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reminiscences from the dawn of the web, oops, my discovery of the 'net

It was sunny 1995, and after a long summer winter came. No, totally wrong beginning.

I recently found an old copy of Comment: (in fact I had been looking for it, wondering since when exactly I had been subscribed: it must have been the next issue but one, since those bore no address labels) and marveled again at the at the ambitions of providing the many [and this was years later, at a smaller university] users with qualified unix services. I jumped the bandwagon early and still remember my first manpage (chmod (1), since like everyone else I wanted a homepage despite missing any worthwhile content) and the "concern" I had with respect to the world-readable /etc/passwd on the AIX 4 machine: but of course the permissions were correct, any changes I tried to add remained in my editor buffer and like everyone else I had to resort to chfn for adding a GECOS field. Those endeavours were taken from the terminal rooms in the university cellars, the public network installations of the institute for mathematics (first Linux installation, fortunately the boot sector was restorable and thus both the Windows 3.11 installation and me survived the adventure) and the terminal/printer rooms at the institute for experimental physics (hallo uk), where unfortunately I probably helped disgruntle Mr Kind (or Mr Vrtala? hard to remember after ten years' time) sufficiently to warrant access cards for this room in later years; I should have known installing Dead Rats overnight on unchecked notebooks would not be a welcome exercise.

The reminiscence that prompted me to write up this piece was an entirely different one, though. It seems that either my memory deceives me (with respect to the url, not the content) or, more likely, Jennifer Dawn Myers rearranged the site from scratch in 1995 or early 1996 (the earliest copies on archive.org date from that time) - before that, it was a wildly excentric story about (mostly?) female geeks doing consulting jobs. No comment, and I have no idea about how I got there - maybe Wired, but Altavista was also a hot issue in those days ...

To come to the point, geek-girl.com provided a vast array of resources on unix, the 'net and various tools for making the digital habitat easier to use, amongst others one of the first public archives for the bugtraq mailing lists; I also distinctly remember (or at least I think I do: I might have overlooked the note before that) the first occurrence of the link to geekgirl.com.au (archived version). From genealogy links it would appear jdm got married in 1999, not much has been heard since and the site went down in 2003; as everyone knows, long before that both the official archive and mailing list distribution of the bugtraq list moved to securityfocus.com.

[to be continued - I do intend to bore you to death ...]