1995-06-13 | Memory | Pardon the Spock
What I find kind of fascinating, pardon the spock, is that when I get in a groove of old efforts the muscle/association memory comes back. I'm not sure which way it goes. Is it the act of typing that triggers it, the muscle-memory with the exact sequence of numbers, or is it the type of activity?
Let me explain. Back in the beginning of internet time, at least for me and most people I know/knew, I would struggle to get a dial-up PPP connection working on my GNU/Linux box (Slackware at the time, mostly). I would need to type in the DNS server of my ISP repeatedly. There was a drill I would go through. Get the PPP connection going, type in the DNS address to resolve, and FTP to NCSA to get Mosaic. For non-techies, I was simply entering the minimal amount of technical information to browse the internet. From that point I would grab other useful software and start configuring my system.
Here is the weird thing. I am in the middle of a deep, deep geek cycle working on my model idea. I am down in the weeds and working my way up. I need to define the logging, play-back, backups, filenames, etc., before I build out the rest. It is a first-things-first kind of deal, much like connecting via PPP. One of the systems I connect to has 199 in the IP address. Eventually I'll get DNS working, but for now I manually type it. Even though I haven't had the ISP in two decades, I still remember the full address from memory. Now, if you asked me three days ago, I wouldn't remember, but I remember it now. I looked it up, and it is correct. The server is still live at my old ISP.
I am not sure if it is the number 199 that triggered it, or if it is the type of activity, but I have bridged that memory.
Written on 2020-02-26