Archive for September, 2007

Oxford Spectrum meetup, 20 October 2007

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

From 2pm, The Gloucester Arms After a hiatus of goodness-knows-how-long, Oxford will be home to another Spectrum pub meet on Saturday 20th October, from 2pm at The Gloucester Arms. Well over a dozen illustrious inhabitants of comp.sys.sinclair and the World Of Spectrum forums have indicated their interest already, so it’s promising to be a good one.

Limited crash space will be available for long-distance travellers (I could probably accommodate about 5-6 before things start getting, um, cosy), so drop me an email if you’d like to take that up. You may also want to get in touch to swap mobile numbers, in the unlikely event that we have to move on to somewhere else before you arrive (due to our group being SO FREAKING HUGE) or if you think you’re likely to get lost on the way or something. On that subject, here’s how to get there (full map):

From the coach station (Gloucester Green): Go round the back of the concourse, and head for the far left corner of the market square – the Gloucester Arms pub is in front of you. There, that was easy…

From Oxford train station: Go out of the main entrance towards the horrible green spire, then keep on heading in that direction past the big glass buildings on your left, over the bridge and continue down George Street (the one with Cafe Orient and Jessops on). At Old Orleans and the Cock And Camel pub, take the left turn. You’ll see the Gloucester Arms up ahead.

See you there!

Just Because Story

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

It seems like everything I create these days always has to be part of some bigger masterplan – an attempt to win a competition, or a massive software project, or a stepping stone towards some greater goal. I really need to learn to do things every now and then just as casual throwaway bits of fun, for no particular reason, Just Because.

So here’s one. It’s a bluesy piano sketch that pretty much took shape by itself through some aimless pottering around on the keyboard, and I can’t see myself adding lyrics to it, using it as the soundtrack to anything, recreating it on obscure hardware, entering it into a competition or any of the other random things I always end up doing. It just hangs together as an entity in its own right, so that’s how I’m going to leave it, as a celebration of Just Becauseness. (But having said that, if you have any better ideas about what to do with it, go right ahead and take advantage of that Creative Commons licence…)

Download matt_westcott_-_just_because_story.mp3
Download MP3 (2.6M)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Leaving summertime behind

Monday, September 10th, 2007

This demo received 4th place in the Sundown 2007 Oldschool Demo competition, out of, um, 4 entries. I could blame that on the not-quite-optimal projector settings it got shown under, or (more likely) the intense competition from the other entries. But actually I won’t, and instead I’ll sit contented in the knowledge that I got to explore some new concepts and techniques in Spectrum demo coding, without really knowing how they’d turn out, and managed to get them to a state where they didn’t totally suck. (Provided you’re willing to use a bit of imagination.)

The plan was to create something approaching a lo-fi YouTube-stylee home movie of scenes from a summer day – but with all visuals generated in real time, of course, as per the usual demoscene custom – drawing on the already-lo-fi graphics of the Spectrum, some crafty image processing, and some fine photos taken by Natalie (whose Flickr stream I previously plundered for Gallions Reach). And now, in a post-modern self-referential ironic twist (or something), you can watch it as a YouTube video.

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Sundown 2007

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Sundown 2007 – the UK’s premier demo party, happening beside the seaside in lovely jubbly Budleigh