Monday, October 13, 2008

B-Movie - Nowhere Girl (Adam Freeland Mix)

The original track was nothing too exceptional, but this version, which made it into a Various Artists Compilation called Future Retro, really rocks. I love the driving drum beat.

This reminds me of my half-year spent working in the wonderful, tumultuous world of dot-com start-ups. I was responsible for building, maintaining, and enhancing our "Appliances" -- That is, little rack-mount servers that booted off a mere 32MB of storage. Appropriate, since I bought the album from iTunes while on the clock and working on the very stuff that this track reminds me of.

My desk was often cluttered with 3 or 4 of these servers, a pile of Bootable USB flash drives. The smell of burnt electronics is faintly lingering in the air because we were building these appliances on the cheap and they often failed or overheated.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Robert Miles - Children

Ah, the days of my foolish youth, and my first speeding ticket.

It's kind of an interesting story. I had just gotten back from a visit to the optometrist for an eye check-up. As usual, my vision was better than perfect (20/13 if it's any of your business), and as one who works in the IT Field among a sea of four-eyed peers (no offense meant) I've always been proud of my eagle eyes. Interesting fact, eagles probably have something more like 20/5 or 20/2 vision, but that's neither here nor there.

For some reason or another, part of the vision testing stressed me out quite a bit (dilation and the air-burst glaucoma ordeal) and I had a grand-mal seizure right there on the spot. It took me a while to recover, and the drive home had me feeling much like a zombie.

I was cranking this song at full blast in my 1981 Honda Accord, not paying much attention to my speed. I was going 70 MPH in 55 MPH zone that was under construction but without workers present. The resulting ticket was nearly $300. Ugh.

Good Times!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Real McCoy - Another Night

Oh jeez. I ran across this song in my playlist today. Memories of my BBS days flooded back. Not just hanging out on BBSes, but all the real-world social atmosphere that came with it.

Playing Tradewars. Going to Ren Fest or Tippins (rest in Peace) to meet with people. Late nights in 16-color text-only teleconference. Driving out to Independence to hang out with my favorite Sysop. Arguing on the forums with Frogman, who's now one of my best friends. Turning Poet's little Geo Metro sideways between Kestra's basketball goal and the front porch, stranding him. Giant Pixie Sticks. Bowling. You don't even understand. You'd would have needed to be there. This is part of my mid-teenage past that permanently changed the course of my life. It may also explain my terribly eclectic and slightly disturbing social flair.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Orbital - Out There (Intro)

I was a naughty, naughty boy in the late 90's. I'd just purchased this album, and was in the middle of tinkering with an old AIX UNIX server at school that we used for student e-mail and homework storage. In order to get an e-mail account, you had to verify your identity, then you could choose a user name. Well, I accidentally crash the database while tinkering. When it crashed, it exported all of the data it had to the hard drive. For a brief, fleeting moment I had access to every student's first name, last name, SSN and Date of birth. On top of that, I had all of the student e-mail usernames, passwords, and what SSN (and therefore, person's real name) that the account belonged to. Never fear, I did not use the information for evil deeds, but it was kind of fun to watch it unfold.

I was friends (and eventually room mates) with the sysadmin of the server. I notified him of the problem and he cleaned up the files before anyone found them. He would later fix the glitch that allowed the crash to happen, too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Underworld - Cowgirl

This is the first track I ever listened to on my NEC Versa 4050C. It was a used laptop that was new to me. It replaced my HP 300LX as my main classroom note-taking, BBS/UNIX Dialup terminal and Internet workstation. Yes, my 300LX was my main machine for a few months. But that's not what we're talking about.

I had just picked it up from a local used computer place (Oh, Computer Garage, how I miss thee...) and was sitting in my car, waiting for my wife to come out from her office on her lunch break. Except she was my girlfriend at the time. The NEC still works well to this day, but at a mere 90 MHz, it's pretty sluggish. It has great runtime on the battery, and it often gets used for Wardriving.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Orbital - Walk Now...

This track reminds me of the kinds of mobile mischief I used to partake in in 1996. I saved up a good chunk of cash from working at CompUSA and bought myself a brand new laptop at the time, an NEC Versa 550D. And boy, was it stylin' back then.

Modems, sound cards, and whatnot weren't very common on laptops. I bought a PCMCIA laptop modem and an acoustic coupler to go with it. When I got home to play with my new goods, the Orbital II album was playing, hence the flood of memories. Even while a senior in high school, I was quite the road warrior. This carried on into college. With this setup, I could get on Bulletin Boards, the Internet, and into the college's campus from virtually anywhere there was a phone, even if it was a payphone... especially if it was a payphone! And the wonderful thing about payphones is that you can't really trace a payphone down to a specific person unless you have video cameras rolling or can get there before the person leaves. This shield of anonymity often provided me with the brazen resolve to do a lot of things that I probably shouldn't have been doing.

Of course, now, we have EDGE and EV-DO wireless broadband, 1xRTT tethering, satellite, and almost ubiquitous IEEE 802.11 "WiFi" at our disposal.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ben Folds Five - Brick

This song embodies the "college photography class" era, specifically memories of working in the digital photography computer lab. Year: 1998. Cutting-edge consumer-grade digital photography consisted of things like the Apple QuickTake 200. This song brings back memories of putzing around, digitizing my 35mm black-and-white negatives in that lab while getting paid to babysit the computers and their humanoid users. Playing around with PhotoShop 3. No, not Adobe CS3. Photoshop 3.

I really liked this time in my life. There were a lot of fresh things unfolding. My relationship with my wife, my career, my fascination with tinkering really blossomed in full force.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Exposé - As Long As I Can Dream

You'll laugh at this one. I had plastic surgery on my ears. Yes, my ears. They stuck out, and I'm talking about Dumbo here. In fact, Dumbo was one of my many nicknames, and not by my own choice.

Anyways, my uncle John was (and still is, to a certain extent) a plastic surgeon out in Boise, ID. He performed the surgery to mold my ears into some semblance of normal. I spent the better part of a week at his ranch house outside of Boise while my parents went snow skiing on Bogus Basin. I spent a LOT of time listening to tunes. At this point in my life I didn't have the means to buy any music, so I shamelessly recorded stuff off the air (or from friends' tapes or CDs) onto audio cassettes. The RIAA is going to have my ass for admitting this, I'm sure.

This was one of the songs that I had on tape out there in Boise. I heard this song a lot of times, as I only brought two tapes with me. Two 90-minute cassetes. Three hours of music, if that. That's all I had. I won't even mention how many AA batteries my Walkman ate during the trip.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Nine Inch Nails - Dead Souls

A Midi of this song looped in the background when you'd visit Silicon Toad's site, The Infinity Void. He had an impressive archive of underground "hacking" information, back when there really was an underground scene. This later went on to become integrated into, which has probably by now been passed around Al Gore's Interwebs like a nickel whore. I probably won't bother heading back there to see who owns it now.

14 years later, Trent's masterful re-work of a Joy Division classic still sounds awesome. The so-called "hacking scene", however, is made of fail.

Cascade - Escape

I'm heads down, writing some goofy applications for a new operating system, V2_OS. Sometime around the turn of the century, I threw a lot of energy into this project to help kickstart it. It's pretty much dead now, and whatever trace remains of my assistance with the project is long gone. I pretty much gave up after it was evident that much more talented coders were interested in helping. I maintained the source code repository for a while until they got their own CVS server up and running. Then I pretty much forgot about V2_OS, Joost, and all my buddies on the project.

V2_OS is part of why I left FishNet. It's a very long and complicated story. If you run into me some time, ask me and I'll share it.

A compilation with this track on it was in heavy rotation on my MP3 player while all of this was unfolding.