Before The Internet

Today’s XKCD comic, while funny on the surface, is a little cynical. I was born just before the Internet (I’m a Star Trek baby), though not much before, but certainly before the Web took off in popularity in 1991 (I was already doing email in 1986).

Before the Internet, as a kid I kept myself busy inside with variety of things from assembling plastic models, model rockets, model trains, and board games, to actually playing outside with the neighbourhood kids, skiing, Judo, running.

Later as a teen in senior school we had lots of school sports options of which I competed in track events like 800m 1500m, 3000m, and cross-country and fun runs up to 22Km; I did rugby in winter, rowing, and later basketball in summer. Throughout my youth and university I cycled everywhere I could.

Before the Internet, I bought my first computer, an Exidy Sorcerer, when I was 13. I used an acoustic coupler modem to connect to BBS’s and FTP archives. I had Mattel hand-held electronic games and my brother an Atrai 2600 console. Despite home entertainment systems, we both went outside (without prompting from mum or dad) for activities with friends. I went to lots of movies (Ok, I had to go out to get downtown), my brother went surfing at Bondi.

And when all else failed, I often huddle quietly in a chair and immersed myself in a book, a real physical paper printed book, where I actually turned pages (and got the occasional paper cut).

“And you try and tell the young people today that and they won’t believe ya.” – Four Yorkshiremen, Monty Python


Hard to imagine I neglected to mention this before now, but two weeks ago I published and released my first book, «postmaster@YOUR_DOMAIN_HERE», at the M3AAWG Montreal Night Out. The book is essentially a primer and digest of topics of interest to new email administrators; a collection of topics they should be aware of when managing their email systems.

The contents are freely available online to new and experienced postmasters to consult and contribute. Visit The Postmaster Administration Wiki.

Daemon Dog

The leaves have almost completed their tumble to oblivion, Winter’s chill can be felt creeping closer, and Hallows’ Eve has come once more! Happy Birthday! to Mum, “la Sorcière”.

noun: daemon; plural noun: daemons; noun: daimon; plural noun: daimons

  1. (in ancient Greek belief) a divinity or supernatural being of a nature between gods and humans.

    • an inner or attendant spirit or inspiring force.
      synonyms: numen, genius, genius loci, inspiring force, attendant spirit, tutelary spirit, demon
      “it must have been a magnificent daemon that inhabited the heart and soul of this artist”
  2. archaic spelling of demon.

Daemon Dog

All lit up.

Les Voyageurs In Jackboots

The PQ (Parti Québécois) should really be called «Les Paysans Québécois», because they refuse to accept change and diversity, which is part of what living in a free democratic society built from a variety of cultures is about. They are still living in the past and seek to recreate the French Revolution, since they didn’t get to play in the last one.

The PQ’s proposed “Charter of Quebec Values” is a vile document and slap in the face of civil freedoms, eroding personal liberties and identity in the name of a secular state. I am no fan of religion, but that is my choice in belief or non-belief systems, and not something that was imposed on me by family, community, or State. I choose who, what, and how to be. I choose. Not the State. Letting the state tell the people how to dress, how to act, how to think is another aspect of what George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” warned us about.

A secular state is about actual governance outside of religion, not the appearance of governance or religion. The PQ do not know how to govern and address the real needs of people: homes, food, jobs, economic growth, health, education, sanitation, roads, and all that entails. The PQ attempt to distract the populace from their failures to really govern, by creating problems where none exist and shift blame from themselves.

All the PQ know is how to argue, pick fights, create imaginary problems, and prey on emotions, like school yard bullies. And as with all bullies and wanna be tyrants, they need a severe beat down, because if they have their way, then other freedoms will be eroded over time in the name of some impossible Quebec ideal.

Maybe the PQ’s next decree will be that you cannot marry outside of race, faith, or language. Or maybe that to be a Quebec-er we must dress like Voyageurs in jackboots, goosestepping to “Gens du Pays“.