Twonks and Nostalgia

So that was Easter and what have we learner?

Well I’ve learned that I can make my belly really big in a very short period of time. I have also learned that Twitter is an addiction.

Now I’m not going to write a Twitter blog; the world and his life partner are already doing that.

Twitter it is a strange online world. People who I’ve never met chat to me and people I’ve known for years or have actually met seem content to chunter on to themselves. Rarely replying to people, they exist in a bubble of their own self importance. They are easy to spot. If you look at their profile you will see very few ats (as in @Bobsmith) and those you do see will belong to very specific group of people who only exist in that person’s small professional or social sphere.

It is time we had some way of branding these creatures and I would like to propose a name.  From now on these people are to be called Twonks. It’s an old word but I’m sure it can be co-opted without too much resistance from the populous at large.

In which case we need to give a name to those people who talk to you, even though they’ve never laid eyes upon your person. These are nice people, good people. They are the sort of people who would help their neighbour, if they had ghosts in their pants or something. These people are to be called Twellos. It is written and must come to pass.

So to rescue this from being yet another Twitter blog entry cluttering up the information superhighway  (which is what those crazy nineties people called it) let us move forward to other subjects.

Actually let’s stop there.

No no! Don’t go away!

The information superhighway!


Recently I’ve been hankering for the nineteen nineties. Not only because I was in my twenties back then but because it was so e technologically exciting. It was the decade which brought us the internet, the return of the single breasted suit and Steps. However it is the internet which is the big player on that list so let me talk about how I got started on the web.

Five, six, seven eight…

No the internet!


Back then I was working as an office temp which paid enough to allow me to buy my first ever modem. It was a 36k modem made by a company called Zoom. This was the most inappropriate name to put on a 36K modem.

Anyway I bought the modem from Dixons at lunchtime and it sat on my desk in its box for the rest of the working day. I was stupidly excited about getting home with it and occasionally would toy with the idea of opening it there and then. However I’ve always been the sort of chap who likes to leave the best ’til last so I resisted those unseemly urges.

Eventually five O’clock came and I rushed home. When I got there I was like a techno harlot. I raced to the attic room where my computer sat and with shaking hands tore the packaging from the modem so that it lay naked on the desk in front of me. Then I set to work installing it. This was back in the days before USB to I attached it to the serial port on the back of my computer, plugged the phone lead into the socket and the power lead into the power strip. Then I took the floppy disk which came with the modem and installed it on my computer. I was then given a choice. Which would be my Internet service Provider? Would it be Compuserve or AOL? Having heard bad things about AOL I chose Compuserve.

What do mean this is dull?

A form appeared in a program window, I filled it in and something magical happened. The modem sprang to life! It sounded like somebody was strangling some seagulls. I heard more seagul strangling in reply, my computer was actually talking to another computer. Minutes went by before something happened and then there it was in all it’s glory: the CompuServe homepage and utter disappointment. You see the CompuServe browser provided me with a list of only a few pages, none of which interested me. I threw my arms up in the air. The internet was pants! It only hade five pages on it and they were all shit. I shut the computer down and went for my tea.

The next evening after a miserable day at work I switched on the computer and had another look. What I hadn’t noticed the night before, was a new icon. The icon was a globe. I clicked on it and a window sprang open. A smaller window popped up and asked me enter my internet username and password. I scrambled around looking for the piece of paper I had written it on the previous night before entering them into the system. The modem sprang to life! Then more magic, the window showed a different homepage. I noticed at the top of said window that the web address was displayed and you could type other things into it. I routed around my room and eventually found a computer magazine with a web address on the back. I carefully typed this into the address bar and pressed enter. A few seconds later I was staring at the magazine’s website. It was magic, I’d found the internet!

Then I discovered Email. At that time, I only knew one person with an Email address so the conversation was limited. However I took to ringing people up and dictating my Email address to them, so proud was I to be the owner of such a modern marvel.

Yes that was a dull blog. I promise something funnier tomorrow.

Time for some sausages.

Martin Wolfenden

Back in the early days of this Century, I made some money by saying the odd funny thing in public. On one of these occasions a fellow funny talker told me that I should write a blog (because that was the sort of thing funny talking people did back then.) Now, I’m not the sort of person who does things the easy way, so I rejected all the ready made blogging platforms and started my own website. Since then it’s become a repository for whatever stuff is bubbling out of my brains and a directory of various podcasts and videos that I’ve made with my friends and is completely unnecessary.

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