Saturday, September 04, 2010

This is happening right now

The scene occurs about a hundred years ago:

Tonight, as on most nights, he starts out local, sweeping from two hundred and fifty to four hundred metres. It's the usual traffic: CQ signals from experimental wireless stations in Masedown and Eliry, tapping out their call signs and then slipping into Q-code once another bug's responded. [...] This is happening right now: an RXer in Lydium who calls himself "Wireworm" is tapping out his thoughts about the Postmaster General's plans to charge one guinea per station for all amateurs.

"...tht bedsteads n gas pipes cn b used as rcving aerials is well-kn0n I mslf hv don this," Wireworm's boasting, "als0 I cn trn pian0 wire in2 tuning coil fashion dtctrs from wshing s0da n a needle mst I obtain lcnses 4 ths wll we gt inspctrs chcking r pots n pans 2 C tht they confrm 2 rglatns I sgst cmpaign cvil ds0bdns agnst such impsitions..."

Transcribing his clicks, Serge senses that Wireworm's not so young: no operator under twenty would bother to tap out the whole word "fashion."

— from C, by Tom McCarthy.
Post a Comment