the quadra.

Since we lost so much money on Dromedary in 1993, we got a big-ass tax return.

“Big-ass” meaning about $3,000.  

We had been working with a computer that Frank gave us since we graduated college and I started looking for a job.  Frank had access to Macintosh computers that were, essentially, free, and so he gave us one.

At some point he sold the computer he had given us, and replaced it with a very low-end Macintosh SE.  It wasn’t right for me to be resentful of that since the computer was, for all practical purposes, free.  So we muddled through as best we could with the SE’s tiny monochrome screen.

With $3,000 in found money, however, we decided it was time for a new computer.  And we wanted top-of-the-line.

We purchased a Macintosh Performa, which was also rebadged in professional circles as the Quadra.  The Performa had 4 Megabytes of RAM, and a 250 Megabyte hard drive.  It ran System 7, which I had tried to install on the SE but which choked the hell out of the computer.  It had a VGA monitor, as opposed to the black-and-white monitor on the SE.

One of the first things we had done when we moved into the new apartment was set up the Dromedary office.  Actually, the first thing I did (which has been the first thing I’ve done anywhere we’ve moved) was set up the stereo.  But then came the office.

We moved our homemade, “L-shaped” desk along one wall, and Sandy built shelves for all our CDs, which covered another wall.  All the Dromedary inventory went into the long closet that was in the room (and so did my clothes).  We had music posters on the walls, and we put up a bulletin board so that I could tack up all my notes and “to do” lists.

We had the telephone guy come install a phone line, and I splurged on a blazing fast, 2400 BPS modem.  I could then access AOL at what felt to me like light speed.  We also installed a phone in the room, so I could do all my business calls from inside the office.

It was awesome.  On nights I worked (which was, essentially, every night), I was able to be much closer to Sandy than I was in Lodi, where I was in the kitchen when she went to bed.  Physically, we were probably just as far apart, but being on another level of the house, it just seemed like we were closer.

What was even better was that in Lodi, Dromedary’s “mess” was right in our kitchen, and always spilled into the living area of the apartment.  The inventory was in our living room closet, fighting with our coats for space.  Books and papers were always scattered around the living room, and mail always wound up piled up on the kitchen table.

In the new place, all the Dromedary stuff was confined to a single room, and when it got messy, we could simply close the door.

From my new Quadra I downloaded a copy of Eudora, a mail client for Apple computers.  With Eudora I put together Dromedary’s first electronic mailing list, and sent out Dromedary’s first “broadcast” email, which went out to about fifteen people.  Essentially, all the email did was tell people that they were on Dromedary’s email list, but that was a start.

One of the first email addresses I got was for Jim Testa.  Jim and I emailed back and forth a bit and I eventually asked him if he knew anything about the private mailing list that Keith from Silver Girl had told me about so many months ago.  Turned out that Jim was on that mailing list, and said he’d be happy to refer me.

Within a week or so, I was a member, and that opened me up to a world of college radio people, other indie label owners, and band members.  

Since I’d been a member of various online communities since the late 80s, I knew that proper etiquette dictated that I sit back and observe the mailing list for a few weeks, learn the tone of their discussions, and slowly begin contributing where it made sense.  But even by observing, and reading the daily emails, I learned a lot.

The new computer was a bitchin’ machine.

~ by Al on May 6, 2009.

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