It's been dead now for at least two years. But the time had come for me to find some of my Legal Writing III papers, so I can better empathize with the agonies of my current students.
So they took the computer's brain out and loaded it on a different machine and backed it up on a CD. And now, all of a sudden, here is my life from about 1998-2003, all on this CD.
I found all my favorite e-mail forwards, all my papers from senior year of high school, a stash of IM conversations from forever ago, all my old law school papers, scholarship applications, the personality test based on the way you draw a pig -- a ton of stuff I had missed.
Most importantly, I found Kenji's "Red Marks," which I still think about frequently. Kenji and I were internet friends back before people had internet friends. We commiserated about the abuse of grammar, had virtual wars, exchanged interesting math problems, linked to each other's websites, and founded the International League of Anti-Small-Talkists. Those were the days . . .
The high school student scanned the horizon, watching for the dreaded Red Marks he knew would soon arrive. "They're coming! Aaaaaaah!" he shrieked as he saw the formidable red marks descend. They streaked toward him relentlessly, inexorably, never pausing for a moment, and he quaked with fear. Suddenly they struck! Reeling with the impact, he stumbled to his knees, crawling desperately in a futile attempt to evade the deadly Red Marks. The Marks attacked, slicing to bits his carefully crafted paragraph with a swiftness that astounded and horrified him. They left nothing intact but a shred here and a word there, permeating the very core of what he had once thought an impregnable composition. Reaching into the ashes of his ruined work, he struggled to piece it together, hoping to somehow repair it. But it was all in vain. The Red Marks had ground it to powder, beyond all hope of restoration. "There is no escape from the Red Marks," he sighed as he watched the tatters of his vanquished masterpiece drift away.