us some information about yourself (full name, age, birthplace
and date, where you reside, job and interests).
Name: Steve Day. Age: 36. Birthplace: Wednesbury, West
Midlands, England 12/06/67. Residence: Darlaston, West
Midlands, England. Job: Advertising Graphic Designer and
part time Lecturer in Graphic Design. Interests: Aviation
History, Science Fiction, Archeaology, Computer Games
(though less often).
did you have and how did you come up with it/them?
STE'86, which obviously came about because of my name,
and the date which I began doing C64 artwork. In early
'87 I changed the sig to read '87 but friends of mine
asked me to retain the '86 as a personal signature because
there were at the time several Steves doing pics and they
wanted to be able to identify mine. In fact the only pic
to ever have '87 on was The Hero is Back, but it was never
released in this form.
group(s) were you in?
Meanteam for demos, with occasional outings with Chris
and Griffo of Binary Code Smashers for hacks.
What tasks did you have?
Between what years
were you active?
From 1986 to 1990(ish).
Tell us about those years and how you got in to the scene
in the first place.
I got into the scene directly as a result of Chris Owen
(of the Binary Code Smashers) who gave me Koala Painter
which had been converted for joystick control. I was at
Art College at the time and he basically said "have
a go with this" and the rest, as they say, is history.
My first ever pic was Strontium Dog, which has sadly been
lost by me over the years due to disk deterioration. Our
club president at the time was a lady called Mo Warden,
who some of you may recognise as the graphic designer
who worked on occasion with Jeff Minter and latterly with
Paul Woakes on Damocles and Backlash.
could a typical day infront of the computer look like?
Ha, I seem to remember a typical day in the '80s began
about lunchtime and finished about 4 am (sometimes during
the winter you could go a couple of days without actually
seeing daylight (the vampire shift)). Pulling 24 hours
without sleep was quite common as was being extremely
grouchy because of it. Usually in the evening I would
go to Pete's (JCB) house and meet up with him and Claka.
Also I have to mention that we used to hang out at a shop
called Software City in Woverhampton where we used to
buy most of our C64 software from.
Did you invent any special
techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
No special coding personally, but always coming up with
hopefully new graphical effects.
If you take a look at what you did
back then, what are you most proud of?
The Lethal Weapon pair of screens.
Who were your scene heroes and why?
As artists, Bob Stevenson, because his was the first stuff
of quality I saw, and Paul Docherty (Dokk) because his
stuff was always the most consistently polished of the
artists I remember. At the end, SIT's greyscale portraits
really blew me away. To be honest, I was always more inclined
to collect music demos rather than artwork, so my demo
disks tended to be full of stuff by Michael Winterberg,
Chris Hülsbeck, Tim Follin and like. I used to like
music which pushed for a different sound rather than the
norm. Tho I have to say of them all I always found Martin
Galway's stuff the most listenable, particularly the music
he did based on actual tracks.
What was the coolest thing
someone invented on the C64?
Personally, I would have to say the Koala Pad. :)
Did you go to copy-parties, meetings
Tradeshows, yes, copy-parties no. But we went on a weekly
pilgrimage to the Bloxwich Computer Club which housed
the biggest den of piracy in the West Midlands, England
What was the scene
all about in your opinion?
Talent and enthusiasm. If I have to sound academic about
it, I would compare it to the music industry in the UK
in the 60's. Anyone who had the talent and the drive could
do what they wanted to, with many small companies competing
well with the large ones. Unfortunately it went the same
way as the music industry with the larger companies buying
out any threat to their profits, essentially stifling
were the highlights?
The highlight has got to be participation in Compunet.
There will never be another time like that again, and
the buzz that I got from seeing my stuff on display in
the Art Hall of Fame (ARTH for those who remember the
go tos :)) will stay with me forever.
cool stories to share with us?
Don't know about cool but I remember my first meeting
with Jacco van T'Riet (hope I spelled that right), Jaws
of the BWB and Hawkeye fame. On one of those computer
shows, Claka came up to me and told me there was this
huge blonde geezer asking about me and where I could be
found. I thought: "Great! Who have I pissed off?".
Then later I get a tap on the shoulder, I turn round and
I'm face to chest with same huge blonde geezer, who proceeds
to introduce himself and nearly tear my arm off shaking
my hand. :) Turns out he had wanted to meet me since seeing
my karate kid pic the previous year. If u read this Jacco,
do you remember the multi-national calls made on hijacked
conference phone lines at all?
Another show I remember was the last show at Olympia in
London before it moved to Earls Court and one of our number
(a serious trekkie) trying to bargain with the manager
of the Beyond stand who had mocked up the bridge of the
original Enterprise to publicise their Star Trek licence.
He was after the captains' chair from the stand. Negotiations
had gone on for half an hour before someone else from
our group pointed out we came by coach and couldn't get
the damned thing back with us anyway. :)
That show too I remember because of the rumour circulating
that they were converting Goldrunner to the 64, when it
was in fact our demo running on the Cnet stand. :)
On a different track I remember one of the guys from the
computer club actually stealing the masters from Elite
(where he worked) of Space Harrier and Bombjack on the
ST, just to impress the hardcore hackers at the club.
I remember all hell breaking loose with police involved
and such. Happy times!
Are you in contact with old C64 people today?
I still have Pete Dabbs (JCB) on my messenger buddies
list, and have exchanged emails with Mike Berry (Kernal),
ex-cnetter who runs Commodore Apocalypse, with Mat Sneap
(Mat & Psy), Ian & Mic and Chris Owen of the BCS.
When did you get your C64 and
do you still have it lying around somewhere?
June '85 with a 1541 in December '85. And yes, I still
have my original, battered but working C64 and 1541 sitting
in a cupboard half a meter from my right knee as I type.
Was the C64 really that special
that we like to think it was?
Absolutely, I think the C64 was the first real games machine.
All the other machines were computers which could play
games, the C64 was a games machine which could be a computer.
I think the reason that the C64 spawned so many demo and
game writers was that BASIC was so bad that you really
had to delve into assembler/machine code to do anything.
You couldn't really dabble like you could on most computers.
It was an all-or-nothing type thing.
can we expect to see a new C64 production from you? :)
Sorry, it's just not going to happen. I would have to
re-learn too many forgotten skills. :) It was extremely
Do you have
a message to your old contacts and everyone else reading
Claka, if you read this, get in touch (we think you are
somewhere in Tipton, West Midlands). Ditto for Dokk and
to the top
- the list of people who made all this possible.
wanted - if you're willing to give us a hand.
- look here before you send off an email.
- to the top C64 sites out there.