I've written for most of my life, but nothing was made public until I was able to get on the internet in 1997. None of what I wrote before then has been published, and most likely won't be. Most are lost, paper notebooks left behind in moves.
I was online in 1983, but there was no World Wide Web. I was on bulletin boards later, which got close to the web but wasn’t quite it.
I was pretty poor back in 1997, but got a huge promotion and raise a couple of years later. But in 1997 I had no established credit; when my then-wife and I tried to buy a car, we were informed we were “ghosts”. We weren't in the system.
A local video store chain, Family Video, opened its internet-connected servers for $12.95 a month dialup service, and unlike every other ISP you needed no credit card. You could use one, but cash and checks were perfectly acceptable as well.
They offered “unlimited access” for the $12.95, and from what I could tell they were true to their word. Part of the access was banner-free personal web space, which appeared to only forbid posting commercial pages.
The first Saturday I was online I wrote Steve’s School of Fine Art, a parody of an art class and a history class I took in college.
I had been an avid video gamer since the first coin-fed video games in the late 1970s. I bought a small, cheap computer in 1982, mostly to play games on. There were very few games for that model. In fact, there was little software of any kind for it, so I learned programming and wrote my own.
By the time I got on the internet there were plenty of excellent games. Two of my favorites, Screamer and Road Rash, had a paucity of information on the internet, so I collected what I could and put it famvid’s servers.
Later in 1997 I wrote The Life and Times of a Dumpster Cat. There were others, but unfortunately have succumbed to “bit rot” and were lost.
The next Spring, someone who had seen my “Screamer” and “Road Rash” pages suggested that I start a Quake page. It seemed pointless to me, since there seemed to be an unlimited supply of pages about that game.
However, I noticed that most were poorly designed and usually contained little, if any, content, so I decided to make a site about that game that would actually be well-designed and full of useful and interesting topics. Much of it was humorous. I built a huge collection of tested console and server commands, cheats, tips for newbies, jokes... it was full of solid content. It became popular and I gained fans.
Most of it you would not have any interest in whatever, but if I'd made a book of what I have of that old site on my hard drive, it would probably be well over a couple thousand pages long. I've included parts I think are funny or interesting in some way, but probably only added a tenth of it or less to this tome.
I got tired of it by 2002, a few months before my wife abandoned our two teenaged daughters, her cats, and me. The kids and I sought therapy, and after listening to all three of us separately and together, said that he of course couldn't be sure but he suspected that the wife was afflicted with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
A few months after she left, I discovered kuro5hin.org, a nerd site where “community members” would write and submit articles and keep diaries. It helped keep my mind off of my troubles, both financial and emotional.
My diaries and articles were even more popular at what was known as “K5” than the old Springfield Fragfest. Only a small number of submitted articles, which were voted on by logged in K5 members, made it to front page. Three quarters of mine were accepted and placed on K5's front page, seventeen in all. Unfortunately, a lot of them I don't remember, and they're too old to be easily found at K5.
After I submitted my first article, some were discussing whether or not I was some famous writer just “slumming” at K5. I was greatly amused!
After a few years of the diaries, people were requesting that I turn them into a book, which I finally got around to earlier this year. It's called “The Paxil Diaries” and is available in bookstores right now.
After a few happy years at K5, Rusty Foster, the site owner and a fan, spent all his time at his new left-leaning political site that was becoming insanely popular, and pretty much handed K5 to his admins. After an online argument with one of them, I left in a huff. Most everybody else did, too, probably because of that one admin.
I discovered that slashdot.org had instituted journals, so I started posting there. I'd had an account since the previous century.
Like the Quake site, only a small fraction of what I wrote at K5 and slashdot is included here. The first crude drafts of my books Nobots and Mars, Ho! were posted there before editing and book publication. Mars, Ho! crude drafts were also posted at a new site, Soylent News, at soylentnews.org.
Here are the articles I chose, in the order that they were written.
Oct 22, 2014
|Steve's School of Fine Art|