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.

Pops Restaurant

Pops Restaurant is in Arcadia, Oklahoma, right off Route 66 not fifteen minutes from my home. Pops is known around these parts for two things: their vast selection of bottled pop, and the giant pop bottle that stands outside. Let’s start with that.


As you’re coming down Route 66 you’ll see this pop bottle over the horizon before you get to the restaurant itself. The bottle stands 66 feet tall; during the day it’s white, but at night the bottle is lit up with multi-colored LED lights.


The building itself is wrapped mostly in glass, so from outside you can see some of the bottles lining the windows. The bottles on display in the windows are glued down and are for display only, but don’t worry; they have all of these (and more) for sale inside.



The rainbow-colored display of pop is beautiful to look at. Not only do the bottles wrap around the walls but they continue into the freezer area. After you order your food you can head on over to the coolers and select any bottle of pop you like. Like root beer? Pops probably has at least 50 different ones to choose from. Miss drinking Orange Crush from a glass bottle? They’ve got it. The last time we went my son had a Jolly Rancher Watermelon, my daughter had a Rocket Fizz Fluids Green Cooler, my wife picked a Jelly Belly Crushed Pineapple and I grabbed a bottle of Jones Blue Bubble Gum. If you like, you can grab an empty six pack carrier and mix and match six bottles to take home with you as well. Pops’ website says they currently have at least 600 different flavors of bottled pop to choose from, but that number varies throughout the year.


The best time to visit Pops is during the summer. Pops is also a gas station, and on summer nights you can grab a table and watch the long line of classic cars cruising Route 66 stop by to gas up, all while eating a burger and sipping on an ice cold bottle of root beer. Sit there long enough and you’ll see the sun go down and the the giant 66′ tall pop bottle out front light up.

As a kid, it was always a treat for me to have a cold, glass bottle of soda during the summer all to myself. Those cold bottles and wild flavors bring back a lot of nostalgia for me.

See you at Pops this summer!


Retro Pop Culture A-Z

Just found out that Brett Weiss, author of The Classic Home Arcade Game series has released a new ebook that will certainly interest us Retroist readers. It is called Retro Pop Culture A-Z: From The Atari 2600 to Zombie Films.


Hey Brett, you had me at Atari 2600! Seriously, I haven’t read this book yet, but I loved Weiss’ previous series and I’m sure I’ll love this one as well. Here’s the description:

Retro Pop Culture A-Z: From the Atari 2600 to Zombie Films is a window to the past—a time of 8-bit video games, Silver Age super-heroes, Saturday morning cartoons, rock ’n’ roll music, and scary movies at the drive-in.

The book includes 60 fun-filled, feature-length chapters on such icons of popular culture as Alien, the Batman TV show, the Beatles, Dynamite Magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, The Flash, Forbidden Planet, Golden Age arcade games, He-Man, the Intellivision, Jaws, MAD magazine, the Nintendo NES, Ray Bradbury, The Wizard of Oz, and the X-Men.

If you’ve ever stayed up all night trying to beat Super Mario Bros., dressed up as a member of KISS on Halloween, watched Thundarr the Barbarian while eating a bowl of sugary cereal, set a VCR to record your favorite show, or listened to Elvis or the Rolling Stones on a turntable or 8-track tape player, Retro Pop Culture A-Z is for you.

If you haven’t done any of these things, no problem—feel free to dive right in and discover why your parents (or grandparents) are always talking about “the good old days.”


*60 essays/articles on nostalgic pop culture favorites
*More than 250 full-color photos
*More than 110,000 words
*Quotes from the experts
*Production histories
*Collectibles pricing
*Author anecdotes
*And much more!

If you want to check out Retro Pop Culture A to Z, you can get it for $4.99 here.

The Robot Birthday

I love retro robots and I love old books, so when I ran across this one at a local thrift store I picked it up.

I haven’t read it yet but I’ve got to think it’s depressing.

“You were created from parts we dug out of the trash. Your processor was outdated before the day we turned you on, rain will cause you to rust, and you have no soul.”

“Happy birthday, Robot!”