being treated as they
should be. People know what they are talking about. I'm afraid I cannot
always say the same thing about the scene.

If people agree with what I have just stated, then I hope they take a bit
of notice. I have no intention of trying to change the scene other than by
trying to open up its eyes and putting some facts straight.

On a final note I'd like to state that there still are a lot of good things
about the scene. Like friendship for instance. I'll still be reachable on
IRC once and a while (if you can find me that is :) to spend quality
chatting time with my friends and EX-TBL groupmates. I hope you all
enjoyed the graphics...

Cheers.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "Coding Mathematics Part 3"
:: Tiberius (Richard Nichols) / Inspire Media - tiberius@mailhost.net

_____Introduction

In this issue we'll look at rotation of two dimensional vectors. We'll
derive an equation that we can use to rotate an arbitrary vector and I'll
even give you some example source code to show how we can use what we've
just learned.

_____Trig Is Cool

Okay if we're gonna do this proof you're going to need some basic trig
identities. I'll list more than we'll actually use because they'll be
useful later on as well. Here goes...

sin(A+B) = sinA.cosB + cosA.sinB
sin(A-B) = sinA.cosB - cosA.sinB
cos(A+B) = cosA.cosB - sinA.sinB
cos(A-B) = cosA.cosB + sinA.sinB
(cosA)^2+(sinA)^2 = 1

From those we can derive:

sin2A = 2.sinA.cosA
cos2A = (cosA)^2 - (sinA)^2
(cosA)^2 = 0.5(cos2A + 1)
(sinA)^2 = 0.5(cos2A - 1)

Most of those were from memory so I hope I got them right =) I'll let you
work them out yourselves. hehe.

_____What Are We Trying To Do

Let's start with a diagram of a vector coming from the origin.

^
|
|
| ...
| .....
| .....
| ....
|... a
O-------------------->

'a' is the angle between the x axis and the vector. Now we want to rotate
that vector from it's current position to a new position like so:

^^<--x-->.
.| .
.| .
.| R . ....
y| . R .... ^
.| .b .... |
.| . .... h
.|... a |
vO-------------------->
<--------g-------->

Just to clarify (damn ascii!), b is the angle between the two vectors (the
one that we are rotating by), g and h are the i and j components of the
current vector and x and y are the i and j components of the resulting
vector, the one we are looking for. 'R' is the length of the vectors.

If I were a math teacher I'd prolly state the problem as 'express x and y
in terms of only b, g and h'. But I'm not so I'll just start. =)

x = R.cos(a+b) and y = R.sin(a+b)
g = R.cos(a) and h = R.sin(a)

We can see those two things from the diagram. Now we can substitute for the
COSes and SINes (a+b):

x = R(cosAcosB - sinAsinB)
= RcosAcosB - RsinAsinB

But! ---> R.cosA is 'g' AND R.sinA is 'h'. So we substitute:

x = g.cosB - h.sinB

I'll let you figure it out for 'y' yourself. It's the same thing basically.
You should get: y = g.sinA + h.cosB

_____Putting It All Together

Okay now we've done the hard part. Let's rearrange the equations into
something more meaningful:

rotated 'x' = oldx*cos(angle) - oldy*sin(angle)
rotated 'y' = oldx*sin(angle) + oldy*cos(angle)

So if we are rotating a vector with coordinates (oldx,oldy) by angle we can
now work it out! Pretty simple wasn't it?

_____Application

What cool stuff can we do with this new information? Well we can rotate a
point on the screen if you like. Here's a snippet of code to rotate the
point (4, 3) around and around:

Pascal:

repeat { start }
newx := round(4*cos(angle) - 3*sin(angle)); { calculate the }
newy := round(4*sin(angle) + 3*cos(angle)); { point }
putpixel(newx, newy, 15); { plot it to screen }
delay(20); { wait a moment }
angle := angle+0.01; { add to angle }
putpixel(newx, newy, 0); { erase old dot }
until keypressed; { back to the start }

C:

while(!kbhit()) // start
{
newx = 4*cos(angle) - 3*sin(angle); // rotate the point
newy = 4*sin(angle) + 3*cos(angle);
putpixel(newx, newy, 15); // draw a dot
delay(20); // wait a moment
angle += 0.01; // add to the angle
putpixel(newx, newy, 0); // erase old dot before
} // we start over

_____Homework

Homework this week is a little different than normal. You should write a
program that uses the derived equations to rotate a small bitmap on the
screen. Do this by rotating each pixel in the image.

Hint: If the bitmap seems to get 'holes' in it, trying rotating by a
negative angle back into the bitmap for every point in the destination
image.

Next issue [whatever form it might take] I'll upload a possible solution to
hornet.org in assembler and Pascal and maybe C.

Answers to part 2:

Q1. (a) i + j + k (b) 2i + 6j + k (c) -i + 2j

Q2. (a) 4i + 4j - 5k (b) -i + j + 2k (c) i - j - 2k
(d) -2j + 6k (e) 2j - 6k (f) -i + j + 2k

Q3. (a)i) 1.5i - j - 2k (ii) 12i - 8j - 16k
(b)i) 1.5j + k (ii) 12j + 8k

_____Conclusion

Next issue we'll delve into the world of matrix mathematics, work out how
we can use them and why we do it. See you then!

If you have any comments/suggestions/fixes/gifts then send them to me via
email.

Until the next part!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "ASCII Adjust For Division"
:: Submissive / Cubic + $een - submissive@cubic.org

_____Introduction

Hi assembly-fans.

I just found a really cool assembly-trick.

I'm speaking about the two more or less useless instructions AAM and AAD
which are used when you work with BCD packed numbers and perform divisions
and multiplications.

I played around with them and found out, that you can modify the behavior
and make them really useful.

_____AAD: ASCII Adjust For Division

Intel tells us, that this instruction should work this way:

al = al + ah * 10
ah = 0
(assumed, that each nibble of al and ah is in 0..9)

The funny thing is, that it doesn't only work with nibbles up to 9 but with
any binary number.

Now, you can use it to multiply a 8 bit value with 10.. That's a fine
instruction.. and it gets even better! You can also change one of the
operands to any 8 bit value you want to use. It's a undocumented behavior
and it works this way:

The normal AAD instruction assembles to D5 0A

Now guess what happens, when you change the 0A to another value?
Right! It changes the operand 10!

Example:

D5 10 : al = al + ah * 16
ah = 0

D5 03 : al = al + ah * 3
ah = 0

_____AAM: ASCII Adjust For Multiplication

AAM is a little bit a counterpart of AAD. Intel documented it like this:

al = al mod 10
ah = al div 10

Like AAD AAM also works with any binary number.. and you can change the
operand like we did it with AAD:

AAM assembles to D4 0a.

Example:

D4 10 : al = al mod 16
ah = al div 16

D4 03 : al = al mod 3
ah = al div 3

This instruction is even more useful than AAD. For example, when you work
with midi-notes and you want to calculate the octave and halftone from a
note you have to calculate div 12 and mod 12. This can now be done with
AAM.

_____Conclusion

One drawback is that these instruction are relative slow. However, they
are two byte instructions and are very useful for size-optimization.

I was only able to test this on a non-MMX intel processor, but I think the
other processors will also do the same (I would be glad to get a email if
someone has a cpu where this trick doesn't work).

Happy Coding!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "Pipe Generation From Arbitrary Shapes"
:: Ranganathan - kandr@giasmd01.vsnl.net.in

_____Introduction

I am describing a method to generate pipes in arbitrary shapes given the
equation of the curve. For example, given a circle, a torus would be
generated and given a straight line, a hollow cylinder would be generated.

Deriving the equations is intuitive when we work in 2D like for line and
circle. Unfortunately, we cannot visualize the rotations needed to generate
pipes in 3D shapes like a helical pipe etc. We need to model the situation
mathematically and then work on the model.

I hope this article emphasizes that pure intuition alone is insufficient
and that formal math methods are extremely useful.

_____Generating Arbitrary Pipes

I realized long ago that a strong grasp of mathematics and 3D geometry is
very important for demo coders. I consider mathematics to be as important
as clock-cycle-pinching for writing successful demos. After reading the
plans for the vector tutorial, I thought I could write an article
explaining with a real-life example.

Now let me define the problem. We want to generate pipes in any shape. We
are given a 3D curve's equation in parametric form.

_____Quick Primer On Parametric Equations

x = f(t); y = g(t); z = h(t)

(x, y, z) represents the coordinates of a point. The complete curve is
calculated by letting t vary from a starting value to a final value. A
circle would be represented by

x = R*cos(t), y = R*sin(t)

where t would range from 0 to 2*PI. The various points on the curve are
calculated by letting t move from 0 to 2*PI with desired steps. I bet we
have all written our first circle program using that method before we came
to know about Bresenham's algorithm etc.

_____Back To Arbitrary Pipes

Now we want to generate a pipe in the shape of this curve. If we are given
a straight line, we would generate a hollow cylinder and given a circle, we
would generate a torus. (I hope the examples explain what I am trying to
do.)

The basic idea can be developed by working with the hollow cylinder. It
can be generated by taking a line. Then take a circle (let's call this the
generating circle, GC), placing it such that the plane in which it lies is
perpendicular to the line. Then translate it along the line and join
corresponding points of the adjacent GC.

This is known as a "sold of translation". Now let's get to a torus.
Imagine the torus to be lying in the XY plane. The torus can be generated
as a cylinder was. We have a circle in the XY plane corresponding to the
torus. Now we place the GCs at various points on the circle such that it is
perpendicular to the XY plane and join corresponding points.

However, here not only do we need to translate the center of the GC, but we
also need to rotate it about the Z axis and then connect the corresponding
points.

A note about the rotation. We need to rotate the GC about its "local axes".
Remember that we are going to be away from the origin. Local axes means
that we rotate about a line passing though the center of the GC and
parallel to the world Z axis.

How much do we need to rotate the circle? Intuitively, we can see that we
place the GC such that the plane in which it lies it is perpendicular to
the circle at any point. More mathematically, the normal to the GC is
tangent to the curve at any point.

_____Important!

This is a critical point. At any point on the curve, the GC must be placed
such that the normal to the plane which it lies is along the tangent to the
curve at that point.

_____Back To Arbitrary Pipes

The physical explanation is that the GCs track the curve closely at every
point.

It is easy to program these steps for the torus because we work in 2D. The
normals had only the X and Y components. So rotation about local axes etc
could be done intuitively in a single step like:

for ( theta=0.0; theta < 2*PI; theta += 0.2 ) {
local_origin_x = r*cos(theta); local_origin_y = r*sin(theta);
angle_to_rotate = theta;

generate_circle( local_origin_x, local_origin_y, angle_to_rotate );
connect_corresponding_point();
}

When we get to 3D, things get tricky. Say you want a helix shaped pipe. It
becomes difficult to visualize the orientation of the GCs and write down
the mathematical expression for the orientation of the GC.

This is where we can apply math. If we can describe the situation
mathematically, then we can work it out instead of relying on intuition.

Remember, that we have already described it mathematically. (See the
"IMPORTANT" paragraph above). At each point, we need to find the direction
of the tangent at that point. Then we place the GC such that its normal is
along the tangent.

How do we find the direction of the tangent? From basic calculus, we know
that the first derivative of a curve (dy/dx) is the slope of the curve.
This is for a plane curve. When we are working in 3D, we can represent the
direction of the tangent by a vector (see vector tut by Tiberius).

We know the equation in parametric form, in terms of the parameter t. So
the components of the tangent are just the derivatives of the functions for
the three coordinates with respect to t. (i.e. dx/dt etc)

We step along every point on the curve and at every point, we find the
"direction cosines" (DCs) of the tangent at that point. Since we know the
equation of the curve in parametric form, the DCs are found by:

Original curve: x = f(t), y = g(t), z = h(t)

DRs of normals: ( f'(t), g'(t), h'(t) ) == (l, m, n)

(The notation x'(t) refers to the first derivative of the function x)

_____Quickie On DCs

Any line in 3D points in a certain direction and can be represented as a
vector xi + yj + zk. (The i is supposed to have a caret (called 'cap')
about it.) It is read "x i cap plus y j cap plus ..."

Where i, j, k are "unit vectors" along the X, Y, Z axes. x, y, z can be
normalized by dividing each by sqrt( x^2 + y^2 + z^2 ). The normalized
values are called DCs.

The unnormalized values are called directional ratios (DRs).

_____Back To Arbitrary Pipes

OK, we now know along which direction we have to align the normal.

We start out with a GC centered at the origin and lying in the YZ plane.
First we translate the center to the current point in the curver. (That's
easy :-) ) The GC's normal points along the positive X axis.

Here comes the difficult part. We need to rotate this normal so that it
points along the tangent. This is the critical part where we use formal
methods instead of intuition.

To visualize the direction of the tangent, imagine the DC as a line with
one end at the origin and the other at (l, m, n). Now imagine it casting a
shadow on the XY plane ( that is, below it ). The angle this makes with the
X axis is theta = arctan(m/l). Now imagine the shadow on the YZ plane. The
angle this shadow makes with the Y axis is phi = arctan(n/m).

We can now align a vector initially aligned along the X axis along the DCs.
Rotate the line first about the Z axis by theta and then about the X axis
by phi.

Surprise, surprise! The GC's normal is along positive X. We apply the two
rotations to get the required alignment. That's it! Now we have a
bullet-proof generic algorithm to position the GCs with the correct
orientation.

Now the algorithm is:

for ( t=init_value; t < final_value; t += increment ) {

x = f(t); y = g(t); z = h(t);
DRx = f'(t); DRy = g'(t); DRz = h'(t);
divide = sqrt( DRx^2 + DRy^2 + DRz^2 );
l = DRx/divide; m = DRy/divide; n = DRz/divide; // direction of tangent

theta = arctan( m/l ); phi = arctan( n/m );

generate_circle_centred_at_origin_normal_along_X_axis();
rotate_circle_Z_axis( theta );
rotate_circle_X_axis( phi );
translate_circle( x, y, z );
connect_corresponding_points();
}

_____What Am I Trying To Say?

1. When intuition s too tough, try formal math. (Some physics theories use
the four-dimensional "space time" to explain stuff. Stephen Hawking assures
in "A Brief History of Time" that it is impossible to visualize 4D
space-time and goes on to mention that he personally finds it difficult to
visualize 3D. It exists only on equations. )

2. Don't be afraid of math. It's tool behind all those cool effects you
see in demos.

_____Miscellany

I've worked this all out on paper and solved in C. Do programs like
Mathematica, MathCAD help to solve this kind of problems? I am interested
to know.

_____Conclusion

I am not an expert demo coder and don't claim to be one. I am a huge fan of
demos however. Much as I am awed by the mindblowing, fast, cool effects in
demos, I admire also the creativity that went into thinking up the
(mostly) irreverent "scenes" in which to display them.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "Jason, The Man, The Musician, The Story"
:: roboMOP / Imphobia - mop@thepentagon.com

Ninja 2 and Outside are two pearls of scene craziness. These two demos
come from the Norwegian bands of Melon Design, unbeaten masters of
scene-innovation on many platforms; and from Scoop, a solid group worth
it's name.

Inside the Norwegian demo factory of Melon, DemoNews meets Jason, musician
of high calibre that has been present in the demo scene since the dawn of
time.

Jason has been a member of numerous groups during his long scene life.
Since we don't really care about his history in the Amiga scene, we can say
that his adventure in the PC world starts with his joining of the software
house FUNCOM.

Jason himself explains his feelings on the first time that he was
approached by Funcom; "The expectations were actually quite high, taken in
consideration that the first game I should have scored was a Spielberg
license for SEGA. I was quite nervous about whether I was ABLE to actually
sort out all the technicalities that come along with making music on such a
limited system as the SEGA Genesis" All went pretty smooth for Jason, who
received fulfilling comments from people within the business.

During his stay at Funcom, Jason has been involved in numerous winning
projects - Daze Before Christmas, Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, Jack
Nicklaus' Golf, Nightmare Circus, Impact Racing, Casper and Pocahontas -
but alas, he and his fellows never saw any real big money. "Our
expectations of wealth dropped drastically", nods Jason, who also speaks
for his friends Joachim and Heatseeker, members of the same Melon Design.

Jason adds that he was actually quite lucky with the geographical situation
when he was given the opportunity to move over to Funcom. "At the time, I
was living with my parents just some 20 minutes outside Oslo city. I kept
on living at home for some months, but found out that I wanted to move
somewhat closer to the company HQ" In the summer of 1994 Jason moved into a
4 story house together with graphician Joachim and Alta (an old Amiga coder
of Rebels fame). Other known sceners occasionally moved in and out of this
habitation since there was much room to spare. Jogeir Liljedahl of Pulse,
Oistein Eide of MON, Mack and Walt (also from Melon France), all had a bed
in some corner, at one time or another.

"During the first months I had much to learn but little time to spare. I
used to stay in late and even got myself a little bed in the office", says
Jason who also mentions that this was done on his own initiative without
anyone forcing him in any way. However here one must understand that
Funcom (a company driven by people who knew the whereabouts of the scene)
wanted sceners as employees for this same specific reason; they knew that
demo artists can do the humanly impossible to achieve the best end results,
and try to reach big doses of ego stimulation.

"I must say that it was extremely rewarding to earn a living by doing what
I LOVE to do together with my own friends, so I was pretty happy with the
situation nevertheless. On a typical day I would come in at around ten in
the morning, grab a cup of coffee and stroll up to my office. There I
would mount up and initialize the necessary equipment and start to work.
When working with the SEGA system much of my time was spent on trying to
make credible sounds with the lousy Genesis FM chip. Only 30% of the time
was spent composing, while the rest went down in sweat-dripping parameter
tweaking", explains Jason.

It must be said that the Funcom sceners were actually free to progress at
the pace they wanted. "No one would come in with a whip, if some friends
were lying on the floor discussing life. But we all had responsibilities
in connection to deadlines, so work was mostly important".

During their time at Funcom, Jason says that most of the sceners were so
happy with their new financial situation that they couldn't care less about
the demo scene. Jason tells DemoNews how some sceners from his band tried
to keep the scene-spirit alive, "but it is so hard, when you work with
computers all day long".

"I don't feel that I was being used by the company because they got what
they wanted and I got useful experience. A healthy exchange, I think.
When I first started, I was earning USD 25,000. I was only 19 years old
and really happy. However when we started to look at other firms, we found
out that we earned somewhat less than the average than what is usually paid
by English and American companies. This started to bug us after two years
of solid work at Funcom, as we were still not earning more than USD 31,000.
Yes, we were paid adequately, but not enough compared to our overseas
friends", comments Jason.

As an end result, 11 good friends, who wanted to see more of the money that
walks in this industry, decided to give a new turn to their professional
lives. "First we tried to cut some kind of deal with Funcom, but naturally
they turned it down, and off we went to form DiMaga Productions. Along
side of us, six other sceners resigned from Funcom and moved over to DMA
Design". Jason says that they had some really hard times, setting up their
company from scratch, and build it up as it is today. Both the DMA and
DiMaga teams had some rather serious changes in plans during 1996 and 97,
ending up in ONE merged company with 17 employees, nowadays known as
Innerloop Studios. The Norwegian company will publish all their work under
the EIDOS Interactive label.

When asked about the life of the games musician, when compared to that of
the demo one, Jason explains to DemoNews; "I must admit that today, scene
musicians have a scary future. Some years ago, they had the advantage to
possess the rare knowledge of creating computer music, but these days
companies want REAL music and this results in rough competition for most
scores. Imagine Capcom, listening to potential demo material from Jogeir
and John Williams... what a laugh!"

With offices located in the center of Oslo, just across the parliament
building, sceners like Joachim, Adept, Mikael and Jason himself (all from
Melon), spend their days making games without having to care about
managerial problems. A games company with the true scene spirit. As Jason
explains, their work place is divided into 3 main project rooms, 2 games
rooms, a network area, the producer's office, a sound studio, and the
obligatory reception. "We're all working on Pentium Pro 200s and in
addition we have invested over USD 47,000 in sound equipment", says Jason.
No wonder that our Jason makes good and audible music then! As of today
the team has not released any games yet, but the first title to hit the
shelves this autumn will be JSF. An action adventure and one sports game
will follow.

During this same period, Ninja 2 and Outside saw the light of the scene.
"Basically all our scene-doings are meant just for fun. It may sound
strange, but most of the motivation comes from the added excitement we get
at parties when entering a demo competition. Normally we sit in a hotel
drinking beer, but when we know that we have a demo in the contest, it's
much more fun to go in, join the party and watch the big screen", concludes
a smiling Jason.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "A New Hope"
:: Trixter / Hornet - trixter@hornet.org

_____Introduction

As the PC Demoscene nears its 10th year in existence and as DemoNews draws
to a close, all of us at Hornet are struck with nostalgia and sadness at
the end of something we contributed to for over 5 years. But the decision
was fairly mutual -- the scene is taking a different direction; from style
to comfort, from bare metal coding to C++ libraries, from original and new
effects to 3D keyframed scenes. It is, for the hardcore oldskool sceners,
truly the end of an era.

_____Or is it?

Those of you who know me may recognize me for my (sadly unfinished) line of
"VGA Hardware Tricks" articles, or my regular presence on
comp.sys.ibm.pc.demos for the last five years, or for my GRIND player. And
if you know me, you know how for the last two years I've been preaching the
demise of the demoscene, complaining about the recent lack of design, the
obsession with Windows 95 and 3D accelerators, and a complete disregard for
optimization. And I won't back down from that -- you know I'm right, and
you don't want to admit it.

But just to show you that I can be (and always have been) objective, I'm
going to cast a ray of hope into the crowd and hope it hits somebody. A
ray of hope that may keep the true oldskool scene spirit alive into the
millennium, and beyond. That ray? 64K intros.

_____Demo Nuggets

Yes, let's repeat it again: "64K intros."

Think about it: 64K intros are the perfect nugget of true scene spirit:
Small size, optimized code, optimized music, graphics, and a pinch of style
and design -- all packed into 64K. You simply *cannot* be a lamer if you
want to make a 64K intro -- people will laugh outright at your result.
Only the best of the best can pull off a 64K intro; in fact, the very best
ones are created by long-time sceners. And for people afraid of Windows
being the progression of the scene (like me), you can't make a Microsoft
Windows executable (*with* music, mind you) that fits in 64K. Lasse
Reinbong, for example, was a 64K intro that won The Party, but redone as a
Windows program it takes up 116K (and that's compressed with pkzip --
normal .exe size is 423K).

64K intros represent the same scene spirit that we saw during the
demoscene's "renaissance period" (1992-1994). Back then, presentation
was fresh, effects were original, people *optimized*, and even a few
scene tricks were involved (remember Dope?). It was light, it was
fluffy, it was hardcore, and it was *fun*. It may have been elitism,
but "silent" elitism -- you were the best of the best if you created
works of art. While that same elitism is mostly gone from the
demoscene, it lives on in 64K intros.

_____Why 64k Intros?

Think about it: If you're writing a 64K intro, you're already doing it to
impress. You don't put yourself through the agony if your heart isn't into
the whole project. In 64K, you usually have four options:

- Music: Make the music amazing for 64K
- Graphics: pack a ton of graphics or animation into 64K
- Code: pack new, optimized, or tons routines into 64K
- Style/Design: If size optimization is not your strong point

Either way, it's going to look good. And a select few are able to perform
the miracle of the fifth option: Pack all four into 64K. They're rare, but
they're out there.

_____Selected Viewing

Don't believe me? Think the demoscene is unstoppably imploding, or intros
are a waste of effort? Then take a look at some of these; many would win
lesser *demo* compos. And don't tell me you don't have the
bandwidth -- these are 64K apiece, for goodness sake:

filename.zip Emphasis Why you should see it
------------ -------- ---------------------

lithium.zip Everything A *wicked* intro. The code is quite fast.
Vista is one group to watch for in
the future.

jlantani.zip Code One of the most impressive real-time
raytracing demos I've ever seen,
supporting 24-bit color and a host
of options. Don't miss this one!

val_btc.zip Music Some interesting texture manipulations,
and a lot of music for 64K. Also
Valhalla's last intro.

tpolmbjo.zip Code Splines are cool, and so is this intro.
Except that this intro is 10 times cooler
than splines.

powa.zip Style/Design Elite humor, fast code, and good font
routines. Can't ask for much more
than that.

plysform.zip Code Absolutely *wicked* fast blur on a cube
in the middle of the intro.

mfx_2g.zip Code Realtime raytracing from 216 again, but
with colored lighting and bi-linear
texture filtering. This dude scares me --
I can catch some of his tricks, but not all
of them. Great, great respect to 216.
And there's even a cute reference to
Transgression if you look hard.

influv2f.zip Graphics Amazing visuals -- the most graphics I've
ever seen packed into 64K intro.
Can you figure it out? (Hint: trilinear
filtering)

fdg_pg11.zip Everything The best particle system of 1997, hands
down. And some new bitmap effects -- kiss
your 3D accelerator goodbye.

stash.zip Everything I think it's official: The Black Lotus
kicks serious ass. Unless you can
compress 4MB+ of data into 64K...
The only think keeping this program
in the intro category is it's size.

pls_sink.zip Everything Long precalc time, but totally worth the
wait. Has an excellent trick/compromise to
real-time raytracing that looks fantastic;
the music fidelity is also surprisingly high.

They may take our DOS away and force us to write demos in DirectX, but they
can't take our 64K intros away. In 64K intros, the true scene lives on,
and as long as 64K intro compos stick around, the scene will live on.

_____Conclusion

Viva la intro, and maybe I'll see you in the next century. Take care.

(PS: For an example of *true* scene spirit, download In The Kitchen '97 by
Rednex (rnxitk97.zip). It's a remix of a 5-year-old Amiga demo. It's also
a testament to how important design is in a demo -- it's much more
enjoyable to watch than many recent demos, and the music/code is over 5
years old! If you wonder why people talk about the oldskool flava so
fondly, *THIS IS WHY*. Get this and make sure you watch it with the
nocensor option -- and maybe you'll understand. Maybe.)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------->

:: "Interview With Snowman"
:: Ryan Cramer / Renaissance - rc@di.net

_____Introduction

Hey folks. I'm back. After a long two-year sabbatical, roaming around in
the woods and mountains of the Shenandoah Valley, I'm back! I won't go
in-depth about my journey, except to say that I got lost for a very, very
long time. Ever see "The Edge"?

For those who don't remember me, I used to write a lot of articles and do a
number of interviews and reviews for DemoNews. See DemoNews issues 70 and
tons of them after that. I also did a lot of music as a member of both
Renaissance and Iguana. Unfortunately, I've come back and it seems like
the demo scene just isn't what it used to be. My group (Renaissance) no
longer seems to be "active" and Second Reality still seems to be the most
talked about demo. My trusted 386-33 doesn't even seem to be adequate to
run today's demos. Everyone I talk to snickers when I mention DOS. Future
Crew's latest production (Final Reality) runs under Windows (???) and
requires some sort of 3D card (???). Even worse, Gravis no longer makes
the GUS (my savior!), and people have gone back to using ShitBlasters (aka
SpamBlasters aka ShitCrappers aka SoundBastards). What has the world come
to!?

While it looks like the demo scene is not as interesting or active as it
used to be, there are a lot of exciting things going on in the industry. I
imagine that the demo scene was just a starting point for all of us. There
are so many more opportunities for computer artists to express themselves
these days. However, I've yet to see a medium that requires the extensive
mix of technical and artistic skill as the demo scene. Don't get me wrong
though, the scene still rocks (but the SoundBastard still sucks).

Before I go much further, I wanted to mention that I'm releasing a music
disk probably this week or next. It contains three new songs by me (XMs).
Keep an eye out on ftp.cdrom.com for them, or visit my web site at
http://www.di.net/ryan/ -- I'll post it there when its done. This will be
the first Renaissance '98 release (did we release anything in '97?, or '96
for that matter?)

With that said, I'm glad that I made it back to civilization in time to
contribute to this final issue of DemoNews. I've interviewed a lot of the
big names in the scene over the years (see some back issues from 1994,
1995), but for this last issue, I thought it would be very appropriate to
interview the person responsible for keeping DemoNews going over the many
years, Christopher G. Mann (Snowman). He's also the organizer of the Music
Contests, and he maintains The Hornet Archive, which IMO is one of the best
resources on the net for the demo scene. He's also a musician and a coder.
On to the interview...

_____The Interview (conducted on 01 Feb 1998)

rcramer: When and where did you get your start in the scene? What demo or
piece of music got you interested in the scene? As I recall, we met online
at The Sound Barrier (Renaissance WHQ) probably in '93 in the real-time
chat mode. It doesn't seem that long ago really, but it's amazing how
things have changed since then (particularly the Internet.) Feel free to
expand about this time period.

Snowman: Back in early 1992, I was just a high school Junior in a tiny
little mid-western USA town. A friend of mine kept trying to convince me to
buy a soundcard for my computer. "Why?", I said, "it can already make
noises and beeps." Then he showed me the difference between the PC Speaker
and a Sound Blaster with a couple games he had (Populus and King's Quest).
The next week, I went out and spent $240 for the newly released Sound
Blaster Pro (which could actually play in STEREO!).

Over the next few weeks, he brought over some floppies full of .mid's,
.rol's, and .cmf's. My computer suddenly switched from something I could
just write school reports on to something I could play music on in my spare
time. Even with those hundreds of songs that pushed the Sound Blaster FM
chips to the limits, I found my hunger growing.

I had another nerdy friend who was a whiz with modems and showed me how to
call up the Canton Connection BBS. It took a while, but eventually I
figured out Zmodem and the whole downloading phenomena. While browsing
through some of the file bases, I came across a section labeled "MODs and
Music". At first I used assumed that MOD was another format like the
MID/ROL/CMF files I was used to. So I downloaded my first mod -- FYC.MOD
(a remix of the song "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals) -- but
none of the players I had worked. Luckily there was also a copy of
"ModPlay v2.19B" on the BBS. From the instant I started playing that MOD,
I noticed an incredible difference. FM music sounded so cheezy in
comparison.

It wasn't long before I was downloading every MOD I could find on The
Canton Connection, carefully zipping and cataloging them all onto floppy
disk. It would be another year before I came to realize that there were
enough MODs out there that I didn't have to keep every single one no matter
how bad it was.

I recall the Christmas '92 BBS party we had at Denny's. The fileop of the
"MODs" base was MusicMan. When I talked to him, he sounded disinterested
in continuing to maintain the area. So I offered to take it over since he
was getting tired of it. But he didn't want to lose the "fileop" title, so
he let the area continue to become outdated rather than letting me take a
stab at working on it. This was a source of great turmoil in my life back
then. He just let the area get stale while I sat there with 45 carefully
labeled 3.5" floppies full of MODs! I was heartbroken, unable to be the
official maintainer of a trivial MOD archive on a tiny BBS in a microscopic
town in Northeastern Ohio. Hehe..

About the same time, I discovered another file area on TCC called "Demos".
From what I gathered, this was a section of game previews that supported
soundcards. So I downloaded a couple (Cronologia and Putre Faction).
These were NOT game demos. These were totally awesome multimedia --
whoops, the term "multimedia" wasn't popular yet -- graphic/sound
productions. They weren't advertising anything. You didn't play them.
You didn't pay for them. You just sat back and watched and let your mind
get blown away. How did they DO that!?

I found a BBS advert in one of the demos for the Sound Barrier BBS in New
York. In mid to late 1992 -- in what would become a great source of
contention with my father -- I began to make regular long-distance modem
calls to demo boards. Once I started making use of the Sound Barrier, my
knowledge of the scene increased tremendously. I kept up with the Imphobia
charts, downloaded better players and trackers, and was exposed to more
demo culture than the Canton Connection BBS was ever likely to give me. I
even once tried to call Starport BBS but couldn't seem to complete the call
to Finland without some international operator trying to assist. Doh!

Otto Chrons was releasing a new version of Dual Module Player every week.
It was an incredible day when he added support in DMP for the SBPro.
Finally I could hear MODs in stereo! Granted, the channels were HARD right
and left, but it WAS stereo. The only thing that could top that was
actually giving musicians the ability to specify the panning positions
themselves. And one shining DMP day, user-specified panning points had
arrived. Improvements in tracking technology seemed much more juicy then.

Anyway, that's pretty much how I found the scene and got hooked. Just for
the record, Second Reality didn't come out until a year and a half later.

rcramer: One of the things that you are most famous for is the Music
Contests. Tell us about the progression of these contests. I seem to
remember someone trying to steal the idea from you a long time ago (Mike
Phillips). That must have been a real pain in the ass.

Snowman: By late 1993, I was already entrenched deeply in the music scene.
Renaissance seemed to be on the decline and the chances of a North American
demo party happening were bleak. But as an active tracker, I really wanted
to enter an official party music compo like the Europeans had been doing
for years. With a humble college budget my options were limited. I tried
giving a presentation to the University of Akron's ACM organization in an
attempt to generate interest in the scene from local students. This proved
futile. They all seemed to find demos and tracked music interesting, but
not enough that they actually wanted to contribute. I had given up hope on
ever entering a party music compo.

Then one day it dawned on me. Why not have a "virtual" party for
musicians? Instead of actually trying to save up USD 1200 to fly over to
Europe, have a BBS where everyone could upload their tunes and have them
voted on by a few impartial judges. At the time I was a regular on The
Sound Barrier BBS (New York), Data Connection (Virginia), Digital Oxygene
BBS (Texas), and The Music Connection BBS (also in Texas).

The Sound Barrier was probably the most popular American demo board, but
the sysop and group leader (Daredevil / Renaissance) wasn't very fond of me
at the time. It had been my goal since mid-1992 to become a member of
Renaissance. I did everything I could to work myself into their favor. I
remember C.C.Catch trying to give me tracking tips and our debates on which
was better: SB filter ON or OFF. I registered and became an active user of
Composer 669 (Renaissance's tracker, which was the FIRST digital tracker to
support more than 4 channels on the PC). I accidentally made out the
registration check for Composer 669 to "Renaissance" instead of "Ray Lee"
(Mosaic / Renaissance). Mosaic called to ask if a replacement check could
be sent. I was star-struck. Imagine, a member of Renaissance actually
calling me on the PHONE!

But things were about to take a turn for the worse. Yes, I was persistent.
I was aggressive. I was a newbie. And I was annoying. One day I uploaded
resume.zip to the Sound Barrier (my official application to Renaissance
including several songs I'd done). Finally, Daredevil had enough. He
called me on the phone, thanked me for my resume, but made it very clear
that I was never going to be a member of Renaissance. I was devastated.

As I mentioned though, I really needed a popular BBS to host Music Contest
and I had just nulled the possibility of using the Sound Barrier. In fact,
you'll find the following text in the UPLOAD.TXT file included with the
first Music Contest rules:

The SOUND BARRIER BBS (sysop: Daredevil/Renaissance) is NOT an upload
site! Under no circumstances are you to upload an entry to this contest
to the Sound Barrier.

I think this was more inspired by my desire not to irritate Daredevil than
out of resentment.

Of the remaining BBS's, Digital Oxygene seemed the most active so that's
where I decided the songs should be uploaded to. Music Contest was a wild
success... we had over 20 entries! :)

Right before the end of Music Contest (around Christmas of 1993), the sysop
of Digital Oxygene (Mike Phillips) vanished. VANISHED. There was no way
for me to stop new entries from being uploaded after the deadline, no way
to get the word out to our judges, no way to contact Mike and find out what
was going on. I was frantic. After the whole Renaissance ordeal my
reputation in the scene was tenuous at best. A failed music contest would
do little to improve people's confidence in me. I remember those two weeks
during Mike's absence as being one of the most stressful and unhappy times
I've had in the scene.

As it turned out, a relative of Mike's had passed away.

Eventually he returned to his post, Music Contest finished up, and
everything seemed copacetic again. However, Mike and I were never able to
reconcile our differences.

Little did I know that while I began work planning Music Contest 2, Mike
was secretly working on his own contest, Composers Competition. When I
finally found out about his contest, I pretty much lost all hope that there
ever would BE a Music Contest 2. I couldn't use Sound Barrier, and the guy
responsible for the MC1 World Headquarters had decided to go off on his
own. It was essentially a Music Contest Competition (MC2 vs. CC). He took
the rules I'd made for MC1, changed a few things around, and come up with
the rules for CC. He had a lot of international scene contacts and support
from other sysops. There was a buzz in the music scene... "Hey, haven't you
heard about Composers Competition?"

But Mike was a really friendly guy! He patiently waited until the moment
when I was ready to give up on Music Contest 2. Then he called me on the
phone and offered me a token job as "rules organizer" for Composers
Competition. Awesome! I mean, why hold your own Music Contest 2 when you
can be the official Rules Organizer for Composers Competition? Why should
I live in the doomed fantasy world of Music Contest? Here I was being
given the magical opportunity to contribute to a competition that --
fortunately without my leadership -- would finally see MY original idea
actualized. I'd have to be a FOOL to continue with MC2 after the rationale
he gave me.

For better or worse, I decided to be a fool. And for the next 4 years I
would be quite content with the foolish decision I'd made.

Epilogue. Despite the interest surrounding Composers Competition, Mike
never got around to judging the entries. Over 50 people contributed songs
that would end up being lost in the shuffle of tracking history. Two
months after the scheduled "entry deadline", when nary a song had been
judged, I entered my own joke tune into the compo. I wonder if Mike ever
heard it.

rcramer: How about the Hornet Archive -- how did you put that whole thing
together? Its got features on there that just amaze me (i.e. viewing
inside ZIP files and extracting contents individually .. over the
internet!).

Snowman: Thanks! It's been a gradual progression. I've already documented
in painful detail the evolution of the archive and what makes it tick. See
http://www.hornet.org -> "FAQ"

I'd talk more about the archive, but it feels as though this interview has
taken an old skool flavor and I'd rather talk about the glory days while I
have the chance. :)

rcramer: You started out as a musician in the scene. Do you still do music,
and if so, what tracking software do you use?

Snowmeister: Yeah, I still track occasionally. I've gone from making
several songs a month (back in 1992/1993) to one or two songs per year.
They aren't very good but I enjoy listening to them. Since I recognized
that they aren't really fit for public consumption, I took some of my own
advice and stopped uploading them to the archive a long time ago.

As far as what trackers I've used, the progression went something like this:

1992 - Whacker Tracker (.MOD) / Composer 669 (.669)
1993 - Composer 669 / Farandole (.FAR)
1994 - Farandole / Multitracker Module Editor (.MTM)
1995 - PolyTracker (.PTM)
1996 - PolyTracker / Impulse Tracker (.IT)
1997 - Impulse Tracker
1998 - Impulse Tracker

For the first five years I tracked, I had the misfortune of sticking with
programs that had limited lifespans. The two trackers I was most fluent
with were Composer 669 and Farandole. Sadly, the format of songs those
trackers produced are among some of the least supported today. I'm doing
what I can to get the tunes I wrote converted to .WAV for posterity before
I completely lose the ability to listen to them (hardware and software
advancements are often not kind to older programs).

rcramer: What do you think is your best song?

Snowman: The same as everyone else's. The one I'm currently working on.

rcreamer: You have the very unique position of working for CDROM.COM, the
company that houses the largest demo archive in the world. I'd go as far as
to compare it to The Starport BBS, The Sound Barrier, or Data Connection.
(as a side note, I can't seem to connect to ANY of these BBS's, can someone
fill me in on whats going on?) Actually, what I'm trying to say is that the
Hornet Archive is the most elite setup I've ever seen on the Internet. It
has features that used to be found purely on BBS's. I'd call it
revolutionary. From what I can tell, your career has been largely
influenced by the demo scene. Can you tell us exactly how the scene has
influenced your career, and how you expect it to affect your direction in
the future?

Snowman: Both the Starport and Sound Barrier BBS's are officially closed.
I never got the obituary on Data Connection (wasn't that YOUR BBS!?) but I
assume it suffered a similar fate.

There have been an incredible -- almost eerie -- number of circumstances
that intimately tie my life to the demo scene.

As luck would have it, I had a coworker (Rob) in 1993 who took me up to The
University of Akron the summer before I actually started attending school
there. Rob had a friend who he said was in the demo scene. Oh ho! I
didn't consider myself just a regular scener in the summer of 1993. I was
calling scene BBS's daily and was knowledgeable on the most recent
happenings. To prove the point and impress Rob's friend, I took 2 floppy
disks with me up to the U of A that day. On them were copies of the songs
Starshine and Ice Frontier from the recently concluded Assembly '93. I had
downloaded them that very morning from The Music Connection. When I showed
the songs to Rob's friend, he just sort of yawned. Huh? "Oh yeah, I've
had those tunes for a couple days now." "How on earth COULD you have
them!? They just made it to American BBS's this morning!" "I got them off
ftp.uwp.edu". That was my simultaneous introduction to both the Internet
and what is now known as The Hornet Archive.

As luck would have it, I persuaded the Computer Science department's
faculty to give me an Internet account my first semester at university.
Normally accounts were only assigned to you when you took a course that
justified them. Immediately I took an interest in this crazy new internet
demo archive, walking 15 minutes to the campus computer center with a box
of floppies almost daily so I could download the latest productions to disk
at an astounding 10k/s! (Remember folks, this is 1993 where you could
actually expect speedy transfers on the 'net.) In the process, I
discovered that this demo archive was producing a newsletter that talked
about what was happening with the archive. That was my simultaneous
introduction to both Dan Wright and DemoNews.

As luck would have it, Dan let me start helping with the archive. But in
order to do so efficiently, I had to learn a couple new tools; namely C and
Perl. Not only was I taking computer science courses at school, I actually
had a practical application for them when I went home at night. I would
learn a trick in school and apply it to the archive. I would learn a trick
with the archive and apply it to schoolwork. There is a saying that goes
"Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." This was
my introduction to that maxim.

As luck would have it, Matt Seidel in California took an interest in The
Hornet Archive around 1994 and started mirroring it to his company's
server. When The Hornet Archive ran out of room, Matt agreed to give us
some extra space so that our overflow of new files could be split between
two machines. When the people in charge of our original server (The
University of Florida's engineering department) decided that it didn't make
sense to waste bandwidth on a demos archive, Matt let us completely
relocate to his server. That was my simultaneous introduction to both
ftp.cdrom.com and Walnut Creek CDROM.

As luck would have it, Dan Wright wanted to make a CDROM from the archive
in 1994 (called "Escape"). This was going to be a "mixed-mode" CD,
containing both data and raw audio. Since the audio tracks were going to
be taken from the winning entries to Music Contest 2, it seemed logical
that I should be the one to handle that part of the project. I had to
carry my computer down to the audio/visual department of the U of A so I
could record the songs onto DAT tape. This was my introduction to CDROM
production.

As luck would have it, I became eligible for cooperative education in the
Fall of 1995 (where you get a temporary job that is related to your field
of study at school). The only job I was likely to get in Ohio was at a
cash-register manufacturing facility 40 minutes away. I thought I'd take a
shot at seeing if there were any openings at Walnut Creek CDROM. After
all, I already knew C, Perl, basic CDROM production, and was somewhat
acquainted with the company as a result of the demo archive being located
on their server. I asked to be employed there, they agreed, and I moved
2500 miles away to the most technologically advanced area of this country.
That was my introduction to California.

As luck would have it, the skills I learned while working with The Hornet
Archive applied DIRECTLY to my new job at Walnut Creek CDROM. I
immediately became a productive member of the company and earned enough
money to finally attend a couple of the European parties I'd always wanted
to go to (Assembly and The Gathering). That was my hands-on introduction
to the international demo scene.

As luck would have it, Walnut Creek CDROM's webmaster left the company in
mid-1996 and the role needed to be filled. I had a very limited knowledge
of HTML... The Hornet Archive's interface was very rudimentary at the time.
I thought maybe I'd attempt to be the replacement webmaster. As a result,
my knowledge of web servers, HTML, CGI, and other facets of the web
improved dramatically. And as you can probably guess, this was YOUR
introduction to the current interface of the archive.

As luck would have it, I managed to pick up a few good friends in the
scene, some of whom became my groupmates. As a result, I finally had the
sense of "belonging" I was never able to attain with Renaissance. It seems
highly ironic in this final DemoNews that a member of Renaissance would end
up writing the introduction for the interview.

I won't attempt to explain it. I don't know why it happens. For whatever
reason, the demo scene and my real life have been synergistically
intertwined since 1992. In my heart I know that each one of us has
benefited from the scene in some way. Granted, your experiences may not
be as profound as mine. I've just been lucky with my introductions.

The end of DemoNews is indicative of the end of an era but not the end of
the scene. People change. Technologies change. The world changes, but
the same fundamental precept of the scene remains. Push the machine where
it was never built to go and have some fun along the way. As long as the
SCENE I grew up with is around in some capacity, you will continue to find
me an active contributer.

rcrapper: Obviously, the MSDOS based demoscene won't be around forever,
yet, there will always be people wanting to push the limits of their
computers and their technical and artistic skills. What do you think will
be the outlet for these people in the future? Do you see potential for a
"new" demoscene that is more in tune with today's technology?

Snowyman: With the death of MSDOS demos comes an end to the era I referred
to above. We're in this agitated transitional phase right now and quite
frankly I have no idea where things are going to end up. Well, that's not
exactly true. MSDOS demos will surely die a grueling death just as Amiga
and C64 demos have done in scenes past. Wait a second! Last I knew the
Amiga and C64 scenes were still alive and kicking. So maybe MSDOS demos
won't die. Like I say... agitated transition.

I think it's almost a given that the "Windows" scene will be the next one.
Sure, you're going to find the occasional prophet who espouses the virtues
of Linux, BeOS, or even FreeBSD. To those people, I simply say "nope".
Too bad there isn't some cheap mainstream SGI machine available...

RyDog: What are your favorite and/or most memorable events in the scene
history?

Snowman:

- That bogus Future Crew demo that kept getting spread a few years ago. I
think it was called "Third Reality" (3rdreal.zip?) and was nothing but a
random .dat file, a non-working .exe, and a drummed up .txt file. Funny
joke though.

- There is a rivalry between Swedes and Finns. Zodiak (very popular
musician many years ago) is Swedish and was attending Assembly '96 in
Finland. While I was there, I saw some Finnish people teach him the
phrase "I have a small penis", which he obligingly shouted in a
high-pitched voice while jumping up and down.

- The road trip from hell that Trixter and I made from Chicago to Syracuse
on our way to NAID '96 (North American International Demoparty).

- Like most BBS's of the day, the Sound Barrier had upload/download ratios.
Sometimes, despite my best courier attempts, I couldn't find anything new
to upload. I'd end up writing a new song just so I could get access to
new files.

- Completing the MC2 Final Results Intro with Trixter in 9 days, start to
finish.

- Calling Ryan Cramer on the phone and putting the receivers next to our
computer speakers so we should let the other HEAR what great new tunes
we'd downloaded.

- Uploading Second Reality to The Hornet Archive (oddly enough I found it
first on The Music Connection BBS).

- Making use of DOS's "multi-config" feature so I could have specialized
quick bootup options. This was most handy when I was first learning how
to code graphics routines. :)

- Downloading my first Necros tune from your BBS and the three of us
exchanging email.

- #trax in 1994.

- The birth of Trixter's son.

- Still watching demos on the same monitor I was using in 1992.

- The massive coverup operation I did after 01-Article, 01-File, and Hornet
News failed. It took weeks to join those text files into issues of
DemoNews so that future generations might never know that there was a very
dark period in the newsletter's past... that about 12 issues of DemoNews
you see today on the archive never originally existed. Well, I guess it's
not a coverup anymore.

- DemoNews 314

- The fact that I still don't know WHERE the name "Hornet" came from (as in,
why the machine was called HORNET.eng.ufl.edu).

And the number one most memorable time in my personal scene history...

- No matter how much I try to explain this, it's not going to make complete
sense to you. You'll likely think the following a testament to people to
took the hobby too seriously. That's ok. It's probably even true. It
wouldn't have happened otherwise.

Brought to tears by "Dope". Time and place: 16 April 1995, Quebec,
CANADA. Imagine a highly constipated North American scene all meeting
each other for the first time, actually being able to talk to others in
person about demos and tracking, finally attending a party we never
thought would happen in our scene lifetimes. Take these people, throw
them all together in a small auditorium, dim the lights, and start playing
a demo that was BUILT to stimulate your entire consciousness with
overwhelming inspiration. Envision two hundred virgin party-goers with
glassy eyes transfixed on a single screen, aware of their surroundings,
feeling like part of a unified community rather than splintered
components, for the FIRST TIME.

It is a moment that shall not be repeated. There is only one "first
time". And it's probably better that way.

I've had more than my fair share of quality scene memories. So has my
nefarious twin brother who has worked in tandem with me all these years.

rcramer: Tell us about the origins of DemoNews? I remember it started out
as a short text file with file listings, but later expanded into an entire
scene magazine.

Snowman: Dan Wright started the whole thing, though I don't think he ever
saw it attaining the level of popularity that it did. It sort of just
started out as a friendly little newsletter telling people what files had
been recently uploaded. Later on (when you and I got actively involved) we
starting having some really cool articles. But that took a tremendous
amount of effort to do every week.

Eventually we just sort of mellowed out and had a solid newsletter with new
file announcements and some quality articles. That was comfortable for
quite some time. But after a while, even that got to be a chore to do.
And when it became a chore instead of a pleasure to work on, it was time to
let go. I like closure, not loose ends. I'd much rather say something
like "OK folks, it's a wrap." instead of "See you next week!"... with that
next week never arriving.

I've already been working on this very interview for 6 hours so far today.
I hope that a solid article comes out of it, but it's just not something I
have the energy to do regularly anymore.

rcramer: Did you ever consider making DemoNews into a diskmag, like
Imphobia?

Snowman: Not only did we consider it, we actually attempted it!

It was going to be called "DNDM" (for DemoNews DiskMag). This was sometime
in 1995. We had music from several popular musicians, graphics from an
unnamed member of Future Crew, a kick-butt logo, and all the articles
carefully collected and edited for the production. So what happened? The
code just didn't come together. The project kept dragging on and on... the
interface was not delivered. A former groupmate (who became "former" due
in no small part to the failure of this project) eventually had to concede
that the diskmag would never see the light. That was a sad day. As many
as 10 people had worked actively on the production and it was never
finished. All that time, wasted.

On a semi-related note, I actually wrote Darkness a couple months ago and
asked if he might like to trade for a while; I could do a release of
Imphobia and he could do about five issues of DemoNews. I never heard back
from him about this so I guess he wasn't interested. We still trade CDs
and t-shirts every once in a while so it's not like we're out of contact.
I just hope that he takes the lead here and calls it a wrap for Imphobia
(if, as it appears, the diskmag is dead) rather than falling into the "next
week" rut.

rcramer: What is your favorite beer and/or liquor? Do you still smoke lots
of cigars?

Snowrum: My favorite? Hmm... it would have to be Woodchuck (it's a cider
beer I was first introduced to back at University). And yes, I continue to
smoke Swisher Sweets Little Cigars. They are the size of cigarettes but
pack a punch. Not quite as much punch as Kiwidog's cloves though.

I have one of those self-destructive personalities with occasional moments
of revelation. Over five years ago I had my last taste of pop/soda, and I
assume that there will come a time when I give up smoking and drinking.
Not for now though. After all, I still need to track music occasionally.

rcramer: Even though this is the last issue of DemoNews, are there any
plans to someday start it again, or perhaps release a "best of DemoNews" or
anything like that?

Snowman: Originally I was going to try to modernize things... finish up the
ASCII version of DemoNews and then create some sort of online "knowledge
database" with carefully indexed and searchable articles. Instead of
having to sit down every weekend for 6 hours trying to bring a carefully
orchestrated newsletter out of chaotic articles, I could just put 'em
online as they came in. I'm still quite active in providing information
online in HTML format.

But now I think I might just hold off on the grandiose project ideas for a
bit. Let's see what kind of scene evolves out of this agitated transition.

rcramer: Would you like to send greets to anybody?

Snowman: Just one. Trixter's little boy, Samuel Leonard. He's the one
we're leaving the future scene to.

rcramer: Smile for the camera. Any final words?

Snowman: Quite frankly, I've fulfilled most of my scene goals and
expectations. I've held 5 music contests, produced 83 issues of DemoNews,
created 6 scene CDROMs, maintained The Hornet Archive for many years, been
to four authentic demo compos (two in Europe, two in North America),
founded a group, and made some friends I think I'll have for the rest of my
life. The demo scene is both shaping and enriching my life and I am a
better person for the experience.

I've experienced the death of BBS's and the rise of the Internet. I've
witnessed trackers (both people and programs) come and go. I've watched
my fellow sceners get married and have children, graduate from college
and worry about medical/dental plans, leave the scene and take with them
a little part of it when they go.

Many of you probably think I take the scene too seriously. But is it any
wonder? My "real" life has been permanently and positively altered as a
result of my participation. I have been in the right place at the right
time more often than I care to mention. It's a true story of the PC DOS
demo scene. And a not-so-small part of me wonders what would have happened
if I hadn't bought that Sound Blaster Pro back in 1992.

rcramer: Thanks for doing this interview, and thanks keeping DemoNews, the
Music Contests, and The Hornet Archive going for all of these years...

_____Conclusion

Well thats it for the interview. I want to thank all of you for reading
DemoNews over the years and being part of this great scene. I have been
enjoying the DemoScene since 1992 (maybe even earlier) and am looking
forward to the future as well. Feel free to drop me an E-Mail or contact me
on IRC. I'm on the internet pretty much all of the time. DemoNews has
been a large part of my scene experience and I will miss it greatly...

>------------------------------------------------------- General Information --

Hornet Archive Mirror Sites : http://www.hornet.org/ha/pages/mirrors.html
Where To Get DemoNews : http://www.hornet.org/info -> "DemoNews"
Questions / Comments : r3cgm@hornet.org

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