Mahoney / Defiers,
Added on December 1st, 2003 (6679 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
Pex Tufvesson, born 1974 in Lund, Sweden. I'm working with FPGAs, making internet encryption for the Swedish government.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
Zax between 1985 to 1987, which was a nice combination of letters from the bottom left corner of the keyboard. It actually means scissors in Swedish. I used Mahoney from 1987 and on, and yes, I named myself after the hero in the Police Squad movies!
What group(s) were you in?
Defiers, Triumph, Triad, Northstar and MegAKLoPpARnA.
What roles have you fulfilled?
Musician and coder.
How long were you active for?
From 1985 to 1991.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
The scene actually got into me, so to speak. I was enjoying coding on the Commodore 64, and used this computer as a way of expressing creativity. I tried to do demos in a way that not many other coders could (or wanted to)!
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I never had a whole day in front of the computer. Most of the time, my day was really fragmented. I went to the swimming hall to practise swimming between five to eleven times a week during my scene years. And going to school at the same time saved me from a non-active life. Anyway, this meant that I had to make notes to myself about what I was doing in order to be able to quickly continue from where I had left. In the end, I learnt that great projects and great things can be completed by making small efforts whenever the occasion permits. Still, that's how I manage things in everyday life.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
I made my own ROM cartridge for the Commodore 64 which included a tape turbo, disk turbo and the incredible DisMon, a 4096-byte memory monitor, which I used for coding all my C64 demos with. On the Amiga, I made my own boot program for saving a few kilobytes of memory when booting by only using a one colour CLI instead of three colours.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
That I still every now and then talk to "normal" people that can remember the stuff I did 15 years ago. I've had people saying that Noise Tracker I did on the Amiga 500 was the only reason that they bought a computer. That makes me happy!
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
Well, I didn't really have the time or the interest to be aware of the scene. I made my own demos together with Kaktus, and somehow, we were a part of a scene that surrounded us. We had fun, not because of the scene, but because of those nice people that we met and invited to gatherings here in the south of Sweden.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
I'm impressed by the "take six sprites with one pixel distance in the Y-direction, expand them forever by toggling $D017 twice every raster line, change their sprite pointers every row, and make a large image in the border wobble, turn upside down, etc.". I don't know what that's called, but it's brilliant! Different versions of this routine can be used for drawing circles in the border, or wobbling images!
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes, mostly local ones in the south of Sweden.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
An excuse for getting together. Some people play volleyball, some play in a band. The scene was in to homemade stuff on computers, and used this as a way of getting together.
What were the particular highlights for you?
The mental exercise of making stuff fit into limited hardware. Today's PCs are no fun, because most limitations are gone now.
Any cool stories to share with us?
Hmm... Maybe. But not right now, sorry.
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Every now and then, some of them I just rarely meet on the street, and that's OK with me!
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I sold my C64 and bought an Amiga 500.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Yes, it was a very nice computer. Complex enough to keep us investigating every corner of it, and sufficiently simple to keep up an easy way of playing with computers!
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Hmm.. I made one for the BIT Live gathering in Brighton the 13th of September 2003. There is really nothing new for the C64 planned from me! But maybe it'll come when you least expect it!
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
If you really want to know more about Pex "Mahoney" Tufvesson, then take a look at http://mahoney.c64.org. Have a noise night! :)
back to the list of available interviews