From Coder to Programmer to Scripter

I often get nostalgic in work, and every now and again I fire up ModPlug Player and listen to some kick ass Amiga tunes (Wasteland at the moment since you asked, been listening to it now for over 2 hours). I picture the demo in my head as I’m working and while I do that, I also look at the piece of crap PHP script I’m working on and just wonder “where the fuck did I go wrong?”

I used to be a programmer!

No, scrap that.

I used to be a coder!

A hard core 68000 assembler, not this pissy C++ or C# shite for me. Object orientated programming? Pah, that’s for pussies.

There was a time when I genuinely cared for the junk I write, not anymore. Instead of “it’s working, let’s make it faster” it’s more “ah fuck it, that’ll do.”

The art and skill of programming has been lost. It’s the hardware that’s driving it all now, and god help the programmer if the gamer idiots don’t get their DirectX 20, 60fps with AA!

This to me is sacrilege and I die a little inside every time our server gets updated to handle the load when 99% is down to the software being inefficient. Then again, in a SMB there isn’t the time to piss around making everything perfect.

I guess I’ll just have to live with it.

Interview with Guzzler, ex Silents

guzzler_3_thumbI have loved the Silents DK megademo since I first saw it all those years ago. I love the music and I still believe they were among the best coders to have been on the scene.

But it was the Dromacore part that really hit me. The tune by Jesper Kyd (called Freaky Humans) is just fantastic, so when I set out to find my heroes from the Amiga days, Guzzler was fairly close to the top of the list.

guzzler_4_thumbPentagram: Hi Guzzler

Guzzler: Hello there…

Pentagram: Can you introduce yourself.

Guzzler: I’m Thomas, also known as Guzzler… or among friends just Guz.

Pentagram: What do you do now?

Guzzler: I am working as a pilot for Scandinavian Airlines. Computers and movement… a great combination!!

Pentagram: What you been up to since you left the scene?

Guzzler: Well quite a lot, actually… I joined the Danish Air force to become a fighter pilot. I did complete the tests but after spending some months there, I found out that the ‘army way’ wasn’t really my cup of tea, so I dropped out as soon as I could. Then I got an invitation from some of the old Crionics guys to come to the USA, to make computer games on the old Sega Megadrive. That lasted around 1 year, and then we split up again. Then I wanted to try something completely different and the next 4 years I worked as a bicycle messenger in Copenhagen, and then I fulfilled my flying dreams by taking a commercial pilots licence. Have been flying for the last 4 years now and I love it!! πŸ™‚

Pentagram: Are you still in touch with the old Silents people now?

Guzzler: Not really. Sometimes I talk with The Crux (Ruvan), but we see each other too little.

Pentagram: What was is like working with Mikael Balle and Jesper Kyd? Must have been a coders dream to have those two in your team.

Guzzler: They were totally pro’s, both of them. I guess I can say that they were among the best artists on the scene at that time and YES, It was totally cool to be working with those two. You could make some lame code and it would look great after they had been working with it.

Pentagram: When the old Silents DK crew died out, The Master seemed to give them a boost. Did you ever think of dusting off the old Amiga and joining in again?

Guzzler: Actually yes, but I didn’t have time for it. I liked assembler coding a lot and the Amiga system were a nice little package that you could handle with that. Today, I wouldn’t bother with assembler code on the PC since the processors are much too complex. And C++ makes me feel like being in a straight jacket so there’s not a lot of code coming out from me anymore. I did think about programming cellular phones but now they are running Java, so I lost my interest there again. I think I will stick to being 10 kilometres above the ground. πŸ˜‰

Pentagram: What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing?

Guzzler: Well, spending time with my girlfriend, listening to music, playing computer games, watching movies, seeing friends. Normal stuff I guess…

Pentagram: How did you get into the scene?

guzzler_1_thumbGuzzler: I almost can’t remember. I think The Crux got to know Kyd and Balle and then things took off from there. I was constantly hanging out with Crux at that time, being the quiet thinker, so without him, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to work with Kyd and Balle.

Pentagram: Do you follow the retro Amiga “scene” at all?

Guzzler: No, not at all.

Pentagram: Ever felt tempted to release another Amiga production?

Guzzler: Heh, could probably be fun, but no. Haven’t got the time for it…

Pentagram: Are you still in contact with ex-sceners?

Guzzler: Not really. If a had continued to work with computers I probably would have been, but now it’s fellow pilots that I see.

Pentagram: Could you tell us some of your all times favourite demos/coders/musicians/etc?

Guzzler: Hardwired, I still see as a milestone production.The Spy from Crionics is probably one of the greatest programmers I have ever known about. Deftronic, also from Crionics, one of the most hard working. Kyd and Balle, great artists. Blizzard and Kellogs were cool coders. Kefrens, a hardcore group. Moses Team, great party dudes. A lot of the guys I knew back then were great… Hard to remember all their names.

Pentagram: Thanks for the interview, and last message to people?

Guzzler: You’re welcome.Last Message… Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe: Keep working for what you believe in, as long as you don’t tread on people on your way.

Fucking Amiga Owners

Do you know what the APC stands for? I didn’t either, but it’s one of the nuggets of trivia that stay locked in my head until the time it’s needed. It stands for the Amiga Persecution Complex and it generally means that the fanatical, and I do mean fanatical, followers of the Amiga blame anything and everything for the demise of the Amiga, except Commodore.

Let’s face the facts here, the Amiga died because Commodore and subsequent owners of the the Amiga technologies didn’t move with the times. There is a subtle difference between rehashing old technology and creating new technology. Ok AGA was an advance, but was not good enough and people wanted more.

There you go, that’s the reason in a nutshell, and naturally Amiga fanatics blame… *drum roll please* Microsoft. See the logic we’re dealing with?

I’ve got rid of my Amiga, and in a manner I thought best represented it… I threw it in a recycle bin, in the hope it will come back as something more useful… like a fire alarm.

The Amiga is dead. Technology moves on. Keep the happy memories instead of this half arsed fundamentalist retro attitude that these retards on EAB have.

Interview with Delta, ex Red Sector Inc

delta_followme_thumb[1]The next victim of my near legendary shit interview technique is a member of the team behind the most famous megademo. He released a couple more demos and the RSI Demomaker before disappearing.

Mark: Hi Delta, Can you introduce yourself

Delta: Hi! There was a time when there where more people knowing me as Delta than as Florian, which is my real name. Today I’m living in Bremen (Germany) and am luckily married with my wife Kristina. I’m 25 years old 😎 and enjoying life (even without doing demos, can you believe it?).

Mark: What do you do now?

Delta: I’m working for a non-profit research institute in the area of medical image processing.

Mark: How did you get into the scene?

Delta: I started with a VIC20 hacking BASIC. Later on, I knew some local people in the C64 scene, we joined a group called EXACT in that days. When some friends and I started programming the Amiga, we did some EXACT demos and then got to know Gandalf (Red Sector). Through him, we got to know IRATA, the master-mind of Red Sector and joined them as TCC Design, which was a group of people in my town.

Mark: What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing?

Delta: My favourite hobby is juggling, mainly diabolo. I like doing sport, especially roller blading and bicycle. I like cooking all kind of stuff and meeting with friends to chat and play games. Our current project is our 400m2 garden, where we are going to plant vegetables.

delta_megademo_thumb[1]Mark: Ok it’s been 14 years since the RSI Megademo. How does it feel to be associated with some thing that has passed into legend?

Delta: I guess it is a bit like being a star and realizing that it is not important being a star, because it doesn’t help you much in real life
I had a time when I didn’t like to be “Delta”, especially when I realized that many of the scene people where only interested in what you code and not who you are as a person. I think I spent too much time in front of the screen in those days. Today it’s funny to have that background, and I like to show my old demos to friends sometimes (on an Amiga emulator, UAE rules!).
And last but not least, I got to know a lot of nice people all over the globe and that is great!

delta_cebit90_thumb[1]Mark: Ok so the Cebit 90 demo was released, and the next we heard from you was the RSI Demomaker. What happened after that?

Delta: I studied Computer Science and stopped doing demos. I had a short adventure into the Sega MegaDrive, where I wrote a small game.

Mark: When I saw the RSI Megademo I wanted to learn how to do that! So it’s your fault I spent late nights getting annoyed with Devpac and later AsmOne. Do you feel guilty? πŸ™‚

Delta: Yes 8)

Mark: Good man πŸ™‚ Do you follow the retro Amiga Scene at all?

Delta: No, I just visited some websites, like TRSI.de.

Mark: Ever felt tempted to release another Amiga production?

Delta: No, never. Today I would go for OpenGL…

Mark: Are there moments when you feel nostalgic thinking back to the past years of the scene?

Delta: Not really. It was a good time, but time moves on.

Mark: Are you still in contact with ex-sceners?

Delta: Yes, I have some good friends in Spreadpoint.

Mark: Could you tell us some of your all times favourite demos/coders/musicians/etc?

Delta: Demos: I can’t remember the names, but the stuff from Slayer was cool. There where many demos which I really liked!
Coders: Promax and Slayer
Musicians: Romeo Knight and BitArts

Mark: Thanks for the interview my friend, and last message to people?

Delta: Peace on earth and enjoy your life!