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Maybe you’re in the computer lab at school. Perhaps you’re at home in, what I think for most people, was referred to simply as the “computer room.” How quaint and simple-minded we were in 2001. Either way, you’re sitting down in a swivel chair, leaning over and reaching for the power button on the computer tower. If you’re of a certain age, you can probably remember this very scene if you think real hard about it.
Next step following the computer tower is turning the monitor on. You sign in and hear that gentle, sweeping, beautiful piano intro. It’s the sound of my childhood.
For me, Windows XP was a portal — a gateway (no pun intended) to, well, everything. XP was the first time I remember really being autonomous. I was on my own on the computer with XP, not peering over my mom or dads shoulder watching them type an e-mail on Windows 98.
In 2001, we were still in the infancy of the internet. Internet 1.0 if you will, and it was the wild west. The Pain Olympics (if you don’t know what I’m referring to, Google it at your own risk), Rotten.com, Ebaumsworld, and Homestar Runner. Things were different on the web then, and operating systems were just hilariously different.
Look at this picture right now and tell me you’re not getting a little nostalgic for your old Gateway or Compaq Presario back at your parents’ house.
So let’s talk entertainment for a minute. I had myself a bit of a routine when I would log onto a computer in 2001. First thing I’d do is throw a CD into that computer tower. Get some Good Charlotte cranking. Then I’d log onto AOL Instant Messenger, say “Sup” to a buddy who lived down the street, he’d say “nm u” and I’d say “chillen,” and then that’s where the conversation would end. Following that, I’d play a little 3D pinball. Only real XP fans will understand this one.
I might even get crazy, pop that Good Charlotte CD I was talking about earlier and throw in Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, a game that EA made and was utterly fantastic. I could play that game for hours on end. But as with all video games, eventually that gets old, and the only left to do on the computer is get onto Internet Explorer and just fucking explore.
YouTube? Didn’t exist yet. Twitter? Sorry, try again. Hell, MySpace wasn’t even around and Zuckerberg hadn’t enrolled at Harvard. We were young, dumb, and obsessed with Newgrounds. And honestly, we weren’t really into the best stuff on the web yet. “Numa Numa” dance was still a few years away in 2001. That creepy dancing 3D baby was pretty cool but that was a product of the late 90s. In ‘01, the internets primary function was email. People checked their home computers once a day maybe and weren’t glued to their cell phones.
Amazon was still a place most known for selling used books and I would literally try to look at pornography by typing “boobs.com” into the search bar on my AOL homepage. I mean it really is fucking incredible how simple things were back then. But without Windows XP, that fantastic background of the green, rolling hills, that wonderful pinball game, and the thumbnails with rounded out edges, we would never be where we are today. God bless Windows XP. I hope to do one day do a DJ set with the XP startup screen behind me, the recycle bin and the Internet Explorer shortcut glowing brightly as I play hits from the early 2000s. .
Image via YouTube