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Interview with (Juha Granberg) FCS of Finnish Gold

What is your alias? If you find the story interesting, then let us know how you came up with it?

FCS standing for Finland Cracking Service. I started by cracking tape games, and was one of the first in Finland.

Have you changed handles? If so, give us the reason(s) and your previous nickname(s)!


When and where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in Jyväskylä, a city in Central Finland. The year was 1970. I nowadays live in Muurame, which is a small town near Jyväskylä (also in Central Finland, of course).

When did you get your first computer and which computers do/did you own? When did you get your C64?

The first computer I programmed was a small Sharp pocket computer. It had about 2 K memory, if I remember right, and had Basic as programming language. The year was around 1981-82. I coded many games, utility programs and even a "virtual composer", which composed music that mimiced peaces fed into the program. Commodore 64 I got in 1984 (if I remember correctly).

How did you get to know the scene? Who was your first contact (person you knew) on the scene?

I was one of the very first people in Finnish demo (and cracking, those days) scene. I myself had only few contacts outside Finland, as I concentrated in coding. Gallstone and Spemu, and also ROCK in FIG had the most contacts.

Describe your scene career, including all groups you have been a member of! Keep chronological order please!

I started on my own, then joined FIG (Finnish Gold). Then FIG was a part of Jezebels Union (or something like that), but we split from there. We did some other unions with other groups, too, but basically, I've been a member of FIG all the time. Oh, I WAS a member of Epical for a little time, making some "products" (demos and a diskmag) for PC, too. It didn't last long, as I had to start make living out of coding :-(

Which scene do/did you consider best and why? If you have been only on the C64, then give us the reason(s)!

C64 demo scene, the first, original, the "only"... I never liked the PC scene... Too much memory and too advanced and complex and fast hardware. It was a challenge coding C64.

What do you think you gained by being a member of the scene?

Great memories, at least. Maybe some coding experience, which has lead me to my current job.

What do you consider lost, wasted or meaningless during the years you have spent on the scene?

Nothing (time makes the memories golden).

What is/are/was/were your main interest(s)/function(s)?

Coding C64 demos.

What made you start doing graphics/composing/swapping/coding/modem trading organising or whatever you did?

Cracking games was not challenging enough after I did it a while.

What are/were your greatest successes/fiascos?

Many of FIG:s demos were great success, like Paranoia, Contest Demo, etc. If I remember right, I did "Sideborder scroll demo" before I joined FIG, and I was the first to do that kind of thing (although some have other opinions, too, but they are wrong).

Fiascos... Well, maybe the composer program I made for composing music using other peoples music routines (Jeroen Tell's). Actually, the composer was success (there were many versions of made by other people after I didn't make it any more), but "ripping" other's code was wrong.

Was there any special connection between you/your group and some other people/groups on the scene (co-operation, war, friendship etc.)? If so, what made it start and stop?

Well, friendly and meaningles "war" was between FIG and Byterapers about which one was the best in Finland. This was meaningless, because we concentrated in making demos and (B) concentrated in cracking and spread ing. Co-operation projects existed, too, but you should ask from some other FIG member (like Gallstone) about those.

Have you attended parties? Tell us about your favourite conferences? You can even mention some fiascos.

In 80's, I attended most Finnish parties. The very first copyparties in Finland, like the one in Vaajakoski, and then Digiparty where the greatest.

If you are not a C64 scener anymore, when and why did you leave the scene?

I started "slipping away" when I went to Finnish army for 11 months in 1989. Skills got rusty, and others came up with new techniques. Then in 1990 I started studying information technology in Jyväskylä Institute of Technology (four years). After that I've been working in my own software company, and I also teach OOP and other programming.

What were your favourite groups/artists/coders/productions? Why do/did you like their work/these programs?

Finnish groups' demos were great, especially FIG:s :-) The first demos in the scene are better than those nowadays.

Give us a brief description on the development of the scene as you experienced it and computer society in general!

Well, C64 was great, then came Amiga, and finally PC, which has changed the scene permanently. For good or bad, I don't know.

What is your profession? What do you do for a living? Does it have to do anything with computers? Is there anything you do in real-life that is similar to what you have been doing on the scene?

I'm a bachelor of engineering (BEng), and I have own software company which makes PC (Windows) software. I also teach OOP, Win32 and other programming topics in Jyväskylä Institute of Technology.

How did your attitude towards computers change during the years?

Well, gradually coding came my profession, and it's not as fun anymore :-(

What do you like doing in your spare-time when not computing? What is/are your hobby(ies)?

Mostly, sleaping and eating, when have any time I read, make home brewed wines and beer, party when not too tired, ...

Are there moments when you feel nostalgic thinking back to the past years of the scene? If so what do you do when it happens?

Yes, there are such moments, and I wish I could then watch our old demos. However, I haven't got them on my PC. I think I should by C64 for those moments...

What are your plans for the near/far future?

Coding, teaching, ...

What is your goal in life? What would you like to achieve?

Enough money to spend the rest of my life in Bahama Islands doing nothing... or something like that :-)

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