Old School Monday: The DirectX Files

Alex Castle

To accompany our yearly Dream Machine feature last week, we went digging through our archive of old issues to find some old stories to put this year’s rig in perspective. We found the original Dream Machine , some great statistics , and some shockingly accurate predictions . But what we really discovered was that there’s some really fascinating stuff in the old issues of Maximum PC. They’re ripe with reviews of long-forgotten tech, crazy interviews with major tech players, and some of the cheesiest ads in history, and we’ve decided to start bringing it all to you, every week.

So welcome to Old School Monday, where we’ll share some of the fun stuff we find in our oldest issues (and if you were wondering, Maximum PC was called "boot" in those first few years). This week, we’ve got a 1997 article by games industry legend Alex St. John describing the early history of DirectX—a technology that 14 years and 11 versions have proven to be in it for the long-haul. Though it seems like a constant now, DirectX was still a young technology in 1997, and this article provides an interesting perspective on the graphics API.

In addition to a lot about DirectX, read on for the truth about Microsoft’s hostage situation, their 2 million dollar H.R.Giger UFO, and a comic strip about Bill Gates.

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