Space: The Final Demoscene
April 21, 2014 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Revision Demoparty was held this past Easter weekend. It's considered to be a rebirth and spirital heir of the Breakpoint Demoparty, and, arguably the flagship "Demoscene" event of the year. A lot of groups and individuals bring their A game to show off the most inspiring, technically-intense and memorable demos to the world. Every year has highlights and it's a big deal when a brand new platform gets a demo, but this year, the wildest demo went in an entirely unexpected direction: space.

As part of the production called 10 Orbyte, the long-lived group TRSi & Red Sector collaborated with the engineers of the WREN satellite to bring a demo from Earth orbit.

The WREN, despite a failed kickstarter (which has lots of additional great information on the project), successfully launched into space with thrusters, a camera, and the ability to execute Commodore 64 code. To send the video back to Earth, WREN uses Slow Scan TV, also an enjoyable subject to research if it's new to you.

To see where the Wren is hanging out at the moment, check this satellite tracker.
posted by jscott (7 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

I kept reading this as demonparty, and was sorely disappointed in the links.
posted by Jacen at 9:41 AM on April 21, 2014

Is there a link to the actual video anywhere?
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:55 AM on April 21, 2014

Quick link to the 10 Orbyte video on YouTube. The demo itself begins around 3:40. I guess slow-scan TV has gotten faster since I last tried it over VHF in the 90s, because I was thinking a 1-FPM (frame-per-minute) demo wouldn't be that exciting...
posted by Emanuel at 9:56 AM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm guessing it uses ATV instead of SSTV. SSTV is a means of sending low-res grainy cheesecake pictures worldwide very, very slowly.
posted by scruss at 10:40 AM on April 21, 2014

You could very well be right. It does SSTV, but the videos are a little confusing as to the video transport mechanism.
posted by jscott at 11:51 AM on April 21, 2014

That is love.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:10 PM on April 21, 2014

From what I understand, the demo isn't actually running in outer space. The demo binary is stored on the satellite's Flash memory, and the satellite beams this data down to earth. So you can catch the bitstream from outer space, transfer it to your C64, then run the demo there.
posted by ymgve at 4:21 AM on April 25, 2014

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