SVT is the Swedish national public television. They recently announced their new series Det svenska spelundret, which translated to “The Swedish game wonder” or something. It is a five episode documentary series about the history behind and the creation of the flourishing Swedish computer game industry. In Swedish and the only subtitles available are also in Swedish.
In episode two, there’s a look into the home computer demo scene of the late 80s and early 90s that more or less kick-started some of the early game studios.
You know who were very present in the Swedish demo scene in the late 1980s? Me. I even dabbled a little into games and I wrote a few, at least beginnings of games on the Commodore 64, but I didn’t have the persistence and discipline to finish those projects so they never actually ended up anywhere further than playable prototypes.
I grabbed a frame from the show. At 5:06 there’s this photo, taken at some copy party in the late 80s (in the show they say early 90s but many photos were older).
This specific picture was from the copy party in Eskilstuna Sweden 12 – 15 May 1989 that I helped organize. A few hundred teenage nerds in a school over the weekend. I was eighteen years old at the time.
We, in the form of the demo group Horizon, won the demo competition there with our demo Dolly Party (in which I contributed code using my nick name Bagder). Here’s a YouTube recording of it.
Of course a lot of friends and acquaintances from those days also flickered past on the many old golden photos that were shown. Most of them very shown very quickly. A little disappointing was that Kjell Ericson who shot several of those photos didn’t get any credit at all in the show. Thanks Kjell!
The TV show says we called those events “demo parties” when they were in fact called “copy parties” to all of us (probably due to how they once started as a chance to meet up and exchange copies of games and other software) far into the 90s when I believe they rather became LAN parties.
Linus Nielsen Feltzing and I founded Haxx a long time ago, so therefore it is extra fun to welcome him to join me and Björn to work full-time for our small but already now skill-packed company. Starting December this year, Linus will do all his consultancy and contract work wearing his Haxx hat and no other. Employee number three.
He comes from an employment at the same consultant company I was employed by before (and Björn was too a while ago). With this addition Haxx is now having three full-time consultants with more than 20 years of experience each within software development and embedded systems. We have a long and thorough experience in Linux and networks, in embedded and in larger systems.
Björn and I originally got to know Linus back in 1988 when we visited a “copy-party” in Alvesta Sweden. There we (the C64 demo group named Horizon) competed against the other teams in the demo competition. We won the competition with our demo “Love This Now” while the fellows in Microsystems Digital Technology (MDT) came at second place with their “Bonanza“.
MDT consisted of two persons, and one of them was Linus.
After Alvesta, Linus and Jörgen (the other MDT member) joined Horizon and we’ve known each other since. We’ve worked on the same companies since the late 90s something until the day last year when I started working full-time for Haxx.
Linus is a hardcore embedded developer, working close to hardware and the OS, writing primarily C and assembler code. He has worked a lot with various RTOSes and Linux.
Linus is also known as one of the founders of the Rockbox project together with me and Björn.
Yesterday at the OPTIMERA STHLM conference, Isac Lagerblad, really surprised me when he brought up an image of me and my fellow hackers in the C64demo group named Horizon from back in the days of 1990. I’m the guy in the middle in the lower row.
You can see it happen at 02:35 into the part 4 clip, where you’ll go if you click on the image (Isac’s talk is in Swedish).
The original picture is a very old scan and isn’t a lot better:
I was honored and flattered by this unexpected “tribute”. Thanks Isac, it was really fun to see!
And before anyone asks: me and my brother BjÃ¶rn got our first Commodore 64 1985 and that is what got me into computers. I’ve not stopped enjoying them since then. We did a lot of demos, a few games and we had a great time and got similar minded friends all over the world.