Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cirque Du Soleil Show Update

While I am in Las Vegas to DefCon 15 in less than two weeks, will I also use my time in Vegas to watch the Cirque Du Soleil shows, which I have not seen yet.

First show on my list is Cirque du Soleil - The Beatles Love - at The Mirage on Friday. The online reservation system was a pain in the neck and did not work. I had to order the tickets over the phone eventually. They are lucky that I am a hard core fan of the Cirque to jump through all those hoops to get my ticket.

Cirque Du Soleil - "Love" Video

What's Left?
I tried to get a ticket for the Cirque du Soleil show – "Zumanity" at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino. Its a Cirque show with sexual flavor, but that did not work out the way I wanted it to.

So, that means that I will not be able to see "Zumanity" when I am in Vegas. They have vacation that week(end). After "Love" will only be "Zumanity" and the new Cirque show "Kooza" be missing on my list of shows to see. Then I got them all. I booked already a ticket for Kooza, when the show will be in San Francisco, CA in November, later this year. Here is a little teaser for the new show.

Cirque Du Soleil - "Kooza" Video

Cirque Du Soleil - "Zumanity" Video (Beta*)

*read the video description for an explaination ;)

I have to see when I get to see "Zumanity". I will be in Las Vegas the next time in September. I learned that I am going to see "Love" once more, free. I am sure that the seats will not be the best in the house. It's a group reservation. It will be the 7:00 pm show, so I will make sure that I will get tickets for the late show of "Zumanity" for that day then. That would be it. Done before the year is over hehe.

I hope you will enjoy the movies. They can give you a small taste of what the shows are like and might "convert" the one or the other to a Cirque evangelist :).

What Will Be Left for Me to See?
Even when I saw the three shows, does it not mean that I am done. First of all would I like to see "Cirque du Soleil - Ka - at MGM Grand" and "Le Reve" again. "KA" with better seats than last time and "Le Reve", because it was my first show and I want to see it now again, after seeing much more Cirque shows.

I want to know, if it will remain my favority show after that or not.

Cirque Du Soleil Channel at
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I created a Cirque Du Soleil channel at The URK is simply: I will write more about the channel in the near future.

New Cirque Show Announced
When I heard the news, did it almost sound like a joke for April Fools Day, without being April Fools Day of course. Cirque Du Soleil, the famous street magician Criss Angel and MGM announced the collaboration on a new Cirque Du Soleil show for the MGM property Luxor Las Vegas.

The show is planned to open to the public in summer 2008. Criss Angel is a great magician and the mix with Cirque Du Soleils greatness promisses almost certain success and a show that will be a running hit. I can't wait to see it. Maybe I will make it one day to a Cirque premiere. That would be the coolest thing on earth. Well, dreaming is allowed, right? :)

Here is the public video of the announcement of the new Cirque Du Soleil show at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

That's it for news from the Cirque Du Soleil front. If you got a bit appetite for "Cirus", music and great entertainment from the french Canadian troup, check out my Cirque Du Soleil Shows DVD list at All shows that are available on DVD in one place for your convenience (not for me, I have them all myself already)

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Coming Up: DefCon, 15 Las Vegas

I will be at this years DefCon conference in Las Vegas, between August 3rd and 5th, 2007. DefCon is the world's largest underground hacking convention! This will be the 15th installment of the conference.

There will be over 175! Speakers and tons of sessions over multiple tracks.

My friend Christian Wirth aka "RaD Man", founder of ACiD Productions will be a speaker at the panel "Self-Publishing and the Computer Underground", together with Myles Long Director of Depravity, cDc communications/CULT OF THE DEAD COW and Rob "Flack" O'Hara member cDc's Ninja Strike Force.

Have you ever considered publishing your own book? Your own DVD? Self-publishing has been a part of the computer underground since its inception, from the Neon Knights to the Syndicate of London's recent book "End of Dayz". This panel will discuss types of self-publishing (both on- and off-line) and their relevance to the computer underground. They will also discuss their personal experiences in self-publishing. Ample time for questions will be available. Learn about the process from people who have gone through it.

Jason Scott from and "BBS - The Documentary", who is a DefCon veteran, will be speaking at DefCon again too. This years session is titled "THE EDGE OF FOREVER - MAKING COMPUTER HISTORY"

Too often, "Computer History" gets shoved into a forgotten bin of irrelevancy, devoid of use for lessons and understanding. Even more often, people often fail to realize they're making history themselves. Jason Scott will walk though the basics of computer history, what to save, how to ensure things last for future generations, or perhaps how to ensure it's never found again.

I hope that I will be able to meet Jason in person. I read his blog titled "ASCII" and he seems to be a nice but also crazy guy (just like me hehe).

I got a free press pass for the conference, allthough the fee for a pass is cheap compared to other conferences, which I ususally attend. It's only $100. The hotel and flight are more expensive.

The event happens at the Riviera Hotel and Casino. The rooms are booked out. I am staying at the nearby but cheap Circus Circus, Resort and Casino.

There will be a sale of a limited editon DefCon T-shirt. I am telling you this, because I created the design for it :). It was my first ANSI in over 10 months.

Do you like it?

See ya in Las Vegas! Cheers! Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Introduction to the World of Demos

The demoscene is huge. The demoscene is international. The demoscene spans across all computer platforms, including game consols.

However, the existence of something like the demoscene is unknown to most people.

Table of Contents


Let me introduce this vast scene to you via a few hand picked examples of the releases produced by the demoscene during its early days and prime.

The demoscene is active to this day and produces exciting entertainment even on platforms that are not available today anymore. Most current productions are nowadays for the IBM PC and run on any standard Windows XP machine with DirectX and Direct3D compatible Graphics Cards with 3D Accelleation and DirectSound compatible Soundcard.

The Demos presented here are for much older platforms and can not be replayed without special software and some special computer knowledge on modern PCs; but thanks to Google Video and YouTube is that not a big problem today, because it enables me to show you the Video recordings of those old productions as if you were running it on those old machines yourself.

The Videos were created by other Demosceners and are available on DVD for purchase. The Commodore 64 production was taken from the "Digital Memories" DVD, the Commodore Amiga productions were taken from the Mindcandy DVD Volume 2 and the oldschool PC Demos were taken from the Mindcandy DVD Volume 1.


1. The Commodore 64

The following C64 Demo and more can be found on the DVD titled "Digital Memories", which can be purchased at There is no need to get an original Commodore 64 computer with Floppy Drive and original Demo Diskettes.

For people who want to learn more about C64 Demo releases, the Groups that created them and more, visit the CSDB - The Commodore 64 Release Database created by

Tower Power by Camelot

Release Year: 1994
More Information: CSDB entry
Download original demo: Zip archive

The 1994 Commodore 64 Demo Tower Power by Camelot, who are legendary in the C-64 demoscene. The Demo was first presented at The Party 4 in Herning Denmark. Slammer of Camelot was the coder of this great The Party release. The Demo won first place in the C64 Demo Competition.

Coder: Slammer
Music: Jeff
Graphics, Charset: Kring
Graphics, Charset: Neptune
Graphics, Charset: Rob
Graphics: Vic
Loader: Glasnost

2. The Commodore Amiga 500

The following Amiga 500 demos were taken from the Mindcandy DVD Volume 2 - Amiga Demos. The DVD contains a lot more Amiga Demos and can be purchased at without the need to get an old Amiga 500 computer and floppy discs to enjoy the best demos from this platform.

For people who want to learn more about the Amiga demoscene and its releases, check out, the Amiga Demoscene Archive (ADA) or the Amiga Demos Podcast.

Hardwired by The Silents & Crionics

Release Year: 1991
More Information: entry
Download original demo: Disk 1 & Disk 2

Legendary Commodore Amiga 500 demo from the year 1991. Silents and Crionics created the demo Hardwired in a joint partnership project and presented it at The Party 1 in 1991 in the Amiga demo competition. It won 2nd place, right behind the demo "Odyssey" from Alcatraz. The Alcatraz demo might have won the competition, but most people do like Hardwired much more than they do Odysey. The reason for that is simple: While Odyssey was a 45 minutes long curiosity (which is very repetitive), is Hardwired an well designed piece of hard-core coding and pleasant entertainment.

Coder: The Spy
Coder: Deftronics
Coder: Guzzler
Coder: Murphy
Coder: Saxs
Graphics: Mikael Bale
Graphics: Sionic
Graphics: Zycho
Music: Jesper Kyd

State of the Art by Spaceballs

Release Year: 1992
More Information: entry
Download original demo (DMS File):

The demoscene newcomers Spaceballs surprised the visitors of The Party 2 at Aars, Denmark in 1992 with their music video like looking techno track demo for the Commodore Amiga 500 and won the first place in the Amiga demo competition. The Demo became even that popular outside the realm of the Demoscene that it was shown on the popular Music TV Channel MTV.

Coder: Lone Star
Coder: Major Asshole
Graphics: TBM Designs
Music: Travolta

Desert Dream by Kefrens

Release Year: 1993
More Information: entry
Download original demo (DMS files): Disk 1 & Disk 2

Desert Dream by the demo grouup Krefrens, the legendary demo for the Commodore Amiga 500 computer from 1993. It is considered by many to be one of the best demos ever made for the Amiga 500. Better Amiga demos followed, but those were created on the more powerful Amiga 1200 and compatible.

Coder, Musician, Gfx: Laxity
Graphics: Airwalk
Graphics: R.W.O.

3. The Old School IBM PC (MS DOS)

Without 3D Accelleration!

The PC Demo videos were taken from the Mindcandy DVD Volume 1 - PC Demos 2 DVD Discs Set, which is available for purchase at

For people who want to learn more about the IBM PC Demoscene visit, which has a huge File archive, scene and Demoparty news and much more. Also check out the Demoscene releases database and community at

Somewhat releated, which is the reason why I mention it here, is the Scene Archive for the IBM PC Warez Scene, which includes information about the individual Warez scene groups, Cracktros, Artpacks (ANSI and ASCII) as well as NFO files from Game releases.

Further Information about the PC Demoscene

Second Reality by Future Crew

Release Year: 1993
Hardware for Original Demo Presentation: Intel 486 33Mhz, 4 MB Ram, 1 MB Graphics Card (ET400 by Tseng Labs), 1 MB Gravis Ultrasound Soundcard
More Information: entry
Download original demo: File 1 & File 2

This is the world famous PC Demo "second Reality" by the Finish Demo group legend "Future Crew". The Demo won with huge distance to its next competitor the Assembly 1993 demo competition in Finland. The Demo was not available for download right at the party, which caused rumors that Future Crew was cheating by adding extra hardware to the presentation computer (FC was one of the organizers of the demo party). That was of course not true and the rest is history

Coder: PSI
Coder: Trug
Coder: Wildfire
Graphics: Marvel
Graphics: Pixel
Music: Purple Motion
Music: Skaven

Verses by Electromotive Force

Release Year: 1994
More Information: entry
Download original demo:

Machine requirements for original demo
- a 386sx CPU; 486 or faster recommended
- a VGA card; VLB or PCI recommended
- a hard disk; RAM disk recommended
- a Gravis Ultrasound card for music
- 400 kB of free base memory
- 1 MB of free high memory

PC Demo "Verses" by the Finish demo group EMF - Electromotive Force, which won the 1994 demo competition at the Assembly 1994 demo party held in Finland. The demo included some funny image manipulations of a picture of Microsofts Co-Founder and Chairman Bill Gates. Everybody but Bill Gates himself had a good laugh. After all, he deserved it, especially after making (in)famous statements like "640 KB (Memory) is enough for everybody". The last parts of the demo include some of the best phong shading at the time.

Coder, Graphics: Saracen
Coder, Graphics: The Grim Reaper (TGR)
Coder: Devastator
Coder: Saint
Music, Graphics: Whalebone
Graphics: Shaman & Kerberos
Graphics: Vortex

Dope by Complex

Release Year: 1995
More Information: entry
Download original demo:

PC Demo by the legendary demogroup Complex from 1995. The Demo won the first place at The Gathering 1995 demo competion. The statement "Complex, World Domination" might have been true when the demo was shown, but that domination was only very short lived. The Demo "Stars" by Noon took over that position only a few months after the release of "Dope" in the Summer of the same year.

Coder: JMagic
Music: Jugi
Graphics: Reward

Stars: Wonders of the World by Noon

Release Year: 1995
More Information: entry
Download original demo:

"Stars" by the French demo group with the name "Noon" is a PC demo that was created in 1995. The demo has a weird sound, but the effects were top notch at the time. The demo won 1st place at the Assembly 1995 demo competition in Helsinki, Finland.

Coder: Karl
Coder: Barti
Graphics: Ra
Music: Groo

4. Remakes

It is said: Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery.

Proof for this statement are the following productions, which are remakes of famous demos from the Amiga 500 and IBM PC (the originals were introduced above). Two of the remakes were done on the much slower and powerless Commodore 64 computer and the other one is a high end and top of the line animation that was just recently done. Each remake tried to remain as close as possible to the look, feel and sound of the original as possible. Those remakes are not attempts of creating a cheap knock-off, they were created because of true and pure appreciation of the original works.

Second Reality

Original Demo by: Future Crew
Original Platform: IBM PC
Original Release Year: 1993

Remake by: Smash Design
Platform: Commodore 64
Remake Release Year: 1997
More Information: CSDB entry

Desert Dream

Original Demo by: Kefrens
Original Platform: Amiga 500
Original Release Year: 1993

Remake by: Mat Recardo and Chris Crusher
Platform: ALL (Animation)
Remake Relase Year: 2007

and another remake of Desert Dream

Remake by: Resource and Chorus
Platform: Commodore 64
Remake Release Year: 2007
More Information: CSDB entry

The demoscene produced thousands of releases for all computer platforms that ever existed, including game consols. There is a vast and rich world to explore out there. I tried to provide you with a small glimpse of it and hope that I was able to spark some interest into this hidden world that is unknown to most people. I hope that you were at least entertained by the productions I presented to you today.

Demoscene Resources

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Good Article Nomination and the Day of Independence

It is Wednesday the 4th of July 2007. Today is a holiday, Independence Day. I have some work to do, but I also did something that is dear to my heard.

It is today almost exactly one month after I posted about the struggle with the featured article nominations for the article to search engine optimization at Wikipedia and the article did appear on the Wikipedia homepage for everybody to see.

That was two days ago on Monday, July 2, 2007. Jonathan Hochman aka “Jehochman“ at Wikipedia did a good job there and also spent a lot of time on the article to get it up to the level of featured.

That an article to a subject like search engine optimization gets featured at Wikipedia was very encouraging. You must consider that a number of Wikipedians think less than favorable about anything related to monetization and internet marketing.

I spent a lot time myself on the article to affiliate marketing, which I nominated end of last week for the status of a "good article" (I step before "featured article"). The nomination process is currently on hold to do some tweaking and tuning of the article. Especially help with the grammar is needed and a bit rephrasing work for a few things here and there.

Graeme Bartlett is the editor who is doing the review of the article. He gave me some useful tips, including where to find some practical help. One is a new project within the Wikipedia project "Business and Economics", which is called "Collaboration of the Month" (Beta). I made my plea for help with the affiliate marketing article there and hope that it will be considered.

The article came a long way. You can see here the so called diff (difference) between the versions of the article from February 26, 2006, the day when I did the first edit in the article, and the current one. The article failed its first “good article” nomination in March, which was a little bit premature. You can see here the difference between the versions of the article from March 8, 2007, the day when it was nominated for the first time and today’s version.

The number of active editors dropped over time and I am now the only one left who seems to care. I hope that I can get at least some people to go over the article for plain and simple spell and grammar checking. If you read this and are willing to help out, head over to Wikipedia and read the article. If you find any errors, go ahead and edit the article to fix the error immediately. I would appreciate it.

Let’s see how it goes. In the meantime, I would like to wish everybody who is living here in the United States a happy 4th of July and hope that you have or had a good time with your loved ones.

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

Update July 11, 2007
More information about the "Good Article" status at Wikipedia. To put things into perspective.
  • Currently, 1,480 of a total of 1,871,105 Wikipedia articles (about 1 in 1,260) are featured articles

  • Currently, 2,511 (about 1 in 745) articles meet the good article criteria
The article to affiliate marketing failed again the nomination for good article. Everything was taken care of, except for some issues with the writing style and Grammar. No editor who is good with the English language reacted to my requests for help. It's sad.