The world as I used to know it…

“I did start programming at night because my TRS-80 would crash whenever the kettle was put on!”
Matthew Smith
Creator of MANIC MINER

I have the tattoo of Miner guy, Will, vomiting into a toilet on my arm. The toilet waste pipe is directly on top of quite a prominent scar where needles would have been stuck into the vein many many times a day for years on end.

I was programming and animating and graphicking at night because three things dictated it thus.

ADHD and insomnia combined with parents attempting to limit time “playing games”

Not really playing games. It was creative, learning, programming. Playing games is just what happened when others were around.

Apart from a few of the others. Whom went on to millions, flash corporate jobs, or notoriety on the back of these years hacking.

I see a few of them from time to time.

Some are worse off than I.

Once hacking into computer systems and deleting records. Now, sitting outside goodwill shoppes with a certain look in their eye that some would find intimidating, I see my old mate J. I once rode a motorbike off the end of a cliff at full throttle in top gear due to consuming far too many of J’s Halcions. One day I will work out the ballistics of that jump and landing. Silly.

One of our best mates, T, is off in Government spy agency hacking and creating firewalls to keep the world safe. Another good mate, also T, is doing odd crap with carbon fibre and small plastic rotors. My best old ZX Spectrum mate, R, is doing god knows what, but damn sure he’s doing quite fucken well. My best old Atari mate, N, makes hundreds of thousands for programming overseas computer installs from his “no need for a mortgage, thank-you-very-much” abode down the road from Peter Jackson.

I, also a T, as it happens, sits seemingly bone idle in a 1940’s Government Housing block just like the Russians have knocked down in Moscow as they were deemed too shit for people to live in. But at least the young people doing community work with me get to hear a few funny stories about my times fighting the filth, dragging people back from death. The stories where we fuck it all up and lose are just as great.

For I am truly a fuckwit. And proud.

You guys may have all the millions. 

But J probably has the most interesting life story to write.

You guys may well write yours, J never would be able. 



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