As a Millennial, it’s kind of my job to be always online. As an IT guy, that’s literally my job. Here’s a history of my initial forays into computers and then some Internet things I’ve done recently.
A History of Joe Online
I think my love of computers and initial Internet introduction is all thanks to Nonnie, my paternal grandmother. I may be mis-remembering, but I’m almost certain my first introduction to a computer was at her house. Windows 95, Minesweeper/FreeCell, dedicated armoire for the computer, WordPerfect. Could be a toss-up with my Uncle Bob, but I’m going to give Nonnie this one. I’d print custom cards pretty often. Not just like “Happy Birthday!” but “Welcome Back Home After You Went To Town For An Hour!” I was a weird kid. But it was fun and new. I also bricked a computer and couldn’t figure out how to fix it. One of my cousins button-mashed and somehow got it to work again, I’m still trying to figure that one out, 20+ years later.
My first Internet experience I’m almost certain was with my mom at home. Windows 98, dialup AOL, and the awesome defrag interface. This was 3rd grade, and I think it was either then or in 6th grade I got into NeoPets. I should probably check on them, it’s been like 18 years I hope they’re not all dead.
My first AIM screen name was jodrre1. I then got a Hotmail, jodrre2. My Yahoo was jodrre3. As you can see, I’m still not very creative when it comes to screen names. All those accounts are closed now, sorry hackers.
Anyway. 3rd grade-ish, first foray into early Internet from an AOL lens. 4th grade, same thing but I got a PlayStation so I didn’t really care much. Plus I spent a lot of time at the local library, so I got my fix there. Built a fair amount of websites with free hosts (omg), this was the time I learned how to write HTML. So many websites created by hand and hosted locally for the stupidest shit. I don’t even want to get into the things I built or how excited I got when I could change the text color mid-sentence.
5th grade I know we still had the computer but I can’t remember where it lived in that house so more or less I didn’t have access then. I was also super into Scouts and band so there wasn’t a lot of time available for computer usage. Plus, I had access at school with their stupid squid proxy. NETSCAPE. That was a thing. Hated it even back then when I didn’t know better.
When we moved to Central Oregon for reals in 6th grade, my school district had better access available to students, so then I started getting really into it. More HTML code, NeoPets, and just in general trying to figure out how the Internet worked. The computer in my 6th grade house was in its own room (the craft room) and we still had dial-up AOL.
Moved one last time, the computer had its own area in the family room, and this house let us have two phone lines so we could be online and use the phone at the same time. This was when MySpace was a thing, and I vividly remember staying up late talking with my friend while editing my page and also chatting with her at the same time over MSN Messenger.
After a year or two in that house with dial-up, we got a new computer (I got the old one for my room, more HTML and nonsense) and then WiMAX service. Finally! An always-on connection! Since my room was the closest one (besides the master bath) to the radio dish, I got the router in my room. This might have been the beginning of my love of networking. How do I get the new computer talk to the old computer because the old computer can’t talk to the router? My family hated it, I’m sure, but I loved poking around that router and trying to improve speeds. Almost certain at this point I originally registered this domain name.
There’s a lot of little other stories I have, but once we got broadband at home then I really got into the guts of how the Internet worked, did lots of things, and now here we are. Ya boi’s a giant nerd, and always has been.
Recent Internet Things
This post is already far too long. Sorry. I’ll make this last bit short, even though it sounds advertise-y.
A couple months ago, I moved away from Chrome in favor of Brave. Chrome was just taking too much memory and getting bogged down. Brave blocks ads and junk by default, seems to run much faster, and has privacy in mind. You can opt-in to see some ads, and get BAT tokens (cryptocurrency) in return. In two months I’ve made about USD$2 just from viewing ads. Check it out, I’m kind of impressed.
Today I verified this site with Brave, and if you use Brave you can donate BAT tokens now. Obviously it would be awesome if I got some BAT tips, but not a big deal. Right now they’re not worth a lot, but I mean $2 for just carrying on about my day normally? I’ll take it!
20 days ago I rebuilt my website for the 10th time, this time with the goal to create actual real content, maybe I can eventually throw up some AdSense ads and make some more money. If you use Brave you won’t see them, but for the bots and click-farms maybe I can make some money off of them. Just layin’ out my evil plans here, folks. Really just want to be able to supplement my income since we’re not getting raises this year and also if the shutdown goes for longer than planned.
Another Internet thing I started doing recently is contribute to the Folding@Home project. I feel that especially right now that donating to their effort will do the most good. I have an old computer I bought from work that acts as a server. It sits unused for the vast majority of the week (all my stuff is done online, I don’t store a lot of things locally) so it was the best decision for a thing that I’d need to be able to use 24/7 but was more or less not being used. I hope that makes sense. So far my computers have been able to complete about 50 work units, and in the last couple days they’ve only worked on coronavirus units. I would like to see the data gets created through this, purely out of curiosity. How does it work!?!
Today I finally finished that stupid paper for my business ethics class. Not gonna lie, I totally phoned it in. I took a shower shortly after I got up (late) which I’d like to think helped me get productive. I also started playing the Jenna Julien Podcast through Spotify (starting at the beginning!) instead of YouTube, which also helped. I got to listen to people I consider friends (remember how I just want to be friends with famous people?) and didn’t get distracted by watching what they were doing. Here’s hoping it passes on the first try, I really don’t want to ever open that file again.
It hit 63F today. I opened my window around noon. It was glorious smelling the fresh air. Actually, I opened the window and then like 15 minutes later Googled if it was safe to do so. Yes, it is, the virus disperses with the more air there is. Plus, I’m pretty separate from my neighbors.
Spent more time than I care to admit trying to make my handkerchief into a mask. Turns out the hair ties Mom left aren’t loose enough to tie to my ears without my ears going cauliflower. About two years ago my grandpa was in an accident and I picked up a child-sized mask for funsies when I visited him at the hospital. The straps on that mask worked PERFECTLY to help cover my face. #winning
Texted my sister for a while. Some updates about the dogs that weren’t great. Stay strong, sis. Sending love. Give my love to Older Sis if she heads that way.
Little bit of an anxiety attack writing my shopping list, I couldn’t remember the order of the aisles. I didn’t want to go down a single aisle more than once so that I could get in and get out, so I wrote the list in the order I would need to pick things up. Drove to the store, turned off the car, and then no less than 5 cars pulled in after me and at least 10 people went inside without masks. Granted, I had finally made my own, but no way was I going to risk that. Drove around the resort for quite a while and came back and was only one of like 5 shoppers. Coincidentally, I was an aisle off where I thought, ramen vs. bread.
When I got to the checkout counter, she asked me how I was doing and I was just absolutely overjoyed! Buffalo chicken strips, toilet paper, and bleach! Mostly toilet paper! Down to two rolls, I was about to join the bidet train. But I got all the things I needed! (Editors note: upon arriving home, Joe was disappointed to find that he had forgotten to put coffee creamer on the list, which was one of the main reasons for leaving his home that day.)
Came home, made a bleach bucket like when I used to work in kitchens, and wiped down all of my purchases. Absolutely better safe than sorry. I live alone and have two cats. If I get sick and/or die, what’s going to happen to my babies? So better not to be sick. Took another shower, better safe than sorry. Made some spagoot, played Apex with a friend (LOVING this update, 1.33), and here we are.
Sorry for the vast amount of text. I had a great idea written out about my Internet origins and then a somewhat interesting (to me) day.
Love, peace, and chicken grease, y’all.