On confusion related to my usernames

There's been an awful lot of confusion as to which of my Scratch accounts are which, and what the purpose of each one is, so I'm feeling obliged to make a hopefully-helpful guide to it all. I probably should have sooner!

Since my names and handles are rather more complicated than being limited to Scratch alone, I'm including some needed info on my names on other sites as well.

Disclaimer: I spent two hours around midnight writing this; I haven't significantly re-read it. Also, you might be more confused after you read, since I probably didn't do a great job at explaining all this; feel free to ask about anything if you want (info on how to do that's at the bottom of this post, but too-long-didn't-scroll just comment on fIorrie or email me).

Early accounts

Let's start at the beginning. In 2007, I created an account for the Poptropica site. I gave it the username liam4, since my name was Liam and I was four years old.

In February 2013, a bit more than four and a half years ago, I created my first Scratch account, ginving it the username liam48D. (This was, for all practical purposes, my first real existence on the internet, besides a few comments on some KhanAcademy videos.) I figured I'd take my Poptropica username and add a smiley face to the end; and such, liam48D became.

In late 2014, I was getting more into text-based programming, so I created the GitHub account liam4. (The username was, obviously, the same as I'd taken everywhere else; I guess I didn't feel that the smiley was necessary.)


Some time in 2015, I decided I wanted to make a separate user account on my laptop for myself to go through the activities and demos in Unix for the Beginning Mage, which I was reading, at the time, to learn basic shell usage. Having a separate account would keep the whole computer cleaner, and give me a fresh start. I gave the account the username towerofnix, which (of course) was based on the first paragraph of the book:

Hello, Young Mage! Welcome to the Tower of Nix! Here you'll begin your training in the skills of Unix. I'll be your Instructor and Narrator.

The username towerofnix stuck, and I began using it just about everywhere.

In February 2016, I found myself in need of another Scratch account, so that I could practice playing with cloud data more; so, I created the account _nix. (Using _nix instead of nix was because the name actually came from "*nix", in the sense of "any Unix-like" (obviously derived from towerofnix). Though I suppose it helped that nix was already taken.)

A few months later (July of 2016), I created the Scratch user towerofnix. I created this account to make tutorials about programming with Scratch; I didn't go too far with it, though (only to one project). I also made this account to post projects I put more effort into, but by the time I completed any large projects I'd mostly abandoned the towerofnix account...

...Because, around the time I made the towerofnix account, I'd been transitioning from using liam48D to _nix. As I moved towards _nix, I practically forgot about towerofnix; and I didn't really feel like separating my amazing projects from my simple test ones (in part because I wasn't actually completing any large ones!).

Later I also made an email account, towerofnix-at-gmail, and a Twitter account, @towerofnix. Most accounts I have in other places (e.g. Stack Exchange) are also called towerofnix. I eventually renamed my GitHub account, liam4, to towerofnix. (liam4 is now just a notice that I changed my username.)


Okay, so, all of the above probably makes sense. (Hopefully?) But here's the topic of confusion and interest that's always brought up - what on earth is Florrie?

The simple answer is the objective one; "Florrie" is a name. It's the name I go by online; the idea is that, when you're thinking of me, you don't think "Nix" or "Tower of Nix", you think "Florrie".

The name "Florrie"'s origin is.. sort of complicated.

In online groups and such, I'd been going by a few names. For a while, I was using "Tonix". Tonix was made because I wanted (and needed) a name that was less of a mouthful than "towerofnix", and a name that people could actually think of when they think of me.

But Tonix just wasn't good. Tonix is pronounced like "tonics", plural of tonic, and.. handy medicinal potions wasn't what I meant by the name. It also reminded me of the word "toxic", which has definitely never been the connotation I've wanted.

Unfortunately, my other ideas weren't that much better. I noticed some people called me "Tower" when speaking, and another called me Nix, but both of those were hardly names.

"Florrie" happened on accident. A friend of mine called me Florrie one day (online), and, as soon as I read it, the name resonated with me.

Okay, so, hold on, now everyone's confused - why not just use Liam as a name for people to know me by online? I could make a claim that I don't want people to know that people call me Liam in real life; but that's not really true, because my early accounts were all named "liam"-something, and I haven't tried to hide them at all. But, online (and to people I've met online), I'd rather not be called Liam - either Florrie or towerofnix is fine.


Another thing people are confused on - what's this fIorrie account?

The reasoning behind the name is simple; it's just "florrie", but with the L replaced with an I, because florrie was already taken over nine years ago. (It's still pronounced "Florrie"!)

The Florrie user was created as an experiment to see how people would react to it. In the end, it ended up as a separate space for slightly more personal discussion that I didn't want immediately on my _nix page. Have a look at its (earlier) comments! (The comments are still public so that they can be read; I just didn't want them immediately on /users/_nix.)

So, ah, that's my long-overdue formal/informal answer to some of the confusion people have had. If you have any questions or confusions at all, please feel free to ask; I probably did a terrible job at explaining most of this, and directly answering questions is a bit easier (and maybe more helpful) than making something like this.

There's no comment system on my blog, but you can email me (you did catch my email, right?) or comment on the fIorrie Scratch profile. (The Scratch page is better; I prefer public conversations! But I'm totally fine with email as well, if you'd prefer.)