Memoirs of ESI
A typical day for ESI members ran something like this...
By-tor - work security, came home maintained the BBS. Started calls to members (Mitch, Mutant X, Scorpio, Mr IBM, The Gamer, etc.) basically done through PHREAKING... if anyone does not know what that is... in short calling for free with hacked mci /sprint calling cards. Same as hacked conference call codes. Mitch worked at his parent's candy store in Philadelphia, Scorpio was married to a navy man so she was a stay home mom (2kids), lived 3 miles from me. Mutant X was a really young kid in Texas in school. Same as Mr IBM in Chicago. The Gamer was also local about 1 mile from me and was in the navy. Our main deal was just phreaking our ass off talking to sceners and talking about our releases and such, just basically having fun. Also I was always a "recreational" pot smoker and drinker (smile). Where I think Mitch was always clean to my knowledge. Same as Mutant X and Mr IBM. Scorpio was also a partier and so was The Gamer.
After all members were contacted. (At least the main ones) It was time to get plugged into the scene. Someone would start a conference and just get as many on the line???
As possible, to discuss happenings start trades or set up distributions. In our case once we had something Mitch would send it to me mainly and be included on my BBS "The Fountain of Lamneth" where the other members would get it (2 at a time had 2 lines). This was a lengthy process as old timers know. If I recall correctly it would take 45 min per floppy at 300 baud! Main thing to keep in mind Mitch has always been the core of the team, he has always been a very talented programmer. But he did not like dealing with the rest of it. That's where I came in (By-Tor). He stuck to cracking, just cracking. I would on the other end run the rest of it. Get releases out to main BBS, manage the rest of the members and assign duties. Mainly was to get releases and up them to main BBS's and getting other contacts and the packaging for releases etc.
I truly feel without someone doing these necessary things ESI would not have lasted as long. But I still credit Mitch for being the heart of ESI. I am just honoured to have been part of it. I have always been a leader so I fit in just right :). I did run a group before getting into ESI. I started and ran a group called Phun Soft Inc. Which I send a special thanks to Iceman whom lived in New York and he got me plugged into the scene and taught me the scene etiquette and got me in touch with major sceners. (Thanks Iceman!).
So what happens when you have diligently pour every fibre of your being into the scene? Reaching that exciting goal of being number 1? The biggest thrill is the chase. Once you reach that pinnacle and you have proven yourself and you are #1! And mind you stayed there for a good while... In the end it was all for fun, we were young. The thrill of it all starts to dwindle a bit. At this point the Amiga was in the horizon so for some of us spending 1200$ for the next thing was not a priority. We were after all trying to live our normal lives. It would have been awesome to have been able to LIVE that part of our lives forever. But we know it's not so. At this point each of us started following other interests (of normal life). I myself had met a new set of friends which started with Jason "Jasper". Started hanging out with him and to make it worse I fell in love with his sister. (Whom shall be un-named). Mitch kept working for a while in his parent's candy store and our chats became less and less frequent. I do not even recall how much longer he stayed in ESI after I just dropped out. Mutant X and Mr IBM continued with their schooling and since I managed the group and having brought them in. They just dropped out. Scorpio lived locally and having found out one of her talents. I still hung out with her. I found out she had a tremendous connection to getting the best Crystal Meth in San Diego! I got into it as the girl I was in love with started doing it and so I started dealing it and with that came heavy usage. The gamer had his own 'secret' talent. Even tho he was in the Navy he used to 'deal' pot. So being plugged so well into those 2 outlets. It became my new full time 'past time'. Mitch I did find out started working in a shop doing automobile audio/sound installs etc... We kept in contact off and on. Scorpio dropped out when she found out I was strung out on Crystal Meth and felt responsible for my state... It was dramatic as she just moved without a word and have never heard from her since! The Gamer I just lost contact with as I hung around my new found friends. Following the 'grateful dead' doing heavy psychedelics and tweaking to no end... (I frequently stayed up to 14 days straight!). There is light at the end of every tunnel however...
As ESI/C64 had run its course (at least for me). I would contact some of the guys every so often. Main thing is that running a successful group like ESI it's a lot of work. I mean with maintaining the BBS contacting everyone, coordinating trading and distributing... if we had high speed internet then, ESI would have lasted a lot longer. Even though I must admit it carried a lot of prestige in recognition as well as financially. I used to charge non-members for access to BBS. I was sent money, hardware etc. for access. Pretty doggone cool! I still have logs in storage of the logins and what people dloaded/uploaded as I had a log being printed out of activity on BBS. The Fountain of Lamneth started with a Commodore 64 exchange (who remembers?) I modified it to include multi file transfers as original version had single file transfer. Originally I was studying to be a programmer, but early on I found out it was too tedious for me and switched to working with hardware instead. Never had the raw talent Mitch has with programming :>. Eventually I switched to C-Net BBS and upgraded to a Prometheus modem at 1200 baud! At that point that modem cost 1200$!!!! But it was carded from me by The Warlock (never in ESI) but I used to give him access and software for various things he would card for me every so often. He was a young kid without anything else to give but he was good at 'carding' stuff ...So eventually I came to the worst decision of my life. I had lost contact with Mitch completely, continued to drinking, smoking, tweaking, taking mushrooms, acid, doing coke regularly... I was a spun DUCK!
Bottom line, I decided to get rid of all my floppies and my C64 equipment! Only thing I got left is some old BBS logs and a 1650 modem! That baby has a lot of history behind it! It is the original modem that was used to transfer countless ESI releases. I really wish I'd kept all my stuff. I had 2 sfd1001 drives, 1 1541 and 1 1571 drives. I wish I had kept all that stuff. It be priceless about now :). Well around the age of 25 I finally came clean after getting drunk as hell and crashing my 3 month old car. All started with my friend Jason yelling at me in front of all our friends telling me his sister did not love me and to stop pestering her. (Of course I knew that but hey, love and drugs are crazy hehe). That was like in 1988. Then came years of sobriety as God was merciful to me. Eventually I would find Mitch and come back to computers!!! (They're in my blood!)
On a different note. I have been thinking on how to go unto the next phase of the ESI saga. As it steps out of the GOLDEN era but in my heart still worth mentioning. As after a long while of being clear minded by the grace of God. I finally came back to computers. (Will always be at the core of my very being.) I started using my father's 286 pc to further my studies and looking for a better job. It sparked that fire in me and bought my own 386 blazing PC! Hahahaha. I got hooked unto IRC ... on a network called DAL.NET. Started an ESI tribute group by the name of: Eagle Soft Incorporated!!! (Any surprises??) My current profile pic is the main logo that was used for that group made in collaboration by me and a member from Australia by the name of RockRabbit (very talented graphic artist). He also made the 010101 ESI one... Once again the fame of ESI followed and I built the BIGGEST most popular channel on dal.net. We used to put out site lists. Anyone that remembers that time knows what I am talking about :). Eventually a guy by the name of WarLoX got me in touch with Mitch!!! I was thrilled and found out he was still working at installing automobile audio eq. Got him interested in computers a bit and he started cracking pc utilities mainly as a favour to friends. They were NOT big name utilities but stuff that friends/family wanted but couldn't afford! At this time I like to take credit for convincing Mitch to use his programming talent and not let it go to waste! I kept telling him that talent of his couldn't just be for fun. In the end he got a job at big software development company!!! I mean when you have that talent you cannot let it go to waste man! That has always been my main talent... Motivate and lead! I will post some of our ESI PC, intros and other material soon. As I started writing this morning I only meant to give small update on the fact that I was still formulating the best way to continue but all just came on its own just now. Next will share on something that very few people know about ESI and programming that Mitch did that also carried the ESI name! YES!..
Now to the business at hand... I have been struggling with what else to include in the ESI after life story. Tons of thoughts and events come to mind but they are all starting to just mix together. My mind is growing old. At any rate I will just wing it again and go with whatever comes to mind. Continuing on the ESI PC stage... After I came back in contact with Mitch and convinced him to join the PC ESI. He did crack some programs upon requests. Like I said before they were obscure programs that the current sceners could give a crap about. He did it mainly for our friends. We eventually outgrew Dal.net as I myself got caught up in cyberspace big time and used to spend like friggin ALL my free time on IRC just chatting it up running the group. Having online relationships (wow how awful and crappy that sounds!! hahahaha) But is all true. Eventually we moved to the REAL pirate IRC network --Efnet-- up to this day the channel still exists. But it's just a place holder and a reminder of our old beloved ESI group. There was however an exciting time as Mitch and myself share the same inner desire. Getting whatever you can at NO COST! Hahaha. He got me into Direct TV hacking! Bought a programmer several virgin cards online. He started coding to break the protection. WE enjoyed free direct TV for about 2 years or a little more than that. Every-time new protection would come out, he would re-hack it and upload the programming to all involved... I myself made quite a bit of cash programming cards for many locals! Used to charge them anywhere from 100-175$ a pop! Free updates of course Thanks Mitch!!!!!. It even got to the point that he made an ESI intro on the code! After upgrading card and re-inserting it in the receiver a banner would run across the bottom which read: Brought to you by EagleSoft Incorporated. I thought that was friggin cool ass!! . Just excites me to see the good old name on another platform. Who would ever think to see the ESI logo on hacked Direct TV card????
It was all awesome until they came out with the Nagra cards. At that point Mitch had a full time job with a major software company and once again we started moving on in our lives and we dumped Direct TV thing... I omitted several highlights of ESI events but will bring them about as they come to me.
By-Tor/Eagle Soft Inc.