Dae / The Eagles Inc., The Vikings Q, Commodore Clan, The Sadistix Inc., The Vicious Circle, Unit 5
Added on April 5th, 2004 (8272 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
Name: Daniel Bagenholm. Age: 32. Born: 1971 in Karlskoga, Sweden. Living in: Stockholm, Sweden. Work: Network-related security and surveillance. Interests: Self-defence instructor, beer and billiards plus online gaming.

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
Dae, which is an abbreviation of my first name. It can be written in a certain way to make it read both the short and the long form. It can be seen in at least one of my demos. :)

What group(s) were you in?
In order: The Eagles Inc., The Vikings Q, Commodore Clan, The Sadistix Inc., The Vicious Circle and Unit 5. I might have forgotten some group.

What roles have you fulfilled?
Mainly coding but I have been all of the above and more along the way. :)

How long were you active for?
I'm not sure. I believe from 1986 to 1990/91.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
In 1985, a friend dragged me into a local computer club, and even though I was very sceptic about the whole idea, it didn't take long before I was hooked on those games. There were loads of fun stored on common music-cassettes which were easy to copy. The computer club was soon stuffed with people, playing games or programming in BASIC. About a year later, I got my own C64 along with a tape recorder. I found a lot of people with common interests so I started swapping tapes on a regular basis. Most of my money was spent on cassettes and stamps, and most of my spare time was spent on playing games.

In 1986, my BASIC programs got more and more advanced and complicated, and with this, very slow. Demos by crackers started to appear. I started swapping with a guy called Mr Spirit of The Eagles Inc. We became good friends and he introduced me to this thing called copy-party. A copy-party was basically a place where hundreds of people got together to crack new games, code (program) demos and take part in competitions. The first party I went to was arranged by Triad and Fairlight and was held in Huddinge, Stockholm. I briefly met the already legendary Mr. Z and some other C64 celebrities.

A short while after I joined TEI, the name was changed to The Vikings Q. After some time of just making character sets (in my own BASIC-editor, which actually was quite good!) and writing scrolltexts, I just had to learn how to code! After watching Mr Spirit code while he was smoking, snuffing and drinking, I realized that there wasn't much to it. A logo, music and scrolltext was all you needed! Mr Spirit was using an Expert Cartridge (the best!) and I got myself one as well. After some time of coding and tuning my skills in making logos and ripping music, sprites and character sets from games, I believed I was ready to start making real demos. My first two attempts were just a picture and a tune created in BeatBox by my brother. I formed a new group with me and my brothers as the only members and called it Commodore Clan (CC). I swapped quite a lot. One of those who always had new stuff and loads of it too, was a guy called Piwy of The Sadistix Inc. We sometimes sent two 10-packs of disks a week to each other! Good old pirate days, poor old software companies days... Standard sendings from/to other contacts were just one to three disks a week (more would ruin my economy). Surprisingly, I only lost one package of disks through the mail during those years.

After yet some time, Piwy formed The Vicious Circle, which I joined after releasing Sweden Music 3 (my last CC production). There were a few releases from us under the TVC label, mostly demos and a few cracks by Piwy. As time went by, Piwy got bored of the computer business and got rid of his stuff, and I made up my mind: I got to find myself a bigger group to join. I was more or less asked to join ALF 1853 which consisted of a big group of people I knew quite well. When I decided to join this very active group, they had changed the name to Unit Five (UF, U5, Unit 5). The Unit Five crew made a couple of demos which included some really quality stuff!

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
After school/work I typed away for hours, putting ideas into reality through 6502 instructions. In most of my demos I did everything myself (code, graphics and in some early cases, the music as well), so there were a lot of time spent on each demo. I always coded directly into memory and never used a real assembler. I coded until I was done or when it was time to go to school again (and hardly drank or ate anything during these sessions). :) A lot of time was also spent talking to friends and contacts on the phone.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Not that I remember now but there were some new routines and techniques in every new demo. I do remember making an 80-character-wide text editor for an Unit 5 e-zine (Envoyer), which I forced the contributors to use. :) I also recall programming a routine which made it possible to use an Amiga mouse with the C64 (for making non-sinus data for sprite paths).

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
I'm not sure. I remember the C64 days as a glorious time when nerds were real nerds and wannabes were real wannabes. :) If I have to pick one thing, it would probably be the e-zine Smooth Criminal (#1) which a lot of people appreciated for various reasons.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
I can hardly remember handles or groups anymore. The one I do remember is of course Triad. As a coding hero I would have to name Mr Cursor.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
May I only pick one? Gee, this one is tough. I would have to say The Crosslinker. It could handle very large memory chunks without any hassles. I don't know if it's the best linker/packer ever, but I remember that it impressed me and that I used it a lot.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yep, a whole lot of them. My first one was the Triad and Fairlight party in 1987.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Coding, swapping, copy-parties, technical stuff and the social get-togethers.

What were the particular highlights for you?
I can't really remember. Most copy-parties were great and there were quite a few really amazing demos!

Any cool stories to share with us?
Not really, and certainly not until they are statue-barred. :)

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Yes I am, but only a couple of them and we're still in contact for other reasons than the C64.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I got it back in 1986, and yes - I still got it (somewhere).

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Yes of course it was, and it still is!

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Hehe... Well I do have a bunch of unreleased, almost done code, but I doubt they will ever see the light of day. (This bunch also includes a slimmed and cracked version of the Expert Cartridge 4.1.)

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Thanks everyone for making the C64 the great machine it was. Without all the people supporting it, it would never had become as successful as it did. Also, hello to all my old contacts and friends! I hope you're all doing well. Last but not least - check out all the great C64 sites out there!

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