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I am Robert-Jan Mersch. I enslave computers to liberate humanity.

Choose Your Own Adventure

6-minute read


“Abandon every hope all ye who enter here!” — Zork

I love programming. I have been doing it ever since I was a little boy. My first sizeable programming project was a full-fledged text adventure game written in BASIC for the Commodore VIC-20. I don’t remember the story nor the characters but one thing I recall vividly though is the title screen: “Circle of Light”, completely constructed...

Friends with the Enemy

8-minute read

In the late eighties we were at war. My friends and I fought at the frontline in the battle between Commodore Amiga and Atari ST users. Our childhoods were tinted by anti-Atari demos that were released on our supreme Amigas. Every opportunity to ridicule Atari ST was gratefully taken and we did not refrain from excessive violence: a sharp tongue in our scrolltexts flanked by mocking cartoons. It was a religious crusade. Our devine goal...

The Delicate Art of Forum Moderation

7-minute read

“An enlightening consideration for the proud forum moderator.” — Antoon van Breedebroecke, 1673.

A few years ago, in 2012, I wrote some satire at one of the Dutch forums I frequent. It told the story of a fictional seventeenth century Dutchman who lived by three simple rules of moderation. I would gladly look them up but I can’t. The post discussed some moderation issues at hand and suggested ideas for improvement. The story...

A New Year’s Resolution

6-minute read


“A secular tradition in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day.” — Wikipedia

New Year’s resolutions, most people make them around New Year’s eve and most people tend to forget those good intentions about a week later, especially when the ‘implementation details’ have been slightly overlooked. I don’t consider that an absolute...