The Null Device

Meg has been rereading her teenage journals; an act that normally makes one cringe to think about. I remember my teenage journals (back in the mists of time). Because of bad experiences with my crazy parents (didn't everybody have two of those?), I was rather paranoid about baring any approximation of my soul in anything anyone could read, and so wrote in code. I actually wrote a journal program (named Abulafia, after the computer in an Umberto Eco novel; I was a pretentious git even back then) which utilised a form of encryption (nothing the NSA couldn't break quite simply, though the one time I tried brute-forcing it a few years ago I failed). Even with that, I wrote in code (lest my mother walk in and demand to inspect what's on the screen, or someone get a TEMPEST rig), and most of my teenage journals consist of bland reportage interspersed with cryptic sentences. The actual subjects of the sentences went unrecorded and would now be lost forever in the mists of time. Only when I was in my early 20s did I start confiding intimately in the journal, in plain text, though I still used Abulafia (or rather a Linux/XView version named, unimaginatively, "xvabu"), out of habit, though stopped putting passwords on the journals one year.

At the start of last year, though, I retired the Abulafia system, a relic of Windows 3.1 limitations and adolescent paranoia, and started writing my journal in plain text files with vi. I still write in it on most nights (usually just what happened), though not as much as before I started maintaining this blog. These days, it makes more sense to put some things where an interested, sympathetic audience can read them.

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