Cyber Communication History Book

Starting from the email and its stylistic facets, chat, in which we focus also on the art of composing spartan shapes and colors in the standard IRC, the author probes the spontaneous, irreverent and relentless personal communication that found between restrictions techniques and tricks of its own random mode. In the following chapters we analyze the digital greetings (greetings, condolences), then moved to a short and intense history of ASCII Art and its roots in RTTY Art, the art of the teletype, with the additional restriction of ASCII to 5 bits (ie only upper case).
The author of this book, Brenda Danet, is now deceased. There are no chances to find her online and ask her about her book. I would have liked to know if she ever tried ASCII or other text art herself.
In 20 years I think there will be a small flood of books about Internet and communications, the history. About there in time will be the 50 year mark for the Internet becoming a part of popular media. The Internet is older than that, but few people knew much about it until ISP’s started cropping up and making it fairly easy for anyone with a computer to connect online. 
The Internet (beyond the computer itself) has changed communication forever. But, as I see typewriters become obsolete, I wonder what will be next. I would not be surprised if the computer itself eventually went into the obsolete pile. But, I do wonder about screen size. From big screen TVs to the tiniest mobile devices… screen sizes don’t get taken into account very often in communication. I don’t count making websites mobile-friendly because that’s a necessity due to the miniscule size. Do people really prefer a tiny screen? I can’t imagine so – I don’t! 
It doesn’t seem mobile is going anywhere though. How will reading everything from tiny screens change communications, more than it has so far? Will people start wearing magnifying glasses? If so, will that just give manufacturers a reason to make things even smaller? Over generations, if this keeps up, will our eyeballs or eye sight adapt to reading this way? 
Note: The quoted text above comes from a review of Brenda Danet’s book, on Neural.

Submitted Myself for Reinstatement at the Open Directory Project

I was looking up something tonight and found a link to the Open Directory Project (aka Dmoz or ODP). I was an editor there, shedragon, for about ten years. I liked being part of the project, seeing it evolve and tweaking categories for topics I was interested or involved in.

odp dmoz

I forget why I left now. Something I was annoyed about. Isn’t that so often the story. I did seem to have upset someone in the upper management of the directory but I never found out what it was about. I think that’s actually why I did leave. I can remember being annoyed at the close mouthedness of it and feeling I couldn’t even defend myself because I had no idea what the problem/ issue was.

I put a lot of time and energy and care into the directory. I was quite proud to have become an editall and manage several larger categories in the directory. Likely I burnt out and I did leave and not regret the decision. I still don’t. I do tend to get absorbed into things so it is good for me to take some steps back and give myself space to find diversity instead of becoming too focused.

Anyway, today (just now) I checked if my old login still did anything. Not expecting it would. But, some part of it was still there. So I filled out the short form to ask to be reinstated.

It would be nice to fix up the categories for urban exploration and ASCII art again. But, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy sorting out my own link collections and sites. It is nice to be part of something though. I wish Dmoz had grown, along with Google. It’s a shame it didn’t. It’s still a decent resource if someone is looking after the section you’re looking in. That’s likely why I applied. I do like history and archives!

via – DMOZ – the Open Directory Project.

Humans TXT: We Are People, Not Machines.


We are always saying that, but the only file we generate is one full of additional information for the searchbots: robots.txt. Then why not doing one for ourselves?

via – Humans TXT: We Are People, Not Machines..

I used the WordPress plugin to make adding the humans.txt file even simpler than it already is. With the plugin you just need to type in what you want and then save the information to WordPress.

You can use the code provided with the plugin to have your last published date, your list of plugins, your WordPress theme and assorted other things automatically updated. This was really nice because I know I won’t be thinking to update this file next time I manage the plugins I’m using. Some site automation is a great thing!


I added ASCII art (my artist stick figure) to the humans.txt file too. Being plain text it worked fine!

I Used to Write for a Site Called Wz

I wrote about ASCII art and ways to use it as more than just art. I wish I had kept copies of what I wrote then. They were sent as newsletters and I have never found them. The site closed down, was sold (that usual story). It would be great to read what I wrote about ASCII art more than ten years ago. I remember having some great ideas.
wzasciiart wzasciipage