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Interview With Manik
by Cactus/Axelerate/Samar

He's 20 years old and lives in Slovakia. He has brown eyes and hairs. In the C-64 scene he's a famous cracker, active since 1994. Currently he's a member of Slovakian based group CommoBam, but in the past he was a member of Laxity, Amnesia, Remember...

Ladies and Gentlemans! I feel very proud to introduce MANIK/COMMOBAM to you...

C - interviewer, Cactus/Axelerate/Samar
M - interviewed, Manik/CommoBam

C: Hello Juraj!

M: Hello Cactusboy!

C: Let you introduce yourself to our readers...

M: My real name is Juraj Ciba and I live in the middle of the Europe in a small country called Slovakia, also in the capital city Bratislava. I have short, differently coloured hairs, brown eyes, thin figure with big beer-belly, and my scene job is mainly cracking oldies - goldies, and also I have some contacts, so I am swapping a bit...

C: You are still active in the C-64 scene. Can you tell us why?

M: Yeah, I put this question to myself too, but I like this scene, I like my job and also I like to work on old games. I don't like the actual new scene products too much, because the quality is like in eighties. You know, all the great groups left, and all the others groups are lazy, excepting some active ones.

C: Could you tell us a short story about your group CommoBam? You must also admit it's not the most famous crew in the scene, so take your chance :)

M: Heh, I can't call COMMOBAM famous crew, that's right! Well, COMMOBAM (CMM) is Slovakian based group, which was found by BON, back in '94. The meaning of CMM was COMMOdore Bon And Manik. Bon was known as the legendary swapper called 2ge of React. CMM was very popular, because it was, and still is, the only one game-distributing group in Slovakia. 2 members were not enough, 2ge did nothing except distributing games and I was the only one cracker. We decided to accept some more members, and we found Luis (intro coder), Mick (gfx), Deon (music), Imaic (code, gfx, music), Creo (music), Midi (music) and Seal (editor). No one was more popular, excepting Imaic, who did his music collection and also few games (Morfix, Cubic, Dumi, Bloodhand and Super Pac-Man), and a little bit Luis, who joined WOW and Role later. Mick painted some logos, Deon composed some musics (Mick and Deon are brothers), but CMM was still a country popular group. Then I decided to kick all the members, only Imaic and Bon were in. I did some cracks, which were spreaded by Angeldust and some more pals on the scene. After some time we got one more foreign member: Unlock from Switzerland, but he left after some months, and then Caledonian from Scotland joined. He did some cracks for us, but later he left us and left the scene, too... Imaic sold his Commodore, so I kicked him from CMM together with the leader Bon... Now I am releasing some cracks from time to time and nobody can tell me, what to do and what not...

C: Well, your scene job is cracking. How long do you crack?

M: I have been cracking since '94. My first crack was Mind Maze, where I found the time trainer and I debugged the sprite, because there were deleted first 3 bytes ($0800). My first cracks were poor, but I learned more and more, and you can see the result...

C: Why did you decide to be a cracker?

M: Hmm... why... When I had only datasette, I had many games on tapes. Each game contained an intro of cracking group. It was interesting for me, what the cracking is, and I tried to get as many informations as it was possible, so I wanted to try it, too...

C: How did you learn cracking? I know very well, it's not easy job.

M: Yeah, you are right... How I learned? Heh, I did it myself with some help from Lunatic/Cult, who told me the first steps like finding start addy, the trainers, crunching levels, installing new loaders etc... It was not hard to find start addy if the game was packed, but if the orriginal was freezed, then it was harder (and with my FC3 it is still hard :)). I am not searching for as many as possible trainers, but I like the length of cracks. I am always trying to put out the short version of each game, including pic, trainers or hi saver. I am also not using any intros (except some cracks) and I am doing it mainly for my own games collection. I heard that I am recracking games from '82 - '85. May be it is recracking, but I don't like if old games in my collection are long like hell, so I am training and crunching them. I can't call these games CRACKS, but only better versions. Call them like you want... (yo Rough, still think that they're recracks?)

C: You were a member of Laxity, Amnesia and Remember in the past. Why did you leave all these groups? Why did you leave C-64 scene for a while when you were in Remember?

M: I was a member of Laxity thanks to DIDI, because I liked LXT too much and I still like it! I prefered small groups (not like WOW or Role, where are about 30 members and about 80% are lazy). I did few cracks for Laxity, but later I was only swapper there and I did all my cracks under CMM. Later I left LXT, because I heard that AMNESIA is a group interested in oldies. I asked Calypso and he told me that I can be a member. So I did again some cracks for AMNESIA, but I didn't got any message from Calypso for a long time. I decided to leave the group and then I got an offer from Jack Alien to join REMEMBER (REM), what was my biggest scene dream. I was happy like hell, and I was a spreader and orriginal supplier in REM. Great jobs for me, but in my heart was still cracking. Later I lost my motivation and decided to leave the scene for a while. After some months I rebuilt CMM and I am again active cracker (not swapper!) like in the past. Also my old contacts are still welcomed, like you Pawel!!!

C: That sounds great :) Some sceners still don't know that you were a member of Anubis under another handle Toxoplasma. I know very well that Manik=Toxoplasma. But why did you join Anubis as Toxoplasma, not as Manik???

M: Well... The leader of Anubis (Red Redby) is my good friend and he asked me to join his group as cracker. I thought about this and I asked him if I could join but not as Manik. He told me it was OK, and he waited for my new handle. So I decided to call myself Toxoplasma (my favourite German band) and I released 2 disks full of excellent cracks, which were spreaded quite well. Also I found in some charts Toxoplasma and Manik, too!!! Hehehe... Later I wrote to Redby that Toxie left the scene and I did everything under CMM again and again... So, be sure, I will stay in CMM as long as possible, and I don't want to join any other groups. (hey Mr. Alpha! It was bad from your side, what you did!!!)

C: Okay, let's get into your hobbies. You prefer old good English punk rock. Why do you like this kind of music?

M: Yeah, punk rock is still my favourite kind of music. I am listening to it since I was a child (I also listened to death/black/doom metal!). Here, in this part of Bratislava where I live, are many friends, who are playing in the Slovakian's popular punk bands like Zona A, Slobodna Europa, Davova Psychoza, Karpina and many many more. I got many tapes with punk, but I always prefered the English old school punk from the '77 (Stiff Little Fingers, X-ray Spex, Buzzcocks...) and I have one popular band in each country. In your country they're: Dee Facto and Wlochaty :)

C: You told me you liked parties. Do you mean C-64 scene parties or normal parties with your friends?

M: I like all parties. I prefer friends parties, where are many drunked or smoked people, parties which are running 3 days non-stop, but also computer parties are good! There you can meet many your friends, contacts.

C: How many scene parties have you visited? Which one was your best party ever?

M: I haven't visited many parties. First was Demobit '95 here in Bratislava, later MC Valach's party in Zarnovica, where I met many old inactive Czechoslovak friends (Odie, Nabuchodonozor, Rogue, Montana, Stinger, Reekol, CreamD, 2ge, Sam, Lunatic...) and we coded there a party game called Kufor Maker v1.0 (together with Twinsen/Peon)... After a break I was on Flag Party, Rage and Scenest in Budapest, Demobit '99 and of course I want to visit Demobit'2000, which will be placed in Nitra city (where CreamD and Havran from Studio Style are living). I hope you all will be there!

C: When we swapped with ourselves you were asking me for beermates. Do you still collect them? And how many do you have?

M: Yeah, you still remember? Now I have about 120 different beermates on the wall in my room. You can check the photos on my web page:

...and also there you can check my updated gameslist...

C: That's time for letting me know about your C-64 scene favourites...

M: * demo group - Oxyron
* cracking group - Remember
* coder - Graham
* cracker - Jack Alien, Hok, Burglar, Count Zero, Moonchild
* old time cracker - Janitor, MWS, Snacky, Dogfriend, Sauron
* graphician - Calamity, Poison, Reekol
* musician - Orcan, TDM
* swapper - Derbyshire Ram
* cover designer - JailBird
* demonstration - ComaLight serie
* disk magazine - Domination, Vandalism News

C: Nice! Say now anything you want...

M: Well, I want to thank to everybody, who is still supplying me with many many games for my games collection (hi Barry!) and to all, who still want to do on oldies. It will be very good when you will see the oldies goldies cracked, crunched and 100 percented. Also a big hello to all my contacts and friends, my girlie Janka and to you Cactus! I hope that your cracks will be better and better in the future!

C: Thanks, pal! Once again thank you very much for this nice and interesting interview!

M: Thanks too...

C: Bye!

M: Tchaffki!

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