You never forget your first

For reasons that make little practical sense, I’ve been holding on to the same email account for 13 years now, paying $9.95/month for a dial-up account that I never used just to keep the address. I just cancelled it today: chadd@mindspring.com is no more. The customer service rep sounded uniquely pained when she noticed that my account originated in August 1996. The address actually reaches farther back than that. It was my first e-mail account (sort of).

When I got my first e-mail account at work in early 1994, it was chadd@nando.net (the visionaries at the News & Observer started an ISP — back when newspapers still could be bold and daring). It was from my nando.net address that I sent my first emails and made a number of silly USENET posts. When Mindspring bought the nando.net ISP business, my beloved nando.net email address became chadd@mindspring.com. Then Earthlink bought Mindspring and my account went along with it.

So, bye-bye chadd@mindspring.com — I will always remember you as my first.