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Issue 201

garcia@computerhistory.org
Well, that was easy. The When receiving a rejection, know
Fourth Annual Giant Sized Annual that the editor can reject the piece for
happened and it turned out better any reason what-so-ever, including
than I expected. Of course, there whim. They are by no means required
were hiccups (sorry Steve Green!) to buy your piece – or anyone’s.
and there were some really good When receiving a rejection, don’t
pieces that I got from. There’s Brad question the reasons for the rejection.
Foster and Jay on the cover, photos No matter what they say, whether
from James Bacon and more! positive or negative it boils down to the
fact that they just couldn’t use your
piece at this time.
This issue is dedicated to M Crasdan, who
When receiving a rejection, don’t
went into the hospital on the 1st, and is
threaten the editor.
not in good shape. Get better, Girlie!
When receiving a rejection, don’t
question the editor’s morals, parentage
Notes to Authors and Artists or intelligence.
When receiving a rejection there
By Bob Hole is no need to say thank you, but don’t
say anything else in front of the word
When submitting a manuscript “you” either.
use spell check. Grammar check is Authors and artists should know
less necessary, but it can’t hurt – it that while there is no secret cabal of
helps in catching your unintentional editors, if you mistakenly threaten
mistakes. And you can add your alien/ or question an editor in other than
fantasy words to your user dictionary the politest of terms this information
so it doesn’t stop every time you write will be making the gossip rounds.
Quagaarific. Sometimes the public ones. And then
When submitting a manuscript you’re still welcome to write or paint or
or image, use the suggested (or whatever all you want, but no one will
required) format as listed by the ever want to buy your deathless prose
publication or venue you’re submitting or perfect picture.
to. No matter who you are as an
When a publication or venue author or artist, you’re replaceable.
does not offer guidelines regarding 100% replaceable.
format, use standard formatting or at Because there are always more
least common sense. talented non-jerks out there.
When receiving a rejection,
resubmit the piece somewhere else.
and its nice to catch up. The afternoon was only really the second time she
Croydon in Snow TIme had been normal, but then there was had seen proper snow here, and it was
by James Bacon. a slight dusting of snow. Then in the
evening a really heavy amount fell, and
really proper. The night before they
were out in their night clothes.
In Ireland we don’t get much it stopped. So as I set off, I wasn’t too
worried about the snow, I collected The instructions on the Radio
snow, generally we get rain, although
Croydon Fandoms Finest and the pub were to only travel if absolutely
when the UK has had very bad weather
was merry to say the least. The snow necessary. Now Sim can plug into the
we would have it too, but not quite
fell hard again, and my drive home wireless and work from home, so she
so bad, we had a bad one a few years
was convoluted. The usual route over did. The train website for the operating
back. So far, for the four winters I have
a bridge blocked off, I didn’t mind company that serves Croydon had
lived in London generally the weather
really, as I backed and went back the crashed. Live departure boards
has been mild. This is also true for
way I came, towards east Croydon looked fictional, asterisks marking
the summers. It used to get really hot,
station, but cars were dealing with the where trains were not definitely due,
and I really did not enjoy hot London
weather badly, and going was slow. I and because councils had seemingly
summers nights, but the last three
found some short cuts I know, but the failed to grit the roads to and from
have been milder.
underpass had been closed, so traffic Bus depots, London Buses were not
I went to the Pub on Sunday, it was bottle necking. I got through all running.
was good, I haven’t been for a while, this, though and was home. I was off, otherwise, I would
So on have made the journey, although I
Monday, after it understand that on Monday some 25
had been snowing staff called in unavailable to work.
quite hard all Crippled the service, it was cancelled.
Sunday night, I All the same, I would have made it
awoke to much in, I have driven in worse, and know
snow. My wife and patience and time are all that is
her step sister, needed.
who are living
with me, were So the wife and sister, built
already too excited a snow man. They wanted a proper
for words. Nikita Calvin and Hobbes snowman, and not
had never seen or one I could crash my car into. The
experienced snow, dogs loved the snow, and I took them
and although I for a walk, while the engineer made
had taken Sim the perfect snowman. It wore them out
snowboarding in quicker than normal. I returned and
Val D’esaire, this the snowman was progressing very
well, and I have to say when they Groups of kids were about
built it, it was definitely the best playing snow ball fights, which
snowman I have ever seen. seemed well natured and energetic,
and I even saw one woman in
I was off work, such are cross country skies, who obviously
shifts and I had things to do, and thought she had a solution. I soon
reckoned that I might walk into overtook her, my heavy duty railway
town and see if the post office an issue steel toe cap boots proving
bank were open. To be honest, I just as rugged.
like walking in snow and was not
bothered if they were closed, so The bank was closed, but
I headed into town, hoping to be the staff did wave from inside,
back with some sausages and fresh which was friendly. The main post
bread rolls for a late lunch. office was also closed. A child was
sledging down Church street, which
Around the corner from our
estate, there is a large grassed area in barrier, and one could only draw ones has a bit of a hill, and usually would
front of some flats, here two couples own conclusions. Any evidence was have trams. The whitgift centre was
were pushing a huge snow ball each. gone. I smiled. open, and I went in, Waterstones was
I took some photos, and asked if they doing business but they didn’t have
Since it was decided that shovels
had been drinking, not yet, they said. any copies of Flood by Stephen Baxter,
were the order of the day, I went on my
which I was looking for, neither did
Further on I saw a bus, I was way, West Croydon Bus station was
Notting Hill branch the previous week
surprised. As I neared, I could see deserted, and the shutters were down
and the libraries two copies are loaned
men pushing the rear of the bus away on the Train station. The tram lines
out. Demand.
from the pavement and a barrier. The were somewhere under compacted
wheels were spinning, it was slewing snow, and even the sign for the Tram I went to Sainsburys, I wanted
badly. I offered to help and did so. I Replacement Bus was now defunct and to get enough food for about three
realised as I tried with three other to horizontal in defeat to the weather, but days, as we are off to South Africa this
push a bus, that it was an odd scene. there were people about. weekend, and hadn’t done our usually
I asked the man in charge if he had big monthly shop.
Forbidden Planet, one of the
sand, no, shovels, on the way. As the
two comic book shops in Croydon was The shop was very busy, but
wheel was spinning it was compacting
open, surprisingly, and people were this was deceptive. There were really
the snow, then, with steam rising, it
going in and out, but many shops long queues because they had no staff,
was melting it, only making the next
were closed, as was West Croydon there was no shortage of food. I got
bit even more slippery, as water iced
Post Office. They didnt have Flood by chatting to a couple of lads, a manager
up on the next bit of compacted snow.
Stephen Baxter. and store hand, and they explained
The bus was damaged, as was the
that they are usually in Victoria, but
strange, there were no police, Once home I had some hot
or street sweepers, or anybody, chocolate made from the provisions,
just folk briskley making there and tucked into hot sausage
way, collars up, woolens on, sandwiches, with fresh crusty rolls.
heads down.

The bus was gone,


but had left one hell of a
mess. I saw a snow
plough fronted truck,
spreading grit on the
main road, it was
doing a good, if solitary
job. Traffic was single
file and solid.

live in Croydon, as did most people


The lads who had been
there, and the staff of the shop, who
building a snow man, had
live elsewhere, couldn’t get there. The
finished, it was huge, maybe
word sustainability and travel costs
ten feet tall, if not more, and
sprung to mind, like how many people
they and some gathered friends
could transfer to the workplace closest
were enjoying a couple of
to where they lived I wondered.
cans. I was very impressed and
I found some bargains, and told them so.
loaded up, I measured as I filed my
Many snowmen had
haversack and had about twenty kilos
joined the fray, and I saw
of foodstuff, but I hoiked it on, and
another three on the way
was off. The shop was closing, it was
home, as well as a snow chair.
3pm, and the whole centre was closing,
Of course, it was at this stage
going from mildly deserted to ghost
that I found our own snowman
town in a matter of minutes. Anyone
had been nicked, and Tim,
who could make it had done so for the
always on guard across the
morning shift, so that was the end. I
road, told me some kids had
had made it just in time.
lifted off the bits, I didn’t mind
I walked back at my own pace, really. It was a very good
and as if on que, nearly all the shops looking snowman.
were closing or had closed. It felt
resulted in me blowing all my dispos-
Shoppin’ for Music able income at the record store for
by Bobby Schaetzle the next four years. The only reason
it didn’t was because, after burning
Let’s skip ahead to my freshman through the collected works of They
year in high school, first period Biol- Might Be Giants, I didn’t actually have
ogy. Someone (I think it was Shawn), anything else in mind that I wanted
lent me Flood, by They Might Be Gi- to buy. So unless another friend was
ants. I had spent Jr. High pretty apa- randomly going to tell me about some
thetic about music. I had stuff I liked album they liked, the only music I
-- REM, B-52, Talking Heads -- but would ever know was what I heard on
grunge was just starting to take over the radio.
the airwaves and, with a few notable I’m going to digress for just a
exceptions, it never did much for me. It moment to say a few words about the
also didn’t help that Live 105 rebrand- radio. If you’re a band and you’re really
ed that year; not to sound all 14 and proud of a song you’ve recorded and
angsty, but I was pretty disillusioned you want to share it with the world,
with the radio. So when I heard TMBG FM radio seems like just about the
for the first time, I was thrown for a least flattering way to have your music
loop just by how different it was. It was heard. It’d be like if someone painted
like walking into an Asian grocery store some exquisite landscape, and then
for the first time and realizing there’s hung it up in Times Square next to
all sorts of crazy vegetables in this to some Coca-Cola sign. College radio
world that you’ve never even heard of. isn’t much better either; just replace
It wasn’t just different, though, it was Times Square with one of those beat-
also good; I knew I wasn’t going to be up old bulletin boards and the Coke
Wherehouse shopping for more. This
able to hear more of this kind of music sign with a flier for some guy looking
time, however, the store was at Stevens
just by listening to the radio (though, for a roommate. Don’t get me wrong,
Creek & Stelling, and the album was
to be fair, Steve Masters did play Twis- this isn’t meant to be a tirade against
Apollo 18. Unlike the Back to the Fu-
tin’ pretty regularly for a little while). broadcast radio either. It’s just always
ture soundtrack, Apollo 18 was pretty
I immediately made a copy of the tape seemed unfortunate to me that the
much the best thing ever. Shit, I liked
for myself -- by this point I even had a most efficient method of introducing
it even more than Flood. I liked it so
boombox with high-speed dubbing. music makers to music listeners is also
much, that two weeks later I bought
Man, I listened to the shit out sort of inherently...well...ugly.
Lincoln and Miscellaneous T. Looking
of that album, I’ll tell you what. I was Anyway, after finding out about
back, this newfound enthusiasm for
spending hardly any money on mu- They Might Be Giants, it was hard to
alternative music could have easily set
sic at this age, but before I was even have any real confidence in the ra-
off a chain of events that would have
tired of it, I found myself back at The
personal rock renaissance, and, not I certainly wasn’t at least. Most
unlike the actual Renaissance, it had a of my stuff was still on cassette; since
dark side. I had become what Da Vinci my car only had a tape deck, there was
first referred to as a “music leech”; I never any point in getting copies on
copied tons of music off my friends, CD. Naspter came along just about the
having very little of my own to offer in time I was finishing up my last year
return. at De Anza. The guys on MUD talked
If leeching music off your close about it a bunch, but I was still liv-
friends is enough to make you feel little ing at my folks place and using dial-
guilty, then leeching music off thou- up internet (now on a 56k modem at
sands of people on the Internet should least). It wasn’t really worth checking
make you feel really guilty, right? Well out until I moved up to San Francsico
it doesn’t. Most people would argue State, where I had broadband in my
that this is due to the anonymity fac- bedroom. I never actually used Napster
tor, and there’s definitely something though, believe it or not; their cli-
dio anymore. It seemed like I didn’t to that, but it was more than that for ent gave me some issues when I tried
have much of a choice, though, be- me. When I first started pulling music installing it and, by this point, there
cause that’s how everyone else I knew down off the net, I didn’t just not feel was already a bunch of chatter about
was finding their new music. Then, guilty, I actually felt a little bit proud. legal action coming down the pipeline.
the summer after sophomore year, I’ll do my best to explain. During my Instead I used Gnutella, followed by
I started doing Comedy Sportz High senior year, most evenings after school Kazaa about a year later.
School League. This is when I started were spent on the MUD, talking to peo- The biggest problem with using
hanging out with Garcia and Jordan ple I’d met online. This was still 1994, either of these networks to find music
and Sarah and a slew of other people well before trading music online was a was that there weren’t a lot of full al-
that all had considerably more diverse viable option (I was using a 2400 baud bums out there. Now, downloading sin-
tastes in music than I ever did. They modem). What the Internet lacked gles is fine when you’re just trying to
went to shows at the Edge, they hung in copyrighted music, it made up for find a copy of Wild Wild West, because
out in record stores, and they had cd in large communities of nerds...and who really needs a full cd’s worth of
collections that were all over the map. these nerds knew about nerdy things. the Escape Club? But if I’m looking for
From Garcia I got the Bosstones and Rookie was the first one of us to find new stuff, especially if it’s a brand new
Fishbone and a bunch of great ska. out about mp3s...or at least he was artist, I really want the complete album
Jordan had all 10 (later 15) volumes the first one to talk about it on the experience. On a few occasions I would
of Rhino’s New Wave Hits of the 80s MUD. Upon hearing his description go grab a track listing off cddb and try
collection! This was also when I finally of the technology, my reaction was, to hunt down all the songs I needed,
started getting into punk somewhat, “hey those kinds of compression ratios but more often than not that just re-
having had a couple failed attempts in sound great...but no one’s actually go- sulted in an “album” with missing
the years prior. I was having my own ing to bother digitizing all their music.” tracks and songs all recorded at differ-
ent levels. expense of finding and downloading for playing music while I was at home.
One positive thing that came out the actual songs, which is easy enough Once that shift had occurred, there
of the early networks was that they to offset since you can actually listen was now incentive for the great music
rekindled my interest in hip-hop. I to the songs you just downloaded while digitization project that would ensue.
started playing with them right around you’re searching for your next track. Being the music leech that I
the time that Eminem started to get After two years at SFSU, I’d built am, I owned very few original copies
big, which meant that the modern rock myself a fairly respectable mp3 collec- of most of the stuff I listened to. For-
radio stations that I listened to (actu- tion. This was in addition to the tapes tunately, I still had fairly close ties to
ally they were called “alternative” by and cds I already owned, which meant the people that I had gotten the music
this point) actually played some rap oscillating back and forth between two from in the first place; so I went out
every now and then. [Just as an aside, different mediums. This sounds like no and re-borrowed everything I could
if you ever start to wonder if racism is big deal, but...while having two dates get my hands on and ripped it all to
still alive and well here in the heart of for the prom may be rewarding in its my PC. As I did this, something cool
the Bay Area, try to remember the last own way, television has taught us that happened...the people I was borrowing
time you heard a rap song on Live 105 it’s inevitably more trouble than it’s music from started to ask me for stuff.
that wasn’t by Eminem, the Beastie worth. In relation to my overall listen- When I said before that I actually took
Boys, Everlast, Kid Rock or the Blood- ing habits, my mp3 catalog was riddled some amount of pride in downloading
hound Gang.] My tastes in hip-hop with holes and heavily unbalanced. music from the Internet, this is what
have always been very, umm....specific. It was large enough, however, that cd I’m talking about. While most of my
The stuff that I like, I really like; and players and tape decks took a back- friends hadn’t yet “gone mp3” to the
the stuff that I don’t like, I really don’t seat to my PC as the medium of choice extent that I had, hard drive costs had
like. That kind of polarization makes plummeted and the idea of having mp3
it hard to listen to the “urban” sta- copies of all their stuff was attractive.
tions like 94.9 with any regularity, On top of that, since I was one of the
and the Internet just so happened to first people in my social circle to bother
fill this niche perfectly. I went back ripping cds, I became an aggregator of
and listened to all sorts of west coast sorts. For the first time, a life-long mu-
stuff that somehow had passed me by sic leech like myself was actually able
during my adolescence. I wasn’t look- to give something back to the people he
ing for music that was super obscure was leeching off of.
or anything; it was mostly shit like Now, if you can’t already tell by
Eazy-E at first, then random stuff from reading this, I love evangelizing music.
Death Row records, etc. I still ended For all you people out there that have
up pulling down quite a bit of music given me music for free, I hope you
that I didn’t actually like, but it didn’t take some comfort in knowing that I
matter. With the Internet, there’s no remember with remarkable complete-
appraisal cost besides the temporal ness how the music I’ve come to love
came to me. [I’ll admit that I don’t on cd-rom and still have space left over SO, things are interesting. M’s
always remember where I got the stuff for one or two personal recommenda- in the hospital, though doing slight-
that sucks, but you probably don’t care tions. Now maybe they’ll listen to my ly better. It’s been a rough couple of
if I remember that anyways.] Don’t be picks with a careful ear, or maybe they years for that side of my extended
surprised, then, when I try to describe won’t even listen to them at all -- but friend-family. Luckily, the cancer’s
to you how immensely rewarding it is like I said, it’s a numbers game. If you still in check and it’s just some-
when I hear someone listening to an give away enough free music, sooner or thing that’s taken up residence in
album that I happened to have given later you’re going to hear some positive her lungs. SaBean, who is an abso-
them, even if I wasn’t the one that feedback. And unless you’re a band or lute wreck, has said that she’ll be
actually paid money for it. This isn’t a record company, that positive feed- writing something about the situa-
to imply that just because I like some- back just makes you want to give away tion for the next issue. Jay’s han-
thing, I think the rest of the world is even more. dling it like he always does because
going to like it too. To a certain extent, he’s that kind of guy.
it’s just a numbers game. I’m not as freaked out as I
It’s a happy coincidence that was the last time she end up in
the mp3 format was invented around there. I was in a terrible state that
the same time as people were finding time.
their way onto the Internet; the mar- I’ve been watching movies,
riage of these two technologies is why including the far-better-than-it-need-
the word “revolution” has been applied ed-to-be The Uninvited. It’s got a
to mp3s, while no such magnitude of great cast, David Straithairn, Emily
import was ever granted to the emer- Browning and Elizabeth Banks.
gence of compact discs. Even without Great cast and the script, while
the Internet, though, I think we would starting slow came up to a taut
have still seen people embrace some supernatural/psychological thriller.
kind of compressed audio format even- Very good.
tually, just because it’s so easily trans- I’ve been listening to a lot of
ferable. Back in the cd/cassette era, MC Chris. He does some of the most
giving someone a copy of an album I wrong, yet hilarious, humor you’ll
liked was much more of a thing that even hear in the various skits he in-
it is now. And knowing how much of cluded with his raps. The best ones
a thing it is, if someone offered me a are MC Chris goes to Heaven and
copy of a album, I felt a lot more com- meets Jesus and the one where he
pelled to listen to, and enjoy it. Com- is in the middle of a Zombie Apoco-
pare this with the post-mp3 world, lypse and they’re talking about the
where, if I’m giving someone music, I’ll summer movies they wanna see.
drop the five albums they asked for a Funny stuff.