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This is probably going to be my favorite section to write.
First and foremost, I'm a geek through and through. You'll probably remember that I've been tooling around on computers since I was eight or nine - since then I've managed somehow to mostly avoid running Windows in my home, recently (2010) having installed a Windows XP partition as a dual-boot on my workstation.
I got my hands on my first net connection in March of 1995. It wasn't really much of anything - at this time, I was given a 286 with DOS, and another friend gave me a 1200 bps modem. Not much, but enough to get out on the 'net via some now obscure protocol called UUCP. I won't divulge much into how this works, but the long and the short of it was that my email and netnews needed to go through two different computers before it actually found its way onto the internet - or, accordingly, back to me. This connection (and this computer) followed me around for a little while, one of the computers got removed from the link, and somewhere in this I bought a faster modem and started getting involved in a handful of area dialup bulletin board systems.
I can't remember exactly when, but somewhere in there I upgraded in steps to a 486 computer. Was nice, was still running DOS, because I just didn't have the cash to get decent video at the time. Somewhere along the lines, though, I decided I didn't want to run Microsoft Windows. Thus began my progression into something called Linux.
Before Linux, of course, there was OS/2. I started running this in 1997 when I finally got a decent monitor and computer that it would actually work on without crashing (the motherboard I'd had - the aforementioned 486 - started coming to the end of its life, and would halt at random). I kinda miss OS/2, but that's another story.
After sharing a connection with a friend, in 1999 I finally buckled and started paying for my own 'net connection, changed providers a few times, and finally settled on one called Speakeasy Networks. At the time I started with them in early 2000, I went dialup with these guys - I was too far from the local phone switch office to get an ADSL, and I figured I could focus on moving, or get the SDSL.
But there's this Linux thing now. See, up until 2001, shortly after I married, I was running OS/2, right? I had my reasons, of course, but after this, we - my ex-wife and I - decided that, since we're both full-blown geeks, it wouldn't do for us to have only one computer, so I installed OS/2 on another box I had sitting around, and installed Mandrake Linux on my own box. After some hemming and hawing, we got a small LAN going.
Shortly after this, she installed Linux herself.
Now, I guess I've been going on about this whole Linux thing here, so lemme explain something. Back in 1995, I decided I didn't much care for Windows 95 or related. There was just something about clicking the start button to shut down that drove me up a wall. Other things had me riled up about Microsoft, but after Bill Gates had mentioned that Linux was just another operating system, I gained some major respect for Microsoft as a whole, and up here, you just kind of have to deal with the fact that they exist. These days, I still run Linux, and boot into Windows as necessary - only because I prefer Linux over Windows.
In late 2002, we eventually switched up to an ADSL. Speakeasy had a policy where they would issue static IPs, and at the time there was a promotion to get the service with a free video game console of our choice - either an Xbox or a Playstation 2. Karmin wanted the PS2, and I wanted the DSL. We get what we want. Later on, in 2003, I spun up my workstation as a server, and thus Chez Vrolet Secret Labs (this box) was born.
There is, of course, Facebook, an old Livejournal (later Dreamwidth) account, and a few other things. But those are other stories.
And that's my life on the 'net. =)
As for Speakeasy, I had to stop using them. Ironically, since moving to Seattle in 2006, I have not once been able to conscript DSL from them; as such, this server no longer lives in my living room. It is now a virtual server in a friend's rack somewhere in the San Francisco bay area. I did work for Speakeasy for a short while in 2010, and they were a great company to work for. Unfortunately, a buyout by Megapath ended that - the job moved to Canada at the end of 2010. Either way, I've been on a Comcast connection of some sort or another since I moved up here - with a brief break on a Qwest DSL.
As to that server? It's no longer physically with me. It was living in a rack in the SF Bay area for a few years, but got converted to a VM in 2012.