The original Once Upon An Albatross… was a Wildcat! 4 BBS on an IBM PC AT computer with a 2400 baud modem that ran from September 1994 to April 1996. C.D. Reimer used his scholarship money while attending San Jose State University as a mathematic major to build what he expected to become an online empire. A whimsical BBS name chosen to reflect his literary interests and a prescient talisman of his first business venture.
Although Silicon Valley had a crowded BBS scene, C.D. Reimer tried to distinguish OUAA by appealing to the college scene with his association to SJSU. Unfortunately, he got kicked out at the end of the 1994-1995 school year. Contributing factors for this startling event was being in the wrong calculus program (the one without analytical geometry), getting stuck in Harvard Calculus where word problems replaced mathematical symbols, and losing all hope of ever becoming mathematician. Playing Magic: The Gathering (card game) and Risk (board game) into the wee hours of the morning with his roommates, playing TradeWars on his BBS, falling in love for the first time in a relationship that went nowhere, and not attending classes didn’t help either.
C.D. spent the next year positioning OUAA as a video gaming BBS with additional online games and shareware files. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to expand his antique PC, slow modem, and single phone line, and fell behind the upgrade curve to stay competitive. He couldn’t even play the newest shareware games like Doom on his system because he had the older EGA video card instead of the newer VGA video card. The business continued to muddle along during that time.
When C.D. got evicted from his apartment and left homeless for three months, he pulled the plug on the BBS. After finding a new place to live, he tried to revive his BBS but he saw the handwriting on the wall. Something called THE INTERNET became extremely popular, and the dial-up BBS market died shortly thereafter. His first business venture ended up in the red with only one generous user donating $20 USD.
C.D. was a dot com bust in 1996 before dot com busts became de rigeur in 2001.
The website was born in late 1998 to showcase C.D.Reimer’s game design talent while working at Accolade/Infogrames/Atari (same company, two different owners, multiple identity crises) from 1998 to 2004, splitting his time between being a QA tester and lead QA tester. That didn’t go anywhere since the video game industry sucked the life out of him as working 60+ hours a week became routine. Although he had a computer system and fast DSL line capable of playing the latest video games, he had neither the heart nor the time to play or design video games outside of work. He mastered HTML and CSS while the website continued to muddle along during the early years.
When C.D. decided to rise above being a video game tester by going back to San Jose City College to learn computer programming and earn his I.T. certifications on a part-time basis from 2002 to 2007, the website transformed into an extended programming project that become part of his learning. Using PHP scripting to create a template system that pulled content from a MySQL database, the website expanded to include pictures and other content.
After leaving the video game industry to take a year-and-a-half break from work to finish school, he started his new business venture, C.D. Reimer & Associates, in 2006. He initially wanted to become an indie video game developer to program simple video games that could sell from a website. Unlike his previous business venture, he did think this one through and decided that running a successful one-person video game company would require more resources than he was willing to commit. When writing fiction became his new passion later that year, he decided that being a writer would be the purpose of his new business.
New blog posts appear on Once Upon An Albatross… every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.