My Computer Desk (1999)

A few months ago The Retroist posted his computer setup from the mid 1990s. I found a picture of my own computer setup from the late 90s so I thought I would share it as well.

Rob's Computer Room, Heather 02

Oh boy.

I had a lot of things going on back in 1999. I was a Luddite (and still am in many ways) who was hanging on to DOS so strongly that I had two workstations, one running Windows 98 and one dedicated running DOS (mostly for old games that simply would not run on a Windows 98 machine). Additionally at work, I was just getting into Windows networking and so I had a Windows NT Workstation and a Windows NT Server also running. The fifth machine was connected to a BBS machine that I kept up and running until Y2K.

Obviously this was taken at a time before flat panel monitors were available and KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) units were affordable. Back then, running five computers meant having five keyboards, five mice, and as you can see from the picture, five monitors. To manage the heat in this bedroom I had to regularly turn off the monitors that weren’t in use; regardless, this room hovered around 80 degrees year round.

On the far right hand side of the desk (under the black speaker) is my old CD-ROM changer. It was an external SCSI device that held 6 CD-ROMs at a time. Each one got its own drive letter and it was connected to my BBS.

A couple of other things I see in this picture: to the left of my desk was a spinning CD-Rom tower. To the right was a laser printer I found in the trash, sitting on a black milk crate. I still have that printer somewhere, although I think the milk crate is worth more at this point. I also see a Stormtrooper coffee mug and an alien-shaped novelty cup that I think made its way back from Vegas. The other thing that sticks out to me is that none of the computers have cases on them. Back then I was adding more RAM, upgrading hard drives, or performing other upgrades frequently enough that the cases tended to stay off.

Kong Off 3: November 15-17, 2013

kong off 3

This weekend at the 1up Arcade in Denver, Colorado is the Kong Off 3, the World Championship Donkey Kong Tournament. Current world record holder Dr. Hank Chien will be there defending his title against Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell (both featured in the King of Kong film) along with several other world class contenders. This is an official tournament, sanctioned by Twin Galaxies and monitored by referee Walter Day.

If you find yourself in Denver at the 1Up this weekend, look for the big guy wearing a hat that says “FLACK” on it. :)

Happy Birthday to Me!

Thirty-nine years old. Who would have ever thought.

My Mom baked every one of my birthday cakes that I can remember. Thirty years ago today, she made this one for me:

“Happy Birthday, Robbie.” (That’s me.) By the nine candles on the cake I can tell you this was in 1982. The action figure on top of the cake is a Twin Pod Cloud Car Pilot from The Empire Strikes Back. The vehicle is a CAP-2 Captivator, a Star Wars “Mini Rig” — one of Kenner’s many “extended universe” (things that never appeared in the movies) items. As you can see from the box below, the CAP-2 was used by bounty hunters to capture Rebel scum. There’s really no reason a Twin Pod Cloud Car Pilot should be anywhere near a CAP-2, but somehow these two met on the planet of Chocolate Frostania, and the rest is history.

For what it’s worth, I still own both the CAP-2 and the Twin Pod Cloud Car Pilot. If the wind is just right, you can almost catch a whiff of that chocolate frosting …

Retroist Meet Up At 1984!


Hey, hey! Where are you going to be Wednesday, November 9th? Joining us at 1984 for the first ever Retroist Arcade Meet Up? I certainly hope so.

You can join the likes of Flack and myself for a day at what is absolutely an arcade wonderland. I hope this will be but the first of many such chances for all of us fans of the Retroist to hang out and play classic arcade titles from our youth and possibly share memories around a good meal with good friends.

Heck, maybe Flack knows of a place nearby to hunt down some vintage toys and games?

For those that cannot attend this time I do hope that we can somehow get a live feed going but at the very least I’ll make sure I have my laptop with me and send photo updates. Drop us a line in the comments by the way if you plan on attending.

For those of you not familiar with the 1984 arcade you can visit them here.

1984 Arcade Visit By Hak5 (2007)


A big thanks to Neato Coolville from over at the Retroist Image Pool for the image above and more importantly for giving me the heads up on this fantastic video tour/interview by Darren ofHak5 for the magical 1984 Arcade in Downtown Springfield, Missouri. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to get the urge to jump in your vehicle and drive to 1984 as quick as you can after watching this!

I think the best part of that photo from Neato Coolville’s site is the kid in the left hand corner playing Pole Position. That just makes me smile.

I’ve been meaning to get back to 1984 but with work and the weather being as oppressive as it’s been, I just haven’t been able to get such a quest lined up. Hm, maybe all I need is a few hearty adventurers?