Mace / Demolition,
The Exocet Crew,
Added on September 28th, 2006 (6912 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Bastiaan Winde, 33, born in Rotterdam (NL) on 29th of March 1973 and I live in Barendrecht (just south of Rotterdam). I'm a civil engineer and I am a projectleader for a small engineering company in Rotterdam.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
The first name I used was Firewood Software (remotely resembling the name of the street I lived in), then Snowman but I can't remember why. Finally I settled with Mace on the C64 and later I used AxiMaxi on IRC. This is the name I still use.
What group(s) were you in?
Demolition, The Exocet Crew, View, and Secure. But it was not the Demolition most people know.
What roles have you fulfilled?
My main task was coding, but I did some occasional graphics and some music. Beside that, I was the leader of all the above mentioned groups, although I think ‘initiator' would be more accurate. The core of the groups was the same and we were close friends.
How long were you active for?
Err... I think between 1988 and 1992, but I'm not sure anymore. In fact, I became an active member again, just this year, by attending meetings and chatting on IRC #c-64.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
The first time I ever saw a C64 was at a neighbour. The eldest son was a real wizzkid and he tought me the basics. Later I got a friend who had a VIC-20, a C128 and an Amiga and a bit later again one who had a C128. Through my maths teacher, I got in touch with people who knew people in the scene. My groups never became very famous and we hardly got in touch with bigger or more famous groups directly. But it was fun and we tried a lot.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
Uploading the Starmonitor into my Expert cartridge and code, code, code.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Not really, although I was in the process of thinking out four tools: a sampling program, a tape-to-disk copy tool, a musicplayer for my SCI Model 970 keyboard and disk catalogueing tool that could find a combination of programs that form exactly 664 blocks. However, I never coded one single byte of these.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
My notewrite Whacky Writer, which is the only usefull and fully functional program I made and is actually better or at least more fun than most notewriters I know.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
Legendary groups, like Triad, Hotline, Crest and Flash Inc. inspired me. The persons who you'd call my heroes are the musicians, like Hubbard, Tel and JCH.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
FLI and open sideborders were the things that really blew me away. And sampling is pretty cool too.
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Hardly, but I went to the Venlo meeting twice, back in the days. And to an occasional local meeting, which was really just a bunch of weirdos trying to get the latest without giving anything away.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Swapping demos and games in the first place. Then a large crowd got into smokey meetings and beerfests. The real hardcore scene never appealed to me. Perhaps I think I had nothing to offer and already hated to the 'leechers' who just wanted more and more without giving something back. Nowadays the scene is about friends and preservation of the things that were.
What were the particular highlights for you?
Highlights in software were ESCOS, FLI and Fast Hack'em. Highlights in hardware were the Expert cartridge and the 1581.
Any cool stories to share with us?
The coolest story I have is about my 1581. There was a trackball for sale on the internet and I wanted to have it, so I placed a bid and won. It turned out that it was an old guy selling it. When I arrived and had the trackball in my bag, he asked what I wanted it for. I told him I was a small hardware collector. He then took me to his attic and showed me an actual KIM-1 PCB and a shitload of other stuff. He saw how cool I found the 1581 drives (he had, like 3 or 4 of those) and asked if I was interested. Of course I said yes, but all the money I had what just 20 euros, which isn't a lot for a 1581. He said: SOLD!
Another small anekdote is the one about 'cheated' stamps. We used a gluestick to put glue over the stamps we used to send floppies around the world and asked our contacts to return those stamps. This was a well known practice, but our glue worked better than most other products: it didn't shine, it didn't stick and it came of easily in hot water. The father of our group's biggest swapper worked at the mail company and he got very mad when he found out!
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Yeah, through the Dutch HCC/Commodore-GG meetings, COMP.SYS.CBM and various forums.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
My dad bought a C64 in 1985 and it's still here, unmodified, working, unrepaired and in good shape.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Yes. Otherwise not so many units would have been sold and neither would the biggest 8-bit community be C64 related!
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Perhaps. I'm thinking of completing old projects, like the sampling program. Also I might cooperate in new scene productions.
Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
back to the list of available interviews