EJM Designs Limited Blog

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Flashback Nostalgia: The 286 & Hindenburg

I came across this historic video of the Hindenburg disaster and my nostalgia circuits lit up out of my mind:

Back in what must've been 1990 or 1991, I was about 13 and our first home computer was a 286 PC. I still laugh at the words the salesman at the computer store pitched to my father: "This thing has 40 MEGAbytes of hard drive space - you'd never fill that in your lifetime!" (Note: At the time, modified for data explosion, 40MB was like 4TB for home use.) He wasn't lying. He just didn't have any idea about Moore's Law.

I remember helping set up this computer and being so excited and one of the first things we did was access the Encarta encyclopedia program through the DOS operating system (I later was able to install Windows by modifying batch files to drop other BS and allocate necessary memory). My parents and I and one of my sisters clicked around and found ...VIDEOS!?!?!

The point being: the VERY FIRST video I ever saw on a computer was an Encarta file that must've been about 150 pixels wide of the Hindenberg disaster. I think we found a video of Hitler screaming something terrible in German after that. But as weird as it sounds, it was a defining moment in my life. I was energized with what computers had the potential to do and at the same time my post-modern referential file was opened at 13: "Oh, the humanity!" entered my lexicon before most of my peers and, well, I'd guess many Americans probably couldn't tell you the source of that quote to this day.

Hindenberg opened my eyes in many ways that were never imagined when that blimp went down in flames. And I guess it's iconic that the the highest tech of my time united me with the highest (dirigible) tech of that time.

Yay computers!

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