Scorpie / Belgian Soft Destroyers, Warriors of the Wasteland, Stardom, Orion, Manowar, Transcom, Crest, Fantastic 4 Cracking Group, Bad Batch
Added on February 11th, 2011 (5301 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Jo Van Hoorde and I was born on March 27, 1969. So I'm 41 and I live in Puurs which is a small town in Belgium. I'm married to Sandra and we have two sons, Max (eight years old) and Lars (five years old).

A little history about my job... After my C64 life, I graduated as a 3D animator at RITS High School in Belgium. I started to work as a graphician/3D animator at a company and mainly did 3D stuff for video clips, commercials, etc. I got in some trouble with one of the owners of the company and got kicked out. Looking back, that was the best thing that could have happened to me! A buddy called me and said he worked for a company that captured film and edited soap operas for a Belgian TV broadcaster called VTM, and they were looking for a new editor. Hmm... I had never done that kind of work before, but I decided to give it a try. When I arrived, it turned out that the guy in charge of the editing department was a former customer of mine. He knew me and had heard I was kicked out, so he didn't wait for me to find another job and gave my buddy the order to call me at once. So for four years I worked as a video editor. Six years ago, I became head of the video editing department and my job now mainly consists of doing all planning, booking video editors, keeping the hard- and software (Avid) running and doing some little video editing when the others need a helping hand.

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
The only handle I ever used was Scorpie. It was my nickname in a local youth movement, and since I liked it, I decided to use it as my handle as well. In fact, most local friends still call me Scorpie. My son Max is in the same youth movement and they call him Little Scorpie. :)

What group(s) were you in?
Belgian Soft Destroyers (BSD), Warriors of the Wasteland (WOW), Stardom, Orion, Manowar, Transcom, Crest, F4CG, Bad Batch and F4CG again (I signed a contract to stay in F4CG for the rest of my life.:-))

What roles have you fulfilled?
I was an all-round guy. I mainly swapped, but in most groups my job varied between being a swapper, modem trader, organizer, mag editor and graphician. I did some lousy graphics; nothing worth using. Editing our papermag Pirates was the only thing I was good at. Solar won't approve to this, but who cares. :)

How long were you active for?

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
A long time ago, one of my friends bought a C64. During the summer holidays, he met a guy from The Fantastic Five (who later on founded groups like Hotline, etc.) at a camping site in Holland. He provided us with some cracks and we all ran to the store to buy our own C64's. With some friends, my cousin (a coder) and myself started our first group called Belgian Soft Destroyers. We were Belgians but didn't destroy much software. The guys in TFF did a lot to help us out and we became a swapping group, mainly swapping stuff they gave us. Not much later at a copy-party, Warriors of the Wasteland was born and my real life as a scener began.

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I checked the mail box for packages over and over again until the postman finally came around. I ripped the packages, checked the new stuff, created new disk compilations and then kick-started my C128D to speed-copy everything for my contacts. I put it all in new packages and rode my bike to the post office to spread the wares. Afterwards, I enjoyed old and new demos. I tried to recreate the same high quality graphics as I just had seen in those demos, realizing after a couple of hours that I'd better leave it to the real artists around.

Writing letters to my contacts took a big part of my day in front of the computer. I wasn't the "hey, here's new stuff, enjoy it, Scorpie/whatever group I was in at the time"-type of writing guy. Four to five page letters were more a rule than an exception.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
No. I'm a smart guy, but not that smart.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Hmm... Probably the friendship between the old F4CG guys here in Belgium. We're still in touch, but don't run down each others doors. I'm sure if one of us would be in some sort of trouble, the others would pop up and help out.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
I never had any real scene heroes, but there were people I had a lot of respect for that became friends for life. I'm not going to write their names here because they already know who they are.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
The FLI editor and the speed-copy software (the name escapes me) for my C128D so I could copy disks in less than ten seconds.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Venlo was our place to be! We had a great time over there. Two parties I'll never forget are the Stardom+Crazy party in 1989 where I met my Crest buddies and did a sort of manhunt for TMB/Pulsar in the streets of Lelocle, hahaha, and the Horizon party in 1991 where I made Dr.Cool (the infamous skinhead) ask for an issue of Pirates in a polite way. Crazy times!!!

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Fun, friendship, cool demos and first releases. And the eternal war with Legend. :)

What were the particular highlights for you?
The Crest demos. I was a big fan of groups like Contex, Fairlight, Censor Design and Camelot, but those Crest demos always had something special. I can't explain what it was, but I was always looking forward to get hold of them as soon as they were released.

Any cool stories to share with us?
There are some stories that are pretty funny like the manhunt for TMB or my confrontation with Dr. Cool, but the next one beats them all... A couple of days before the Black Mail party, we were working on a demo at my place. My parents were on holidays so we had the entire house to ourselves. The deadline to the demo competition was closing in so the coders present, Helifax and Hitchhiker, decided to code all night while I went off to bed. The next morning when I came down, I found the guys still coding, dressed with only their underpants on their heads! The demo didn't win any price, but I'll never forget this. Fun times.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Only on Facebook, MSN and IRC, but no longer in real life. My closest buddies all moved to a better place: Solar is running a chicken farm somewhere in the US, Kid and Tornado live together as a couple somewhere in Belgium, and Ninja makes porn games for the Wii at an unknown location, hahahaha!!

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
In early 1985 and I still have the very same machine. I wake it up every now and then and enjoy old demos on it. I don't like those C64 emulators.

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
To me it was. Animating pictures and sprites made me interested in animation and later I became a 3D animator. It was also a way to improve my language skills (not that it kept me from writing stupid spelling mistakes) by writing all those long letters. I wrote and talked to people in English, German and French. Thank you C64!!! In my opinion, the C64 scene helped a lot of people to develop their communication skills. We weren't nerds who sat in front of our machine all day. We were nerds who sat in front of our machine most of the day but also attended copy-parties, met other C64 users, formed groups and ran competitions. It was a bit like real life, but based on computers instead of girls. :)

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Hmm... I don't think that will ever happen. Every time I fire up the C64 and fool around with it, I always get the urge to do something new and not just watch old demos. Trying to make one last issue of Pirates was the closest I got a couple of years ago. Jazzcat helped me start the project, but due to lack of interest from people, everything ended up in a box. If there are people out there who are willing to help out and if I get enough material to do the issue, who knows...

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Get in touch guys!!! I really want to know what became of you and where you ended up (most of you probably in jail.:-))

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