07 Mar

Happy birthday, Slumberland BBS!

Today marks the 17th birthday of Slumberland BBS, the bulletin board system I started in 1991.

Slumberland is a Citadel board; that is, it runs one of the many kinds of Citadel BBS software. There was a time when the Seattle area had tons of Citadels. Mine is probably the last one standing. Up until only a few years ago, you could still dial in to it, using a modem and a voice line, but now it’s telnet only (if necessary, though, you can get there from a java applet on a web page.

When the BBS went up in March 1991, it was running MacCitadel software on a MacPlus. MacCitadel was OK, but it had some quirks (the kind of quirks that could eat your whole message base), and it could not network with the other Seattle Citadels. Which was important at the time, since most of us had no Internet access, so we used Citadel networking to send our messages across long distances. (As far as Texas and New York, which was pretty impressive at the time.) So I picked up a used 286 from my employer and started running TwitCit in July 1991. Later I switched to GremCit and eventually Citadel+, which is what the board runs today.

Slumberland, like most Cits, is a “message board”; it didn’t exist for games or file downloads, but for conversation. (Though we did have the odd file here and there.) We still post messages in the various “message rooms” (topic areas), and the software now also has live chat support, so many of us just hang out at Slumberland all day long, chatting when we can.

I wonder what I would have thought if, in March 1991, someone told me that Slumberland would be up and running 17 years later, and it would be the last survivor of the old Seattle Citadel network.

11 Dec

Anita Rowland, R.I.P.

One of the original Seattle bloggers, Anita Rowland, lost her battle with cancer yesterday. She was the host of the Seattle Weblog Meetups, and one of those people that it seemed everyone knew, either through blogging or through her activities in SF fandom. On Metatalk, Dylan said “She was a connector. Were it not for her, I wouldn’t know at least a dozen people here in Seattle. She was the ‘den mother’ of us Seattle bloggers.” And that is the truth.

03 Aug

Bloggers invade KOMO



Photo by l0ckergn0me.

Last night KOMO-TV hosted a local blogger get-together at Fisher Plaza. I was a little suspicious — after all, they promised us food, alcohol, and swag, and why would KOMO want to do that for a bunch of misfit bloggers? But it sounded interesting, and despite last minute misgivings (I am a major introvert), I attended. To my surprise, I had a pretty good time! I did not see some of the folks I expected to see there, but did run into some other familiar names. I also met a lot of really neat people I didn’t know of before, so now I’ll be adding a lot of blogs to the reading list.

The photo here is the group photo taken in the Northwest Afternoon studio. I have other photos in my Flickr stream.

Thanks to Chris Pirillo for organizing the event!

14 Feb

Sweater with, um, interesting detail

This sweater is from the December 2006 issue of the UK magazine Simply Knitting. It is a nice enough sweater from the front, and to 99.9% of humanity, I am sure. However, some of the rest of us have been corrupted by a certain Web in-joke that means we will never, ever, be able to look at this sweater without laughing. (Hint: look at the detailing toward the bottom.)

If you don’t know the in-joke, don’t ask. Trust me, you don’t want to know.

This has not been altered in any way. Though I admit it would have been an easy creation in Photoshop. Nope, this is the way the sweater actually looks in the magazine.

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