It all started back in the good old 90', more exact 1995. I was attending computer school to see if I could learn a bit more about those stupid things we all know so well; the PC! Between classes we spent the time surfing the Internet, a new thing at that time here in Denmark! On the net someone discovered the audio format MP3 and along that they found an MP3 player.... well I don't know if you've heard about it but it was called Winamp! ;)
So I started grabbing different MP3 files from all around the net, but that soon got boring, so I just went on doing the odd surfing, checking out this and that, nude women and stuff. But one day I stumbled upon something strange!! Skins for Winamp! Now what the heck was that?? So I dug into the matter and found that there were serveral houndred skins for Winamp around (today there several 10's of thousand!). Hmm.... Well OK that was cool and I sorta forgot all about it, untill one day one of my classmates showed me one cool skin! It's strange but I still remember the impact it had on me! And a matter of fact I also remember the skin, I don't know who made it but it was called Gold. It was before the time people started the "readme.txt" thingy. But compared to the stuff released today it's nothing! But in fact this skin sorta got me started looking around for other skins. One thing leed to another and I was searching all over the Net for skins. I still wasn't downloading much, but as I found more and more great stuff it just sorta cought on - "wow, look at that one. I JUST gotta have it" - "WOOW, that one's even greater". So basicly that's the way my collection started. At this point I got to thank at least one special site for it, the lengendary www.layer3.org! From here I've downloaded at least the first 1,000 skins!! Oh the classes I skipped, just so I could download skins.....
But all good things have to have an end, and so did my time at the computer school. And I was without any Internet connection. But I sure didn't forget about my, at that time, small collection. At the time I left school the count was up to 2078 skins and they were all just for Winamp! (Still got the backup CD) ;) Thank God for for the CD-burner 'cause at the time my harddrive was starting to fill up (it was a staggering 1.2 gig HD) so I had to do something. So I burned all the skins, 157 MB + more on a disc. And sorta left it all behind me, once again.
Then in 1999 two years after ending computer school I got Internet connection at home!! YEEHAAA.... Surfing at home, at last!! :) So now I could continue what had become kind of an obsession to me, skins for Winamp. But to my fear/happiness so had "millions" of other people around the world. A total skins-frenzy had cought on!! But I pick up where I left - at Layer3.org. Well at least so I thought I should but if my memory is correct the site had been taken down for "maintanance" and stayed that way for a long time! So I had to seak other grounds for downloading skins. Once again I searched the net for sites holding skins for Winamp. I found a few but not alot! Then one day my brother-inlaw showed me this great new audioplayer on of his colleagues had downloaded from the net - K-Jfol. And I totally freaked out! It too was skinnable. Woh, a new player to find skins for! ;) hmm..... Was there more like this?? So I fired up the good old 36.6 and did a search for skinnable applications. During this search something cought my eye. Customize.org! And they had HUGH amounts skinnable applications and skins!! (at least to me, they had) Remember I still "only" had my 2000+ skins for Winamp! From there I started adding the various skinners, mostly them I found usefull to myself.
In the fall of 1999 I had the great idea of putting my collection online, available to the masses on the Internet. So I did it! By doing that the first steps was taken to what I today call The Skinventory!! The first "version" of The Skinventory was called Snowman - All-Skins and had one feature that The Skinventory haven't got today - downloads from the collection.
In the spring of 2000 I joined the "crew" at Skinz.org - later to become me "second home"! Dang things were going fast now! I was downloading skins by the bucket!! And the collection grew rapidly, very rapidly!! So did the visits to Snowman - All-Skins. UNTILL.... I made the dredfull error of "advertising" about my site at the Skinz.org msgboard......... You see, all the skins available for download at All-Skins was sorta NOT authorised by the creators. hehe err.... *gulp*.
Holy smoke!! I was getting mails from skinners like treetog, Bakerstreet, Hippy(goth) telling my to pull their skins from my site.
You can easily say that I really had fucked up BIG time!!! OK just for the record, some also said that it was OK by them that their skins were at my site!!
But basically I had violated the one skin-code that just may NOT be violated - Copyright!!!
Now I had two choices: Either ask permission from every single author (!!) or take the site offline! I chose the easy solution - and All-Skins was history!!!
But OK that "little misstake" didn't keep my collection offline for long! Just about three weeks after All-Skins was taken offline All-Skins Lite was created! An exact copy of the old site, this time just not with any other downloads than my own skins!
Then in May 2000 a disaster hit that might have resulted in, me not writing this!! The HD holding my collection (5000+ skins at the moment) crashed wipeing out EVERYTHING. 5 years of work down the drain.
So once again I faced the challenge of restoring the collection! Luckily I still had the backup of most of the Winamp skins but I still had to download the rest all over again! And so I did! With the help of Skinz.org, Deskmod.com and Sonique.com the collection slowly grew, again! When I was done "emptying" the various sites for skins the collection had grown to about 8000 skins and All-Skins Lite had changed name to The Skinventory! Since then my collection just has kept growing and growing. But after the demise of Skinz.org things have really slowed down! But there's now business like skinbusiness so I moved on to other sites like Deviantart.com, Wincustomice.com, Skinbase.org and LotOfSkins.com ( my new home).
So what does the future look like for The Skinventory?
Actually not much. I still get requests for adding downloads but that's NOT going to happen, on two reasons: I do NOT want to write 20000+ mails asking for permissions!!! And I don't think there's any (free) ISP's that will host over 4.5 gig of skins!! (hehe)
Advertising, you say?? Not in a million years!! I hate adds!
But as you read this The Skinventory has gotten a whole new look! I've ditch the black and yellow look with a more "soft-on-eyes" look! But the general layout is basically the same!
In writing moment the collection amounts close to 27000 skins devided on 180+ different applications!
Now, that was HOW my collection got started. Now we're just missing the big WHY?!?!
Well basically I'm a collecting guy. I have a few "real life" collections going on, too!! The two "main" collections that I frequently try to maintain are my 2500 different disposable lighters w/adds and my vinyl records. The vinyl collection is a "joint" collection I have together with my wife. This collection is the one that's most valuable to me in more than one way: My "Gasolin' " collection. Gasolin' was and still is one of the greatest Danish rock band of all time! This is the collection, which I'm fighting a brave battle to complete! It's not just other collectors I'm "fighting", but time is the greatest enemy. Example: Their first single, was released in 1970 in only 300 copies! 128 copies were destoyed in a fire, so that leaves 172 copies and it wasn't even a hit single!!!
But our vinyl collection has an estimated value just about 100.000 Dkr (about 12500 $US/ 9000 )!!
So you see I'm not just collection for the fun of it!!

This is a transcript of an article I got published at Teknidermy back in late 2000.
Some figures might not be all that correct for that reason :)