What's New? 2002-04-01

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What's New? 2002-04-01

 Wednesday 24 April 2002
  NOTE: if you aren't technical you may want to skip today's trip down memory lane to an Internet of now-obsolete mapping tables, debates with kooks on USENET, and old signatures. The next entry has to do with my son's first appearance in a newspaper, and is much more interesting :-)

I've been searching through old USENET postings recently, taking a trip down memory lane. The earliest mention I can find of myself is the UUCP Mapping Project's UUCP map for u.usa.ca.2, found in comp.mail.maps dated 7 January 1988. It's from a time when I took over some of the technical UNIX work at Cullinet (before it was bought out and eviscerated by Computer Associates). Here's the relevant fragment from the posting:

#N cullsj
#S DEC VAX/8530; Ultrix 2.0
#O Cullinet Software, Inc. - San Jose Development
#C Roy Ho, Michael 'Mickey' Sattler
#E cullsj!usenet
#T 1 408 434 6636
#P 2860 Zanker Road #206, San Jose, CA 95134
#L 37 23 N / 121 55 W
#W cullsj!roy (Roy Ho); Thu Jan  7 19:47:36 PST 1988
#U voder
cullsj  ames(HOURLY), voder(HOURLY), culdev1(HOURLY)

(Of course, I was on the ARPANET and BITNET in 1981, and even wound up as a Wall Street Journal feature because of it.)

Damn, that brought back memories! There were lots of things I'd forgotten about my early days on the 'net, including being included in the "The Blacklist of Net.Nazis and Sandlot Bullies" for my work as a USENET Volunteer Votetaker. Kent Paul Dolan summed up the honor (and the wierdness) of being targeted (albeit half-heartedly) by the kooks:

Kookhood has declined a great deal in the past few years. It used to be that there were people widely seen as kooks who actually were worth reading, even worth conversing with. Kooks with mostly-working minds and personal integrity.

This pretty much died out with Grubor & Co., when kookhood turned seriously ugly. The various enemies lists created and posted by Grubor and his copycats were pretty much the last great works of news kooks. They marked the transition of kookdoom from eccentrics to psychotics, and psychotics are simply not interesting for any extended period, except maybe to a few eccentrics (who no longer even seem kooky...)

Bill Cole said it this way:

Been dealing with another proto-humanoid kook in a group i frequent more than this one.

Makes me long for the day i got put on one of Grubor's "List of bad people on the Internet".

Even Grubor got dull after a while. I mean, there are only so many ways you can call someone a "Crack-peddling PEDOPHILE" before it gets derivative.

It might be hard for some of this generation of net.users to realize, but we actually said things like net.users :-)

Evidently my politics haven't mellowed in the intervening years. From a signature on a posting from 23 Feb 1996:

David Letterman: Why are people threatened by Pat Buchannan's speeches?
Larry King: Probably because they've read them in the original German.
Oh, I miss Dan Quale. W is a bucket of fun, though.
 Friday 19 April 2002
  I just know you were asking yourself, when you opened your copy of the Hokubei Mainichi (North American Daily) newspaper to page 4, "is that fair-haired boy who I think it is?" Yep. It surely is. The photographix called us yesterday to say that the photo was in today's edition. So we returned to Nihonmachi to visit the newspaper's offices, picked up a few copies of the paper, and got a quick tour of the printing presses in the basement. Lots of fun.

Hokubei Mainichi

As an aside, it's hard to take a good photo of halftone photos in newsprint.

 Sunday 14 April 2002
  Isaac got up very early today, so we arrived for breakfast at May's Coffee Shop just as they opened, at 07:30. We got a great parking spot, but of course we lost in when we returned home to pick up "the girl's club". Pooh was there too. We got there before the Taiko Dojo was scheduled to start. When it was time for the kids to try their hand Pooh, Tobias, and Isaac leapt to the stage. (This is Isaac's second year at the taiko; last year he was a bit overawed by their loud booming.) I took some video, and a photographer from a local paper asked for our permission to use some pictures she took of Isaac. So we'll see.
 Saturday 13 April 2002
  We met friends of ours for breakfast in Nihonmachi (Japantown) this morning, and were surprised that the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival was back again. The streets were cordoned off, parking was a bit harder, but it was well worth it. The San Francisco Taiko Dojo (big drums) were performing. We missed our chance to participate, but they'll do it again tomorrow and next weekend.
 Thursday 11 April 2002
  The Apple Newton MessagePad 2000 released today in 1997. Five years later no PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) comes close to duplicating the features and ease-of-use in this amazing handheld computer (except perhaps in size, the original wasn't as easy to toss into a pocket as a small Palm). Mine is still running, and it gives me no end of pleasure to see my old buddy churning away, backlight still bright green, ...
 Monday 1 April 2002
  I 've created no April Fool's Day jokes to share this year. Sorry.

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