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European Jaguar Fest 2000

64-bit action with Mad Butscher of Foundation Two

For the first time ever a Jaguar meeting was organised in Medow/Holland (5 km behind the German border), early this November. About 16 Jaguar developers and fans got together and had a lot of fun.

I started the journey at about 7 o'clock, when Mr XY (Rouven Gehm) picked me up. After the usual visit to the Fast Food temple, we reached the end of the highway without complications. There we saw a sign indicating a flea market close to the street. We were only one hour late for this, so we stopped by hoping to get some Atari stuff there. It was a really disappointing market, only about ten stands. But Mr XY was able to get three German VCS modules (the infamous Quelle games) with nice titles like "Seamonster" (Seemonster), "My Way" (mein Weg) and "Space Patrol" (Raumpatrollie). The best thing about this market was that it didn't cost us much time. So finally we reached Winterswijk.

Road signs are very rare in Holland, so we had to drive a little bit through the plain Dutch desert, until we found Medow. There we first noticed the well-known Atari van of MNX. The meeting was held in a nice pub, and when we arrived, a lot of people were busy on a lot of Jaguars. After one of the organisers finally asked for my entrance fee, we talked a little bit with the MNX guys Fox and TXG (Robert and Rene).

There was nobody at the meeting selling any Jaguar stuff, so it was time enough to have some nice chats. The most funny person was "Justclaws" (Richard) an Englishman who lives and works in Germany, but doesn't speak German (I like to speak my worst English when I'm at a meeting, so this wasn't a problem). He explained how I could program the Jaguar with the BJL or the Alpine board. Because the Alpine board costs about 1000 DM, I would prefer the BJL. He also showed a lot of prototype Jaguar games, which I never heard of before. Another interesting developer had connected the Jaguar to a hard disk and even to a card with TOS 2.06. It was a cool moment when the well-known GEM desktop appeared on the Jaguar. He also wrote a driver for the old VCS paddle controllers.

Then after my head was filled with information, I joined the rest of the people and played a lot of Jaguar games. During this session, I recognized someone I saw at some Neuss fairs. He hands out flyers about a DVD player which uses the Nuon chip (Michael Neihs of June Audio - Ed). I haven't heard about that project for a long time, so I was impressed to hear that it seems to be successful. At about 18:30 we were the last ones to leave the party and drove home.

It was the first time I got in contact with the Jaguar scene, and it was interesting to meet new people and see that it is also very active. The two organisers, "the DVD" (Diederick van Dijk) and "Starcat" (Lars Hannig) did a great job. These two guys are about 15 years old, and organised a good meeting, I have great respect for them.

Jagfest 2000

Jaguar cartridge!?

Courtesy of Atari Workshop
Jaguar Alpine board. Photographs courtesy of Atari Workshop.

E-Jagfest demo
A small Jaguar demo made for the party.

Glossary of terms

  • Alpine board
    How are games developed for consoles if they don't have things like keyboards? The cheapest and most common method is to develop on a desktop computer (Atari's original Jaguar development system was based on its TT computers) and transfer the object code onto a real console for testing. In the case of the Jaguar, this is usually achieved with the Alpine board, a development interface which plugs into the cartridge slot, allowing access to the Jaguar system bus.
  • Jaguar trivia
    Eagle-eyed readers wondering if the Jaguar Alpine board is in any way related to the Phenix Alpine board: the answer is yes. Rodolphe Czuba was the head of Virtual Xperience, creator of Super Burnout for the Jaguar. Having been a Jaguar developer, it was easy to choose a name for the Phenix development host interface board.


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MyAtari magazine - Feature #5, December 2000

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