Interviews



Interview with Glasnost

Published in Vandalism News #30
Performed by Jazzcat

I have the pleasure to host all the interviews in this edition of Vandalism. Interviewing people is one of my favourite parts of being an editor. Over the years I have interviewed some of my personal favourite graphicians, musicians etc. In this chapter , I present one of my most valued C64 programmers. Formerly of groups such as VISION and LIGHT, and now one of the nostalgic members of the Danish based legend, CAMELOT.



J)
Welcome to Vandalism News. As normal will ask you to introduce yourself to the readers. Tell us some stuff about yourself, what you do in your spare time, where your working and what is happening for you lately.

G)
Hi! My name is Peter 'Glasnost' Rasmussen. I'm 25 years old and come from Randers, Denmark, but right now I live in Copenhagen. I am an old C64 freak, you probably remember me from the good old Camelot demos. At the moment I'm studying horticulture, or at least I should do that, but most of the time I practice on my bike to do the Bjarne Riis/Mario Cippolini tricks in cycle races. Unfortunately I crashed yesterday together with 15 others at 55 km/h in a race so I have to write this interview with the wrong hand.. Pretty slow.. I'm not so passionate a computer freak as I used to be, mainly because of time problems, but once in a while I do a program just for the fun of it.


J)
Could you tell us a bit about your C-64 history. When did you start in the scene? What groups have you been in? What are the main events and highlights of your scene career?

G)
The first highlight was when Spinx taught me to do Machine Language on the C64. After a while we tried to join a group together with Skyhigh who had contact with a guy from Bonzai and also with Bird/Vision. Spinx and I made a little demo, to promote ourselves, and Bonzai didn't want us so we joined Vision, and started to work with Bird and The Guardian. Daily half-hour talks with Bird and The Guardian lifted my parent's phone bill exponentially. I think we had a lot of fun those days, everything we saw seemed so impressive, and our own demos improved step by step, especially after we started to work with the Swedish part of Vision.. Scooby lifted our graphical standards to an impressive style, and Yabba had such a different approach to programming than I had so both inspired me further. My parent's phone bills saw new heights and on the home front I was daily confronted with my enormous use of the phone. With "MIST II" we finally had our breakthrough, and suddenly a lot of groups were interested in us. Light was one of them, and we were a big bunch that joined. We made "Brutal 3" and then Sphinx, The Guardian and I started Camelot together with Rex and Dan Dare of Lazer. We simply wanted to be our own, Light was too big.

In this period I received fan-letters daily from people who wanted to swap with me. I found that nice in the beginning, but at a certain point it was just too much, and I was unable to reply all those guys. Some of the letters were so disgusting like: I think you're the best, Oh you are soooo good, You rule... I could puke it right away!! However this was probably the most funny time in my computer career. Vic and Flexi also joined, and they were both fun-guys. A major discovery was when Flexi talked while he was sleeping. He said the most crazy things asleep, and he did it all the time! Vic was very talented, and had many funny ideas. The best part of it was that he understood how we used the graphics, so his graphics always fitted into place in our demos. Every weekend we had meetings where we made so much shit you won't believe it! The worst part of it was when we rented a house, urinated on all the walls outside, and Vic could put so much pressure on that he could hit the  windows 1.5 meters above ground. It gave such a nice tickling sound inside!! And we made a very nice dish of sausages, rice, tomato ketchup, urine, beer and a shredded teddy bear. We place it on a heater.... and forgot it was there!!!! When we came back to the house all the liquid was boiled away and the whole house smelled of urine!!



At that time we headhunted Slammer and Cruzer to join Camelot, and we were very good friends with X-Factor, so we got some members like Jeff and Neptune. Jeff always makes fun at our meetings, and it is always dangerous to fall asleep when he is still awake... Suddenly there is a fish inside your computer, starting to smell like hell, or cheese in your disk drive.. (sorry that was me,  not Jeff!).. or a condom filled with wet bread under your pillow. At that time we were quite productive, making "The Unnamed Demo", "One Year Camelot," Produkthandler Kom Her", "Tower Power" and finally "Camel Park", but gradually our  productivity declined as we discovered other joys of life. We met Raz at The Party 3 and he Slammer are now some of my best friends. I also still have contact with Spinx and Dan Dare who both stopped their scene-life many years ago.

The other camels I rarely see, but once in a while I meet them at a meeting or suddenly Vic is standing in my kitchen. Actually I miss those days sometimes, but you can't turn back time. Girlfriends, jobs and friends outside the scene fill to much in our lives to go back.. Life must go on!


J)
That is some funny stuff Peter, I'm sure you have some fond memories. Speaking of real-life, what are your hobbies outside the scene and how would you describe the average day of your life?

G)
I ride bicycle-races and practice all the time.. perhaps 15-20 hours a week. I used to play chess, and so did Slammer, but both of us have stopped. In an average day I sleep to say 9, eat a lot, and go biking or weight training for 3 hours, eat lunch, and then I'll do some serious school or arrange cycle races for our cycle cycle club for some hours. Or I'll work 8-12 hours in one of my two
jobs. And I always eat all the time because I'm so hungry because of all the exercise. Actually I have to eat about double of what a usual person has to, because of the enormous energy demands for cycle training.


J)
I heard that you maybe working on a new demo and that it may be called 'Deep' - is there any truth to this rumour? and do you have something left to release into the scene?

G)
No, I'm not working on a demo called Deep, but I have a lot of old un-released demo-routines. I worked for 3 years on a whole screen smooth real timed filled vector, but sometimes I'm such a perfectionist, that I cannot finish a project if I have to compromise the ultimately best solutions. To be more specific the rotation-routines were located in the disk drive, but I hade problems in the cable-data transfer that I just couldn't understand so I started some other projects which I didn't finish either, because I got some new ideas...


J)
What are Camelot members up to these days and will there be any new productions? Maybe something new from Slammer or Cruzer?

G)
I think Cruzer is working on a PC-game and Slammer has been working on a film company "Nordisk Film" as computer graphic-expert. He made the new Ice-bear introduction you see in the movies!! Slammer has made some real code on the PC, but I think he takes programming as a job, not a hobby. Raz and I are not programming for the moment, and I don't know what the rest of the Camelot bunch is doing right now.



J)
What words would you say to any learning programmers out there?

G)
Learn Object Oriented Programming! (e.g. Java or C++) That will spare you from all our programming problems!! When you program on the C64 you use billions of time to do the same routine over and over and to link many coders programs together is just out of the question. However, demo-demands nowadays require that you are a team. One is not  enough anymore!


J)
What programmers do you respect and why?

G)
I respect all the programmers who have tried to be innovative. I think the guys from Origo made perhaps the largest step in C64 demo-history by introducing several new routines in the first trackmo they did, including the now common EOR-filled vector. 

Flamingo/Light is perhaps my old-time favourite since he always made excellent code and excellent design. I also liked Kjer/Horizon's code. Now I admire a guy like Slammer who is miles ahead in his understanding of code, and Raz for his ability to finish all projects he starts. In general I think Scandinavian groups are the best, especially the Swedish groups, and Finnish and Danish groups. I have probably forgot someone, because I don't put so much interest in the scene during the last 3 years. But I also respect the coders behind "Mathematica", I can't remember the group. (ED: Quiss, Zorc, Felidae and the group is Reflex)


J)
You have been involved in many productions, one of these I really liked called 'Un-named'. What demo routine do you consider your best and is there any particular routine you like to see in a demo?

G)
My best routine is the border DXYCP in Camel Park. It is very hard to do (try it yourself!!). I'm also proud of the zoomer in The Unnamed Demo, and the full screen filled vector that is still in my disk box and in my head! I'm also very proud of my IRQ-load system and the crunchers I made for them. The turbo squeezer squeezes at least 10x faster than any other squeeze with just as good as results as other squeezers. Oh, and I'd like to see a landscape-routine in one of my demos... That's my favourite routine. The music is very important, and so is the design to create your own world in the demo. The technical is important on the C64 because its so difficult to make impressive effects there. On PC technical achievements are less important and here its more a matter of imagination.



Favourites of Glasnost:

Demo group: Camelot! or Horizon
Demo: My next! or perhaps Mathematica, Mist II (it felt so good!) Tower Power or Brutal Vector.
Programmer: Flamingo
Musician: Boogaloo/Horizon (He'll laugh when he sees this!!)
Graphician: Rob/Camelot
Game: Bubble Bobble
Food: Pasta with a sauce of tomato, olive, oil, onion, garlic, spinach, oregano and ham
Drink: water
Movie: Once upon a time in the west, and others by Sergio Leone/Ennio Morricone
Music group: Genesis


J)
"Once upon a time in the west" is also my favourite western movie. Would you believe I paid $4US for the original. Well, getting back to the interview... What are your goals in life? is there anything you wish to achieve? How do you want things to be, say, in 10 years time?

G)
I would like to marry my new girlfriend Julie, and make a big bunch of kids with her, move to the country side and earn a lot of money as pro cycle rider or Horticulture scientist perhaps. And I hope not to lose contact with all my friends!




J)
Have you ever been involved in commercial productions such as utilities or games? Please describe some of them to the readers.

G)
No, not besides the game Raz and I did, but we never finished it because we lacked the precious time!


J)
Do you have any activities on any other computer platforms (PC, PSX, N64, and Amiga)?

G)
I have learned to code Java, C and partly C++. I'd like to make a PC-game some day!


J)
What is your view on the internet and how it has effected the way computer scenes and people communicate and produce?

G)
It has eased communication a lot. And now I can mail people that I usually wouldn't have time to mail to. But sometimes I think it is too confusing to satisfy my working demands for searching knowledge. People should put much more effort in making their homepages effective instead of a lot of fancy graphics and pep-talk.


J)
Your handle, where did you get it from and does it have a special meaning?

G)
I wanted that the name of our first demo be Glasnost, but Spinx didn't so stubborn as I took the name, and in the beginning I really didn't like it!! Suddenly everybody knew me as Glasnost, and I got used to it so...


J)
Please feel free to send any greetings to anyone you know...

G)
Greetings fly out to all the noble Knights of Camelot (actual and former members), Yabba and Goblin/LIGHT. And to all former X-Factor members, and to Martin Poulsen (Skyhigh, Marshall or whatever your name is!) And greetings to all the ones I have forgotten, which is probably many.


J)
Thanks for your time Peter, any last words?

G)
I'd like to say thanks to all innovative demo producers and to all persons I have met at meetings and parties, for making C64 scene life worth living!

Glasnost/Camelot.

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