Topic: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days
- Or Internet Hipsters. (Title in progress)
I re-listened to "Origins and TFN Fanfilms", and it got me thinking. I also happened to be browsing something called "Pimp my PC", a section in a norwegian IT tabloid dedicated to computer mods. Or, at least that's what it started as, now it's just pictures of people's computers.
I was feeling a bit nostalgic, and it took me back a solid 10 years, trying to remember how the internet, and computers in general was back then.
For starters, Windows XP was still pretty new. It came with Windows Media Player, a media player than nobody ever used, so we wound up using alternatives like Media Player Classic. You know, back before VLC. We also had to use QuickTime for fanfilms and such.
The internet was in a fresh state. DSL connections were new and pricey. You COULD get a 0.4Mbit connection, but it set you back a solid amount of money each month, but then again, the download speeds were stellar, and it was a subscription, meaning you didn't pay extra to download gigabytes of data. Oh, the days.
The days when LAN parties were fun, when we had computers with lights inside, custom built computer cases with painted finishes and plexiglass windows. The time when what CPU cooler you had actually made a difference to your computer's coolness factor, and when a 19" CRT monitor made you the king of the party. If you were rich enough to shell out for a flat-screen as well(as in a CRT flatscreen), you were 1337. Sporting a 120GB harddrive was insane, and a CPU with more than 2GHz was the stuff of legends, and you could also be pretty punk rock if your RAM read more than 1GB of DDR technology. Oh man, those were the days.
We played games like BF 1942, Counter-Strike, Warcraft 3, StarCraft, C&C Generals, Red Alert 2 and the elitists of us even attempted games like Splinter Cell 2: Pandora Tomorrow on Multiplayer(which still actually is fun, btw). Before the days of teabagging, and before computers were cheap enough to let parents buy their 12-year olds laptops with COD so they could bitch about n00bs, spawnkillers, imba and teabagging. When Halo 1 was brand-spanking new!
You get what I mean? You in the right mind-set about now? No? Okay, Skype was still in beta stages, MSN had it's 5th version just shipped out for download, Chrome was years away, Firefox didn't exist outside of Linux and was called Mozilla, Internet Explorer 6 was just available, and torrents were science fiction. Instead, we relied on eDonkey, newsgroups and DC++ for our file sharing needs.
With me now? Good.
Let's try and remember the internet. At this stage, YouTube was nowhere to be found. Starwars.com was actually kinda cool. Facebook wasn't even in inception stage, and the latest talkie on message boards was Attack of the Clones.
TheForce.net had message boards, and metacrawler, or even google searches for short films like that Cops parody set in the star wars universe would direct you to TFn's fanfilms section. Which, in turn took you to the message boards, where you could read all about how to use a technique called rotoscoping to make lightsabers in programs that were hard to come by, like Premiere or Photoshop. There was also one called LSMaker. Which was easy to use, but rendered lousy results, even for back then.
Back then, some friends and I used this program called Adobe After Effects 4.0 to make a fan film. We had no idea what we we were doing, or why the effect was working to begin with. All we did, was follow a tutorial to the letter. Why did we do this? Apart from the "because we could" factor? Well, because we loved star wars, and because in our senior year in junior high(or whatever the US equivalent is; we were 16.) we got to do personal presentations on the last gathering(or graduation, if you will). We made lightsaber hilts in arts and crafts out of wood, using a lathe and some silver paint, got some wooden dowels, neatly painted pink(since that's what we learned was RIGHT. Like we even knew why), and borrowed some DV Camcorders from school. We even wrote a long and elaborate script that featured.... You guessed it, Jedi and Sith battling it out in a forest over some very-extremely-epic mcguffin whilts Duel Of The Fates was humming in the background. Yeah, we were that cool. In all fairness, the students in our class had never seen this type of thing, so calling it "Svolvær Wars"(Svolvær being our home town) and doing "professional" titles just like in star wars was pretty insane, and well received.
These days, there wasn't really anywhere to put your video online, and if even if you found someone with hosting space that allowed this, AND a download tracker, you would be pretty damn rock star if you could manage to get a 100 downloads. Not only that, but that would also mean exceeding bandwith limits, which meant people would even have to WAIT to download it. Pretty cool, huh?
It was back then when videos like Jedi Hunter, Art of the Saber, Ryan vs Dorkman, Contract of Evil, Brains and Steel, Duel of the Fakes and Essence of the Force was hip. And let's not forget the infamous Duality. That stuff was so cool, even your non-SW friends could actually bear to sit through them with you. You know, before simply sending a link to them with the video would work, because you a)had no guarantee they had the connection to download it, and b)they might not even be connected to the web at all.
But I digress.
I just want this to be a nostalgic thread. Please, do share similar stories, be it films, music, podcast or anything that was, to quote Teague, the Punk Rock days of the Internet.