Mason / Moonsoft,
Added on January 20th, 2009 (5016 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Søren, I'm 35 years old and I live in Denmark. I'm working with computers and the media business today. Interests are media, computers and of course C64 cracks.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
I can't remember them all, but Scooby Doo, Sabado and Mason are three. I've been using Mason most of the time. I can't remember if I used a handle for budget labels, but I don't think so. Besides that, I have used several extra handles, but none that I can remember.
What group(s) were you in?
Moonsoft, Danecrew, Miracle, Coldcut, The Dominators, Danecrew (rebuilt again), Unicess, Miracle (rebuilt again), X-Ray, X-Factor, Acrise, Image, Unicess (rebuild again), Epic, Unicess (rebuilt a second time), Anoxia, Mechanix 2124, and Motiv 8. There might be other groups I was in when using my double handles, but sorry, bad memory again!
What roles have you fulfilled?
Mostly cracker, but also swapper and organiser. I swapped with 10-15 people and it was only other crackers.
How long were you active for?
I think it was between 1984 to 1995 on the C64 and then a few years on the PC.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
It's hard to remember all the details about those years. I was doing some coding while I was in Moonsoft. Soon, I started to look a bit at cracking and got more involved when I visited some friends and one of the guys there stated that the game he had on tape was impossible to crack. I got the tape and I cracked the game (which was using Cyberload). After that, I focused on cracking until I stopped on the C64.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
After getting home from school, I played with the computer for a short while before I had to go to work. After work, I cracked games and it was often getting very late before I went to sleep.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
I worked on tools used to make cracking easier. They were mostly for transferring tapeloaders and files from diskloaders. I never had time to do packers, crunchers and levelpackers. In the last couple of years, Iceball did the levelpackers.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
I was known for the amount of trainers I had on my releases. I did them without doing double trainers. I also did some nice cracks that I hope people remember me for.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
There's several as I remember heroes from various periods of the scene. All of them are known for being popular and good crackers. I'm not mentioning names as I'm going to forget someone, so I'll leave that out.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
It must have been the invention of the levelpacker and when it was used in cracks. Same goes for IFFL. When the levelpackers and IFFL were using fastloaders, now, that was something!
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Not many as I never had time because of my job. I went to X2008 last year to meet a lot of old friends and to transfer disks.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
First of all, it was a place for friendship, but it was also a big playground for people who liked doing demos, tools, mags, cracks, etc. Of course, there were people who were fighting with each other, but I guess it was more a question about loving what you were doing. The C64 scene was also a big influence on other scenes on other machines.
What were the particular highlights for you?
One of the biggest highlights must be when the international release standard for cracks was created in 1987 on the Danish Gold party.
Any cool stories to share with us?
I can't remember exact details, but people have always told me I wasn't counting the numbers of trainers right. I remember Crossfire renamed some of the releases before spreading them. (He could for instance change +3M to +4M.) Another story: Back in 1984, I had my own radio program about computers. I was doing game reviews, making trainers and reading general computer news. We were the first to play SID music on the radio! Another funny story is that one of guests who did the news weekly section, is now wanted by the police for commiting a murder.
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
I'm in contact with a lot of old sceners. Because I spend my time on the C64heaven archive project (see below), I'm still trying to find more old sceners to ask them about their C64 disks. Do they still have them? If yes, can I transfer them to the PC? They can also help me with more information on how to find other old sceners.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I got my Commomdore 64 in 1984.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
It was special because it was totally new and there were no rules. There were no rules for copying games, phreaking etc., which meant a lot of people spent a lot of time on it. It was a playground for everyone involved.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
No C64 production, but I'm working on the C64heaven archive project which is all about finding every version of a crack released. A lot of sites contain the best version or a preferred version chosen by the site owner, but often people want to play the same version they played back in the days. This is where the project comes in. Since I have been active for so many years and since I got a lot of knowledge from all the research, I have the potential to make a perfect archive. Read more about it by visiting http://c64heaven.blogspot.com!
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
I wanna say hi to all my old contacts and to all the guys I have been in the same group wtih. We did a great job together!
To everyone that still got their C64 disks, make sure they get transferred! A lot of stuff is still missing and you might be sitting on a goldmine. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this.
Thanks to the people who helped and supported me in the work on the archive, especially the ones in the CPAG team who does a great work to get disks preserved. Also a big "thank you" to Barry aka Derbyshire Ram who until he died was very helpful transferring requested disks. It was amazing that he wanted to help even though he was fighting cancer.
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