Interview with (Petri Kiukkonen) Destino of Origo
What is your alias? If you find the story interesting, then let us know how you came up with it?
My alias is Destino. I picked it completely randomly and only later found out about its meaning in Spanish. (Random fact #137: A long time ago the Disney studios were actually making a film called Destino, and Salvador Dali was supposed to be one of the main creators of it. Sadly the movie never became reality.)
Have you changed handles? If so, give us the reason(s) and your previous nickname(s)!
I used one other handle before changing into Destino back in 1988 or so, but I bet no-one remembers what that was and prefer not telling it. I changed my handle simply because I grew tired with the old one.
When and where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born on April 24th in Vantaa, Finland. Nowadays I live in Tampere, Finland. (Very nice town, by the by.)
When did you get your first computer and which computers do/did you own? When did you get your C64?
My 1st computer was C64, but I don't remember when I got that. Then I had C128D, Amiga500, and now I have PC.
How did you get to know the scene? Who was your first contact (person you knew) on the scene?
A friend of mine (HJJR) was doing some swapping on C64 and I became aware of the scene when visiting him, although he wasn't a member of any group himself. (At that time there were not many groups in Finland, at least famous ones, and it was quite common that people were not in any group. Of the people any of you might have heard of for example Conan (later member of Stack) was already active, but not in any group.) However, it was only couple of years later when I actually formed a group and became involved in the scene myself.
Also Hazor (at that time with another handle, ask him what it was if interested :-) was starting his 1st group at about the same time, and is definitely one of the first scene people I knew (I had known him for years before either of us became involved in the scene), but we were more competing than cooperating in the early days.
My first contacts were some Finnish swappers, most of whom had no group and often not even a title. I can't recall my first contact, but few of the early ones were MJM-S (who later was a founder member of Browbeat, I don't remember what title he used later on) and Solomon, who was in HTG at the time (and become the coder genius of Beyond Force later on, as everyone should know :-).
My first more famous foreign contact was Maduplec, who was in Sidewize at the time, but sadly I lost his address soon after the first sending and haven't been in contact with him since. (I still feel a bit ashamed for my inactivity in that case. :-( )
Describe your scene career, including all groups you have been a member of! Keep chronological order please!
I have never been a member of a group that I have not been a founder member of, and I must confess I feel stupidly proud for that fact.
I started my scene career as an independent swapper. After a year or so I founded Division of Power together with Crony (his handle was TPR before he changed it into Crony, but I'm not sure if he was using some other handle at that time). Later the name of the group was changed into Division, and at that time at least Mixer (then using the handle Wild Finn) and Scapegoat had joined in. (This was years before the Norwegian group called Division was founded...)
Then the group was renamed as Albion (again years before the Polish group with the same name was formed...) and at this point the group was at its largest; all the future Origo members were in it, as well as some of the future Topaz members and some who left the C64 scene after the group split up. (Albion was a member of Lazer and Byterapers Inc. for a short while, so technically I've been a member of those groups also. However I have never considered myself as a real member of those groups, as we joined them as a group and not as individuals.)
After Albion broke up, some of its ex-members formed Brains, and a couple of months later Crony and I joined in and Origo was founded.
Which scene do/did you consider best and why? If you have been only on the C64, then give us the reason(s)!
I consider C64 scene the best, because I had the most fun in it. I never got really involved in the Amiga scene, although I did some swapping and even founded a group called Elysion together with some other Origo members and some members from Amiga groups (Amaze, Midnight Sun). That group had great potential but we never managed to get a demo released, and eventually everybody slipped into inactivity.
What do you think you gained by being a member of the scene?
Friends, some English skills, a lot of experience in all kind of computing and organizing, ability to sleep in all kind of conditions.
What do you consider lost, wasted or meaningless during the years you have spent on the scene?
I have absolutely no regrets.
What is/are/was/were your main interest(s)/function(s)?
I was mainly a trader, but also some kind of organizator. I also did some gfx on C64 and music on Amiga, but those I did for my own amusement more than anything else, and actually only very few of my gfx and none of my musics have been released in any form.
What made you start doing graphics/composing/swapping/coding/modem trading organising or whatever you did?
Reason for my "career choice" was very simple: we had truly talented people, but somebody had to do the organizing and trading also. :-)
Well, actually I started swapping because I liked to write and read letters and get wares, and that was my main motivator all through my scene career, although later on also spreading our wares became an important issue.
Organizing, however, was not something I chose to do, although it was not a real duty but more likely calling people up every now and then in order to find out what they were doing and trying to coordinate what would happen, which almost never worked out as planned. Luckily Origo and its predecessor groups were quite active and very democratic, so there was never a need for a leader in the group. I think having a leader wouldn't have worked at all because the group had so many strong personalities.
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?
Origo has a very special friendship with Beyond Force; we still arrange mutual meetings and have released quite a few co-operate productions (although only one of them was a major demo, namely "Poor/Biascrusher" which was released at Dominators/Upfront/etc. party in Denmark on X-mas 1989).
I have had the pleasure of knowing several very special persons in the C64 scene, but sadly I have lost contact with most of them after I stopped my C64 activities. If I have to pick one very special friend, that would be Goldrush of Crest. We wrote probably the longest letters in the entire C64 scene, and hopefully will continue being in touch in the years to come as well, even though neither of us is active on the C64 anymore. Too bad my writing tempo is also probably the slowest in the entire C64 scene; I don't have the face to reveal how ridiculously long I've been writing the latest letter which is still far from ready.
Have you attended parties? Tell us about your favourite conferences? You can even mention some fiascos.
I have attended the Dominators etc. X-mas party (in Denmark) '89, HZ Easter party (in Sweden) in '90 and '91, and Assembly party (in Finland) in '93, '94 and '95. After 1995 I stopped going to the Assembly parties because of the ridiculously high entrance fees, and don't plan to attend another scene party in the future unless someone organizes a huge get-together for the old C64 sceners.
None of the parties I have attended were failures, but the worst party of the ones I've been in was HZ'91 where the groups were placed in separate class rooms and that lead to the absence of real party athmosphere. Also we had some troubles trying to keep our most short-lived member from getting forever lost in the suburbs of Stockholm during that party.
Also the trip to the Danish party in 1989 was very... unforgettable. Due to some mistakes in planning (I didn't organize that trip ;-) we had negative amount of time to catch a ferry at Denmark, and due to that we missed our flights from Sweden to Finland, and due to that we had to be really resourceful to get back to Finland as we all were quite penniless. But it was actually just fun, at least when looking back at it now...
Is/was there any special feeling in your crew, something more than just being in a group?
Definitely. All Origo members were good friends, and most of us still keep in touch with each other every now and then. BX, Mixer, Zardax and myself met last on August '97 at Beyond Force & Origo meeting.
If you are not a C64 scener anymore, when and why did you leave the scene?
I slowly slipped into inactivity during 1992 due to breakdown of my hardware, and stopped completely in 1993 when my military service started.
What were your favourite groups/artists/coders/productions? Why do/did you like their work/these programs?
Sorry to say, but I cannot answer this question as the list would get too long and would be incomplete anyway.
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 am currently studying to become a translator (English-Finnish-English), and my special field is computer oriented texts. I also study computer science and hypermedia. I work as a freelance translator and do some hypermedia projects, e.g., web pages.
All the scene experience has helped me a lot in my studies; I had to learn English in order to communicate with people from all around the globe in the scene, and all kind of experience with computers has been a great basis for further studies.
How did your attitude towards computers change during the years?
It really didn't. I was interested in them in the beginning and still am.
What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing? What is/are your hobby(ies)?
I like sports (floorball, basketball, football, ice-hockey, pesäpallo (Finnish version of baseball)... you name it), reading, writing, playing all sorts of games, creating all sorts of stuff with my computer, watching movies, listening to music, just hanging out with friends... Now if I only HAD spare time. :-)
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?
Sometimes. Then I just cry for many hours and sacrifice a herd of cute little mammals in front of my C64 altar in order to revert the course of time.
What are your plans for the near/far future?
I will graduate but have no particular rush with it. After that, I have no plans. Plans are futile, life is not predictable.
What is your goal in life? What would you like to achieve?
I am not exactly the kind of person you could call fanatically ambitious. As long as I am happy my life is good, and that's all I aim at.