Resurrecting Athletic Diabetic

September 9th, 2013 5:49 PM
Filed under Musings;

When Ryan Suenaga passed away in April 2011, I was made acutely aware of the need to have a digital proxy — that is, someone who can make decisions about the continued existence of my digital footprint, much as my healthcare proxy can decide whether or not to pull the plug on my organic life. More recently, Google also saw the wisdom of such a backup, having introduced the Inactive Account Manager — but my data extend well beyond Google, and I wanted such security years before Google thought to go there. That’s why I established a secure contingency plan of someone who will acquire all my passwords and data in case of an emergency, but not before.

However, that doesn’t help Ryan, who had no reason to expect he’d not be managing his own data for years to come. Tony Diaz stepped in and managed to acquire backups of several of Ryan’s sites. I too picked up some of the pieces Ryan left behind, one of which was, the registration of which Ryan had let lapse within his lifetime; paying that particular bill hadn’t seemed a priority to him. With the help of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, I restored it.

Today, I’m relieved to bring another of Ryan’s sites back to life. This past summer solstice, one of his former domains became available. I wasn’t at my computer the moment it was released — fittingly enough, I was out for a bike ride that evening — but the domain was secured for me by proxy bidding service NameJet. I waited the requisite two months before transferring the registration to my preferred hosting company, DreamHost, then asked Tony if he had a backup of the original WordPress site. He did. After cleaning hacked files, updating plugins, disabling comments, and changing administrative contacts, Athletic Diabetic is once again available:

Athletic Diabetic

This blog is meant to share information from my personal experiences dealing with diabetes and exercise. I’m a medical social worker who not just works with diabetics, I am a Type II diabetic. I’ve lost over 80 pounds and counting since 2002 and have completed century (100 mile) bike rides and a marathon. I’ll be relating my experiences and research in both the diabetic and athletic arenas through this blog.

I hope you enjoy yourself here!

All 439 posts Ryan wrote between Apr 4, 2009, and April 19, 2011, have been restored to their original URLs.

In the grand scheme of life, what I’ve done doesn’t amount to much — but the quality of the thing doesn’t always matter. As Ryan would say: a site that exists is better than one that doesn’t.

My personal contribution to preventive archiving

February 27th, 2012 11:45 AM
Filed under History, Musings;
Comments Off on My personal contribution to preventive archiving

People like Mike Maginnis and Jason Scott have done a great deal to preserve the history of the Apple II. I got a taste for what it’s like to contribute to that effort when I recorded KansasFest 2010, publishing dozens of videos of otherwise ephemeral experiences — but it wasn’t until we lost Ryan Suenaga nearly a year ago that I realized the urgency of this work.

Ryan’s passing was unexpected, and he left many people lost without him. The consequences to his friends and family make everything else seem trivial by comparison, but I had to contribute what little I could to aspects of Ryan’s legacy that may otherwise go overlooked. I reconstituted, a domain that had expired during Ryan’s lifetime but which he was too busy to maintain. Similarly, Tony Diaz purchased, ensuring that episodes of the A2Unplugged podcast — still the most prolific Apple II podcast to date, despite not having published a new episode in nearly two years — will remain available.

In a way, it’s too little, too late. We need to think about these worst-case scenarios before they happen. What does that mean for me? I don’t arrogantly assume my original work will be missed, but I recognize that my primary role in the Apple II community is as a channel for other people’s talents: I solicit and publish writers in Juiced.GS; I help bring people and luminaries together for KansasFest; and, with my co-host, I interview community members on Open Apple. Out of respect for the many volunteers who contribute to these outlets, I want this work to be tamper-proof while I’m alive — and continued when I’m not.

Last year, I devised a method for my digital assets to be accessed by a designated individual in the event of an emergency. It is a convoluted strategy that involves sealed envelopes, cross-country phone calls to strangers, and clues to decipher. Why I didn’t simply put my passwords in a bank deposit box to which a relative has the key, I don’t know. Perhaps I’ve watched National Treasure too many times.

But more immediately, I wanted to get data that is already publicly available into more hands, to ensure it doesn’t suffer from a single point of failure. I’m relieved to have finally gotten to a point where I believe I have accomplished that goal. With help from Mike Maginnis, Steve Weyhrich, Ewen Wannop, Jeff Kaplan, and more, today marks a series of coordinated announcements:

Distribution and preservation: The benefits of an ISSN
Juiced.GS receives an ISSN from the Library of Congress and is archived by ten museums and universities around the world.
Preserving KansasFest videos: Internet Archive, iTunes, YouTube
KansasFest videos from 2009 and beyond to be made available in the Internet Archive, via an iTunes video podcast, and on YouTube.
Open Apple on the Internet Archive
Episodes of the Apple II community’s only co-hosted podcast now permanently available from a 501(c)(3) online library.

Some of these developments were easily accomplished; others required hours of busy work and calling in personal favors. Some were free but for our time and energy; others cost hundreds of dollars. All were group efforts that require ongoing commitments.

The work to ensure our Apple II heritage remains available to current and future generations never ends. Let’s make sure that which is unique is never lost.

Remembering Ryan

April 28th, 2011 10:04 AM
Filed under Musings;
1 comment.

It’s Thursday, and I need to write an Apple II Bits blog post. Never have I so wanted to avoid doing so.

I wish I could write about Ultima, or Steve Wozniak, or KansasFest, or interactive fiction, like I always do. I wish those were the only topics that were on my mind. But the only thing I’m thinking about is this strange world I now find myself in: one without Ryan Suenaga.

When Eric Shepherd emailed the KansasFest list on Monday morning to tell us that Ryan had passed away, too many disbelieving, conflicting, and illogical thoughts occurred to me. Surely he didn’t mean the Ryan Suenaga? Or maybe there was a word missing from the email. Ryan’s aunt had been ill; maybe Sheppy meant that Ryan’s AUNT had died. Or had Ryan, like Joe Kohn before him, been sick without letting anyone know? Or was this a sick joke? The hiker hadn’t been named in the original news story, after all. Was there any chance we were mistaken?

As time went on and more facts emerged, reality started to settle in. Friend and Apple II colleague Ryan Suenaga was gone. He had turned just 44 this January — an occasion I’d neglected to observe.

Ryan’s passing was a tragic, sudden, and freak accident that leaves his friends and family with little explanation. What happened on the Olomana Trail that would cause an experienced hiker like Ryan to fall to his death? Did he lose his footing? Was he so busy tweeting from the trail that he didn’t see where he was going? Did he somehow suspect this would happen? I even wondered, was the fall a consequence, a complication, from some other health issue, such as a diabetes-induced heart attack? (No.)

Ryan Suenaga plays DDRThis shock was made easier by the company of Apple II friends, courtesy IRC, the same support network I turned to the morning of 9/11. Before long, one of those friends, Sean Fahey, asked me to share the news on I was reluctant to do so, and I asked Sean to give me time to compose myself before I could compose anything else. In time, I wrote tributes for Juiced.GS,, and, in order. That’s three tributes too many — and there are more to come in the next issue of Juiced.GS, the next episode of Open Apple, and at KansasFest 2011.

These tributes are primarily to aid the grieving. How can we move beyond that into something constructive, so that Ryan can better the world in death as he did in life? Ryan himself suggested one idea; former KansasFest keynote speaker Jason Scott added another.

Our community is going to continue working through our feelings and taking actions as we’re able. We’ll do our best, just as Ryan always did. And if we ever falter, we’ll know that somewhere, he’ll be watching and telling us, “You suck.”

Aloha and mahalo, Ryan.