The purpose of this blog (and mostly of its author) is to let you know about a dark side of computing I have been in love with for more than two decades : demos.
But I guess you are now wondering what a demo is, right ? If you want a full and expansive explanation, you can find one here.
But to make long things short, let’s say that a demo is indeed a skill demonstration. It shows the « strength » of a democrew made of at least one coder (computer programmer), one gfxman (handling pictures and design) as well as one musician (no need for further explanation here). These crew members work together to create a digital production mixing effects, pictures and music, all of these with (hopefully) style and technique ! The first demos were created about 30 years ago, in the mid 80s, when home computers started being made available to a wider audience and have by now reached thousands of references !
I wish to write here about a specific computer, namely the Atari ST, (shown at the head of this article) a computer that has shared my life since I received it as a Xmas gift in 1990. You will surely find out that this humble computer limits are very reduced to current PCs but this is where the interest of demos lies : take advantage of limited resources and make the best use of them. You will see that quite often demos manage to go beyond what this computer was supposed to be able to produce !
In order to help you have an idea about its technical features, here is a short comparison between an Atari ST and a standard PC (don’t call it a real benchmark, this is only a mere and raw comparison) :