1997 Year In Review

By: Barry Rubinowitz

Top Ten Events

  1. The Death of GNN — Farewell, GNN, all 16 bits of you. It brought us together, taught us about the net, and gave us a name. All together now…”GNN (Global Network Navigator) is a national internet provider…”

  3. How old is he??!! — Krusty revealed his age to us this year — 17! Which means that last year’s Man of the Year was more accurately the Boy of the Year. Of course, Krust is wise beyond his years. Still, wise as he is, his Mom wouldn’t let him join us in Atlantic City. But the Chatsters are a moveable feast, so we headed up the shore to a diner rendezvous with the K-man.

  5. Love Stinks — Erik loves skribbles. skribbles likes Erik. Uh-oh. Erik says goodbye to skribs and to us. (on the other hand, da_sheep and da_ewe got married)

  7. D.I.V.O.R.C.E — skribs and Girl75 are free! Funny, this is often thought of as a sad thing, but not for them. Iggie may not be legally freed, but she’s geographically free, so we’ll toss her in here.Not only that, but she’s got a guy she drives hundreds of miles to see.

  9. The Graduates — Cyberlink, LSUMan, and Beavis all graduate from West Jefferson High. Cybe and LSU head off to college, Beav will follow in January, as soon as he finishes his stint in Bill Gates’ army.

  11. East meets West — the second AC convention features the first visit of a west coast chatster (me) with the large eastern contingent. I survive Janis’s room, which contains more cigarette smoke than I’ve inhaled in a year. Later, Roy heads East, and survives Janis’s music, even harder for a Blueslver to do.

  13. The Sun Rises on gnnchat — we get our first regular Asian chatster, as Yoko joins the crew. We’ve gotten occasional visits from Tan in Malaysia, but Yoko’s a regular (with the phone bill to show it.) Not only that, but she’s got a Mac, making her the first regular of that ilk. Youkoso, Yoko — now get a real puter.

  15. I get a new chair — You think this wasn’t important enough? Tough, it’s my list. And it was my back and butt that was saved by my lovely new computer chair. This inspired glc to get one too, and I’m confident he thinks it was one of the year’s highlights.

  17. #gnnchat circles the globe — At approximately 11 PM, PST, on December 12th, “kazimir” form Norway joins us. Since Yoko and Carlton are already online, we have, for the first time, four continents represented in the channel simultaneously. This is a very cool thing, IMHO.

  19. Janis works on Frankie Crocker’s web page — She actually gets to talk to the Chief Rocker himself. RobD gets an assist on this, I believe.

AWARDS and stuff

–Tie between AIM and ICQ — I know most of you prefer ICQ, but AIM enabled me to become closer to several of you (notably Saashy and skribs), as it would just pop up on my computer at work (remember when I did that?) and we could talk without hooking up to irc. I bet a number of you have had similar experiences.

–glc, Girl75, Kristophr, Lythande, and I got significant upgrades. Unfortunately, none of them keep us from getting dropped or lagged to hell and back.

–whether shlepping to Ohio to deliver and setup Lyth’s new computer, or going to Indianapolis to help Kris with his upgrade, or just giving out his pager number to unfortunates like me so he can help with our fumbling attempts at making something work like it should, George is always there when we need him, with his professional expertise at our beck and call, combined with infinite patience. Last year I named a runnerup (jw) for this award, but modesty prevents that this year.

Late one night I was saying my goodnights to the few people still online, when glc PM’ed me, concerned. He said he was talking to Beav, who was quite upset, but not making any sense. I joined their conversation via Beav’s bot. We finally figured out that Beav’s mother had died, and that he was alone, waiting for the police. Later, Rohan and MHz joined us, and we stayed with Beav all night, until he was finally ready to try to get some sleep. It was a night I won’t soon forget.

Yes, chat is fun. But it is in times of trouble, whether bereavement, illness, sudden unemployment, or assorted family and life difficulties, where the ability to reach out to a group of people who care becomes overwhelmingly important. Stories like the above aren’t going to show up on Nightline or 60 Minutes, Too bad, as they’re more common and more important than the sleaze they do dig up about “chat rooms.” See you online.