The Spy / Swedish Cracking Association,
Alpha Flight 1970,
Added on January 10th, 2004 (7583 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born in 1970 in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. At the age of three, we moved to Tyresö outside Stockholm. I share my life with Jonna, my girlfriend. We live in a small loghouse in Tyresö Brevik. Obviously I'm into computers. In my spare time (which I don't have a lot of), I work with my PC, I listen to old SID tunes, I update my homepage (www.jerberyd.com) or just watch C64 demos and play games.
As a profession I work as a computer communication specialist at a small company called GE Dataelektronik AB in Stockholm. I support people who have problems with their PC, Macintosh, AS/400, Unix or Linux computer, though I do a lot of other things as well. One day I'm the cable guy, the other day I build and configure servers or give solutions on all kinds of computer-related problems. It's a job, but it's not what I dream about doing.
My biggest interest is definitely climbing and mountaineering. It all started when I was very young and my parents brought me out in the wilderness. I was brought up with mountain hikes, canoeing trips and all kind of outdoor activities. Nowadays I'm into a mixture of hiking, backcountry skiing and mountaineering. A hike without a summit climb is not satisfying enough. Winter or summer, it doesn't matter. My motto is, if you can take the hardship, you can experience so much more! A couple of years ago I took up rock climbing, it's fun, but I still see it as a way to train for mountaineering. It's the same with indoor sport climbing. It's just a way to train for the real thing. During the winter I try to train some aid and ice climbing as well.
I have another big interest beside my outdoor activities. I joined a pistol shooting club in 1990 and immediately got hooked! Nowadays I train once a week. I participate in national competitions and usually qualify for the Swedish Championships but I really have no chance to win since training once a week isn't enough. What I mostly get out of my shooting is a sort of mental training. To present a good result, you must be focused and stay focused under pressure. In that state of mind you forget about everything else and clear your mind. It's a great way for me to recharge my mental batteries. The other satisfaction is the social thing where you meet people with the same interest. I'm a member of Tyresö SKF (www.tyresoskf.nu).
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
The Spy is my name. It was such a long time ago and I'm not 100 percent sure why I choose this handle. I assume I was influenced by the two spies in the comic magazine Mad (www.madmag.com). Those two cool dudes were also featured as the main characters in the C64 game series Spy vs Spy.
What group(s) were you in?
Swedish Cracking Association, PM-Productions, Headhunter, Sector 90, Rizing, The Marxists, Ramones, Alpha Flight 1970 and Flash Incorporated which I'm still a member of.
What roles have you fulfilled?
I was a swapper and a coder.
How long were you active for?
1987 and 1995. But I really never left because I'm still here on the web.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
It all started in early 1986 when I bought my C64. The first months I just played games fanatically. It was in the autumn of 1986 that I got my first bunch of demos. I read the scrolltexts and thought: Hey! These guys must have a lot of fun! So therefore I started to learn BASIC but it didn't take long before I realise that I had to learn assembler to be able to do the cool stuff. But how was I to learn? One of my old mates Thomas (Pseudo) helped me to understand the basics of machine code and I also learned a lot by studying other peoples' routines.
My friend and neighbour "Sir" Magnus "Laser" Hansson was also interested in doing demos and together we started a group called Swedish Cracking Association (SCA). We only released some poor demos and music rips. I remember Sound Demo 2 which was my first atempt on make a real demo. After just a few months SCA became PM-Productions (Per-Magnus-Productions). It was now that I started to get contacts from all over the world, which was fantastic. Ever since this moment, the Commodore 64 has taken a central part of my life. PM lived for about half a year until we started Headhunter together with our contact Stalin. We released a lot of easy-coded demos with the multi-loading demo New Headhunter as our highlight. A demo to laugh at today.
It was a late evening in August in 1988 when the phone rang. It was Exterminator (Håkan) from Sector 90. We had met at the FBI Crew copy-party in Östersund and now he wanted me and Laser to join his group. A famous group wanted *us*! We saw it as a great opportunity and joined. Beastian (later Unifier) who was one of my swapping contacts also joined. I was involved in producing two multi-loading demos called Lobotomy and Snutslakt, and one single file demo called Munching Squares. Lobotomy was totally destroyed by Trixy 3001 (Rogert) with his useless linking and Snutslakt kind of slaughtered itself. What else to expect from a drunken Håkan! It was at our Sector 90 party in January 1989 held in Kalmar that I first met Kerish and Bezerk from Rizing. Some weeks later Kerish asked me to join them and so I did, which meant that Magnus and I now went separate ways. The Rizing guys and I didn't meet too often because they all lived in Gothenburg and I was based in Stockholm. I felt a bit outside and I was under pressure to code fancy routines because of Rizing's top of the line policy.
In September 1989, it was time to do my military service. I left Rizing by releasing a farewell demo called Farewell Rizing. A month later I founded a new group together with my German pal Daniel (Dizzy Dee). We took the name The Marxists. We wanted to stand out from the crowd but instead we released nothing. Our group died and after some troubles and after being in and out of X-Ray for a week, we formed Ramones. We still wanted to be seen as anarchists in the scene, producing demos the way we wanted with a focus on style. It was during this period (early 1990) that I met Scorpio (Mattias) who later joined the group. Together we produced, as I see it, a simple but cool and well-styled demo called Chicken Race. This demo was reviewed in Mamba and it got a lot of criticism. But we knew our coding limits and never cared. We always did what we wanted to do and if other people liked it, it was just a plus.
After this demo Scorpio and I got a lot of offers to join other groups. We said no until The SYS (Harry) from Alpha Flight 1970 asked. We saw ourselves as persons that could fit into this cool group and so we joined in the summer of 1990 leaving a Farewell Ramones demo behind, this time totally made by Scorpio. An intense and productive period began and we held two mini meetings at Scorpio's place. These meetings got popular with a lot of local heroes visiting us: Flash Inc., Horizon, Censor, Paragon, Triad and Light - just to mention a few. Me and Scorpio produced a second Chicken Race demo which I still like today. Easy to make, well-styled and everything done with a little finesse.
At the Horizon Easter party in Huddinge in 1991, we decided to join a Swedish group and Flash Incorporated was the obvious choice, simply because we got the offer and because they were our best scene-friends. Scorpio slowly faded away into laziness and quit the scene some half a year later. The years that followed in Flash were filled with swapping, coding, travelling, parties and fun! It was after the Prometheus Unbound demo that most of the members in the group got inactive. Suddenly, months and years passed. The last C64 demo that I released was Still Cruisin' which was my goodbye demo to the scene.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
In the weekends I got up at around 9.00, had breakfast, turned the computers on and got stuck for hours, coding, watching demos, copied disks and wrote letters to my contacts. While coding, I always listened to C64 music to get inspiration (a lot of Hubbard and Galway was played).
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Not really. I used the ordinary stuff.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
That I was part of the scene!
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
I'm not sure if I ever had any real heroes, but I was always impressed by certain people and groups that constantly produced cool demos. The only real C64 hero I can think of is Rob Hubbard. He was a superstar! And perhaps Mr Z. He was truly one of the best crackers on the C64, and I think he got his mega success because he was at the right place at the right time.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
I'd say the opening of the sideborder by 1001 Crew.
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes! I have great memories from the following parties and meetings: 1988 - FBI Crew, 1989 - Sector 90, Horizon, Sector 90 meeting, 1990 - Horizon New Year party, Horizon Easter party, Light, Sector 90 and Zone 45 meeting, Antic meeting, Ramones meeting, Alpha Flight meeting, Censor Design party, 1991 - Horizon, Venlo, Paragon, X-Factor meeting, TPF, 1992 - Light and Phenomena, The Party, Brutal, 1994 - Tribute, 1995 - Remedy and 1997 - Remedy.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
It was an obsessed subculture and lifestyle that I from time to time long back to.
What were the particular highlights for you?
The copy-parties and when you first saw a cool demo that either had great design or some routine that was really hard to code. The real highlights were the late programming and gaming evenings together with either Morpheus, Scorpio or Laser. I miss those.
Any cool stories to share with us?
Something that I still remember with a laugh is this story about how I and Morpheus met Ex-M of Arm during our Interrail-tour through Europe in the summer of 1991. Morpheus writes on the Flash homepage:
In the beginning of August 1991, me and The Spy had reached the final destination on our InterRail tour through Europe. We were in Avenza, Italy to visit our good friends Zagor and Zoris of The Force. The guys had told their friends that we were coming, so we got to meet some other scene related people that lived nearby. One of them was a guy called Ex-M of Arm. He had called up the guys a day or so before we came to Avenza, because he didn't know how to behave when he was going to meet us and he needed a few tips.
We had only stayed there for two days when Ex-M called again. He had been training in front of the mirror, going: "Hi, I'm Ex-M of Arm, nice to meet you" and "Hi guys, pleasure to meet you" - but still he was very unsure of himself. He saw us like the gods of something I DON'T KNOW WHAT! Probably something extraordinary, but we never had that type of attitude you know, so we just thought Zoris was kidding with us when he told us all these things. When we finally arrived at Ex-M's place he was trying to show off and was actually quite rude. He tried to impress us by showing his mixing skills. He wasn't very good, and he looked worse when Gabriel of The Force, who had joined us on our trip, got up and showed him how things should be done. It was all a strange situation for us, but fun at the same time, and you know, our Italian friends were just making fun of him and reminding him of the things he said on the phone, and asked him why he was trying to be so cool.
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Sadly only one person. I met Andreas "Morpheus" Wallström, the owner of C64hq, at a copy party in 1988 and we've been very good friends ever since.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
In 1986 and of course I still have it lying around.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Perhaps not the computer, but everything around it and the way we pushed its capability to the utter limit.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
I'm sorry, never again. It's over for me on the C64, but I'll hopefully write a scrolltext or two in some future project organized by Morpheus and I might put some C64 inspired stuff on my homepage.
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
If you are an old scene-friend of mine, don't hesitate to get in touch! You'll find me on my site www.jerberyd.com. I'm looking forward to hear from you!
back to the list of available interviews