E-mails of the Dead

Going through old personal e-mails today I ran across a note from my "Uncle" Roy. Near as anyone can figure, he was my dad's mom's boyfriend. (She doesn't like to label the relationship.)

He died unexpectedly a few years ago of a heart attack, probably just when I was getting interesting. He'd introduced me to the Rubik's Cube back in the 1980s, and always had a mathematical puzzle for me. He told me stories of working on early computers - like the time his lab rigged up an oscilloscope as a textual display device, before off-the-rack television tubes came into use for that. Of course, he also claimed that he'd never coded a bug in his life.

The e-mails I've got are his request and subsequent "thanks" for a copy of Microsoft Visual C++ (at employee rates), including gripes about how flaky Windows 98 is.

The future will only get weirder, of course.

My brain made a mental connection to thoughts of reconstructing a personality from fragments like this. And then to this little tidbit from my alma mater:
Spam Zombies from Outer Space
Putting these two thoughts together, it seems like it might not be too long before you do start getting e-mail from the dead. That'll be downright creepy.

These particularly mails would hopefully not be fodder; I've never had a malware problem which makes me extremely happy since the only way to recover is to pave and rebuild. I may have had an infection in my Apple II days - I recall a situation with a virally spreading DOS 3.3 modification (which "improved" the CATALOG format) which may have been related to Elk Cloner but sounds somewhat different.