Jeeni has returned to Crowdcube to raise more funds for helping new talent. Jeeni founding director Mel Croucher says, “Day 5 and we have reached 98% of our 100K target”. If you want to see our pitch click HERE.
Mel has been writing the best-loved column in top-selling tech magazines for over 30 years. Now he’s agreed to share his work with all our members. He’s a video games pioneer and musician, and to to find out more about Mel check out his website www.melcroucher.net. Here’s one of Mel’s latest!
I have a confession to make. I have been pimping a young model, and I confess my shame. My pimping is the result of a moment of weakness. I’ve had models before, and I understand their capricious nature. One moment they are willing to perform across my desk, and the next they freeze and refuse to let me do what I want to do. But it has not been any fantasy performance that’s got me hooked, it has been the fantasy looks. I was bored. I wanted colour. I wanted make-up. I wanted dazzle and glitter. I wanted tribal tattoos, hot bubbles, glowing tubes and a whirling fan-dance. Forgive me, but I’ve pimped my computer.
In 1909, Henry Ford declared, “I will build a motor car for the great multitude. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the best designs that modern engineering can devise. And no man making a good salary will be unable to own one.” He then added his famous line, “The customer can have his car painted any colour he wants as long as it’s black.” And so they were. Painted black. When I was young, cars were still mostly black, apart from the odd spot of lipstick around the exhaust pipes of those used in suicide pacts. As for computer manufacturers, they all followed Henry Ford’s marketing strategy for half a century. Except their colour of choice was not black, but the sort of beige favoured by dead maggots. The exception was the ZX Spectrum which was black, but the keyboard really was made of dead maggots. Apart from that aberration, beige was the colour. In fact the beige box came to be used as a term of derision for desktops, implying dated, boring specifications.
For example, IBM’s early desktop computers were not only very beige indeed, but also very box-shaped indeed, and most PC clone manufacturers followed suit. As IBM and its imitators came to dominate the industry, beige boxes became the unquestioned norm for boring desktop computer design. Even early Apple Macs were beige boxes, until Apple took the revolutionary step in 1987 of switching to the even more boring shade of Chicken Poo By Moonlight. Not long after, equally boring videogame consoles took over the world, until there were so many revolting grey Nintendos and Segas and Playstations and Gameboys, that they had to be transported across deep space to be turned into landfill on distant moons. Meanwhile all Earthbound computers were still fifty shades of grey, until one day Apple changed everything.I remember the shock when their 1988 iMacs were launched. Suddenly we had a choice of computers that looked like see-through giant jellybabies, in a range of five neon colours called gangrene, monkeybum, impetigo, barbie and mince. And that was the end of the adult era in electronics, as a collective madness took over computer marketing. Now users are persuaded to buy machines not for what they do in the adult world, but for their infantile appearance. Users who are normally sane actually enjoy miniature coloured LEDs, winking and blinking through transparent windows like a pixie brothel. Tubes of bubbling, gaudy liquids snake their way through the computer’s guts like tapeworms on acid. Miniature spotlights illuminate cooling fans and heat-sinks from the inside out. These days a serious gamer will spend serious money on a serious PC, then corrupt the whole thing by spraying it with Plasti-Dip peelable, durable, non-slip, rubberised, multi-coloured spew. Yes, I know I shouldn’t have, but a bloke called Xephos made me do it. Let me explain further.
I have been influenced by the newly popular phenomenon of celebrity PCs, where people buy a particular machine simply because their heroes favour it, endorse it or actually commission it in their name. For example one of the world’s most popular videogaming channels on YouTube is called The Yogscast. Last time I counted, it had more than seven and a half million subscribers and over six billion views, and that’s a whole lot of purchasing power. Their founder, this bloke called Xephos, got a business partner of Jeeni to create “the ultimate Yogscast PC range to live stream and play games all day.” And as the factory os not far from me, I went over to mock. But I stayed to pray, and found myself mesmerised by the bloody thing. Bloody as in bejewelled with animated red illuminations inside the see-through casing. Which is how I joined this PC pimping revolution.And even non-gamers are at it. Most regular folk, who normally wear sensible shoes and don’t indulge in bear-baiting or country music, they too have joined the pimping revolution by expressing their personal proclivities via their mobile phones. In the beginning, all mobiles were universally Henry Ford black. Now even old age pensioners wave customised casings around, all lipstick colours, sparkles and cutesy-poo creature decorations. At least, that’s what mine’s like.
But I still suffer from a residual shame over my pimping habit, and like all instant gratification I feel guilty because of it. In fact while looking for a replacement machine recently, I have been quite attracted by one of those shapely models with a bit of sobriety, experience and bulk. And yes, before you ask, it’s black.