For the third time in a week I’ve been asked some variation on “what the deal with you hating maps?”, this time by Rian on Twitter. The underlying reason for this question is my username on nearly every service is “imsickofmaps”. I realised however that I’ve not actually posted the history and maybe it was time to lay down a post, because it certainly doesn’t fit into 140 characters!
The story starts with Hotmail, which I started using back in the 90′s. I had an account there pretty early on and had firstname.lastname@example.org as my address instead of some inane email@example.com address they’d probably give you these days. In ’98 or ’99 sometime I got sick of the “directory harvest attack” spam waves that Hotmail just didn’t seem to be able to deal with and decided to move usernames. I wanted “imsickofspam” but “spam” along with “help” and “support” etc. was not allowed in your username in case you tried to spoof those functions. So I just reversed the word! Maps is Spam backwards…
The spam stopped and choosing an account name at every service ever released ever since has been a piece of cake!
So there you go, I don’t hate maps… I fact when you walk into our house you’re greeted with a giant map of the world that’s about 3M wide … I LOVE MAPS!