A Glimpse of Atariada and Platariada 2018

The time passes and it is now needed to prepare next issue of the FLOP magazine. As always, this is closely connected with the "reports on events" section. I decided to write one article covering two events.

>Atariada 2018

On the 20th April 2018 I went to Olomouc. At the main railway station I met Michael and then we began our journey to Sokolovna (a gymnasium owned by organization named "Sokol"). After getting off the bus, we ran into Bohdan, our beloved editor-in-chief and the headmaster of our user group. After a hearty welcome, Bohdan assigned us to various preparation tasks. Other helpers were coming too. I believe R0ger, Zdeněk and Krupkaj were one of the first arriving atarians who got involved in the preparations. When those preparations were finished, other visitors started arriving. The gymnasium was being populated not only with people, but also with stuff, equipment for quizzes and items to be sold in a small "bazaar".

A brand new quiz appeared this year. Printed screenshots were stuck up in various (obvious or refinedly concealed) places. Every contestant was given a form with numbers of all screenshots. For each screenshot, three possible game names were offered. Only one was correct. A screenshot of our game 'Where my home is' made it to the quiz too. Brilliant idea and excellent execution by Akio Tenshi, creator of this quiz. Of course, the usual quizzes took place too, so the visitors feeling competitive had opportunities to enjoy themselves and test their skills.

The "Manual data transfer" contest made a successful comeback to this event. The contestants must read hexadecimal data from screen of one computer, then they have to run through a small "obstacle course", and type in the data to another computer. There is a lot of data to transfer, so the contestants must run several times forth and back. Wotnau, the brilliant commentator of the contest, did an excellent job confusing the contestants by funny or sarcastic comments.

Announcement of the new FLOP 61 issue, created by the new editorial team, was another important happening.

The new editorial team wasn't the only change. You might have noticed already that the place of the event has changed. From our beloved school for visually impaired, we were "exiled" to Sokolovna. Even though I was afraid of the change, I must admit that Sokolovna is not a bad place for the Atarians.

In my opinion, Atariada 2018 was a complete success, and I would like to thank the organizers. I am already looking forward to the next one.

Platariada 2018

Few weeks later, on 8th June 2018, I packed for another journey, this time to Platariada. This is a yearly event that takes place in scout huts in Ceske Budejovice. The event is organized by PG and it was a great one again. The only inconvenience for me is the length of the journey. However, Michael joined me in Prague, so I had a companion. After arriving at the huts, we went to a nearby boarding house and checked in. Yes, at Platariada, I am a "luxury man" too.

This free-form event has no program or structure, but there is a lot you can do. 1. Visit Mirek Talir's computer museum, 2. Go to a swimming pool, 3. Enjoy late evening grilling. 4. Observe the stars through PG's small telescope. I should not forget Bohdan's passion for playing board games. We were invited to play. I've got "infected" by two games I was not familiar with. When the event was over, I immediately searched for and bought the Carcassonne and TransAmerica games.

A highlight of this event is that lot of time is spent by just having fun and "offline chatting" with friends. You are not distracted by presentations or contests, so their usual authors can just relax and fully enjoy the event.

Of course, some time is devoted to playing games, especially those for more players. This time, it was the old and rugged Trivia Quest, suitable to check how much you are (un)familiar with the American popular culture of the 1970s and early 1980s. Dice were rolled too in the Zilch and Yahtzee M4 games.

Unfortunately, every event has to end and on Sunday, one has to go home. There is no choice but to look forward to the upcoming events. In the meantime, one can program for the Atari. That way, those who do not program will be able to enjoy something new.

Petr "HardCore" Postava