Groepaz's Interview


Groepaz can be found here or here and probably elsewhere too.


Hooka: When did you get your gp32?


Groepaz: Tough question, it was the first batch of gp32's that lik-sang sent out...some time around fall 2001?

Hooka: Why did you decide to get one?


Groepaz: I was doing some gba development at the time I heard of the gp32, and it looked like a nice toy :)

Hooka: Did you have to do a disassembly of the GP32 firmware to make the gpfw splitter?


Groepaz: No, not really...looking a bit closer at a hexdump of the firmware shows quite obviously how it works :) but I had disassembled the firmware before anyway, and knew how the menu program is executed and all, that probably helped understanding it. but it isn't terribly complicated at all anyway.


Hooka: Why is there a party version and a fixed version of test23?


Groepaz: The party version has a really serious flaw - the sound output is buggy as hell and at a very low volume. I didn't have the time to fix that before the party, so I competed with the buggy version and fixed it later. And well, since I personally think (and promote) that competition entries must be spread exactly how they were when they were shown in the compo, there are two versions now.

Hooka: Gppk is very useful for those with just a card reader/writer... did you just have problems with pc-link that you decided to use a card reader/writer or could you not get it to work with your computer?


Groepaz: I got the card writer from lik-sang together with my gp32 since it was kinda cheap anyway and looked convenient :) I didn't really have problems with pc-link, except the card-writer was a lot faster and easier to handle. Also the pc-link version that came with my gp32 was Korean and my pc didn't really like that, I had to install those weird language packs and all :=P I also switched to linux later on

so i couldn't use pc-link anymore.


Hooka: Did you do the memory map yourself?


Groepaz: Yes, writing a memory map is one of the essential things I usually do when starting with a new system. however in this case it wasn't terribly hard, since most of the info could be gathered from the official documents.


Hooka: What made you decide to start coding for the gp32?


Groepaz: Well, I mostly buy hardware for coding...I'm not really interested in anything else when it comes to computers. I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't want to code on it :)


Hooka: Drugtro on the psx is great was it done in c or in mips R3000A asm?


Groepaz: 100% C and using the yaroze-SDK. Drugtro was the first program I had ever written in C, and the first program I've ever written on the psx or any other computer besides the C64. I considered it more of an exercise than a real demo myself, for a real demo I wouldn't have used an sdk :)


Hooka: Was your first home computer a C64 or was that just the first system you ever programmed for?


Groepaz: I had a ZX-80 kit a short time before, but never really used it or did anything with it. The C64 really started it all. I was lucky to meet some people that already were involved in the scene (like Jihad, who is now a hitmen member also) when I got my c64 and that quickly made me program my own little thingies and hack other people's software :o)

Hooka: How many things did you code for ICE CREW?


Groepaz: Mmmh, quite a lot. Since that group was founded by me and a friend (Curlin) we also did most of the work. Unfortunatly many of those early productions are lost forever, unless there are some of my old contacts which still have some of the old discs... I encourage everyone to dig through their discboxes and search for any cracks done by me or curlin for ICE or DFT and send them to me :=P

Hooka: "Now with teaming up with the world famous Demo and Cracking group VISION and my programming abilities growing i spended almost all my sparetime on scene life... Besides all the beers and drug-experiments ... ;)" My only question is do you feel the drug experiments and beer may have helped to create the coder you are today? 


Groepaz: LOL. well in a certain way, yes of course - just like anything else in the past made me the person that I am today :)


Hooka: What was

and what happened to it?


Groepaz: It was supposed to be a list of websites for commodore related pages...however, it was too much work to keep it updated and so it died after some time.


Hooka: Were you the first person to make a gcc setup for gp32?


Groepaz: Not sure about this one... by that time a few people worked relativly independent on hacking the gp32 and exchanged their knowledge and experience on irc. Maybe I was the first, maybe not. Maybe I was the first to put it on a website (more likely). I still think people overestimate the work involved in writing a crt0 and a linkerscript for gcc my eyes you shouldn't be coding at all if you can't do that yourself :=P


Hooka: Hey dumb people need a way to try too :P (I'm one of them :S)


Hooka: Did you write The Frog distinctly for browsing korean GP32 sites and downloading the files off them?


Groepaz: Yes :) In the beginning of gp32 hacking I browsed a lot of korean websites and naturally needed some way to understand a little bit of their content :) I wrote that little script mostly because due to the way babelfish worked at that time it wasn't always possible to download linked files from translated webpages.


Hooka: Is Pacman that joined Hitmen in 24-07-1997(or atleast that's when he made his introduction intro) the same Pacman who made Pacrom?


Groepaz: Yes indeed... we somehow lost contact though shortly after he made that psx intro. *waves in pacmans direction* :)


Hooka: What is your favorite Demo that you've made for any system?


Groepaz: That's a hard question. Probably always my latest release, so that would be "kinderkram" on the gamecube atm :)


Hooka: Were you glad to see Frodo for GP32 reach the state it's currently in?


Groepaz: Yeah it's pretty cool that someone else picked up the frodo thing and made it actually useable.


Hooka: Is it nice to see your code used in such projects as these?


Groepaz: Of course - that's why I'm releasing certain things as source and/or documentation.


Hooka: Are you disappointed by the lack of a bigger demo scene on GP32?


Groepaz: No, I gave up on being disappointed by that :=P It's sad in general that there is so little scene activities besides pc stuff that I can take seriously. To be honest, there are still more serious c64 sceners than I can spot in any other scene. (mind you, I don't consider rather trivial games or ports or linux or anything along those lines a serious scene production). what I am really disappointed about is that so few ppl really try or even care to understand the machine to it's fullest. I'm a bit old fashioned in that respect, just like on the c64 I want to do everything myself, without using any third party sdk or libraries. (that "drugtro" demo was pretty much an exception here) for that matter I have much more respect to some beginner who makes a simple thing 100% on his own than someone who creates a fancy game using a 3rd party sdk. that's what divides coders from ordinary programmers in my book, the coders care for how things were done, the programmers just care for the final product. </rant> :=P


Hooka: Do you know of any other projects where your source has been used in for any systems?


Groepaz: Mmmh well, not definitely. I have contributed code to a few projects such as lng ( and cc65 ( and gc-linux ( and possibly others so it's certainly in there. However I can't say that I care a lot about if and how my code is used elsewhere when I release it - I just care for some cool releases, no matter how they were done. (of course, some credits are always nice)


Hooka: What help did you give ph0x for his ScummVM port?


Groepaz: Mmmh did I? :) I honestly don't remember hehe :=P


Hooka: Your sound code is used in Intellecto's port of snes9x to gp32 did you give any additional help to Intellecto?


Groepaz: Nope... didn't even know that it's used there :)


Hooka: Here are some quotes from what you've said on the gbadev group on yahoo: "the land of the free(tm)", "btw i liked the "bill" part in the topic... "bill" aka the source of all evil ;=P lol" I kinda noticed you have a very good view on the US, what's your personal opinion of Bill Gates and George Bush Jr.? 


Groepaz: Uhm well, I usually avoid to discuss political matters on the internet but anyway... in my eyes both the microsoft corporation and the bush-administration are textbook examples of capitalist thinking. The difference between those two is that i can just ignore M$'s products by not using them, but I can not really ignore the usa in the global world we are living in. I think it's scary that there is an administration

that can declare war on countries in disguise of the "war on terror", fail to prove their point afterwards and then finally get away with it. I find it really disturbing how little the typical american i***t cares for foreign matters and how they praise the god given supremacy of U!S!A!. *puke* Like one of my favourite comedians said once "I can understand why people are upset about the comparison between George W. Bush and Hitler. Hitler atleast built the autobahn."


Hooka: Excellent, I don't know what else to say to that :)


Hooka: You've done alot of work on porting contiki to alot of systems but have never released any of them...  why not?


Groepaz: I never really found the time to do so...when I was finished bringing everything to a state that was worth releasing, Adam already moved further so my changes were incompatible to the latest core :=P I'm however working on it...and ofcourse whoever is interested can always mail me for the changes I have made.


Hooka: Did you ever get the PCEngine port running?


Groepaz: Yes indeed, it was working at some point :)


Hooka: Do you still plan on making Playstation and Dreamcast ports?


Groepaz: Well those don't have high priority.... for one it would probably be very easy, and for two I don't really have a working development environment for those at the moment. We'll see :)


Hooka: The contiki site mentions you are trying to add an IRC client and a VT100 compatible telnet client have you gotten anything done towards these?


Groepaz: That website is a bit outdated - actually there already is an IRC-client in the current development version, and also some sort of fullscreen telnet client (not vt100, but commodore-graphics though). Adam himself has written those two so there is no more need for me to do it.

Hooka: Could the linux version of contiki run in GPlinux using the usb wifi device possibly?


Groepaz: Almost certainly. All the linux version would need is a working "tun/tap" device in linux, so if you make a working driver for the wifi device, it's a matter of configuring the kernel.


Hooka: GPLinux  already has support for using a powered usb hub and a usb wifi device.


Hooka: Is there any possibility we'll see Hitmen make a comeback to the console demo scene in the next year?  (I just noticed you've been quiet for awhile)


Groepaz: Well, I've released a little gamecube demo on last breakpoint :) I don't know what's coming next, I'm not planning a lot in that area, it just happens - or not. There are still a lot of things waiting to be done, time will tell when or if they will be released.


Hooka: Are you glad to see that linux is now running on the GP32?


Groepaz: Well for me personally linux on consoles/handhelds is of little to no interest. it's a nice technical demo, and surely needs to be done, but I don't see any practical use for it.


Hooka: What would you like to see get ported or made for the GP32?


Groepaz: I wouldn't mind to see some more demos...but I don't need yet another ported emulator or mediaplayer or whatnot.


Hooka: What is your opinion on some of the mod's that have been done to the GP32?


Groepaz: Well just like with linux, I'm not terribly interested in that kinda stuff. It's cool and all, but I don't see any practical use in that. To me a console has to be in off-the-shelve condition, except maybe a modchip or other modification to run homemade code. I'm not interested in accelerator cards for homecomputers either for that matter. Such things just terribly smell like pc attitude to me - and as we all know, pc sux :=P


Hooka: (If I remember correctly, maybe I don't...) You coded drugtro on mushrooms did that make it an interesting process?


Groepaz: LOL. No you got that wrong :=P I don't think I would be able to code anything at all in that condition :o) The drugtro "theme" mostly originates from the fact that I needed a bunch of gfx for that demo and had a directory with drug-related pictures handy :)


Hooka: Got any greetz you'd like to send out or do you feel that they're all pretty much listed between the different demo's and hitmen pages?


Groepaz: Uhm many to list :) You know who you are :)


Hooka: Do you plan on doing anymore coding for the GP32?


Groepaz: Honestly, I don't know. I'm currently occupied by some other things. We'll see if I for example look into contiki for gp32 again.


Thank you for doing this interview Groepaz it was entertaining and hope to see some more of your demo's, ect. in the future!


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