Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Click, Click, Clickety-Click, Click

That's it. Keep raining...

Melt the snow away...

Up in Hadley on Rte. 9, it looks like they're doing major work on the old Eddie's Cruisers building. Or demolishing it, it's hard to tell at this point.

I needed a USB cord extension for my computer, and everywhere I went, they were charging like 29-30 bucks for a 10 foot length! Completely unreasonable, I thought. Then I remembered this place; College Pro Computers.

Just after they opened up back in the mid-90's, I bought my first real computer there. By real I mean the post Atari 800XL/ Commadore 64 era computers. I mean the Microsoft/IBM era computers. CD ROM's instead of floppy disc. The Pentium chip; not the Pentium I, II, or III, just the Pentium. It was a whole new ballgame.

I'd been interested in computers since computer class in high school, where we created cool programs ourselves, making colored lines and dots move around the screen. I became pretty proficient in Atari Basic, a computer language that would later prove useless except as an intro into code. But I did end up buying an Atari 800XL of my own, just like the ones at school, and soon created my own modest video game. It was a little light on the graphics, and took an entire summer to write, and I very nearly finished it! The parts that worked were pretty cool.

When I picked up my brand new used computer at College Pro, it came with a dial-up modem. I immediately opened an account at 'the-spa' in South Hadley, and I was off for my first foray into the cyberworld, at about 56 red-hot kilobytes per second. It was a watershed moment in my life. Although computers were gaining popularity by this time, nobody else I knew had one. It's hard to believe, but only 12-13 years ago, the Internet was still a very new thing, and most people were oblivious to what it was all about. Soon I was chatting with people on the other side of the planet. All info was at my fingertips. Books, furniture, and laundry began to collect dust, as I drew knowledge of all things big and small from the whirring little box and glowing monitor night after night. The TV still blared off in the corner, ignored. Then, I discovered a whole new breed of video games that I could play on it such as Age of Empires, and that was it. That sealed the rest of the nineties for me...

I was there for the opening salvos of a new website called the Baystate Objectivist, with a geocities url. I remember reading about the political intrigues of Springfield in bold over sized letters, and thinking how cool that someone local is on this world-wide thing called the Internet, spewing knowledge and philosophies. Now here I am, a dozen years later, meekly contributing by uploading my own pictures and commentary for the sphere'.

Anyway, I needed a USB extension cord. I found College Pro had them, at half the price of the other stores. I bought two.

On the way back down I-91, I found myself behind one of them 'mobile' homes.

The sun finally made it out later... set the sky alight.


Mary E.Carey said...

Very fun and great storytelling technique. I totally forgot that it started out with your trip to the computer store until you snap us back at the end. So you were a reader of Tom Devine's blog before blog was even a word.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories and thanks for a great blog I keep coming to every day.

Roma :)

Tony said...

Thanks for staying tuned Roma, I hope you continue to enjoy it!

Mary, I know I was reading the Objectivist in my last place of residence, and I moved from there early in 99'...Tom D. said he started the online site in 98', so I must have caught on to it on or near the beginning. Amazing that he's still going strong. The man was born to blog!