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    I created eyeblea.ch using FreeBSD, Perl 5, and some shell scripts.

    Quick summary: you create an account using the Gopher CGI script, which gets you SSH access, your own personal Gopherhole, plus local IRC and Usenet.

    I then printed a run of stickers and a friend and I stuck a bunch around Melbourne, hoping to drive interest. That didn’t really work; we have around 50 users but almost no activity on IRC or Usenet. It does seem moderately popular as a Gopher host and playground (people experimenting with Perl-based Gopher CGI scripts).

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      I then printed a run of stickers and a friend and I stuck a bunch around Melbourne, hoping to drive interest.

      I’m in Melbs. Where?

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        Around the CBD, train stations, water fountains, etc. That was all pre-COVID; they’ve since all been cleared off except for the one on the pole by Upwey station :)

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        Gotta love anything that involves Perl and FreeBSD.

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          I’m not able to register. I’ve been using usernames that mathematically should not exist already but I keep getting rejected.

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            You’re right! New user signup is broken. Investigating …

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                Thanks!

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              Putting up stickers around a place like Melbourne is going to be more miss than hit, because the fraction of the population who would consider themselves IRC or Gopher-scale nerds is just so small.

              Reading between the lines, part of the goal of this project is to try to find that community, and if so, I wish you very good luck. I left Melbourne 15 years ago, but this always puzzled me a bit too - there’s a few good CS schools and it’s not hard to find open source contributors online in the area, but they didn’t seem to connect into a real community. (Or if they did, I never found it, or wasn’t invited.) Most of the people I knew were through friends-of-friends at University, and that’s obviously a tiny subset who happen to be in a narrow age range.

              On the topic of the technical Melbourne underground - where do people go to get equipment these days? Since I left almost all of the computer stores I know of have closed, and the swap meets moved progressively more mainstream before apparently dying as hosts for brazen copyright infringement.

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                I haven’t been to a swap meet since ~ 2007, looking for hardware for a company I co-founded. These days I buy online through eBay and Gumtree. Have had much success buying older hardware through Gumtree, especially for my Amstrad CPC.

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                me likey

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                  I tried to create an account with my lobste.rs username, but signup appeared to be broken at the time. Any way I can get access to that?

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                    I fixed an issue with the system that was preventing signin. Can you try again? It’s working for me, still.

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                    Amazing blast from the past. Have you considered open sourcing the CGI script?

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                      Yeah definitely. I just hadn’t, up until now, because it was a hacked up experiment that I wasn’t sure would see any real use.

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                    IRC revival? As far as I can tell it never died.

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                      To anybody who thinks IRC is “dead”, see the activity I’ve witnessed over the past 24 hours, excluding bots and grouping consecutive messages from the same nick:

                      Analyzing logs from 2020-12-30 12:32:03.572224 till 2020-12-31 12:32:03.572224
                      total messages: 29579
                      RANK CHANNEL                   MSGS NICKS
                      1.   freenode.##linux          3575 178
                      2.   tilde_chat.#meta          1980 72
                      3.   2600net.#2600             1905 37
                      4.   snoonet.#gnulag           1815 37
                      5.   freenode.#anime           1812 44
                      6.   freenode.#reddit-sysadmin 1506 47
                      7.   ircnet.#worldchat         1287 64
                      8.   slashnet.#xkcd            1167 46
                      9.   efnet.#lrh                1122 76
                      10.  freenode.#reddit          1012 30
                      
                      If you use WeeChat then you can generate this yourself:
                      	https://sr.ht/~seirdy/clogstats
                      	https://github.com/Seirdy/clogstats
                      If you'd like your channel excluded from this list, contact me.
                      My contact info is at https://seirdy.one/about.html and gemini://seirdy.one/about/
                      
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                        It did in popular circles. The thinking here was to try to rekindle some interest … and also reimagine what social media might have been like if it involved an account on a Unix box rather than a SPOF owned by a publicly listed, VC-funded, company …

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                          Is “a Unix box” not a SPOF?

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                            Sure, but many Unix boxen wouldn’t be. I meant SPOF in the sense of a single monolithic entity that acts as a choke point for censorship, trolling, etc.

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                        In many ways, this is similar to the tildeverse: tilde.institute (OpenBSD), tilde.team (Ubuntu), etc. Most of the tildes have IRC (see tilde.chat) and gopher and/or gemini (e.g. cosmic.voyage)

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                          Yup; envs.net has WWW, Gopher, and Gemini hosting.

                          Many tildes also run services: most run mail servers, git hosting, fingerd, and pastebins. envs.net runs Pleroma (Mastodon-compatible Fediverse server) and Matrix; Thunix runs a hidden service and a Minetest server.

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                          I find it strange that the Floodgap proxy still has a “Proxy too slow? Get free clients and plugins for your favorite mobile and desktop browsers. Visit the Overbite Project. “.

                          There are no mainstream browsers that still support that addon. And that’s a shame, regardless of whether reviving Gopher is a good idea or not. Stripping web browsers of real extensibility definitely isn’t a good idea.

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                            Firefox has a working overbite extension, with an extra local component. Works great for me. On ios there is a browser named “gopher” and Android has two, I use diggydog

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                              Got a link to that extension? Of it’s the “official” extension that works that way now? Last I checked it would just redirect to the floodgap proxy. I’ve been using (a still somewhat experimental) gophwr project, a GUI client written in Racket.

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                                https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/overbitenx/

                                nx has the native component and wx is the web proxy redirect