Interview with Picard/Rhyme


Picard, till a short time ago an unknown coder in the scene, has lately had a lot of successes: He won Hugi Size Coding Competition #2 as well as the 256 byte intro competition at Scenest/Rage'98 and the 4k intro competition at Assembly'98. He has also joined a real group now, Rhyme. I talked to him to see how successes change your way of thinking.

Hi Picard! Introduce yourself and write everything you think that could be interesting to the readers.

My name is Gabor Kovacs. I am 21 from Hungary. No special life story. I'm learning informatics at the Technical University of Budapest. I was good in maths, physics and programming in primary and high school. I was taking part in more national competitions. I think my competition siprit comes from this period. Since university I retired a bit. Actually I wanted to compete in the scene, but it hasn't worked out yet.

Have you taken part in international competitions, too?

Only on the International Olympiad in Informatics, called IOI. It's a programing contest to high school students. It's more focused on algorithms. I won the gold medal at the 6th and 7th IOI. More gold medals are given in this contest. In real placing I was 4th in Sweden and one year later 3th in the Netherlands. In 1996 I was an organizer at the 8th IOI in Hungary, it was a good experience to be on the other side.

What did you learn by organizing the 8th IOI?

Actually as an organizer I didn't origanize anything, I was an entry tester and a technical committee member who cares for the computers and the network. There was more than 300 computers, quite a big work to drag in from truck, unpack from boxes, more times OS install, pack same way in boxes, drag out. What did I learn? Warcraft and Duke3D on network :)

How did you get to your first computer?

In 1983 my father bought a C64 from Germany. In those days it was very hard to get a computer in Hungary. Socializm suxx :)

Yes, I heard computers were quite expensive in the East Bloc.

Maybe they didn't want any intelligent hackers in the East Bloc :)

What types of computers were actually common in Hungary then?

Plus4, C64, Spectrum. XT was very rare in 1983.

That's the same as in the West at that time. Were any computers produced in Hungary, too, actually?

Yes, but I had no chance to get one. There were more types, all based on Z80. The most succeful was "Primo".

When did you start coding?

For many years C64 was only a "video game" for us. After 1990 I learned Basic, later on 6510 Assembly. It was very difficult to learn from books. Fortunately when I finished the primary school in 1991, my elder brother bought his own PC 286. He is 7 years older. He went to the same informatics major in the same university where I'm learning now. He taught me Turbo Pascal in 1992. Soon I got ahead of him and learned i86 assembly on my own.

How did you get to the scene?

I got some demos from a computer fair, the best were Second Reality and Crystal Dreams 2 (later on I got Unreal and Crystal Dream 1 too). I didn't know anything about the scene or the parties. At high school I only made small effects and small 3D stuff with one or two class mates.

My first party was Cache'96. It was an interesting experience after those IOI and other adult organized contests. It's a totally different thing, it's more like a party as a contest. The organizing is much more liberal :)

By that time I was at University. My friends (CyD, Guybrush, dLux) and I made a small group called Hydrogen. Soon we had a musician, Trajic.

That's all. Only Trajic was productive, soon he left us and became one of the best Hungarian musicians. Unfortunately I didn't go to parties anymore, I lost interest in it, probably because we had no releases. Afterwards I think it was a bad attitude. But I followed the scene from home, watched the demos, read the diskmags. This is why I'm not a known scene person yet.

[referring to the last sentence] But you want to change that, don't you? :)

Yes ofcoz. I have joined a complete group. My best effort in Hydrogen would have been a 4k intro.

You attended Scenest/Rage '98. What was your impression of that party?

It was the biggest Hungarian party ever. With my first release I won the 256 byte intro as a Hydrogen member. Seeing my program the first time on a bigscreen was the best part of the party, even if it was only a 256 byte intro. As I mentioned I'm not a known person yet, so the party was a good place to make contacts. Unfortunately it was a huge a party with plenty of gamers. But more groups have asked for me after the party because of the Hugi Size Compo and the 256b intro. After the party I have joined Rhyme.

Tell us about your new "complete" group, Rhyme.

No intro or demo releases yet, but very talented members. I'm in one group with Trajic again.

Who else is member in Rhyme?

Andy coder, Cranx coder, Illegal musician, Trajic musician, Myrel tracer, Xtro graphician.

You have been to Assembly'98 and won the 4k intro competition. What do you remember about Asm98?

Great party, but the stuff were not so good as usually, except my 4k :) I worked very hard to finish it in time.

What are your favourite demos?

You mean from all over the world? Actually I'm a 3d coder, so no wonder, my favourite demo is Fulcrum/Matrix, but Hyperventilation/Byterapers was a great ABBA feeling demo too. My favourite Hungarian demos are the Scenest/Rage 98 demos, it was a very good party.


As a Hungarian no wonder Fleur is my favourite, but Hugi is the second.

Recently I haven't played computer games, only checked out the new effects and intro animations. I'm impressed by the new 3d card games, especially by Incoming.

...TV series?

I watch too much TV, especially mystery and sci-fi on German free TV. As you can see in my email signature, my favourite series are Outer Limits, Babylon 5, X-files. There is plenty of other good ones like Dark Skies, American Gothic, LEXX.

So you have the same preferences as ex-XxX/Hugi :) (He loves Outer Limits.)

A wise guy :)

Do you have any other hobbies except computers and TV?

Usual things like movies, sports, chicks, etc...

Is there anything you want to say to the readers? Anyone whom you want to greet?

Check out my first 4k intro, which was released at Assembly'98. Greetings to everybody :)

Köszönöm szepen for this interview! :)

Wow! Szivesen :)

As you see, a very talented but modest guy who sells himself for much less than his value. :)

- adok hugit!