Powerslave / Genesis, Power Station, Tronix, Altobrows
Added on July 12th, 2009 (5805 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Per Karlsson and I have reached the age of 38 years. I’m working as a technical salesman/engineer for a tooling company. My spare time is mostly spent with the family and on our house. Computers are still an interest but I don’t have the needed time...

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
Powerslave, taken from the Iron Maiden LP with the same name. It's one of my favourites.

What group(s) were you in?
I started Genesis in 1987 together with Mr. Crowley and some other guys. In 1988, me and Mr. Crowley joined Power Station, but only for a short period of time. I met Iron of Tronix and we joined that group instead. When Tronix split up in 1989, me and Mr. Crowley started a new group called Altobrows together with Dino and Rowdy from Life/Riffs. After a couple of months, the end of both Altobrows and my C64 days was a fact. Around 1992, Tronix reformed, this time on the Amiga by coder Olle and some friends of his. I did some coding but never released anything. Olle was making a lot of cool intros, dentros and demos under the Tronix label. We also had a BBS running that was popular.

What roles have you fulfilled?
I was mainly a coder, but I had a lot of contacts so I was also a swapper. Graphics was not my strong side, so Mr. Crowley always had to put a final touch on them before release.

How long were you active for?

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
It all started when I got a simple computer called Lambda 8300. I immediately started coding, first in BASIC, then in machine code. My neighbour had a Commodore 64 and I was often there to play games on it. I started buying C64 magazines to read about this computers' structure. When I at last got my C128, I started coding on it, and I was well-prepared. In school, I meet a guy called Mr. Crowley that was a member of United Style Crackers (USC), and we decided to work together.

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
As most kids using a computer in those days, I didn’t prioritize school. After a day in school, it was coding, coding, coding! During the weekends, it was mostly partying with the rest of my friends. In hindsight, I should have focused more on school than I did.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
No, I basically used the common tools. As I had a C128, both the machine code monitor and the sprite editor in C128 mode was used a lot. We had internal Tronix sinus calculators so this was already invented.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
If we talk about coding, I’m most proud over the last part in my demo Utopia from 1989 where I combine a seven sprites high sideborder scroll with samples and a SID tune. This was at the time a world record as far as I know. I’m also proud that Horizon placed Tronix in their top five rank of best demo groups in the world.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
My heroes were without doubt the guys in XAKK. I adored their coding and their demos were a good source of inspiration for my own routines. Worth to mention is also Horizon as I think they are one of the best groups in the old school scene.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
There were many cool routines invented in the end of the 80's. I must rank the raster scroll as number one as I think it’s both beautiful and possible to make in a lot of shapes. I’ve done a couple of them myself with a good result (I think).

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Tronix had some smaller meetings that I attended, but that's about it. I never went to a big copy-party. I really don't know why.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
The goal was to make a name for yourself by releasing cool stuff. It was all about competition.

What were the particular highlights for you?
My personal favourite demo was my, Iron’s and Mr. Crowley’s Hotshot that turned Tronix into an accepted demo group.

Any cool stories to share with us?
I met a guy from Byterapers called FOX 94. He was a strange one... He told me his nickname was inspired by Samantha Fox and that the number 94 was calculated from her circumstance around the boobies plus two (92+2=94). To add some more strange flavour to it all, I think he was serious when he told me this.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
No, unfortunately not. I daily check the C64 scene websites to check what’s happening and how the technique is grooving.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
It was not a C64, it was a C128. I got it as a Christmas gift in 1986 (I think), and of course I still have it and the original box. Once a year, I connect it to my TV and check all the disks to get that nice retro feeling going...

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
No comments needed! But if you need one: Yes, it wouldn't have been the same without it!

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Never. I don’t have time or knowledge anymore. I have finished parts on my disks that could be enough for a full disk side demo, but no.

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
I want to thank you all for making my C64 days as fun as they were!

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