Hello to all!
Hi, my name is Carl, and I'm a sophomore here at the U who will be turning 20 years old this coming Monday. I am a full time student currently majoring in neuroscience, although recently I've been considering a major change to something keeping scientific aspects but involving more writing, hence why I'm in this class. I've lived most of my life in Chesterfield, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. I'm a fan of all three major St. Louis sports teams, the Rams, Blues, and especially the world champion St. Louis Cardinals (man, that still feels awesome to say after three months), and I also really enjoy going to the Metrodome to cheer on the Gopher football team when they're in season. I really like video games too, getting my first system, an NES, for my fifth birthday and having owned at least one console from every generation since then, including the current one now that I've been fortunate enough to track down a Wii when I was home over winter break. Actually, it's the first nonportable Nintendo system I've owned since the days of the N64. I'm also an anime fan with a pretty extensive collection of DVDs, although most are of shows that are currently on or once aired on Adult Swim. I also regularly attend anime club meetings here at the U (That's from 6:30-10:00 every Thursday night in 2-520 Moos Tower, for those interested)
I don't remember quite when I first started using the internet, but I definitely remember when 28.8 dialup modems were common. I also vaguely remember using some old, text-based email software on my dad's computer to write to "keypals" when I was a really little kid. That's probably my earliest memory of using the internet. I didn't really become a regular user until well into the graphical interface era. A friend of mine introduced me to the gamefaqs.com message boards, and for a while I would spend a lot of time online just looking through them without an account of my own. Eventually I got my own computer that I actually owned (as opposed to just using my dad's when he wasn't around), and I started actually posting on those boards and playing online games like Starcraft and Diablo II with my crappy little dialup connection, which by then was slowly starting to become outdated. Honestly, it took a while for my house to finally go high speed since we actually were not equipped to handle DSL for a while despite living in a suburban area, and my dad was reluctant to get cable. Eventually though, we did get DSL, and we've been happy with that ever since. Currently, I don't really use my GameFAQs account anymore, but I am a regular poster over on the adultswim.com forums, which I started using once I realized I was using GameFAQs more to talk about anime and other stuff other than video games.
I think Web 2.0 pretty much defines what the internet is today. Although I haven't necessarily heard of everything on O'Reilly's list, I certainly am well familiar with the big names like Google and Wikipedia. I will admit I mostly go to Wikipedia for entertainment rather than serious research purposes since most college courses don't consider articles from there legitimate, but it comes in handy for settling informal arguments on message boards. I couldn't help but notice that part of the required readings for another technical writing class I'm taking actually consisted of Wikipedia entries. I saw that and immediately thought of this class. The adultswim.com community does include a blog too, so the concept of keeping one isn't totally foreign to me, but still, it's nothing I really update that often, maybe once or twice a month at best. Bittorrent is also important in the anime community for distributing fansubs, files of unlicensed anime series episodes with English subtitles created by fans, which ordinarily wouldn't be available in the US until; some American company licenses it, dubs it, and puts it on DVD. I tend to stay away from using it myself, opting instead to buy DVDs and occasionally watch stuff on Youtube, but I definitely know many people who do, plus it's the only source of certain series we watch in club.
Alright, now with the survey...