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Throwback Thursday
2014-06-12 00:17:38 -0400

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I recently found this picture in the archives from right after a trip to the San Diego Comic-Con (as it was then called) in July 2000. This is the stack of comics I picked up there. You'll see a few notable books, including Brian Bendis' "Fortune and Glory," Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones' "The Life of Groo," the limited edition hardcover "Daredevil" book (including a CD with audio commentary!) collecting the run by Kevin Smith, Joe Quesada, and Jimmy Palmiotti. Rick Geary's "Jack the Ripper" is in there, too, and lots of other cool books.

But let's take a look at that computer set-up I had at the time. First, the comics sit on my original flatbed scanner. That was the big one I had, capable of scanning a 14 x 17 inch comic original art page in one go. I believe it was from Mustek. On the far side of the computer, out of sight but no doubt covered in a stack of comics would have been my previous smaller scanner. It did letter sized fine, but I was more interested in scanning large art boards by then.

Standing tall in the pic is the Gateway 2000 computer, one of two or three I owned before switching to the Mac. You can see the Mandrake Linux sticker on the front of it. I was using Linux part time by then. I wouldn't go full time Linux for another couple or three years, before switching over to the Mac.

That sticker sits just below the DVD drive, which was my first DVD drive. I got that in 1998, and used it to watch movies on my 15 inch (or was it 17"?) LCD computer monitor. You haven't see "The Usual Suspects" or "The Rock" until you've watched it letterboxed on a 4:3 computer screen, even with the great surround sound set-up I had with it. (Seriously, I had 5.1 plugged in.) Sitting three feet away from the screen was a big help. That DVD drive probably cost me $250 at CompUSA at the time, which is what I bought myself with my first real paycheck after college and getting full time job. I would buy my first set-top DVD player to attach to the TV a few months later for nearly the same price. This was before DVD players were under $100.

Just below the Mandrake Linux sticker you'll see this computer's crowning achievement: a built-in Zip Disk drive. It was the awesomest. Gone was the bulky blue box with its thick parallel port-connecting wire. Those wonderful cartridges could plug directly into the desktop tower. They were awesome for backups, because JPGs were tens of thousands of bytes large still, and video was postage stamp size and not something you had lots of.

I also see in the bottom right corner some packaging from "Delta Force 2," a fun and strategic FPS game that I believe was ported to Linux. That's the cardboard template that you could put over the function keys at the top of the keyboard to remind yourself of what each function key did.

Fun times, those were!

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