Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Everything Was State-of-the-art Once...

As part of the amalgamation of my blogs and web-projects, I am killing off two of my more neglected blogs for good.

Both blogs focused on retrocomputing, a subject near and dear to my heart.  Neither one has been updated in years, so it was time to purge them from human memory.

The first one to go was Archaic Online, published under the pseudonym SparcIPX... which is also the model of computer I was using at the time.  Archaic Online was originally started out of spite.  In the previous decade, I was a regular contributor to a fan-based, low-print run Zine also called Archaic Online.  Its print run lasted twenty quarterly issues, and my articles on retrocomputing appeared in eighteen of those issues.  Things were great until the gentleman who started the zine appointed his girlfriend as Editor-in-chief.  She had no experience whatsoever in writing, editing, publishing, or even computers, her only qualifications were that she'd minored in English Lit in college.  Couldn't even make the claim that she "worked on the school paper".

She also had no people skills and treated her "position" as though she was running a major publication (or kingdom).  Several regular contributors were told they "no longer fit the direction the magazine was taking", others like myself had to constantly rewrite and re-tool submissions until they met with her approval.  The nineteenth issue was the last to feature myself or many of the other regulars... and after the twentieth issue the zine went bust.

When I found out they wanted to move to a blog style publication, I grabbed the name for myself, just to be a cock... and when you google "Archaic Online", you won't find a single mention of that particular Zine.  I am now relinquishing the name, as I never really posted anything there, and my spite has largely dried up.

Killing off the other blog was a bit of a heartbreak...

The Thugs were a computer group started by my friend Karl (aka Slam) and I.  We grew up together and shared a lifelong fascination with computers.  We weren't your stereotypical 80s computer nerds though... by all accounts we were kinda scary looking.  Karl was a large neanderthal-looking man, while I was a skinny Irish punk.  Scary enough that we were branded "a bunch of thugs" by the manager of the restaurant where we worked.

We met in the seventh grade and were pretty much joined at the hip well into adulthood.  When I bought my house in 2002, we converted a corner of the unfinished basement into The Lab.  As we both held good paying jobs, and with the burst of the Dot-Com bubble, more and more computer hardware found its way into our hands.  We made it all work somehow, and were constantly amazed at what we could make these things do.  All it took was a little ingenuity and patience.

We adopted the philosophy, one that I still hold, that everything was state-of-the-art once.  I won't expand upon that philosophy here, as I'd be at the keyboard all week.

Unfortunately, life took its toll on Karl.  He disappeared sometime in 2007 and hasn't been around since.  He'd contacted me a couple of times over the years to let us know he's alright, but needed to sort things out.  We hope he's doing alright.

Our (now ad-laden) website can be found here for the time being... if I can remember the password to our Tripod account, I'll be archiving what I can, backing it up, then hopefully merging it with the retrocomputing section of the main site.  After which the Tripod site will be deleted.



Speaking of retro... I've been warned about taking an expensive digital camera with me on my lunchtime photo jags along Logan Ave and Keewatin St... it has a reputation for being crime-ridden.

While I work in the area and yes, certain parts of the area are indeed crime-ridden, most are not.  I will however be dusting off my older camera, an Olympus D-460Z, for my excursions.  It was a great camera for its time, and has a few features my current digital camera doesn't have. 

Plus, if it gets stolen or broken, I'm out the $15 I paid several years ago for it.

Hell, I've spent money more on batteries (it takes four AA batteries) for the thing over the years.

You'd think I would have invested in rechargeables...

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