I received an email today, from Martha Brown, informing me of a recent purchase I made for $1,491.40, and provided me with a handy link to click on, to view the invoice of said purchase.
Obviously this was a phishing scam, but what the email revealed was pure beauty. Let me explain.
I must say this "Martha Brown", although a very helpful person to be informing me of my recent purchase, is very succinct and to the point.
"This is your invoice"
"please remit payment immediately"
"contact me if you have any questions"
Well, I do have questions, and I would like to contact her, but her email address provided seems kinda funny. First off, it's a German domain. I buy a lot of things on eBay and Amazon, but I don't remember buying anything from Germany. Then, there's the problem with the name not matching Martha's. It appears to be the email address of someone named "Simone", or is that a German term for "Contact Some One"? I'm just guessing here.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure this is just a scam to get me to click the link below to "View Your Invoice". Right, click on that, and you'll download some terrible malware or something. I'm not a moron.
Now It's not really this email I want to talk to you about, but rather where it led me.
Now although I'm not dumb enough to click on that link, I am curious enough to check and see if that might be a legitimate website. So, instead of clicking on the link, I just opened my browser of choice and typed in "pcxcomputers.com", and what I found was truly a thing of beauty.
No, all you'll find here is pure, simple, unadulterated HTML.
Just look at the page source!
True beauty is found in simplicity, not complexity.
I just coined that phrase, but I think it sounds pretty wise.
No beating around the bush here. Just straight to the point. Maybe Martha's email did come from PCX Computers?
I decided to poke around a little bit, and see what this website was all about.
As you can tell by this "WhoIs" domain information, the website was created in 1997, and apparently hasn't changed much since.
Back in the "Wild-West" days of the internet and networking, there were a lot of questions to be answered. Apparently PCX Computers was a place to find those answers. You could find information on networking (pdf), servers (pdf), getting connected (pdf), network accounting (pdf), e-commerce (pdf), the new and exciting multi-purpose operating system, Windows NT (pdf), why use a terminal server (pdf), and what system requirements (pdf) you'd need (that last page is a real hoot).
(I don't know why I felt the need to archive all those pages as pdf files, it's obvious this website isn't going anywhere.)
The pages on "Systems" and "Tech Support" are just a bunch of links to manufactures' websites, and most of the links are now defunct, so don't waste your time, like I did.
On the home page is a link to a fasinating article about 56K modems, written by Todd Spangler of Inter@ctive Week. Isn't cute how they substituted the "a" with an @ sign?
System Powers 56K Modems To The Max
Maybe you're one of the lucky few who have broadband Internet access. Well, good for you.
I'll bet, with an introduction like that, you can hardly wait to read the rest of the article. Well, let me tell you, you won't be disappointed.
All In Good Fun
Of course I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek here, but in today's world of blogs, social media and instant connectivity, it's kinda nice to see a website illustrating the primordial soup, of which the internet evolved.
There's one last thing I want to mention about this amazing blast from the past.
On the home page of PCX Computers is a hit counter, showing the number of visitors since February 22, 1998, which as of today, August 17, 2017, is 117. Let's see if we can get that number up to 118, by August 18, 2018!
Just your average, self-abused futile worker.