Interview with Sean Pappalardo, Pegasus of The Renegade Programming Group
What is your alias? If you find the story interesting, then let us know how you came up with it?
I am Pegasus, after the Greek god, the white flying horse. It represents beauty, grace, and peace, things that I constantly aspire to.
When and where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in New Jersey, USA in September of 1979, and my parents moved to Staten Island, New York City when I was barely 1, so I've lived there all my life. (Though I'm now (1997-2001 + master's degree) attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts.)
When did you get your first computer and which computers do/did you own? When did you get your C64?
My first computer was my Commodore 128, purchased in about 1985 with a 1571, 2002 monitor, OkiMate 20, EA's StarFox game, and 2 QuikShot trigger joystics. I now (1997) have 2 C=128s and a custom designed all-SCSI PC, but I use my C=128 alot more often! (I also have many peripherals for the '128s)
How did you get to know the scene? Who was your first contact (person you knew) on the scene?
I was CoSysOp of a local board my friend put up and managed the Commodore file sections and discussion groups. Eventually X-Static logged on and sent me an email with a few Brooklyn boards that were Commodore-only. I called them up and made a few more friends. I released some demos on there, and eventually met Zirco. He introduced me to the JCH editor and we made a music pack together. I spread it to the local BBSs and he put it on the Net. I later got an Internet account and released Virtuafitti. Uzzy/RPG saw this and called me up, asking if I wanted to join. I said yes and began coding a page right away!
Describe your scene career, including all groups you have been a member of! Keep chronological order please!
The Renegade Programming Group is the only group I've been in, and I joined July of 1995. I created and maintain the RPG web page, I do code, music, art (sort of :), and dream up insane things to code.
Which scene do/did you consider best and why? If you have been only on the C64, then give us the reason(s)!
I've only used the '64 (or '128 in my case.) I think that's due to the fact that I got this computer when I was like 9 and for the longest time wanted to learn how to make such cool programs as I had seen as far as games and intros. Now that I finally have that knowledge, I can fulfill my dreams. Not only that, but coding on this machine teaches you the value of optimization, and seeing what others can do on this machine is a rush in itself!
What do you think you gained by being a member of the scene?
Friends, code help, knowledge, popularity, fun!
What do you consider lost, wasted or meaningless during the years you have spent on the scene?
Nothing really. Well maybe the periods of laziness but that's about it. :)
What is/are/was/were your main interest(s)/function(s)?
Programming, music, art, web design/code, hardware hacks.
What made you start doing graphics/composing/swapping/coding/modem trading organising or whatever you did?
Well, I'd programmed in BASIC 2.0 & 7.0 for a long time because I had no clue about what ML was or how to use it. Once I learned (the 9 opcodes that I know :) ) it was a sense of power that made me want to do cooler things.
What are/were your greatest successes/fiascos?
I've had neither yet. I have some big plans for the future (as far as successes anyway. :) )
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?
I'd say Light & WaD have particularly good friendships as when on IRC we'll have totally separate converstations from the channel. I'll make music for them when they want it (when I have the time!)
Have you attended parties? Tell us about your favourite conferences? You can even mention some fiascos.
Never attended any parties (living in the U.S.) I really wanted to go to Tribute 1994, as the invitation demo really psyched me up! But I had nowhere near enough money for a plane ticket nor my parents' permission. That's why I'm holding NTSC=, a USA Commodore demo party in the early summer of 1998! Planning/reserving will begin next month (Dec. 1997) and I hope it will be a great success!
Is/was there any special feeling in your crew, something more than just being in a group?
Not really, although Uzzy and I will chat on the phone about life in general, girls, and once or twice about coding. :)
What were your favourite groups/artists/coders/productions? Why do/did you like their work/these programs?
Dawnfall/Oxyron - amazing code! Lots of realtime scaling and rotation on a 1Mhz computer with 64K of RAM?! I blew a few of my PC-loving friends away with that demo!
Ice Cream Castle/Crest - Awesome art and code! Many crazy color effects here like vertical rasterbars (the coder even tells you how it's done!), an FPP over AFLI, hi-res scroller over a multicolor pic, full-screen 7-picture scroller, and not to mention great music!!
Partytrap/Beyond - Also crazy awesome effects as well as some of the best music I've heard on the C=!
Give us a brief description on the development of the scene as you experienced it and computer society in general!
Everyone seems to be very friendly with each other, unlike the scene of the 80's which I understand was war all the time. There were rough spots here and there, but the unity is just amazing.
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'm a Computer Engineerig major (Management minor) at college right now. During the summers, I work at a real estate office managing/upgradig their computers. (Trying to get a nice network in there. I wish it could be Commodore, but I haven't the knowledge to code what they need in a reasonable about of time. )
How did your attitude towards computers change during the years?
I've developed a sort of a hate for Micrxxxxt & Wxxxxxs'95 (censored -Ed.) especially due to it's tendency to hog system resources. I know that if we Commodore coders were hired by Micrxxxxt (censored -Ed.), we could make Wxxxxxs '95 run on a 386 with 4 megabytes of RAM as quickly as it currently does on a Pentium-266 with 32MB, but with less crashes. :)
What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing? What is/are your hobby(ies)?
Singing, acting, partying, deejaying, aheh doing schoolwork...
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?
In the past all I did was play games and wonder "How do they do that?!" (Referring to rasterbars...I still can't get the buggers to stay steady without flicker!)
What are your plans for the near/far future?
Near: release more demos & music! Get A CD-ROM on the Commodore (DVD-ROM also), and a CD-R on the CMD HD units.
Far: Eventually head a company and make it a very honest business and pleasant to work with/for. Get a GM EV or Saturn SC1 if I can't get the EV. (Maybe a Dodge Viper for kicks. :) )
What is your goal in life? What would you like to achieve?
Becoming a really amazing coder to the point where I can think up something and know how to do it with minimal effort. As stated above, I also want to head my own company (maybe buy out Mixxxxxxt ;) ) as well as be a singer/songwriter and a good lovig husband.