My story - the 90's

In the end of 1992, I managed to convince my mother (I cried) to buy me an Amiga 500. I used to bug some older guys for games, and got into games like Monkey Island. When I first entered Scumm Bar I was so amazed by the graphics that I had to call my mom into my room to just tell her: "Take a look at this. Just look at it". It might have been the biggest computer-moment in my life.

I was very picky about the games. They usually had to be bigger than 3-4 floppies. The amount of floppys was often related to the quality, in my mind. Adventure games was my favorite genre, but I also liked certain strategy games (Civilization, Settlers) and football (manager) games. But while some games were just fun, other games really stood out to me.

I also got more interested in programming. I got hold of a programming "framework" (as we call them today) called Amos. It was a quite simple framework, but also limited. I had some fun with it, but realized I had to move on to more powerful stuff. I bought the book "Mastering Amiga Assembler" and I think I read most of it. But I found it very hard to grasp. But I kept learning and kept trying to understand how things work.

As so many teenagers did back then, I got interested in so-called "demos". And there was another thing called "diskmags" which was kind of like a browser installed on a floppy disk (or more) containing articles about the "demo scene". At the age of 15 (95) I had written my own diskmag. Well, it wasn't really finished, but I had learned a lot from doing it. Eventually I gave up the idea of ever releasing it. As soon as I feel that I know how to do something, I tend to look for other challenges. At the end of 1995 I went to Denmark to attend to the computer party called "The Party". I was 15 and went down there on a chartered bus together with other guys attending the party. This was an awesome experience, 4000-5000 teenagers with their computers sitting in a big hall computing at the same time. I remember being able to go over to any stranger and start a conversation if it looked like they were doing something interesting.

My life was mostly about my computer. I usually went straight home from school and sat down to continue what I had been working on the night before. By the age of 16 I started to get the hang of things. I was very excited the day that finally could see my gouraud shaded donut rotating on my screen. I don't know if I really understood what I was doing or if I had managed to do it with sufficient "trial and error". There were some interesting terms that kept being repeated in our "gang"; "poly filler", "texture mapper", "chunky to planar" ... These were usually routines preferably written in assembly language. They had to be as efficient as possibly, exploiting every trick in the book. I remember splitting my texture mapper into 3 sections of 256 bytes so that the whole function could fit in to the cpu cache (or something like that). If the functions were bigger than 256 bytes (machine code / binary size), they would fall outside and they would have to be reloaded in to the cache later on. I'm not sure if this really worked or not, but it was one of those things I'd spend a lot of time tweaking.

One of my other interests was playing football. But I stopped that when I was 17. It took too much of my computing time! I always regretted that and I missed playing at times. Not that I had a potential career or anything, but I enjoyed it. And still do.

In 1998 I went to my last computer party. That was The Gathering 1998 in Hamar, Norway. I released a so-called "intro" at this party. An intro was the same as a demo, except that it had a max file size of 40k or 64k. I felt that the intro was pushing the limits of the hardware to some extent, but I don't think it was exciting enough to win. This was also my last release of this kind. I attended to a few parties later, but only to see what was going on. I didn't bring my computer and I didn't spend the night there sleeping on the floor under my table.

In 1999 I had started programming C. I never created anything worth mentioning. I also started studying at the University of Oslo in August 1999. I was stupid enough to take the adivce of others to take two classes the first semester: Philosofy and maths. I flunked both. Instead of retrying these two courses, I decided to take two informatics classes in the next semester. Learned stuff like Java, more C, MIPS assembly, and some digital electronics.


Read more about my life in the 2000's

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