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The First Virtual Steps.
My IRC experience started in september 1996 when an aquaintance of mine introduced me to it. I was quick to get my own internet account with a national ISP and started to go online to chat mostly every day. I first started out in #sandbar, which was a pretty small channel. Usually there was only about ten to twenty people in there, sometimes less, sometimes more. I didn't chat regularly in any other channel and I soon gained channel ops. #sandbar was the place where I picked up my oldest friend, MadCamel, who had a lot of the same attitude and aptitude about computers as I did.
From #sandbar I moved on to #nice, a channel which I created in order to have a place of my own where I was in control and didn't have to follow any special rules of "proper conduct". At the time I was doing a lot of scripting and had started to do some basic bot programming (the EnergyMech). The channel often became a testing-ground for new script features. Not many people came around to #nice tho, just alot of french people who thought it was the channel for the town of Nice (which is in the south of france, by the coast).
MadCamel and me were of the destructive kiddie breed at the time. We did a lot of flooding and harassed quite a lot of channels and users. We experimented with servers of our own, creating `FlareNet'. Some times we actually got some users onto our little network, even tho it was running off just our modems in the beginning. We stopped running the servers after a while, it never became permanent. It was during the FlareNet time that I picked up my second oldest friend, Dark-Lord. He's not very active on IRC anymore even tho he's a channel op in #chatzone.
My programming and developing of the EnergyMech bot started to take more time than my scripting. I slowly moved from #nice to #mech, where people who used the bot started to gather. Later on I became quite unhappy with the people in #mech, most of them being of the destructive kiddie-breed. I had started to realize that being destructive wasn't all that fun, so I decided to move away to another channel, thus I created #emech.
#emech is where I hang out these days. Some people followed me from #mech and a few new ones has joined the gang. We're a peaceful bunch these days, not chatting very much but slowly developing the EnergyMech bot. There usually is other things going on in the channel tho, there isnt much discussion about the bot.
The Powers That Be.
I used to think that channel ops was so damn cool but I've grown accustomed to it now, there is no longer any special thrill about gaining op in some channel. I still remember the first time I kickbanned someone tho, not a memory I'm very fond of. I felt like I had been a complete jerk when I did it. But I've grown accustomed to kickbanning people too, as many surely knows if they've seen me in action.
Nowadays I dont chat as much as I used to in the beginning. The thrill of meeting new people has worn off a long time ago. I've switched to more technical stuff, doing a lot of programming, webpage design, graphics, things like that. I'm often called on for help and I help my friends when I can. Anyone else who ask I usually ignore.
The Computer Is The Network.
When I first started out with the internet, all I had was a puny little 14k4 modem. I was stuck with it for a long time but eventually got a hold of a 33k6 one. I never suffered too much from slow speeds since I didn't do much other than chatting, and IRC doesn't require much speed. Since May 2000 I'm the fortunate owner of a cable-modem with the accompanying account so nowadays I can get online any time I want without having to worry about phone-bills or slow connections. Up til the time I got the cable-modem, I had been stuck with HUGE phone-bills because where I live (Sweden) there is no flat-rate available. Paying per minute charges is a curse...
Illness. Being sick sucks.
In the beginning of June, 2002, I suddenly and unexplainably got sick. It felt like my head was spinning, I had difficulties balancing, I tended to drift off to the right when I was out walking. A few days later I lost taste on the right side of my mouth. Everything tasted like crap. That didnt last very long thankfully tho. A week and a half later my taste was back, I still had problems balancing tho. During the fall they did a little testing on me at the hospital but didnt draw any conclusions. The balancing problems went away slowly but didnt get 100% ok again. A year went by. During the fall of 2003 I went to the hospital for some more testing. Finally on the 24th of November 2003, a doctor gave me the final diagnosis; I have MS, multiple sclerosis. A degenerative nerver disease. Unfortunatly I got a new outbreak episode right after. Around december 1st i felt ill again. Balance went away again, I lost hearing on my right ear and I had a hard time keeping my eyes focused. Symptoms went away slowly during early 2004. I did not have any further outbreaks but the function of my left leg started to go away. Now in mid 2005 I dont have much of my left leg function any more and my left hand is feeling a bit absent also.
Some security reports I posted to Bugtraq a while ago:
merlin's uptime August 8th, 2001;
One of my grocery store receipts (August 7th, 2001);
plastic bag 1,50 yellow onions / KG 0,895kg x 9,90 8,86 pringles sour cream 21,50 chocolate wafer, giant 11,90 tropicana (microwave) pizza 24,50 mexicana (microwave) pizza 24,50 deli.yoghurt strawberry 7,15 deli.yoghurt strawberry 7,15 deli.yoghurt blueberry/vanilla 7,15 deli.yoghurt blueberry/vanilla 7,15 chocolate chip cookies 16,50 chocolate chip cookies 16,50 pureed tomatoes (tube) 10,20 white beans 420g 6,90 grinded meat (about 450g) 23,65 bacon 15,00 SUBTOTAL 210,11 TO PAY 210,00Thats in swedish `Kronor' btw. The exchange rate to US dollars (at the time) was about $1USD == 10,50SEK. So 210Kr (SEK) would be an even $20USD. Muahaha.. ohyeah, I eat lots of snacks and candy :P