One Upon A Time All was Well In The Land Of Cappers... Folks Came
From Far And Wide To Provide Funny Captions To The Content Of The Sci-Fi
Then One Day Things Started To Happen At The Cappiest Place On Earth. Content Changed, New Cappers Hijacked Handles. Bad Captions And Ugly Attitudes Caused The Fun To Be Bumped Down A Few Notches.
Then The ScreenGrabber Started To Freeze Up Even More Than Usual, On Top Of All This, The Flow Of Caption This Changed.... Now, Instead Of Going To the Gallery After A Caption Was Made, The Link Took You To The Caption Window Instead, So That If You Wanted To save Captions, Or Even View Other Captions, Extra Mouse Clicks Were Needed. Again The Fun Was Knocked Down A Few More Notches.
Slowly A Group Of Cappers Started A New Caption Site.
This Site Under Went Several Stages And Web Hosts. The Site Started Out As Caption That, Then, After Some Major Overhauls Were Made The Site Was Changed To Inventing Situations
Here's The Offical History, Direct From GersonK Himself..(Thanks GersonK!)
A not sufficiently brief exposition on the history of "capping" and Inventing Situations' place therein.
"Oh sure, we've all thought about it. But I actually had the guts to do it." Dr. Clayton Forrester
Stage -1: There was Caption This! and it was pretty good. And yet, the cappers, being a greedy and difficult lot, wanted more. From bitter experience with being SOL on the SOL, they knew that as Sci-Fi giveth, Sci-Fi also taketh, and lived in constant fear that they might wake up one day and find CT! gone.
Stage 0: Intrepid souls such as Dementia with his DTV managed to build their own cap-sites or in other ways create a capping experience without aid of SFC.com. Perhaps Jazzsoda's Lounge and Will Cap For Food walked the Earth at this time too, but my memory is hazy on that. And lo, it was good, but not quite like the real thing. But still cappers wondered if the CT! experience could be more completely re- created should SFC ever pull the plug. Some cynics scared people off by listing the hurdles. But mostly, the nearly there clones sufficed.
Stage 1: Laid off, pissed off and looking to hone his nearly non-existent programming skills, a young punk, who'd to this point been amongst the cynics, embarked on a project. That punk? Me. Ignoring SFC's announcement that CT! was not going away when MST vanished from the air and armed with some hints and suggestions from the peanut galley, our hero hobbled together an unreasonable facsimile of the real thing. Pushed into action by yet another freeze of The Real Thing, I made the following typo-laden announcement:
Date: Wed May 9, 2001 10:08 pm
Subject: Homebrew Caption This! Catchit [sic] while it lasts
Against legal counsel, I've actually got a working CT! going on my machine (wrote it myself, without any direct use of the original). it requires my full attention and my phone line, but I'll try to keep it running fromnow [sic] until 11 PM eastern at least.
(the nature of the beast is that the address will be chaning [sic] everytime I log in).
sometimes we do what we can, not what we should
Homebrew Caption This! (a.k.a. HCT or Caption That!, Especially if SFC lawyers were asking) was born. It was crude, it was running over a 56k modem on a cheap home computer and I had to sit there firing off the screengrabber myself, but by many standards, it worked.
Things continued on like this for a while - running for a few hours at a time, allowing a group of riff-raff fed off various mailing lists to connect to my home computer while I grabbed images off of whatever channel had the best offerings at the time.
Stage 2: With the sweet arms of employment beckoning, and free webhosting becoming an unacceptable alternative for my other projects, I finally spring for my own domain, the inexplicably named lustforlunch.com.
On Saturday, July 14 2001, HCT got a permanent home, sort of: http://lustforlunch.com/caption (ps, to those of you still using this address - don't - it has no advantages over the new one and a few disadvantages)
And lo, it was possible to do your imitation capping 24x7, more or less. My home computer and phone line were pressed into near constant service uploading new images from cable tv. When that failed, or I needed the machine for something else, the server would just start recycling old grabs. And there was much rejoicing.
Stage 2.5: I move out of my parents' basement (ok, they live in an apartment with no basement, but you get my drift) to an apartment with a scenic view of the Queens end of the Triboro bridge - and more importantly a cable modem and digital cable. Whilst I was waiting for everything to get hooked up, MrAtomik kindly stepped in and offered his own computer and net connection to supply the grabs. This was just one of many times cappers have stepped in with invaluable help for the site.
Unfortunately once I was all hooked in again, my system was no longer able to automatically change channels as easily as it once had, and things started gong wonky - namely the server at my webhost crashed. Maybe this had something to do with the cable modem, maybe it was something I had done, or maybe it was something wrong at the webhost, history may never know, but it was already my second or third strike there, so lustforlunch had to find a new home in February of '02.
Stage 3: lustforlunch had relocated, but with no clear verdict on what had gone wrong, I was more than a little afraid to start HCT running again. At the same time, I was a little depressed over the loss. The solution - take the bit I knew was safe – the gallery, and throw out the part I wasn't sure about - the live grabber. And to be extra sure nothing would take me out of commission again, I removed the lawyer bait of unauthorized images. I started working with whatever clip art/photo collections I could buy and whatever public domain images I could scrounge up on the net.
And thus, out of HCT's ashes, was Inventing Situations born. At some point, I discovered the Prelinger Archives, and gradually, due to what seemed to be popular demand and increasing laziness on my part, moved over to a diet of almost entirely their stuff.