The Shark / International Network of Chaos
Added on December 1st, 2003 (8089 views)

Tell us something about yourself.
My name is David, and I was born in the USA in 1973. I work as a software engineer, and my interests are C64 history, SID music, sports, music, blah, blah...

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
The Shark. It is a simple handle really, and came about due to my interest in the ocean and sharks in general, plus it has a nice intimidating look to it.

What group(s) were you in?
International Network of Chaos (INC).

What roles have you fulfilled?
Organizer, leader and swapper.

How long were you active for?
Between 1982 and 1991. Scene presence from 1986 to 1991.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
My friend had a Vic 20 and the idea of being able to have your own computer was incredibly fascinating at that time for a kid. The Vic 20 was quickly replaced by the C64 for obvious reasons once it was released. Shortly after receiving my C64, we met some other C64 user who had a whole disk of pirated games. Jungle Hunt, Moon Patrol, Donkey Kong, etc. Receiving 10-15 games for free compared to paying $40 apiece was mind blowing because I had very little money at the time. From there, I just started meeting others at school and such to trade more. Then came the modem. This opened up doors to long distance trading in the USA. It just snowballed from there as long as one was willing to put in the work. Elite boards, international trading, etc.

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer.
Call Europe to see if they had any new games for us. Download the game if they did over a static, delay-ridden connection. See if it needed an NTSC fix, and if so, send it to our programmer, The Mind Slayer. Release the game and spread it until 2-3 am in the morning. Check the boards out to see all the trash talking. Download a few games from other groups. Play a few games. Call a few members and scene friends to see what's going on the scene.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
I was the first person to put the Afro-American dialect version of bitch ("beeitch") in writing. Just kidding. At the time, I wasn't a programmer so no inventions.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
Leading INC to one of the most remembered and respected USA importing groups.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
The Mind Slayer for pioneering some of the greatest NTSC fixes of his time and for his unique programming skills. Stormbringer/Exodus/Mayhem, from Canada, for also his skilled programming. And of course all the SID masters out there.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64?
I think Mike J. Henry's Fast Hack'em was the best invention for its time mainly because it suited my needs.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
No because in the USA, unless you lived on the East Coast, the tradeshows were very lame. Copy-parties weren't very common in the USA among the top sceners due to the modem and the large distances among the pirates.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
If you are talking about the whole C64 trading community with demos, BBSes, etc., then it was all about an amazing network of people pushing one of the greatest computers of all time to its limits.

What were the particular highlights for you?
Most of my highlights were tied in with game releases (both from my group and outside). The thrill of playing Summer Games for the first time, for example. Receiving that long awaited game that would soon become legendary. Those were my favorite C64 moments.

Any cool stories to share with us?
I have plenty but maybe another day.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Strider/FairLight, old INC members, Death Demon/FBR, Bod/Ikari+Talent, and a few others.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I received my first C64 as a Christmas gift. My mother had allusions that it would make me so much smarter, but the reality is that I played tons of games on it. But hey, I am now a software engineer and the C64 purchase definitely had a lot to do with that, so it worked out in the end. My old machine died one day when I accidentally dropped my basketball on it when spinning the ball on my finger in my room (not very well I might add), but since then I've purchased another C64.

Was the C64 really as special as we like to think it was?
I'll let the number of C64s sold and the number of C64 web sites available speak for themselves.

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Unless I hit the lottery, likely never. However, my work with the High Voltage SID Collection (HVSC) over the past seven years and still to this day has been a wonderful contribution to the C64 world.

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
It was a pleasure knowing you all - even the lamahs! :)

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