Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Memory Day: Nineteen Years Ago Today

Nineteen years ago today, on October 7, 1996, I was a freshman at Virginia Tech. The URI! Domain had been online for just over a month, and had recently been added to the VT Music Department's Student Homepage Links page.

On this particular evening, I was sitting in the CALC lab doing my ear training assignments in MacGamut. I don't even remember what CALC stands for anymore, but it was some jumble of buzzwords to make the department look like it was on the cutting edge of music technology -- there may have also been a forward slash in the acronym somewhere. In reality, it was a cramped room the size of my living room filled with broken MIDI keyboards and Macs that rarely started, with the exception of the student administrator's machine at the front of the room which was always in perfect shape.

The room was fairly crowded with music majors checking their email in Eudora or failing to identify augmented fourths. The admin that night was a senior clarinetist named James T (who would go on to be a senior for a couple more years, because that is what music majors do when they don't know what comes next). Over the quiet bustle, he suddenly asked the room, "Does anyone know a Brian 'Err-i'?" Before I could say anything, he continued, "Because he's got the weirdest homepage ever. There's pictures of llamas and stuff all over it."

Now at the time, my homepage opened up with a disclaimer that satirized smoking warnings from the Surgeon General, websites that told you what screen resolution your monitor should support, and the constant rain of useless advocacy websites from the early 90s before change.org:

Below this warning was a picture of a llama named Sam stolen from the homepage of a local llama farm and then a bunch of boring links to my music compositions and creative writing. Because I had only discovered that the college library had scanners the day before, there were no pictures of me yet on the site. This allowed me to remain incognito as James continued to pose incredulous questions about who I was and why my site was "so weird". It wasn't bemusement -- it was the complete failure to comprehend that a web page with a warning about llamas wasn't supposed to be taken seriously.

Finally, I piped up and said, "Actually, that's my homepage." James looked at me and completely shut down for seven seconds. You could see the gears grinding in his mind as he struggled to reconcile this new information while backtracking on his previous tirade like a Hungry Hungry Hippo who has just eaten a rabbit dropping and realized that his digestion can only go in one direction.

"Dude, your homepage is pretty cool."

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments


Previous Post: Missing the Point


Next Post: Review Day

 

You are currently viewing a single post from the annals of URI! Zone history. The entire URI! Zone is © 1996 - 2021 by Brian Uri!. Please see the About page for further information.

Jump to Top
Jump to the Front Page


October 2015
SMTWHFS
123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
OLD POSTS
Old News Years J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
visitors since November 2003