Power / The Hidden Forces, Abnormal
Added on October 21st, 2013 (4229 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Geir Ove Reitan, and I'm now 44 years old. I was born in Levanger, Norway on 13th May 1969, and I currently live in Verdal, Norway. I work as a manager at a hypermarket and have been working in various similar stores since 1987.

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
My handle was Power. I was searching for a name to use, and my eyes drifted up to the top right-hand corner of my C64, and there it was. :)

What group(s) were you in?
My first group was The Hidden Forces, and Abnormal came after that.

What roles have you fulfilled?
I was mainly a swapper, but also did some coding and designing.

How long were you active for?
I was active mainly between 1987 and 1989.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
Well, I got in contact with ZTH, and we had a shared interest in the C64, so together with Muser, we founded The Hidden Forces and released some demos. Making those demos was really fun, and I learned a lot by participating in the creation of those early demos.

The Hidden Forces then merged with Laser Cracking Service, and Abnormal was founded. I recall we were looking for a name with eight letters (because we only had eight sprites back then – LOL), and we wanted the name to be one of the first in greetings lists, which were often alphabetical (marketing strategy!).

Once we had founded Abnormal, things started happening really fast. We released more demos and got in touch with a lot of very nice C64 people.

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
It was always thrilling to go out and check the mail for some new stuff. There would often be some floppy disks to go through and copy/disseminate. Days when I didn't get any mail would be filled with programming and/or designing graphics.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Nothing special, I was coding a lot of intros for the cracks and demos we released, so I made a simple intro-editor, though I didn't actually use it.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
I think the Abnormal years were great, we were one big family.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
There were many, including Science 451, Agile, Ikari, Triad, Rawhead, Finnish Gold, Danish Gold, Razor 1911 and Fairlight, and that's just the groups I can remember straight away. I've forgotten so many...

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
My first jaw-dropper was the open sideborder, and later the D.Y.S.P., which I remember I found "impossible" to do myself. :)

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes, I was at the Triad/Fairlight copy-party in Huddinge in Stockholm, Sweden in 1987, the Ikari/Danish Gold party in Tommerup, Denmark in 1988 and the Abnormal/Razor 1911 party in Stjørdal, Norway, which was also in 1988.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
It was all about making great demos, preferably including something that had never been done before, together with nice music and graphics.

What were the particular highlights for you?
The great music from Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway and Jeroen Tel. I never produced any music on the C64 myself, but I very much enjoyed the music from those guys.

Any cool stories to share with us?
Well, I was swapping a lot and the postage was getting expensive, so I cheekily reused the stamps to keep costs down. I remember, I then got a letter from the Post Office asking for a meeting. They had realised I was spraying transparent lacquer (I think it was) on the stamps so I could reuse them later. I was given a warning and promised never to do it again.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
That would be ZTH, we still run into each other sometimes as we live in the same town.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I got my C64 in 1986 (I think), and I've still got it now. I'm never getting rid of it, it's got too much sentimental value.

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
I think so. It was the gateway to computers as we know them today. I think the C64 spirit will live on for many years to come.

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Sometime! :)

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Yes, I'd like to give special thanks to all the C64 people I've had contact with, and especially to those sceners who are still active today. I still see new jaw-dropping demos being released now, which always give me a laugh when I try to work out how they've been done. Keep 'em coming, guys! Power off...

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