Colin Timothy Gagnon (sacredspud) wrote,
Colin Timothy Gagnon

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Nostalgia error. A)bort, R)etry, F)ail? f_

What you see in the photograph below is my coming of age in 5¼" floppies and 3½" stiffies. 720 disks in all.

It's all there. Everything. School work. Games. My first attempts at programming. Book reports from middle school. My resumé.

Four versions of Microsoft Windows. At least eight versions of MS-DOS (most of them 6.x). GeoWorks, which nobody else on the planet even used. OS/2 Warp. Three copies of Commander Keen 4, Monkey Islands I and II, Leisure Suit Larrys, King's Quests, Space Quests, remakes of King's and Space Quests, Doom and its older brothers Wolfenstein 3D and Catacomb Abyss. Lemmings. Alone in the Dark I, Warcraft and Spectre VR. More than twenty different programming languages.

Stacker 3 which was notorious for accidentally wiping hard disks. The very first versions of Netscape Navigator and AOL Instant Messenger. A pornographic haiku generator which never generated anything but properly-formatted nonsense. Oregon Trail. The Junior High Anatomy Preparedness Kit. Physics projects from my senior year. Essays I wrote for Junior Lit. Shareware knockoffs of Tetris, Arkanoid, Joust and Mario Brothers. Where In The Hell America's Past is Carmen Sandiego? Rescue Rover 2. Biodomes. Three versions of The Uncle Meat Utilities. Hours of wave files. Something called Barney vs Star Trek. Map editors for SimCity, the original issues of Phrack, and credit card number generators I was afraid to use but which my friend Aaron assured me didn't work. At least ten disks labeled simply, "pictures" or "utilities."

IBM Linkway. MOD files that still impress me. The Secret Island of Doctor Quandary. Primary Editor Plus. An IRC bot into which I poured most of the summer of 1997. A joke IQ test which overinflates your score, but which I never used on anybody because it was full of misspellings. Games I wrote in high school ranging from Captain Spleens I & ][ to Schmootris to Weenie Golf to unfinished versions of Homicide, Mr. Pointy Thinks He Should Star In A Game, The Q-Files, Mole, and Captain Spleen 3D. The DOS-based proto-version of The Tale of Rhubarb Bunnywing.

This pile represents approximately nine years of my life -- 1992 to 2001 -- in a very literal sense. The games I played, the things I learned, the ideas I had and the tools I used to record them. And I spent enough time in front of that glowing screen that these really are the best record of who I was, and how I got to be who I am.

It's almost a pity that half of them are full of bad sectors, and none of them contain anything I really want to save (not strictly true, but I've backed up what I want to keep). They're all going to get tossed (once they've enjoyed the company of a nice, strong magnet).
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