MY LIFE IN COMPUTERS
Okay, you asked for it, now you'll have it.
I was born on the 19th july 1969 (in Oldenzaal, the
Netherlands), just in time to
see the first man set foot on the moon.
In 1981 I got my first contact with computers, this
one being an Apple II computer that belonged to the
brother of my father (which we usually call an
'Uncle' ;-). At that time the only thing I did was play
games on it, until in the year 1982 I got my chance
to learn Basic on the Philips P2000. Learning
basic took me some 4 hours and then I needed some 3 months
to figure out that I'd never be capable of programming
any good games in Basic so I decided to learn
assembler. By that time I'd managed to get an Apple
II at my home, so after learning the Z80 assembler
(for the P2000) I also tried the 6502 (for the Apple
II). Meanwhile I also did some programming on the
Commodore PET machine.
In 1983 I bought the first computer that really was
mine: the Commodore VIC-20. I created a lot of
games on this one, most of them partly coded in basic
and partly in Assembler. One of those games was a
'Zaxxon' conversion that fitted neatly into the 6.5Kb
of the Vic-20 (3.5kb with a 3Kb expansion card), the
game had 122 bytes left.
In 1985 I did some holiday work at the company my
father worked for and I got a chance to freak out on
the Apple Lisa and Apple Macintosh. At
that time I also got a chance to work with the
IBM-PC, the first ones with the 4.77 Mhz 8088 CPU. My
first opinion was that it could not hold a candle to
the Apple computers of that time (and that opinion
hasn't changed). In that year I also replaced my
VIC-20 with a Commodore C64.
On the 64 I started coding demos/intros, and a few
games as well. At that time computer parties were
starting to come around and the first computer 'scene'
In 1986 I bought my first
Amiga, the Amiga 500,
and learned the MC68000 assembler language.
To program the Amiga efficiently I also had to learn
programming the Agnus chip (Blitter) and the Denise
Chip (Copper) of the Amiga. In 1988 The first version
of Soundmon was written, this one only used samples.
Soundmon was the program
used by "Sebastiaan Lentfert", "Allister Brimble" and
a few others to create music and soundfx for computer
games. A few of these games were:
Sound synthesis was added to Soundmon in 1989. In
1988 our amiga demogroup 'The TimeCircle' was formed
consisting of 5 members but after 1 year we decided
that the others weren't useful at all, so we carried
on with only 2 guys:
- Treasure island dizzy (by codemasters)
- Fantasy island dizzy (also codemasters)
- Alien breed (Team 17)
- Exodus 3010
- Etc etc...
- Zzzax (also known as Sebastiaan Lentfert)
- Exodus (that's me)
We did a lot of intros/demos/music-packs for a lot
of different groups/guys/magazines, for example:
- UGA (Magazine)
- 17 bit software (evolved to Team 17 software, who
created TOCA racing 1 & 2 and others).
- Taipan (Amiga hacking/cracking group)
- As well as some game companies, and others.....
In 1990 I bought my first
PC on which I did some coding
as well, in assembler and C, but never too much
since the PC hardware sucked (and still sucks) big time.
In the meantime I was studying micro electronics and
computer technology at the University of Twente.
Currently (since 1995) I'm working as an embedded software
designer for several companies, creating C/C++ code on
several operating systems and computer platforms:
- Unix (rulez!!)
- Windows (sucks, it's beyond my understanding how it
became so popular)
- Several embedded OS'ses like VxWorks etc..
Sadly enough my demo/game programming days are over, but
maybe someday .... I'll be back ....