More Early Days

See a previous post for two trailers to the Animé title, The Place Promised in Our Early Days.

Here are two scenes from the movie that I’ve spliced together.  Note: the bit rate is pushed up to 700 Kbps.  We’re giving this one ★★★★★ (OK, who sees five red stars here and who sees something else?).  Thanks go again to honorable son Eric for putting it on the Netflix queue!

Click here

This One Goes to Eleven

I said, don't click!

Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 was released on August 31, and it looks very promising.  The DVD player is excellent.  Here’s how the embedded controller appears with WMP11.  The PREV and NEXT buttons are much more obvious now, so it should be easier to see that there’s more than one file to be played.

I ♥ FiOS

I first read about The Net in December, 1972, as I’ll explain later.  I never had any interest in CompuServe or AOL, or any online service that wasn’t The Internet.  The original graphical Web browser was Mosaic 0.9, released in October, 1993.  I read about it in the December ’93 issue of PC Magazine.  I’d been looking for an Internet service with a local phone number, intending to open a UNIX Shell account.  The possibilities of going graphical made me feel I had to get moving, so in January, 1994 I went online with The Internet Access Company, using a 40 MHz 386 PC and an Intel modem running at 14.4 Kbps.  TIAC was a very good service, and it was later bought by Earthlink.

It was no easy task getting Mosaic going!  For starters, Trumpet Winsock was the only reasonably priced Internet Protocol software that was available for home use, and downloading it with Xmodem and getting it working on Windows 3.11 took some effort, as well as $25 US sent to its author, Peter Tattam, in Australia.  There was no PayPal in those days, so some ISP’s, including TIAC, took care of forwarding the money.  Then Mosaic itself had to be downloaded, etc.

The first Web page I ever saw was Paramount Studio’s Star Trek homepage.  After doing some text-based browsing in UNIX Shell with a program called Lynx, I immediately “got” the graphical Web experience.  It was one of those memorable, “ah ha, of course” moments, that made me laugh to myself.  Sort of like the first time I saw a cassette deck with auto search and reverse. 😉

I promised myself to get off of dialup as soon as I could, and that turned out to be August, 1998, after we sold our first house and bought this place.  While my broadband connection never changed, the service providers sure did!  I started with Road Runner → then MediaOne → moved to ATT Broadband → and ended with Comcast.

At work I was known to mutter about the need to rewire America with fiber optic cable, and I vowed to get it as soon as it was available.  Last March, three weeks after seeing the Verizon truck on the street with spools of fiber optic cable, I ordered FiOS.  Click the thumbnail picture to see the setup in my garage.  Our phone service is also on FiOS.  The line had crackled when it rained, even after Verizon swapped wire pairs in the buried pipe, so we were glad to be rid of it.

If you can get FiOS, get it!  It’s the fastest Internet consumer service there is, it costs the same as Comcast, and the connection is much more reliable.  My only complaints have been sporatic outages with Verizon’s e-mail, and I suspect those were caused by problems with the Verizon-Yahoo integration.

When Swing was King

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Artie Shaw died a couple of years ago, at a ripe old age, as sharp, cantankerous and opinionated as ever.  For no reason other than my eclectic buddy Dennis sent me a CD with a couple of Artie Shaw tunes from 1939, let’s listen to both of those tunes.  One of them swings, the other does not, but they’re equally good.  If you don’t know who that is Artie was sitting with, please get a clue!

New York Radio — 4

Part 4 of the video documentary on the history of New York Top 40 music radio concentrates on WMCA trying, and failing, to fight back against the 50,000-watt signal pattern of WABC.