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Interview with Marc-Jano Knopp




What is your alias? If you find the story interesting, then let us know how you came up with it?

To answer the next question in advance, I'll tell you about my first alias: When I first was given Internet access through university, I had to choose a login name and without further thinking, I decided for the name I used to enter in high score lists: SuperMJK (ARGH!) As everyone knows, the names in high score lists are usually chosen to sound better than the other names in the list. SpeedMike, SnakeWW, etc. Just for fun. I didn't know that this was going to be my alias for a quite a long time.


Have you changed handles? If so, give us the reason(s) and your previous nickname(s)!

As I grew older, I noticed that email and WWW is much more than for surfing, swapping or just flaming :-) I had a dream in which I wrote a letter to a company:
Dear Sirs!

I hereby apply for your job as CEO, blah, blah.

Yours truly,

    *** S u p e r M J K *** Tadaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

Then I quickly decided to change my login/alias/nickname to MJK. :-)


When and where were you born and where do you live now?

The apocalypse started on May 17th, 1971 in Langefeld, Germany.


When did you get your first computer and which computers do/did you own? When did you get your C64?

My first computer was a ZX81 in 1987 or so - I can't remember. It ended up with a screwdriver sticking in the '8' key which prevented me from entering the high score list of Pacman. I own a few old computers, mainly C64's and Atari ST's. And a PC for playing with Linux.

I got my first C64 in 1991 or so. For the whole story about me and the C64, have a look in my homepage in late October 1997, I hope to have it included by then (http://mjk.c64.org).


How did you get to know the scene? Who was your first contact (person you knew) on the scene?

The scene, the scene. Well, what is the scene anyway? (No offence :-) I first met the 'scene' on IRC on #c-64, but wasn't aware of it until one or two years later.


Describe your scene career, including all groups you have been a member of! Keep chronological order please!

I have never been in a group and it's quite unlikely that I will ever join one. But who knows. My studies keep me from coding :-(


Which scene do/did you consider best and why? If you have been only on the C64, then give us the reason(s)!

I cannot really judge the other scenes, but the C64 scene seems to be one of the best, as everyone helps everyone (save some arrogant elite sceners or wanna-bes) and the whole thing is simply fun :-)


What do you think you gained by being a member of the scene?

Though I don't esteem myself a member of the scene, dealing with it made me acquainted with the power of the C64 which still seems to have virtually no limits - both in hardware as in enthusiasm of the C64 community.


What do you consider lost, wasted or meaningless during the years you have spent on the scene?

Nothing. Dealing with the C64 means pure gain. At least for me.


What is/are/was/were your main interest(s)/function(s)?

Well, my current interests are to make the Commodore 8-bit machines the best-documented machines in the world and make all information about them accessible to the public. By doing so, I feel like I preserve them, somehow.


What are/were your greatest successes/fiascos?

Greatest successes: controlling sprites in less time than I needed on my PC. No, really, this feeling is sooooo different from coding on PC. Though I didn't code much on the C64. Did I mention that study sux?


Was there any special connection between you/your group and some other people/groups on the scene (co-operation, war, friendship etc.)? If so, what made it start and stop?

Special connections.... Hmm... No, nothing I would call special.


Have you attended parties? Tell us about your favourite conferences? You can even mention some fiascos.

I have never attended any party. Neither computer parties nor parties of other kind. It's certainly fun, but I prefer sitting alone in a quiet room. Maybe that'll change some day.


If you are not a C64 scener anymore, when and why did you leave the scene?

I'll never leave the 'scene'. I may get inactive due to time restrictions, but I'd re-'enter' ASAP.


What were your favourite groups/artists/coders/productions? Why do/did you like their work/these programs?

Haven't seen THAT much. Here are a few demos/coders:
  • Graham / Oxyron. He made some cool stuff like Dawnfall. Watch it and you'll know what I mean.
  • Dutch Breeze. It's true what they say. Even today it should be rated 90% or something due to its design. It's really something special.
  • Very many composers, like Chris Hülsbeck, Martin Galway, Rob Hubbard, Jeroen Tel, JCH, and many, many more. The great SID music is one reason why I LOVE my C64!


Give us a brief description on the development of the scene as you experienced it and computer society in general!

Are you nuts? Are you sure that will fit on one CD? Ok, I'll try to make it short:

The C64 will definitely enter the next millenium, and so will the C64 scene. About computer society: (what's that? You mean the relation of society to computers and the development of computers in general, I guess) Modern computers are seldom fun. Okay, there's Linux to play and work with, and there are a few nice games. But I see how everthing gets cheaper and less fun. That's why I will stick to my little Commie. It will withstand the lameness of the future forever.


What is your profession? What do you do for a living? Does it have to do anything with computers? Is there anything you do in real-life that is similar to what you have been doing on the scene?

I study computer science at university, 9th term now. I live at my parents and don't need to work and try to make a living - but that'll soon change, I hope. I'm sitting many hours a day in front of a computer. I'm always happy when power failures occur and I can go for a walk :-)


How did your attitude towards computers change during the years?

See the question about 'computer development'. In the beginning, I only thought: Computers are great. You can do anything with them. They are perfect.

Please stay seated until the plane has burned out.


What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing? What is/are your hobby(ies)?

Very many years ago, I used to read books, but today there is not much more than computers. I'm trying to change that at the moment: I like to ride my bike and sometimes even go swimming. What a change.


Are there moments when you feel nostalgic thinking back to the past years of the scene? If so what do you do when it happens?

No, as I'm quite new to the 'scene'.


What are your plans for the near/far future?

Somehow complete my studies. Create a new computer standard. Make a new OS.


What is your goal in life? What would you like to achieve?

See above.



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