Or, A Geek Discovers that it Can Be Fun to Communicate After All
Well, as usual, it’s been a while since my last blog post. Hopefully you’ve been checking out the tumblelog (hint: it’s got an rss feed too!). But it’s no substitute for actually writing…
If you had told me a year or two ago that I would be as immersed in Internet communication as I seem to find my self now, I would have laughed and just shook my head. Email excepted (oh, and a bit of unix-based talk/ytalk in the early 90s), I didn’t see much point.
Then came a colleague at work setting up a Jabber server in order to have a chat room for the group here, and I was dragged kicking and screaming (ok, not much of that, but I might have stubbed a toe) into IM. It wasn’t long after that, and Google introduced GTalk, and integrating that into GMail meant that now a few other people I knew (most notably family) were able to easily chat.
The next nail in the coffin was my annual attendance of the O’Reilly Open Source Conference. Thanks to a colleague (there are those colleagues again!) who went with me, I became aware of the back-channel conference: in IRC. Admittedly, this was not only an amusing aside (some brilliant comments and observations are posted here, not to mention the sharp wit), but an interesting insight into some bits of info that wouldn’t normally be available (the conference chairs were active participants on the relevant channels). This year when I went, in addition to the new-found public server, I set up a simple IRC server on my home network for the benefit of myself and two friends: a private chat room where we could chat.
That slippery slope had me careening into the sett-up of a full-blown server, complete with bot (and I’m even writing TCL code, a language I never did learn, to extend it!), for a group of mostly-sysadmins that I’m in, which meets every Friday for breakfast.
The clincher happened in the last week. One of my sisters transferred to the University of Calgary, and in her “I’ve arrived” email, she listed her Skype address. That was the second time in as many weeks that I’d been given a Skype address. I’d looked in to Skype when it was announced, of course, but wasn’t interested (we already have VoIP for our main phone, which gives us cheap calling). So I signed up for a Skype account, and in the short week that I’ve had it, I’ve had an audio and a video call (my sister in Calgary has a Mac, too!), and 3 chat sessions. I’m in.
Add to that my Grand Central account, and I’m pretty communicative, which I have to say, as someone who has always hated the phone, feels pretty weird. But it’s also cool, this new-fangled internet thingy that let’s me chat with and talk (and see) people all over the world.
So all of you who haven’t talked to me in a bit, there’s really no excuse now – I’m connected.
(I’ve even added a couple of icons on the sidebar to get you started!)