Tag Archives: swapletters


Honey/1001 Collection Pt. 5 – Letters from Thor & Zeus

We start the new year with another instalment of the Honey/1001 Crew letter collection – namely the letters he received from the British cracking duo Thor & Zeus of Teesside Cracking Service (TCS). TCS was an established C64 group, known and respected well beyond the UK. Coders and crackers Thor & Zeus were known and cherished by their swapping partners for their long and friendly letters. Thus, it’s a real pleasure for us to being able to put some of them online. Stemming from between 1987 and 1988, the correspondence is a treasure trove: not only regarding information on the European C64 elite of that time, but also when it comes to the development both Honey and Thor&Zeus went through during that time – from crackers to professional game developers, while still remaining in touch with the scene.

More letters from the TCS duo, namely those sent to the German C64 group The Movers, will go online soon. For now, enjoy these letters to Honey in the gallery below. If you want high-resolution scans and metadata, go to the archive page and scroll down to “thor…”.


Arny’s Letters, Pt. 2

After bringing you the first batch of Arny‘s letters a while ago, here is part two. Arny, also known as Icon, is a C64 scener from Austria, active in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a graphics artist and swapper in the groups TSK, Cosmos, and the latter’s game development spin-off Cosmos Designs. This update features letters he received while being active in Cosmos, and span from 1988 to 1990. Arny maintained a broad network of contacts, ranging from Hungary to Finland. This rather large update, the images of which you can view in the gallery at the bottom of this post, includes letters from:

• Cancer/Mode 2 (Denmark), 12.7.1989 [scans&metadata]
• Crazy Banana/Lazer (Austria), 1989 [scans&metadata]
• Critter/Knickers (Sweden), 1989 [scans&metadata]
• Dio/Helloween (Austria), 1989 [scans&metadata]
• Entrail/Coolex^Shockwave (Norway), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2, 3, 4]
• Exiz/2000 A.D. (Denmark), 1989 [scans&metadata]
• Flash/Array^The Crush Crew (Netherlands), 1988-1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2]
• Glerc/Science 451 (Sweden), 1989 [scans&metadata]
• Grayhawk/Fairlight (Sweden), 28.9.1989 [scans&metadata]
• Hazor/Beyond Force (Finland), 1989 [scans&metadata]
• Hitcher/Helloween (Austria), 1988 [scans&metadata]
• I-Man/Vision^The Zero Boys (Sweden), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2]
• Marfiosi/Baboons a.k.a. Spike/2000 A.D. (Denmark),
1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]
• Mason/Unicess (Denmark), 1989 [scans&metadata]
• Mastermind/Soldiers (Hungary), 21.2.1990 [scans&metadata]
• Max/Browbeat (Finland), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2]
• Mik/Pulsar (United Kingdom), 1988-1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2, 3, 4]
• Mr. Smart/Contex (Denmark), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2, 3, 4]
• Mr.Alpha/Dynamic Projects (Austria), late 1980s [scans&metadata]
• Mr.Wax/FBI Crew (Hungary), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2]
• Orc/Black Mail (Netherlands), 1989-1990 [scans&metadata: 1, 2]
• Peter/Crazy (Germany), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2, 3]
• Razor/Oneway^Raw Deal Inc. (Sweden), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]
• RT/Jukebox^Fairlight (Sweden), 1988-1990 [scans&metadata: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
• Sentinel/Zargon (Denmark), 1988 [scans&metadata]
• Servant/Byterapers^Contex (Finland), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2]
• Simex/Noise (Sweden), 19.7.1989 [scans&metadata]
• Spacie/Oneway (Sweden), 14.8.1989 [scans&metadata]
• Stanz/Dominators (Sweden), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2]
• Walter/711 (Germany), circular letter, 1988 [scans&metadata]
• Warbird/Cheyens (Denmark), 1989 [scans&metadata: 1, 2, 3]
• Wido/6th Sense (Netherlands), 1989 [scans&metadata]


TMA’s Papers

“Sorry about these delayed wares” – and the month-long silence. Here are scans of some documents provided by TMA/Abyss Connection, a German C64 scener who is still active in the demoscene and started his C64 career in the late 1980s, being member of Lazer, Tristar and some other groups of the time. Today’s batch includes:

Letters from the following people:
• Akira/TRC (Netherlands), 21 May 1990 [scan/metadata]
• Beast (Denmark), date unknown [scan/metadata]
• Craig/Lazer (Germany), ~1989 [scan/metadata]
• Craig/Lazer (Germany), ~1989 [scan/metadata]
• Flash Games/Vision (Germany), 24 January 1990 [scan/metadata]
• Flimbo/Paramount (Netherlands), ~1990 [scan/metadata]
• Madman/Tristar (Germany), ~1990 [scan/metadata]
• Madman/Tristar (Germany), ~1990 [scan/metadata]
• The Edge/Lazer (Austria), ~1989 [scan/metadata]
• The Edge/Lazer (Austria), ~1990 [scan/metadata]

Votesheets for the following magazines:
• Bitmania [scan/metadata]
• Magnetic Media [scan/metadata]
• Milestone [scan/metadata]
• Nitro [scan/metadata]
• Outbreak [scan/metadata]

…and a paper invitation for the (apparently cancelled) Vagabonds & Abyss Connection Party 1992 [scan/metadata]


Amiga Letters Worldwide

Another addition to our growing archive of swapletters: Jugger of Panic, a well-known early 1990s Amiga pack editor and swapper from Germany, gave us his letters! Here is a first batch with 15 letters from all over the world, from Iceland to South Africa and Paraguay (!). More to come! For now, here are letters from:

• Agnus/JTU (Germany), early 1990s [scan/metadata]
• Chester/Brainstorm (Switzerland), October 1990 [scan/metadata]
• Ciclant/Freelance (South Africa), early 1990s [scan/metadata]
• Cyclone/Questor (Belgium), 15 January 1991 [scan/metadata]
• Cyclone/Questor (Belgium), 31 January 1991 [scan/metadata]
• ICE/Sanity (Germany), 1991 [scan/metadata]
• José M. (Paraguay), early 1990s [scan/metadata]
• Khadaffi/TML (Netherlands), 1990 [scan/metadata]
• Mr Nice Guy/Artemis (Iceland), early 1990s [scan/metadata]
• SOS/Armageddon (Germany), 15 April 1991 [scan/metadata]
• SWAT/Bronx (Turkey), early 1990s [scan/metadata]
• Wild Rage/Grace (Austria), February 1991 [scan/metadata]
• Wild Rage/Grace (Austria), February 1991 [scan/metadata]
• Zibe/Darkside (Finland), 1990 [scan/metadata]
• Zorlac/Fairlight (UK), 1991 [scan/metadata]


Arny’s Letters

Today, we are happy to present to you the first batch of a new letter collection that was provided to us by C64 scener Arny from Austria, active in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a graphics artist in the group Cosmos as well as its game development spin-off Cosmos Designs. We begin with the letters from the time when he was member of the Austrian group The Softkiller-Crew (TSK) back in 1988. With these scans, we are happy to welcome Anna Baumann, student research assistant at the Department of History, University of Zurich, into our project. Thanks to her, the paper materials are going to be digitised much quicker.

Following letters are included into today’s batch:

Amiga Boy/UNIC (Belgium) to Arny, 1980s [scan&metadata]
• Apollo-1/TAT (Austria) to Arny, 20 June 1988 [scan&metadata]
• Apollo-1/TAT (Austria) to Arny, 26 June 1988 [scan&metadata]
• Flash/Taxi (The Netherlands) to Arny, 1988 [scan&metadata]
• Gambler/VGG (Germany) to Arny, 1988 [scan&metadata]
• OLS/TGC (?) to Arny, 1980s [scan&metadata]
• Storm & Atron (Austria) to Arny, 13 July 1988 [scan&metadata]
• T.C./TWP (Austria) to Arny, 1988 [scan&metadata]
• TSH/ICS (Austria?) to Arny, 1988 [scan&metadata]
• Umberto (Italy) to Arny, 1988 [scan&metadata]
• Waltsi/TNI (Austria) to Arny, 24 July 1988 [scan&metadata]
• Waltsi/TNI (Austria) to Arny, 1988 [scan&metadata]


Honey/1001 Collection Pt. 4 – Letters from Mr. Z

We’re back from a long hiatus – with some spectacular material! In another instalment of scans from the archive of legendary Dutch C64 coder Honey of the 1001 Crew, we present you with letters that were written to him by a equally legendary scene protagonist: Mr. Z, the founder of the famous Swedish C64 cracking group Triad. Written throughout the year of 1987, these eight long letters are a treasure trove in various aspects. If you are a veteran cracker yourself, or simply someone who is interested in copy protection, you will enjoy reading a top cracker discussing protection methods and their circumvention – especially since in one of the later letters, Mr. Z offers to write the copy protection for Honey’s first commercial game. And this is another aspect of interest for those who are into home computing and scene history: Here, we can observe a generation of elite sceners making their first steps from the subculture into the industry – while still being basically schoolkids, discussing sophisticated code and their first business deals alongside the latest pranks and scene gossip. Finally, the letters document Mr. Z’s pullout from Triad and from the scene altogether – with school and “real life” taking hold over someone whose group was adored by tens of thousands computer kids worldwide.

Read these fascinating letters in the gallery below, or download the high quality scans complete with metadata sheets (which also document the scavenger hunt we had to undertake to provide date estimates for these almost completely undated documents) under the following links: April 1987 // April 1987 (2) // late May 1987 // late June 1987 // 30 July 1987 // August 1987 // September-October 1987 // November-December 1987


1980s Mail-Swapping Envelopes

We’re back with some materials that remind you of the materiality of “warez trading” in the 1980s. In these envelopes from The Movers‘ collection, floppy disks with the newest C64 and Amiga cracks and demos travelled around Europe between 1986 and 1988. Most people reused them and ultimately threw them away, but luckily these guys didn’t. There’s a whole box of them in our office now, and here’s just a small selection – featuring sendings from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland. As usual, you can download the high quality scans and metadata from the archive, or view the pictures in the gallery below.


Thorion Collection Pt. 1 – The Average Guys

In previous updates, we treated you to letters from the scene‘s top protagonists. But what about the countless average guys whom these “elites” would usually have considered “lamers”, but who were, in fact, the backbone of the formers’ popularity – by spreading their products and making their names “big” in the first place? The voices of these bystanders and “rank and file” sceners are a blank spot in scene preservation, as they often left no traces in terms of releases. Luckily, with the letter collection of Thorion (a.k.a. Thomas or Smily), we can make a step towards closing this gap. In the letters exchange between him and his Amiga penpals around 1990, one gets a glimpse of teenage computer fans swapping PD software and demos (and the occasional “Raubi”, as in “pirate copy”), following the developments of the scene, teaching each other scene-related skills, and occasionally making it to the ranks of the “elites” (like Thorion himself, who would do a brief stunt as graphics artist in TRSI in 1992 before quitting the Amiga world altogether).

You can download the scans of these 32 (German-language) letters, complete with metadata, here – or view them in the gallery below.

And as a bonus, the collection includes a document from a different fringe of the scene – namely pirate groups who would branch out into the “real” shadow economy, selling software and hardware for hard cash. The detailed advert from the Amiga group Vision Factory, offering all sorts of illicit computer products, can be downloaded here. According to a long-time VF member, this operation was maintained by two members from Northern Germany, without any coordination with the group leadership (and without sharing any of the profits)…


The Movers Collection Pt. 4

After a break, we can present you another instalment of the vast New Balance Bochum / The Movers collection. This time it’s not just letters, but also party invitations, stickers, and other artefacts from the European 1980s C64 / Amiga cracking scene. There are highly interesting materials among these papers, such as shopping lists for originals in London; a contemporary memberlist of Elite (which was kept secret at the time); an early circular letter from Fairlight; Venlo party tickets; and much more… You can find detailed information on many of the documents, including details provided by Skylab, in the metadata sheets.

• Letter from Digital Marketing to betatesters of COP SHOCKER, 30 Jan 1989 [scan/metadata]
• Address sticker by Executor/Damage Inc., ~1987 [scan/metadata]
• Circular letter from Fairlight to all Amiga contacts, 1988 [scan/metadata]
• Letter (draft) from General Zoff/Elite (Germany) to Thor & Zeus/Teesside Cracking Service (UK), 1989 [scan/metadata]
• Holly/FAME disk cover, 1980s [scan/metadata]
• Letter from Laffen/Raw Deal Inc. (Norway) to Skylab/The Movers (Germany), 1987 [scan/metadata]
• List of London software shops, compiled by Skylab, ~1986 [scan/metadata]
• The Movers and the Stormtrooper Atari sticker sheet, 1987 [scan/metadata]
• Newsroom disk, 1980s [scan/metadata]
• Scouse Cracking Group disk protection cardboard, 1980s [scan/metadata]
• The Organized Crime Copyparty 1987 invitation [scan/metadata]
• The Orgasmatron Crew sticker sheet, 1987 [scan/metadata]
• Triad & Fairlight Copyparty 1987 invitation [scan/metadata]
• Venlo Party April 1989 ticket [scan/metadata]
• Venlo Party December 1991 ticket [scan/metadata]
• Letter from Zeke Wolf/Triad (Sweden) to Skylab/The Movers (Germany), 1987 [scan/metadata]


Honey/1001 Collection Pt. 3

Finally, here is part 3 from the vast collection of letters kindly given to us by Honey of 1001 Crew. They stem from 1986-1988, the heyday of C64 the cracking scene, and among the authors you can find prominent figures such as Weetibix/Scouse Cracking Group and Ixion/Triad. The letters allow a glimpse into the inner workings of the international C64 cracking circuit, full of high passion about greeting lists, flame wars, stolen trade secrets, and, last not least, friendship across borders. Enjoy, and expect more very soon!

• Dirk/D.S. Compware (Germany) to Honey, ~1986-1987 [scan&metadata]
• Ixion/Triad (Sweden) to Honey, March 1987 [scan&metadata]
• Ixion/Triad (Sweden) to Honey, 1987 [scan&metadata]
• Jaws/Boys Without Brains (Netherlands) to Honey, October 1986 [scan&metadata]
• Jaws/Boys Without Brains (Netherlands) to Honey, 1986 [scan&metadata]
• Player =1=/Bencor Bros. (USA) to all contacts, 1986 [scan&metadata]
• Player =1=/Bencor Bros. (USA) to Honey, 1986 [scan&metadata]
• Player =1=/Bencor Bros. (USA) to Honey, 10 September 1987 [scan&metadata]
• Player =1=/Bencor Bros. (USA) to Honey, 1987 [scan&metadata]
• Raphael/D.S. Compware (Germany) to Honey, ~1986-1987 [scan&metadata]
• Weetibix/Scouse Cracking Group (UK) to Honey, 27 April 1987 [scan&metadata]
• Weetibix/Scouse Cracking Group (UK) to Honey, 1987 [scan&metadata]
• Weetibix/Scouse Cracking Group (UK) to Honey, 1988 [scan&metadata]