What is a "demo-maker" ?

The term is used to describe one person who is so passionated by programming his machine that he wants to use his knowledge to do the trick most beautiful and most impossible on its computer preferred. In general, "the trick", aka a "demo", resembles a kind of video and music, except that all psychedelic effects are usually not precalculated images. The computer calculates each of the images in real time. In fact, the limited capacity in memory (RAM), hard, and speed processor, prevents making demos comprising only succession of images pre-calculated. This method is also poorly regarded by purists, since there is no merit to display images already made one after the other rather than calculate in real time each.

In general, demo-makers know their machine thoroughly. The interest of these old microcomputer lies in its ... limitations! We must have lot of imagination and a big brainstorming to do things deemed "impossible" by the manufacturers. In 80-90 years, many principles have emerged, and programming could be elevated to art, so it will always go further pushing the technical limits. Here are born algorithms 3D ultra-optimized, ". MOD" (a music format very best long unmatched). Even today, every technical programmers pushes these machines treasures ingenuity. The difference between good and bad programmer is flagrant. This is far from being the case on the PC.

The world of PC, with its gigabytes of RAM, disk, and Speed, crushed this world and this philosophy like a steamroller. We can no longer tell the difference between a bad and a good programmer, because the user no have longer baseline. He did not know if this is normal or not that its super-pc 3800Mhz to put 10 hours to compress a DVD, and will admire as well a "movie graphics", which occupies 300 megabytes (307200 kg - bytes) to a program that does the same thing in 50 kilobytes, as it does not even know how it works ... The PC is a big hammer to smash the pins. It is no more important to optimize on a machine vecause any PC is identical to its neighbour, and it is changing every minute .. In this sense, it is undoubtedly a great disincentive to ingenuity.

Fast Comparison between the CPC et one actual PC

  Amstrad CPC 6128 my PC to me  
Processor speed 4Mhz 2330 Mhz 584 time +
Random Memory (ram) 131072 bytes 1073741824 bytes 8192 time +
Mass Memory (disk) 182272 bytes (1 face) 268435456000 bytes 1472719 time +

If we add that the video memory of the CPC is part of its RAM (unlike the PC where it should still add 33554432 bytes), that the current processors, at equivalent speed, are 10 times more powerful than the old processor like Z80A, and in addition, these processors are assisted by a crowd of coprocessors, we can legitimately ask where is this power if you look at what was already capable a CPC well programmed ...

Look at the Cpc 6128


...and his unfortunate successor, the CPC 6128 +

Amtrad PlusAmstrad Plus

I still specifies that the computer is integrated with the keyboard and floppy drive, where the photos were not explicit enough ... This machine has been a few years of glory, succeeding his younger brothers, CPC 464 and 664, and preceding machines-born dead because of Amstrad trade policy ( CPC +). Worth noting in passing that the CPC 464 basic read and recorded programs on simple audio cassettes, at a speed of snail.

To return to the demo-makers, the technical challenge visual and audio has increased and confirmed that unity is strength.

Each demomaker is known by a nickname of "war", whether programmer, graphic artist or musician (or a combination of several of these qualities), several individuals form a "group" and work towards its reputation. This was the case of Logon System, created in 1988 and which lasted until 1993. Sometimes, "alliances" between form "groups" for the realization of joint projects. All people working on a machine belong to what is called a "scene".

There is a scene by machine, in this case in our case "cpc scene."

These scenes still exist, and a handful of brave fans nostalgic "Roaring Twenties" plays yet on these antiques. However, we must not mistake, people are not that old and a new generation of youth has a passion for these machines and the atmosphere that prevails there. By the way, this does not prevent many of these passionate work in industries (video games, electronics).

The demos are free and are moving very quickly in the world, especially with the help of the Internet today (see However, "meetings" are still organized for all groups and several scenes come together. These "meetings" attract fans from all over europe and the biggest scenes (amiga, for example) saw land thousands of people with competition and media support to the key. "Cpc scene" was quite modest, but appears to have withstood the erosion of time.

A broader definition of démomaking is available here (in french):