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November 29, 2000

the tale of the handle

The Tale of the Handle
(An Ironic Self-History of Screen Names):

1993? - Captain Hacker - When we first had an IBM Compatible computer I was
about 12 or 13. It was an 8086 if that means anything to you. It was a
little scary. We bought the game "Hacker", a text adventure that I think
was pretty popular at the time. My Mom and I started playing this game and
it asked for a handle. We thought Captain Hacker was pretty cool.

1994? - Hacker - Shortly after, I actually got online, and was dismayed to
find that most screen names topped out at 11 characters or so, with no
spaces. Captain Hacker was out. I guessed Hacker was the next coolest
thing. Who was taken most places.

1994? - Captain - The next logical choice. I was probably Captain for the
first month or so of my online life.

1994? - Texaco - Up to now I had been logging onto only small local BBS's.
(Yes, this was entirely pre-internet, for me anyway. At one point I
realized that Sierra On-Line had a BBS. In hopes of getting free Space
Quest tips, I logged on. Hacker was taken. Captain was taken. Daniel was
even taken. I suddenly realized that THOUSANDS of people must be on this
NATIONAL BBS! I would have to come up with something that no one would
ever think of using for a handle. Something obscure, something a little
bizarre. The name of the gas station Texaco popped inexplicably into my
head. Sure enough, it wasn't taken, and served me well for probably 5
years or so.

During this time I really started to learn the importance of a handle. I
actually met people in person (several!) who originally knew me only as my
screen name. They all said I looked different than they imagined. I guess
they imagined a Texan or something.

Also, I learned over the next few years that I had chosen a pretty vile
corporate entity. I began to get a little edgy about being identified with
them. In addition, the age of the Web had really hit, and user bases were
getting up in the easy millions, and Texaco, or any other recognizable name
was often taken.

1997 - Texada - I had been living in Seattle for years, and only moved a
few blocks away. There was a local church nearby called the F.A.M.E. church. I can't remember what it stands for, but they own a bunch of aprtment buildings nearby. Well, the place next to where I moved was called the Texada apartments. I instantly recognized it as my new handle. I could stay close to my online roots, but drop the corporate evilness. Plus it was a mix of Texaco and my first name. How perfecto.

1998 - Texadaa - Texada was actually taken on both excite and aol, so I chose Texadaa as a surrogate.

2000 - bLACKbRAID - I wanted to come up with something that would be fun to chat with, and just fit me a little better. So I came up with blackbraid, with the backwards capitalization. It has a smooth androgeny that I really dig, plus, I do actually have a black braid most of the time.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Welcome to my Blog.

welcome to the tinyblog.

Welcome to the tinyblog. I'm glad you're here. Even if you don't read, just hang out a moment and let it seep in. You could be tiny too.