All about this site

Posted on 2022-01-29 on OMG(ay).


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.gay, por que


You might notice this site looks rather familiar if you've seen it knocking around. They are of course written by the same person and the content for the most part might be the same in places.


I wrote a bit about it on Be Gay, Do Crime, a secondary text archive to the main one (Redacted Identity) but not in a lot of detail.


There are currently at the time of writing 69 countries that have laws that criminalise homosexuality and others who are trying pretty hard to get added into that figure.


ILGA state-Sponsored Homophobia report


It is easy to be in a bubble when living in Europe or in North America assuming that you can pop whatever you like online and not have to worry. But what happens if you have a domain name using a Country TLD where you could potentially be breaking the law in that country with your words ? You could end up being cut off.


I have domains in ccTLDs all over the place, some friendly, some not so friendly (after I found out too late), or those who neither have protection or don't actively criminalise. How would a local registry act if some nayfarer (or a name jacker) were to email them with a simple blog post, hard to tell so best not to try and find out the hard way. The only real option is to self-censor a bit, post what you like but to a limit.


Being safe online might also require an understanding TLD, and there are two .gay and .lgbt. My preference is for .lgbt as they seem to be less annoying by tagging any good name some ultra premium price (and if you don't think om.gay is premium, I can assure you it *very much* is according to the gTLD). That said, om.lgbt doesn't make a great domain hack so you take the punches as you get them.


There is of course a trade off, there are some countries out there that happily block these kind of TLDs and users there won't be able to see the content.


What this means is there is a little more freedom to be one's honest self on a site made about well the person writing it. Obviously, there are other factors there too but I mean I could be writing for days.


General History


MMN started way back when in 1996 in a basement on Brunswick Avenue in Toronto, sharing a phone line and running on some version of some BBS software long forgotten in the mist of time.


The BBS itself ran on that hardware and software until about 2002 when it went off line for a bit as I travelled over to the UK. In 2007(ish maybe earlier) I bought a copy of Wildcat! v6 from Santronics and ran it off my cable connection on a bulky blade server.


Around 2010 or so that blade server’s power supply went pop and I had to order a new set of machines, two recycled machines from Student Computers got delivered and the BBS moved after a little downtime.


When I moved to France the board was sent into the cloud, having a life using various VPSes in France and Google Cloud in Montréal.


When my google credit ran out and I received my two original PCs from Bristol in my tiny Parisien flat, I moved the board back here. It’s now on a frankenserver built from both the machines in Bristol as various things in each failed, so one had to improvise.


Keeping the board online


This is mainly a hobby and to be fair since I’ve done it for so long I’d feel a bit bad about not doing it. God knows I’ve had my domain mmn.on.ca for so long that I couldn’t let that lapse either. Kind of digital hoarding.


But it does mean that it’s taken me a very long time to get around to housekeeping on the BBS, the menus are still Wildcat! out of the box and I’m not going to lie, this has been a very long « I must change this » situation.


About the Webmaster


There are things I’m forced to write about online and it transpires I am just one of those many things.


As always I barely know where to start, so I guess I’ll start at the beginning. I was born in Toronto and continued to go to school there (as one generally does). I started to build my own interest in computers through my poorly funded state provided education, where the school board could only afford Commodores and Apple ][‘s. I spent a lot of time playing, working and pissing about with them.


To the point where, when the school was going to bin them I got first grabs at having my own C64 (hey they offered!). I eventually managed to upgrade to a machine with Windows in 1994/1995 and an Apple Classic. During these days I started to find out about BBSes and that darn fangled internet.


I downloaded my own board software and it started from there, MMN was born in 1996.


Years passed on and I continued to work on this project ever since. During my life, I decided to move countries back in 2002 to Bristol (UK). I stayed there until 2013 when I lived my dream and moved to Paris.


I’ve been here ever since and I’m probably never going to leave. Because you know, Paris.


I’m not only passionate about classic computing, but ironically enough learning/speaking French (I think I can thank my québécoise grade 6 teacher for that) and cycling. I enjoy techno/hardcore music and was pretty much the only person in school who was in to Dance before it became the mainstream pop shit we all know and want to burn.


Since 2000 I’ve also been ranting continuously blogging on LiveJournal.


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