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earlier burfling | later burfling


Back in the days when I hung around alt.callahans (before AOL! became a synonym for "Me, too!", but after the Net was no longer flat), folks who were going to be offline for an extended period would announce the fact by posting a message with either the ABEND (Absent By Enforced Net Deprivation) or ABVND (Absent By Voluntary Net Deprivation) keywords. Generally, if you were doing something you wanted to do, but it caused you to be offline, you chose ABVND; if you were doing something that you were required to do, ABEND was the term of art.

I'm about to go ABVND for a week.

Tomorrow morning, I'm off for a week-long conference on Star Island, one of the Isles of Shoals off Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I'm looking forward to it - this will be the first really vacationy vacation I've taken in I don't know how long - but Star is Off The Net. Electricity and water are generated on-island. While you might be able to get a cell signal, you shouldn't count on it.

And no Internet access for the conferees. Which makes a lot of sense; a big reason to go to Star is to get away from the modern hyperworld for a while, and get back in touch with reality.

However, this will be the first time that I've spent a week completely offline since there was offline to completely spend a week. Back in my submarining days, of course, we'd spend weeks or months at a time under radio silence. But that was in the pre-Internet era of human history.

So ... if you don't hear from me next week, it's not anything you said. Play nice while I'm gone, now!