One thing that was astounding to me about writing books on Director is how outsized my credentials appeared. In mid-1995 when I started working as a freelance digital file manipulator, I had never worked professionally in Director, although I’d been messing around with it for a couple of years and had actively been looking for projects. I lucked into a job actually teaching Director at Portland State University by being in the right place at the right time and proving that I knew enough to teach an introductory course. Then I chanced into the Shockwave book at the end of the year and I had a little bit of celebrity in the small Director pond. But it wasn’t based on any actual work I’d done, and as time went on and I did more writing gigs and continued teaching, I couldn’t really share stories about the cool kiosk or online gig I’d had because they just didn’t exist. I wasn’t exactly a fraud because I never represented myself as anything other than a writer and demonstrator of techniques, but there were times when I sure felt out-classed by the people I was hanging out with.
What was worse was that people were always eager to see me. I’d met up with developers on a London trip shortly after the publication of my first book, hung out with the infamous Peter “Lingo Sorcery” Small at his home, and visited James Newton, as I’ve already mentioned. Amsterdam was the superlative of these visits, because people actually travelled for significant periods of time (about as long as you can travel in the Netherlands) to get together at a cafe and drink some beers. From left to right in the photo above: Mark Reijnders (whose iPhone app “Clean My Screen” is currently available); Lucas Meijer (the 3D guru I’d met at UCON 2001 just a couple months earlier, now working for Unity); Mark Hagers (still doing the digital media thing); and Pim van Bochoven (Mr. OSControl Xtra who is always doing incredibly cool things). I knew why I wanted to meet them but why the hell did they want to meet me?
The Digitized Decade is a look back at the first year of my entry into consumer digital photography.