Modempunk: Introduction & Part 1

So It's week two for this year's November Insanity. However even though I've managed to keep more or less on schedual with wordcount it's all a jumbled mishmash of disconnected that just doesn't feel like it's gelling together. So I'm going to start the story over in the style that's worked best for me in the past; First Person Perspective.

So what is this? Just so folk have a little fore-warning it's going to be treated as a first draft of something written more as a try at getting words on page than a cognitive plotline. So if anyone finds that or the idea of me taking on an 80's as envisioned by Hollywood (and possibly including a superhero origins story but I dunno if that'll work.

That kinda covers a lot of ground. So to summerize. Think highschoolers put in screwed up situations. Still interested? Great! More after the break.

Because it was requested: Links to all the blog posts for this story.
Intro and Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 8.2
Part 9 Part 10 Part 10.2 Part 11 Part 12 and Coda

Since the final doc will have changes here and about I'm including a Google Doc link too. Yes I'm going to go through the links and add a table of contents to each in case people want to go through.


Well hey howdie. Anyone reading this probably has either just stumbled onto the bits of my journal that I've decided to put online. Might surprise a few of you I've been keeping notes in electronic form since middle school. Just seemed neater to type it out and dump it on disk, that could be passworded and easily hidden, than handwritten log books. That and it let me take notes I wanted to share and shove at friends, or print out as many copies as I liked with a minimum of fuss.

Oh c'mon now. I bet you're wondering why I'm waxing nostalgic. Between Xanadu being built and me being 'asked' to move there to act as something of a public face and one of the elected Representative on the City council I've been going through boxes of stuff I haven't seen in years.

Then I found my old Apple GS and cases of floppies (back when floppies were floppy) and in a fit of nostalgia I got everything hooked together. Surprisingly everything worked and my disks hadn't degraded to uselessness. Figured what they hay. I started browsing my old files and I've decided to share bits and pieces.

Just to answer a few questions off the bat.

Yes the town name is real. No the school name isn't.

I'm going to be using lots of aliases and usernames instead of actual legal names. Why? The people I hung out with tended to run around on BBS's and most of them respond to handles and it's not like there's only one Count Zero out there.

Anything else I need to say? I dunno. I'm gonna be revealing an oddball point in my life and other than making sure not too much sensetive material gets revealed I'm not correcting mistakes I might have made about geography, politics, or whatnot.

What do you mean 'Before the Internet'

Dad got a computer for me. Dunno if it's the same kind as school has and he says it's Mine. I can do with it as I want so long as the house doesn't get neglected in the process or a giant phone-bill gets racked up. Wait. I can dial out with this thing? Dial out to /what/? Says it's a 300 baud modem. Dunno what brand since it's clearly second hand and somebody had a little fun trying to make it look 'stylish' or whatever.

[Note=Modem Speed] 300 baud. Kids these days literally cannot comprehend how slow that one was. Included is a link to something I found on a quick jaunt to youtube for something similar. Mine isn't in the wood case the one in the video has, but mine did have phone cups and a few wires.

You will note the far from 'instant on'ness the whole process is. Sure what's being loaded is a 'modern' webpage, but it's using a text only browser that isn't even trying to grab images or whatever. Speed looks about right and dangit, now I wanna see if I can get the old warhorse here to run a BBS for the rest of the town. [/note]

Dad said the guy that sold him the modem would give me a go at his BBS even though it's closed to new users. Turns out right after Christmas is a terrible time to try figuring out how these things work. If I get let in great. If not I've got a couple games i can play. Zork looks promising.


OK Back after giving the BBS thing a try. Didn't get much further than looking at the main menu and a couple topics. I dunno. It's interesting but right now I just don't have time to fiddle with it. Maybe next weekend.


Gee who'd have thought anybody in my class would like that I have my own computer. Doesn't matter I can and have run rings around everyone or that if I wanted to I could probably out-compete any of them in their sport of choice. I have a computer and therefor I am now a Nerd.

Same stuff. Diff excuse for them to not like me. I'll be glad when I get to highschool. New place. New people. I get to start over again.

Don't get me wrong I'm not boo-hoo over it, well not much anyway. I just don't like how isolated from everyone else I seem to have gotten because everyone thinks I'm /looking/ for all the attention I've gotten.

I can run a four minute mile. So what, I'm puking my guts out and out of it for the rest of the day.

If I wanted I could join wrestling and probably make state. So what? I get weirded out by the whole thing and the rest of the team doesn't like me. Bah... Stop crying. End of year and I'm out. Bigger pond. Just another face. I won't make the mistake of showing off in front of everyone again.



[note=Skipping Around] I'm going to make this really plain. I wrote more than I'm sharing here. I'd just gotten the Apple the Christmas before, so I'd been writing constantly. That and gaming. Often times I'd write about gaming, especially when I was trying to figure out Zork's puzzles.[/note]

Oh and I've got a job. Sure it's cash and carry but it's actually pretty nice. No yard mowing this year. I get to help build something. Tear a house down to bare beams with a bunch of other kids. Build it up how Mr. Bossman wants it. Not something I really know all that much about.

Turns out at least a couple of the other guys that signed up work the same BBS I do. OK fine I dial more than one, but there's this one that opens up late afternoon to early morning that I've kinda considered home. It was my first and other than arguments over who has the better computer it's generally polite.

Bah. Lotta these guys aren't nearly as hostile when you're looking them in the eye. People that viciously demand you admit x or y is better than the Rotten Apple you've got deflate real fast if you're in earshot.

Nice guys, a few actually know what they're doing and are trying to show the rest of us what's going on. First day done and it's been pure demolition. They want the thing stripped to sub-flooring and studs. No mention on power or plumbing so we're leaving it alone.

Amazing how fast tear-down can go when you've got a couple dozen guys and a couple rented dumpsters. Didn't know you could rent those things. Now I do.


End of June

Steve's been making an ass of himself on the board. On the job site he couldn't be a bigger help. Got plenty of experience, patience, and not the slightest bad thing to say about anyone.

On the boards though he's turned absolutely vicious. Attacks everyone. Has snark for everyone who even hints at disagreeing that he's the best thing since sunshine. I think Copper's taken him aside a few times. Word's gotten around that if he doesn't stop being such a prick he's getting banned.

I get it. Guy uses the board as a way to vent and make sure he doesn't piss everyone off on the job. Thing is you can't go and flip out use the board as your personal megaphone for screaming at the world.

Worse. Steve's rantings have stirred up most of the other users. Kinda strange really. I'm seeing this one number pop up constantly on the 'last used by' header. Been some debate on if this Blackbird is a girl like they say they are, or just some random guy putting on an act to try embarrassing everyone else when the mask comes off.

So Copper's told me to call them. Said it was alright, he cleared it with Blackbird first. Dunno why it's such a big issue. Maybe they think this'll distract everyone else from Steve's acid, especially if we have to kick him out.

So. Gonna call. I'll try summarizing in a few hours or something.

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