after a bit more than 3 1/2 hours travel i was arriving at the train station in fallingbostel where a small bus was already waiting for bringing me and a few other party visitors to the 'heidmarkhalle' where mekka-symposium takes place since 1997. it was shortly after noon when we reached the partyplace but the hall was already very crowded so that it was a bit hard to find a decent place for me and my computer. but at least i had success :). the big screen was near and the picture quality was really ok. also the soundsystem was working very well.
accessing the network was combined with a bit more work than expected. because the lack of a needed driver for using my network card with win95 i had to switch to linux. but it was a good choice because i could setup my computer as a party ftp-server using a static ip number while the most windows systems were connected using dhcp. the network itself was a bit unstable and accessing the internet was sometimes very slow or just impossible (especially irc and ftp). the voting was done on the network or with the good old paper vote sheet. the first day ended after the short opening ceremony with a quite good liveset from sierra/destiny
from saturday on the compos were starting. more than 1000 ppl were at the party now, luckily mostly sceners :). during the day hours it was quite nice to stay outside the hall because the weather was amazing with plenty of sunshine and the temperature was near 20C. in the front of the hall there was a hot-dog stand where you could buy the usual food. quality and price was quite ok. inside the hall you could buy sandwiches and other snacks. the quality of the most compos was only average, but with some exceptions. one of the exceptions is the 64k-intro 'gcube' from matrix that is really a must-have. also the 64k-intro 'dusk' from suburban creations is very good. in the amiga 40k-intro compo 'grid' from nature impressed me the most. in the evening ronny/tls was making his liveset on the stage. in the night hours the wild compo was beginning. the most impressive entry was 'real reality' from never in that all the effects from the pc demo 'second reality' were shown in real life.
have you ever tried to show the effects of a demo in real life? hard work that was rewarded with roaring applause from all people in the hall. another very good entry was 'tribute' from han solo/tc - a quite sentimental tribute to the whole family of demosceners.
on sunday the democompos were starting. central theme of one entry in the c64 compo was the war in yugoslavia - respect for this! but in general the quality was not very high. the same for the amiga democompo. i have seen much better stuff on earlier parties. the pc-democompo was dominated by smash designs. their winning demo 'event horizon' was really the best release. also 'planet subotnik' from suburban & amable was very nice, unluckily it's not running on my et6000 card. scoopex were starting with an 1:1 conversion of their amiga demo 'alien' - not very original, but the demo itself is quite ok. on the afternoon i was with ironeagle and han solo/tc at the local mcdonalds, talking about the party and the past years :). zippy/bm was quite unlucky with the cancelling of the ansi compo. the official reason was lack of entries.
the bad side at mekka-symposium was that some people used this gathering for trading child-porn stuff :(. near the end of the party one pc got stolen. for sleeping you could go into a separate sleeping hall. in the first night it was quite cold, but in the following nights it was ok. at 10 o'clock on monday i had to prepare my stuff for the trip back to home, so again i wasn't seeing very much of the price giving ceremony. at least mekka-symposium '99 was a quite good party and the organizers have made a good job. in the train from fallingbostel i was talking with two visitors from norway and they were also very lucky to be here and not at the gathering in norway.