1. I was just talking to my friend the other day about how the kids of today will never be able to experience the start of video games, pre and post crash, nor will they have nostalgia for 80's and 90's tv. Or movies.

    Anyway, is any of the stuff in the comic actually Ironic? Do you really think?

  2. My wife and I had the same conversation recently about how our daughter could NEVER understand the references and pop-culture we hold so dear unless we could put her in some kind of VH1 "I loved the 80's" chamber for a week.

    The comic is like rain on your wedding day. Its a free ride when you've already paid.

  3. I don't think your daughter, even by watching I love the __'s, would "get" it. It's sort of a "you had to be there" type thing. I mean, I'm 18, but I grew up with a brother and a sister 7 and 10 years older than me, respectively. I grew up on 80's music from them, as well as 90's music, and I like to think my tastes are pretty rad. I also enjoyed I love the 80's, but not the 90's. It's too recent, and just not the same.

    Think about it. How many kids today, if I asked them about Alanis, would say "who?". I'd tell them to listen to her music, but they wouldn't take my good advice. THEY JUST WOULDN'T TAKE IT.

    I type this while listening to "Jeremy" off that blogpost someone else linked. Good stuff.

    It always saddens me that my kids, if they one day exist, will not know Mario beyond his 3d incarnations. I guess I could just raise them with 8 bit and 16 bit, but their school friends would probably just ruin my experiment and blow their minds with the latest gaming systems.

    There's always hope that some bands will survive across generations, a la the Beatles.

  4. If? If? My machine wouldn't play Wolf3D, and my buddies didnt have enough hard drive space to leave it on their permanently, so we would install the game to start it and uninstall after we were done, EVERY SINGLE TIME. That is hard core. I also played Decent at the smallest rez possible (like postage stamp size) so it would run at full speed on my 486DX2 66mhz with 4 mb of ram.

  5. Let me up the ante (an homage to Jeff Foxworth, may he burn forever in eternal torment):

    If you installed Windows 3.11 with 35 floppies, you might be an old school geek.

    If you ever shed blood on an AT case trying to put in an ISA sound card or modem, you might be…

    If you ever plagiarized a school paper from Groliers or Encarta…

  6. Jagged Little Pill is still one of my favorite albums. I've also been know to listen to the whole thing very loudly. In fact, it's one of the few albums where the *whole* album is in my iPod playlist.

  7. I call your installing the installing the sound card & modem and raise you:

    If you ever had to deal with IRQ and DMA addresses while your ISA sound card or modem in Windows 3.11, you might be…

    If you remember when a floppy was, well floppy, you might be…

    If you know what mscdex.exe and himem.sys are, you might be…

  8. I wanted to add this from a comment over on Pownce:

    http://pownce.com/phantom42/ says:
    My wife and I often wonder if our distaste for most current music is just us becoming old and crotchety.

    And then we realize that music back then was just better, and most stuff being released these days just sucks.

    Close. Mainstream music was far and away better back then. Now you just have to work really hard to find music worth listening to. I do feel like "these damn kids today…" but I think its justified.

    Part of is sort of a backfire of the digital revolution. You used to have to struggle and hone your craft and get noticed by a major label. Now pretty much anyone with a laptop can be a star. We fight for digital freedom, but then we pay the price of watering down the content.

  9. I remember when we upgraded the family pc from a 486SX to a 486DX. The DX chip was some kind of accessory math co-processor and it was about the same size as the processor. I actually think it doubled the mhz from 33 to 66.

    There's only so much you can do with a 20meg hard drive.

  10. Oh man, I had 4 different boot modes for different HIMEM settings. If I wanted to play doom I would shut the machine down and reboot with as much virtual ram and video ram as possible dedicated to that one process.

  11. Nah, you'll hear everybody franticly scrambling for a new games relevant way to say when pigs fly. After all, it just won't be the same when we can no longer say "Yeah, that will be out around the same time DNF goes gold".

  12. With that same config I had a 240mb hard drive split into two partitions. I guess the old wisdom was the run DOS on its own partition. I could only keep 3 or 4 games installed at any given time. i would backup the saved files to floppy, wipe them and bring in whatever i was playing that month. Usually some sort of Wing Commander or something.

  13. The phrase will just mutate to refer to a long, drawn out process with high expectations that ultimately disappoints. I know people that have played the game within the last 3 months. They were not impressed. Cut bait, I say.

  14. I used to hate that damn double chaingun wielding SOB at the end of the shareware levels. There was another lesser known FPS out around the same time that I played, but I can't remember the name. Something like catacombs or something. Very similar to Wolfenstein, but with a fantasy theme, very much in line with Heretic and Hexen that came out later.

  15. If you know what interrupt 21 does, you might be a hardcore old school geek.

    If you know what ROTT stands for, and can still hear "Run like schmeg" in your head, you might be an old school geek.

  16. cross posting my comment from Pownce:

    Adam C. replied just now!

    Totally agree with you. Music now has become stale and craptapulous. (Oh god, I'm using words like a meteorologist friend of mine.) It's not just perception, music *was* better back then. Partially, too, because it all wasn't compressed as hell back then. I've gotten into fights with the girlfriend because I'm quote "out of the loop on new [mainstream] music" because I almost refuse to listen to anything other than "Lucy" on XM (that's the classic alternative channel.)

    These days most of the music that I find is worth listening to does not come from a band attached to a major record label. It comes from mainly local and regional rock bands.

    The good side, though, with any Joe or Jane having the ability to publish their own music is that it allows for these local bands (and yes, there are some horribly pathetic ones out there) to publish music that otherwise would not get heard.

    I think the thing that hurt mainstream music the most, btw, is the fact that the labels moved from developing artists over the long term to focusing on how much money they can make off them *now* and who cares where they are later. Well that and too many people were trying to be rappers… Example: Gwen should of stuck with No Doubt and Ska music… She was so much better back then.

  17. You talking to me? My name is John! And even then, it's not my real name.

    But I guess you could also say that alot of bands are good, but can't afford a major label to represent them, or play to a niche audience, like a Jonathan Coulton. Without a digital medium, we'd never be able to hear about half-pony, half-monkey monsters.

  18. "from developing artists over the long term to focusing on how much money they can make off them *now*"

    I've seen this first hand. I encourage my musician friends to stop trying to get signed. It is no longer the "answer" that it used to be.

  19. Haha, back in the late 90's is when I first 'discovered' Journey, and music in general really. Before that, I didn't keep track of music, and didn't listen to the radio – My hearing impairment kept me from following the announcer when he announced what the songs were, and I had gotten tired of 'losing' great songs that I had liked.

  20. My point is that its a double edged sword. EVERYONE can get their content out there, but now you have to wade through tonnes of crap to find the Coultons and Corn Mo's (http://www.cornmo.com).

    This model applies to me as well. I gave up on cartooning when I was in my teens because I knew I wouldnt be able to attract attention from the major comic syndicates. Now they are avoided like the plague. The trade off is literally 1000's of terrible web comics flooding the net. Its kind of like "when everyone is special, no one is" but its really not that bad. The creme tends to rise to the top and we all learn that maybe we shouldnt have used so many monkeys.

  21. Whoops, must have posted this in the main box instead of as a reply. In response to your earlier comment, "You talking to me? My name is John! And even then, it's not my real name.

    But I guess you could also say that alot of bands are good, but can't afford a major label to represent them, or play to a niche audience, like a Jonathan Coulton. Without a digital medium, we'd never be able to hear about half-pony, half-monkey monsters."

    It has always been a very "make money now" business, with alot of scams. How many people are out there who would give their left nut to make it big? They can be disposed of like trash. Not to mention the Lou Pearlmans of the world.

  22. Actually, I'm thinking it's -very likely- the game will be released now. They have trailors up, which is something they've never given to the public before.

    I'm still setting my affairs in order, in case the world ends.

  23. I was surprised at it too! It was like they said rock would never die, and then suddenly rap came and did a drive by shooting.

    And then, for an entire decade, the modern radio stations would play nothing but rap and hip-hop. You had to go to 'classic rock' or 'adult contemporary' stations if you wanted your rock fix. Though metal started coming into season shortly after…

  24. true, but I like to think the crap gets buried by the internet peoples. a comic that blatantly rips off another comic, or isn't funny, shouldn't survive.

    note, i said "shouldn't". there are still plenty of achewoods, CADs, and qwantz's around. these are comics with tons of fans, but I dont find funny at all.

    sort of like the recent subject over at Theater Hopper. In the age of the internet, everyone has an opinion, and no one is wrong.

  25. It's because the choice of what's "good" is no longer in the hands of a small cartel of individuals, but rather is the product of the collective gestalt of "the internet". Popularity isn't really a single variable either, it's a scaler. It's the dot product of fanaticism and fan base. That is, two comics could be equally "popular", but one has a very large but only mildly fanatical fan base, where another has a small but very fanatical fan base. I consider for instance things like xkcd to be more of the later (although that's changing), where very few people have heard of it, but those that have follow it religiously.

  26. The album's pretty good in spots. But, referring to your comic's title, "Isn't It Ironic" has almost no examples of irony in it. Which, in a way, IS ironic. Whoa…My brain just exploded.

  27. We watched the final episode of Futurama "The Devil's hands are Idle Playthings" last night while I was finishing the comic. Bender rails on how the common perception and definition of irony are totally wrong. My thought is to just change it's meaning since society has decided the irony = poetic justice.

  28. Heh. That makes me think of coding in colors that the human eye -can't- see. Invisibl Website takes on a whole new meaning when you code the background in ultraviolet. Warning: Prolonged exposure to this website may cause cancer.

  29. I remember that fiasco. When people started digging it turned out all of his shirt designs could be traced back to a lesser known (or at least lesser paid) artist. It happened just a week or so ago between Hot Topic and a Threadless artist.

  30. Hey, I know a guy that wears a guitar pick around his neck. He's a total douche.

    And yeah, music sucks today… You have to sort through all the bullshit to get to anything good.

    I wonder if the Guitar Hero generation will spawn any good musicians…

  31. If you know what the SCUMMVM is, and/or have fond memories of playing any of the *Quest games you might be…

    If you can complete the phrase "It's dark in here, you are…" you might be…

    If you know the origin of frotz you might be…

    If you remember a time when Norton didn't make crap you might be…

    If you've ever owned a computer slower than 100 mhz you might be…

    If you remember typing ATDT as part of the process of doing multi-player gaming you might be…

    If you've ever owned a graphics card with the name "voodoo" in it you might be…

    If you've ever owned a computer that didn't have a math co-processor you might be…

    If you remember a time when hard drives didn't park themselves automatically you might be…

  32. Fun fact, I live in Orlando, and one of the first episodes (might have been the pilot) of Sequest used a hospital around the corner from me (not even 2 miles down the road) as a location for one of the scenes.

  33. 250MB are you kidding me? My first computer had a HUGE 100mb hard drive!! I remember laughing at my friend who only had a 20 MB drive in his machine… oh and his was 2 generations old, too… it was a PC XT… Mine was a brand spankin' new 386SX!

  34. That's not a reason to be depressed, you should be proud. Old school geeks gamed back when you actually had to work to get things going, and there was more to installing a game than clicking "next" a few times and selecting the resolution that made your computer suck the least.

  35. Yeh, I had an XT too. With a 20MB drive and a switch that would double the speed from 8MHz to 16MHz, whoo hooo, :0

    The 250MB was what I used on the first PC I built myself.

  36. I dont know. I grew up with a wide knowledge of 50's and 60's pop culture because of all the Nick and Night I watched. It was only later that I realized most of these phrases and songs, etc were 20-30 years old. Maybe she can learn through reruns as I did.

    I am also a firm believer that there will never be a generation that cant relate to Super mario Brothers. That is gaming perfection. Nothing will ever change that.

  37. Sometime I worry about not being exposed to new music. I dont listen to the radio, I dont watch any music related TV. And because of hte internet, I am often only exposed to what I already know (being that I go to sites that are specific to my tastes). I discovered a love of The Decemberists this year through Last.fm, but Im not adding nearly as many bands to my playlists as I would like.

  38. My friend Tom, is an amazing musician and a world renowned keyboard player. He sings for the band Spiraling, http://www.spiraling.net , and he told me they once lost a chance at a record deal despite that fact that the company loved them, because they didnt know how to market a keyboard playing lead singer.

    My response was, "what the fuck does that have to do with your music?"

    Apparently everything.

  39. The recording industry, as it currently exists, will eventually vanish. There only purpose was to get the music out to the people. This is just no longer necessary. If they dont evolve into touring, marketing, promotion companies they will cease to be. Just look at Madonna's recent deal and Radiohead and NIN's success circumventing the industry.

  40. I dont blame rap and hip hop for the decline of rock. They coexisted (even intermingled) before and still do. Once the grunge and alt-rock bubble burst, we saw an influx of bubblegum, shallow pop. It was non-music. Boy bands, girl groups, spice girls, etc. No redeeming qualities what so ever.

  41. I've told a few bands (at concerts and such) that I discovered them through file sharing. I just want them to realize (if they dont already) that without peer-to-peer I would have never paid to see their show or bought their shirt.

  42. I miss Seaquest. still have Duke Nukem, around someplace when I'm feeling nostalgic, and well Alanis was my regular music during Uni as I was soo close to Canada, and that's all they seemed to play on 'The River' Radio from Kingston, Ontario.

  43. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Ah, back when we all knew grunge was dying, and Jackson was still semi-normal. That kiss was ghastly though… But seriously, who would have thought when they talked about DNF that it wouldn't come out in 11 years (started work on it 4/97, ty wikipedia).

    But hey, at least there are rumors of the 3D Realms crew saying 2008. But we've all heard that song and dance before.

  44. I'm not ashamed to admit that while I was listening to the Pumpkins and Bush and Nirvana I was also rocking "Jagged Little Pill" at full volume. Its just a solid effing album from start to finish.

  45. Brandon,
    Thanks for jumping on the comment train!

    I remember, vividly, in 96 thinking MJ was a super weirdo but that was it. Though his looks and antics were odd, his music was still extremely relevant. He hadnt yet become the ridiculous parody of himself that he turned into a few years ago.

    I have lots of friend in the games industry. MOST of them have worked on DNF at some point in the last decade. Lets just say that 2008 is an optimistic estimate. Lets also say that that when it does come out, you're going to hear more of a collective "meh" than resounding praise.

  46. Eli looks a little like Eugene Levy in these. Bless his heart.

    I too, must admit, that Jagged Little Pill was in heavy rotation during that time. Along with The Downward Spiral, Sixteen Stone, STP's Core and Purple as well as too many others to count from back then.

  47. Those are all fantastic albums. They hold up even today. Sixteen Stone is the only one I have trouble listening to these days. Partly because Ive heard in 100,000 times and partly because my highschool band was basically a Bush cover band.

  48. Man, what a great time for music. My wife, a high school teacher, was playing 'Name that tune' with her students. She put on the 'Sweater Song' and it was pure silence. No one knew the song. It's sad to think that it's been 14 years since the Blue album was released.

    I posted some of favorite 'alternative-rock' (hate that term) songs from the early 90's on my blog: http://www.gotshoo.com/wordpress/2008/02/18/obsol

  49. The sudden decline of quality rock music after 1996 was quite a shock to me. I was living and breathing and making rock and roll all day every day. It was the only thing I cared about in the world…then it started drying up. I discovered REAL music in 1991 or 92 when a friend introduced me to Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the Pixies. My life literally changed forever.

    I often tell people that we were all oblivious to sub-genre's back then because so much of the music in the mainstream was good? Indie? Punk? Alernative? It didnt matter. The good music was on the radio and Mtv. I hate to sound like an old fart at 26, but I doubt we'll ever go through a creative musical explosion like the early and mid 90's again.

    You mention "Toadies" in your article. They were a personal favorite. I got to hang out with them in my home town before and after a show when I was 16 and it was fantastic (the hanging and the show). I hate what happened to their career in the years to come. Rubber Neck is a perfect album from beginning to end. Hard to follow. Not every band can tackle their sophomore slump like Weezer did with Pinkerton.

  50. Oh yeah, this is screwing over -established- artists trying to get back into the game. Journey, Styx, Scorpions…I think they've just about all had record label problems trying to put out new material.

  51. Well, the internet tends to introduce a feedback cycle in many ways. What one person finds popular, others will have a tendency to view in a more positive light and vice versa. As such, if someone does something that's viewed poorly, such as ripping off another persons work, they tend to experience a certain amount of backlash. There was a rather clear example of this a while back, although now I can't recall the name of the guy who did the ripping off (he's apparently famous for it). I remember something positive did a comic about it, but I can't find it in the archives anymore. The comic he ripped off was a cat praying for other people to die, or something along those lines, I'd know it if I saw it. Anyway, on the internet the guys name basically became dirt and any potential buyers or employers of the guy who bothered to google him will undoubtedly find tons of articles and links talking about how he ripped off someone else's work.

  52. I got that in the latest podcast, which had me laughing out loud in the subway home last night (here in NYC, weirdos laughing manically out loud is hardly remarked upon).

    Definitely gotta get that kid a link to buy some games…..

  53. The 2nd definition of irony in websters is "close" to how we commonly use it. The 1st definition is "when worlds are used to mean something other than their litteral interpretation" or something.

  54. You know, the thing i appreciate most about Duke Nukem Forever is that they have not given up. I mean, come on, it has been more than a decade and the guys are still workin on it. I would have given up long ago, and their persistency is really admirable. I see a new trailer every now and then based on the cutting edge 3D engine.

  55. I had one of those too and it was about as big as my Mac Mini. Rockin the tape adapter in the car and the best vibration control device was balancing the Diskman on my knee.

  56. This stuff is all way too familiar. My first PC was a 40Mhz 386 with 4MB of RAM, a 120GB hard disk, an ISA graphics card, and both 3.5" and 5.25" floppy drives. I couldn't afford a printer at first so I used to take stuff on floppy to my friend who had a hand-me-down PC XT with a 20GB hard disk and a tractor-fed 9 pin dot matrix.

    Windows 3.11? I installed MS DOS 6.0 and Windows 3.1 from floppy. Wolfenstein was one of my favourite games! I got hold of a shareware map editor from somewhere and spent days designing and playing my own levels.

  57. Gadzooks! The raver in me misses that store. The more fashion-conscious part that's embarrassed by the raver part is glad that it's best left in my memories.

  58. Since joining the internet community, I've actually found myself exposed to more groups, especially worldwide groups that don't necessarily have established bases inside the US. It mostly depends on what your freinds are listening to, and wether or not they are willing to share some of their insights with you.

  59. Curious. I was born in '83, and the first cassetes I had were audiotapes of Disney tales, A collection of children's songs, Air Supply's Greatest Hits, Men At Work's "Cargo", and Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band's "Against The Wind". In that order. I don't think I actually bought any music of my own until I was in High School. Everything was a hand-me-down from my parents, for which I am truly grateful.

  60. I have to disagree to an extent. Duke Nukem Forever is to games what Guns N Roses "Chinese Democracy" is to music. Each of them started the project when they were a hot property. A decade of broken promises and set backs and bullshit later and they are still trying. Im certain that both have poured millions into the projects that may never be recouped. At some point you say, "This failed. Let's move on to something else." I applaud PEOPLE that never give up on themselves. But not so much companies or groups that never give up on projects that arent going anywhere.

    I cant stress enough that I know 4 or 5 and know of 20 or 30 people in the games industry that have worked on DNF during their careers. Its like a badge of honor to have done your time on DNF.

    The weirdest thing to me is they are still trying to make this game as technologies and consoles change around them. It cant possibly be the same game. They have probably had to start over from scratch every two years.

    Not trying to beat you down, but I really feel sorry for companies that beat a dead horse and turn themselves into a living joke.

  61. I was a few years late to CD's so my first was pretty good. I used my first paycheck from my first job (Academy) and bought a panasonic with 3 sec anti skip, a few CD's including Foo Fighters "The Colour and the Shape" Live's "Secret Samadhi" and probably an STP album, AND some green Doc Martens. How is that for the quintessential 90's experience?

  62. I bought one of those "hump" drink holder consoles for my car and velcro'd my discman to it. Then it was tape adapter all the way. I loved that set up, except that the CD started over every time I turned off the car and player. Sometime I would just leave it paused for the entire day.

  63. I take that back. I had Thriller when I was very young but I never really listened to it. My parents didnt share any music with me, so I was a late bloomer. I had to wait for friends to turn me on.

  64. It's not just rock where shallowness has taken over–most arts (performing and visual) have taken a turn to bland and politically correct. Takes a good bit of digging to find quality/depth. I expect the tide will turn again, just not sure when.

  65. Holy fuck! I look at the comic earlier today, and there are a handful of comments. Now it's well over 100! (Is this the first one to break that?) Great job, Joel, you've obviously hit a chord with lots of folks.

    Anyway, a great look at how we're affected by and connected to pop culture. I get all the references in the comic, but they don't resonate for me–but translate all the refs to the late 70s, and I'm suddenly in a different world. Which explains why the first three Star Wars (first three made) are the greatest–ever. And the more recent ones are just meh.

  66. I got an even cheaper bundle with a Creative-branded 2x Panasonic CDRom drive and an odd no-name ISA sound card that was almost but not quite completely compatible with the Soundblaster 16. The drive used some weird proprietary interface that connected to a port on the sound card. No bundled speakers, so I connected it up to my ghettoblaster.

    When I eventually did get a printer, it was a HP Deskjet 500C, which could only take either a three-colour cartridge or a black cartridge, not both at the same time, so black areas on colour prints came out as a muddy dark greeny-brown and used the ink up in no time.

  67. Doug,
    Thanks man! I think this is the first to break 100. Im realyl enjoying the discourse among the readers. I especially like that the discussion are only loosely based on the comic and take on a life of their own. Very cool.

    Maybe replace Alanis with the Carpenters and it will all work for you?

  68. Later on, when I wanted better speakers, I got a 10 watt amp from radio shack and hooked it up to a pair of Aiwa boombox speakers. My first printer was an Okidata Dot Matrix. It made terrible screeching noises and printed like shit.

  69. Well, I attending a gaming college (no need to mention the Devil's name), and everyone pretty much new about it. Some even would track changes ala blogging. Any new 'tidbit' or trailer that was released was broadcasted.

    Never have I seen so many gamers at one time, it brought two tears to my eyes, one for the sheer majesty of coming 'home', the other because I realized there was over 100 guys for every 1 girl…

  70. I remember back in middle school and highschool (roughly like 97-03) that every dance I ever had, played Cotton Eyed Joe, and Teen Spirit. And they weren't overplayed back then.

    As for Bush mentioned earlier/later, I saw them on their last tour (ironically, the venue they played at got turned into a church later.. farewell Sunrise Musical Theater). Excellent show, not every band is good live.

    As for classifying music.. just be glad you don't work in a record store. One of my few jobs is to work for… a store that sells 'Entertainment' (cd's dvd's games etc). Classifying music isn't just bad when the CEO's do it (Rock and Pop are the same to them.. so you have Pink, Pink Floyd, and Backstreet boys all in the same area), but hearing people saying 'Who is that new Alternative band?" drives most of us crazy. I'd rather you say 'Who is that new band that sounds like <name>?' because that I could guess. I'm horrible at defining a sound except for the most basic (guitar rock, industrial, pop rock, etc).

    Also.. STP > Velvet Revolver. Just adding Slash doesn't make a complete change in style worth it. I remember when I found out all those songs and styles were one band. It literally blew my mind. I then saw them in concert (with Linkin Park, after Hybrid Theory came otu). STP does an amazing live show also.

    Behind the boat house… I'll show you my dark secret

  71. As a 22 year old, when the Get Smart trailer aired, none of my friends knew what it was. When I yelled out 'Come on Cone of Silence!' they had no idea. When I yelled out 'shoooooooe phone' they also had no idea. I felt weird and out of place for staying up past 10 when I was little to watch Nick at Nite.

    My cousin (she just turned 15) has a SNES, N64, GC, and now a Wii. She has NO idea that Mario could turn into a statue in Mario 3, or a Frog. Kids today…. they don't know their roots.

  72. Saw STP on my birthday on the tour for "No. 4." It was a fantastic show. It was also the drummers birthday. They brought out two strippers to spank him. I got thrown out for taking pictures but managed to sneak back in.

  73. Ironically enough, my first cassette was Alvin and the Chimpmunks Christmas songs. I didn't really get into music until later on (middle to late 90's), but I remember my first 5 cd's I bought : Orgy, Offspring, Eve6 (big bands at the time, and good), The Doors – Greatest hits, Eagles – Hell Freezes Over.

    I grew up hearing my parents playing pink floyd, moody blues, doors, etc. It took me to get them into Nirvana and the like. Now if I see them, they are playing Nickelback etc, sort of weird.

  74. I wanted to go, but starting up a new company (non gaming related sadly), so tying up all my funds. I actually went to school near the 8bit comic guys in Orlando.

    We are a huge cult around us, gamers, as long as no more Superman 64's are released, we won't have to worry about a need for the Kool Aid.

  75. The first tapes i got were Iron Maiden Piece of Mind and Quiet Riot Metal Health!! They were a b-day present from my mom along w/ a Sears tape player. I was 12 and it was the best b-day present EVAR!!!

  76. Not to go "zomg go there!", but read the twinking out section, it's like the blog or whatever. They had a few meetings with my college too. By the by.. very hard to remove the appearance of retardation when it pops up. But hey, that's what jokes are made of!

  77. I was thinking about this some more, specifically in relation to radio and P2P. I think P2P is the logical successor to radio for the internet age. Music has moved from a centrally controlled system (record labels, radio stations) to a distributed system (internet, P2P). Logically you need a sample of someones work in order to decide if you want to pay for it. In the past that need was fulfilled by the radio stations, which played a finite selection that was distributed to them by the record labels who then sold the records at retail. Since music has moved to a individual distribution system in which individual bands sell music on their websites to anyone that wants them, and is no longer controlled by the record labels (or won't be before too much longer) the amount of music available for purchase has exploded. As a result of this what you hear on the radio is no longer an accurate reflection of what's available for purchase, but a finite slice of the whole that's being pushed by the increasingly obsolete record labels. The problem now becomes how to sample music when it's not available via the traditional medium of radio, and it seems to me the solution is P2P networks as they most closely mirror the distribution channel music now utilizes. Alternatively streaming systems such as Pandora also offer certain advantages, although it's somewhat doubtful whether a centralized service such as that can maintain a large enough selection to represent available content. Really the biggest challenge now is to figure out some system by which individuals can rate or tag music and make recommendations. Perhaps something similar to Pandora combined with a P2P system such as bittorrent would fullfill that requirement. Perhaps someone should negotiate a deal with all the independent artists, some way that is beneficial to both parties. The hard part of course is balancing the internet's tendency to distribute everything unchecked with the artists desire to sell albums (or tracks). As a related aside, anything that utilizes DRM is doomed to failure.

  78. I hear ya. Im well versed in Get Smart, Make Room for Daddy, The Patty Duke Show, Green Acres, IDoJ, Car 54 Where are you?… you name it. I watched a LOT of TV as a kid. I was convinced these were all new shows. Oh and Donna Reid.

  79. Ok, so in contrast, when I was 12 I bought Pearl jam "10", Nirvana "In Utero", Soul Asylum "Grave Dancers Union" and STP "Core." My mom saw them, read the lyrics and returned them to the store, forbidding me from buying music ever again and making me eat the restocking fee since they were open. Why did they put lyrics in the jacket?

    What did I do, asked for a guitar, learned all the songs and played them myself.

  80. We moved up here a couple of years ago from FL and are lovin it. We were sick of all the rednecks and blue hairs in FL. We've traveled a bit, Philly, LA, SF, ATL, and through Europe, London, Paris, Dublin, etc., but NYC wins hands down.

  81. seems like people with musical parents had a much easier time than the rest of us. It was a struggle for me to discover music. I had to hide it which got me in the habit of hiding pretty much everything from my parents.

    Hey folks, let your kids listen to devil music. Its better than drugs!

  82. Problem is, unless I'm mistaken Last.fm like Pandora uses a central streaming server, as opposed to a true P2P architecture, and thus faces challenges of scale. The reason P2P has taken off like it has is because it actually becomes more efficient the larger the scale, which is the exact opposite of centralized distribution systems which are at there most efficient when scale is the smallest. What we need is something like Last.fm or Pandora, but that somehow utilizes P2P for distribution. It's a rather tough nut to crack because you need some way of organizing a persons private collection and then cross-linking that to bands that may or may not be distributed through a particular network. For instance the thing NIN did recently where they sold their album straight off their own website would need to be something you could do with this system (that is, link to an arbitrary site, not just something like amazon). Perhaps the solution is to setup some new standards. I'm thinking maybe a standard web service a site could implement that allows people to browse and buy merchandise from it through any service that supports them, although that still leaves the problem of how to maintain the cross link from something abstract like an MP3 to a particular artist/song. Perhaps the tech that Verizon is pushing recently might be a help, they've got a service that can take a 30 second sample from currently playing music and identify the artist/track. Something like that applied to a persons MP3 collection, then cross-referenced with a database of sellers (maybe community maintained, ala wikipedia) seems like a fairly workable solution.

  83. Oh and BTW the first time i heard Nirvana was when I saw them play in a friends backyard in Puyallup, WA in 1989. They were VERY good but I never expected to see them or any of the other local bands get radio airtime let alone get a video on MTV. The early and mid 90's were a fantastic time to be into music.

  84. Of course your daughter will have her own pop culture to learn as well as your own references you want to pass on. You may have to keep her out of school and devise your own curriculum–working chronologically starting with 50s sitcoms, teens and 20s pop and jazz, and, well, you can probably skip Pong, but you might start with the Magnavox Odyssey with its static-cling colored screen overlays…

  85. <hanging my head in shame, while softly singing a medley of "Close to You," "Rainy Days and Mondays," and "Yesterday Once More"> Yes, that would probably work.

    At least my brother was listening to Aerosmith etc., so I got that in my head, too. Actually, the Carpenters albums (LPs, of course) were also his. Mine were the showtunes (big surprise).

  86. As far as I know Groening stopped working on the Simpsons when Futurama debuted and didnt return until the movie (which sucked). That show is inventing new ways with which to jump the shark.

  87. Not at all. Im saying that the Blue Album was basically a perfect debut and they followed it with an even more amazing album that went on to define a genre. (then they released 3 shitty albums).

  88. That makes perfect sense…and it's still amazing–to not have the Carpenters' own performances just "built in" to your music background. Their music was everywhere; you didn't have to be someone who listened to the radio all the time. And far fewer options if you didn't like what was on the radio–no Walkmen yet. (And certainly no CD players like in panel 1. See, I brought it back to the comic!)

  89. We had an early Odyssey. It was limited, and I seem to recall that moving controls created only approximate motion on screen (the paddle on screen would keep moving after you stopped moving the control). But I'm interested: why do you call it a blunder?

  90. We had an early Odyssey. It was limited, and I seem to recall that moving controls created only approximate motion on screen (the paddle on screen would keep moving after you stopped moving the control). But I'm interested: why do you call it a blunder?

  91. Im sorry but the idea that you would stick decals on your TV to make the "levels" just strikes me as ridiculous. If it was fun then i suppose it wasnt a blunder but in the time line of game consoles it seems like a misstep.

  92. No problem. I'm not particularly trying to defend the game; I just wanted to hear why you thought that.

    The overlays didn't so much make levels; they were the background graphics (although in front) for the moving images. As I recall, the console only drew white squares (balls) and lines (paddles) on the screen itself. So the overlays just provided some visual interest (for tennis or hockey) and in some cases provided a game field (simon says). It certainly was a novelty at the time–remember, everything was b&w.

    I guess, since we had no expectations, the overlays made sense at the time!

  93. Reminds me of when i was little and I would draw levels for NES games on notebook paper and mail them to Nintendo Power or Nintendo of America. I think thats actually how Josh got started as a level designer.

  94. <old man voice> Back in my day, we'd have been thrilled to have levels…let alone notebook paper! We had to make do with static-cling overlays and stifled imaginations!</old man voice>

  95. When I first saw it at the modest age of about 12 I began to wonder if it was possible to actually suck my own dick without snapping my neck. Needless to say it was very akward and painful.

  96. And now I need to travel to NYC and Rick Roll the subway, you can be my sponsor and give me interbucks… Would you like that?

  97. I am 14 in 6 days (yeah the comments a bit late – I’m playing archive catch up) an a few years ago I discovered alanis morissette and love her music. So the ‘younger generations’ can still get some of these mentioned things.

    Btw, I’m british so spellings etc may b different.

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