When surfing networks — whether it be on college intranet, FTP servers, or KaZaa — there is a curiosity to browse the collection of another, if only to discover things of similar interest. These, however, are curated results. It is rare to comb the lumped, electro-dossiers of the not-so-distant-past. Sometimes, you can even have fun digging through garbage, especially when it comes without the stench and grime of your local corner dumpster.
The rig I’m on is from yesteryear. I say “Recycle Bin” because I’m using Windows 2000 on a Compaq with a Pentium III processor circa 1997, the kind you might have plugged your Minidisc into or throttled on while playing Duke Nuke ’Em 3D. Upstairs, in one of the cybercafes on Loita Street in downtown Nairobi, the place is filled with these antiquated workhorses, chugging along with fat Cathode-Ray-Tube monitors, most linked on a single network for scanning, printing, and best of all, deleting.
The net zone is frequented by hundreds of patrons a day and the Recycle Bin has thousands of files, some dating back to June. While trying to dispose of a document that included my social security number, I stumbled upon this data-trove. The ubiquitous piracy, insecurity of personal information, and overall hilarious variety make scouring this African crypt fascinating. Although now I’m pretty sure my Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail passwords have been key-logged by some “lasso archive” in Bangalore, Bucharest or Beirut by now…
Some of the best:
- List of ministers and deputies of the newest country in the world: South Sudan — including the nine-day itinerary for “Mombasa Networking Retreat” to occur the coming week.
- Bootlegged half of All I Ever Wanted, Kelly Clarkson album.
- A letter from Rich Ugano, “Super Flourist,” covering his “supplys” and horticulture skills.
- A binding, non-disclosure agreement from a Ugandan waste management company that could be perceived as “damning.”
- A torrent for a bodybuilding video by Jay Cutler called “A Cut Above.” (Additionally in “bodybuilding” folder there is a similar video called “Marcus Ruhl, Made In Germany” ??)
- A readme.txt file called “Kaspersky black list v0.2” that details how to generate activation codes and CD keys for the Russian virus protection software.
- Scanned copy of a Jomo Kenyatta University Diploma.
- A “Wrestling Legends” folder that contains one file: Randy Savage’s Macho Madness.avi
- [Dot] exe file called “Free Flight Air Arabia.” Obvious malware is obvious.
- Scanned copy of suspicious 80 kilo package receipt signed by RYNO INTL via Hong Kong.
- 100+ passport photo scans, many with names as titles.
- African Pentecostal church sermon (dated Oct. 9th), that stipulates “Adam and STEVE were not in the Garden of Eden.”
- Estimated 500+ nudie pics of lovely Linda, Lexxxy, and loads more. Photo source shows many came through dating website, afrointroductions.com.
- Episodes 4 and 5 of television drama Cold Case, downloaded off of the invite-only, Ukrainian piracy haven, Demonoid.me.
- Low quality Shaggy anthology: Best of Shaggy: The Boombastic Collection torrent.
Most of the other files are expected — CVs for accountants, law records etc. The real question is: if one goes through the trouble of moving a file to the recycle bin, why not then empty the recycle bin? Having second thoughts perhaps? It’s a good thing that I am not an enemy of South Sudan, because, man, this could spell trouble for them. Also are people, like, sneakily spanking their jibblies in the cybercafe carrels? Aside: beefcake vids? Is Africa the one keeping the bodybuilding magazine industry afloat? Curious.
It’s not really my place to delete this criminal batch of documents, so they are all still there (open challenge to anyone who can find them). I did, however, send Rich Ugano: “Super Flourist” an email. He seems like a fool who could be silently killing it.