Venerable Researchers: Pastey

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This week's interviewee, Pastey, has written a quick description of himself, so we'll lead with that:

Original Post Web Thing, compulsive lurker, progressive techy thinker, Acolyte of Bacchus, Deity in Training.

He's also the only interviewee I've met in real life1!

When did you join h2g2?

I initially signed up before it was launched, but lost my account very early on. Signed up again a bit later after the Tomorrow’s World telly programme broadcast once the servers had recovered and were able to allow people in again.

How did you hear of/find h2g2?

I honestly can’t remember. I *think* it was because I stumbled across it when searching for Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

Why did you join h2g2?

Why would you not? A site full of like-minded fans and the chance to be a researcher for the Earth Edition? I couldn’t pass that up!

Did you jump right in, or did you lurk awhile first?

Straight in! I even attended the first meet on Clapham Common, which was a very strange thing to do back in the early days of the internet!

Have you written an Edited Entry?


How many?




Beer Laws

Nursery Rhymes

Non-Alcoholic Drinks



The Perfect Picnic

Buying a Car

Renting Accommodation

The European Union

Surviving a First Date

The Art of the Martini

Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, England, UK


Beer Glasses

Real Ale

Porters and Stouts


Port Street Beer House

Adnams Spirit of Broadside

I think I see a pattern here...

What was your first Entry?

Beer Glasses.

What is your favorite Entry (of the ones you've written, if any)?

I don’t actually have one. Looking back at the writing in the early entries compared to the later ones there’s a huge difference in quality if not in style.

What is your favorite Entry by someone else?

I don’t have any of these either, the Guide is utterly massive. During the work I’ve been doing I’ve had the privilege to read a *lot* of the entries in there and new old ones keep popping up and surprising me.

Do you belong to/have you started any clubs/societies/what-have-you on h2g2?

I was one of the co-founders of the Post, does that count?

Is that/are those club(s)/society(ies)/what-have-you(s) still active?

If it counts, it’s still going.

Have you held any volunteer positions in the past?

Yes. I was one of the original pre-millennium SubEditors, have been a Post Editor, am a Post Reporter, Community Artist, Guru, Coder and Tester.

Are you a current volunteer?

Yes, Artist, Guru, Coder, Tester, Post Reporter and Chairman of Field Researchers Limited.

Which elvised researcher do you miss most?

This is a bit of a strange one, because it’s reasonably easy to get hold of people offsite these days. But I miss Fragilis. She’s not online anywhere that I know. She was one of the first proper friends I made on the site, and I used to love our conversations.

Easy, if you know someone's real name, or if their real name isn't super common, or if they haven't gotten married and taken their spouse's name, or gotten divorced and taken their old name back.

Have you been an elvised researcher?

Not really, I’ve at time gone from active to actively lurking, but never really went.

What brought you back?

The sale. I was in a lurking phase and realised I had the experience of building and running community websites that would be put to good use here.

And good use has certainly been put!

That made more sense in my head...

Have you been known by other names on h2g2 (not necessarily other accounts)?

No, Pastey is a nick name I got when I was 16, and it’s always been my nick name.

Which statement led me to expect someone a bit paler when we met2.

Is there anything from h2g2's past that you miss?

Being able to have time off? smiley - biggrin

Aha! You just got back from a pretty big holiday trip. During which you met up with several senior h2g2 volunteers, past and present, and discussed h2g2 with all of them, even my not-very-senior-and-happy-about-that-thank-you-very-much self. Yeah, OK, point conceded. But you love us anyway, right?

Is there anything from h2g2's past that you wish you hadn't witnessed?

Only some of the trolling. The moderators now are much better at handling things in context and dealing with disruptive members of the community.

What aspect of current h2g2 do you wish had been extant when you joined?

The volunteer led structure. The job that the early staff did was amazing, there’s no doubt about that. But I do wonder what the site would be like now if from the start it was able to run on less resources and a mixed staff/volunteer structure. It may well never have gone to the BBC and it may well have continued to pioneer what could be done with the internet.

Have you been to any meets, of any size, whether "official" or not (meet=over a dozen, minimeet=6-12, micromeet=less than a half dozen)?


How many?

No idea.

Was my self portrait there?


How many copies? smiley - silly

Mostly one, at most three.

If you've been to multiple meets, what's the farthest you've traveled to one?

Glasgow, at the moment.

That moment being on April 13. I pointed out, when starting to prepare this for submission, that this information was no longer true, so Pastey sent me an addendum.

Since answering these questions however I've also been to meet up with Happy Nerd and Amy P in North California, and Witty Moniker in New Jersey, which whilst not being the furthest away was at the end of the road trip and therefore the furthest travelled.

Don't forget PaperKid and Mister Nerd in northern California (and taking Flat Abby along), and of course Asteroid Lil, though, being geographically and itineraryly between the California and New Jersey, I can see why she wasn't mentioned until now...

If you've never been to a meet, why not?

But I have been to one, aren’t you paying attention?

smiley - tongueout

Am I asking too many questions?

Not really.

Is this getting annoying?


How about now?

Still no.

If I were to give you a mufflewhump, what would it turn into, keeping in mind that they can't turn into anything sapient nor anything that can act against the giver's (ie, my) interest, and that they only work on h2g2?

I have no idea.

Had you even heard of mufflewhumps before the previous question?

I have, but I’m still quite clueless.

Have I given you one before?

I believe so.

Did you know me before this interview?

Sort of.

Do you have a question for me (fair's fair, after all)?

Have you ever considered a career as a politician, or do you not hate people that much?

I'm pretty sure you have to care about politics to be a politician, and I'm fairly apolitical.

Stay tuned next week to hear what Vestboy had to say.

The Venerable Researchers Archive


24.06.13 Front Page

Back Issue Page

1Whether or not that matters to anybody but me.2Yes, I read these as they came in, and when I was harvesting quotes for the teaser, but I haven't been rereading them until I get ready to submit the interviews.

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