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1984 - Plutonium Crackers Party

on Mon 09 Apr 2007 by Alien/Bitfellas.org author listemail the content item print the content item create pdf file of the content item

in Party Reports

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"Drink with nuclear guys" - Berlin / Germany

Written by ALiEN/AnTiTraX 2010/Plutonium Crackers 2001
for PAiN mag 10/2005

Our first "Copy-Party" was held in Summer 1984 in Berlin/Germany. It was surely not the first computer meeting in Germany though. Wau Holland, who sadly passed away in 2001, already organized a meeting of computer freaks in Berlin as early as 1981, which was the beginning of the now famous Chaos Computer Club. Our visitors got themselves written permission from their parents or faked those, to be able to ride alone in the train or bus to the party.

Wau Holland (left) a few years later.

Don't be surprised - the average sceners' age back then was between 12 and 16. The exact meeting place was not announced beforehand, not because of illegality issues, but just because it was cool, James Bond style.

Cracking didn't have that illegal touch of today, it was rather a Robin-Hood-esque elegant tricking of the system. The legislatory base about punishment of "digital crimes" was very vague or rather non-existent these days. Even the attending hackers had practically nothing to fear, since it was only a few months later that the famous "BTX hack" caused the hacking phenomena in Germany to reach the public and with that the feds.

And years still had to pass until the hacks against NASA and Pentagon... The peaceful state of the cracking scene was disturbed only by the bustwave of 1985, with German Cracking Service (GCS) as the most prominent victim.

I don't remember the particular date of our party and all details, only that it was summer. While writing this I asked my old ex- Plutomium Crackers mates about more details, but maybe we are all getting a bit old and forgetful. But don't blame me, it's more than 20 years ago now.

Anyway Don/PC remembered what was important for him - burning CJW/PC's brand new expensive shirt at the party.

The location was the club house of a shooting club which Sunny (later in Trianon & Alpha Flight) was a member of, and we reused it again in 1987 for another Plutonium Meeting. But back to 1984... We presented our own Plutonium stickers, what was pretty unusual in 1984, and some new cracks was of course very usual. Most people have been holding back their releases since several days just for this occasion.

Some people brought their ready prepared envelopes to send the stuff to their swapping contacts directly from the party place. There was already the progress of time - everyone who was seriously into it, swapped disks and not tapes anymore in 1984... Noone but us brought expensive hardware - we had 4-5 C64s, one VC20 and an Apple II.

Most visitors have been acting solo in 1984 but they later have been members of groups like Flash Cracking Group, Trianon, Fantasy Cracking Service, The Fall Guys, Alpha Flight, 1811, The Dire Breaks, Knacki, Happy Crackers, The Last Generation and others. Also there were some hackers from Berlin, and of course our posse of Berlin Cracking Service, Cracking Force Berlin and Plutonium Crackers 2001. All in all there were around 30-40 people.

There have been no official compos or prices, but some live cracking was going on, as well as some unofficial tune-ripping competition. That was the time when crackers, democoders, musicians, gfx'ers and even hackers counted themselves to the common family of computer freax...


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