First of all, some exciting news: We received the complete paper archive of the legendary Swiss Cracking Association, Switzerland’s most prominent C64 & Amiga cracking group from the 1980s. Founded in 1984 by two brothers from Zurich, the group’s most (in-)famous stunt was creating and (accidentally) spreading the first Amiga virus, the “SCA Virus“, in late 1987. At that point, however, they already were a well-established cracking and demo group that put Switzerland on the international crackers‘ map and maintained contacts all over the world, until one brother went on to become one of the first Swiss game developers, while the other one moved on to the world of live music. We are very excited and grateful that they handed over their archive to us, which is being scanned right now and will appear here very soon. As a small teaser, today we present one letter from a rather unusual sender – the Zurich customs office, which confiscated two floppy disks and demanded a declaration of the value of the software, not realising that it was a pirate sending, despite the “Plutonium Crackers” tag.
However, I am using this exciting occasion to ask for your help. Currently, the “Got Papers?” work directory on my hard drive contains over 14 GB (!) of unprocessed image files. The reponse to my call for materials four years ago has been overwhelming, but I gravely underestimated the task I set myself back then. Doing justice to archival digitisation standards and meticulously compiling metadata for each and every scan requires lots of time and research effort: For example, swapping letters are, in most cases, undated, so one has to research the first-release dates of the mentioned games and the periods of existence of the sceners/groups in order to establish an approximate date of the document. Unfortunately, my spare time I can dedicate to this project becomes less and less, as I urgently need to complete my academic book on the 1980s cracking scene. So, in order to ensure that the collected materials see the light of the day and serve current sceners and future historians, I need volunteers to help me with processing the scans and establish metadata for them.
So, if you:
• have a deep interest in the preservation of scene history across platforms;
• have at least basic knowledge of scene history on some of the main platforms, particularly C64 and Amiga;
• are familiar with the most important scene databases (Demozoo, Pouet, CSDb, Kestra Bitworld);
• and have some free time on your hands and are able to stick to commitments agreed upon (you take over responsibility over only as many images as you think you can manage)
please do get in touch with me at gleb dot albert at uzh dot ch. Or, alternatively, meet me at Revision Demoparty in Saarbrücken on the Easter weekend.