Something has changed over the past weeks, and I am not certain exactly what it is, or what it will become, but I have managed to find myself back in the place I used to be, but just more improved.
Does that even make sense?
Way back in the day, I had a certain form of clarity that helped me along with everything and made it easier to do my technical jobs. I had an interest, and back then, my skills were superior to those around me. It has been like running in a marathon, getting way ahead of the pack, and then watching off the runners engulf you and then just pass you by.
But you're still running.
Now I am feeling like I might be seeing them and even gaining on them now.
discord is a thing of beauty
One of the things I was good at and loved to do once my friend got me into it was the world of BBSing. Bulletin Board Systems for you people that are too new to the technical world to know that age. Back when the L0pht was a thing and you had to hack your way into the system for a user account.
Discord has many of the same things and even more. I learned a lot aback in the day because I was running, working as a mod, and troubleshooting the systems some of these said BBS systems were on. I worked with VBBS, Wildcat!, Iniquity, and even worked on writing one myself (which went horribly, I might add) I know there are a few I might have certainly missed in there.
I first started my journey in the BBS world with a Smith Corona word processor that had the modem option installed. It was a blistering 300bps!
That was back when the internet was not a common thing, and phone lines were how things worked, I was amazed that I could get written messages across the country and it was so much faster than I could send via mail. The only problem was that the only people I could talk to had to be other geeks that had and understood the technology,. But that was a lot that I seemed to get along with, so it worked.
Then I discovered the internet. And I remember the utter amazement I felt when I was poking around in a computer class at my university. I was supposed to be learning Lotus 1-2-3, but I was trying to see how off school email worked. I had stumbled on an email that looked weird, so I sent a message to it.
I was not prepared for the response. It came before the class ended. It was from China. There was no graphical internet at that time, Mosaic would not become truly public for another year, but the fact that the technology existed and I'd never heard of it blew my mind. And set my life on a brand new course that I am still on today.
how hollywood and damned canadians screwed my life up
I had seen Bladerunner when I was younger, and it really didn't mean that much to me. Most likely because I had seen Brazil years before that. But when I was asked to go with a group of people to see Johnny Mnemonic, I couldn't turn them down. Now understand that I really loved this movie. It was a completely new thing to me, and I had a new frame of reference by then with which to view this particular story. Jones the dolphin was just a pleasant afterthought by that point.
I was the only one who liked the movie. I was the only one who could appreciate the story, too.
I found out where the story came from, because I saw Keanu Reeves on the cover of a book in the Borders bookstore (remember those?) I should have said I started with it. I didn't. I should have said I started with Neuromancer.
And that's because I did.
I was utterly captivated by the cover of Mona Lisa Overdrive, but I wanted to start at (what I perceived to be) the beginning. I bought all three that day, sight unseen.
From the moment I began reading Neuromancer, I was caught. I didn't eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom. I'm not sure I even moved. And I also never recovered. I took a break to digest. Then I read Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive back to back. No other book series worked for me any more. I tried some of the popular sci-fi that was out, even some that was considered cyberpunk, but the damage was done.
I still have not read the Blue Ant Trilogy.
that hasn't been done? hold my beer.
I was obsessed with the idea of a graphical internet. Not in the Tim Berners-Lee aspect, but the kind that Gibson envisioned. I even started a SourceForge project for it. I didn't get much play. No one figured that we would have the bandwidth to pull it off. A two gigabyte drive was a splurge back then. Now it's half of the cheapest mp3 player. Our phones have more power.
But VRML came and went, and so did that idea. It sits lonely in antiquity for all to see. The project itself, as I saw today, has been sitting there for 15 years. I had not realised it had actually been that long, and I guess I should not be surprised by it since it was too much longer before that we were getting personal computers at home for the first time. Before that, it was cell phones. Before that, the magic of Ted Turner's cable. And even before that, the magic of Tilly the All Time Teller. I remember the first ones. I have given you way too much information.
Now, Discord does pretty much (and more) of what we enjoyed in the earlier days of my technological history. Are we better for it?
We certainly are trying.