Tim / Stoat & Tim
Added on May 26th, 2009 (4989 views)
Tell us something about yourself.
Name: Tim Rogers. Birth info: secret. :) Reside in: Derby, UK. Job: Technical Director at Eurocom Developments Ltd. Interests are the usual stuff: programming, games, music, reading, etc.
What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
Just my actual name Tim I'm afraid. A lot of people were choosing wacky handles at this time, but that side of things didn't really appeal to me.
What group(s) were you in?
Stoat & Tim.
What roles have you fulfilled?
How long were you active for?
About 1984-88 I think, give or take a couple of years either side.
Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
I started out with a ZX81 when I was at school. I was hanging around the school computer clubs and also computer shops a bit, and I think that's how Stoat & I eventually hooked up. From there we moved onto the C64. We both got onto the Compunet C64 network in the UK using the Commodore modem, and really got into the "scene" from there. There was little in the way of demos around at the time, so we really just started doing things we thought were fun, or people would like, and everything snowballed from there.
Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
When I wasn't at school, I'd spend pretty much all of my spare time doing stuff on the C64, either at my house or Stoat's. The work varied from writing games/demos/tools, to just general hacking around, as needed.
Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
Yes, lots of tools! I don't really remember all of them, but they covered a wide range from general data editors/generators, disk/tape utils, compression, audio ripping, graphics editors, text tools, modifying other tools that were around etc. If what you needed didn't exist, you just wrote it on the spot in those days.
When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Everything was new and self-taught, so probably just the fact that we stuck at things until we got them working as we wanted. Producing our first game (W.A.R) was a big achievement for us too. Hopefully our C64 work brought enjoyment to some of the C64 owners at the time, and with emulators, perhaps that will continue.
Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
I don't think we really had any scene heroes as such because the scene was so young then. We had lots of peers though, and some of them were producing some really good stuff (Compunet groups, some of the guys in the cracking groups around the world etc.). We did have a fair bit of direct contact with Rob Hubbard though, both through working on games we developed and also demos we created, and he was one of the great C64 people and always a lot of fun to be involved with.
What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
Probably fast loaders. :) Demo-wise though, it would probably have to be some of the more advanced scrolling techniques which are quite impressive in going beyond the C64's design parameters.
Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
We went to quite a few tradeshows and they were usually pretty good. We went to a few copy parties at the time too, and they were always fun.
In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
I think it was a mixture of a technical community pushing the C64 and having fun with it, and also trying to out-do the other groups of the time in a friendly but competitive way.
What were the particular highlights for you?
I can't think of anything in particular off-hand, most things were good fun from what I can remember though.
Any cool stories to share with us?
Too many to remember. :) One that sticks in my mind: we lived near Jeff Minter at the time, and Stoat was pretty good friends with him. I remember we were at Jeff's house as he unboxed his first Amiga that Commodore had sent him. We were all drooling over the bouncing ball demo.
Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Sure! I work with quite a few every day: Mat Sneap (Mat & Psy), Neil Baldwin (Demon), Hugh Binns, Ian Denny (God & Hake), Lars Verhoeff, and Mark Gornall.
When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I don't actually remember when I got my first C64. It just sort of appeared one day and I started doing stuff on it. It might have belonged to my brother. Sadly, I don't have any of my old C64 hardware any more, it just seemed to vanish over the years, though I think I still have a few emulator images of various programs, tools, etc. somewhere.
Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
Yes, I think it was. I think the graphics, audio and memory capacity were way ahead of the other machines around at the time and that enabled a big jump in the complexity of what could be created on it. It was a lot of fun and a privilege to be involved in those early days of the C64 and the people in the scene.
When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Right now. :)
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Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Scrolly greetz to you all. :)
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