I think the time has finally come to pull the plug on DisCONNECT for real. DisCONNECT has been my pet project dating back to 2004 – just somewhere I’d post some thoughts about a particular topic without too much concern for who read it. Over the past 3 or so years DisCONNECT really escalated in popularity with a lot more traffic – however over that same period life has gotten incredibly busy for me and I don’t have the time to dedicate to writing like I used to.
Back when I started, I was in my second last year of high school. I had an Intel Pentium 4, an ATI Raedon 9800, loved Doom 3, and wanted to be a police officer. I used to post on GameArena, write articles for DisCONNECT, write articles for UtopiaTech, and make games in my spare time. Here’s a list of things that have changed in my life since then:
- UtopiaTech and Sync Error closed their doors
- Graduated high school
- Studied Criminology and then quit midway through
- Helped my parents build a second storey on their house, picking up some TA skills along the way
- Applied for the police but got knocked back
- Joined the ambulance service as a dispatcher
- Studied nursing and became a registered nurse
- Worked as an emergency RN
- GameArena closed its doors
- Tried to study law but realised I don’t have the patience for it anymore
- Studied paramedic science
- Came back to the ambulance service as a paramedic
I work long hours including lots of night shifts, and although I love my career it doesn’t leave much room for much leisure time anymore. As time has gone by, DisCONNECT has been pushed further and further down the priority list. As it stands, I just can’t find the time to write even short articles.
Tech has changed too – and personal blogs are starting to collapse with the rise of microblogging platforms like Twitter and Tumblr. People don’t have the time to read long articles unless there’s a decent hook or somebody important wrote it. Lots of things have changed since DisCONNECT started:
- Myspace stopped being popular and was overtaken by Facebook
- YouTube came along in 2005 and became the number one place for videos
- Twitter was born in 2006 and engulfed the internet
- The personal webpage well and truly died
- Steam evolved from Valve’s DRM system to pretty much the only place for PC games today (not literally, but it’s getting that way… and it’s still DRM)
- Consumer desktop CPUs went from single core to multiple core
- x86-64 operating systems became standard
- Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 were released
- Smartphones and tablets that weren’t totally useless became a thing
- Android was born as was iOS
- Flash reached the height of its popularity and then entered a slow, steady decline
- HTML5 was not only created but stopped being a curiosity and became an integral part of the internet
- Chrome appeared and took over Firefox as the best browser
- We started caring about efficiency of components rather than raw power
- Widescreen monitors became common and pretty much expected
- Wireless networks stopped being completely useless
- Solid State Drives became affordable
- The fevered upgrade cycle ceased with the rise of the consoles
- Indie games became a thing
- Authorware packages, like Game Maker, suddenly became socially acceptable to use
- Duke Nukem Forever came out… like, that was something that actually happened
- So did Spore, Half Life 2 Episodes 1 and 2, Team Fortress 2, Supreme Commander, a new Elite, and two new Elder Scrolls games
With that said, lots of things haven’t changed:
- Each year the same franchises rear their heads – particularly Call of Duty, which has been around since forever at this point
- Games get a little better graphically yet don’t advance much in any other way
- The indie scene is still entirely about arthouse style over substance
- The Internet is still dominated by memes and cats
- We’re still obsessed with privacy and protection from government and Google, yet willingly hand out our personal information over social media
DisCONNECT thus will close its doors from today – there will be no new content posted. What’s here will be left intact, however the domain will no longer renew and will expire in August next year. It’s been fun, but I think my writing days are more or less over.
It’s been fun writing all these articles over the years, as well as writing some things that people found genuinely useful. As much as I’d like to continue, I just can’t find the energy to do so.
That said it isn’t entirely over – while DisCONNECT is finished, I’m not disappearing entirely. I’m going to actually start using my Twitter account again (@Soldant) and might look at opening up a smaller format blog. Perhaps on Tumblr, because I can’t get enough controversy.
Thanks to everyone who has read DisCONNECT, left a comment, or otherwise helped me along the way. It’s amazing to think how much has changed since I started. But it’s time to put down my old project instead of trying to commit to something I know I can’t keep going.
So this is it. Usually I sign off a year with “Until next time, stay offline” but there is no next time. I guess this time I should tell you to stay online.
> #DCOS: /dc > Commencing shutdown. WARNING: This cannot be undone. Are you sure? Y/N > #DCOS: y > Archiving data... DONE! > Alerting spambots... FAILED! Reason: Too many connections. > Finding cake... DONE! > Discarding old themes... DONE! > Flushing historical cache... DONE! > Alerting AVSIM... DONE! > Initiating mourning procedure... FAILED! Reason: I am a computer. > Filing bogus DCMA complaints... FAILED! Reason: Moral integrity intact. > Cleaning up... DONE! > Identifying lurkers... DONE! > Commencing TechPriest Mode... DONE! > Site Embalming Procedure... DONE! > Prayers to the Machine Spirits... DONE! > Appeasement Cycle... DONE! > Last Rites... ADMINISTERED! > Terminating TechPriest... DONE! > Sending kill signals... DONE! > Goodbye.