actually first used ucscb in 1979 or so. (In 1979, I would have been eleven years old and in the fourth or fifth grade.)
My brother Stuart started at UCSC then, and he signed up for an account on their open-access machine. When the family would drive over to visit, he'd let me use his account; I'd log on and read forum, or write/talk to people, or play "adventure". His account name was (and still is) "stuart"; after a short while I started using the nickname "GP", short for Guinea Pig. I'd decided that I wanted people to send me new things to try, and I wouldn't mind if they didn't work quite right.
I remember grinning madly, typing away at people, people telling me they had to bail out and go to class. I remember several people telling me they were surprised I was only in the fifth grade; if I hadn't told them, they said, they'd have assumed I was much older. I can't say how true this is, as I don't have anything going that far back.
During Stuart's time at UCSC, our dad bought him a terminal: the bizarre SWTP (prounounced swat-p, or sweet-pea, depending on who you asked). Stuart borrowed a 300 baud acoustic modem from work, and could dial in. The SWTP had an 82 x 23 screen, which was quite an impediment for playing some games. I don't think "rogue" worked properly on it, partially because of the screen geometry, partially because Stuart's hacked-together termcap entry wasn't 100% correct.
I can remember trying to watch other people's screen-drawing animations (moving the cursor around with raw terminal commands), and being annoyed that they didn't work; and I can remember posting my own, and other people complaining that mine didn't work / screwed up their terminal.
Stuart graduated, in Computer Science, but soon after that my brother Steve started at UCSC, also in Computer Science. (And yes, I was also a Computer Science major, the third of three to go to UCSC.) Steve inherited the SWTP, and at some point got a 1200 baud modem to boot. Naturally, Steve signed up for a ucscb account; his account name was "webster", as he'd been called a "human dictionary" by friends in high school. (He goes by "steveha" these days, the name assigned to him by humorless Microsoft sysadmins.)
Again, I got to use his account now and then, reading the vandalism in "garfield" forum, writing to whoever I could lure into conversation.
I started at UCSC in the fall of 1988. I moved to Santa Cruz shortly before school began, moving in with Steve's old housemate Wu Liu (bluemax@ucscb, I thinkanyway it was something named after a WWI aviator). I inherited the SWTP (which I still had until the late 90s, until it had totally given up the ghost) and his swank 1200 baud modem. I borrowed Steve's and Wu's ucscb accounts for the tail end of the summer... but my very first day at UCSC, I signed up for my very own ucscb account.
My first account name was "lupin3". I'd been using that as an online handle for a couple years, on the BBSes I hung out on around San Jose. The name comes from Count Lupin the Third, a character from anime; I'd gotten a fan-dubbed copy of the 1979 movie "The Castle Of Cagliostro" some years before, and I loved it, watching it over and over. For what it's worth, I still recommend the movie, and these days it's widely available on DVD with a wonderful subtitling job.
My second year at UCSC, I switched from "lupin3" to "funkstr". I don't remember exactly why; I suspect it had to do with "lupin3" just being a cool fictional character I liked, wheras "funkster" was an actual nickname I had been given at one point.
I told the story of "why I picked funkstr" in my old ucscb finger file. And, since I still have most of my ucscb account, I can just cut 'n paste it in here. Here, therefore, is the first part of my late-1993 finger file, presented for historical accuracy in my typical early-20s excitable style.
There's ONE misspelled word in this file! Can you find it? (Hint: "misspelled" isn't it.)
First and foremost, I want you (yes YOU!) to know how deeply touched I am by your fingering me. How special and worthwhile I feel. I... I don't _deserve_ this... *sob*
Now that you know how I feel, let me answer the question I can feel burning on your mind: "Where does your name come from?".
This is a question I used to get asked quite a bit -- that is, until I put it in my finger file (which was years ago).
When I was younger, and tasteless; back in 1978 or so, after the release of Star Wars, there was an album arranged by Meco Monardo called:
inspired by STAR WARS
Perhaps you remember this album. This had a lot of the earmarks of standard disco music in it -- violin strikes, "space sounds", the lot -- and plenty of fake Star Wars sound effects (including R2-D2, light sabre fights, rapidly firing lasers, and screaming X-wing engines).
Anyway, this was (as far as my deranged, fevered 4th grade brain was concerned) a _great_ album... surely one of the greatest achievements in music ever made by mankind. So I listened to it over, and over and over... until I memorized it. So much so, that to this day I remember the whole thing, backwards and forwards, in embarassing detail.
Anyway, in high school (years later), one day after school a whole bunch of us Jazz Band people (more on that later) were trying to come up with suitable nicknames for all the band members. We had "Boy Jason" Crawford (who is, incidentally, the Jason who works at the Fresh Choice in Capitola), and Dave "Just Too Damned Stupid" Smith (a _very_ appropriate nickname)... but nothing yet for me.
Well, out of sheer boredom, I went and put this record on, and started pointing out how familiar with it I was, and was immediately dubbed "The Galactic Funkster" -- a name that I didn't like at first, but have grown to appreciate for its distinctiveness. After all, I don't think I've run into anyone else with any sort of similar nickname... although one person I met said her brother's nickname was "Grand Master Photon".
And I go on from there, regaling one and all with the fantastic details of my life in 1993, back in the days before everybody was on the net, back before our e-mailboxes were choked with spam.
Incidentally, the dare to find the "ONE misspelled word in this file!" was a lie. It was really my wry attempt to get other people to spell-check my finger file for me.
While reading over my old ucscb finger file, I saw the old chicken salad sandwich recipe from the end. Like I said, I got a lot of positive comments about it. And it'll help make my entry here look longer.
What else? Oh yeah... I have a recipe to share with you. This recipe has garnered critical acclaim from many other lazy people, some of whom would thank me time and time again for sharing it with them and enriching their lives.
Off-Campus Student Chicken Salad Sandwiches (courtesy of Larry Hastings)
Ingredients: 1 can Swanson Premium chunk White Chicken (in water) (5 oz.) approx. 3 oz. mayonnaise (2/3 the volume of the chicken or so) 4 pieces of bread (the best is Alfaro's Santa Cruz Sour) Open the can of chicken, leaving the top on. Drain the water out by holding the can over the sink, upside down, and squeezing the water out.
Then, remove the lid, and empty the chicken into a bowl. Add the mayonnaise. Mix well. Dole out equal portions onto two of the pieces of bread, spread around, and make into sandwiches. Makes 2 sandwiches, is _very_ easy, and tastes good. Perfect, as I say, for off-campus students.
These days, I've started going by "lch". For I have Become A Man, and it has become time to Put Away Childish Things. That, and it's way shorter to type.