Volume 1, Number 5 -- December, 1996

The BackPage

10 Ways to be Cool on the Internet

By Pelican Smith

 In grade school you smuggled live rodents into your locker. In high school you drove a Camaro with adjustable air shocks. In college, you could drink anyone under the table. Lets face it, you've put a lot of effort into being the coolest guy in any environment. Now that you're on this in-ter-net thing, you can't wait to grab some global attention.

 Problem is, you're being ignored.

 Well, those days are over. Here are 10 Internet "behaviours" guaranteed to establish yourself as a net-dot-personality.

  1. Accuse everyone else you encounter of being a "lamer". Do it first, before someone calls you a lamer. Everyone knows that the net is flooded with lamers. The only way to keep yourself from being mistaken as a lamer, is to call everyone else one. See the following IRC conversation, which proves my point:

    Biff: I'm kewl
    Gus: hehehe
    Dr. Vinton Cerf: Hello gentlemen, how are you today?
    Biff: You LAMER!!
    Gus: hehehe

    You see! Clearly Biff and Gus are seasoned Internet veterans, and this Vinton guy doesn't have a clue about how the Internet works. Don't let the same happen to you!

  2. Become your own Internet Service Provider. Spend thousands of dollars and hours (perhaps monthly) maintaining a collection of poorly written MUD's and underpowered servers. Sure, you will be further burdoning the long-haul carrier's routers with your ill-conceived routing updates (leading to the eventual net crash, which should be happening right about.....), but at least you will be in charge of your own little section. No more dial-up connections for you, pal! It's all ISDN from here to Happy Puppy!

  3. Learn all the best ways to goof off at work. I'm talking about all the Easter-egg surprises built into software, all the game cheats and network configurations for every 3-D shooter on the Internet (or Intranet). If you know everything about your job, then people will come to you with all their work. If you know everything about how to goof off, hey, you run the joint.

  4. Hate AOL, Bill Gates, Windows 95, IRC-bots, the US government, SPAM'ers, sales people, Texaco, the Republican congress, and the InterNIC. If you actually like any of the above named individuals / organizations / categorizations, then you had better keep your opinions to yourself. I've known people to get mailbombed out of existence for saying that NT was better than UNIX.

  5. E-mail everyone you ever met every Christmas. Doesn't matter if you never see them again. Doesn't matter if you've forgotten who they are. One e-mail a year makes you cool. If you're really cool, you'll send an e-mail on their birthday.
    Important note: Once you start this plan, you can never stop. The first Christmas that rolls around and they don't hear from you is the day that you change from a cool guy to a real jerk.

  6. Be a system or network administrator. This is like running your own ISP, but doing it at work, where others are forced to obey your every rule. Users taking up too much disk space? Blamm! Not any more! The guys upstairs spending too much time cruising the web? Put an access list on their router. Your boss fired you? Oh well, you've got code set to go off after three weeks of your absense anyway. I won't even touch on how much fun you can have as the nameserver administrator.

  7. Spend too much time perfecting that project you've been working on. Linux started out as a terminal emulator, but just look at it now. Thinking about writing a book? Go ahead. Write three or four. Put 'em all on the web. Extreme effort makes you cool, since so many people wish they could do it, but don't have the willpower.

  8. Own a newsgroup. You can either ask your ISP to establish a new one for you, or you can take over one that has been setting empty for a while, like alt.utensils.spork, or soc.arizona.cardinals.fans. Every person who skips by will be impressed with your dedication in maintaining such a specialized interest. Don't make the mistake of trying to take over a newsgroup that is already owned by a dominant male. These battles last for ages.

  9. Put the "Make a hankdkerchief disappear" magic trick on the web. I've looked everywhere. So far, it's the only thing I've ever spent a lot of time looking for on the web, and still can't find. I am of the firm opinion that it is the only thing NOT on the web. At least I'll think you're cool.

    Note that you can find some interesting stuff by looking up "hanky".

  10. Post Nude Polaroids of Old Girlfriends. Heck, it's what we all got on the web for to begin with.

Copyright held by
Harold "Pelican" Smith

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