1305: "Undocumented Feature"

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Minstrel
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Minstrel » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:26 pm UTC

I appreciated both the philosophical part as well as the kicker, which I chose to take more as a commentary on how shitty popular modern communication software is - full of blingy features and paid promotions and not focused on the actual communication - rather than just an outright joke.

The chat room he talks about reminds me a little of MS NetMeeting. I had such fun on there back in the day - you could share windows/programs, video and audio chat, draw on a collaborative whiteboard. Enough features to have fun (or I suppose do business if drawing collaborative stick figure battles gets boring) and no video ads, farmville updates, etc.

I think there was a 'users looking to chat' server associated with it. And I wonder if it's still running. What little NetMeeting micro-communities might there still be out there, drawing little houses with each other and laughing as the other person burns them down even though they knew it would happen because it does every time.

You could still run it from a default install of XP IIRC, although you had to search for the .exe because it wasn't in the menu. And it appears you can still download it...

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Jorpho » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:45 pm UTC

That's what I get for posting at 1 AM...
Jorpho wrote:I feel obliged to pop in and state the obvious: this board does not actually exist. If it did, it would be overflowing with the unseemly. Surely?
It seems people seem to think I was using "this board" to refer to the XKCD forums. I was actually referring to the theoretical message board of the comic.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby orthogon » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:54 pm UTC

Andromeda321 wrote:During the years we've lost two members, and a few more have been struck ill along the way... it has occurred to me that someday that community will someday disappear even though it's been a huge part of my life, and it makes me sad every time.

I remember hearing about a participant on another forum who'd died; in that case there must have been some "IRL" connection, but in a largely anonymous forum like this, how would we even know? And is that sad, or is it a good thing to be spared the grief, and to hope that regular poster might just be taking a break from the forum?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Soup » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:58 pm UTC

blob wrote:I assume this forum is still linked to from the outside world, but traffic has definitely died down since it was removed from the main comic page.

CharonPDX wrote:(Funny, I sort-of-noticed that the Forums link had disappeared, and just couldn't place if it used to be there, or if I had always just manually gone to the forums.....)

Noir_Desir wrote:The forum link is on the "about" page.

thehardmenpath wrote:Yep, when the link was removed, this forum became an undocumented feature.


Funnily enough, I actually have the fora bookmarked in my browser and use the XKCD link in the banner to get to the actual comic/ What-If!

ETA:
Flumble wrote:You have too much time on your hands, don't you?


Heresy!
Waiting for it...

Go username5243, musthavebeenmykarma, Rakhal, thunk!!

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:04 pm UTC

RogueCynic wrote:I thought it ended at the sixth panel and found it quite profound. When I got to this thread and read the rest, up to the last panel it was deeeeeep. The last panel blew it for me.

I also thought it ended at the sixth panel.

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Technolink
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Technolink » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:26 pm UTC

Something similar to this happened to me recently (making friends on outdated software, not an existential identity crisis). I booted up Halo: Custom Edition and found a few people still playing it, hosting their own servers, after all of these years. I played for a couple of weeks making friends and talking about the game's hey-day.

I'm sure there are similar stories with people hosting Unreal tournament servers, or maybe some old MMO private servers.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Klear » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:30 pm UTC

Technolink wrote:Something similar to this happened to me recently (making friends on outdated software, not an existential identity crisis). I booted up Halo: Custom Edition and found a few people still playing it, hosting their own servers, after all of these years. I played for a couple of weeks making friends and talking about the game's hey-day.

I'm sure there are similar stories with people hosting Unreal tournament servers, or maybe some old MMO private servers.


I recently installed UT2004 demo which I used to play all the time. There was still one server running deathmatch. I joined, kicked everbody's ass, felt great that I've still got it and left. And no, they were not bots, though I was kinda expecting that when I found people still play that demo...

Edit: Today I got to the comic though forums (I forgot it's Wednesday because I didn't sleep for 34 hours yesterday), but I just opened it in uni.xkcd.com and despite being cut off, it still works:

Image

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:49 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:
RogueCynic wrote:I thought it ended at the sixth panel and found it quite profound. When I got to this thread and read the rest, up to the last panel it was deeeeeep. The last panel blew it for me.

I also thought it ended at the sixth panel.

I think he got stuck with the limitation of one title text per image.

Technolink wrote:Something similar to this happened to me recently (making friends on outdated software, not an existential identity crisis). I booted up Halo: Custom Edition and found a few people still playing it, hosting their own servers, after all of these years. I played for a couple of weeks making friends and talking about the game's hey-day.

I'm sure there are similar stories with people hosting Unreal tournament servers, or maybe some old MMO private servers.

It's unfortunate that most commercial games don't allow you to use alternate servers for online play anymore (except for minecraft).

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby EverVigilant » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:11 pm UTC

CharonPDX wrote:although I haven't quite figured Google+'s place out yet...

Google+'s place has been cynically speculated on in a recent Cracked article

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby ricketybridge » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:00 pm UTC

This is one of those things, like "shibboleet" that I badly want to be true.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby adavies42 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:12 pm UTC

CharonPDX wrote:
blob wrote:Also it seems sites like reddit and tumblr are taking over from forums in general. Though God knows why - I mean reddit's hierarchical voting system is interesting, but tumblr is so badly formatted you can't even see who's replying to whom.

As for forums dying, it's sad. Reddit and tumblr have their place (as do Twitter and Facebook, and even LinkedIn - although I haven't quite figured Google+'s place out yet...) But forums are still the haven of the niche.


Get off my lawn and let me get back to Usenet. Damned kids…

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby cryptoengineer » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:17 pm UTC

I have to say, this makes me think of usenet. Not a chat room, but a little slower; a fully distributed p2p bulletin board. It dates back to around 1980.

For a decade before the web appeared in the early 90s, usenet was the Internet's killer app, with more sub-boards than reddit, and very heavy and very interactive usage. It was pure text, though standards evolved for transmitting binary files.

It was killed by a couple of factors; (1) A deluge of spam (This is where Cantor and Siegal's (spit) infamous Green Card spam appeared. (2) The pretty,
shiny WWW attracted new users far more than the text-only news groups (Usenet predates GUIs). Many users these days are simply unaware that the internet is more than the WWW, or that it was in use long before 1992.

Usenet is now a zombie of its former self, with terabytes of porn and pirated material posted to the alt.binaries.* hierarchy every day, and a few dying embers of discussion groups such as rec.arts.sf.written and alt.fan.pratchett still aglow.

Google Groups is the easiest web based access, but has many drawbacks and limitations. GG also maintains an archive of the non-binary newsgroups, with an astoundingly frustrating search engine. Much smoother access can be had through specialized newsgroup software.

One day the GG archive will go away, the last non-binary post will be made, and one by one the distributed usenet servers will be shut down. At times, I feel like I'm watching The Heat Death of the Universe, or at least the slow fading of a community I've known and loved for 30 years.

Munro does know of usenet; it appears on both the online community posters. But I guess he decided his readership didn't.

CE

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby CharonPDX » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:20 pm UTC

rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated is still reasonably active. Although jms hasn't posted since 2010 - he used to be a very active participant.

If you don't know, jms is J. Michael Straczynski, for those not in the know - the creator of Babylon 5, and (one of the many) screenwriter on World War Z and Thor, as well as being a writer of many big-name comic books over the years, including Superman and Wonder Woman in 2010-2011, Before Watchmen, The Amazing Spider-Man (2001-2007,) Fantastic Four (2005-2007,) and most recently writing for the Netflix show Sense8 with the Wachowskis.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby PHDrillSergeant » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:58 pm UTC

Sometimes I get this feeling when I use IRC.

Seriously though: I am part of such a small group in a similar situation...we met in a random newsgroup and then migrated to IRC. No one uses our server but us and the original netadmin (who doesn't mind that we keep using it). No one bothers us. No one knows the address.

And sure, one day we'll get raided or something and it will all be done...but for the moment it's just us.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Crissa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:41 pm UTC

You know, there was a day when nearly every IRC server was connected to every other.

I remember having conversations with timestamp lag of five, twenty minutes.

People who used unconnected IRC server were mad hermits, usually trying to learn how to crash the other servers.

-Crissa

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby squonk » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:16 am UTC

About 15 years ago, I created a simple chat site for an annual event. Nothing fancy, no accounts required, just CGI powered HTML with a frame that updates the text every 10 seconds.

For over 10 years now, long after I have stopped caring about this event, the same two guys come back every year like clockwork to hang out and chew the fat.

I have wanted to retire this site for awhile now and stop paying the server fees, but I just can't bring myself to kick them out of their hangout.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Klear » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:46 am UTC

That reminds me of Comic JK. This not particularly good, not particularly bad xkcd parody uses a simple fully editable text field as a shoutbox. The comic stopped updating relatively long ago, but the box was full of activity for a long time, and it's still changing quite often. Unfortunately, most of the times it's either wiped or replaced with my little pony erotic fanfic.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:29 am UTC

Crissa wrote:You know, there was a day when nearly every IRC server was connected to every other.

I dropped out of the IRC world around 2000 or so when real life got too busy to keep up most of my online presence.

Four or five years later I crawled out from under my rock and found people in some of the old gaming communities I had been a part of. All the old places were dead except for a few web forums, and through them I would hear now and then about newer IRC channels, filling the roles of the ones I had known that had now long passed.

Someone would talk about something that happened or was going to happen or could be found "on IRC". I would ask what channel on what network, and be given a URL, which needless to say was an unexpected response. Just tell me what channel on what network it is, I'll pick my favorite server for that network and join that channel, I don't need to log on to the same server as you.

Except it turns out apparently IRC networks are a dead thing now and people host servers of their own just to host one channel.

Huh. What a waste of a perfectly good technology. That's like hosting a usenet server that doesn't sync with the rest of usenet and only has one group. Why?
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby dmitrygr_ » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:14 am UTC

So does this feature actually exist? Which windows version? Click where?
Inquiring minds want to know...

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby addams » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:18 am UTC

dalcde wrote:Image
Title text: "And it doesn't pop up a box every time asking you to use your real name. In fact, there's no way to set your name at all. You just have to keep reminding people who you are."


Yes. Deep and meaningful to me.
I love the joke about video adds at the end.

One day I will be gone from you; Or, You will be gone from me.
It amounts to the same thing.

I think the joke is a kind and funny way to bring us back into our mundane lives filled with petty Internet concerns.
I like it.

oh, fuck. The video adds will out last all of us; Even the makers of video adds!
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Klear » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:56 am UTC

Klear wrote:That reminds me of Comic JK. This not particularly good, not particularly bad xkcd parody uses a simple fully editable text field as a shoutbox. The comic stopped updating relatively long ago, but the box was full of activity for a long time, and it's still changing quite often. Unfortunately, most of the times it's either wiped or replaced with my little pony erotic fanfic.


Ah, I see people from here already repopulated the comment box. I wonder if there are any of the people who witnessed the end of the comic besides me?

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:37 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Except it turns out apparently IRC networks are a dead thing now and people host servers of their own just to host one channel.

Huh. What a waste of a perfectly good technology. That's like hosting a usenet server that doesn't sync with the rest of usenet and only has one group. Why?


Some of them aren't IRC servers, but chat servers that are IRC compatible - people created chat systems with their own dedicated HTML/Flash/Java client and then added the ability to connect to them with an IRC client as an added feature.

The thing is, IRC is a pretty good standard for shared online text conversations - even things that aren't IRC-compatible often include a bunch of IRC-like features. If you're going to have a dedicated chat room on your server, you could do a lot worse than setting up a standalone IRC server and a dedicated web-based client - it lets people who know what they're doing connect with their preferred client, while letting the muggles join in too...

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby ucim » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:58 pm UTC

Klear wrote:I wonder if there are any of the people who witnessed the end of the comic besides me?
raises hand. I wonder whatever happened to the author.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby dii » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:02 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Crissa wrote:You know, there was a day when nearly every IRC server was connected to every other.

I dropped out of the IRC world around 2000 or so when real life got too busy to keep up most of my online presence.

Four or five years later I crawled out from under my rock and found people in some of the old gaming communities I had been a part of. All the old places were dead except for a few web forums, and through them I would hear now and then about newer IRC channels, filling the roles of the ones I had known that had now long passed.

Someone would talk about something that happened or was going to happen or could be found "on IRC". I would ask what channel on what network, and be given a URL, which needless to say was an unexpected response. Just tell me what channel on what network it is, I'll pick my favorite server for that network and join that channel, I don't need to log on to the same server as you.

Except it turns out apparently IRC networks are a dead thing now and people host servers of their own just to host one channel.

Huh. What a waste of a perfectly good technology. That's like hosting a usenet server that doesn't sync with the rest of usenet and only has one group. Why?


IRC networks are far from dead, there's plenty of functional irc networks still in existence. The problem is just picking one you like.

Although personally I think, even though IRC is nice and all, it's a bit outdated, we should all move towards strongly anonymized peer network based communications as soon as possible... good efforts are being made in that front but no one has really made anything that's usable by the average joe yet.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby flekkie » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:02 pm UTC

Sorry for bringing up a post from the first page, but I wanted to reply on this little subtopic.
I'm having this question for a while, but never saw anyone really bringing this up on the forums (not that I read everything of course)

filecore wrote:
dash wrote:My take on the link being removed from the main page was the burden of running the forums was getting to be too much ($$$) so whoever pays for it (Randall?) decided there was no need to invite more people to join the forums, there were enough already.


I shouldn't imagine so; even a hosted webserver at a decent webhost with easily enough horsepower and bandwidth to handle a site like this is available for pennies nowadays. I have several myself, one of which has a moderately-trafficked wiki on it - and hosting for the whole domain (multiple subdomains, multiple databases, email, the works) only amounts to a few dollars per month. The sale of a few XKCD books or other tat throughout the course of a year should be able to cover the hosting expenses (and yes, I own a copy of Volume 0).

dash wrote:2nd point about Randall having $$$ issues is the new promotion artwork on the main page inviting people to make purchases.


I saw that, but I just assumed it was standard Christmas-season advertising to drive people to buy XKCD tat as gifts for their loved ones.


I always wonder why Randall is doing so little effort to gain money from the comic after all.
His main selling articles are posters from the huge comics that appear once every 2 months or so. And I do believe that selling signed prints is probably a reasonable income as well, but if you look at the rest of the store, it's mainly old and very old stuff that is sold and produced there.

If you just compare it with other comics with a large audience like Cyanide&Hapiness and The Oatmeal, the amount of shop stuff they produce and advertise (using special selling offers and packages and stuff) is huge compared to what xkcd does.
I am convinced that Randall earns enough to make a living, but from a commercial viewpoint he is like very conservative, not even talking about goodies like pluchies and tshirts, he could really make a fortune by just producing some birthday/christmascards and for sure volume 1 and 2 and 3 of the xkcd book! (I do own xkcd0). We would like all buy that right away, isn't it?
And then we didn't even talk about a possible 'what if - part one' book. He has enough material right now to try to gain some money of that huge amount of time he puts in there for zero dollars.

Does anyone have an idea why he's so modest on that side?
- Is he ashamed of asking for the readers money (see hyperboleandahalf) and wants to keep it to a minimum?
- Is he always too lazy to actually finish a book, and has it been on his to do list for years?
- Did the expectations for a new book grow so high he never dares to publish not to dissapoint readers?
- Is he really overloaded with money allready on the poster selling part?

They all seem unlikely to me.

I never read an answer to this on any interview or wikipage I read about him. I even tried to search the forums for the question why there is no xkcd1-4 book.
Anyone has a good answer on this?

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:11 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:Also once I got to 'Nobody' I started feeling deeply sad.
And then when it ended with a video ads joke I felt disappointed.

I don't like the world at the moment. I think I need more chocolate.

Just remember this: whatever you do, no matter if it's forgotten or remembered, even after you and everyone you know have died, no matter whether or not there is anything after this life, after every last echo of its actions in the universe has faded out to cosmic background noise...it still happened. It was real, and it meant something. There isn't a perspective large enough that it can take that away.

But man, what a great damn punchline.
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby addams » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:12 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:Also once I got to 'Nobody' I started feeling deeply sad.
And then when it ended with a video ads joke I felt disappointed.

I don't like the world at the moment. I think I need more chocolate.

Just remember this: whatever you do, no matter if it's forgotten or remembered, even after you and everyone you know have died, no matter whether or not there is anything after this life, after every last echo of its actions in the universe has faded out to cosmic background noise...it still happened. It was real, and it meant something. There isn't a perspective large enough that it can take that away.

But man, what a great damn punchline.

Yes. Really good punch line.
We may be looking into the Abyss.

Spoiler:
You think video adds are Hell?
Imagine Looking into The Abyss, long enough to long for a video add.


There are no fucking video adds in The Abyss. (right?)
Pizza? Does The Abyss have Pizza?

I read a book. It's true. I can read.
That book was a true story about going off to find Enlightenment in a Monastery on what could have been another planet.

The author wrote about attempting to empty his mind.
He wrote his mind kept filling with RootBeer Floats.

He would sit and daydream about RootBeer and Ice Cream.
Those may have been some of the best RootBeer Floats he ever had.

I wonder if he ever became an expert in Making RootBeer Floats after he reached Enlightenment.
After Heat Death of the Universe, there will still be an echo of the best RootBeer Float ever.

Or; Not. I will not be there to be Wrong.
Spoiler:
(on the internet)
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby ucim » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:50 am UTC

flekkie wrote:I always wonder why Randall is doing so little effort to gain money from the comic after all.
[...]
Anyone has a good answer on this?
Randall is doing what he wants. There is no price for that.

Jose
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Jorpho » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:21 am UTC

I was going to say that he has a day job, but no, the About page says he does this full time.

I reckon he perhaps has wealthy anonymous patrons?

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby addams » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:13 am UTC

oh.
Is that funny?
A play on words?
What?

Back to Abyss gazing.
Deep? Very, very deep?

How deep?
Has the stick figure philosopher illuminated our mortality, again?

How are we taking the view?
A little miffed at our unimportance?

Or; Are we taking it well?
As long as we have high speed internet we are brave?

Without it we are a quivering mass of unrelated unimportant memories and meat?
You are worried about The Creator's bank account? How sweet of you.

If you whisper your prayers into The Cloud, he might hear them and be touched.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby 5th Earth » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:12 am UTC

Anyone remember Insidetheweb forums? It was a sad day in the circles I ran in when those things shut down. But it serves them right for apparently funding themselves entirely on Punch the Monkey ads.

Once upon a time I hung out at a place called Kimmeree's Anichat, espcially a subsection of it called the Galaxy's Edge Space Bar. Funny thing is it was nominally an Animorphs-themed community but I never read any of the books. Imagine using a chat room where you have to manually refresh the page to see new messages... a weird group that was sophisticated enough to use the internet but didn't know what IRC was. Fun times though. Looks like some of the people have migrated to a new forum that's still active, I may try and reconnect.

Sentinels of Mossflower, and the Everlasting Heart Territory were other places I spent a lot of time on. Lots of roleplaying forums, that sort of thing. They're both pretty much nonexistent anymore, though you can find shadows of them.

On the off chance anybody went to any of those places PM me and we can catch up, eh? My main handles were (in no particular order) Moonjack Blue, Onestrype Durando, Macros the Black, and Smyrno.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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azule
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby azule » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:04 am UTC

This is one of those Randall Get Out Of Our Forum comics, yet we'd never say that. We'd say Randall Get In Our Forum. What's sad is being part of a place that no longer is nice to be part of and yet it continues. It's not sad to be part of a place that is great and creative and smart and still is, like the fora and especially the OTT. I wish Randall would read more from his forums, or get more read to him. He deserves to hear when something like this comic can touch people. Even with the non-sentimental joke at the end it is not lessened.

BlitzGirl wrote:
Flumble wrote:You have too much time on your hands, don't you?

Not anymore. :( Our supply of Time ran out.
I liked the snarky comment from a former OTTer (or always an OTTer?). Don't we all (have too much time on our hands) or we wouldn't be here?. hehe.
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I celebrate up to six arbitrary things before breakfast.
Time does drag on and on and contain spoilers. Be aware of memes.

Kit.
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Kit. » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:38 am UTC

flekkie wrote:Anyone has a good answer on this?

"But research shows more money doesn't make people happier, once they make enough to avoid day-to-day financial stress."

Pavouk106
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Pavouk106 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:37 pm UTC

Thanks for this comic. This is how I feel about G+/Youtube nowadays.

And thanks EverVigilant for link, that article says it all.

TomTAC
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby TomTAC » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:40 pm UTC

The punch line ... I hate the video ads, too.

I am using a TEXT INTERFACE (basically). Someone posts 300 ascii characters, I use a little over 300 bytes of bandwidth to receive it.

Then, okay, there is an avatar icon with the message. Ninety-eight kilobits, or twelve kilobytes, that's okay for a picture I will actually look at.

But then some advertiser wants to popup a moving image into my screen, and the bandwidth gets flooded. I am glad I block most of them. I hate waiting for more text if I know the pause is from some video I don't want clogging the channel.

marsman57
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby marsman57 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:59 pm UTC

I am a member of the board "Life, the Universe, and Everything" on GameFAQs. It was at one time the premier board of the site, but had a tendency toward the dramatic for the admin because the users had a proto-4chan /b/ mindset in a world of heavy moderation. The Final Solution was to lock down the forum to new members and require a signup. It was a pretty big deal and over 22,000 accounts signed up, but there was no way of getting new members. As accounts were banned, closed for inactivity, or simply unused, the populace slowly dwindled. A good segment also moved on to several unmoderated spinoffs (one that is relatively infamous) that I will not name here. By most metrics it is still a fairly active forum, but is on a long and slow descent to oblivion.

An interesting side effect though is that while the other social boards on the site have continually churned with younger people (by which I mean the average age has stayed the same while I have aged from 17 to 29), LUE was for the most part hard limited to people who were 13 in Nov. 2003 when lockdown was initiated. So for the most part, the youngest users are finishing college and are a step further in life than the high schoolers and college kids who populate the rest of the forum. There are obviously a few exceptions of users who were underage in 2003 but never caught (you are not banned if you are caught AFTER you become of age), but for the most part they know what they have gotten into community-wise.

Other than that, an old IRC chat I used to be a part of for the TV show Daria still has a small community that is on it daily. I check in about every 6 months or so. Up until 2010-2011 I was surprised at how big the community was still, but it was pretty dead the last few times I have entered.

Also, I have one friend left from the online community Arcadium that shut down in 1997. We maintained contact over AIM for years until finally moving to FB when AIM started to decline. We aren't particularly close, but it is comforting to still have one vestige left of that site.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby addams » Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:40 am UTC

Thank you for the Post.
That was interesting.

It left me with a cloud of melancholy settling down like fog.
I think your post needs a punch line.

At Least It Doesn't Have Fucking Video Ads.

There. Our digital relationships....
**No! Fight the melancholy!**

Maybe a video ad will entertain me out of it.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Jorpho
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby Jorpho » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:04 am UTC

There are actually two major boards I've posted on that are now gone without a trace, obliterating thousands of posts in the process. One is the old ClassicGaming forums on Forumplanet.com, which were never all that popular; the last major redesign of the board pretty much drove everyone away, especially when they started drowning in spam. I would pop in every now and then to see if anyone from the small community was still around, but largely I'll probably never hear from any of those folks again.

The other is the old Home of the Underdogs board, which started to kind of weird when the person running the site let it stagnate without any formal announcement. It kind of felt like a lot of people there had no real idea what they were doing there anymore and didn't even necessarily like each other very much but were stuck there out of deeply-worn habit. I'm not really sure if they all gathered together again somewhere regularly once the board went south. I kind of doubt it.

squonk
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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby squonk » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:28 am UTC

Of course, none of this is unique to online communications. There are untold trillions of conversations over the course of the millenia for which no record of their existence will ever be known again.

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Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Postby alexriehl » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:33 am UTC

Klear wrote:
Klear wrote:That reminds me of Comic JK. This not particularly good, not particularly bad xkcd parody uses a simple fully editable text field as a shoutbox. The comic stopped updating relatively long ago, but the box was full of activity for a long time, and it's still changing quite often. Unfortunately, most of the times it's either wiped or replaced with my little pony erotic fanfic.


Ah, I see people from here already repopulated the comment box. I wonder if there are any of the people who witnessed the end of the comic besides me?

I was reading it when it ended; I've been one of a very, very small group of people who occasionally go through the comment boxes on as many comics as possible, save the good stuff, delete the poorly-written pony smut, and try to restore some of the old comments. There's even a small subreddit dedicated to ComicJK.
AMA about suitcases
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