Hong Kong Phooey

Hong Kong Phooey Fanriffic!

Recently updated the audio on an old site of mine. If you take a look at it bear in mind it was (to mis-quote Calvin Harris) “Acceptable in the 90s”. At some point I may spread some “21st century makeover dust” on it – but for now it’s an ‘interesting retrospect on the web design attributes of the 1990s’ (my career as an art museum curator has yet to take off – evidently).

Anyway like I said, I’ve updated the audio – it WAS in RealAudio format – remember that!? Back in the 90s, kids, we had devices called modems (which stood for “MODulator / DEModulator”) which we attached to the phone line. At the start of any Internet session (web, email, whatever) you used to click an icon to start the connection and then hear piercing bleeps and chirrups while the modem did it’s thing.

On The Hong Kong Phooey Fanriffic! Zone (the site in question) I had two files, one for 14.4k modems and the other for 28.8k modems. Yes “bandwidth” back then was 14.4 kilobits or 28.8 kilobits per second. Bear in mind that standard broadband is currently around 5 megabits (or 5000 kilobits! – it’s actually 5120 kilobits due to clever maths stuff – but I don’t want to bog you down with that) – being on the Internet in the 90s was good schooling for the art of patience!

As an aside I remember, back around the same era, working as a software developer writing programs that required “compiling” (translation into machine efficient code) – I used to be able to have a tea break when the compiling process was initiated. Then we got faster machines – darn technological progress – and the compiling took less than a minute, no time for a cuppa 🙁

So the audio is now in massive (for 90s modems) WAV format. Not only did I incorporate a more up-to-date audio format I also transcribed the lyrics to the theme tune – it’s SHOCKING how many sites have the incorrect lyrics. The lyrics I have put up have the song structure and even a transcription of the scat singing (“do bee do bee doooo, skiddly biddly bong” – Cleo Laine’s got nothing on me!). Indeed Scatman Crothers (who provided the voice for Hong Kong Phooey) wasn’t called “Scatman” by accident and was a well known ‘Scat Cat’ (I may have just made that term up) in the 1930s and onwards. So if you fancy hearing that classic Hong Kong Phooey Theme Tune and sing along with the lyrics you know what to do (hint: click the link!)


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