Party animal Mad Butscher attends
the latest annual meeting of the legendary ABBUC
At 06:30 precisely I was picked up by R.I.K.
(Rex Imperator et Kellenbach, Markus Roemer) and we
left my home town of Wiesbaden. We listened to traditional
German music (normal, In Extremo) as we drove, and we
arrived at Herten without problems. There we set ourselves
up in the same corner as last year. After three round-trips
of the city we found the citizen center, and then only
by coincidence (we have visited the meeting so many
times, but still can't find the way even though the
directions are very easy).
After a short look around I had a
talk with Andreas Vollpini, the only member of the H.A.R.
(Hannover ABBUG Regionalgroup) who was present at the
annual meeting this year. Andreas brought along the
tie which I ordered at the last annual meeting(thanks,
again, to his wife who made the tie).
Sijmen, a member from Holland, offered
me some Atari Force comic books. They were in Dutch,
but I got one for my collection. The main thing is it
has Atari on the cover. He also offered Atari cookies
for free. This was a main attraction of the meeting.
The cookies were in the shape of Pac Man and Ms Pac
Man, a mad idea. I hope to get them in every supermarket
Besides the cookies he was also selling
some hardware, the most interesting one was a clone
of a VCS with 127 games built in. The console was as
big as a Psion organiser, and a joypad was built in.
The games had strange names, to avoid legal problems.
But the only thing you have to do is connect it to a
television, and you can play without changing the modules
all the time, really great. Just when I became disappointed
that I couldn't afford this nice piece of hardware,
Mr XY / Light (Rouven Gehm) appeared. He slept in the
car overnight, he told me, so he looked very tired.
ABBUC currently has approximately
430 members, the cash in hand amounts to several 10,000
DM and the supply of 5.25" diskettes is still enough
for at least three years. The Atari magazine of Raetz
publishing house is merged with Atari World magazine
by Sacha Roeber, and is to be called the New Atari Generation
magazine. Stefan Dorndorf was unfortunately not at the
JHV 2000, therefore we didn't get to see the 512 KB
flash ROM cartridge, but as Torsten Schall of SWAT said,
the hardware is finished in the meantime. Likewise in
progress is the CD-ROM driver for the Blackbox and the
different 1 MB extensions.
Another member brought his weather
station with him, which is operated by an Atari. Also
some new software was mentioned. A new version of the
Boss x graphic user interface, as well as a new version
of the cc65 C-compiler and a Forth interpreter. There
is a large number of people who refuse to use the ABBUC
community forum, because it is hosted with MSN. Therefore
we are looking for alternatives. More information about
this and current hardware and software projects will
be in the next ABBUC magazine.
Once again there were many rare items
and good deals. There was XL/XE, VCS, ST, Lynx, Jaguar
and everything to do with Atari to buy and exchange.
After the best pieces were distributed, it slowly became
somewhat calmer again, and organized competitions of
the RAF (all ABBUC group Frankfurt) began. 180, a darts
program, was played. Unfortunately I lost in the first
round against R.I.K, but for me, it was good fun. The
winner was Mr XY.
Then the Best of Show competition
started. First the releases of the Unconventional were
shown and then the application programs. This time no
hardware was entered in the competition. However, I
think the 8-bit network games Multidash or Multicervi
could be considered 50% of hardware, and these could
have been entered in the hardware category.
Demonstrating these two network games
had the same problems as a PC network, you have a lot
of messing around until it works properly. But nevertheless
it was very impressive to see 8 XL/XE interconnected.
Next the evaluations of the contributions were made.
Winner of the Best of Show competition was Heiko Bornhorst
with a multi-file viewer and Jiri Bernasek with the
Mulitdash network game.
Like every year, this JHV was a wonderful meeting, and
we already look forward to the JHV 2001. It's clear
to see at every JHV that the Atari XL/XE still draws
many active people into its spell, and that the development
continues and brings more new things all the time.
Club president Wolfgang Burger winning
his own prize!
(Photographs courtesy of Wolfgang/ABBUC)
Competition winner, Multidash. Simplistic graphics but
challenging network play.