It all started at the red light.
In the winter 1992/93 I was driving back and forth nearly every evening between Mamer and Hollerich. Coming from the highway into the city I’d see the Hollerich church, the city skyline, and the route d’Esch splitting. As corny as it may sound it was a great view. Going home I'd usually get stuck at the last red light before the highway. Straight ahead I'd then see the highway and its fake promise of a better world beyond, looking right there was Merl in all its urban beauty, and to the left the Mercedes garage with its fantastic big blue starlight in the “Rue de Bouillon”. And at the edge of my field of vision I had also noticed in the lesser lit section what looked like an abandoned hangar with a banner across its front saying “For Rent” and a telephone number.
After a while I started to wonder that this hangar actually looked like a perfect spot for a club. It was in an industrial area, no neighbours, on the edge of the city and accessible from every direction. And a huge public car park that was entirely emply at night. What more could you ask for? But I was getting ready to move abroad at the time, still I kept wondering why that banner was never removed. No renters? So I figured, what the hell, I can still move to sunnier climates later, this is too good an opportunity. I contacted the owner who didn't reject the idea of a club as long as the rent was coming in on time. So I just did it. Boom or bust. And that’s how the Didj was born.
Around the mid-1990s a few major changes started happening. It became obvious that the Internet would possibly become the next big thing. The savage ancestors of the homo smartfonus started to roam the digital earth, here’s one of those widely spread avant-garde digital beasts of the time:
You could make phone calls from everywhere, well, from nearly everywhere, ok but at least from a lot of wheres, send messages too, and store 99 phone numbers. 99. Yes. Amazing. What? How many pictures? Well, erm, none, they didn’t have cameras. And the display was crude black lettering on slimy green as you can see. The network was famously unreliable, quite a lot of it depended on the weather really. This is when the famous fake “hello, hello, I think the connectmbglmbizzzz is fadinnfzzzz” excuse to cut an unwanted call short was born.
And the other big thing was that thing called the Internet. Oh no, you could not use your mobile phone to go "online", you needed a special hook up at home for which you needed a computer and one of those special landlines that would give you access to the Internet and let you search for things. For this you needed a special software and this was the one everybody had, the granddaddy of all network browsers, the Netscape Navigator:
Check out the ribbon. You could choose between "What's new, what's cool, destinations, net search, people, software". Before netscape you had a telephone book and a holiday catalogue, maybe a filofax if you were desperate. And now this! It was great. The whole world, including all the fun you could ever want, at your fingertips. It even had Java already.
So once the Didj was running smoothly the next thing to do was obviously to set up a homepage. We had two sites, one was “www.sol.lu” because of Sol Productions sàrl, the company owning and running the club, and the other was, you guessed it, www.didj.lu. Two domains, one content.
I will not recreate the original layout and look because it would be too much of a hassle. Instead I rebuild the original texts as well as I could. But you can still check out the original at the webarchive site:
Yes, our now 20+ years old homepage still exists somewhere in the depth of the digital universe. Check it out.
By the way, if you happen to have pix of the club, I'd like to hear from you, especially of the three starships of which all photos have been lost.
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