It’s no secret that crackers and demoscene coders produced their own tools – not just for internal purposes, but also for others to use, and even to buy. Today we bring you a selection of scene-related manuals that reached us during the past months.
Card Cruncher 3.0 (1987)
Card Cruncher, 1001 Crew’s legendary packer software, was already described in detail here. Honey, one of the authors, provided us with the original manual. If you got to see it back in 1987, you could consider yourself very lucky – as can be seen on the second page, only Robin/Dynamic Duo and Fax/New Stars were allowed to use the program apart from 1001 Crew. Now, 29 years later, you can read it. Get the high quality scans and the metadata sheet here.
TCB Tracker 1.0 (1990)
The TCB Tracker was a music software for the Atari ST written by An Cool of the Swedish Atari demogroup The Carebears. It was sold by MPH, a nowadays defunct software company from Norwich/UK. Robin B. provided us with a scan of the manual, and then we went on to ask An Cool whether we may put it online. Luckily, he is fine with it, so you can enjoy it 26 years after the program hit the stores. Get the full scan and the metadata sheet here.
Demo Designer (1988)
Demo Designer was one of the numerous commercially available “demomakers” in the late 1980s, which allowed less-skilled computer users to create their own demos and intros. A number of sceners were able to make some money by developing such software – most famously TCC Design, a subgroup of Red Sector Inc., who programmed the famous Data Becker DemoMaker for the Amiga. Demo Designer, a less-known C64 demomaker, was sold by Digital Marketing, a PD distributor and occasional software publisher run by entrepreneur Dieter Mückter and cracker/coder MWS/Radwar. Due to the latter’s vast network of scene contacts, the commercial software published by Digital Marketing was very often programmed by sceners. Demo Designer was coded by Joachim Fräder/X-Ample, it used music routines and tunes by F.A.M.E. and Maniacs of Noise, and, last not least, MWS himself was responsible for the copy protection. This copy of the manual, alongside the program disk, was sent by MWS as a preview to The Movers, who kindly provided this scan. Get the high quality scans and the metadata sheet here.
Floppy Disk VC 1541 manual
This is not a scene-produced manual, but one that many C64 sceners had studied at length. When I visited Jeff Smart, the legendary editor of Illegal, for an interview last year, he gave me this 1541 floppy drive manual as the only scene-related thing that he still had in his possession. He got it in 1985, when he was still fairly new to the C64, and scribbled funny/weird stuff over some of its pages. Get the full scan and the metadata sheet here.