Hey everyone. I have been over at @tomasino for the last fe years. I'm migrating here. If the migration asks you for a follow again, that's why.

@tomasino just out of curiosity, any reason you're moving off sdf's server?

@cdmnky Yeah. I don't think it's a good time to go into it in detail, but based on recent and historic actions I'm no longer 100% sure that my account is safe from random purging at the whims of individuals. I wish that weren't the case, but it felt safer to make the move now on my own terms than to try and deal with it after the fact and potentially lose my followers.

@tomasino @tomasino oh wow, and this cool software just kept following you, really nice O_O

Is your new instance a good one? I have a few back-up accounts too for cases when a particular instance goes down.

@bradfonseca @tomasino so far so good. I really like the SDF instance local timeline. The people that flock to SDF are pretty damn awesome.

Since I run a few tilde servers and am active in the tildeverse I thought it made sense to try this home next. This is actually my 7th home on Mastodon and by far the smoothest transition. The software has matured quite a bit.

That's great! If your new instance is nice, maybe I'll create a back-up identity there.

@tomasino Just jumping in here ...

I'm old-school, programming since 1978. I've heard of, and have a login on

I have questions.

Is there a connection between them?

Exactly what *is* I've asked many times and people say "It's a server you can log in to". That doesn't answer the question I have, but I don't know what else then to ask.

Finally, is there anywhere I can read about what actually is?


CC: @bradfonseca @tomasino

@ColinTheMathmo @bradfonseca @tomasino sure. is a public access Unix system modeled after the style of It started in 2014 and is currently closed to new registrations due to size. It's part of the tildeverse, a collective of these types of servers that share some services and team up where appropriate. Each is individually run and some are themed. Check out the members page on to see what each offers. They're all free and welcoming.

@tomasino Thanks for that ... I'll go & read more. Very likely my questions will only be formed if I actually join & play, & likely the questions will then be moot. But I'm reluctant to join yet another time sink without having some sense of the community I'm joining.

Your description is probably accurate, but for where I'm coming from, it's really not helpful, except that it has links to chase.

I'll go chase them & come back if/when I have clearer questions.


CC: @bradfonseca @tomasino

@ColinTheMathmo @bradfonseca @tomasino we provide users accounts to shared systems with public services like web, gopher, gemini, games, BBS's, and more. They're mini communities of various flavors. Check out to see an example of a themed tilde that I run.

What's the origin of the use of the term "tilde"? I know it's a Unix thing but a forget what it's for.

@ColinTheMathmo @tomasino

Riiiiight! I forgot about ~ being Unix shorthand for a user's home directory. That's pretty clever! 😊

@ColinTheMathmo @tomasino

@tomasino @ColinTheMathmo @bradfonseca @tomasino People might miss how the services are but trees to the community forest. The Pubnix demimonde has an open set counterculture of smolness. Intimacy under comprehensible tech, that is. It’s attractive for refugees from the mainstream bloatnets.

@tomasino There must be something I'm missing. I have a linux box .. more than one, actually. I can log in to that and use lynx, gopher, etc. I can install games if I want to. When there are BBSs out there I can connect to them.

I guess I'm missing why I would log in to someone else's *nix box and do these things. I guess I don't understand how there is a community to join.

CC: @bradfonseca @tomasino

@ColinTheMathmo @bradfonseca @tomasino I suppose it's a bit difficult to explain. I'd recommend checking out or and trying out some of the services and activities there. It may not be for you or maybe experiencing it first hand will explain what I can't.

That is quite the awesome conversation thread flowchart! How did you generate it? 🤓

@tomasino @tomasino

@bradfonseca I wrote a thing ...

I wrote a script to extract the data about, and the data in, a node, then to chase the connections and recurse. Then a script to generate a dot file.

I've done the same for Twitter, and have a discussion mediation system to use in place of email, all using the same idea that DiGraphs are immensely powerful for the right things.


CC: @tomasino @tomasino


Amazing work indeed, Colin -- thank you for sharing.

I just created a quick micro-blog highlighting it and the Tildeverse theme of this interesting conversation.

Thank you and to all other participants here.

@tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@rgx Thank you!

I've updated the SVG as the conversation has continued. I might automate that, but the conversation will probably peter out soon, then I'll be able to make a blog post about the topic.

I mention this because your screenshots are now out-of-sync with the SVGs on my site. It doesn't matter, but someone might mention it.

CC: @tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino


You are very welcome, Colin. The output of the script is really neat, and the image I had here was necessarily just a small part of it even at the time I took it - the svg file was indeed longer.

Amazing work, thank you for sharing it.

@tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@ColinTheMathmo Yes, you can do all of those things on your server too but I think tildeverse gives a sense of community (like a shared space).

Erm... I too can't explain, maybe try it for yourself once.

@tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@andinus So perhaps the question is ... how does that sense of community arise? Here I am, logged in to a server, using the services ... I don't see how the sense of community happens. How, if at all, am I interacting with other people on that machine?

CC: @tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@andinus Your final point is where everyone gets to. They stop, give up, and say: you'll just have to try it ... I can't explain further.

I find that ... interesting.

As I said elsewhere, I can seriously do without more time-sinks, & if I had a clue that this would generate a sense of community & be useful for me, & I of use to them/it, then maybe.

But I can't see how, no one can explain, and I'm reluctant to start with no sense of potential for value.

CC: @tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@ColinTheMathmo Yes, makes sense. I dunno why but this is one of those things which you can't just explain, best would be if you try it, yes it'll take some time & maybe that's okay?

@tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@ColinTheMathmo Get on IRC, chat with others & give it time. Yes, there are others on the same machine & some may be logged in, try `finger andinus', fill your `.plan', check `feels', play games with others (I like asciifarm & starlanes).

There's other things too depending on which tilde you chose.

@tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@andinus I'll put it back on my "To look at when I have a free day" list.

Thanks for your time and explanations, I've archived them and will pull them out when I look at this again.

CC: @tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@andinus Genuinely, it's going to take me time to get up to speed with any of it. As I said at the beginning, I started programming in 1978, but it's always been tangential, a tool to get things done. I've never been into the latest things, or prone to play because it's fun. I do that elsewhere.

So just getting an IRC client up & figuring how to use it will take time, & I don't have blocks of time just now.

But I will return.

And thank you for your time.

CC: @tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@ColinTheMathmo I see, on which tilde are you on? I think most tildes already have weechat setup, so you dont need to do anything.

Ah, I thought this is how things worked in past, did people not use shared unix systems then? Also, for another point - you can try different systems, like there's a FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD & even a Windows tilde.

Yeah, It may take some time to get comfortable, try it later when you're free. :flan_thumbs:

@tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@andinus Yes, people shared systems, but the logins were separate, the user-spaces were separate, and you effectively had the machine to yourself, as far as you could tell. There was no sharing, there was no "community". You logged in, you had your space, you did your work (or played (single-user) games). This is why I'm finding it baffling, no one seems to be able to explain how it is that I'll interact with anyone apart from "chat" (of some sort).

CC: @tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@andinus I'm not yet registered on any ... just getting started will, in my experience of other systems, take time, effort, and patience. I usually find that anything built by other people is just ... opaque. Things people say "Just do this" I can see no reason for, or why I would ever guess that that's the thing to do.

It takes time. I guess I'm just old. I remember my parents behaving with this reluctance when I was in my 30s.

CC: @tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@ColinTheMathmo I see, sorry I can't explain better, it'll end up being some form of `just try it'.

@tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@andinus But you've already said a lot that has started to answer questions.

> here too you just login & do your work, play games (multi/single player), chat with others... same things you can do on your own server.

OK, so one of my big sticking points has been that people imply there's some sort of community, and I've constantly been banging on saying "How?"

You've said here that it's basically just the chat and some multi-user games.

That's news!

CC: @tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

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@ColinTheMathmo It's similar stuff, logins, user-space are seperate. Yeah, I think all interacting will be some sort of chat. It's nothing special, here too you just login & do your work, play games (multi/single player), chat with others... same things you can do on your own server. Heh... I dunno how to explain the value, it'll become some form of `just try it'.

@tomasino @bradfonseca @tomasino

@tomasino @ColinTheMathmo @bradfonseca

Good morning, and a quick thank you for the enjoyable conversation you shared with us last night - I was reading and boosted a couple of the posts so others could see and as a personal bookmarker too.

I loved seeing the amazing Visualization tool that Colin created - impressive, and how neatly it displays the development of a multi threaded conversation.

I started using the Internet in the mid 90s, before commercial consumer services were available, and a community Unix service called Nyx was my first home. They are still around, based in Colorado.

I visited the Tilde host system you mentioned and enjoyed what I saw; discovered a new Pinafore instance running there too, which I could use, will add to my known Pina hosts list. Have a great day!

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masto instance for the tildeverse