Kwon / Nightmares of Reality,
Added on September 19th, 2011 (3442 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Metin Aydin and I was born in Odense, the third largest city in Denmark on the 17th of December 1972, meaning I'm 38 years of age at present. I'm a self-employed architect and head of two small architecture studios in Aarhus and Vejle. I live in the southern part of Aarhus. Self-employed means, besides that I'm the owner of the firm (duh!), that I have very little spare-time. I share it between my family (consisting of my wife and our three children Josef, Eva and Miriam) and taekwondo which I've practiced, with breaks, since 1985. I'm an instructor at Lyseng Taekwondo in Aarhus and also the webmaster of www.lysengtaekwondoklub.dk.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
My handle (Kwon) means "clenched fist" and is a part of the Korean name "Tae Kwon Do". Why I chose it? Because it sounded cool! I was a pimpled teenager so I wanted to be cool, Chuck Norris kind of cool. Perfect match! It was a lot cooler than "tae" which means "foot". Had I been older, I would probably have chosen "do", which means "the way". That would have been really cool! But at 12, I didn't give a rat's ass about sissy oriental philosophical "ways".
What group(s) were you in?
I first joined a group called Nightmares of Reality (or NOR for short). That must have been in 1985 or 1986. We did some quite miserable stuff to be honest. Not extraordinarily bad, as it seemed like back then everybody did amateurish stuff while learning to code. It was interesting enough for lamers to rip from it. A few years later, we moved a bit beyond that beginner stuff with the group Adroit. Code, design and sound were improved and more evenly prioritized. We did stuff on both the C64 and the Amiga in a loosely knit organization with geography and social relations as primary glue. In 1990, I left Adroit and joined Flash Inc and did a few things together with people like Zodiac and Morpheus. I left for Bonzai at the Daniax Summer Party in Middelfart in 1990 when they ended up at first place in the demo competition and my demo for Flash Inc came in second place.
What roles have you fulfilled?
I mainly did code and graphics. I did some swapping (but wasn't very good at it) and also wrote a few things for Bonzai's disk magazine called Lethal Magazine, a follow up to Bonzai's Lethal Display demo series.
How long were you active for?
I was active on the C64 between 1985 and 1992. With the feeling of decay that crept into the C64 scene in the early nineties, and because of new technological innovations and development in computers, my C64 activity dwindled. It's been a few years since I last turned on my emulator to view an old-timey demo from Crest, Black Mail or Origo. To this day, I both have a C64 and a C128 stored at my parents place, knowing I will never turn them on again for any other purpose to see if they're still working. Last time I checked must have been in 1994.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
I had my first rendezvous with home computers in 1981 when a friend of mine got a Commodore VIC-20, an awesome machine I fell in love with at first sight and continued to love until the same friend got a C64 a year later. He started programming simple machine code by writing long data lines in BASIC that were poked into RAM, resulting in limited but to me intriguing action on the screen and sound from the SID chip. In 1984, I bought my first C64 and soon started coding machine language in Assembler. A few people at school had been bitten by the C64 bug too, and soon we formed a group.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I spent a lot of time with the C64, but I didn't really play games that much. Instead, I enjoyed coding and painting, and of course enjoyed the work of other people who were fond of the same thing as I was. I admired code that was hard to write and especially neat demos or code snippets that were unique in their own way.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
I, like all coders I suppose, invented several small programs that would aid in a number of ways from font, sprite and text editors to programs that could crunch numbers. None of them were ever spread and probably only exist in Bit Heaven.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Every demo I created, solo or as a result of a group effort, made me proud and it still does. We were a self-organized bunch of teenagers doing something through own motivation and ambition. Dedication brought us skills and abilities in a field a lot of people had no clue of. It was and still is cool to be fabulous, unique and have skills not shared by many! I admire the people who cling on to the C64. Actually, I have great respect for those who doesn't leave it at just clinging on but take the machine further and create brilliant stuff that we never could imagine 20 years back. I hope these people show us something even more brilliant for the C64's 30th anniversary next year!
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
I admired several coders back then for their ability to do stuff I couldn't grasp. Kjer of Horizon, Crossbow of Crest, Solomon of Beyond Force, CLF of Origo and Tech of Upfront, to name a few.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
Whenever a coder went beyond the inherent limits of the C64, it was groundbreaking. Whenever a register was twisted and an entirely new use sprung up, it was a minor digital revolution. If I had been that particular coder, who discovered that the three least significant bits set in $D016 could break the sidebordes – if altered at the right time for each raster line – I would have been quite excited to say the least.
With this knowledge, coders could eradicate the limits set by the inventors of the C64. I suppose the inventors would be quite surprised to see what was possible for teens to achieve on a machine with a processor running at approx 1 MHz, 16 colours, three sound channels and so little RAM you couldn't store an average JPEG image of today in it.
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
I went to several of these so-called copy parties, but not much copying was going on really. Instead, I was coding and drawing graphics. I participated in meetings and parties in Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
The C64 was something totally new. For a generation of teens who grew up with it and became coders, graphic artists, musicians etc., an entire new and unique digital community evolved. Because of this, it was also with a certain amount of sad inevitability that the technological floods eventually drowned the community of which now only memories linger on. What was is now only an echo perpetuated by sites like C64.COM and others, managed by a few stubborn individuals refusing to give in.
What were the particular highlights for you?
The Dominators/Upfront/Trilogy party in Randers, Denmark in 1989, the Horizon Party in Vårby in 1990, Sweden and The Party in Aars, Denmark in 1991 stands out as something special.
Any cool stories to share with us?
No individual story stands out. Instead I'll underline that I met many nice people through my fascination with the C64, and that was cool. I still think about the friendships established – and lost – every now and then.
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Not really. I have contacted a few people from those days periodically to check up on different issues. I know how to get in touch with at least some of the dudes I spent so much time with.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
The Commodore 64 was indeed special! It was bigger than any gadget before or after it, and it gave a generation of youngsters a voice they wouldn't have had if it hadn't been for the lovely breadbox.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
The chance of this to happen is very small. However, if some of my old mates came ringing on my door asking to come for a beer and a chat about how we could release some of the stuff we all have lying around, I wouldn't let them down.
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Take care all of you, wherever you are.
back to the list of available interviews