Tube's profile (website)


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Name: Matt Crowley
Joined: August 2, 2006


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What's the deal with your nickname? How did you get it? If your nickname is self-explanatory, then tell everyone when you first started using the internet, and what was the first thing that made you say "wow, this isn't just a place for freaks after all?" Was it a website? Was it an email from a long-lost friend? Go on, spill it.

"Tube" is a nickname from when I was a sideshow performer.

A book about our sideshow adventure.

The "Tube" act on YouTube.

When did I first start using the Internet? I can't remember exactly, but I did use networked computers when I was in high school back in the 1970's. Some computers at my high school were connected to the University of Montana's. I remember playing very simple games on someone else's account; one was a drag race game. You would simply enter numeric values for horsepower, wheel diameter, gear ratio, etc, and your elapsed time would be computed. Yes, very cutting edge for 1978...

The most impressive computer game back then was a chess program. I never played, but I did watch a game in progress once as I was in chess club at the time. Again, our terminal was networked to the University's. Our game session was cut short when a student's static charge acquired from the carpeted floor discharged onto the terminal at our end...

By 1985 I was using the University of Montana's interlibrary loan to research autoerotic asphyxia. I used to fantasize about having all this data in easily retrievable form, transmitted electronically. I knew that movies could be stored on laserdisks, thus I knew that images could be stored digitally. I imagined that libraries could photograph books and journals, and when a "loan" request came in, they could "play" the laserdisk, and transmit the data by modem. The result could be printed out fax style on the recipient's end. At the time, I didn't know there really was an Internet, though it didn't work like this...

It actually took me a long time to really take advantage of the Internet. I was on Compuserve and AOL in the mid and late 90's. During this period I discovered the Usenet, though I probably only posted about twice. The text-only interface seemed clunky to me, and I didn't spend a lot of time there. Free porn was hit or miss, and barely worth the trouble. I also had a slow dial-up, and a balky computer.

So back then it was kind of like dining at Costco; all the little samples you eat are delicious, but until you can sit down with a plate of the stuff, you are going to go away still hungry.

I suspect that for many Mefites, being an "early adopter" of the Internet is something of badge of honor. I can't really claim to be an early adopter myself, though in my defense I'd argue that even as late as the mid 1990's, the Internet was simply not that satisfying. Take a look at this interesting webpage.

By about 2000 or 2001 a co-worker asked me if I had a website, and seemed to find it odd that I did not. I replied honestly that I couldn't think of an "angle" or theme that would make the content worthwhile. The real breakthrough for me came in 2005 when I got a digital camera and started posting on Internet forums. This marked a significant watershed for me, as it marked the beginning of participation rather than just passive "surfing". By 2006 I had my own website, largely devoted to