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ScuzzBlog: Diaries June 2019

Entry 9th June 2019: Post 01: Amiga Demoscene - Spaceballs and LSD

Amiga Demoscene - Spaceballs and LSD

Having played around for a few days with that new Amiga demo I thought
I would dip into the PD library and fire up a couple of classics. The
two that I show here are 9 Fingers and Jesus on E's. The first was
created by Spaceballs from Norway and came 4th at The Party in Dec 93.
Whereas Jesus on E's was the work of LSD or Leeds Spreading Division
and released at the Digital Symposium October 1992.

In truth I kinda can appreciate the work but tend to view them as part
of the Amiga Demoscene culture of the 90's that you had to have been
associated with to clue into what was going on. In those days the
social aspect of the Amiga community was quite popular and the spreading
of the disk was the early forerunner of social media as we know it today.
Without effective internet social grouping and communication, users of
the Amiga were using the disk to spread their ideas, work and er piracy.
It wasn't even that users were disguising their cracking skills. Quite
a lot of what was being created and circulated was subject to copyright.
So troubled were 17BiT of copyright infringement they removed loads of
PD disks from the catalogue.

So having group meets and passing the disks around was part of the demo
and cracking era of the late eighties and early nineties. Sadly I wasn't
really into that scene at the time so find it all a little difficult to
fully appreciate.

The demo creators used the Amiga and the 'demo' to demonstrate the multi-
media capabilities of the computer. This would generally be written in
68000 Assembly Language taking advantage of the copper and the blitter
and bypassing the OS altogether. It is interesting that a lot of demo
disks advise to disconnect peripherals and even allow the disabling of
certain Amiga functions. Unlike pretty well all Amiga programs, the demo
was capable of accessing the floppy drives at will. And so you see the
floppy lights kicking in at various times during the demo.

One disconcerting aspect of the demo disk is the ability of the disk to
retain memory after a soft boot. So often if you put in another disk
after rebooting from a previous you will hit a brick wall and need to
hard reset the computer and leave for say twenty seconds. Disk could
be a little devious in what they could do, so seriously check for viruses.

I have my demo collection on disk and keep copies on the 4000. When I
de-crunch demos from other sources I do so on the A4000 then play on my
workhorse 500. She may look a little tired but works just fine. The
Philips monitor once fell of that stand and landed on her screen. She
busted the bottom flap off completely but was unscathed. I lost one
of the num keys so place a few old mouseballs over the missing key. I
never use the pad so no problem.

I did try to record the demo to camera but hit a couple of snags. First
I was unable to record without the pink black scan lines. I tried the
filter that kinda made it less noticeable but sadly left a yellow tint
over the while area. The computer maybe kinda faded but its not yellow.
Also the MP4 is massive. Odd that to record a couple of DD disks that
are about 1.5mb between them, I need to use 25MB for just a part. I have
included some video of the demos plus some video of the disk light

So that was fun. 


9 Fingers - Jesus on E's

Respective drive light activity

Amiga Demoscene - Spaceballs and LSD

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Last updated 9th June 2019

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