Mad Madoc / Tronix
Added on January 30th, 2007 (4690 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
Erik (last name not enclosed), age: 34, born: Uppsala, Sweden on August 10th, 1972, now lives in Malmö, Sweden. Job: I play violin and viola in the Malmö Opera Orchestra. Family: Girlfriend and daughter. Interests: Making music, skiing (when snow) and enjoying nature. I am also a real Mac-addict.

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
Lynx, Mad Madoc, and Spin.

What group(s) were you in?
Tronix (C64) and TLT (Atari).

What roles have you fulfilled?
Coder and Organiser.

How long were you active for?
1987 (1986?)-1988.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
I bought my C64 together with my younger brother when I was 13 or so. I was the one using it most of the time. My brother got bored with it rather quickly. I got a 1541 for Christmas the year after. I coded some on the Speccy (BASIC and some Z80), but the coding took off only after I got the C64. Me and my father learned Assembler together. The first piece of code was a small painting app, much like MacPaint (we had a 128k Mac at the time), and the pencil was controlled by joystick of course. I don't remember how I got in touch with the guys in Tronix. It was probably through some swap connection. One of the guys in Kalix had this cool name, Tronix, so we formed this group.

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I had a B/W television set in the beginning, and I connected the C64 to my parents' TV when I needed to check the graphics. Getting my first 14" TV set was a revelation! I coded mostly in the evenings, but sometimes I left school after lunch to do some more coding. The headmaster soon informed my parents and they took me in the ear... Coke was not in my world at the time. I had enormous amounts of milk and cookies instead.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
I learned everything from the C64 Bible (which is what I called the C64 Programmer's Reference Guide). I also had some other books. I had very little access to other people's work when I started out, so I figured out multiple sprites, raster stuff and scrolling techniques by myself. I used some Assember-app from Ocean (called IQ, I think) which used labels instead of addresses. It was much easier to work that way. I also bought a TFC. Albatross of Tronix still has his floppies, hopefully they work. If they do, I'll upload some of our stuff.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Not much really when comparing our stuff with what came later. Our demos at the time were pretty basic; loads of sprites flying about, horizontal and vertical scrollers, and rasters. You know, the usual stuff. I think I quite early was investigating multiple colours with interlace, but I'm not sure where I got the idea from. I never made anything official of it though.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
I didn't really have any. I was impressed by the gaming industry (Fasoulas mainly), and I of course admired Rob Hubbard (and still do).

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
FLD was nice. I couldn't have thought that one out.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Not when I was on the C64. We had a couple of Tronix meets, but nothing big. I arranged two Atari/PC conventions in the early 90's which were rather big. The Atari scene was never as fun as the C64 scene though.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Having fun!

What were the particular highlights for you?
The first trackers was a revelation to me. It had me moving from coding to making music. I never made any music official though. I was also impressed with the first FLD demo I saw (don't remember what it was called).

Any cool stories to share with us?
I didn't attend any big C64 parties, so no such stories. I remember a Tronix meeting in Kalix, Sweden. One of the guys had a so called EPA-traktor (basically a rebuilt Volvo Duett without rear suspension). You are allowed to drive an EPA-traktor when you're 15, and the speed-limit is 30 km/h. So there we were, four or five boys with pimples cruising the small town of Kalix in this thing. Being from a larger city, I was kind of embarrassed (I remember I was 16 at the time). It wasn't my idea of a good time, and the vehicle wasn't even close to cool. But now afterwards I realize that if I never went on that cruise, I would never had the opportunity to go in an EPA-traktor! The rest of the meet was a ball though.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
I still se Albatross of Tronix from time to time. He coded and made nice graphics at the time. He now works with animated movies. I had some contact with The Alchemist of Horizon, but that was ten years ago.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
We bought it in 1985, and I still have it. All my floppies were thrown away by either my mother or one of my brothers. No one will admit it, but if I find out whoever did it, I'll....#%&/(#&!/"(=!!

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Probably never. I have thought about doing something, but there's only 24 hours/day. I found this emulator for Mac OSX and installed it, but I need to refresh my memory. I haven't coded anything on the C64 in 18 years! Come to think of it, a demo with the aesthetics of today made on a C64 would be rather exciting. Maybe I'll do something after all! I have a week off in February actually...

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Yes, I would like to greet everyone in Tronix! I had a nice time with them in Uppsala and in Kalix. Major Bootleg (Tony Johansson) was a cool guy as well. I wonder what he does today. Many greetings to him wherever he is! Also thanks to you Andreas. I have been visiting your site from time to time. It's a treasure for us who are still a bit nostalgic about the scene!!! Extremely valuable!

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