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Book 1 Story:   Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before
By joe the peacock
Post your comment 51 Comments/Edits Share:   |    |    |    |    |    |    |  

Romance.Net

| -5 YR | -5 MO | -5 WK | -5 DY | -5 HR | -5 MIN | -5 SEC | 0 | +5 SEC | +5 MIN | +5 HR | +5 DY | +5 WK | +5 MO | +5 YR |



Part 1 - 5 Years Before

"I bought the thing, I taught the thing, and I fought the thing..." Faith No More, Naked In Front Of The Computer




“DING DONG!” I heard the doorbell shout throughout the house for the fourth time in under five seconds. Christ, hold your horses! I slung the controller of my Nintendo across my bedroom and trotted down the hall of my parents’ house as quickly as I could with two asleep legs. Almost every step I took was marked by another announcement from the doorbell stating that someone outside wanted in – immediately.

I quickly slid the deadbolt back from the clasp and yanked the door open. Almost immediately, a huge beige box slid along the ever-increasing angle of the opening door and fell forward toward me. From somewhere behind this enormous tower, I heard my father yell “Sonuvabitch! Grab that, Joe!” I reached for the falling object and helped to re-stabilize it in his arms.

“Damn it, Joe!” my father exclaimed once the situation was under control. “I’ve been ringing that damn bell for two minutes! What the HELL took you so long?”

“I was… uh…” I said as he stepped past me and into the house. “I, uh… I was cleaning my room.”

He sat the massive steel rectangle on the sofa in the living room and spun around to face me. “Oh, don’t give me that Mickey Mouse bullshit,” He boomed. “You were playing that damned Intendo.”

“I… Uh…” I stammered. Oh, how fucked I was now...

“Well, nevermind all that," he said as I sighed, relieved beyond belief. "Come on out to the truck with me, I got some stuff to unload.” He marched past me and headed outside once again.

I studied the clunky box my father had just brought into the house – it looked like a computer. I’d seen one at my friend John Dixon’s house, and this looked an awful lot like that one – only much, much bigger, and much more yellow. Knowing that my father’s willingness to dismiss transgressions such as not hurrying immediately to his aid would probably die quickly, I left my pondering to a later date and raced out of the door to help him bring inside whatever it was he needed me to. I arrived at the truck to find my dad’s rear half sticking out from the passenger side of his truck.

“Here, take this,” He said, emerging from the F-150 with a monitor in his arms. I took it from him somewhat reluctantly, trying my best to wrap the fray of cables which jutted from the back of the device around my left hand as I balanced the weight of the beast between my right arm and my left knee.

“What is all this?” I asked my father as he flung the various cables and diskettes strewn about the seat into a stray grocery bag.

“What’s it look like?” he asked, resting the sack o' cables on top of a box full of assorted manuals and lifting both out of the truck.

I knew exactly what it was. “It looks like you got a computer,” I said, trying to feign ignorance in order to conceal my absolute glee.

“Yeah, sport!” he said with a gentle knowing grin. "How do ya like that?"

“Oh my God!" I cheered aloud. "Finally! I've finally got a computer!” My father took the lead for the march back to the house As I spun around and thanked God.

"Now, now, it's not just yours. It belongs to the family," He replied gruffly.

Bullshit. This sucker's MINE. "Ok, yeah," I said as I did my best to balance the absolutely gigantic monitor while keeping the cables from dangling everywhere. "The family finally has a computer, sure. But... how? We can't afford a computer!" My last words trailed off as the cables in my hand slid out and dangled in front of my legs.

“Well," He said as he approached the door, "I know how long you've wanted one -"

"I thought you said it was the family's," I muttered as I kicked the cabling with my right foot, inadvertently bringing it between my legs.

"Well, the family needs one too. And since we had new ones put in around the office today, I took one of these old ones for – Oh, for the love of Christ,” he said as he glanced behind him to find me helplessly wrapped in monitor cabling.

A few hours and a few curse words later, my father and I had managed to set up the family's first ever computer on a folding table in the corner of the dining room. My adreanline was surging - Having spent numerous hours in front of John Dixon's PC, I knew the raw power of the machine which sat before me. It could do anything - Need For Speed 3, Wing Commander II, Leisure Suit Larr... Er, um... Math Rabbit - you name it, this thing could do it. And I was pumped and ready to see it in action.

Per the general instructions given to me by my father before he left me to what he knew was my toy, I flipped the main switch on the back to the 'on' position and depressed the power button on the front. Immediately, lights flashed on and the monitor began to flicker. IT LIVES!!!! My pulse quickened as I saw the words Phoenix 8086 flash across the screen. I had no idea what that meant - all I knew is that the computer was on and I was only seconds away from gaming bliss.

A string of text flew across the screen almost faster than I could read it. Things about mouse drivers and available RAM and such. Who gives a crap about this stuff! I wanna play Master of Orion! Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the screen stopped moving and I was presented with the ability to finally tell this thing what to do.

C:>_

It sat there, blinking, mocking me. Timidly, I reached for the keyboard and input my first command.

C:>Hello
'Hello' : Bad command or file name

Hmm... Guess it doesn't know that one.

C:>hi
'hi' : Bad command or file name

It doesn't know that one either. Crap... what the hell do I type? "Daaaaaaaaaaaaad!" I yelled at the top of my lungs.

I heard no response.

"DAD!" I yelled again.

"What?" He yelled back.

"Can you come help me?" I inquired at high volume.

"Gimmie a minute..." He grumbled back.

While I waited for him to appear, I thought I might work on it a little more.

C:>go
'go' : Bad command or file name

C:>begin
'begin' : Bad command or file name

C:>run
'run' : Bad command or file name

C:>compute
'compute' : Bad command or file name

C:>operate
'operate' : Bad command or file name

C:>perform
'perform' : Bad command or file name

C:>blah
'blah' : Bad command or file name

Man, this sucks! My mind spun as I tried to think up things that might get this ridiculous machine to respond. Hmm... Maybe I should just tell it what I want.

C:>game
'game' : Bad command or file name

C:>games
'games' : Bad command or file name

C:>play
'play' : Bad command or file name

C:>play a game
'play' : Bad command or file name

C:>go to games
'go' : Bad command or file name

I grit my teeth. "DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!!" I bellowed.

"Goddammit! What!?!" I heard from down the hall.

"I need your help!" I yelled back.

"I can't help you right now, I'm busy!" He responded gruffly.

"Well, can you just give me a second? I can't make this stupid computer work!"

"I'm fixing the goddamn toilet!" He barked. "That damn thing has manuals, doesn't it?"

I looked at the gigantic box filled with books and was overcome with dread. "Uh... Yeah..." I wimpered.

"Well, read em! That's what they're for!"

Read the manuals... Yeah, right. I chuckled. I'm not THAT stupid. I can figure this thing out.

C:>do something
'do' : Bad command or file name

C:>I said do something, you piece of shit!!!!
'I' : Bad command or file name

C:>Why won't you listen to me?
'Why' : Bad command or file name

C:>fuck you!
'fuck' : Bad command or file name

C:>poop
'poop' : Bad command or file name

C:>goddamn it, do something!
'goddamn' : Bad command or file name

C:>I don't care!
'I' : Bad command or file name

C:>jesus christ this sucks
'jesus' : Bad command or file name

C:>you just said jesus was bad
'you' : Bad command or file name

C:>you're going to hell, you stupid bucket of bolts
'you're' : Bad command or file name

C:>Oh yeah? Your mom is a bad command!
'Oh' : Bad command or file name

C:>She's a bad file name, too
'She's' : Bad command or file name

C:>i hate you!!!!
'i' : Bad command or file name

C:>fuck this
'fuck' : Bad command or file name

C:>Don't curse at me you fucking computer
'Don't' : Bad command or file name

C:>Go to hell!
'Go' : Bad command or file name

C:>_

My shoulders slumped forward as I sighed a heavy sigh. "Man, I'm never going to understand computers," I said as I marched back into my room to a machine I actually understood - my 'Intendo'.




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Posted on Saturday, May 22 2004
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COMMENTS / EDITS



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Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by ogopogo on Saturday, May 22 2004
(User Info | Send a Message)
Hahaha. Excellent. It is so awesome to see new content! This is really funny so far...also, do I get points for first nitpick?



I inquired at high volume?



I am pretty sure you don't need a question mark. Maybe I'm wrong.



By the by, how did you manage to break a 12,000 dollar lamp?






Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by Elfstone on Saturday, May 22 2004
(User Info | Send a Message)
Hey Joe, looking forward to this new posting style. So far so good. C:>_ brings back a whole lot of memories.



The Tandy 100sx. The first computer I...uh...my family ever owned. I was 4 years old. There's nothing like the nastalgia of running games from basic. LOAD. RUN. Fun times.



Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by Trixie on Saturday, May 22 2004
(User Info | Send a Message) http://ster00ling.blogspot.com/
I especially like the part where you carried on a conversation with an inanimate object. Some things just don't change huh? J/K. I think it sounds like a great beginning to an interesting series. Can't wait to see it in PRINT! :)



Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by LycoLoco on Saturday, May 22 2004
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://www.livejournal.com/~silentemotion
Hah! Nice job, as always. Really makes me wonder how we managed without GUI back then, but I guess ignorance is bliss, right?



One quick typing error:

Shouldn't "I my father yell" be "I [heard] my father yell"?



Other than that, it looks great. Who thought you'd be working with computers as much as you are now, especially back then? Ahh, the days of Leisure Suit Lar....uh, Reader Rabbit. You know they're releasing a new LSL for Xbox sometime soon, right?






Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by homncruse on Saturday, May 22 2004
(User Info | Send a Message) http://yaganet.org
"I thought you said it was the family's," I muttered as I kicked the cabling with my right foot, inadvertently brining it between my legs.



Dictionary.com says:



1 entry found for brining.

brine

n.

Water saturated with or containing large amounts of a salt, especially sodium chloride.



The water of a sea or an ocean.

A large body of salt water.

Salt water used for preserving and pickling foods.



tr.v. brined, brin·ing, brines

To immerse, preserve, or pickle in salt water.





That's really interesting Joe! What the HELL do you have in between your legs!? You're not the average man afterall, are you?



HILARIOUS typo ;)



Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by Kealiki on Saturday, May 22 2004
(User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
Man, that brings back memories... luckily my first contact with DOS left me with the need to know only one command: C:>game/bustamove/start .... best game in the world, especially considering the computer teacher would give anyone who beat it a chocolate bar (and I was the only one who couldn't it and, coincidentally, I was the only skinny person in the computer club). Just be happy the your first computer wasn't an Apple IIc, sure, no DOS to deal with, but EVERYTHING was on diskettes.



Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by Krillian_Hex (khex at nyc dot rr dot com) on Thursday, May 27 2004
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.krillianhex.com
LOL, we all have to learn sometime. I remember those days of the DOS prompt, killer stuff. Once you learned it, it was smooth sailing with like no more than 5 usable commands. But i started out in much of the same way, but my spelling was horrible since i was like 5 years old when we got our first computer.



Wing Commander, Leisure Suit Larry, Kings Quest, Kyrandia, the begining of Wolfenstein and Doom. Those were the good ol' days.



Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by Mekanikos on Sunday, June 13 2004
(User Info | Send a Message)
A few hours and a few curse words later, my father and I had managed to set up the family's first ever computer on a folding table in the corner of the dining room. ***My adreanline was surging.***



You mispelled adrenaline.

~Mek



Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by Gramma (KJP1954.aol.com) on Saturday, January 22 2005
(User Info | Send a Message)
I laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes! I remember when I too sat in front of the blinking C:>



Re: Romance.Net | Part 1 | 5 Years Before (Score: 1)
by syco (at sycotic dot org) on Tuesday, February 15 2005
(User Info | Send a Message) http://sycotic.org
Haha. Ahhh, the joys of DOS. I remember my first time trying to start Windows 3.1, heh. That was... entertaining. My dad was also off doing something. But he quickly returned and told me what to do, and I was oh-so-excited to play Castle of the Winds. Mmm. Good game. Second one's better. Anyhow. Will read your next installments, as talking about Castle of the Winds won't get me to sleep any earlier.




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