've I actually gone through a huge list of online identities, the first one of which was Beeman. I'd grown up using computers because of my father, who was a physics professor, but there was a time in the '80's when this was not considered cool and I stopping using BBS's and networking stuff, and I only used them for word processing.
Then I got to UCSC in 1989, my friend Steve Harris told me that I could get a free email account which I could also use for this neat thing called "fn", or ForumNet. (This later turned into ICB.) We could use fn to talk to others and convince them of important things like why pot should be legalized.
So to get online without using Steve's account, I had to get my own. Conveniently, my last name, Beeman, was available and so I became beeman@ucscb. And this was cool because people actually thought I had come up with something creative about bees or using ucscb, or whatever... it worked.
Over time I ended up selecting a bunch of other identities.
I got onto MUDs and became Buddha there, which was fun because these were these role-playing games all about killing virtual creatures to get experience points, and here was this nonviolent sagely sort of character.
At the Circus, I was able to get "adam" since it was my machine, and so I went with that. And I was able to be firstname.lastname@example.org for a while. But then came bigger networks, and "adam" wasn't available, so I ended up going with "abeeman" at USC and Sun Microsystems.
But name-based logins aren't very exciting... so one day on ICB I was questing for a new nickname, and Mucus suggested I use "Nalak". She said it was something she saw in an art history book she was reading and it was some emperor of some eastern dynasty, and that he favored the arts or something. Who knows, maybe it's really "jerk" in some language I don't know. Whatever. It sounded cool and unique, so I started using that on ICB.
Suprisingly, Nalak was already taken by someone on AIM, so I had to go with Nalak5 there and on Yahoo!. And that's how I became Nalak(5).
But it all started with Beeman, and that's what a lot of the old time geeks may remember me as.