Assembly summer 2013

Assembly Summer 2013 computer festival was held last weekend. Many earlier years I have been actively participating in it (even been on organizers team), but for last few years I have skipped that event (I am getting too old for this?).

In assembly Assembly event there has been interesting computer demos on the competitions. Something worth to watch and wonder how they are made. This year’s best productions can be found now at Assembly Archive.

Here are my quick picks of some of the most interesting productions this year:

next train takes no passengers shows how an old Finnish metro station display can be hacked to computer art platform with help of Atmel AVR, C, lots of reverse engineering.

Highway 4k show what you can do with just 4 kilobytes of html/javascript/webgl code.

Check the rest from Assembly Archive.

Some article links related to Assembly Summer 2013 and computer demos (both links point to articles written in Finnish):

Assemblyn saldoa: Vanha metronäyttö taipui partydemoon (English translation)

Miksi demot ovat niin tympeitä? (English translation)


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hackaday seems to be also covering this how an old Finnish metro station display can be hacked to computer art platform.

    Reverse-engineering old Finnish metro station displays

    This project definitely was a patience tester. As the control system of the Helsinki metro was (and still is) under big renovation, [Konsta] could buy three old information displays for a very cheap price (5€ each). However, these displays came with no information whatsoever about the way to drive them, thus starting a long reverse-engineering journey.

    We strongly recommend reading [Konsta]‘s writeup

    Metro station display reverse engineering

  2. Radio-Controlled Bus Stop Displays « Tomi Engdahl’s ePanorama blog says:

    [...] you are interesting on more on Helsinki public transportation displays related hacking, check my Assembly summer 2013 posting that has video that shows how an old Finnish metro station display can be hacked to [...]

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A good article on Assembly computer festival and it’s relation to Finnish game industry development:

    Assembling a game development scene? Uncovering Finland’s largest demo party

    The study takes look at Assembly, a large-scale LAN and demo party founded in 1992 and organized annually in Helsinki, Finland. Assembly is used as a case study to explore the relationship between computer hobbyism – including gaming, demoscene and other related activities – and professional game development.

    These days the event is held at Hartwall ice hockey arena and lasts four days.
    Most visitors – roughly 5000 per event – bring their own computers and
    purchase a table spot with a very fast Internet/LAN connection and a power
    socket. The event consists of the festival, competition categories in the field
    of digital arts (demos, graphics, music, etc.), various gaming competitions,
    live concerts, expert seminars, game industry recruitment desks and other

    All in all, for over twenty years Assembly has brought together gaming
    hobbyists, notable programming talent and an atmosphere that fosters
    competition and creativity in a unique way.

    Still, gaming in particular has a history of clashing with demo building
    at Assembly. Nowadays this history is mostly present when the competition
    demos are screened in the main hall of the venue. As majority of the players
    play their games here, only stopping for a moment to watch the competition

    lready in the
    pre-broadband years, Assembly not only provided an opportunity to get a
    lightning-fast Internet connection for one weekend but it was also a unique
    chance to meet online connections and other like-minded people. These days
    one could possibly compare the event to a rock festival, in which visitors first
    and foremost participate for the social aspects of the event, to meet people
    and especially to feel the connection to the scene.

    Later on, the short development span of demo building seemed to
    translate relatively well to smaller handheld games, popular in Finnish game
    development especially during the early 2000s.

    he mobile games companies
    of the day had numerous employees with demoscene background and openly
    hired old friends and demoscene contacts based only on demo resumes

    Coming into this day, the most visible aspect of the game industry hiring
    practices in Assembly are the game industry stands.

    Our analysis has revealed a variety of functions for Assembly: a meeting
    point, a billboard, a distribution channel, a training ground and a melting pot.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *