I Wasn’t Always A Mac User

I wasn’t always a Mac user. Back in the late 90s, I remember being a pretty serious PC gamer. I used to rebuild my computer once a year because I always lusted after the latest Intel processors and Nvidia GPUs. Whilst many people I knew played Starcraft, I was hugely into first person shooters. One of my favourite games was Quake III Arena. I recall hauling my incredibly heavy beast of a computer many times over into the back of my then decrepit 1989 GMC Safari, so I could attend LAN parties (remember those?).

On weekends in the summer, frequently I would meet up with a large group of people at a local university where they would host LAN parties. Most of the time we did these 48-72 hour extravaganzas during the summer, and although they were exhausting, I look back on some of those days with fond memories.

Prepping for a LAN party is no easy feat when you have a desktop computer. Being a gamer, the case I had was gargantuan — it could fit many hard drives, piping hot GPUs with extended PCBs (Printed Circuit Board), and a complex cooling system. I never dabbled in water cooling solutions, however I did make sure to find the most efficient actively cooled heat sink and beefy power supply.

One particular summers day, I had packed up the behemoth that was my computer, keyboard and mouse, and my unreasonably heavy 19″ Viewsonic CRT monitor. I loaded up all of my gear in the back of my van — which was easy enough since I had removed all of the passenger seats — and embarked on a 25 minute journey to the local university. When I had arrived, it had been just after noon from what I can remember. I wanted to unload my gear right in front of the main entrance, but there was a construction barrier between the glass doors and parkade. The barrier was a large cement island — large enough that any sane person would never dream of driving over. Not being a sane person, in conjunction with my complete lack of care for my vehicle (which was the worst thing ever made), I came to the conclusion that reversing onto the main entrance at an extremely high rate of speed would accomplish what I desired.

My red 1989 GMC Safari was aligned properly with the entrance. I gripped the steering column mounted gear shift tightly and slammed it into reverse (which made a frightening noise). My left foot firmly pressing down on the breaks, whilst my right foot steadily pressed the accelerator which began spinning the tires. Once I felt satisfied that there was enough spin, my left foot released the break whilst my right foot mashed the accelerator down to the floor. The vehicle exploded with a mighty force into reverse, all while I looked out the rear window to see where I was going. As soon as the rear wheels of the vehicle made contact with the barrier, the back end lifted and I knew I was going to make it. This all happened in a matter of seconds, but I recall hearing a very peculiar clanging noise, as if something shattered, right as the vehicle made it to the opposite side of the concrete barrier. I got out of the vehicle and had a look underneath to see if there was any damage. Not long after this event, I sold that van. I never did find out what went wrong that day.