Back in mid-June I decided to have a look at Mastdon despite not being a social media type of person. But due to being federated and private, it was different so I went ahead and gave it a try. So how did it work out for me?
Overall, I would say that it has been a very positive experience for me as discussions I followed or participated in made me think and resulted in interesting activities. Here’s an overview of those I remember that go beyond the funny pictures and memes that are nice to loose a smile over every now and then.
As a network security minded person I am always interested to improve the security of my services. After all, security is not a state, its a process. One thing I improved that directly resulted from a discussion on Mastodon are the http security headers on the web sites I have on the Internet, including this blog.
One of my ‘other’ hobbies is computing history. To that end I learned a lot about the history of Silicon Graphics (SGI) who dominated the graphical workstation market in the 1990s. It’s of special interest to me because it was an SGI Indy on which I really used Unix for the first time (yes, well Irix, to be precise) and it is the machine on which I downloaded and watched a video from the Internet for the first time, a trailer for the then brand new Star Trek Voyager series. The ‘Unix Haters Handbook‘ was another interesting thing I rediscovered on Mastodon. I read this book in the 1990s and it is now available for free as PDF download. It was great fun to read it then and it’s still all true today!
Coming back to the present, I also found quite a number of interesting podcasts on Mastodon that I have since subscribed to. “Damals ™” is definitely one of them (in German) with very interesting topics about the evolution of different technologies.
On the people side I found a few people I met at conferences before and it’s good to extend the discussion with them into the virtual domain.
And to close, here’s a link to a video I found on Mastodon of an 18 year old who bought a mainframe and put it into the basement of his parent’s house.