Read Only Memories
April 25, 2007 6:19 PM   Subscribe

I have both Freak Show and Bad Day on the Midway by the Residents. Those were awesome when they came out. Haven't checked them out in awhile, I'll have to dig em out and mess with them again. I got one of them for joining something with the Utne Reader online back when it was still good.
posted by Eekacat at 6:25 PM on April 25, 2007

"Utne Reader," ah hahahaha - now that truly brings me back to 1994...
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:52 PM on April 25, 2007

I worked at MS as a contractor in their "home products" division during this era. By this time, none of us would be reading books and everything would be on CD-ROM...they were talking about publishing one CD per day. Ah...bookshelf, mozart, stravinsky, baseball...I can remember the meeting where they announced the name "Encarta" (as a brand for their new Encyclopedia) to near dead silence. This was done in a cafeteria in front of the 30 or people working on it. That's right, that damn thing had a help fox when every MS product had to have some help avatar or some sort, it seemed.

Nothing we did was anywhere near "cool," really. Thanks for bringing back the memories.
posted by maxwelton at 7:04 PM on April 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ah, yes, Peter Gabriel's Xplora, followed by Eve. I have both as Mac versions. Xplora 1 still runs just fine in Classic mode. Haven't bothered to use it much though :)
posted by mkb at 7:12 PM on April 25, 2007

Devo got in on the action, too. A CD-ROM is available through Booji Boy's Basement in their Specialities section.
posted by SansPoint at 7:16 PM on April 25, 2007

maxwelton: I grew up on those CDROMS! I had the Mozart one and my neighbour had Encarta. Encarta was *the* in-thing amongst us computer-savvy kids during that time. It was rather prized.

My neighbours and I would swap CDROMs every so often. I had more serious utility stuff and they had all the games. Ah, fun times.
posted by divabat at 7:20 PM on April 25, 2007

We only had the demo, but the songs on it were enough fun for us: Total Distortion. I can't believe I never got my hands on a copy of the full version :(
posted by redteam at 7:25 PM on April 25, 2007

I knew something was up when instead of the usual software updates on cartridge tape, SGI sent a free CDROM drive and CDs, presumably because it cost less than the cartridges.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:30 PM on April 25, 2007

I still have two dozen of those LAUNCH CDs.

The main thing I remember is how choppy the video was.
posted by Target Practice at 7:38 PM on April 25, 2007

Queen - The Eye.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:05 PM on April 25, 2007

It's kinda sad this never got enormous (it was the epitome of cool, futuristic stuff back then)--if all the stuff they wanted to create got created, we'd have another treasure trove to put online.
posted by amberglow at 8:26 PM on April 25, 2007

Man, Freak Show creeped me out. I can't even listen to the music from it.
posted by crinklebat at 9:45 PM on April 25, 2007

It suddenly occurs to me that my Playboy Interviews CDROM is probably unviewable on any modern computer, let alone my iBook. Damn!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:22 PM on April 25, 2007

Douglas Coupland's Microserfs was set just at the moment when the internet was overtaking CD-ROM. Surprisingly dated now.
posted by Leon at 5:05 AM on April 26, 2007

Rednex - Inb(r)ed with Rednex

Apple bundled it with Performas for some reason
posted by cillit bang at 5:24 AM on April 26, 2007

On the same subject, am I the only one who read blender back when it was a cdrom? I lost mine, and they don't seem to have shown up at my local torrent vendors. Sigh.

I was working making multimedia cd's using macromedia director, at the time, for a company that had a contract with the government. Aparently, cdroms were going to replace brocures for disabled people. Funny thing is, I thought all of this was cool at the time. Part of me still does....

(is it any wonder i work coding servers with no gui now? :-p)
posted by jaymzjulian at 5:27 AM on April 26, 2007

> before broadband took hold

Never underestimate the bandwidth of an oxwagon full of cassette tapes.

This hospital has a remote radiology location a couple of miles away with a cat scanner, and for getting the patients' scans to the main hospital the thing that BellSouth NOW AT&T AND WE WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT SO WE TELL YOU ABOUT FIFTEEN TIMES IN THE COURSE OF ANY TECH SUPPORT PHONE CALL ARRRRGH ARRRRGH ARRRRGH SHUT UP SHUT UP, sorry, got carried away there, anyhow the thing Those People are selling as "broadband" (actually ADSL) absolutely won't do the job. Slapping the studies on CDROM and sending them in by courier three times a day turns out to be a much fatter pipe.
posted by jfuller at 7:36 AM on April 26, 2007

One place where CD-ROMs still make sense: I work in a patient library in a mental institution, where internet access for patients is kept to the absolute minimum (one filtered computer in the library, which they use with one-on-one supervision, for part of the one hour per week they are scheduled to spend in the library). All the educational computers in the institute, however, including adult and kids' computer labs and the non-internet-connected stations in the library, have Encarta installed. (Each with its own license. Gov't institution don't you know. Can't break the law.)

Oh, yes, and we still re-up subscriptions to the World Book and Encyclopedia Britannica in print every few years, but I realize that's neither here nor there.
posted by gillyflower at 10:44 AM on April 26, 2007

Oh my, the heyday of MacroMind Director (later Macromedia of course)... boy that app was a bitch to learn and use.

Anyone remember this one?
posted by zoogleplex at 11:39 AM on April 26, 2007

(Each with its own license. Gov't institution don't you know. Can't break the law.)

WTF, you think a public institution should be breaking the law? C'mon.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:54 PM on April 26, 2007

No, FFF, just complaining in a roundabout manner, as it gets very expensive.
posted by gillyflower at 6:53 AM on May 1, 2007

Ah. I should imagine they got a significant discount. (Countered by a horrendous post-sales support bill.)
posted by five fresh fish at 6:36 PM on May 1, 2007

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