The Badger

When the Internet started I was there. Many years later, when the World Wide Web started, I was there. I used to be known as the Badger. Long before there was an Internet, there was GEnie the General Electric Network Interface which allowed people from all over the world to talk across computers. They charged by the minute. Long Before there was GEnie, there were BBS'es. This stood for Bulletin Board Service. Various computer literate individuals around the world would take their IBM PC and XT compatible computers and buy four or five modems. The earliest of us started with 300 baud modems. We had to pay for four or five phone lines, so each modem could have its own line. The BBS'es operated like the discussion boards on Web sites do now, but this was the very first time that people could use their computer to communicate with other people on computers.

Insert audiovisual of the scene from 2001 a space odessey, where the ape throws the bone into the air, and it morphs into a spinning space station, complete with the Also Sprach Zarathustra sound theme. I was one of those originals who crawled out of the caves, casting off the yolk of punch cards and COBOL, with keyboard in hand. I was Badger. In a state called Florida, in a county called Volusia, and in a city called Daytona Beach, I started the first computer BBS system in Volusia County. And we communicated. I started so far back, that I was able to get the domain name badger.org. I had barely missed getting badger.com. I was Badger. I still have Badger.Org, but have converted it into what the world expected it to be. A non-profit Web site about the animal Badger.

 

Douglas Barnhart

My Photography background: My biggest dream was to tour Europe, when I was in my early thirties, I got the chance to go. I wanted to come home with something better than the average tourist snapshots. Two of my friends were professional photographers. One was a commercial portrait photographer, the other an art photographer. They agreed to teach me the craft, but I had to commit to using only a completely manual system, so I would have to learn the basics. At the time it meant I would have to make my trip to Europe as a neophyte photographer, not knowing if I would ever get a chance to go again. So it was a big commitment for me to make, but now I am glad that I did.

I got a Pentax K1000, and was given a library of books to read. I went on shoots with both of them, and some with all three of us. Part of my education involved developing the pictures. Over the years, I did get to revisit Europe several times. I ended up working my way up to somewhere between a dedicated amateur photographer and a beginner pro. I had my own darkroom, which was almost exclusively black and white. I never strayed from the Pentax fold, except for a brief flirtation with a Nikon. I think I had almost all models of the Pentax 35mm line, prior to the primarily electronic bodies. My last camera in the 35mm world was the PZ1, which I still own.

I became disabled, and my mobility was such that I had to give up my photography. But I never lost my love for it. I have gone through a long litany of health problems, and nearly checked out numerous times. After a number of surgeries, I am making what the doctor's call a miraculous recovery. They (whoever "they" are) say a near death experience give you a new outlook on the world. At least in my case it has, and I want to visually document it.

 

 

 

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