Interview with Mr.Spock of T'Pau
What is your alias? If you find the story interesting, then let us know how you came up with it?
My alias is Mr.Spock. I always have been a big Star Trek fan, ever since I was a little child. Given the fact that Mr.Spock is half human and half vulcan and I am half Austrian half Chinese, I took this handle.
Have you changed handles? If so, give us the reason(s) and your previous nickname(s)!
No, not really. In 1994 I wanted to visit IRC for the first time and so I wanted to use my handle, Mr.Spock, but as you may easily think of, this nickname wasn't free, someone else was using it. So I tried the short name -Spockie- and it worked. Members of my group always called me Spockie, so I had no problems with that. Nowadays I call myself Spockie, but that is not a real nickname change, is it?
When and where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born on the 15th of October 1970 in Vienna, Austria, and I am still living there.
When did you get your first computer and which computers do/did you own? When did you get your C64?
My first computer was the C64, I got this cool machine on the 3rd of April 1985, it was a cloudy wednesday ;-)
Since then I always worked with my C64, even in the computer age of PCs, where nearly everyone of my near friends stopped 'playing' with the C64 and started to 'play' on the PC. I still worked (for the university) on my C64 using GEOS.
In 1995 I bought a small workstation, a HP PA RISC, since I was really disappointed of Windows on the PCs of my friends. My GEOS on the C64 could often do the same or better (without crashes...). I saw Nextstep on a computer and was delighted, the very best operating system I have ever seen - and a Unix. So nowadays I work with Nextstep on my HP and GEOS together, believe it or not, my C64 is still in the use (SuperCPU, RAMLink and FD4000 make the C64 a flyer!).
How did you get to know the scene? Who was your first contact (person you knew) on the scene?
In the days when I was lame, it was my aim to be someday greeted in a scroller of Eaglesoft Inc., it was some kind of dream to me. Well, I started to form my group, T'Pau, at that time with a lot of lame members. Somehow I got contact to the cracking group 'Lazer', namely Marc of Lazer, and from that time on I was personally involved in the scene. In the same year, a good coder joined us and my cousin went to America where he sent us some originals. This was a our breakthrough, with the Europe first release of 'Centauri Alliance' (a quality release with instructions and maps included!) we got Contacts to a lot of big groups like X-Factor. Later we expanded our contacts to the rest of the scene and started to make demos and stopped cracking since we weren't that good compared to classic cracking groups.
Of course I never achieved the aim to get greets from Eaglesoft, but the main reason was that ESI long died before I really joined the scene...
Describe your scene career, including all groups you have been a member of! Keep chronological order please!
My one and only group was T'Pau, so that is really easy to anwer. T'Pau started in 1988, but at that time it was not a real scene group but a lame group of kids. Nevertheless I never changed the group but the members got cooler in the years. We started to got contact to the scene in 1990, and our best year was definately 1992.
Which scene do/did you consider best and why? If you have been only on the C64, then give us the reason(s)!
I never owned another scene computer than the C64 - and never wanted to. I was pleased with the C64 scene and always considered it as the coolest scene without really knowing how other scenes are doing. Well, in fact I didn't care...
What do you think you gained by being a member of the scene?
At least a lot of experience in English. I always wanted to change the world, and I think a little bit I changed the world of the C64 users and I still do with my magazine GO64!.
What do you consider lost, wasted or meaningless during the years you have spent on the scene?
Nothing. Other people wasted their lifes with drugs, while I was also dealing with hot stuff, but in my case it were hot originals or cracks. I am pleased with the things how and that they happened and I am proud of being known throughout the scene with my very own group. While other people had to join famous and established groups, I did everything on my own, of course the same compliment goes to my friends in my group. It is always better to establish something than joining a functioning group. I had many offers of good and decent groups, but never wanted to join another group. I always wanted to be my own boss and I knew that it is possible to do something by your own.
What is/are/was/were your main interest(s)/function(s)?
I was leader, swapper and graphician.
What made you start doing graphics/composing/swapping/modem trading organising or whatever you did?
That is simple. It was the lack of another one doing the graphics. My first graphics were very lame, but well, you learn fast out there in the hard competition of the scene. I never considered myself as best, but what I did was pretty good.
What are/were your greatest successes/fiascos?
In 1992 we released a lot of mega-demos, 'More than Meets the Eye' got very good critics and 'Wasted Lands' won the demo competiton of the Energy-Cosmos Designs Party in Gleisdorf.
The biggest fiasco was that after our win we never achieved to do another demo, despite we had big plans and a lot of unfinished parts, which still would look great. We initially wanted to dedicate a demo to the late Charlie/Varsity who died in a car crash on his way to the Easter Party in 1993.
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?
We always had very good contact to Accuracy, especially to Frib/Acy and to Charlie/Varsity (former Empire Software, Lazer and Depredators).
Have you attended parties? Tell us about your favourite conferences? You can even mention some fiascos.
The only party I attended was the Energy-Cosmos Designs Party '92 in Gleisdorf were we won the demo compo with 'Wasted Lands'. Due to the fact that only a relative small number of people attended the party, we received a T-Shirt as No 1 price and not money as promised.
If you are not a C64 scener anymore, when and why did you leave the scene?
Well, most of my pals stopped being active in the scene, I never wanted to do that and so I shifted my activities to my ftp site (ftp.giga.or.at /pub/c64), and to the GO64!-magazine. So I am still active the rest of T'Pau isn't...
What were your favourite groups/artists/coders/productions? Why do/did you like their work/these programs?
I like Dutch Breeze/Blackmail, it has some kind of flair wich no other demo has. I also like Radio Napalm/Reflex, this demo is the only one which really followes the basic idea of Trackmos.
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?
In the moment (1997) I am in the army and still studying chemistry at the university of Vienna. Beside that I am working as editor and layout designer for GO64! magazine. Since I am designing the mag you may find parallels to what I did in scene (graphician). Anyhow we are trying hard to establish the magazine, another thing which I also did with T'Pau.
How did your attitude towards computers change during the years?
Internet is the future. It makes life so much easier and makes barriers dissappear. That is the only real thing which changed throughout the years, of course computers got faster, but that's not the point.
What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing? What is/are your hobby(ies)?
In the moment I almost have no spare time, if I find some, I dedicate it to my girlfriend, that's clear.
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?
Oh, yes, I have such moments. In those moments I try to share my memories with friends from the scene, especially with members of T'Pau. We always have much fun then. I also load old demos or old T'Pau productions and read all the old disknotes and try to remember how I felt when I wrote or read them for the very first time.
What are your plans for the near/far future?
Finishing the study, start working. I also want to establish GO64! with thousands of subscribers.
What is your goal in life? What would you like to achieve?
Change the world somehow, I did this in scene, I am doing this with GO64! and I will continue doing this in the future. It doesn't have to a big part, but if someone in 100 years studies computer history or my timeline in general, I want to make sure, that he may find something from me as well.