Dirt Nap City

What Were CD-ROMs? A Dirt Nap City Dead End

February 08, 2024 Dirt Nap City Season 3 Episode 39
Dirt Nap City
What Were CD-ROMs? A Dirt Nap City Dead End
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Show Notes Transcript

If you are over the age of 20, you probably remember when CD-ROMs were how you stored all the data you ever needed from your computer. They were somewhat durable, relatively small, and held a decent amount of data for the time. And they were everywhere - you even got them free in the mail from some companies! If you ever listened to music on a compact disc or loaded a program onto your computer from a CD-ROM, them you should definitely check out this edition of "Dirt Nap City Dead Ends"!

Dirt Nap City Dead Ends are short stories about the traditions, sayings, technologies, and businesses that used to be popular but now reside in Dirt Nap City.  If you have an idea for a Dirt Nap City Dead End story, drop us a line at our email address: not@dirtnapcity.com

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Kelly:

Hey Alex, how you doing today?

Alex:

Hey, what's up, Kelly?

Kelly:

Well, I have another dead end. So now what is a dead end on dirt nap city?

Alex:

These are things that aren't people that don't aren't around anymore. So they're

Kelly:

Traditions, technology businesses, sayings, right, any of the above. buildings. Buildings.

Alex:

What did we talk about? Fotomat? So building? Yes.

Kelly:

And Alex told me something that blew my mind. And this is one of many things. So go listen buildings still exist. A lot of them do. And now they're like coffee shops.

Alex:

Yeah, kiosks, you can't go inside.

Kelly:

Well, unless you work there,

Alex:

they won't let you inside.

Kelly:

Yeah, yeah, you can't really walk up. And because I mean, there's not a lot of room in those But if you see a like a snow cone, or a cotton candy, or a coffee or ice cream kiosk in the might have been a Photoshop photo. It might have been a photo mat, a 1.9

Alex:

G, photo mat spelt with an F. I never cleared that up last week. But photo enough,

Kelly:

you know, that actually makes more sense. And pH, honestly.

Alex:

I think it was spelled with an F. Yeah, yeah. Yeah,

Kelly:

I think you're right. I think you're right. Well, this week, I have something that's another from other dead ends. It was sort of like a dead end that had a little cut through. And then there And then this ended up as a dead end, too. So do you remember back in the day, I think we talked right?

Alex:

Love wrote love my records and the love letter?

Kelly:

Yeah, it had a sound to it. And then of course, today, everything is streaming. But there right?

Alex:

I did both sizes. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that was a five and a half.

Kelly:

I think it's a three and a half and a five.

Alex:

Yeah, yeah. The first ones were the big ones, the verbatims. That

Kelly:

I believe that the funny thing about the five inch floppy is? Well, the funny thing about it wasn't actually floppy, it was encased in plastic. Whereas the the five inch verbatim disks, them, right, they were in paper. The

Alex:

other funny part about floppy disks is even though they haven't been around and nobody who was still are the icon for when you want to save something. It's a picture. Right? Right. That's

Kelly:

right. That's right. It's it's one. It's like the picture of an old telephone, you know, as between records and streaming in between floppy disks, and cloud storage, we had these things knows, probably knows that CD stands for compact disc. And but do you know what the ROM part of CD

Alex:

Read Only Memory? Yeah,

Kelly:

yeah, because you could only unlike a floppy disk, which you could write to, you could factory in the replication center. And it was interesting, it was a little piece of 1.2 these little things called pits in it and those pits were actually written and read by a laser. actually a groove of record has little bumps that that the needle moves, they were almost like that would read them and write them. Now. It was a huge, huge, huge improvement over records in that. it's a lot harder to get them scratched. They also had a little bit less noise, like a sound to noise took over four records in the music industry was they could hold a lot more music. Now you remember time of 22 minutes per side. And you know what a CD was?

Alex:

Was it like an hour and a half 74

Kelly:

minutes. So yes, yeah. Now an hour and 15 an hour and 14 minutes so I mean more than double it over. You can also switch between songs very easily. You could put it on shuffle, man remember shuffle you

Alex:

I remember the shuffle. I insist on shuffle. In fact, even today, when I'm listening to order these songs need to be in. I want to play them. I love randomness in life. I love the idea these eight songs. Right,

Kelly:

right. Any any one of these 74 minutes of music. And and what was what was kind of more a five disc changer, or there were even some I think that had like a 10. Disc magazine. Did you

Alex:

Well, not only that, but later in probably much, probably at the end of CDs, didn't have disc changer. And that's where I stored all my CDs in the hundreds it

Kelly:

is run it on shuffle all the time, horse course. So you could have you could have big band rush. I mean, what

Alex:

was what my guarantee, I guarantee all three of those things are in the I think they're still any any either one of those things anymore, the CDs or the shuffler. But my wife doesn't throw

Kelly:

I'm sure I still have 100 This shuffler somewhere around.

Alex:

I think the 100 is shuffler is probably 15 feet away from me right now.

Kelly:

You should break that thing out over the holidays and and just put it on shuffle. And just

Alex:

Sure, sure. Or I could just not do that and just do a stream these things, you know?

Kelly:

Yeah, yeah, but but there's something about that mechanical noise when it would change the rotational tray that would move them from disk to disk. You remember that noise? There's that little

Alex:

mechanical noise. And I also remember the idea of wondering how random it actually is, like, row. What are those odds? It turns out that randomness doesn't mean that you're gonna get one truly means that sometimes you can get a run of three or four. Yeah,

Kelly:

yeah, it's like if you flip a coin 50 times, it's not going to be 25 and 25. That's funny story about the randomness is I had a roommate in, in college and after college, and we Johnny Cash CD in there, it was mine. And it would, I would sometimes go over and there was the then there was the ability to shuffle just on one disk. And when he wasn't looking, you know, be on some, you know, some to Live Crew, we'd hear some Tears for Fears. And then Johnny Cash would come Johnny Cash songs in a row. And my roommate thought that the disc shuffler was haunted. Yes, there and pushing that button that changed it from only play this disc, but it was still shuffling disc. But that was always kind of fun. The compact disc was released in 1982. And it was code originally designed to just do sound, you know, all that kind of thing. And then it became the CD megabytes of storage as opposed to 1.4 on a on a floppy disk. I mean, think about that. That is

Alex:

go to a lot of sporting events as you've established earlier. And one of my favorite game. They gave away the giveaway a CD ROM of the baseball encyclopedia, which is this normally this player that's ever played the game. And I remember they just gave this away. And I just thought this

Kelly:

to every fan that came in. Yeah. Oh, it wasn't like a big prize. It was it was a it was a like one of those fans that you get to fan yourself. Yeah, it was. Usually it's

Alex:

a t shirt or bobblehead or something. But I loved that because I frequently would buy those to date. And this was just something I could slip into my computer and look up any player that ever

Kelly:

Did you ever put it in your 100 disc changer to see what would happen?

Alex:

This was a, it was a? No, it was just a legit CD ROM. Right? Yeah,

Kelly:

it wouldn't, it wouldn't just automatically start spewing out baseball stats during the, well then if you liked that giveaway, I gotta ask you, do you remember? Do you remember the time and you'll probably remember this free CDs that would come in the mail from AOL. Yes, you've got mail? mean, there must just be so much landfill of CDs of AOL. But I think those have actually become an original one?

Alex:

Yeah, especially the original ones. And they would give you a certain number of hours for free. you were you would pay by the hour. So you could get like 250 hours of free internet surfing, which then.

Kelly:

Right? But everything loaded so slowly that you might see three three pictures and there was pictures. And so that would

Alex:

take forever once I got through crest. toothpaste.com I was I was out of ideas.

Kelly:

So So speaking of like, lots and lots of these in the landfill. Do you know the most

Alex:

Is this a muse? Is this music? It's an it's an easy one. Is it the Dark Side of the Moon?

Kelly:

No most purchased most purchase most people like that. I'm

Alex:

just saying that because that's one of the biggest selling albums. And just it's been on the

Kelly:

think think of the Think of the 80s and when when CDs were really popular thriller? Yes, purchase CD of all time. And because of that, I am going to close out this dead end episode of dirt tell me if you think I wrote this or a I wrote it. So you ready? This is called Ode to the CD ROM in symphony, a data kiss. CD ROM. A relic of the 90s bold whispers of knowledge stories untold. Once a digitized dreams, software suites encyclopedias grand games that pixeled worlds in your hand modem byte by byte rare, cracking the case ritual of your anticipations hum hunger for more spur spin painted in the sky. Music on loop pixelated delight. Dancing fingers bathed in cathode ray replaced by giants with silicon stride. But nostalgia whispers a melody suite of simpler times the past were they to waltz and memories amassed CD ROM a chapter forever enshrined in the digital

Alex:

hope you wrote that but I don't think you did.

Kelly:

Thanks, Bard. Yeah, it was it was it was Bard parts of the Google equivalent of chat. GBT.

Alex:

Yeah, nicely done. They used pixeled as a verb and pixelated.

Kelly:

Yeah, yeah. pixelated delight.

Alex:

My favorite step was raise a disk.

Kelly:

Now raise a disk. Well, that's the CD and CD ROM. If you ever owned a CD or a CD ROM, feel Alex?

Alex:

Not and then the little at symbol. And then dirt nap. city.com.

Kelly:

You got it. Well, thanks everybody. This has been another dead end episode of dirt nap every other week. Go back and check out our photo mat episode which was would have been two weeks one. All right. Bye.