I’m so sad. I do not have access to broadband Internet anymore. Here’s the full story:
I worked in an Internet Café starting with the autumn of 1999 til January 2001. This Internet Café belonged to my University. They had (and still have) a 256 kbps ADSL connection which didn’t always work at full capacity (sometimes the connection quality was so shitty that you had to wait half an hour for Yahoo! Mail), but when it worked it worked good and I pretty much abused it as much as I could. ‘Abused’ here means that I was intensively using it to download MP3s and the alikes. I feel I had the right to do so since the sallary was somewhere next to nothing and I did lots of favours for them (like designing the webpage).
In 2001 I went to work to a company which looked very nice at the begining. There we had a 64 kbps connection. Which worked much better but since there were 4 computers it was always busy downloading this and that. Mostly my stuff. That’s why my collegues called my ‘Mr. Downloader’.
This company ended pretty tragically in January 2002 (yeah, it lasted exactly a year). By that time I had practically no Internet connection. Luckily I had a friend working at another Internet Café in my hometown so I could read my email and check on the Web Development news and the such.
In the spring of 2002 I received a call from the University’s rector who told me that he hired a new sysadmin and he would like me to go down to discuss the technical problems with the new man. He probably didn’t have anyone else to call. Hehe. Anyway, I went. Met the guy. He was nice. We understood each other. It was cool. Of course I couldn’t miss the oportunity to access broadband again. So I asked him for the key of the Café and there I was. Downloading again. And this went on all the summer because I made myself a copy of the key. Hehe. When somebody asked me what was I doing there I always said that the rector asked me and this always worked because nobody would bother him with such questions.
I went down today, after a pause of more than three months, because I heard that they upgraded the connection. Sadly I found the Café empty. I mean the computers weren’t there anymore.
Looking at 80 CDs full of MP3s that I have (plus lots of stuff on my hard drive which I still have to burn) I’m surely grateful. But it would have been great if it would have lasted just a little more.
Update (on 26.04.2018 - 15 years later): I used Audiogalaxy a lot that summer because it worked as a two part service by using a downloader client that I had installed at that cafe and a web based remote which I could access from the Internet Cafe in Baia Sprie. I remember that I would queue up a list of wanted songs and from time to time I would go to Baia Mare and collect the MP3s it downloaded for me. After a while, wanting to avoid questions about what I was doing there, even if I had the answer prepared as I said above, I moved the downloading computer to the “server” room which was a small room with half opaque windows, and I remember that I dimmed the brightness of the monitor so that nobody would know I’m there. I even spent a few hours one night there with some friends after our favorite bar, Cuba, closed early and we sneaked in and waited for the first bus to Baia Sprie. Also it occured to me while writing this update that either during 2001 or sometime after this post (starting with 2003) part of the space that housed the Internet Cafe, was converted into a small snack shop that ran inside the uni.
Another update (on that same date 15 years later) It seems Audiogalaxy called it quits on June 17, 2002.
Update (on 10.06.2019 - 16 years later): According to some photos I found in my archive the snack shop was there during my visits in the spring of 2002, so it probably started sometime in 2001.