Breakthrough of Digital Culture: Finland accepts the Demoscene on its national UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
“Demoskene is an international community focused on demos, programming, graphics and sound creatively real-time audiovisual performances. [..] Subculture is an empowering and important part of identity for its members.”
In memoriam of Chuck Peddle: Many of us will have started with a C64, that was powered by the 6502 Processor. The device became the most popular home computer, mainly because it was self contained: at the same time it hat all functionality a computer needed, and was still simple enough for everyone to understand.
In it’s popularity, the same 6502 Processor that was sold between 12.5 – 17 million times in shape of a C64 (according to pagetable.org) during it’s lifetime was also used in many other devices, including the Apple I, the similarly popular Atari 2600 gaming console, or much later, the Tamagotchi digital pet.
The processor contributed to the transformation of a a whole generation with these devices and became so popular, that even today, creative computer users leverages these devices to produce ‘demos’, that rely on this processor. Until today, in particular the demoscene still produces for computers with this processor, most noteworthy the C64. (again).
One of two chip designers, Charles ‘Chuck’ Peddle reportedly passed away this week. Thank you for the great work and rest in peace.
WTF of the day. The most advanced MySQL raytracer on the market right now. A raytracer, written in a single SELECT statment, that MySQL is able to process into an image. Pure Demoscene spirit here, whatever it is, make it run an animation or raytrace some spheres, something beautiful it was not meant to produce in first place.
Having been part of the demo-scene for many years myself, this is – at least to me – big news. Starting with the arrival of computers and first commercial software, crackers started copying others intellectual property and made an effort overcoming copy protection. Groups formed to not only solve the technical difficulty to ‘crack’ these systems, but also distribute the results. Soon, pretty presentations were included with these files, to advertise the group that managed to overcome copy protection. Shortly after, these presentations turned into their own discipline, giving programmers, music- and graphic artists an opportunity to compete in artistic demos.
The first demos I remember include 42 by halcyon, 4 kings by orange or daze by urinate. Given the first exposure to the hardwares limits, these were fascinating productions that never failed to amaze me. A close friend from the mailbox scene pointed me to the immortal ‘Second Reality‘ by Future Crew, that finally blew my mind.
Among my peers, this demo was the starting point for many people that I spent a lot of time with and some of whom I am still proud to call my friends. The years following I had the opportunity to not only attend many demo parties but actively contribute my own work to competitions and learn fundamental technology from idols I was lucky to meet at these events.
Now recently, Andreas Lange & Tobias Kopka have started an initiative to bring the demoscene onto the list of the UNESCO intangible world cultural heritage. The initiative advocates the mindset and innovation this scene has developed, contributing technology to culture and leveraging technology to create art. It will likely take a long time to proof this influence and all that I have seen in the past twenty years is well worth bringing this scenes achievements to a broader audience.
Because code is beautiful: Tools, Tutorials, Berichte für alle die mit Code kreativ sind oder werden wollen. Eine Seite für den Austausch zwischen “allen, die mit real-time Animationen, visueller Kunst, bewegter Graphik arbeiten oder an der Demoszene teilnehmen oder diese genießen”  bietet http://www.displayhack.org/
Auch dieses Jahr findet wieder “The Ultimate Meeting” statt. Große Ereignisse werfen natürlich Ihre Schatten in Form von Newsmeldungen voraus, so gefunden in einem weitesgehend richtigen Arikel über die Szene auf tomshardware.de: