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.

Anyway.

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.

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

I loved the early days of the internet. I got my first computer back in 1999 and it had a whopping 6.4GB harddrive and 64MB RAM. I used that PC up until 2005 and by then it was severely underpowered.

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Early days? An Amstrad XT and 9600 baud modem. My first experience with the web was via my local BBS, seeing it emulated in eterm, or xterm?

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

I knew these days. I was younger than most of you guys were, but I knew them, although from a slightly different point of view. I never really knew TFN, but I did see many fanfilms (oh my God, Duality), mainly because I got them from my brother's folders. I think I'll always regret not being more in the SW fanfilm universe like some of you guys were, but then again, I was younger.

I got into all that enough to go full nostalgia when I read your post. Doing stuff with After Effects for fun, lightsaber tests and all. I can't remember how many times I watched Ryan's little videos, trying to do the same kind of things - giving a cup of coffee to my clone, cloning my cat, going bananas with a lightsaber - well, an aluminum stick, but hey, it was the same to me. I made my own hilt too when I was 17.

I guess the thing that makes me the most sad in all this is that I never really had friends who were into that same kind of things. I was kind of a lonely teenager, and that may be why I never really got past these little AE tricks. I'd only dream of making a real fanfilm (I still do, actually).

I got into stop-motion too, after seeing amazing Lego shorts on the Internet. I made lots of stop-motion videos with my Lego and my little webcam, editing them with Vegas Video. I still have some of them on my hard drives, I think.

Now I'm in studies that use that kind of software. I'm in this state where I'm starting to see After Effects, Photoshop etc. from a professionnal point of view. It's weird, really, but it makes me remember just how much I love VFX and what they mean to me, how they relate to my younger days. I get the same feeling when I remember how I came to know DiF - through Ryan. Him, again. I owe this guy some beers, really.

And gaming? Oh yeah. Countless hours playing Counter-Strike, sometimes online, sometimes with a friend. We even had LAN parties at my high school. Steam was barely born, it was unstable, we hated it. I like to remember how it used to be like, as now I think this is one of the greatest things that ever happened to PC gaming.

Which brings me to Half-Life. The most amazing game I have ever played and probably will ever play. When it came out in 1998, I was 9. Jesus. I didn't have a PC back then (and just look at how many nine year-old kids already have their PC/console now). My dad would let me play a bit on his computer, and I tried Half-Life. So yeah, I was 9. Scientist bodies bursting into bloody pieces. Had some nightmares. Some years later, I got my first PC - I think I was 12. Not connected to the web, of course, and it remained like this for a while. But when I could go on the Internet, I'd read tutorials about making maps for Half-Life with Hammer (which was, at the time, called Worldcraft), and I'd spent countless nights making maps for HL, trying to recreate that special atmosphere I'd loved so much visiting Black Mesa. I did this for almost a decade. Now and then I still open up Hammer again and take a look at my old maps. Between actually playing HL and making maps for it, I think I spent thousands of hours on it. This is insane. I still play it from time to time. This 15 year-old game never gets old. It never will.

It may look like I'm getting off the subject, but I'm not. All this was always related to my experience of the Internet at that time. There's a popular french website which is dedicated to tutorials - programing, making websites, etc. - and it was popular back then mosly for its level-making tutorials. No Youtube, no easy file sharing; people would show their creations on the boards, give each other advice. It was my first forum, too. Online social interactions. The very beginning of my existence on the web. Forum boards were the true way to meet people you had similar passions with. My MSN contacts were mostly people I knew online only - which was subject to arguments with the parents, as you can imagine. They were wary of it, and took great care for me to go step by step with it. But what I experienced on those forum boards had meaning, and nowadays when I see people caring only for Facebook, actually saying forum boards are useless now, I wish I could go ten years back.

Remembering all that stuff has a great nostalgia feel to it. I'm overwhelmed by it right now, which means, vidina, that you succeeded in making your thread about it. Damn you.

But it also raises a very fair point about the state of the web at the moment. It's getting bigger and bigger, always making information become easier to get, and that's as much good as it is dangerous. Dangerous for the web itself to become meaningless.

Last edited by Saniss (2013-01-03 00:01:56)

Sébastien Fraud
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"We're gonna build a great green screen, and make the traditional matte painters pay for it"
Saniss for President 2016 - "Make VFX great again"

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

10 years ago? I was...uh...11.

I'll just...be over here. You guys have fun.

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

http://www.freewebs.com/jesperwebb/quigon.jpg

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Not once... not twice... but thrice!

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

I still say that in my head, every time!

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Owen that made me grin from ear to ear you sod  big_smile

Extended Edition - 134 Blade Runner 2049
VFX Reel | Twitter | IMDB | Blog

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

The Internet was crap until about 1995, when Yahoo developed a decent search algorithm. Prior to that, it was mostly murky BBSs and gated communities like AOL.

I've waxed nostalgic before about the conversations I had on the Blackadder mailing list in '96 and '97. 80 messages a day from some of the wittiest, driest, most literate people you could hope to meet.

But aside from that, the Internet was a sea of this image....
http://www.oocities.org/petsburgh/6258/Pics/const_ani.gif

Last edited by Zarban (2013-01-03 01:43:54)

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

TIL that gif was actually animated.

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Zarban and I are old.

http://i.imgur.com/dUApW.jpg

Last edited by Dave (2013-01-03 02:01:58)

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Saniss wrote:

But what I experienced on those forum boards had meaning, and nowadays when I see people caring only for Facebook, actually saying forum boards are useless now, I wish I could go ten years back.

+1

It's really sad to see those Facebook-addicted kids nowadays... Someone should explain to them that friend whoring does not make one great.

Oh, wait... 10 years ago there was no Down In Front or TV Tropes  hmm

We all float down here...

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

If I could compare old and new:

I first got solidly on the 'internet' back in '98 or so via AOL. At the time, the internet was like a stew of different people who all just kinda hung out together in front of their PCs. I remember people being pretty friendly and helpful. You could ask a question and get an answer. You weren't ridiculed for not knowing something, and I only ever ran into a few people who made trolling their hobby. The general atmosphere was one of just exploration and sharing the various neat shit you discovered with other people. It was fun and exciting and pretty positive overall. You often ended up having a conversation about something you had no idea even existed until five minutes earlier, and you'd go looking for other similar things and then stumble onto this other thing and then you'd share that thing with some people and they'd give you more stuff to look at and listen to or whatever. It was all enriching and shit.

Today things are very different. People at any popular website are mostly sarcastic assholes or trolls, you're very likely to be ignored or ridiculed when you ask a question about something, and any reasonable conversation to be had is found in very niche corners of the internet (like DiF for example). I think a lot of this new culture was generated with that "web 2.0 / 3.0" social media BS. Myspace. Facebook. Now you don't have to search and sift through all kinds of stuff to find the thing you were looking for. Now you tell an RSS feed to give you only the specific things you want to see. Now you can create an account on reddit and block out all but the subjects you're interested in. Now popular vote determines what sort of culture makes it to the front page of whatever various social media platforms are out there. Now you only have to talk about the things you're interested in talking about. Now you can post that cat picture to that one place where you know it will get 90 billion likes and upvotes so your internet score will be the highest and you can lord over all the noobs who just found the site last week. Suck it.

Things like Reddit and Myspace and Facebook and Digg... All they did was suck the exploration and discovery out of the internet and turn it into a generic pop-culture soup of over-used in-jokes and petty bickering.

And now no one really has a website of their own anymore. Now everyone has facebook pages and accounts on various other social media and they just sit around waiting for neat shit to come to them. People don't exchange links. People don't start their own little club or people to hang out with.

That's why I like forums like DiF. One of the best early-ish internet experiences I had was on 'eatpoo.com', which wasn't a scat porn site, I assure you. It was a forum where a bunch of young artists used to post all kinds of neat shit. This was back in the early 2000's. The forum still sortof exists at apedogs.com, but there are only 500 members there. Eatpoo had like 100 times that many members, but it wasn't a place where you'd just post your random doodles. You wanted to post only your very best stuff, and you'd get honest and harsh crits from people who honestly gave a shit about getting better at making things. I imagine it was to me what the TFN forums were to many of the people here. They weren't just random people you wanted to have upvote your shit. You genuinely wanted to help each other get better at the thing that you were all there for.

You don't get that at Facebook or Reddit or wherever. Those places are just show and tell. People aren't really looking to contribute to those places. They're looking to get stroked on their E-peepee. Post your funny picture to get internet points. Here are some things we're feeding you. Upvote or downvote? If reddit got rid of their stupid points system, how many people would just quit? If there's no longer any way to measure how much more awesome you are than everyone else, what's the point, right?

One of the more controversial things Eatpoo ever did was to remove post counts and join dates and such from their forums. This was at the point when they had a metric buttload of members and the post quality was fading. After removing this stuff, tho, a lot of people threw fits and left (went off to conceptart.org or cgchat or whatever). Post quality went up. Conversations got more interesting, cause the noobs couldn't tell that Member X had been around for four years and had a bajillion posts. Their point could be just as valid or insightful.

I dunno. Off-topic a lot, probably. I mourn the old days of the internet, when it felt like we were all members of a variety of little clubs and were actively seeking out things that interested us, rather than just going to youtube and clicking on all the feed stuff, or going to reddit and just scrolling through "funny" or "gaming" or whatever and just consuming whatever gets put in front of us.

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

My earliest memories of the Internet were visiting my father's house and spending hours on end searching through sites for pictures of folks like Jackie Chan and Jet Li and pictures from their movies, and amassing a big collection of rare photographs. At this time, I intended to create a comprehensive Hong Kong Movie website and I started work on it for my IT AS level at school. When that class collapsed (the school messed it up, along with my AS art class), so too did my drive and I never did do the website.

And yes, all this searching was done using Netscape and AOL.

Of course, the other side of that coin is that I would also spend hours into the night at my dad's looking for porn as well - not videos mind you (they were virtually impossible to find/download) just pictures. At one point, my dad actually had the talk with me too as I probably forgot to delete it all.

For other distant memories (again going way back when), I distinctly remember switching to Google. I had been using Yahoo or Ask Jeeves, but on Dial-Up it was just needless time wasted as Yahoo especially had about a million things on their homepage which slowed it down considerably. In contrast, Google had one modestly sized picture and one search bar and was mercifully quick to load as a result. It wasn't an overnight success (taking years actually) but it still surprises me how fundamentally Google took over.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Oh yeah, google was rubbish compared to Yahoo for quite a while.

The thing I really miss is how the internet was a massive library of information. The sad thing about Web 2.0 or whatever is how sites stopped being static and became blogs.

Now if you remember something you want to find on IO9 but can't remember what it was called you have to remember the month it was posted to look through archives.

Edit: I love it when someone keeps a good production blog for their film but if you ever discover them after the film is released you have to read through it backwards. Why has no blog platform one ever developed an "oldest to newest" option ?!

Last edited by Faldor (2013-01-03 13:17:16)

Extended Edition - 134 Blade Runner 2049
VFX Reel | Twitter | IMDB | Blog

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

redxavier wrote:

Of course, the other side of that coin is that I would also spend hours into the night at my dad's looking for porn as well - not videos mind you (they were virtually impossible to find/download) just pictures. At one point, my dad actually had the talk with me too as I probably forgot to delete it all.


Ah, yes, porn. I remember we used LANShare at LANparties. Everyone shared their porn. It wasn't like today, when you can trim down your searches to more or less EXACTLY what you want, no, back then, it was almost completely random what you got, meaning you had to work with what you had. I even remember a friend had a porn folder that was a whopping 40GB. Remember, this was before you could download HD, let alone standard SD(as in 480p), so these files were TINY, and some 30 percent was picures. Oh yes.

Also, I left out Netscape, AOL, ICQ and the likes because neither were really big in Norway. Or Europe, for that matter. Netscape was also more or less dead in 2003 anyway tongue

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

I *still* remember my ICQ account number. Remember when Alta Vista was the search engine of choice?

Last edited by Dave (2013-01-03 23:14:20)

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Ah yes ICQ "Uh Ooh!"

Extended Edition - 134 Blade Runner 2049
VFX Reel | Twitter | IMDB | Blog

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

The ICQ typewriter sound effect annoyed the crap out of me.

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Really? I thought it was cool tongue

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

yes, but you're Lame.

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

http://www.pr0gramm.com/data/thumbs/2011/08/okay-meme.jpg

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Fuck it, now I'm just going through and bumping awesome old threads.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Punk Rock - The "old" internet and PC days

Everyone here pretty well covered my internet nostalgia. Different communities; TF.N, PlanetDescent (or PlanetWhatever, before Gamespy took over the network). Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone for Age of Empires and sometimes other things. Playing "minerva" in Descent II and getting whooped. Downloading mod after mod for Half-Life, some total conversions of which I want to go back and try to find today.

Things were both more centralized - your community for something would be in one specific place (fanfilms) - and more spread out, as you'd be in many different communities. Now everything is all together - YouTube, Facebook - but everything is all together. Elite: Dangerous videos mix it up with science videos. Fellow LCC producers are in the same News Feed as my aunt. It's both more convenient and more overwhelming, due to it being less tidy and segmented.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.