Daw / Triad, Censor Design
Added on January 19th, 2013 (4591 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
Name: David Fahlander. Age: 39. Born: Stockholm, 1973. Residing in: Stockholm (Söder). Work: CEO of software company Intelligenca AB. Interests: inventing, dreaming, coding and making music.

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
I've always used Daw as my handle. In 1986, I was playing an arcade game and I wrote my name in the high-score list using the joystick. Those games only let you write three letters, and Daw sounded cool. As it happens, I also had a tame jackdaw at that time, though I didn't know then that the bird was called that in English. Another coincidence was that DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation, which also had nothing to do with my choice of handle, but is interesting because I was doing sampled-based music.

What group(s) were you in?
Triad. Well, I joined Censor Design after releasing my last Triad demo called Lickpipe, but I never released anything except some of my music that was released in other Triad demos. So, my active time on the scene was spent with Triad only. I rejoined Triad some years later, so I'm still formally a member of Triad today.

What roles have you fulfilled?
Coder and musician.

How long were you active for?
1989-1990. I was also coding and doing music before that, but did not yet have any connection to the scene as I didn't know anyone in it then.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
A dude called Thomas Danko (one of the best C64 musicians ever) happened to start in my class in eighth grade in Sollentuna Musikklasser, a music school. Danko introduced me to Jerry (Gunnar Kålbäck) who was the leader of Triad at the time. I sent him some samples of my work, which he liked, so I became a member.

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
I would go up to my room, work on a tune, code a music routine, write a demo part, research hidden bugs in the VIC and SID chip, look at Censor demos or just play games like Rambo, Exploding Fist 2, Ghosts'n Goblins, Bomb Jack, The Last Ninja and Delta.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
I invented a new sample driver based on a mix of NMI interrupt and "manual" calls, which made it possible to show graphics in the upper and lower borders as well as in the side borders, show colour splits, DYSPs, and at the same time play quality samplings. The driver was used as an add-on to the popular Soundmonitor that I was using. My sample driver was able to handle two channels, so drums could be on one channel and other samplings on the other (making five channels in total).

I also wrote some code which made it possible to code a full memory (64 kB) demo and at the same time have Turbo Assembler and my source code in memory, using a keystroke-initiated swap between a 128 kB memory expansion cartridge and the working memory.

But the first VIC bug-buster I made was a way to scroll hires graphics in full screen pixel by pixel, or high speed from right to left fully raster-timed, even though the processor could not move that amount of memory at the required speed. This technique was used in Suckpipe, my first release for Triad. The problem with hires scrolling was that the amount of machine cycles it took to move the memory was more than it took for the TV raster to draw the screen. The VIC bug I discovered solved this by switching from text mode to hires mode in the exact machine cycle in which the raster shows a certain column. It started showing the hires too late, thus showing the screen eight pixels more to the right than it should have. This meant you didn't have to move the entire graphics memory, but just shift-in and shift-out one column at a time.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
My demo Lickpipe, Part 2, released in 1990.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
Rob Hubbard, David Whittaker, Ben Daglish and Martin Galway – their music was just awesome and had a great impression on me.

Mr. Z – he stuck to his trademark.

Stavros Fasoulas – the game Delta was just amazing!

Bob of Censor (Hi Bob!) – his demos were astonishing, and I was greatly inspired by them.

Danko (Hi Danko!) – he had the ability to "break the borders" of the SID chip, making it sound totally awesome.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
I don't know who actually found the VIC bug that made it possible to blow the borders, but that was the most amazing thing done on the C64 first off.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
During 1990, I was at lots of meetings and/or copy-parties in Åkers Styckebruk (at Triad HQ), Uppsala, Bålstad, Haninge and last but not least, the 1990 Censor party in Gothenburg.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
Doing art and showing the world what you could do and having lots of fun doing it.

What were the particular highlights for you?
The 1990 Censor party in Gothenburg.

Any cool stories to share with us?
This question reminds me of the sacred moments of scrolltext composing, writing about random things without meaning. I once bought a VIC-20 for five packets of Marlboro cigarettes from my dear friend Pontus. It was 1989, and the VIC-20 was very un-hip. This investment gave me a new tool to track and log events happening, like when the door to my room was opened or closed. Building a "home server" using Commodore Basic v1, 5 kB of RAM and a broken speaker cable (as the door sensor) was my one challenge and mission! Until one day, when the computer overheated and broke.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
I have two former C64 geeks as colleagues at my company Intelligenca AB and I see them every day. Hello Måns and Jon! Maybe we'll set up a C64 in our office, playing demos in the background, just to get some more inspiration when we're coding.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I bought my first C64 in 1986. Today, I have two of them.

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
In 2039 – one year after the 32-bit time_t integer measuring the number of seconds since 1970 has fallen into a negative number. I retire then, so I'll have the time.

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
All old Triad fellows – hi! And to everyone else, I wish you all a borderless future. Cheers!

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