A Brief History of the Thugs

Slam and CJ are old buddies from WAY back...they met in 1985, while they were in the 7th grade.  Not really liking each other at first, it took the infamous "Mudpie Incident" to make them realize that they could be friends.  And perfect foils... It's been downhill ever since.

    One of the things that cemented their unique friendship (aside from their strange senses of humour and Slurpee addiction) has been their love of computers.  Even in those early days, they both had a fair bit of experience with many different types of computers... CJ was proficient at using his Coco 2, and had done a LITTLE programming on the Commodore PET and the Apple II, while Slam had used a Timex-Sinclair and Commodore PET as well.  Many days were spent playing games on CJ's Coco 2, still more were spent typing in programs out of Rainbow magazine, and some were spent writing (but mostly debugging) their OWN programs in Extended Colour Basic...fighting with "tron" and "troff"...Ahh, those were the days!  (In fact, CJ's AD&D NPC generator got fairly advanced near the end!)

    CJ's eyes were truly opened when Slam's stepfather (hereafter known as Herr Nazi) bought an Amiga 500.  The system was PHENOMENAL!  It had INCREDIBLE graphics and sound, and was so much faster than anything the boys had seen! Herr Nazi rented all the latest games from a shop called Sargent Software, and made a point of copying the games before he returned them...naughty boy!  Eventually, Slam bought the Amiga and library of games from Herr Nazi, and it became his weapon of choice.  (CJ, of course, was jealous, but was still having fun with recently acquired Coco 3).

    In the late 80's - early 90's (neither of us remembers), the boys discovered BBSes.  It was the end of the world as they knew it.  Soon, they were able to play online games with (and chat with) other local computer geeks.  CJ joined a local Coco enthusiasts club called Micro 80 User's Group, thus expanding both his system AND software library, while Slam joined a few of the "pirate" Amiga boards, thus expanding HIS software library ;)

    It was Slam's connection to a certain Amiga BBS that allowed him to score his greatest coup, a Commodore CDTV.  The CDTV was basically an Amiga 500 and a SCSI CD-Rom drive in a "home CD player" type of case.  Slam got the Professional package, which included the CDTV remote (which acted as mouse, joystick, and numerical keypad), a wired mouse, and the keyboard.  Eventually, he bought the SCSI controller for it, and added a Syquest cartridge hard drive (44 meg) to it.  (CJ inherited Slam's Amiga 500, after years of coveting...)

    The CDTV became the boys' first Internet machine.

    Armed with his newly acquired USR Sportster 14.4K modem, Slam was able to dial in to his user account on the University's system, and could surf the net using a terminal program (JR-Comm! I miss it!).  FTP, IRC, Lynx, they were all there...and with the Syquest drive, Slam was able to download mass quantities...feeding CJ's games (and .MOD) addiction....CJ however, had joined the "dark side", having bought an IBM compatible, a Tandy 1000 RL, for doing his College work.

    Between Slam's internet connection, and CJ's habit of late-night BBSing, it made for many busy phone lines, and late hours downloading all the latest things.  The boys became regulars at the local 7-Eleven store, running in for Slurpees and chips at all hours of the day/night.  (Once, a clerk asked CJ if he ever slept!).

    One day, the boys had the day off from their respective jobs at a local restaurant...it was around 11 am when they decided to make their daily pilgrimage to 7-Eleven.  As they were crossing the street to get to the store, their manager Ravi happened to be driving to work along that same street.  While stopped at the stop sign, he turned his head to the left and saw CJ and Slam walking towards him.  He rolled down his window, smiled, and uttered those fateful words:

"You bunch of thugs!"

They had been given their Name!  A quick pledge was made on the way home, that from this day forth, the boys would now be known as The Thugs.  First they celebrated with a couple of Slurpees and bags of Old Dutch Salt & Vinegar chips, then they went ONLINE.

    Flash forward in time:

    In December 2002, after a six year absence, The Thugs went back to their roots.  After several girlfriends, vehicles, apartments, and computers, The Thugs now had a permanent research facility... CJ offered up the basement (hereafter known as "The Lab") in his newly purchased home, and decreed that from that day forth it would serve as Thugs' General HQ.  Until they annex the garage...(As CJ would say, "Historically, the Garage has always been a part of the Thugs' Empire")