Robert Munafo (retro version)  

This is the "retro version" of my Class of 1986 Reunion Book entry. It was created by loading the live page (which is here) in Netscape Communicator 4.7 running in an emulated 100 MHz PowerPC Mac. The intent was to approximate the look of the early Macintosh computers we had as students, without going all the way back to 1986 when there was no Internet or color.

The layout is an obvious imitation of a Facebook page with hints to Dartmouth's past. I had just seen The Social Network and was realizing how uneventful internet social networking seemed to me, due to my Dartmouth experience. I decided to parody Facebook, pointing out some pioneering accomplishments of the Dartmouth computing experience, while also sharing the personal information that was the real purpose of the class reunion book.

Here are explanations of some of the more obscure items:

TheFreshmanbook : a reference both to "Thefacebook", the original name of Facebook, and to Dartmouth's printed "freshman book" containing faces of new students along with index by first name, dorm and hometown. Facebook was named after a similar printed "face book" of Phillips Exeter Academy, Mark Zuckerberg's high school.

: These Blitzmail icons are stand-ins for the Facebook Friends, Messages, and Notifications icons.

Blitz : Blitzmail

Punt : 1980's Dartmouth slang (also used at other schools) for "avoid work", "procrastinate", "blow off", etc.

Scope : 1980's Dartmouth slang for "looking at people", independent of motive. What we had to do before our friends had personal photo streams online.

XYZ : The live chat room that ran through most of the 1980's, used by many Dartmouth students and others connected to the DCTS/DTSS dial-up network. The following sampling of articles demontrates its impact:
    lone ranger (anonymous hacker), Dartmouth Kiewit System, 1986 Jan 5.
    Michael J. Fromberger, A Brief History of XCaliber, 1997 Dec 26.
    Virginia Heffernan, My Wired Youth (article for the new York Times), 2008 Feb 3.

"This is a Robert Munafo production" : a Facebook reference explained in The Social Network.

"because Dartmouth had XYZ and BlitzMail when those Harvard kids were still in diapers" : those Harvard kids are the creators of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg was born during my sophomore year. XYZ had existed for at least a few years. The design and name of BlitzMail were discussed in sysprog meetings (which I attended) in 1986, but BlitzMail was not actually available until a few years later. I used poetic license and split the difference.

After creating this page I went on to blog about social change and technology (partly inspired by the Arab Spring), which you can read here: 1. The Dead Past; 2. Gorby, Bert, and Barbra; 3. The Tweetbowl.

The 1986 reunion committee had offered prizes for the best submissions, a fact of which I was unaware; nevertheless my submission won a prize (announced here).


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This page was written in the "embarrassingly readable" markup language RHTF, and was last updated on 2017 Feb 02. s.11