Tag Archives: disk covers

tuerks

Tuerk’s Cracker Incorporation

There’s one artifact in our anonymous contributor’s collection which is so unusual that it’s worth dedicating a single post to. On first sight, it’s rather inconspicuous: a 5,25″ C64 disk sleeve from 1987, looking like many others. In fact, while browsing through a disk box, one could mistake it for a random commercial software sleeve – there are no fancy stickers, no scribbling, no graffiti sketches or anything else that normally makes a scene disk cover stand out. However, the inscription, TUERK’S CRACKER INCORPORATION, immediately reveals the sleeve’s subcultural origins. And makes it intriguing in several aspects.

First of all, unlike the overwhelming majority of scene disk covers, this sleeve is industrially produced. It’s made of thick cardboard with a shimmery bronze surface. One can only speculate how expensive it must have been to get the sleeves produced and how a cracker group could afford it. Perhaps, given that boundaries between crackers and small-scale commercial piracy in the mid-1980s were rather vague, and selling cracked games was not necessarily frowned upon, the group made more than just pocket money by providing paying customers with software. And thus they could not only afford fancy sleeves, but actually needed them: since competition on the black market was big, it was important to achieve customer retention by building trust. And trust could be achieved by disk sleeves that looked just as slick as the commercial ones.

Secondly, the back side is particularly interesting. Handling tips for disks were a typical attribute of commercially produced disk sleeves. These, however, were apparently not just copied. The partially awkward English hints towards the fact that they must have been written by the crackers themselves – who seem to have professed quite a sentimental relationship to their magnetic media. If handled wrongly or even given “dirty looks”, the disks might “become offended”, or even worse, suffer “amnesia or madness”. Obviously there’s quite some humour in these lines, but given the prices for good floppy disks in the mid-1980s, a more-than-careful attitude towards floppies is not completely off the hook.

There is not much known about Tuerk’s Cracker Incorporation (TCI). According to CSDb, the group was based in Germany and produced a number of cracks between 1984 and 1986. A search for “tuerk” on scrolltexts.com reveals that TCI were not mere “local lamers” – they were embedded into the (inter)national cracking circuit and were greeted by major groups such as Alpha Flight and Future Projects. TCI’s most likely founder was a swapper going by the name of The Tuerk. According to CSDb, he was a Turkish guy called Tural, hailing from Izmir but living in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Migrants in the early German cracking scene were not completely unheard of, but they were still rather rare. Home computers were a predominantly middle-class commodity, out of reach for children of migrant labourers. 1980s sociological studies on teenage home computer users in Germany point out the very low percentage of migrant children amongst “computer kids”. How did Tural come to call a C64 his own? How did he get into the scene? What was his standing within this predominantly white, middle-class community? We don’t know, but we would be keen to find out. If you know more about Tuerk’s Cracking Incorporation, were a member, or even are The Tuerk himself, please get in touch.

High-quality scans of the sleeve, complete with metadata, can be downloaded here.

PS: After this post went online, Sim/ex-Razor 1911 suggested in a comment on social networks that the strange wording in the disk handling tips may stem from direkt word-for-word translation from Turkish to English.

ladung12

RX7 Collection – C64 Disk Covers

An old Dutch C64 scene member, RX7 of Irresistible Trading Company (ITC), has provided us with scans of C64 disk covers from the late 1980s, drawn by himself and fellow Dutch sceners. This batch of artefacts is particularly interesting. Firstly, these groups, who seem to have operated on a local and regional level only, are largely unknown. Half of them did not leave any digital traces in nowadays’ scene archives, thus these covers are the only material proof of their existence. Secondly, the covers drawn by RX7 himself for his group, ITC, are not photocopies, but master covers which were used to produce b/w copies in order to swap them at copyparties and use them with disks for mailswapping. Master covers from the 1980s are hardly to be found anywhere on the internet, so we’re particularly glad about this contribution.

• C.A.M.P. disk cover by ADPC (1989) [link]
• Falcon disk cover by ? (1989) [link]
• 3 Fire-Eagle disk covery by ? (late 1980s) [link1] [link2] [link3]
• Future Force 7003 disk cover by ADPC (1989) [link]
• Future Force 7003 disk cover by RX7 (1989) [link]
• 11 Irresistable Trading Company master disk covers by RX7 (1989) [link1] [link2] [link3] [link4] [link5] [link6] [link7] [link8] [link9] [link10] [link11]
• Irresistable Trading Company disk cover by ADPC (1989) [link]
• The Wizards disk cover by The Saboteur (1989) [link]

ladung8

Exult’s C64 Disk Cover Collection – Part 2

And we continue with the amazing world of C64 disk covers, presenting the remaining part of Exult‘s collection. This batch features mostly artworks by The Elegance and Exult himself, both amazing disk cover artists with strong graffiti leanings. Enjoy!

• Acrise disk cover (“…panic in your eyes”) by Exult, 1992 [link]
• Acrise disk cover (pirate flag) by Exult, 1992 [link]
• Acrise disk cover by The Elegance, 1992 [link]
• Artlace of Acrise disk cover by Exult, 1992 [link]
• Bassline disk cover by Exult, 1992 [link]
• Code 18 disk cover by S. Martin [link]
• D’Arc of Topaz Beerline disk cover by HTD [link]
• Depredators disk cover by The Elegance, 1991 [link]
• Disk cover by Extreme/X-Large [link]
• Disk cover by Sebastian Krüger [link]
• Exult of Acrise disk cover by Exult, 1992 [link]
• Faces disk cover by Greg, 1991 [link]
• “Genetic Dreams” (Trinomic) disk cover by Exult, 1992 [link]
• Giants disk cover by Exult [link]
• Milestone disk cover by Exult, 1992 [link]
• Rebels disk cover by The Elegance, 1991 [link]
• “Sethos” (Acrise) disk cover by Exult, 1991 [link]
• TBB of Presence disk cover by Exult, 1992 [link]
• Triad disk cover by The Elegance [link]
• Vision disk cover by The Elegance, 1991 [link]
• WOW disk cover by The Elegance, 1992 [link]

ladung7

Exult’s C64 Disk Cover Collection – Part 1

Disk covers are a scene artform of its own. The flat 5.25″ disks used with the Commodore 64 could be stored in paper sleeves, and scene graphics artists did their best to give the releases they cracked, spread or created the most eye-catching packaging. Disk covers were mostly not one-offs – they were multiplied through photocopying and used by groups and individuals in their swapping activities. While covers were mostly done for groups and individuals, sometimes a particular release such as a demo got its own disk cover.

We are very happy to feature here the disk cover collection of Exult/Acrise, once a noted disk cover painter himself. Here is a selection of stunning disk covers from the early 1990s, with still more to come.

• “Acrise” disk cover by Merlin, early 1990s [link]
• “Aslive” disk cover by Exult, 1992 [link]
• “Brego of Triad” disk cover by Electric, 1991 [link]
• “Crazy Igor” disk cover by Exult, early 1990s [link]
• “Depredators” disk cover by Design, 1991 [link]
• “Excess” one year anniversary disk cover by Cat, 1992 [link]
• “Flash Inc.” disk cover by Design, 1991 [link]
• Disk cover for the demo “Graveyard Blues” (Topaz Beerline) by HTD, 1991 [link]
• “Hitmen” disk cover by Thunder, early 1990s [link]
• “Light” disk cover by Design, 1991 [link]
• Disk cover for the demo “More Than Meets The Eye” (T’Pau) by Mr. Spock, 1992 [link]
• “Parados” disk cover by unknown artist, early 1990s [link]
• “Sunrise” disk cover by unknown artist, early 1990s [link]
• Disk cover for the demo “Tendance” (Powers of Pain) by Bambam, 1991 [link]
• “X-Factor” disk cover by Brady, 1990 [link]

PS: Shortly after this post went online, Brush/Parados got in touch and told us that the Parados cover was made by M.A.T. – a graphics artist who was not really a scene member but did several graphics works for the groups. Thanks a lot, Brush!

PS2: In yet another reaction to this post, Twoflower/Triad provided us with a clean version of the “Brego” cover by Electric. It turns out that the block letters “DISTRIBUTED BY… MEGASPREADING BY…” were added by Brego himself over the original artwork. Thanks a lot for providing an unamended version! Many more disk covers are in the pipeline.