Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Quick Glance Back

About 12 years ago, I was working at a software company doing technical support on the front lines. The company's name was Datastorm and their flagship product was Procomm Plus. If you are able to look on your company's file server there is a decent chance a copy of that software resides there.

Datastorm was bought by Quarterdeck (eventually purchased by Symantec) and was going downhill quickly, so I chose to become a rat fleeing a sinking ship. It was my first official real job and I worked alongside some of the best, most genuine people I've ever met--people who cared about their employer and their coworkers. And the company, while it could, spoiled its employees. We were a big family, and we knew it.

Just recently, one of those coworkers organized a reunion. While there were a bunch of people absent, I found it refreshing to reminisce about "the good ol' days" and see where they ended up. True, I've been working alongside ex-Datastormers in almost every other job I've had, but there were a lot of us and it was nice to see those I even barely remembered.

Along with that, I started backtracking through my career. On one hand, 12 years seems like a really long time--I've had three jobs since then. On the other hand, it sometimes seems like it was just last week. So here is a brief comparison of random things then, and random things now.

Then:
Video Games: Diablo, Daggerfall, Warcraft 2, Starcraft

Now:

Halo, Minecraft, Left 4 Dead, Starcraft 2, Portal 2

Then:
Renting

Now:
Homeowner

Then:
No pets

Now:
Approximately 2 1/2 billion pets

Then:
Dating

Now:
Married (to same wonderful woman I was dating) with kids

I drove a 1995 Ford Contour (my first car) which lasted 14 years. I scrappped it two years ago. My gaming rig back then was a Pentium 300 MHz. It's now a six-core, 3.2 GHz monster. Back then I also played on a Super Nintendo. Now it's an Xbox 360. There were no professional video game leagues, and 3D accelerator cards (yes, separate cards) had 12 megs of RAM if you were rich.

Gas was somewhere near $1 a gallon. There was no Google, and Yahoo! was the dominant search engine. Broadband Internet was still a few years away and wouldn't hit mainstream until a couple of years after that. Certainly routers and wireless networks in the home was simply outlandish! :) It was mostly all about 56K modems...aaaawwww yeah! America Online was still a driving force and Linux was becoming present, but was mostly unheard of. Most people were not tied to their cell phones because, well, they weren't prevalent yet.

I still keep in touch with all of the friends I had at the time, and have made many new, wonderful friends since then. I'm interested to see what the next 13 years bring me. I often miss that first job and wish I'd had the opportunity to work there sooner.

Okay, so that's the "back in my day..." speech. We'll move on to things more recent...

Syfy Saturday presents "Age of Dragons
"

Quick summary: It's "Moby Dick"...only with Danny Glover and a couple of dragons. Unfortunately, there is not a lot I can say about this movie. Syfy seems to have a love affair with "Moby Dick" and keeps remaking it (this is the second reimagining in as many months).

So, instead of a whale, it's a "great white dragon". And, instead of no females, there is one chick. Their "ship" is some strange vehicle that travels through snow and, yes, has anchors for some reason. I asked the question facetiously "I wonder if their crappy ship has an anchor?" And, not a minute later, they dropped anchors. Ha!

So, really, all I can say is that it was a very cool reimagining but, in the end, it was quite boring and the acting was overly dramatic.

Here are your Drive-in Totals:
Wyverns killed: Countless
Exposition: Also countless
Bored viewers: 2
Head-stabbing
People chomping
Harpoon-fu

1 1/2 stars


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