Retcon

A poster for Stonehenge in a computer magazine style
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A poster for Stonehenge in a computer magazine style

Little could be seen in the gloom. His flam­ing torch threw shad­ows of for­got­ten cab­in­ets and aban­doned serv­ers around the room. At one desk sat a ter­minal shrouded in the cob­webs of long-dead spiders. Beneath the desk sat a ter­minal of eldritch, or at least oblong, dimen­sions. A twinge of doubt passed through his heart. Could this be restar­ted? Archimedes had once said that given a lever and firm place to stand he could move the world. He would have been a handy per­son to have around. The on but­ton looked so fixed in place that he ser­i­ously con­sidered leav­ing it where it was and mov­ing the rest of the server frac­tion­ally for­ward to turn the machine on.. Eventually with enough applic­a­tion of oil the but­ton shif­ted, com­plain­ing with a grind­ing sound that vibrated down into his bones.

The screen flickered into life. Early notes of a thesis crackled onto the screen, fol­lowed a by a brief note on Tribble was that really five years ago? At the time blog­ging was seen as a fad. Images flashed across the screen. Some con­nec­tions flashed and flailed wildly. Where other serv­ers were act­ive they grew, Others reached out to lost sites like Copernicus Sashimi before withering.

Posts tumbled over each other on the screen some veered off in odd dir­ec­tion, oth­ers ran into dead ends. A dis­tress­ingly large num­ber of posts seemed to have Britney Spears.

Was he doing the right thing? Would reboot­ing the blog mean that more Britney would have to be added to replace what had been lost? Could a blog have too much Britney? Too late, the server whirred on.

It’s hard to put a fin­ger on a moment when some­thing is lost, but there were brief signs. He went to the big red lever marked ‘Blog’ and tensed his muscles. The posts con­tin­ued to briefly appear and van­ish across the screen. Then the fate­ful words appeared: FriendFee… He pulled the lever.

The server screamed in protest, but the deed was done. The dir­ec­tion of the flow reversed. Once again FriendFeed was the aggreg­ator and the blog was the engine. Random sparks leapt as he plugged in the vari­ous cables back to dlvr​.it and Google. Gusts whirled around the room leav­ing it shiny faintly pine-scented. Lights winked and then flour­ished in the ceil­ing as the power for the server began to be dir­ec­ted out­wards again rather than internalised.

A new theme wrapped itself around the con­tent. The reboot was almost com­plete. A few sub­routines reached out across the net for the final touches. He packed his tools and pre­pared to leave. As he turned he noticed the big lever was miss­ing. In ret­ro­spect it did seem a gra­tu­it­ously phal­lic sym­bol. Was this a Battlestar Galactica style re-imagining? Discreetly he checked the con­tents of his trousers. No, the shini­ness was clue. It was clearly more like a dis­ap­point­ing Star Trek style ret­con. He made a men­tal note to get a plot to replace the one that had been lost, and left the room.

Image cre­ated with a Clementine mosaic and the stars from Hubblesite.

This entry may make slightly more sense read with today’s later entry and now the blog redesign in English.