Discomania

I was recently taking an account of my online presence. It’s a good idea for everyone to do this, from time to time. Although, I doubt anyone does.

Being a bit OCD, I keep track of all the websites and services to which I have an account, in KeePass. It’s a great program that everyone should use for just that purpose.

Anyway, as I do so, I remove accounts I’ve never used or no longer wish to keep, canceling them whenever possible. It’s surprising how many services do not let you close accounts. When I was done, I found that I keep track of over 200 different services. Some are software licenses, but the majority are websites and e-mail accounts. More than a dozen of those are accounts I’m trying to cancel, but I either have to wait a mandatory period of time before the account becomes dormant, or I haven’t heard back from the site owners regarding my requests to cancel. The rest are active services of accounts I wish to keep alive in order to protect my online identity from being pilfered.

When all was said and done, I realized that my oldest account is my Hotmail address that I’ve had since 1998. That’s a long time, almost 15 full years. In that same amount of time I’ve run at least 3 websites and owned as many domains. I’ve reviewed and beta tested thousands of software programs and helped countless numbers of people with technical and software issues, whether professionally, or as a hobbyist.

It was at this point that I remembered one of the first projects I ever worked on. It was a freeware disk cataloging program called DiscoMania. It took me a while, but I was still able to obtain a copy of it. The programmer was a gentleman named Mehrdad Hatteffi. We spent months designing and debugging it. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t write any of the program. That is not one of my skills. Lord knows I’ve tried to program a few times and I hate it. No, I was Mehrdad’s tireless beta tester. I provided him with feature requests, bug lists and many, many e-mails to dig through in order to perfect the software. It was a lot of fun.

Sadly, after he released version 2.04, Mehrdad disappeared. I was no longer able to reach him. He stopped updating his software, his website and his online presence ceased. I never did find out what happened to him. Despite that, we had a lot of fun working on a program that was very useful to us, for a very long time. The coolest part for me is that he gave me credit for helping him in the About screen. I still find it neat to see that, after all these years.

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