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┌──────────────────────────────────┐ │Spotlight on The Renegade Chemist!│ └──────────────────────────────────┘ ┌───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │ Welcome to a new Section that you can only find in Defacto! │ │ throughout out next issues we will be Spotlighting a member │ │ of the scene! Somebody who in some way or the other has made │ │ a contribution to this world that we live in! If you think │ │ that you know of somebody who should have the 'Spotlight' on them │ │ then please email [email protected] or talk to a Defacto member │ └───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ ┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐ │ │ │ Defacto: Chemist can you give me your full Name and a little │ │ Information on who you are and what you are doing right now? │ │ │ │ Chemist: The Renegade Chemist, I am a member of Prestige, sort of an │ │ organizer, part time supplier and really bad, bad cracker. │ │ │ │ Defacto: Chemist can you tell us a little about how you first got │ │ introduced into the scene and what got you started with Warez? │ │ │ │ Chemist: Okay. Well when I started calling out, it was on a friend's │ │ borrowed 1200 baud modem. I was calling out on my true-blue │ │ IBM 8086 PC with 568k and a pair of full-height 360k drives. │ │ The case I think must have been made of titanium, anyway that │ │ case would certainly survive a nuclear blast. The first boards │ │ we called were the public domain porno boards, and when I saw │ │ that I was like in wanker heaven. You must remember, I was │ │ like 12 years old, and being able to snag pics of naked │ │ chicks in compromising positions meant a lot to me - I would │ │ no longer have to rifle my Dad's drawers and find his dirty │ │ mags. After a while that got boring, I discovered a shitty │ │ warez board and the rest was history .. For my birthday one │ │ year I got a 2400 baud modem of my very own, and from there │ │ I continued to trade on all the local WWIV boards. WWIV │ │ was the popular software then, and Telegard was pretty popular │ │ also. I remember the big board in 214 (Dallas area) at the time │ │ was DUNE, Freddy Krueger's board. I was on his board but not │ │ for very long. Even when I was totally lame, I had a bad │ │ habit of telling people exactly what I thought, and Sysops │ │ don't like it when you tell them they're wrong a lot, and │ │ when you ask a lot of stupid questions. Then there was the fact │ │ that DUNE was like the port of entry for all the wares into │ │ Dallas, so I was never able to upload there, since I was just │ │ a local lamer. Even though I had GREAT uploads on all the │ │ local boards, just by shuttling stuff back and forth between │ │ all of them, I still couldn't get onto DUNE. Back then all the │ │ boards were 2400 baud. 9600 HST had just started, v.32 was │ │ around shortly after that but HST was still faster. HST's were │ │ really expensive, so I couldn't get one. I was just a kid. │ │ Finally after months of trading on the local boards, I found a │ │ local board that ran HST, had a few LD callers, and would let │ │ me on. That was the first "real" board that I was on for an │ │ extended period of time. The board was called Oblivion, the │ │ Sysop named Agent Orange, and it ran a forum-hacked software │ │ called Utopia. That was one of the first forum boards that I │ │ called. Certainly there were other forum hacks at that time, │ │ the most popular of which was Emulex/2, at least for a while. │ │ Anyway, I digress. After a while the 214 scene seemed to get │ │ better, but I still couldn't get on DUNE. So I started calling │ │ LD with my 2400 baud modem, and was able to slowly pull files │ │ in. Back in those days it was SOO easy to get codes .. I │ │ remember using 950-1044,1033,1022 and a bunch of other codes │ │ to get the wares into my AC. But even though I was calling │ │ LD, DUNE was always faster and I still couldn't get on .. │ │ Eventually I got onto DUNE, but by then I was so enmeshed in │ │ the LD scene that it didn't matter. I got involved in several │ │ small groups, the most successful of those being ICE (a really │ │ lame INC rip off), but never accomplished a whole lot until a │ │ little later. Anyway .. when I turned 16 I got a car and didn't │ │ do shit in the scene for a long time. After I totalled my car, │ │ I had a lot more free time and I started to get back into it. │ │ │ │ This is about the time when I started to get involved with │ │ Razor 1911. When I was in junior high, I knew a guy named │ │ Brian. Brian was a friend of a friend and we didn't get along │ │ all that much, I was real lame and remember thinking he was │ │ super 'leet because he was a big name in an Amiga group, │ │ Razor 1911. Anyway, Brian moved to Virginia and I thought that │ │ was the last I'd hear of him. I went about my business in │ │ 214, running my 2400 baud LSD board, The Crime Lab, getting │ │ all the files really fast from my friends who ran boards │ │ with HST's and Duals, and using my local courier group LEECH │ │ (locals exchanging everything caught from HST's) to control 214's │ │ 2400 baud boards. There were a lot of them back then. │ │ INC had the city in a stranglehold, they were dominating and │ │ Cool Hand decided to keep the city dry of wares. Back then there │ │ was no Internet, and all the boards in 214 relied on the big │ │ INC boards (Midnite Oil I, II and III) to bring in the wares, │ │ so if Cool Hand wanted 214 dry, it stayed that way. │ │ Only a few of my friends had the balls to let me leech from │ │ them at night and spread the wares across the city with my │ │ courier group, LEECH. Eventually LEECH even had suppliers, we │ │ formed a group called CWF (Consolidated Wares Force) and put │ │ out some utils and games and stuff. Well, one day I was at a │ │ friend's house, copying some new stuff and I saw a release from │ │ none other than Razor 1911. I was immediately stunned and │ │ surprised, and I checked out the nfo file, and discovered that │ │ this was indeed the same Razor 1911 as my friend Brian had been │ │ in before. In fact, Brian was still in it .. in case you │ │ haven't figured it out yet, Brian was Zodact Stratux, the │ │ leader of Razor 1911 in the US. Later he dropped the │ │ Stratux, but anyway, it was Zodact. Back then you could find │ │ phone numbers to boards in NFO files, and I called one of │ │ their HQ's, Apocalypse, and left a message with my phone │ │ number for Brian. Brian called me, we talked, he kind of made │ │ fun of me and that was the end of that. But I was persistent.. │ │ I hooked up Razor with some of my friends so that they could │ │ help him release, and Razor put out a few games from │ │ a friend that worked at babbage's. But then out of the blue, │ │ Razor 1911 shut down and some of the members joined INC. │ │ They did it because Razor had gotten really big, and there were │ │ a lot of people who claimed to be part of Razor, and in name │ │ WERE part of Razor, but guys that didn't do shit but took │ │ credit were ruining it for Zodact and the rest. I got ahold │ │ of Brian and begged him to reconsider, and after a couple of │ │ weeks the Razor crew left INC and that was when I became a │ │ member. I had a lot of time on my hands and I was really │ │ motivated. Zodact told me the ropes, I bought game magazines, │ │ checked companies, did everything I could think of to find │ │ out when games were coming out. We still got beat consistently │ │ by USA/Fairlight and INC, but now I knew what they were going │ │ to release when they put it out. Zodact had an account at │ │ the fast software distributor at the time and ordered stuff │ │ from there, but USA went one better - they arranged to have │ │ people PICK UP at the distributor, so we weren't fast enough │ │ most of the time, and even when we were, we could be certain │ │ that USA, INC, THG and anyone else would have the game at │ │ the same time as us. │ │ │ │ So it was a bitch. We lost on a lot of stuff, and we │ │ duped on a lot of stuff, unknowingly, but a dupe's a dupe. │ │ Razor's reputation started to sink, because we just couldn't get │ │ enough games to compete, and a lot of the games we did get were │ │ released by someone else first. To make matters worse, the │ │ only money we had was the money we spent ourselves, and from a │ │ few small dist sites. And on top of all that, Zodact was │ │ losing interest in the scene, but that was probably a good │ │ thing as it forced me to take more control of the group, and │ │ to see how shit would be run. Anyway, in Jan/Feb of 1992, │ │ the USA/Fairlight bust came (The NotSoHumbleBabe and │ │ The Grim Reaper got busted for carding) and the scene like │ │ totally shut down for a while. I still have a pretty │ │ funny "TRC retires" letter from that time, actually. │ │ I swore that I would not be involved in the scene anymore, │ │ and it probably would have been better had I not gotten │ │ involved - god knows the scene is a distraction from hell. │ │ But I had just gotten a brand new 14.4k USR Dual for Christmas │ │ via the Sysop deal, and I didn't want it to go to waste.. │ │ I knew that Star Trek : 25th Anniversary would be coming out │ │ soon from Interplay, and I knew that I'd be able to get it, so │ │ I did. I decided that would be the only game I'd ever get for │ │ Razor. But once I got it, and won on it (even though I later │ │ found out that uSA had released it also, and possibly even beat │ │ me to it) I was hooked .. I started to keep better track of │ │ the games coming out, and with Zodact gradually falling out of │ │ it I found people who could work with me in the group. │ │ Guys like The Witch King, who lived on the east coast, had │ │ tax id's with which I could set up distributor accounts, and │ │ had a credit card he'd give me so that I could call companies │ │ and order stuff to him .. People like The Hawk and Butcher, │ │ who helped the group immeasurably.. Anyway after that one │ │ release, I was hooked and the group started to grow. │ │ │ │ We were in close competition with INC for a long, long │ │ time .. then towards the end of may '92 INC pretty much went │ │ belly up and our main competitor emerged as FLT PC, headed │ │ by The Grim Reaper. Grimmy came back from being busted with │ │ The NotSoHumbleBabe's much-vaunted supply list, and really │ │ put out a LOT of shit while I was in Germany for 6 weeks. │ │ Some of my favorite releases from back then included Links │ │ 386 Pro, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe : P-160 Expansion, │ │ and a few others. All of them had significance for me .. │ │ Luftwaffe was the first time my group beat INC in a race, │ │ and Links 386 was the biggest game I had put out up until then .. │ │ Anyway late '92 I found Randall Flagg. He was cracking for an │ │ Italian group, Dead Memory, and when I saw him do a crack for a │ │ LucasArts game I knew I had to have him. By now I had kind of │ │ figured out how to run a group, and formed my initial │ │ philosophy .. Cracking is most important, respectable boards │ │ are 2nd in importance, and supply is 3rd most important. │ │ Razor 1911 thrived for a long time under my leadership, but │ │ it was always because of our core .. we had the strongest, │ │ most dominant cracking core out of ANY group for at least 2 │ │ straight years. And for a lot of that time we had incredible │ │ spreading, headed by guys like Razor Blade, Hoppermania │ │ (before he turned into a cardwhore), and DEViL .. │ │ │ │ I moved to Austin in late '92, and from '92-'94 we totally │ │ rocked. During this time members like Marauder, Excessive Knight, │ │ Butcher, and others made their mark on the group. In fact most │ │ of those guys joined in late '92 / early '93 and were in for │ │ the duration. Then in '93 sometime, an upstart courier with a │ │ bad attitude named Lord Thinker quit the group and started │ │ PE along with some older guys, like The Hawk. They were tough │ │ for a while because they were picking up at the same distributor │ │ where USA had picked up before, and I still wasn't able to get │ │ a reliable pickup contact out there. '93 was probably the most │ │ fun I had in Razor, that was when we warred with groups like PE, │ │ Pentagram, TDT, and others. It was a good time. │ │ │ │ In '94 the conflict was mostly between us and PTG, then I │ │ lost my phone line, and in my absence the Legend split occurred, │ │ where a bunch of Razor members, headed by Butcher and Westbam, │ │ formed a new group with former TRSI (and current Prestige) │ │ members Tazman, Troops, Troll and others. When I came back to │ │ the scene in August of '94, I got in touch with what was left of │ │ the group (which wasn't much), Lord Thinker and I became friends, │ │ and Razor was re-born with Zeus leading the way as the king of │ │ supply. │ │ │ │ Defacto: Chemist, can you tell us some of your SPEFIC reasons for │ │ deciding to Leave Razor in 1995? │ │ │ │ Chemist: I didn't leave Razor until 1996, and depending on who you │ │ talked to I may even have been kicked out. Ultimately, it │ │ doesn't really matter because if I hadn't quit I would have │ │ been kicked out. In October of '95, I realized that Razor was │ │ pretty close to its peak (which we hit in November of '95). │ │ The floppy scene was dying out, I would be working full time and │ │ going to school full time starting in Spring, Zeus would be in │ │ school in Spring, Lord Thinker in school in Spring, you get the │ │ picture. Zeus, Lord Thinker, myself, Marauder, and │ │ Randall Flagg agreed that the best thing to do would be to │ │ shut the group down at the end of January '95. Anyway, the 5 of │ │ us agreed that since we were in charge of the situation, we'd │ │ shut her down at the beginning of '95. Our WHQ of old, Mirage, │ │ had already gone down, and there weren't too many of us │ │ old-timers left. Zeus and I were good friends even then, │ │ but the fun would only last so long with the companies going CD │ │ only (at that time we didn't foresee the advent of the CD scene │ │ as it is today) .. Anyway, one day I saw a few releases from │ │ Nexus, The GEcko's old group. NXS wasn't doing a whole lot, │ │ and I figured the titles that GEcko could get now and then │ │ would add to the pile for us, and by themselves wouldn't do │ │ much for NXS so I asked him to join. We chatted on the │ │ Razor WHQ, TAG, for 5 minutes and then he offered to join, │ │ bringing pay sites and a UK supplier, Hot Tuna, with him, as │ │ well as a great cracker named Beowulf. I said great, but │ │ that I didn't want SPeed Racer in the group, as I thought he │ │ was just GEcko's store pickup lackey, and even then I'd seen │ │ him fuck up almost every release that came his way. Quite │ │ honestly, I thought that TSR was a total idiot, and I didn't │ │ want dead weight in the group. But GEcko insisted, so I said │ │ cool, he can come in. When GEcko joined, he agreed that the │ │ group would be shut down in early '95, as he would not have │ │ time for it anymore then either. Eos joined shortly afterward, │ │ and he agreed to the shutdown as well. My mistake at the time │ │ was not talking to TSR. GEcko didn't make it clear to me that │ │ he and TSR were a team, and that TSR made a lot of decisions │ │ in NXS. If I had talked to TSR then, he would have had to │ │ swear to the shutdown as well, but since I didn't, I guess he │ │ didn't feel beholden to it. Well, we kicked ass until December, │ │ when someone turned in Zeus. Zeus stopped supplying, and in │ │ January, when we were supposed to be shutting down, TSR │ │ started putting out budget releases and talking about the │ │ resurgence of Razor in the nfo files. He also started │ │ calling dist sites, telling them to send him money, and even │ │ increased their monthly contribution .. To make a long story │ │ short, I went apeshit. The prime reason that we had decided │ │ to disband at the END of January, and not at the beginning, │ │ is because some of our paysites had paid through the end of │ │ Jan. and we didn't want to fuck them over. When TSR started │ │ asking for more money, it was apparent that he was trying to │ │ pull a fast one - or so I thought. It looked like he was │ │ trying to get cash out of these guys and bail. Well, to make a │ │ long story short, Eos/Gecko didn't keep their word, TSR did │ │ some shifty underhanded shit, and when I got back from Mardi │ │ Gras in February my account on TAG was gone. I got it back, │ │ quit the group, and all the old timers left with me. That was │ │ when Razor 1911 ceased to be what it once was. If you │ │ look in the nfo now, theres not one person that was in there │ │ before, except Sector9, but he's just in there because he │ │ wants to be in a group that's been around 10 years. S9 was one │ │ of the original founders, but didn't do anything for the last │ │ 1 1/2 years that I was in the group. │ │ │ │ And as far as being sad about leaving the group. Yeah, at │ │ first I was disappointed about it, and pretty angry, but │ │ eventually I got used to it. You see, the whole reason I │ │ wanted to shut down Razor was because I didn't want it to │ │ turn lame. │ │ To Be Continued.. .. . │ │ │ │────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────│ │ Due to the fact that both The Renegade Chemist and myself (Entropy), │ │ More or less have lifes outside of IRC we where not able tom complete │ │ the complete Spotlight on The Renegade Chemist. Look for the Second half │ │ and final part of this Spotlight in the next Defacto!! │ └────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
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