Monthly Archives: February 2016


Introducing the Honey/1001 Collection

The launch of The Movers’ letter collection turned out to be a sort of honey pot for old sceners. Several 1980s veterans got in touch and promised to scan their old letters, too. The most amazing contribution so far came from Joost Honig a.k.a. Honey of 1001 Crew, who sent us over 1 GB worth of scans from his personal archive. Honey, active on the C64 since 1983, is a scene legend, and 1001 Crew (also known as “1001 & The Cracking Crew”) stood at the very roots of the demoscene. 1001 was not just about cracking games: Together with his groupmates, Honey was responsible for some of the crucial technical breakthroughs in C64 programming, such as sideborder and no-border sprites as early as 1986 – achievements recognised in contemporary commercial computer press as well as in recent literature 1 -, and the famous 1001 Card Cruncher in 1987. A detailed recent interview with Honey can be found here. The letters shed light onto a lesser-known realm of 1001 Crew’s activity – namely their transnational communication networks. Through their archive, one can slowly see 1001 moving from cracking games to making intros, demos and eventually (ironically) games.


Honey of 1001 Crew, 1986

The first batch of letters presented here today stems from the “mixed” folder – letters from random sceners literally from all over the world trying to get in touch with the famous cracker – some with, some without success. (And those who succeeded establishing contact, couldn’t believe their luck: “Have you got any pictures of you or other members of 1001 crew? […] My friend whom I told you had answered my letters didn’t believe”, wrote one of Honey’s happy new penpals.) Honey jokingly characterised this genre as “begging letters”, and, indeed, most of the authors were begging the recepient for different favours: fresh games, the group’s latest demos, the famous 1001 Crew stickers, or, more generally, establishing a steady swapping relationship. One Finnish scener even sent Honey a long questionnaire (to which he never replied), apparently to use it for an article on the scene commissioned by the Finnish commercial computer magazine BITTI.

But the most wanted thing was, of course, the Card Cruncher. Working with an external cartridge, it was a powerful file compressor – a master weapon in the race for the smallest crack. As Honey recalls: “Having a smaller sized crack of a game than the competition stood for quality. First of all it meant you had a ‘clean’ crack, with no unnecessary bytes in the file. Making that even smaller with your own written packer made an even bigger impact, just like an impressive intro.” 2 The Card Cruncher was even more legendary as it was a strictly internal tool. Apart from the 1001 Crew, only a selected few group and individuals, such as Dynamic-Duo and Fax of New Stars, were entrusted with using it. So it is no wonder that many of the letter authors tried their luck to get his hands on it: “Please could you also send me your card cruncher software”; “please send me the compressor of the Dynamic-Duo we have talked about”; “I am after a really cool cruncher! Do you have one?” Naturally, Honey didn’t give in to any of these requests. However, the Card Cruncher leaked into the scene eventually: “It was stolen and spread by some Dutch guys. They visited one of our members, and when he was out of the room making tea, they loaded a disc with a program that saved the contents of the catridge.” 3

Enjoy this fascinating glimpse into the early C64 scene, and keep in mind that this is just a tiny portion of the 1001 archive. Today’s batch features letters from:

• Aaron (country unknown), 17 June 1987 [metadata]
• Beast/Defjam^Shield (Sweden), 14 February 1987 [metadata] and ~1987-1988 [metadata]
• Carsten (Denmark), 17 December 1986 [metadata]
• Electro’39/Electronic Cracking Crew (Germany), ~1986-1987 [metadata]
• E$G/Italian Bad Boys (Italy), 25 August 1987 [metadata]
• F.B.S. (Germany), 1986 [metadata]
• Griffo/Binary Code Smashers (UK), ~1986-1987 [metadata]
• Jab/The Shadows (Norway), 6 September 1987 [metadata]
• Judge Death/2000 A.D. (country unknown), 1987 [metadata]
• Lauri (Finland), 14 November 1987 [metadata]
• Lloyd/The Austrian Union (Austria), ~1987-1988 [metadata]
• Microman/FBR (USA), 12 February 1987 [metadata]
• Øyvind (Norway), 4 October 1986 [metadata]
• Peter (New Zealand), 23 January 1988 [metadata]
• The Cousin/Soldiers Against Protection (Germany), ~1987-1988 [metadata]
• The Jester/Cleveland Software Society (UK), ~1987 [metadata]
• The Spider (Finland), 6 September 1987 [metadata]

(NB: If the scans in the gallery below are too small for you, you can download the high-resolution versions at the “metadata” links above.)


  1. Tristan Donovan. Replay: The History of Video Games (East Sussex: Yellow Ant, 2010), 133; Daniel Botz. Kunst, Code und Maschine. Die Ästhetik der Computer-Demoszene (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011), 64-68.
  2. Mail from Honey/1001, 24 February 2015.
  3. Ibid.

Mixed Demoscene Stuff

Here is a mixed bag of demoscene objects, provided by Ile/Aardbei and iks/Titan. There is some unusual and remarkable stuff among these, such as a whole pile of Scene Event 2001 organiser badges, or the actual disk of a PC musicdisk. Enjoy!

Bronx BBS sticker, 2005 [metadata]
Maximum Overdose 2006 sticker [metadata]
Novocaine group badge, 2001 [metadata]
Plural Bazz disk, 1999 [metadata]
Saturne 2005 invitation [metadata]
Scene Event 2001 organiser badges [metadata]
SF2K 2001 wristband [metadata]
Summer Encounter 1999 badge [metadata]
The Gathering 2001 ticket [metadata]
Titan table reservation sheet, 2000s [metadata]
Tristar business card, 2006 [metadata]
• T-shirt ad, 2006 [metadata]


C64 Disk Covers from Hedning

Here we go with another contribution by Hedning/G*P: several C64 disk sleeves from the early to mid-1990s, plus a quite peculiar bonus – a chocolate wrapper produced by two C64 demo groups.

Atlantis & F4CG chocolate wrapper, 2014 [metadata]
Black Code Design disk cover by Big Boost, 1994 [metadata]
Black Duke disk cover, 1992 [metadata]
Booze Design disk cover by HCL, 1990s [metadata]
Coma Light 12 disk cover by Bizkid, 1994 [metadata]
F4CG disk cover by Flash, 1996 [metadata]
F4CG disk cover by FX, 1990s [metadata]
F4CG disk cover by Zapotek, 1995 [metadata]
Genesis Project disk cover by Tronic, 1990s [metadata]
Jazzgossen Prv. disk cover by Trident, 1997 [metadata]
Rock ‘n Role 21 disk cover by Kirk, 1996 [metadata]
Skyhigh 10 disk cover by Earthquake, 1994 [metadata]
Skyhigh 20 disk cover by Junkie, 1995 [metadata]
Triage disk cover by Chaotic, 1996 [metadata]
Visuality 3 disk cover by Mick, 1993 [metadata]
Warriors of Time disk cover by Brady, 1990 [metadata]
Wonderland 9 disk cover by Guran, 1991 [metadata]
X-Rated disk cover by The Beast, 1990s [metadata]


Dr. Science Letter Collection Pt. 2

Here is the second portion of letters received and scanned by Swiss C64 scener Dr. Science/Atlantis (see here for the first one). Stemming from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, these letters mostly deal with internal group affairs and provide an insight into how demoscene groups conducted teamwork before the age of digital communication. Of course, there is also a small “scene drama” included: see the two letters of Culture, an Norwegian Atlantis member who boldly announced to quit the group after receiving no sendings from the Swiss headquarters, and then bitterly regretted the overhasty move after receiving a letter only a few days after his first announcement…

• Culture/Atlantis (Norway) to Dr. Science, late 1991 [metadata]
• Culture to Dr. Science, 3 January 1992 [metadata]
• Dan/CFA (Switzerland) to Dr. Science, 1987-1989 [metadata]
• Dr. Science to all contacts, late 1989 – early 1990 [metadata]
• Merlin/Atlantis (Norway) to Dr. Science, early 1990s [metadata]
• Mik (Finland) to Dr. Science, 31 August 1992 [metadata]
• Omega Supreme/The Shadows (Norway) to Dr. Science, early 1990s(?) [metadata]
• Rebel/Atlantis (Poland) to Dr. Science, 1994 or later [metadata]

NB: It turned out that I forgot to enable the comment function on the blog for the whole past year. No wonder that no one left any feedback! From this post onwards, there will be a (captcha-protected) comment field. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to say about the artefacts!