Remembering and the Early Days of Flash

The classic website was posted up on Facebook yesterday, and it got me thinking about the early days of Flash and the very early days of my involvement with technology.

I was in grad school in 1999, when Justin came to visit me in Columbus, OH. He showed me the Gabocorp site, and my jaw dropped. There was motion and sound, and kinds of slick animation at a time when the web was largely static (this was all pre-YouTube and when broadband was still gaining traction).

I was inspired to animate my poems, and wanted to learn how more about “motion graphics.” So I ended up plunking down $99 (no small amount at that time) for an educational version of Macromedia Flash 4. Again, this was in the early days, prior to Macromedia being purchased by Adobe.

After messing around with the program for a while, I lucked out and landed a job in the Chicago suburbs after graduation. Luckily for me, knowing Flash proved more lucrative than my poetry MFA – and I started off down the road of a career in tech.

It’s been about fifteen years since I first saw Gabocorp, and a lot has changed in that time. Flash has fallen out of vogue, and is no longer the dominant format for multimedia content. Mobile and tablet devices are taking over. Music has gone from the CD-ROM drive, to the hard drive, to the cloud.

In that interim, I did manage to get better with Flash. And I did end up animating a few poems. I started a blog that I’ve been updating every day for about 12 years now. And I also got to create many fun projects, most of which rely on the Internet in some form or another.

Though I no longer work with Flash for a living (or really, at all)… I remain enamored with technology and the web. I still remember the site that started it all for me. I remember the small office I had, in the small apartment I lived in as a graduate student. And I remember my friend Justin’s words to me: “You gotta check this out.”

My First Flash Animation, Circa 1999
Remembering Hillman Curtis
Old Flash Examples and the Best Partying, Dancing, Energy Drink Promoting Spokes-Dog I’ve Ever Seen

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