In 1984 a new service was developed and launched in the UK by Commodore Business Machines (CBM) and Compunet Teleservices Ltd which relied on the British Telecom (telephone network), called Compunet (aka Cnet). It used a 300-baud rate modem attached to the Commodore 64’s user port and your existing telephone line.

Using special client software running on the Commodore 64, which would allow a user to log on to the Compunet Service, you could use the service for uploading and downloading information.

One of the most famous areas on Compunet was the 'Demos'. A unique area used by programmers, graphic artists and musicians to release demos of their work. It was an instant success story and one of the reasons to own a Compunet modem. Demos released here were discussed in the various magazines like Zzap! 64.

One of the famous demos of the day was the Chicken Song; it had some strange music compositions like Eastbenders (a rendition of the popular music on the United Kingdom (UK) soap Eastenders!) and of course the Chicken Song by the maestro himself Rob Hubbard (based on the music that appeared in the famous United Kingdom (UK) satirical Spitting Image television show). A simple, fun and boppy tune, nothing special but became quite popular.

The music was accompanied by an on screen graphic of the United Kingdom and words for the song would appear below in a similar fashion to Activision programmer David Crane's bouncing ball text, on the title screen of the game Ghostbusters.

Compunet Teleservices Ltd
Compunet by Compunet Teleservices Ltd

Game Killer
Game Killer by Robtek

In 1986 the company Robtek marketed a new product called Game Killer for the Commodore 64. It was a cartridge-based device that allowed gamers to cheat when playing certain games that contained sprite collision code. The cartridge would allow the sprite collision to be switched off, which in effect meant that you could complete a game because the in-game enemies could never kill your character!

Unfortunately it did not work that well as it was only useful for certain games due to the software method used.

Robtek asked Hubbard to compose the theme music for the software. It was the only commercial software utility that contained a Hubbard soundtrack and what a soundtrack it is! It’s actually a remix of some music he did for the Human Race (Mastertronic 1986).

It has a memorable chorus line, which you won’t easily forget, it’s one of those tunes that just seems to stay in your head even after all these years - I can still hear the tune now! As usual it complements the software well and is most appropriate.