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About MikZ: F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions about MikZ

These questions actual questions people have asked me on the Internet. A lot of them are the standard questions people ask on IRC or whatever. Note that dumb questions like "what kind of a computer do you have?" are also included.

Where do you live?

I consider myself to have three homes: Sydney, Amsterdam and San Francisco. I've had addresses in all three and move between them every couple of years (often to escape the winter), but right now I live and work in San Francisco, in House Dreamland.

What is the Z for?

It dates back to very early IRC and 1980s BBSes. It was a bit of a trend, and it also helped distinguish people—JimZ, for example, is a different person from JimZZ. Also, it avoids confusion between me and any of the other seven hundred and eighty-five million Michaels in the world.

Do you have a girlfriend?

Interesting question. The first thing you need to realise is that I'm polyamerous, which means that at I may have a relationship with more than one person, and my relationships may have more than one other person in them. Further explanation about polyamory is beyond the scope of this FAQ, but all of my partners are also poly and know about each other, and it's not all about sex. The other thing you need to realise is that I'm bisexual, so my partners are not all female. So you can see why the concept of "a girlfriend" is rather limiting.

That said, the person that others might label as my "girlfriend" would be Hope. I live with her and her husband, Sinboy, and their other girlfriend, Rose. I'm also in fairly commited relationships with karenbynight, dragon_spirit, kineticphoenix and sarahh, and I also have other wonderful "friends with benefits", here in San Francisco and in my other home cities.

I try to avoid questions like "who are your lovers", "who are your fuck buddies" and "who are you just friends with, with benefits"—I prefer just to let my relationships develop into whatever feels right for both (or all) of us, rather than label them and behave according to the label.

What do you do at uni?

This question, sadly, has become dated.

I completed my Bachelor of Applied Science, Computing, at the University of Western Sydney, in 1998. It took me seven years to get that far, because I kept on doing crazy things like studying part-time, taking part in exchange programmes, and changing courses. I started out doing electrical engineering at UTS, but I dropped out of that in 1992. In 1995, I studied in California for a semester, at California State University, Sacramento.

One of my long-term goals is to do some postgraduate study. I'm particularly interested in Human-Computer Interaction, especially for people with "special needs", so I'd like to concentrate on that.

What religion are you?

I worship Mavis the Bitumen Goddess. The mere mention of her name ensures that I have no trouble finding parking spots, except maybe in the central business district of large cities, where no self-respecting goddess would want to park anyhow.

Actually, I've been exploring my spirituality a bit in the last few years, and found that I'm just plain agnostic, leaning towards athiesism. Still, there are aspects of some of my friends' Pagan spirituality that resonate with me, and the spiritual beliefs of the Aboriginies do even more strongly. I can't help feeling a connection with the land and the people that have been on it that goes beyond the traditional five senses. Maybe one day, Science will explain it. In the meantime, I'll think of it as a spiritual belief.

What kind of computer do you have?

My main workhorse is currently an old Dell C800 laptop, a RedHat Linux/Windows 2000 Pro dual boot, which I recently dropped a nice big 80GB hard drive into. (Let's see how long it takes this answer to become dated!) I also have a Hewlett Packard Omnibook 4150 laptop with a broken screen, which functions as a server running Debian Linux. (A laptop as a server? Sure! They have built-in UPSes!)

Back in Sydney, I've also got heaps of junky computers like XTs, PCs with two 360kB floppy drives and a big 640kB of RAM, and an old CP/M machine. Most of these haven't been plugged in for years, and they belong in the Obsolete Computer Museum.

Are you really in Australia?

Yes. Are you really in America? (Actually, right now I am in America, but I still get stupid questions like that sometimes.)

What is your nationality?

Australian. Both my parents immigrated from the Netherlands in the 1950s, and I speak Dutch with them. English is not my second language—I was brought up speaking both Dutch and English. But living in Amsterdam has proven that my Dutch isn't quite as good as I thought. =)

Have you always lived in Sydney?

This question has also become dated. I grew up in Sydney, first in Top Ryde and then in Baulkham Hills. In recent years, however, I've only been living in Sydney part-time—I spent the other half of my life in San Francisco. I love both cities and their people, and it means that it's summer for most of my life. =)

I lived in Sacramento for a while, to pursue a relationship with M, but I got better. =) I've also lived in Amsterdam, and I hope to again, many times.

My question doesn't appear here. Now what?

E-mail me, and I'll add it to the list. (Don't change the subject of that e-mail, though; my spam filter only allows messages with certain subjects through at that address.)


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Mik Scheper, 28 December 2003
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