The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Eleven

in #lifelast year (edited)

If you read The Kwiksave Chronicles of Slobberchops , then I can tell you this is going to be in a similar vein to that series. Yeah, it's going to go on and on and maybe never end. Ready?

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The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops will go into some detail over the next few weeks.. er articles about part of my life when I was young, misguided and brash.

Like many, I was once a Software Pirate. That's not unusual in itself but I have a few stories to tell about what happened, and I'll try and not bore you all to tears.

Some names have been changed to protect myself more than anything else!


Other article's in this series:


The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part One
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Two
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Three
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Four
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Five
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Six
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Seven
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Eight
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Nine
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops – Part Ten


August 1989

I was getting increasing itchy in my last weeks at Micro P, so much so that I had actively started looking for alternative work. One company that I had approached was Commodore who had an office in South Manchester.

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An interview had yielded a very positive response from them. Being fluent with PC’s and the Amiga had given me an enormous advantage over other applicants and they were literally begging me to take the position.

I was not so sure; It was a 70-mile round trip every day and through a very busy city. No, I was holding on for that P&P job and I didn’t have to wait too long.

The call came during the time I was both trying to fend off Commodore and attempting to keep my options open.

Jerzei Balowski’, who by this time was a 3-month veteran gave me some advice for the technical interview.

What’s the difference between Expanded and Extended Memory’ is his favourite question, he told me of the technical interviewer who would be named ‘Tim’.

Describe Multi-Master Bus Arbitration' is another, he continued. Everything else you already know.

If he had just told me that ‘Tim’ was a Genesis freak and loved, ‘The Musical Box’ I needn’t have bothered.

The memory types I can still explain to you but the Arbitration, not a chance!

It would have been far more interesting conversation chatting to ‘Tim’ about the Lamb, Firth of Fifth and the detriment of Gabriel’s leaving but I was not privy to this information until much later.

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Storming the interview was not something that happened but they did want me to go back for a second one with some stuck-up personnel bitch. That’s Human Resources to you American readers.

This one thought she was the fucking chair lady herself by the way she presented herself. I got through the second interview with gritted teeth and feigned smiles to be told several days later that I had landed the job.


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The Amiga was starting to gain the attraction of viruses. The Byte Bandit variant was seemingly all over my disks in a short period of time. I have been searching for information on it and what I can find is there was no cure.


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Although I distinctly remember this annoying virus and its effects, I can’t remember it killing my disks. Maybe there was a cure after all that has not been publicly disclosed.

My interest in the PC was gathering pace, so much that I had a 386-processor system mostly for self-teaching educational purposes, though the VGA games were starting to gain my attention.

Several months after joining P&P, my colleague @steddyman made the jump from MicroP like many had before.

We persuaded the boss to send us to the Which Computer show ’90 at the NEC in Birmingham. It was a day out and a skive really but what I found there changed things.

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A certain small company named Creative Labs were selling a sound card named the ‘SoundBlaster’. The stall was small and consisted of two blokes from the far east.

While not expecting Creative Labs to be peddling their wares, I was aware of this sound card, and impulsively bought one. I think it was around £60.

This addition to my ‘powerful’ 386 computer made all the difference and literally brought it to life. VGA graphics and this sound was now almost as good as the Amiga.

Getting everything working was fiddly, this was a PC running DOS, and we had to tinker with the CONFIG.SYS and the AUTOEXEC.BAT files.

Memory management, however, was something I had to tweak every day, that and IRQ clashes, but it was not hard to fit the card in and get it working.

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So now I had an all singing, all dancing PC to some degree and no software. The next trick was to find a source of ripped off games.

This was the very beginning of my ascent to becoming a member of the legendary cracking group, ‘The Humble Guys’ though I was completely unaware of this at the time.

I hope you enjoyed this everlasting series; it will continue with ‘The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years)’ as I continue to unravel my memory which is getting worse every day.


All images have been cited and are under the category 'Labelled for Reuse'

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If you found this article so invigorating that you are now a positively googly-eyed, drooling lunatic with dripping saliva or even if you liked it just a bit, then please upvote, comment, resteem, engage me or all of these things.

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Wow, that is pretty awesome that you had the chance to work at Commodore. Given how they ended up, you probably made the right decision. I remember my first Sound Blaster card I bought. It was much later when they were pretty well known, but it was still cool.

Yes, just a couple of years later Commodore were going bust. I made the correct decision I think at the time.

Ah the good old Soundblaster cards, I have very fond memories of those. I've spent a couple of months of my allowance on a Soundblaster Live back around 1998 or 1999.

Ooo, that was much later. I remember the live versions and upgrading my v.1.0 to a later one. I had the box and everything in perfect condition. The card is a relic of another age now.

I seemed to escape the Amiga viruses, but then I wasn't swapping discs with many people, although I did get a lot of mail-order shareware and was downloading from the BBS.

I don't think I ever had a Soundblaster, but when I got my first PC (Pentium II I think) I opted for a nice Yamaha sound card as well as Matrox graphics. I've lost track of all my PCs over the years since then. I built loads of them.

That Yamaha card may have been some form of Adlib or Soundblaster compatible, a lot came of those appeared later on. It was great to the see the Creative Labs dudes in the early days before they became massive.

I think it was the DB50XG that did its own thing, but I may not have exploited all it could do. I intended to do more music stuff with it, but mostly just played games

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_XG

Ah, General MIDI... I remember it well and have a story about this in later chronicles. It does look a little proprietary though, the old DOS games supported this card and that card before it all settled down.

This was a Windows 95 machine (I think), so drivers were less of an issue by then.

This is the first episode I've been able to read (my circumstances, not your writing) and you've piqued my interest now! I will have to go back and read the rest ... by the way, how did you escape Kwiksave? I'm sure you've said, it's my memory :) Lovely Sunday morning reading.

It's nice to have at least one comment here, I was beginning to despair! To be honest, I'm writing these for my daughter @dismayedworld who isn't the least interested now, but might be when I pop my clogs.

They may be of no interest whatsoever to many readers here, but the next series will be for the son of 'The Pieman' who died a couple of years back. In fact I'll be dedicating it to him, as he is desperate for information about the old days now that he can no longer speak to him.

How did I escape Kwiksave? Oh that was easy.. I resigned and left that fat bugger boss to it with Welder. Welder tells me he left shortly after to join the Army. The would have suited him.

Thank you for that delegation too, I did notice it :)

Please keep sharing these! I'm reading even if I don't comment every time.

Good to hear, thanks :)

I'm sure they're appreciated by many, even if they don't comment 😊 I often read things and think I am going to comment and then the moment passes and there 's the next set of posts advancing!
I think it's lovely to write things down for future generations. My friend lost his father at an early age and has always kept a diary for his own son. It's there now, on the blockchain, until the Internet breaks :)
Delegation 👍 - I appreciate the work you do seeking new people to support and tackling spam and other abuses.

I just hope this block chain is going to be eternal, though I write everything in Microsoft Word and archive it all anyway.

Delegation 👍 - I appreciate the work you do seeking new people to support and tackling spam and other abuses.

Thank you, the abusers often don't see it this way.

I remember that Which Computer show like it was yesterday. I thought I remembered the Soundcard you bought there being the Adlib though, to play Prince of Persia. I thought the Soundblaster was a year later.

Oh it was definitely a Soundblaster. I never owned an Adlib. Next came the Roland and duel sound, surely you remember that? The SB was Adlib compatible if you remember.

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Good ol' Soundblaster! I remember squeezing a AWE32 model into my 486SX 25 and being mighty excited about how realistic FlightSim 5 sounded.

I spent the first very happy years of my IT career tinkering with batch and config files. Getting network cards up and running was always fun back then.

If you remember DOS then your a really tech! DOS was great.. if you knew what to do when presented with a flashing C:\

Oh yeah the days of sound card then video cards! I remember it all fondly..oh and of course dot matrix and daisy wheels too :)

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