Hanson (um... related) Last Month
by H.notes Staff Writer mmm_marica@hanson.net

What do you think is the second most important thing in the life of a Hanson fan? The first one is going without saying and that is meeting the guys. Music and all that jazz come honourable third...

No clue?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you will have to agree with me that the SECOND most important thing is... their PC.

By the way – Mac users, you can stop reading now. All I know about Mac users is that they are very passionate and proud about the fact that they are Mac users, and I am afraid that the rest of the article will be boring and/or offensive to them. But they can read at their own peril.

Let me ask you something. How many of you older fans (not talking about age but years of Hanson fandom) got a computer and Internet when you became a Hanson fan? Just so you could go on hansonline and those other three million Hanson sites and see what the guys were up to? Or to chat on the hansonhitz chat? Or watch those precious little QuickTime clips (I think the version was minus 5) posted on the MTV site? You know, the ones where Ike laments about his hair and Taylor goes, “Ike, who cares about your hair!” and 11 year old Zac quips, “Get girlfriends!” when asked how they would celebrate if MMMBop got to No 1.

Yep – the year was early 1997, the connection was dial up, the PC was something called 486 and the operating system was Windows 95 – the one that the Rolling Stones “start[ed] me up”. You could do errands and homework between the loading of the pages and go on short vacation while you were downloading the video clip of MMMBop from Letterman. The living was slow.

And all was peachy until the guys decided that good ole hansonline is sooo-hoooo last millennium and moved on to hanson.net. All of a sudden, my PC started to choke. Pages wouldn’t display, clips wouldn’t play and I was more looking at the blue Windows screen of death than at hanson.net pages.

So yea... one fine day in 2000 and few thousand dollars later, I (and only I) was a proud owner of Pentium 4, Windows Millennium Edition PC. Man, was that love at first sight. To quote Taylor, “the way the keys bounce...” and the way it was purring... I am very fond of computer graphics (as you have the misfortune to know) and that puppy was just doing everything I wanted it to do. The desktop was generic Windows ME one but it was in such fabulous shades of deep blue, that I, the Hanson photos tragic, never felt the temptation to put a Hanson photo as wallpaper. Not once. Okay lying, once. Maybe a couple of times.

For about a week it was pure bliss. That’s how long computer technology stands still, if that. I mean, you buy the latest PC – and by the time you bring it home something more latest is in the shop already.

But despite that, six years passed and my PC and I had many happy Hanson moments together, including 2 new studio albums, an acoustic and a live album, 5 tours, 4 membership kits where we unzipped successfully silly things guys did behind stage risking life and limb and found all the hidden Easter eggs. The last one owing to the fact that Windows ME is too simple to understand that it needs to hide stuff.

But as those years were passing my PC was struggling more and more. The poor disk was cracking like a 200-year-old rickety wooden house trying to load various flash pages and embedded media players and everything else that was doing cartwheels on the screen.

I was grinding my teeth and swearing under my breath, but since most of the time (as any decent Hanson fan) I was spending on hanson.net – and that was still ticking along nicely – I didn’t fret much.

Until that fateful February 2, 2006 and... this:

Our first FUTY... IN VIDEO!

Check it out. We hope you enjoy it.

The file requires Apple's QuickTime video player to run. We formatted the file so you could easily copy it to your iPod. Have fun!

It took me 10 seconds to realise that in order to pay that precious little clip from the studio I need QuickTime 7, and in order to upgrade to QuickTime 7 (I was still on QuickTime minus 5) I need at least Windows 2000 and in order to upgrade to Windows 2000 or that hip Windows XP... I need... a new... PC.

Oh. My. God. I pondered the enormity of that realisation for a while. Abandon my ole, reliable PC – almost a family member, so I can watch my fave band fool... um, nevermind.

No way.

For almost a year I struggled like nobody alive. I am an IT professional and at work, I have a wiz bang latest from the Intel/Bill Gates shops to earn my daily bread with, so I was sneakily watching those precious little Hanson gems from the studio there. Unfortunately my boss is not exactly a hanson.net member and I got cautioned a few times for “use of company property for private purposes” or something cold and legal like that. I realised that the said daily bread was in jeopardy.

With leaden heart, I announced to the hubby who was going through the annual “What-Do-I-Get-The-Wife-For-Christmas?” panic, that I really need a new PC. And a week later - there it was. A brand new, shiny, fruit-of-the-loom, 2 GB, 3.4 GHz Dual Processor Pentium monster. Ready to take over.

Well not quite. It took a whole day and my daughter’s 1 GB USB thingy-majic to transfer all my precious Hanson and other files. And another day to install all those programs that a Hanson fan needs to be able to keep up with the band.

I cleaned the old PC of everything but the Windows ME and with a deep sigh I turned it off for what I thought was the last time. I moved it to the hall to take it out to be picked up with the household waste. It was supposed to die in the junkyard as pristine as it came to me 6 years ago.

I put the new one in its place and hooked up everything. The woofer and the speakers, the scanner and the printer, the mike, the mouse, the new ergonomic keyboard (HATE it!) the internet-wireless, the pop-corn maker and the coffee machine and turned it on and...

The bloody thing went up in smoke! I am not kidding. All those gadgets that my good ole PC was struggling with but still doing the job, were way too much for the new finicky PC to handle and... it bit the dust.

I will not go into gory details of the grim realisation that I basically lost a year worth of Hanson (and other) stuff. That’s when my last backup was from. Backup? Psh!

So the new PC went back (or shall I say was shoved back?) in the box to be sent back to the shop to be fixed/replaced/thrown away/get-it-out-of-my-sight!/ and my good ole Yeller went back in. I restored my back up CD’s and installed everything back. And again my old PC moaned and cracked but... slogged hard and did the job. Coffee included.

I wasn’t a very pleasant person to live with that week. Every minute or so I would exclaim, “OH NO!!! I lost that too!” But hey. I was able to retrieve a lot of stuff from the internet and owing to a fellow fan (you know who you are) I retrieved a few of my most prized goodies. But I am still a couple of GB’s short.

The new PC came back fixed with instructions to “hook up new things one at a time. The coffee machine last”. So yeah. I went through the same exercise of transferring files and installing programs. My new PC is up an running now and that’s where I am typing this. I have only the keyboard and the mouse hooked up though. I still do not venture to hook up anything else. And I am starting to warm up to it. After all, it plays the FUTY videos like a charm.

As for the old one – no way on earth that I am letting that one go. Ever again. Have a look.

Happy New Hanson Year guys!