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Eugene Dorfling
Eugene Dorfling

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My first Computer and Lan parties

I think it was the PC my Dad gave me when the lighting bought him a brand new system. It’s funny how my brother and I both got our PCs that way when the lighting struck our house on Christmas eve, two years in a row. True story.

Anyway, I think it was a Pentium 4 with 2x 512mb ram, and I have no idea which graphics card. With a huge CRT screen ready for Counter-Strike 1.6 and Quake oh and Unreal Tournament. Man those were the days.

I remember playing Counter-Strike at an internet cafe in some aunties garage straight through the night. I would pitch up with some cash and a backpack filled with snacks and cooldrink that will keep me on a sugar high for the whole duration.

But when I was given my own PC I would pack up my whole kit including the CRT screen and set it up on my friend’s mom’s dining table for a kick-ass Lan party.

I was the network boffin with my Dad being a CCIE at Cisco I knew enough to set up a Lan with a switch and a few Lan cables. I could even make an x-over cable and connect two PCs straight to each other.

What knew about IP addressing was the following: It always starts with 192.168.1. and then you increment by ten starting with 10. The “main” PC would always have the IP of and then I would carry on with .20 and .30 and so on. Oh, and the subnet mask will always be, it just has to be, otherwise, things won’t work and you won’t be playing any quake until the subnet matches exactly that.

Then the next part is where my friends would be amazed at my Matrix programming skills, I would open up the command line, which was set to green text, and start ping testing. I could even check the IP address through ipconfig all, which I did often just to make more characters run over the screen so it would look like I am coding in the matrix.

And so we enjoyed an evening of multiplayer gaming while exchanging movies and stuff with each other. Those days it took hours to copy a single movie. To copy a series you would have to leave your drive with your friend for a week.

My friends and I would also sell our old components to each other when we upgraded. I remember when a friend gave me two 1gig modules of RAM which a pressed in a little skew and broke the slot. Luckily I could still use the new 1gig module I got, which left me exactly where I started off.

My Dad then configured a VPN to which some of his friends will connect and we basically had online gaming. It was awesome to have Lan parties that did not require me to move my huge CRT monitor and all my cables anywhere. Each of us even had a Cisco IP phone on our desks which served as our discord server.

The setup was way over my head though so I could not get my friends to join in. At least my little brother and I dominated them old farts, my brother more often than I but I came in second most of the time.

Yeah not long after that, I got a steam account and things changed so rapidly that I never even stopped to think about how fast technology is evolving. I mean all of this wasn’t even 20 years ago when we had to physically cable up to play Lan games. Now you download GTA-100GB in an hour or so and start playing with a whole bunch of people, all over the world, right from the comfort of your couch. No more changing to disc 5 to install.

I wonder what this story will look like 20 years from now?

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