The eighteen-year scratch

"The fuck of the century"

Every once in a while you happen across an item that launches an entire avalanche of thoughts and memories. One such artefact is the CD above.

This is its story.

Early in the year 2000 I was putting together a compilation CD-R of electronica tracks. Some were popular tunes, some were more obscure, and all were great at the time. I still enjoy them today (although, admittedly, Cotton Eye Joe is a bit of a blemish that hasn’t aged well).

Most tracks were ripped from original CDs courtesy of a DJ friend — but there was one tune I simply couldn’t source anywhere. None of my contacts had it. The nascent internet was of no use.

That tune was LaTour’s Blue, “as heard in the motion picture Basic Instinct“. It gets played during the nightclub scene. Most people probably won’t remember it.

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Of Duke Nukem and aborted laptop ideas

Duke Nukem 3D LA Meltdown Boss Execution (image via 3D Realms)

A few weeks ago I finally finished playing Duke Nukem 3D.

Yes, you read correctly: That Duke Nukem. The one from 1996. The classic old DOS game.

I finally finished the shareware version. Killed the boss. Had to go “cornholio” just for him but I blasted his ass dead. Over 20 years later. Groovy!

So what took this long?

Well, when DN3D came out in 1996 I immediately downloaded and started playing it. It was awesome, I enjoyed it more than Doom. I played a few levels and then other stuff happened. The other stuff was other games and other interests and paid work.

Real life got in the way.

More games came and went. Some were played, some went unplayed, and others remain “to be played properly when I have the time”. DN3D was one of those. Life continued to happen. “When I have the time” never really comes around when other interests and distractions keep popping up.

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Welcome to 2018

More and more stuff to digitise

We’re well into the new year. It’s a new beginning.

It’s time to turn our back on the past and focus on the future.

The first order of the year is to finish off a long-running task on Discogs which I’ve now abandoned and clear out its leftovers. Stuff will be archived. Printed matter will be filed away. People will be bothered. There will be blood. More on that in a separate post.

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Review: 2017

...and we got us a new puppy.

It’s Christmas. 2017 is almost history, and what a busy year it’s been!

I quit an unsatisfying job and took a minor sabbatical. A lot of old stuff was deleted, sold, thrown out, or upgraded. December’s me is certainly not the same as the one in January. On a personal level, 2017 was the most exciting year in a long time. This is great.

It started off with 49 people getting shot by a terrorist in a Turkish nightclub on New Year’s Eve. Also in 2017, a truck bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia killed at least 512 people. A bombing attack in Manchester, England killed 22 people and injured over 100 as they left an Ariana Grande concert. Three islamists ploughed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge, then ran around stabbing random others with kitchen knives. Eight people died; the perpetrators were shot dead on the spot by police within minutes. This is good.

Crashing cars and trucks into crowds of people or buildings seems to have become the new vehicle for expressing public dissatisfaction, many of the acts written off as “terrorism” (Barcelona, Charlottesville, London, Manchester, Melbourne, New York, Stockholm).

Refugees have taken to knifing random civilians across Europe. This is not good.

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My mother? Let me tell you about my mother…

Why is that, Leon?

2017 is a year filled with anniversaries.

2017 happens to be the “incept date” of Leon Kowalski, the above replicant in the original Blade Runner movie from 1982. This year is also the one where fans would finally be treated to the unnecessary sequel, Blade Runner 2049.

Furthermore, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of my mother’s passing.

It was 35 years ago that she took me along to see Blade Runner. She had a knack for horror and science fiction, and through means which remain unexplained by conventional scientific methods my mother passed it on. My mother was cool.

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Windows Phone is dead

Nokia Lumia 930 (green)

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the iPhone.

The iPhone would go on to revolutionise mobile communications in ways few could have foreseen – yet these mobiles have since become commonplace to all and sundry. The first commercial Android device was released a year later; today Android has the largest installed base of any operating system in the world.

In 2010 Microsoft also heeded the call with the ill-fated Windows Phone 7 (based on Windows CE). “Too little, too late”, one might say, nor was there an upgrade path to 2014’s superior Windows 8/8.1 generation (now based on Windows NT).

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reBuy, revisited

CD player (Bruno Glätsch via Pixabay)

A few days ago I found more stuff to get rid of. I returned to reBuy.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I checked the status of a random item I had sent in the last time. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this CD-single appears to be quite “in demand” today.

Remember that this was some random, hitherto unknown Swedish dance-pop act (based in Germany) who released two instantly forgettable tunes. It’s safe to assume that the group was dissolved before their announced debut album made it to market. According to Discogs and some casual research, it was finally put out — by a Russian label a year later.

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Statistics, analytics and trends

On February 1st, 2017 my first website finally went 404.

Its host,, shut down. The site hadn’t been maintained since 2008 in any case.

It was a personal and interesting learning exercise (archived) although, in the grand scheme of things, an insignificant little site. Nonetheless, in its 15 years online the site allowed me to observe a shift in online users’ behaviour and trends.

Thanks to StatCounter, I could see that visitors came from many places, both in linkage and geography. They arrived using the browsers of the day; at first it was IE that ruled the roost, then Firefox took the lead in certain territories. Konqueror, Brave, Opera or Safari (let alone mobile browsers) barely registered on the scale. Spiders have always made up a small percentage of hits. SERPs were the main draw before the dawn of social media.

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