Josephine Bosma on Fri, 12 Dec 1997 01:20:26 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> (Xchange) interview with Pararadio

Pararadio is an Internet only radio in Hungary. Its three
keywords are, according to the initiators: technology,
culture and lifestyle. I pressume the word lifestyle
does not have the same meaning here as it has in ex-western
glossies. At HIP97 I talked to B2Men and Jinx in the tent
of RIP, Radio In Progress...

CJ B2Men and Jinx of Pararadio:
- We do reality hacking. Survive at first. Going to conferences,
looking around the Internet, WWW, the real world.
But seriously, this group emerges from an underground computerscene
in Hungary and this group started to do things about contemporary
culture, started to explore the Internet. We realised that
there should be some kind of filter between the world outside and
the world inside this country which was previously communist.
People had no access to the world outside there, in a cultural
and philosofical sense. We had to make some kind of input
to these people, have their links outside, and we should show
the inner ones to the outside. Filtering is not an Ubermensch
attitude, but to help focusing people. It's a cliche to cite
the information overload, but simply there are too much things
out there. It goes two ways. Mostly filtering what's coming in
and not what's going out. There is not much going out there, but
we are very glad that right now there are some emerging groups
who want to show themselves and interact.

Q: How do you do that in practice, how does the filter act?

- First we came up with a webserver by the start of 1995,
unfortunately it is still on university wireframe, so our hands are
a bit tied. That was just about culture. It was kind of the first
in Hungary that was aimed at contemporary culture in the common
sense let's say. We organised face to face meetings in clubs and
presentations. Now we are doing Pararadio and thinking about having
club sessions again.

Q: Do you have a lifestream? 24 hours a day?

- We have four hours a week, every wednesday from 4 pm till 8 pm CET
there is lifestreaming. From then on you can listen to any of the
programs in an archive, in RealAudio format. We were very surprised
by the huge amount of reflections and the number of the listeners.
We had feedback from Brazil and Canada and so. We had just figured
out that on an average Saturday morning eight people were listening
to our archives. But of course we think that we are doing a very
important task by documenting the ongoing things. In Hungary it
is a problem now, to have a computer, a decent modem and stuff at
home to listen to this radio live. We are thinking of making prints
of the material. Perhaps it will be much more interesting in the
future, to have this stuff all together. We are showing to the
outside emerging groups, emerging bands or parties... those who have
no possibilities to show their work to the public in another way.

Q: This Pararadio, is it also a solution for not being able to have
an etherstation or a normal radiostation?

- We wanted to have a There are real radios, but there
wasn't any in Hungary at that time. We would like to give
these programs and this knowledge to those people who are really
interested in it, so they get access to the WWW just to listen
to us. We should have mentioned that in Hungary there is really just
one radio that can do what they want. It's called Tilos radio
- means Radio Forbidden -, in Budapest. Of course they are not
forbidden anymore, it's hip to listen them, I mean they do nice
programmes, but right now they do make their living of the old pirate
fame. There is a very heavy pressure and powercontrol over
the frequencies. You can't go to the ministry and say: I want to
have a radio, and I have this and this program. They then say:
fuck off. By the way, there was another tryout in Hungary,
but they wanted to be commercial and they've failed.

Q: A pirate station is out of the question?

- Piratestations are under very heavy surveillance. The commercial
radio stations pay so much to the state that they can finance these
places being under surveillance. There are no more real pirate
stations in Hungary. They'ld catch them very soon. There was one,
that was mentioned already, Tilos radio. It went a bit mainstream,
but it's ok. Of course there are some people who have a little
transmitter at home, but they are not relevant, I mean it's not
like in London.

Q: What is the content of your live radioshow? Interviews or music..

- Of course we play lots of music, like modern styles of music.
We have talks, interviews and programs, reviews of things. It's
varied and colourful. If I use journalistic terms, it's a magazine
program. We play music that cannot reach people in any other way,
this is the latest music or of artists that cannot reach an audience
in another way. There is about fifty percent talk and fifty percent
music. The themes range from extreme sports, to the latest hacker
scene events, to everything that could be put in the bag called
contemporary culture that is not so mainstream. We are going to
talk about things which might be touching our future and about
people who could be interesting to our future.

Q: You had some problems with calling it a radiostation?

- In Hungary the laws are not professional enough to have special
laws for the internet and broadcasts there. Right now we are a normal
website with some audio content. That is the pocket they can put us
into. We are officially not called a radiostation, but maybe at
a later date we will change it. They didn't bother us yet.

Q: What is this computerscene like that you are coming from?

- That is the old good hacking cracking stuff, you know. You have
your old Commodore 64 at home, you get software, nobody pays for it.
You crack for friends, you write demo's to present your knowledge,
you get together with other people at copy parties and change black
software. That's it. The classical sense of hacker culture was very
blooming in Hungary for a very long time. Nobody really has money to
buy the programs in an official way. It is a rather special thing in
Hungary because about two years ago there was no software police at
all. There were not any laws for software. You couldn't access legal
software in Hungary, so it was a normal thing to have cracked
software and to exchange it and to give it away. Then came these laws
and policies and they made it rather hard for us. Now the whole thing
is changing. These copyparties, where previously they exchanged this
software, are called scene parties now. There they show and present
their knowledge. They are still exchanging and trading this cracked
stuff. Because there is now more and more legal software the pressure
is getting heavier, so this hacking cracking scene is going more and
more underground. They were wellknown people. They would be very open
about the work they did: I've cracked it. Now they are going
underground you cannot really reach the best ones. You get
only the surface.

Q: What is this JHFC Hacker Club?

- There are some guys from the University of Veszprm. They are really
nice guys, because they started the real hacking of machines for
their knowledge, to get more knowledge. These guys were some kind
of system administrators at the university. They made their ways
into Unix systems, just for fun, for the knowledge. They were fired
from the university half a year ago, because one of their friends
used his knowledge for bad stuff. This guy who used this for his own
purposes, did not get any kind of punishment, in return of telling
who gave him the passwords. So the good guy got fired, and the bad
one walked free. Now they formed this so-called hackerclub. They are
a team and they are about to get into hacking a bit more seriously.
They see it is unfair how they were treated. It is a kind of
a theoretical revenge. They could be reached at

ParaRadio could be reached at at IRC channel
#para. Our internal mailing list is
(main language on the radioshows is Hungarian, but there is, as said,
lots of music)

EastEdge site is gaining new content right now, will be
available at
EastEdge: phoenix rises!


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