Famous Scottish Atari ST cracker Zippy a.k.a Absu, member of the groups Cynix and The Medway Boys, who was very recently interviewed on Codetapper.com, provided us with photographs from his letter archive. This time, we bring you a very special portion of these documents: The inbox, so to say, of the Cynix P.O. box in Merseyside from 1992-1994. Most of these letters stem from less-known sceners or even complete outsiders, non-scene fans and users of Cynix cracks, encouraging the group to continue cracking in a time where the Atari software industry was already in decline. They were answering to a poll of sorts, initiated by Cynix themselves, who, in the scrolltexts of several crack intros, urged users to write them if they did care for Cynix to continue cracking. And they did – from all over the world! In what is just a small surviving part of the letters Cynix received, we find letters and postcards not just from all over the UK, but also from Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Iceland, Serbia, Australia, Greece, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Slovenia. These letters – some by people who would become prominent Atari sceners, some by unknown home computer users – testify not just to the transnational audience an active cracking group could reach, but also to the fact that the cracking scene and its protagonists mattered to a lot of people far outside the scene itself. These are literally fan letters, hailing whom the authors perceived as heroes for letting them enjoy software for free.
You can download the high quality photos and metadata sheets of these 74 letters from our archive under /zippy/cynix_po_box/, or browse through them in the gallery below.
A while ago we brought you letters from the collection of Arny, an Austrian C64 coder and graphics artist active in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These were letters he exchanged with his swapping partners – this time, however, we present his internal group correspondence. The first batch is from the time when he was in The Softkiller Crew (TSK), an Austrian cracking and demo group active in 1987-88, into which he got recruited in the summer of 1988 and in which he stayed for only a few months. These (sorry, German-only) documents shed light on what a new member of a relatively well-organised group faced in the 1980s: rules, contacts, expectations, new friends. An unexpected bonus of this batch: The flipsides of SSD’s letters contain printouts of logs from some 1986 BBS! You can download the high-res scans complete with metadata from our archive at /arny/internal_tsk/ or browse them below.
Hedning, a prominent figure in nowadays’ C64 scene, started his scene carreer in the early 1990s on the Atari ST platform under the name of Mr. Marvel. Thanks to his old swapping partner Corny, Hedning was able to unearth some of his own old swapletters to him. They are from around 1992 and in Swedish – yet Hedning provided his own translations of the letters into English. You can find them in the /swapletters/corny/ dir of our archive – just click on the files and the translations will appear in the respective metadata sheet.
Also, there is a small addition to the Swiss Cracking Association archive: Letters from Marco, Pascal de S., Softwar, Thomas, and someone from The Dominators. There’s still more to come from SCA.
Here we go with the next instalment of the SCA archive, this time with another batch of letters received by Saturnus the Invincible (STI). On the one hand, there are some addenda to the 1987-1988 period, when STI was involved in swapping and correspondence primarily as a scener. On the other hand, this update features many letters from the late 1980s and early 1990s, when he focussed on developing Amiga games and tools, and thus received a lot of support requests from ordinary users. A particular highlight is a letter from Commodore Germany to STI’s mother. A lawyer, presumably on behalf of Commodore Germany, had sent STI a cease-and-desist letter related to software swapping. His parents wrote to Commodore Germany, and its legal department clarified that the lawyer had not been commissioned by them and the cease-and-desist letter was null and void. Here is the complete list of materials in this update. including letters from:
• Adam/Ice Breakers Int. (Canada) [29/8/1988]
• Alexandre A. (France) [21/1/1993|27/2/1993]
• Big Apple/SCA (Switzerland) 
• CAB/Danish Gold (Denmark) 
• Cino P. (Italy) [27/1/1987]
• Commodore Büromaschinen GmbH (Germany) [2/8/1987]
• CSR/Supremacy (Norway?) [29/6/1987]
• Cygnus-X (USA) [18/10/1988|21/9/1989|28/9/1989|3/12/1989|27/2/1990|16/9/1990]
• Dirk/D.S.Compware (Germany) [1987|1987]
• FBS/OGM (Germany) [4/2/1987|12/2/1987]
• Game Master/ACA (USA) [16/9/1987]
• Henrik C. (Denmark) [16/2/1990]
• Jason W. (Australia) [3/10/1987]
• Judit B. (Hungary) [31/8/1998]
• Mauricio H. (Costa Rica) [19/3/1993]
• Michael C. (USA) [3/6/1991]
• Mirage (Germany) [21/10/1987|11/11/1987|16/9/1988|1988]
• Pascal de S. (Switzerland) [11/3/1988|1988]
• Peter B. (Denmark) [17/2/1993]
• Philippe B. (France) [1990s]
• Pirasoft/ACS (Australia) [26/2/1989]
• Woody P. (USA) [15/5/1991]
• Zollamt Zürich-Post (Switzerland) [2/3/1987]