The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Twelve

in story •  5 months ago  (edited)

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This series is dedicated to my friend ‘The Pieman’ who hosted ‘THE P.I.T.S’ BBS in New York City and sadly passed away in 2016. I know his son ‘Blake’ will be reading this sequence of stories with anticipation.


We will never forget you man, you were one of a kind.


Also I would like to say a big thank you to Fabulous Furlough, ex-leader of ‘The Humble Guys’ who helps me fill in the gaps of what happened almost 30 years ago, The Slavelord who has given me a plethora of memories from the early days and to Suicidal Tendencies (@trolleydave) who remembers more about the UK scene than me.


The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) is a continuation of my previous series, The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops.


I was once known as 'Bryn Rogers', a member of THG (The Humble Guys).


Other articles in this series:
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part One
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Two
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Three
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Four
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Five
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Six
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Seven
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Eight
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Nine
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Ten
The Software Piracy Chronicles of Slobberchops (The THG Years) – Part Eleven


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June 1992

Things we getting all a little bit too serious within the ‘scene'. Some groups were constantly hassling others' within their NFO files along the lines of ‘you're a lamer' and similar other bullshit. It was boring and we needed a change!

I figured it was time to liven things up a little and stealing the name ‘Lamers on Parade’ that Eddie Haskel (Spamland) had thought up from somewhere I decided to create a fake group and protagonist.

Eddie Haskel got Lamers on Parade from me. And I got it from a comment from(Candyman), from his C-64 group. I was chatting with him one day, and he read me a comment from his C-64 BBS. "Man, if we release this, we'll look like Lamers on Parade". I in turn quoted it to Eddie. - Fabulous Furlough

Lamers of Power would be the ultimate group led by The Power Lamer and release the greatest games to thwart the rest. That would be the vision of Hans Gruttenburg (fake real name) who came from Cologne, Germany.

In an attempt to make this fabricated story genuine, I went to great lengths to make all this believable.

The Power Lamer applied and was granted accounts on many of the Elite BBS’s in the US as well as being a frequent visitor on The Demon’s Forge (of course) and The Flying Teapot.

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The infamy of his slating .NFO files and famously long FILE_ID.DIZ files started to become known to the community.

A 'FILE_ID.DIZ' file was contained within a .ZIP file and was used as a descriptor for the contents and could contain ANSI that could pass for rudimentary graphics as well as a textual caption.

One such FILE_ID.DIZ story which is mentioned in the link below does stick out in my mind. I just hope The Toyman wasn’t too pissed at me for doing it. I only did a single sysop chat with him, he seemed like a decent bloke.

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I found this FILE_ID.DIZ file on an old warez CD I still have from 1993. This is what BBS's and Sysop's had to tolerate in those times

Most of the THG guys were aware it was me and thought it was hilarious; well they do like English humour and the German twang made in even better!

The Power Lamer always typed in UPPER CASE and spelled most words wrong as his English was terrible, though he constantly claimed he was improving. He chirped up this quip in most .NFO files.

'MY ENGLIS GITS BETER YIS?'

Yes, there is one word spelled correctly but that was as good as you ever saw.

The Power Lamer took the piss out of the German Traders who persistently used the word 'UR' instead of ‘Your’. Why is UR so popular amongst German people? Can you explain to me @detlev?

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Poor Kegs, I did give him a rather hard time, but eventually allowed him on the 'The Demon's Forge' and explained all. He took it rather well considering all the shit I gave him.

Releasing the greatest games was always in the mind of The Power Lamer and what Lamers of Power released were the crappiest games ever known to man. Think of it at it as ‘mutton dressed as lamb'.

Updates and patches of games were typical LOP material.

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Some CD's I have had from the early 90's, They cost £20 each then!

I had to learn to enter sysop chats as this ridiculous fictitious character and type as ‘The Power Lamer' in broken English, and in real-time with people simply to convince them that the typist was a crazy German lunatic intent on creating the greatest Pirate Cracking group ever.

Several German’s did contest my validity by trying to converse in their native language but The Power Lamer stubbornly continued to respond in the most terrible English which did little to convince them of his authenticity.

I SPEAKS JUST ENGLIS CUZ THIS IS INTERNATNAL LANGUGE THAT WES ELIT D00DZ SPEAKS’ was a common response to that challenge. It is legible, but you have to read it a couple of times.

Some American's and Canadian's did believe this bloke was real, but there was seldom interest in anyone wanting to join Lamers of Power. The Power Factory was the World HQ and sadly the group never expanded beyond that.

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8.3 heaven! and look at those files stamps! If you think computers are hard work now, we had to work with 8.3 format for files and folders.

I wrote a piece on Lamers of Power several years ago and submitted it to defacto2.net which is a piracy archive repository. I don't want to repeat it here but you can read it directly there. @cheetah may think I’m copying it otherwise.

Other references to Lamers of Power can also be found on the excellent defacto2.net which includes an NFO file in which The Power Lamer slates every group other than his own, and some of the ‘games’ .NFO’s are also included.

I remember writing a ‘Guide to k00lness’ in which The Power Lamer calmly explains how to be ‘k00l’ and not be a lamer. Sadly this appears to not have made it on the Internet.

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EDIT: I found the Guide to k00lness on one of the above old CD's. I believe it to be the only copy now in existence.

Your can be cured of being a lamer by simply reading the guide.., Hmmm.. what planet was I on!

I’m sure I have some more LOP files on other CD ROM’S that I still have in the house somewhere. I will need to find them and get them out.

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I find it quite amazing that Lamers of Power, a fake cracking group still exists on the Internet (this was all before the Internet) and has not been forgotten.

The mantra of Lamers of Power was simply…

LAMERS OF POWER, LAMERS OF POWER, LAMERS OF POWER, LAMERS OF POWER….

Unfortunately, due to The Power Lamers' English never really improving, the next part occasionally was…

'UR CHANT THEES AND UR BOWS BETWEEN UR MASTERS!'

This had the side effect of creating a vision of something quite different than what was intended.

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While you may think this all completely ridiculous you need to remember I was a lot younger then and had a lot more time. I would do it all again given the chance to go back in time and don’t regret any of it.


To be continued...



All images have been cited and are under the category 'Labelled for Reuse' or are in the public domain.

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.NFO files courtesy of the .NFO libraries at https://defacto2.net


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I always find these so interesting to read thanks for sharing with us

I wasn't so sure in this case. You had to be there to really appreciate the fun aspect of this. I send these to The Slavelord and Fabulous Furlough (who grammar checks my work and adds extra detail). It's great to be still in touch with these 'Legends' from the past.

Thats still you are still in contact with them :)

EGA, I had forgotten about that one, here in the day of 24+MP cameras, it is hard to remember graphics quality from back then. I still can not remember where Hercules graphics came in but I do remember CGA, VGA, SVGA, and now I recall the EGA. Graphic standards were as hard to keep up with as the changing speeds of modems. I sometimes wonder, (but not enough to check yet), if dial-up modems have passed the 56K standard. There must still be a few dial-up sites out and about.

EGA was 16 colours, not too good considering the Amiga was out there and a great rival. By '92 VGA was more commonplace and at 256 colours was great. By this time I was mostly off the Amiga and played everything on the PC.

Modems were still 14.4k V32 BIS and HST. 56k came later.

LOL! You really went to town on that. I guess it was fun for a younger person and the scene was a pretty small thing really. I hope you raised a few laughs.

Seems you are running out of space for actual tags :)

Yes, LOP was great fun and barely anyone knew if was me in that time. Yes, tags are getting scare and it will get worse as more tribes arrive. I have a small stake in ZZAN now and I think it a generic tag like #PALNET. #SCT the same.. I think, we need a good guide on what is what.

I won't use every tag, but palnet and sportstalk should be good enough for me most of the time.

Hahaha, ah you were quite the funny man!! What happened ;0)

Hahaha, ah you were quite the funny man!! What happened ;0)

Tsk... what?!!?

I could still do it, but you kind of have that covered here.

Besides, there's tales of a wild land filled with bandits, mercenaries, whores, rapists, assassins, murderers, brigands, outlaws, crooks and cannibals now..

The next part has been written and @bingbabe even says it's' 'interesting'.. fine praise indeed from my good lady!

That is pretty funny! I noticed that the game was a Microprose game. They made some of the best stuff back then. I had an old submarine simulator game called Silent Service that was Microprose. It was awesome.

Yeah, Microprose were great and always gave you big thick manuals with the games. None of these extra ones you had to buy .. that all came later.

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