Tuesday, December 31, 2002

% finger aaron

Remember finger? Ah, the old days of the Internet. "finger user@domain" was a little like a personal home page, before the World Wide Web was invented. This is what you would get if you fingered me, if any of the machines I used ran a finger daemon these days (which they don't). Although now that Mac OS X is Unix, you can finger me if you're logged onto my Mac.

Sometimes I miss the Internet the way it was in 1988-1993, before "the eternal September." When I first worked for ClariNet I had to explain what the Internet was to my grandmother. Five years later she sent me an email. I guess that's a good thing overall, but still, I miss the days when the Internet was a new way of allowing people to access information they were never able to access before, rather than a new way of trying to exploit venture capitalists with more money than they know what to do with.

I used to like the idea of "Internet years" (like dog years, only one real year equals twelve Internet years) until I realized it made me 144 years old. (Even more by now, of course.)

On the other hand, I've always had a deeply ambivalent attitude towards fascination with computers and other technological interests. I never really fit into the crowd on that. (My "geek code block" perhaps embodies this ambivalence.)

I don't know why this introduction is longer than the "finger" results it introduces.

Login: aaron             Name: Aaron Priven
Directory: /Users/aaron              Shell: /bin/tcsh
On since Tue Dec 17 12:40 (PST) on console, idle 7:04 (messages off)
On since Tue Dec 17 18:20 (PST) on ttyp1
Sure, I have a .plan, but do I have an .environmental-impact-report
and an .alternatives-analysis?

Version: 3.1
G! !G

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