Interview with MWS & Arnd of RADWAR
Main organisers of the RAINBOW/RADWAR parties
Ghandy of Darkage, Faith, Gods, Hugi
Hi and welcome guys! What do you want to booze? Mpff.. dunno what the people in the extreme western part of Germany drink.. maybe Kölsch beer? Or do you prefer harder drugs? Or cannabis as you're not living really far away from the frontier to Holland??
Arnd: I'm a 100% pure Coca Cola Junkie, no alcohol please...
Mws: I'm not a beer fan, i prefer more 'boozing' stuff like vodka, whiskey and stuff like that. At the moment I enjoy a mix-drink.. we call it 'Dschubbi-Dschubb' and it's RED-BULL (2/3) and Jägermeister (1/3) on ICE. Yeaahhh.....
Please introduce yourself! (Age, realname, job, hobbies, married? etc.)
Arnd: Name: Arnd vom Hofe, Age: 30, Job: system administration (Netware, AIX, SAP R/3), Hobbies: movies (sci-fi, splatter), computer games (mostly on N64), Roleplaying Games (Rifts, Vampire), married: no.
Mws: Me, that's Markus Wiederstein, 31 years and still young, I'm working as a programmer for a company that creates software for hospitals, I also do a lot of network administration on Novell & NT Servers. I'm not married, so I still have a lot of hobbies like... music, club parties, squash, martial arts and cooking (thanx to Arnd for the nice Chinese stuff). Nowadays I listen to tekkno & house styled beats (favourite DJ: Sven Väth -> event tresor park berlin) but my favourite music is and will be for all time DEPECHE MODE. Ah, I forgot one hobby .... organizing chaos parties for computer animals ... hehehe.
You have been members of the C64/Amiga Scene for a very, very long time. Please tell us how it came that you started to take part in the Scene.
Arnd: I got my C64 with tapedrive in 1983. A year later Markus moved from Cologne to Heinsberg and we came in contact. In 1985 we started meeting with friends from Cologne and Holland every Saturday, to copy the latest stuff. Later those guys formed the Flash Cracking Group, which split up into Federation against Copyright and RADWAR. From that time on we had quite a good "career" (no problem, if you have such a talented cracker like MWS :-)). In 1986 I got my Amiga 1000 (later I got an Amiga 2000). From the late 80ies on, there were a lot of police raids, so we slowed down cracking and started our party work. Today I have two PCs (for work) and a N64 (for fun).
Mws: 22.09.1984: Some guys sat together and formed a new "cracking group". They called it "Deutsches Knacker Syndikat" (DKS). Most of the games they released were simple recracks of other crackers. They got a bad name for this and when they really cracked a game on their own, no one believed it anymore.
20.04.1985: So they split up and formed several groups. ("Federation against Copyright", "Voodoo", "Flash"). FLASH & MWS gathered some friends and formed the "Flash Cracking Group" (FCG).
05.08.1985: The members of FAC joined the FCG. One of the best Cracking Groups ever had been assembled.
11.10.1985: The Flash Cracking Group programmed the first "Bordersprites-Demo", which was presented on the Commodore-Fair in Frankfurt. At this time a new thread emerged, the first Freezer - "ISEPIC". Some guys from FCG took those "isepiced" games, removed the Isepic-Header and published it as FCG-Cracks. (As you can guess, the quality was rather poor.) Once again, those people got a bad name, so they stopped FCG. The "bad guys" revived FAC and some of the others...
20.11.1985: We (MWS, BK, AVH) sat together at my home and phoned FLASH to find a new, brilliant name for our new Cracking Group. As most of the greetings in intros referred to abbreviations rather than full names (e.g. FCG instead of Flash Cracking Group), we decided to look for a fancy abbreviation and then build a groupname out of it. (No joke!) FLASH took his Langenscheids Pocketdictionary and searched for some words. Our first choice was CIA, which we extended to "computer interested agency". Then we took DEFCON 5 (we were five people), but since this was a pretty uncool DEFense CONdition (<=> Peace), we decided to continue searching. At this very moment FLASH found the acronym RADWAR, which is the abreviation for RADiological WARfare. (Well, THAT sounds cooool.) So we took RADWAR as the Groupname and RDW as abbreviation. The foundation-members were MWS, BK, AVH, FLASH, and DUKE.
22.11.1985: During their English lesson MWS and BK tried to change RDW to RWE. (RWE is a well known abreviation for "Rheinisch-Westfälische Elektrizitätswerke" - the company that delivers the electricity for our computers). So RADWAR became RADWAR Enterprises 1941. The 1941 was the only relict of the former FCG, it became one of the best known line-numbers in those times.
Spring '86: We recruited TC as "Best Boy" and RG as Spreader (and Driver, since he had a car!).
Spring '86: DUKE got his AMIGA 1000 (he paid 6000 DM for it). He did quite some work for the RADWAR-Amiga-Section (in collaboration with ECA, Mr. Zeropage etc.). Later that year DUKE and FLASH stopped their active work for RADWAR, but they never really left RWE. We stayed good friends.
07.10.1986: MWS moved to Munich to work for the computer magazine "RUN". There he got some originals really quick. But he had no time to crack them, so he sent them to FLASH.
01.11.1986: This new alliance needed a new name, so "The Light Circle" (TLC) was born. TLC was RADWAR, FLASH, MZP, RED SECTOR, TMC, and PBA.
Dec. 1986: BK and AVH got their AMIGA 1000. (RADWAR never really got successful on the Amiga.) Spring '87: DEF joined RADWAR (bringing in his Amiga and his car).
Since 1988: The only scene activity is organizing parties.
As you have been here for a long time it would be surely interesting to know what opinion you have when it comes to the changes in the Scene. What happened during all those years, what are the reasons for the total change of the Scene in your opinion?? Is it better now or do you think that it was better many years ago??
Arnd: Oh, these are difficult questions. As far as I see it, there were different phases in the scene.
Phase 1, the beginning: In the early 80ies everybody had to be an allround talent. We cracked, we coded, we broke limits (e.g. bordersprites). Everything was new and information hard to get. (Data Becker was the only company with German books that were worth reading. Today I wouldn't buy anything from them.) We swapped everything we got, games, demos, utilities.
Phase 2, diversification: When the Amiga, Atari ST, PC etc. emerged, it was not possible anymore to know everything about every system. People started to specialize. Some became coders, some became musicians, some became gfx-gurus and so on. And the second thing that had a huge impact on the scene was of course money. People who had no abilities (such as cracking, coding etc.) at all started to sell other people's "work". Before that, if anyone cracked a game he gave it away for free. But now there was business. (You get game XY if you give me 20 DM or any new game you have got.) This had an influence on the demoscene, too. Because if you pay 20 DM for one disk you want games, not demos! So the demoscene started to separate from the cracking scene. And with so many computer systems around, Amiga-freaks seperated from Atari-freaks. Suddenly you got a whole "zoo" of different computerfreaks.
Phase 3, mass market: Today everyone has a computer (even my sister :-). You can buy computer magazines in the supermarket. (15 years ago we drove 80 km to get a copy of ZZAP64.) People have seen so many things on the computer that they cannot esteem the value of a good demo anymore. ("Tomb Raider XY looks better." - "Of course, there were 15 people working on it for 1 year.") The different scenes do not have anything in common anymore. There is a completely new generation of sceneguys out there, who have no idea what the scene was like 15 years ago. They think that the status quo is "normal". We 1st generation guys are only some "exotic relicts". (I was at a LAN-Party some months ago and started to play Spy vs Spy on a C64 Emulator against my friend. Most of the younger boys there couldn't believe their eyes. "Wat is'n dat für'n Scheiss?")
You cannot turn the time back. Those things happen all the time. You will find similar phases in the Internet-Boom. I cannot say if the scene was really better in the beginning, but I know for sure that I liked it very much.
Mws: Ok, I think this question was asked and answered many, many times... there's only one thing to say... "The Scene died when money came to town!!!" Crackin' for money, money, money.... friendship died... The war between the cracker groups began... take a look at scrollers from that time... "Fuckings go to.... we kill you... etc." I really hated this. Then the modem trading started and suddenly the scene was in big business... the spreaders became the leaders of the scene... sorry, I mean the lamers got famous with the money from their illegal activities...
I'm proud to say, we stopped at the right point!!!
Dunno if Arnd was also busted by Gravenreuth, but you, MWS, were busted by him. How come that both of you have such a good relationship to him? Is it like the friendship between a cat and a mouse? The hunted one and the hunter? You had serious troubles because of him and now you're friends. I can't explain that to myself but I'm sure you can.
Arnd: I can't explain the relationship to Günni, either. After this funny TV-interview with MWS and Günni, they stayed in contact. Personally, I get known to Günni when he played paintball with us. If your greatest enemy is your "wingman", you better make peace with him. :-)
Mws: Friendship is the wrong word... we have known each other for more than 10 years... Well, about a lot of things that Günnie did... I thought "that is criminal". Remember: All the advertisements in magazines to catch poor little kids, with "Tanja Nolte".
For sure it is like the friendship between a cat and a mouse, but today the cat's claws are nearly cut off.
You have organized the RADWAR party several times during the past years. What were your reasons that you never made a real computer party out of it? A party with thousands of computers on tables, network etc.!?? Or is it more meant as a meetingpoint for Sceners like the Cologne Conference, where you can chat 'n booze with others but not sit behind your computer?
Arnd: In my opinion, one of the main reasons why we never had a copy party after Radwar Party I is that we were afraid of police raids (which were frequent in those times, never forget Meckenheim!). And when it became obvious that this concept worked, we developed our own "party style". (Radwar Parties are quite unique.) To satisfy those who needed software, we planned our party dates so that those guys could visit the Venlo Meeting in the morning and party with us in the evening. Today this isn't necessary any more, our guests come only to have a party, to talk and to drink. And it makes sense, you cannot enjoy yourself if you have to concentrate on your screen. :-)
Mws: That's it, the RADWAR Party is a meeting point for all kind of sceners, the old ones meet the young ones, you probably meet somebody you seemed to have forgotten already, it's just having fun with all your old pals. Ahh and by the way, ya can find some new ones.
Is RADWAR more meant for the illegal guys or is it also interesting for the people of the demoscene?
Arnd: RADWAR Parties are meant for all guys from Phase 1 and 2 (see above). It does not matter what you did in former times. Everything that counts is that you can meet your old friends again. If you don't know people from those times, you better stay home. ;-)
Mws: It's interesting for both. At the party the demoscene people can get in contact with software companies. The rest will booze until sunrise.
Please tell us the latest news 'n rumours about your party. Try to convince me why I shouldn't miss this event. (In fact I will come but maybe you can convince one or another reader.. hehe.)
Arnd: We had long discussions in April 1999, if we should make a party at all. So we said, let's announce a party for May 2000. If there is no or ony little feedback, we have plenty of time to cancel it. At first we started to send out e-mails to each and everybody. (A big sorry to those who got more than one mail, we didn't mean to spam you.) And the replies were much more enthusiastic than we had expected. The scene hungered for a new party! This was a huge motivation for us. This time we have more than a year for preparations (other parties were planned in less than 3 months). I hope, no, I know, that this will be the biggest event of this kind ever. People get older, they have wives and children. In 5 years they won't have the time to visit something like this anymore. This will be the last time, they will all meet again. Of course we will have some kind of entertainment at the party. But the main reason for anyone to come is to meet old friends, all of them! If you have been to other Radwar Parties before and have read the passages above, you should already feel some form of desire deep in your soul. Yes, that's the so called "Spirit of the Scene". Come, you won't be disappointed.
Mws: Ok, I answer with another question: Is there any other place on earth where you nowadays can meet the oldschoolers??? If ya like to meet the following guys or groups, come to our party:
Factor 5 (LucasArts), Manfred Trenz (Turrican Series), Mario van Zeist (Hawkeye), Jeroen Tel (Maniacs of Noise), Crackman Crew (remember FCOPY 3 on C64), FLASH, Blue Byte, Dynamic Duo (Mit Kind und Kegel.. sorry, das is'n Insider), lots from the old LIGHT CIRCLE and FCG, oh god... just look at the party BBS on our website... lots of freaks have already signed up.
There will certainly be a fat party program! As this will be the last Radwar party, we want to provide the Sceners something they will never really forget! We decently want to say goodbye to the Scene! So we'll let it burn!
You have often promised: "This will be definitely the last party!" What will you do if RADWAR 2000 will be a success?? I'm sure many many people will get on your nerves again!
Arnd: I am sure Radwar 2000 will be a success. But it will surely be our last party ever. As I mentioned above, those guys whom I like to meet at our parties get older and have other responsibilities (family, job etc). It won't be possible for them to come to such a party in 2 or 5 or 10 years. Maybe when Markus' mid-life-crisis starts, we will talk about this once again. ;-)
Mws: My answer: "Niemand weiß, was die Zukunft bringt!!!" ... KLANGWERK ("Nobody knows what the future will bring!") and "It's just a question of time" ... Depeche Mode.
Are there any handshakes 'n greetings that you would like to send out? Then now it's the right time for stuff like that. And thanks for your patience to answer my questions for this interview...
Arnd: Greetings to all who know the answer to the question Dynamic Duo asked in one of their intros: "Was ist resetgeknack, zu lang und läuft nicht?" CU @ Radwar Party 2000.
Mws: Very special greetings to the guy who sprayed my name on the toiletwall during the RADWAR PARTY 7. We should meet... at Sunday to play Paintball ....
Arnd, Mws & Ghandy