I've been using "madbard" and its variations as a handle/login/account name since 1983. My first online experience was on The Candy Shoppe BBS in San Diego, California where I was "The Mad Bard." At first I logged on via a friend's Commodore 64 and 300 baud modem. I eventually got my own C64 and modem in 1994 and that summer ran my own electronic bulletin board system, "The Realms of Creativity". It only ran at night from about 9pm to 7am and only for a few months until my Mom got call-waiting.


I dropped the "the" and became "" (damn 7-character name limit) when I started college at UC Santa Cruz and got my first Unix account in September 1988. (Hiking up to the "CC", the communications center, was the second thing I did after moving on campus.) By this time I had an Amiga 2000 and a 2400 bps modem. I'd still call San Diego BBSs for an hour or two on the weekends but that pretty much stopped once I discovered /usr/games and forum.

Since the WWW and the proliferation of web-based email, I've tried to snap up as many "madbard" accounts as possible. Unfortunately, someone else finally registered "" in late 2000.

If I do a Google search, like a Ray Bradbury story, pretty much all "madbard" links are me.

Why "The Mad Bard"?

* My first successful D&D character was a bard named "Nick Rocs" (a pun on the then-popular show on the Nickelodeon cable station). His conflict with the devil Beelzebub are legion, and he made for a handy NPC-ex-machina in my campaigns.

* I'd always fancied myself a Jack-of-All-Trades: poet and scientist.

* I've always felt a little off-center, and I'd gone through a depressive episode in junior high and spent some time with a child psychologist. When my "friends" (if I could deign to call them by that appelation) found out, it was terribly painful and shameful. Going online and becoming "The Mad Bard" helped me to embrace and empower that aspect of myself. I could be silly or angry and have it all be part of my persona.

* In The Hobbit, the human archer who slays the dragon Smaug is named Bard. Not bad company to keep.