• 16 Posts
Joined 6 months ago
Cake day: December 17th, 2023


  • It was amazing.

    Relevant backstory: I was an introverted kid who grew up on the countryside with not a whole lot in common with my peers. I played football because that’s what my “friends” did. I was OK at it, but I never really felt any enthusiasm for it. I only did it because I didn’t know of any alternatives. I got along with most people, but I always got the impression that it was only because I was good at playing the part of someone who fit in.

    I got my first PC in 1996. It was an outdated 386, but it allowed me to really get into the low level stuff an learn about it beyond the usual gaming aspect, and for that I am grateful. While my peers were more interested in whether their favorite football team would beat their least favorite team in some important and upcoming match, I was more interested in turning our sat TV dish to see what other satellites I could find. Yes, I know there were systems that did this automatically. We didn’t have that, but what we did have was a programmable card for decoding D2MAC, thus allowing me to view any TV channel that we received. I don’t remember which satellite we normally used, but after some trial and error, as well as looking up something on the internet at a friend’s place, I learned that my newly acquired signal was the Astra satellites. This is how I stumbled across Futurama a few years later.

    In 1998 I got an up to date PC, and internet access. It was like a whole new world opened before me. Whatever information I wanted was freely available, and finding like-minded ones were easy. I was 15 at a time, and I still wasn’t allowed to stay online into the small hours. So I went to bed and pretended to sleep until my parents went to bed, so that I could get up and dial up undisturbed. I live in UTC+1, so this worked well, as most of the people I knew online was in the US. When everyone around me went to bed, my world was just beginning after a full day of pretending to fit in. Between midnight and 6 in the morning, dialup was free, so that’s when I could just stay online without having to worry about cost, or whether someone in the house would disconnect me (accidentally or otherwise) by picking up the phone. I dipped my toes into Ultima Online at this time too, but that was only a small part of my online life. In general, by bandwidth was too slow to really do what I do, but there was a whole lot of info, guides, and technical explanations available in .txt format. I also started playing with FreeBSD and slackware linux around this time.

    Come 2001 and things were more or less the same, except that I had moved to a rather big city for studies. I got ADSL for the first time, and no longer had to pay for each online minute via dialup. The whooping 2mbit I had all to myself allowed me to start experimenting with running servers and services, in addition to poking and prodding the internet to see what was out there and available (you have no idea how insecure everything was back then).

    It didn’t take me long to have access to various servers all over, legal or otherwise, so I could pretty much do as I pleased online, as it couldn’t be linked to me personally. I never used this access for anything disruptive or destructive. The only time I know that I caused something major was actually purely by accident, lol. I was more like the tapeworm you never knew was there, plus i was more interested in corporate servers. I mostly did it to learn more about how everything fit together.

    I had a presence in almost all noteworthy internet communities, and while I wasn’t “famous” on the internet, i knew A LOT of people, as most of my life was online. Sure, I met like-minded people in the city, but nowhere close to as many people I knew online. There’s a non-zero chance that others in here knew me once upon a time. Hell, it happened on reddit last year where I told an anecdote and someone responded with “Hey, I remember this. Did you go by REDACTED back in the day?”

    Due to various reasons, I decided in 2006ish to leave my old internet identity behind for both practical and legal reasons. Partially because that’s around the time when the lines between internet identity and real world identity began to blur. But I still miss the days before corporate interest ruined the sense of community one had in these small niche corners of the internet.

  • If you are able to open the cap to begin with, you’re capable of twisting it and tearing it off. It’s not that hard. I never understood the “controversy” when these were introduced, and I’m convinced that the ones too inept to take it off completely are the same ones who caused the caps to end up in the wrong place to begin with.

  • Wrong. I for one would love to have a minibronto. Or a lap-diplodocus. Or a triceratops named Spikey.

    Hell, Archaeropteryx would look great perched on the curtain rod like a small parakeet.

    And if you have rodent issues in your house, just unleash the T-rex. On that note, does Latin have a diminutive form of “Rex” ?

    Plus, imagine the two playful Pachycephalosauri bumping their heads together all the time, with an audible click every time they did.

    Also, who wouldn’t want an aquarium or a fish pond inhabited by a Nanolodon?

  • I’ve been curious about the same thing. I have an RTLSDR usb that I used to have connected to a huge antenna, mainly to listen in on GMDSS DSC transmissions on the 8MHz band, so I could use that to plot ships around the world.

    I’ve since moved, so I no longer have a dipole in my yard, but I need an excuse to build one.