No.001 “The Computer and I”

As you can see, the official site is now up. We’ve worked very hard to make it, so please enjoy. Now that it has launched, we will continue to update it regularly with any news that come up, and I will continue writing for this column week after week. To start off, how about I make the topic for this week’s entry “The computer and I”?

If I remember correctly, I first became aware of things like internet and homepages in 1998. I think it was around the time when I was recording “KREMLINMAN”. In the studio there was a huge iMac belonging to some unknown person, and I didn’t see any internet pages open on its screen, so I fiddled with it without knowing what I was doing. How should I handle this or that, I had no clue, or perhaps I should say, I couldn’t even understand what I was looking for in the first place. For now I ended up just throwing a bunch of things in the garbage bin. Then, for some reason everything on the screen stopped moving, or “froze”, so to speak. After reporting to a person in the studio honestly as if I was George Washington, they went: “Ah, looks like there’s something wrong with the machine.” And just like that, “whoosh!”, the computer started to reboot. “Oh, so that’s where that button was”, I thought to myself, starting to feel more confident. Now that I figured out which part of my fiddling caused it to restart, I performed some aggressive operations over and over until at last I succeeded at downloading a game called “snood”. The download was successful, so then I wanted to figure out how to access the game again, so once again I aimlessly went through some more operations, and while I was doing that, various “snood” icons would appear on the screen to fight with each other. However, after we finished recording the album, I never came back to that studio.

Then later, while I was hosting a radio program on Sapporo’s STV station, I would try to work on the computer in that studio, but this time no aggressive operations I tried out would make it restart, so for the time being I would only wish I could browse the internet. That was around 1999, I think. For a long time, I didn’t feel the need to have my own computer at home. If I wanted to do some research for one of my programs, there was already plenty of information available as it is. Eventually, everyone around me started getting PCs and would often come up to me telling very casually things like: “KAN-chan, give me your address”. In response, I would spell it out to them, like “In lower case letters… t-o-k-y-o…” and end it with “just kidding”, but after three months I got tired of this silly joke.

Around that time, I was also finalizing my plans to go to Paris and would often think to myself: “Hey, maybe a computer would be handy after all, so why don’t I get one, baby?” So I decided to finally buy one. Now, about which one I should buy, and how do the Mac and the Windows systems differ, I’ve heard all kinds of things from people, and decided that I would not let their opinions guide mine since they were all over the place. One day, I decided to buy a Mac thanks to the simple advice from my drummer Shimizu Atsushi, you know, the “Hmm… am I in the mood for a Benz or a domestic car?” Shimizu Atsushi, when he said “In that case, I’d get a…” Of course, the main reason why I bought a computer in the first place was because I was going to Paris, but I also considered the transportation charges from Japan to France, knowing that if I purchased it in Paris, the whole deal would naturally turn out cheaper. However, because I wouldn’t understand a thing about computer talk in another language, I wasn’t brave enough to go down that route. In the end of October 2001, I quickly went to Akihabara and bought a computer at the supermarket there. With the help of all the tour members over the phone, I somehow managed to set up an internet connection through dial-up, and also learned how to attach and send photos through e-mail. Once I bought a scanner and a printer, I sure felt like an accomplished adult. In February 2002, I made some “Going to France” pamphlets with Word and Photoshop all by myself and handed them out to my fellow support musicians during my farewell party. And after that, I set off to France.

To be continued next week

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