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,
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,
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
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.)