My current most-used-to-icb one, neal@republic was chosen for me by Karl, with my approval. It's my first name, it was my login at the company where I was working at the time, it's simple, and I like it. The first-used-to-icb account was just the standard lastname@whatnot account, first at OCF and then at Soda (both at Berkeley). I don't feel any great need to be mysterious with my login name.

I think taking kaplan@whichever while at Berkeley made a few people choose different login names, but no one ever sent threatening letters about it.

Ok, Harlock requires more of an explanation. Drink some coffee now.

When I first started using icb, I realized that I needed something better than "kaplan." I'm sure I cycled through a few, but I know I settled on Grey for a while. Grey is the protagonist of a manga that I really like, and *really* liked way back in '92 (I started using icb in March of '92, as near as I can remember).

Unfortunately, there were a bunch of people who had the word grey or gray in their nicks. Offhand, I remember ShadesOfGray...erm...GrayCat, or something like that... look, there were a bunch. I'm sure you remember. And "Grey" was just the name of a character from an obscure Japanese comic, not even a reference to the color gray. Now, another manga/anime character I liked was Space Pirate Captain Harlock. But there was already a Harlock, someone from gatech. And there was a Hatrock.

But I didn't let that stop me, because I was obsessively determined to use a not-too-well-known anime/manga character as my nick. I was a freshman, ok?

So I went with Capt_Harlock, which just fits. It's also a pain in the ass to type, but I didn't let that stop me, either. At some point, a year or a few years later, the Harlock from gatech went away and his nick expired. And then it was *mine*.

So I took someone else's nick. Not that the person was using it. But I did once, sometime before I snatched up Harlock, express sympathy for someone who was complaining that their nick, banshee, was recently stolen by someone from Santa Cruz. This nick-stealer was a hard, callous individual who wouldn't listen to reason and refused to return the stolen nick. Of course, I didn'tknow either of these people at the time, and this person might have been lying through their teeth for all I know. But the fact that I then went and did something similar has been my secret shame. Not that the old Harlock ever complained about it, but he *could* have.