The little corner of the Internet known as tilde.club has been providing me an outsized amount of joy in recent days and weeks. The idea is that there are a lot of terminal nerds in the world, and it would probably be neat to make a place where they can all nerd out together on one big shared server like the designers of Unix intended. At some point—perhaps five years ago?—a fellow called ~ford built such a system and set it up at the domain of tilde.club. (Tilde, of course, is the little squiggle shorthand for a user’s home directory.) There was much rejoicing, except that the system cost money to run, and every additional user increased the cost of the system. Plus, poor ~ford hadn’t signed up for an avalanche of nerds beating down his digital door, so they introduced a waiting list. Yours truly, among others, signed up for this waiting list, expecting nothing, and quickly forgot about it.
Back in September, several years after ~club formed and maybe a year and a half after I signed up for the waiting list, some other fellows, ~benharri and ~deepend, offered to take the project over from ~ford and run it anew. The three reached an agreement, and suddenly the gates to ~club were thrown open. Everyone on the waiting list received an email spreading the good news of their long-awaited membership in the original terminal nerd club. (You see, I say “original” because several other communities had formed in the interim while ~club was waitlisted, since nerds are an industrious and resourceful sort and will often build their own blackjack-and-hookers version of a thing if presented with a challenge.)
There was an initial explosion of activity. The mailing list was vibrant, and IRC was full of interesting conversation. It seemed as if this little corner would soon take over the whole room, and then maybe the upstairs bedroom and the patio.
But it wouldn’t last. Slowly, interest faded. After all, what was there to do, other than talk and make web pages? In addition to their resourcefulness, nerds are also often more interested in completing a challenge than actually using their solution. Once the challenge is gone, the fun is, too, and that’s what had happened here.
Today, there aren’t many active ~clubbers. I hardly log in, to be honest, and when I do there usually isn’t much to see. I crosspost this blog over there, but that’s about it.
Well, except for one thing.
I do this silly thing on ~club called the Weekly Webpage Workshop. After some prompting by ~ben and ~deepend for ideas on how to keep the community alive, I offered an idea: what if, every week, we gave ~clubbers a small nugget of an idea to run with and put on their page? That way, they’d have something to do without having to come up with the idea themselves. (The fun is in the challenge, remember?) They seemed to think it was a fine idea, so I’ve run with it for about four weeks now. There’s some interest. Not a lot, but some. It takes up pretty much the whole mailing list, so that’s something.
This week’s WWW tasks the reader with recreating MySpace’s Top 8. Have a look a the full message on the mailing list here.
At the moment, my Top 8 are the following, in no particular order:
- Github Trending, where I find cool projects
- Huginn, which I found on Github Trending
- Ledger, some neat plaintext accounting software for the terminal
- Advent of Code, where I’m currently failing to save Santa Claus
- Smash, which I’d never played until yesterday on our Switch, and which I’m not great at but am improving
- Python, my first programming lanuage and the source of a lot of joy (and frustration) in my life over the past ten years or so
- Mechanical keyboards, which I suddenly am into after a friend gave me the one I’m typing on right now
- The Adventure Zone: Graduation, just the latest installment in a wonderful DnD podcast made by three brothers and their dad