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
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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