Last week I was cleaning out the office and was surprised to find some old computer hardware stuffed away in a number of boxes. One of which was an old Zip drive equipped with a parallel port connection. I could not help but think back of early 1995 when Zip drives were hot and many people used them for backup and storage. Back then hard drives were still measured in megabytes, not gigabytes, so the Zip drive with its 100MB storage capacity had ample room to store all your stuff. Actually, flash-based storage media had just appeared on the horizon and CD-R had been introduced but prices were more than a little steep as I remember paying upwards of $2000 for an HP 2x speed CD-R SCSI drive.
Obviously the CD-R was on its way to become a major hit in the years to follow, not just as a backup medium, but also because for the first time you could make your own music compilations on CD. In í97 I had a CD changer in the car filled with CDs that featured just my favorite tracks. That is, until one hot summer afternoon I left the car in the sun when going to the beach and some of the CD-R were warped so badly due to the heat that my CD changer suffered a defect. Early CD-Rs were prone to all sorts of defects really, actually I remember that for the majority of people burning CD-Rs was more or less a bit of a gamble, sometimes resulting in producing one coaster after another.
The boxes in my office also contained my trusty old US Robotics 33K6 modem, from a company which has long since faded into oblivion. Back in the day a US Robotics modem was just about the best you could buy, especially since many of their models could be upgraded. I still remember sending mine in for a 56K update, expecting to be surfing the web at unprecedented speeds. In hindsight, using a 24Mbit cable modem today, things were awfully slow back then. The main bottleneck for most PCs was the internet connection, hence the megahertz race that would unfold years later was still far away.
The boxes also contained some game CDs, and I could not resist installing them. Do you still remember MDK? Turok? The original Quake? Or Unreal, Moto Racer, Shogo and Forsaken? Iíve been playing all morning to be honest, and the games do not even look half-bad, especially since with modern hardware I can just turn up the resolution all the way and turn on all the eye candy. I also found one of those headache-inducing LCD 3D goggles, which are basically shutter glasses, and they were supported by Forsaken, hence I am working up a headache on my end, while having fun with things that have been technologically obsolete for more than a decade.