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Copyright: This document is copyright © 1997 David Nicholls. It may be freely linked to, and reproduced electronically or in print provided it is credited to the original author and includes the above email address and this copyright notice.

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The King is Dead? God save the King!

I had the following email this morning, from someone with the email name Q:

It is my personal believe that +ORC is dead....
....they say he had an E-mail address that he 
responded to
....he responded to a few of the newsgroups but
then he quit
...have you seen any new orc packs lately? I
think he's quiet now because he's dead!!!

It's really obvious to me....he was great and 
someday another will come to take his place.

for now let it be


A disturbing idea. Is "Q" playing tricks? We all remember the problems Jean-Luc Picard had with him... ;-)

But +ORC does seem to have "disappeared"? Some say he is paranoid, and that's why we never see him. Fravia and gthorne don't seem to have an email address for him now. So has he actually gone to cracker heaven?   God forbid!

Fortunately, we have one bit of recent evidence that suggests this is not true. And that is the email +ORC sent me on May 5th. I quoted part of it here. But was it +ORC or was it somebody pretending to be him?

I think it was the real +ORC. The style was his. The sentence length was about right. The occasional spelling glitches. It fitted too well to be a forgery.

I may not know where he is, but I'm content in the belief that he's safe out there somewhere, sipping his Moskovskaya Martinis, gazing out over Lake Geneva, or contemplating the spire of Strasbourg Cathedral, or wherever. But he's there.

I think.

UPDATE (19 June):

I'm not alone. I received this message from +daQ just now (anonymous, via

I must say, the latest message on your site about
ORC being dead disturbs me. I am "Q", I took that
name upon becoming a student under ORC years ago
(2 or so).

Check his lessons, he mentions me by call in the
description of WinPGP.

I have changed to +daQ, to differentiate myself
as of recently, and in keeping with his theme of
three letter calls.  But, I am the original Q,
and I do not own that statement about ORC being
dead. I *know* he is quite alive; and that is
all I may say.


Good to know. (Sorry if I took your name in vain, +daQ). +daQ has tutorials of his own on Fravia's page. He should know.

Perhaps there are some out there who don't share this confidence. Maybe you're into conspiracy theories. Who really killed JFK? Are aliens really taking over the US Government? Is the UN really a communist plot? Is Elvis really alive and living in Wagga Wagga? Will there ever be a common European currency?

And now another mystery: Is +ORC dead?

I'll leave you to make up your own mind.

'Til inspiration strikes again.

18 June 1997