How it all started. ... time travel rules.
Here follows some main events that brought forth the demo group of Freedom Systems as it is today.
Written by Nutfreak
early 1987

In this year, I got a Commodore 128 computer. I was thirteen at the moment and loved to play those fun games. (street surfer, international karate, taxi, winter games, etc)
Then I got some contacts of friends who had other games and I started to trade games. Invited people to play games with me. 'Decathlon' was the most played in that time. (I got some great results and points with that game.)


I got myself the Final Catridge III which was a marvelous piece of hardware I must admit. At the time I had gotten a contact through my dad's work and he gave me the 'latest' games on disk for me to try out.
But these games were different than the ones I first had. There was this strange "thing" b4 I could run the game, called an 'intro'. It was annoying at first that I had to look at the thing b4 getting started, but I got used to it. :-)

During the boring winter schooldays, I read a bit of the Commodore manuals. One of them was about basic in the 128. I tried to make some things in it and it was fun to do. Especially when I used the Simon's basic extensions.
On day I got a disk with only small programs on, called "demos". *wow* was my reaction when I saw pretty colours on my screen and a way fab tune coming out of my 1702 monitor.
Later I learned that the pretty colours were called "colourbars" (or was it "colorbars" :) and the tune was made in a tracker. I said to myself : I wanna be able to make stuff like this too, so I loaded the program and typed "list". But only one stupid line of "sys 2064" cameth onto my screen.
"What the fuck is this? I wanna learn!", was my reaction. Then I thought that the basic code was protected, so I booted in 128 mode and loaded the program there. When I "list" it, all weird and funny colours, text and chars were put on the screen. I frowned and said "no matter how difficult or how hard it's gonna be, I'm gonna learn to program like that".

So, after a while I (luckily) learned that "sys 2064" is a call to a machine-language routine in memory. Went to the library to get a book of machine-language of the C64 and messed around with the FC III.
The results were some demo's and intro's in C64 assembly. I founded my group called ESCC. Which stood for Electronic Super Cracking Crew as most of the intro's were made by cracking crews. I was the only member :)


My most important year of 'm all.
Made lots of progs, utils and demos. But not with the latest new tricks. Just for fun and amusement.
Also managed to collect a huge library of disks (like every C64 dude in those days I think!): 6 shoe-boxes full of 5.25" disks :)
Most of them utils, demos, intros etc from the scene which (IMHO) really started to boom in 1989. Few games too, coz I still loved to play 'm.

Left ESCC for what it was (a kid's invention) and founded Freedom. Raz, who was in my class, joined and together we were the only proud members. Raz didn't really know how to code at that time, but he liked the C64 too. We wrote our scroll-texts together most of the time. And he gave opinions and idea's for coding stuff.


We had lots of fun on C64. We coded lotsa things, played zillions of games, etc etc :-)
I also got an IBM XT (hercules graphix card and 10MB hard disk (!!)). I immediatly skipped the lame GWBasic stuff, coz intro's like the FutureBrains' ones could only have been programmed in assembly. So I bought a book called "Peter Norton's Machine Language Book". After few headaches, my first assembly programs came into the world (made with debug, so nothin much here :) ).


My first encounter with the Ayatollah. (aka Dark Zarc, Ohm-Ego) We talked abt games and music in the beginning. Also told him about the cool C64.
Also in that year, I blew up my C128. I was trying to digitize music with the use of the joystick port. But without (!) the use of an A/D converter :). I hooked my 60W amplifier to the port and sampled some music. One moment, the music wasn't sampled ok anymore, so I turned up the volume to get better results, but it only got worse. So I turned up the volume some more. Then I smelled funny stuff and all of a sudden a "poof" sounded from inside my C128 and dark grey smoke came out of the ventilation. :-)

After sending it away for few weeks for repairs I got it back in a working condition. There was a note with the package asking me to explain what caused the malfunction, coz a CIA6526 chip was totally melted and the repair people never saw something like that b4. hehe... 60W amplifiers rule.


Ayatollah and Spirit joined the group. I got to be real good friends with Ayatollah. Added 'Systems' to our name, so 'Freedom Systems' was born.
Kicked out the IBM XT and bought an 386DX40 with 4MB RAM and 80MB hard disk. Another beauty hehe. A bit later that year, I bought a soundcard too. A Sound Galaxy NX Pro II or something like that. Had fun with it.

In that year I learned to code in QuickBasic on the 386 in mode 13h (320x200 256 colours). That led to dozens of demos, utils and stuff. Coz Qbasic was easy and fun to do small stuff in.
Through a school offer, I got Macro Assembler 6.00 with lotsa books with it. Studied them in my spare time and made some routines to be linked with Qbasic.


This is the year which finally made us take off...
I helped Ayatollah to learn coding-algorithms in QBasic, which really payed off. Together we made lotsa stuff together. Sometimes he made a routine with a certain effect in Qbasic. But bcoz QBasic is kinda slow with execution, I 'translated' the algorithme in assembly so it was much faster.

We also learned that there were actual demos on the PC too. So I bought a modem and coded some little BBS adds. That made us get full access and no download limits on Dirkie's BBS (it's down now... too bad).
I downloaded a BBS list and among them was Genesis BBS in Brussels. There I could download demos, demos and more demos among other stuff :) The whole group had lotsa fun watching them.


As I got pretty addicted to the scene mentality, I boldly went out and bought a GUS! (Gravis UltraSound). The VERY FIRST affordable soundcard that used wavetable technology. It was the No.1 choice for demo people.

Ayatollah got busy with a tracker program and he made lotsa talented music. Also he got addicted to ANSI gfx and made countless colourfull ANSI drawings.
Together we made our first music disk and demos/intros. Not many, but we had fun making them. And at that time, the scene only existed coz people wanted to have fun. Now I feel that it's kinda boastfull and too competitive. But that's just me I guess.
We started to organise so-called 'cybertrips'. This was just a fancy name for our group- meetings. At those meetings, we played games, drank whiskey-ice-tea ( ;-) hehe ) and coded cool stuff while listening to great music that ohm-ego supplied and mixed for us.


Gizzmo and Just-Q joined us and we felt that we were all in an 'advanced' enough state to make some serious stuff on the Intel machine. (actually we all had an AMD at that time hehe) So we made some stuff and put it on a local BBS.

We also made our first multi-part demo as a group. (braindead): Raz & Ayatollah did the ANSI stuff, Just-Q and Spirit the gfx, Gizmo was initiated on that day and ran around totally drunk :), I did the coding. An outsider, called Diddle Para, made the music. He sorta wanted to join the group, but he kinda let the idea go coz of personal reasons. The demo turned out to be really crappy (lol), but we had the best 2 days of our lives and that was something that counts!

Around the end of '95, Dstroy (who is in fact my cousin) joined the group as well, after I saw how good he was with music. He made a couple of 100 fastracker2 xm's in just a couple of months after I gave him the FT2 program. So from that moment on, we could use tunes from Ayatollah and Dstroy for our productions.
Ayatollah gave me an idea to make a cool program. So I started programming on the project called 'The Writer', inspired from the C64. (look in our archive to copy the versions) First Ayatollah made few routines with it, but they were kinda unpractical and I started to code the whole thing in QBasic first with Ayatollah's help.
It turned out to be a really cool program to write eachother little notes and to add notes to our existing productions.


Enjoyed further coding in assembly and having get togethers with the Ayatollah. We were actually the only real active members. The rest were kinda on/off projects with us. But Freedom Systems is not only a demo group. It's firstly a group of good friends.

At the end of the year, I sold my 386DX40 to the Ayatollah and got myself a Pentium 100MHz. The Ayatollah always worked on mods, ANSI's and gfx with his loyal 386SX16. I also selled my Sound Galaxy, but can't remember to who. :)
Continued to work on progs and routines together with Ayatollah (most of which you can download in our archives), but due to a girlfriend not much was able to get finished in those years. :-) ('95-'96)


I went to university, studying computer engineering. (it's called different on my degree, but just to keep it simple. If u need to know : on my degree, it says : Industrial Engineer Electronics, option Information and Communication Technology.) But titles are not everything :)

In my first year we had to do a project in Turbo Pascal 7. *wow* was my reaction that there was an inline assembler in the program. Now I was totally hooked to programming. Together with the Music and Gfx of the Ayatollah, some really cool stuff entered the world. Finally I found the program in which I could go totally crazy :)

Raz also learned how to code in QBasic at that time with the help of my routines.
Gizzmo learned to code in assembly. He wrote his first progs in debug :) (just like I once did)


Continued to have fun in TP... Lotsa fun. Worked further on 'The Writer'-project.
We had many 'cybertrips' in which a lot of copying/coding/music-listening was done :)
At school, learned to program in C/C++. Made my first Win32 programs at home with Borland C++ 5.0.
Also got a course in assembly programming on which I scored the maximum ever *grin*


In that year I found a very cool program, called TMT. Which is a 32bit *multi-platform* Pascal compiler based on Tran's extender. It features an inline assembler, supporting all instructions. MMX and 3DNow! too ! TMT also features a more object oriented approach which I can greatly appreciate. Go to their website and download a free to use limited version. The limits are really nothing. Your EXE is only limited to 1MB size, so it's ideal for demo-coding. (U can always add a datafile of unlimited size next to your exe if u want bigger demo)
Latest version of TMT supports DirectX interface among other Windows related stuff.
In this year, Raz started his informatics study.

Group-wise, productions kinda slowed down, coz the Ayatollah graduated and found a job. Most of the other guys were doing their end-year thesis and had little time left to spent on Freedom Systems.


In that year, I got really busy with my end year thesis and schoolproject. I only had time left to code for school.

Bcoz almost all of the freedom systems members got jobs (& girlfriends ;) ) during that year, we can sort of say that Freedom Systems died production-wise.
Many members still see eachother regurarly, but then it's not to produce a demo, but more to drink a beer and have a laugh. So Freedom Systems is not really dead as a group, it's just not contributing to the demoscene anymore.
Shortly after my graduation in that year, Siemens asked me to come work for them as a firmware programmer and so I did.

What happened with me after 2000, you can read in the 'About Me' section.

The Freedom Systems section of this website is a tribute to the good times we had, and is put online for nostalgic and archiving reasons to leave something behind of what we were and what we did.
Maybe it can inspire others :-)