Friday, October 12, 2012

My first home PC, and my girl band collection as a teenager

I remember the first home computer my parents bought back in 1996. I don't remember the name brand of the computer, but it was big. With a huge screen monitor and the tall bulky tower/hard drive thing aka mother board. We got the internet hooked up to our first PC. We lived in a small town in Wisconsin and the only Internet carrier back then was AOL (America Online). I remember there was not as much info on the Internet back then. There was no Wikipedia, or Google search engine. If you wanted to surf the net you had type in http www. blah blah blah and see what came up. The big thing back then was "chat rooms". It seemed everyone who had the Internet back then was in chat rooms.

I remember I got addicted to the internet when I first got it. I would log on as soon as I woke up, and would stay on until 3am or later, even on school nights. My mom would tell me to go to bed, and I would go in my room and lay down until I thought my mom was in bed and asleep. Then I'd sneak back in the home office room and log back on to AOL and go into a chartroom. I used to love to hear that dial tone and then the dialing and white noise and then the ding of connection. It took at least two minutes just to log on. Remember whenever you got an email it would say, "You've got mail"?

 I was 13 years old then, and I was always having cybersex. Back then hardly anyone had their picture available for others to see who they were talking to. Some people had webcams, but not me so I was having cybersex with only god knows who or what. My screen name back then was I was way into Mazzy Star since I was 10 years old, when I first heard "Fade into you". I was more into Mazzy Star back then than I was into Nirvana. I liked Nirvana a lot back then, but at that moment I was more into girl bands. Both Grunge and Riot Grrrrrl. I loved my Hole CD's I had both "Pretty on the Inside" and "Live through this". I listened to Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" and Sheryl Crow, Poe, P.J. Harvey, Tori Amos, Bikini Kill, Fightwig, Heavens to Betsy, Sleater-Kinney, (Who by the way has new album out after so many years) Bratmobile, Bangs, and L7 were some of the CD's in my chic band collection. When I was 14 Fiona Apple came out with her debut album "Tidal" which was the album that inspired me to write poetry. I was awful at it, and ended up ripping off lyrics from to songs I was listening to. Unfourtantly I didn't find out about Elliott Smith until I was 17 or 18 years old when "Goodwill Hunting" came out and I heard "Miss Misery" at the end of the movie. As soon as the movie was done my mom took me to Best Buy and she bought me the "Goodwill Hunting" soundtrack.

On the "Tidal" album by Fiona Apple you could put the CD into your computer tower and there was a bunch of pictures and information about Fiona and the CD. I thought that was just the coolest thing ever.

On day I was online and my sister Angie and her friend were there. Angie's friend came into the office by me, and I was having cybersex with someone. I said my real age of 14, and Angie's friend said her real age of 12 to the person we were talking/cyber sexing with online. The guy had told me he was 16 years old and in high school. He got really excited when I told him I had a friend with me and she was 12 years old. He asked for my phone number so he could call and we could have phone sex. I was really nervous suddenly and I said no. My sister's friend kept saying, "come on Anna, I want to talk to him. He sounds like he would be really cute. Plus since I came in he's stopped talking to you pretty much". So I typed in, "give us your phone number and we'll call you". He did, and my sister's friend made the call. She put the phone on speaker, and by this time my sister was in the office with us. The phone only rang once or twice and he answered and said, "Why hello so and so". The first thing we all noticed was his voice was really old. He had a grandfather voice. I was grossed out and asked my sister's friend to ask him how old he really was. She did, and he said 34. We were shocked, and I wanted her to hang up. I was scared my mom would come in from outside, or my dad would come home from work unexpectedly and would find us talking to this old man about sex. She wouldn't hang up, so I told her in her ear that he was older than 34, and told her to ask him his real age. After a few minutes, when she got done telling him how she got her period when she was 10 years old, and got breasts when she was 8 and he kept saying I bet your tits are small, you probably look like a boy without a shirt. She got mad, and finally asked him how old he really was and he told us he was really 56 years old. I hung up the phone for her. I explained that guy was a pedophile. That's why he kept saying you had no boobs. He doesn't want you to look grown up.

After that experience I stopped having cybersex. I would go into chat rooms about music and books. I was on the computer so much that I had stopped hanging out with my friends that summer. That summer I was eating honey nut Cheerios for every meal. One day I just happened to be in the living room with my family watching TV, and my mom asked me where Kaycee was. Why wasn't I hanging out with her like I usually did since third grade? My sister butted in and said loudly, "Anna's only friends are the Internet and Cheerios. We all laughed because it was true. I spent the whole summer between freshman and sophomore year on the Internet.

When school started that year I was 15 and would be getting my license that winter. I ended up dating a 20 year old when I was 15. We met after a football game when we went to a high school party at his and his brother's house. I didn't use the Internet very much anymore. Plus Oconto Falls had gotten a local dial up Internet service called EZ net. I couldn't figure out how to get into chat room with that Internet provider. They didn't have the two heads on the top of the screen to click on to enter chat rooms. Plus it was 1998 now, and we still had Windows 94. Our computer was so slow. I would have to use it for school every now and again, and I would wait ten minutes just to open up a new window. It made all these weird noises. It would disconnect all the time by its self. I got so sick of our home PC, I would go to the computer lab in school and our school had all new Macintosh computers. Remember the Macs that were all different colors and sort of see through? Well that's the kind of computers our school had. Those computers were fast compared to what I had grown used to. Even before our home PC got super slow, it was still slow compared to the new Macs.

I asked my parents for an Apple Mac computer in pink for Xmas that year, but they were so expensive back then. Probably around 2,000 dollars for just the computer, not including all the software I wanted on my new computer. We didn't get a new computer until 2007. Then we got a laptop, and by then of course there was Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. and MySpace was the cool thing. There was Facebook, but only a few of my friends were on Facebook, all my friends were on MySpace. So again I got hooked on the Internet, especially when I found that you could blog on MySpace. I would read people's blogs, and I would write my own. Slowly but surely everyone left MySpace and went to Facebook. In 2008 I caved and created my own Facebook page, and started blogging here at Blogger.

In 2007 I got my first "Smart Phone" from T-Mobile. The T-Mobile Side Kick phone. Gosh that thing was big and bulky and it was complicated. Really the only thing it was good for was texting and email. It was the first phone that I could send and receive emails on. The only time I ever went on the Internet on that phone was to check my dating profile and email. This is back when I lived in Hawaii with just my mom. After the Side Kick phone, I got the newest coolest phone the Motorola Razor flip phone. I don't think it was a smart phone. The only thing you could do was go on the Internet to download ringtones, wallpapers, and games. After the Razor I got my Black Berry in 2009, and that's when I started going on the real Internet with my phone, updating my Facebook status, and uploading pictures to my profile. From there I got a Samsung Galaxy touch phone. After I got that phone I didn't even need my laptop. I preferred using my laptop for certain things, like blogging, and shopping, and some other things that I can't think of. I used my smart phone to ask questions I had, and use the dictionary. Now I have the IPhone 4S, and I have Siri to ask questions to, and Google of course. Google is much smarter than Siri. It’s just Google doesn't talk back to you. On Google you have to read the answer to your question. 

In writing this blog post I asked Google two questions. The first question I asked was, "What is the tower called on a home PC?" The second question I asked was the name of the T-Mobile phone with the word kick in it. I couldn't remember what exactly it was called; I knew it had kick in it. Sure enough the top answer was Side Kick by T-Mobile. 

That's my life in the age of technology. 


Gledwood said...

Our school had BBC microcomputers. They had 32k RAM memory. And cost over a thousand dollars in today's money if you don't believe me read here

After that, phase when I was about 15 or 16 they upgraded with Research Machines Nimbus. These were the days when different computers were NOT compatible with one another.

At college we all had a Nimbus password but the memory constraints were so ridiculous you could save about 3 or 4 long essays on your files but then you'd be maxxed out. So literally 5000 words was about your limit. No photos. Nothing fancy at all. Really clever kids could probably get it to play some fake piano sound... what am I saying, I never remember them making any noise at all.

Things were really crap back then. When you turned on the laser printer it insisted on printing a whole sheet of A4 in really heavy toner. So it wasted literally thousands of pages per year.

The normal printer you'd use literally looked like someone had put pencil dots all over the paper. It was special perforated paper with holes down both sides. And you had to be really careful not to rip it...

Terrible times! You could produce much nicer documents using a typewriter with multistrike ribbon. Which is what I did...

Bev said...

I use to love the MSN chat rooms where you can chat with ppl any where.I would go to all the Italian cities ones and brush up my Italian in a fun way. I made internet friends and pen pals and we wrote to each other for years. It was so much fun and nice.
Like you said the pedophiles where all over it and the last forein chats to go was the Australian one.
happy weekend ;D xoXO

xo lilly (my meth diaries) said...

internet came out in australia with windows 95 i think. my dad used to get 2 hours a day dial up and it was sooooo slow. i used to go into the yahoochaat adelaide locals room. i remember knowing there was aol but never used it. i used to hook up with heaps guys on there. usually alot older guys. i got posts from 2000 which i retyped the other dy which talks about some of the guys fromm there. xo lilly

Gledwood said...

Anna do you remember when I said you should try your hand at Erotic Fiction?

Well have you heard of that book 50Shades of Grey? It has sold more than 40000000 copies this summer.

I've never read it. All I know about it is that it's supposed to be "pornographic"... about sadomasochism and all that.

Publishers will now be baying for more erotic fiction by new writers so if you're up for writing that kind of stuff NOW'S YOUR CHANCE!

Just DO NOT mention underage sex or sexual abuse or anything the general reader is apt to find offensive.

In this country there always used to be a special shelf full of fairly thin paperbacks with series names like Black Lace, that supposedly specialized in erotic fiction. I've never read any of it. The dirtiest books I've ever read were Jackie Collins and she's more into vulgar sexual references than sex scenes as such.

Anyway you're always saying you want to write, so have a look at 50 Shades of Grey and remember what I said to you.

If you want to make money writing you need one of those writers' guides that lists all the literary agents. Pick one that takes the kind of writing you're into and send it to them. They can get you a proper book deal, where you'll get money up front and they'll also hawk your work to Hollywood studios etc. If you want to be a professional writer you need to be professional! Know what I mean? I know you can do it Anna. You keep complaining you think you're not good enough when you write in EXACTLY the style of most fiction bestsellers. Most people do not want to read over-descriptive crap by writers who are mainly interested in showing how clever they are. That is the type of fiction that wins literary prizes. Surely you'd rather hit the bestsellers list than win a prize? I know I would!

Gledwood said...

Ukh does that comment sound really patronizing? It's not meant to be honestly. I know you have what it takes to be a professional writer and would not tell you so if I didn't truly believe it.

Remember ~ Danielle Steel and Jackie Collins have made millions from their work and I'm sure you could write better than both of them. My Mum had some Danielle Steels on the shelf when I stayed some years ago. I had a flick through as I wanted to know her secret. I once read a biography of Danielle Steel that said in the mid-80s she was raking in one million dollars a MONTH from back-sales of her work ~ and she's sold an estimated 400 million + of her books and I don't find her style impressive in the least. Jackie Collins is different. I think her early work was full of wit and sarcasm and she really captured the spirit of the times ~ eg the 1970s in Lovers and Gamblers. As she got older and more successful and moved to Hollywood she seems to have turned into one of the characters she once lambasted and her work has lost its edge. But up to and including Hollywood Husbands she was very good. Yes, trashy. But still very witty and a very succinct story teller.

People will have a go at her for her literary style but I bet THEY couldn't write like her even if they tried. There's a real skill to telling a story succinctly. And it's weird, people who probably haven't even read her will assume her works are girlie but if I didn't know she was a woman I'd have assumed her books were written by a man. She has barely a romantic bone in her body and that suits me. If I'm going to read about the rich and the powerful I want tales of greed, hatred and revenge ~ not boring old love stories!

So tell me, are you going to try your hand at "erotic fiction"? I think you should. You obviously luuurve writing about your dildos etc so put that passion into commercial fiction and make some real money! I know you can!!