Blaster / Piteå Cracking Crew, Federation Beyond Intelligence, Byterapers, Phenomena, Flash Inc.
Added on February 9th, 2005 (7716 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Magnus Sandgren, and I was born in Umeå, Sweden in the eminent year of 1973. I'm back at the scene of the crime but during the active years I lived in Piteå, Sweden. I'm unemployed right now but I have worked with fibre optic networks the couple of years, and mostly with fusion splicing, installing switches/media converters and such. Before that I did four long years as tech support at a call centre and I can tell you that I'd rather starve than work at one of those places ever again.

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
I used the handle Blaster, but I'm not sure why. It might be an abbreviation of Ghetto Blaster but then again just letters I liked.

What group(s) were you in?
Piteå Cracking Crew (PCC:-)), Federation Beyond Intelligence (FBI), Byterapers, Phenomena's almost unknown C64 division and Flash Inc.

What roles have you fulfilled?
Coder, artist, swapper.

How long were you active for?
1987-1991, I think.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
I saw some, at the time, advanced and really cool demos and though, "I wanna do that!" The ball just kept on rolling... I guess I started out with my local friends and then recruited/got recruited to various groups like everybody else. Apart from the local friends, Moon was the first person I got to know, and we stuck together until the bitter end. :)

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I'd get home from school and check the mail for any new, cool demos and then fire up the old C64 to keep optimising and debugging whatever routine I was working on at the time. I'd make some calls to people in the group or in the scene to hear what was up. Sleep had a very low priority.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Nothing fancy. Some sinus wave calculators and such, and I guess some routines were used several times only modified/optimised.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
The whole creativity and border-breaking fun of it all.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
One would be the 1001 Crew for breaking the sideborders and their excellent crunchers. Another would be Rob Hubbard – the king of SID. :)

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
Don't know. There were so many!

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
I went to some. I lived in Piteå far up north so travelling was expensive and troublesome.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
I was in it for the fun and the creativity.

What were the particular highlights for you?
Whenever we released a new demo was a moment of rejoice. :)

Any cool stories to share with us?
I remember a party where this guy got a weird psychosis or whatever due to lack of sleep and walked around totally confused, crying for his mother. According to his friends who tried to shepherd him, that always happened when he didn't get enough sleep. It seems like some people need their sleep more than others. ;)

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
No, except sporadic contact with Moon.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I bought my first in 1987, and since then I've had several units. I have no one around today though.

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Hell yes! The mystery machine! It was magical. Whenever you though the limits had been reached, someone came around and found something new and wonderful this little machine could do. And the sound... Oh my god! That awesome SID chip! :)

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Hahaha! That would actually be fun. Perhaps I should try to get my hands on a C64 again. But then again, the past is not the present and the present not the future.

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
I'd like to thank everyone for making the scene so great and thanks for all the great times!

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