Past lives

I’m on part-time leave this week, and I’m doing a bunch of scanning and archiving. Mostly paper documents that have been accumulating in hanging folders for the last ten years. I’m finding the app PDFScanner to be invaluable. It makes it super easy to scan a batch of sheets, do OCR on the text, and save them as a single searchable PDF. The process would be a lot faster if I had a proper document scanner, but I’m making do with the Epson Perfection V600 flatbed I bought a couple of years ago. Once I’ve done the initial bulk scan, I’m not going to be scanning dozens of documents a day. It’s fine.

I’ve also cut down the other bookcase in my office to give myself some more wall space for posters and pictures, and I’ve been sorting through piles of “stuff” with the following in mind:

  • Every day, throw something away.
  • Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you have to use it, or even keep it.

This is all building up to one day being able to finish organizing and digitizing our boxes of 35mm photos and prints. Despite what I thought at the time, the APS format has one key advantage over 35mm in the digital era: it’s easy to ship a small box of APS camera rolls to a third party for scanning. Our 35mm negatives and prints are all over the place. It’s going to take some effort to gather them all together for sending them out in the first place. I don’t have that in me yet.

In the meantime, I did come across and individually scan a couple of relics from the 1990s: my first RBS security pass from when I started work there in 1996, and a souvenir business card for my character Beck from Ambercon UK back in…1995? Might have been 1996. Either way, some 20-ish years ago.

I can remember my RBS staff ID (2368390), and my CompuServe user id from back then (100272.2327) as clearly as my mobile phone number now, but I don’t remember exactly which AmberCons Abi and I attended. (I’m sure Abi will remind me.)

I remember reading about AmberCon UK while I was working as a clerical assistant at the HCRC (Human Communication Research Centre) in early 1994. (Surfing usenet in my lunch hours, in a terminal window on a pizza box Mac LC.) I think we went to the one in 94. I’m not sure if that’s when I first played Beck, though. The business card would have been a souvenir for the con after the first time I played him, and brought him back as a recurring character. So either 95 or 96.

PS: I also found myself describing to Fiona this afternoon what a “photo negative” is.

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1 comment

  1. So let’s see.

    You first approached me about going to an Ambercon when we lived in Dickson Street, which is to say, 1993-1994. So our first Ambercon was 1994. But we were both in the game where you played Beck, and we were not in any games in common at that con. So the first time you could have played Beck was 1995. Which means that the card is from 1996 or 1997. (It can’t be from 1998, because by then we were at a different address).

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