alien life form

The reason for alf

Upon returning from the US and Ann Arbor to Italy (BIG mistake!) I was hired by Control Data, a then powerful IT player.

CDC was on the Net since its inception, so I had to choose an Email address for myself. The corporate guideline suggested to use an acronym made from first, middle, and final initial but, as you know, Italians don't use a middle initial. So I settled on ALessandro Forghieri (ALF), which sounds like a name, and became

If you think this sounds cool, well, think again. The corporate guidelines were baloney - they often are - and shortly after this, Control Data adopted a pigheaded fuzzy address matching algorithm for mail routing. As a consequence,I started getting the mail of this Alf-Hansen-external guy (no doubt he was getting mine). At this point, I had about 20 logins by the "alf" user name, though, and rather than changing that, I slightly changed my email address to - rather uncool, really, but at least it fixed the matching snafu.

What follows is history. I left Control Data, after a while, but the address stuck, and around the net I was known as alf, and so I decided to keep it. Besides, have you ever tried to spell "Alessandro Forghieri" to some non-Italian speaking person? Alf is much quicker than "". And then, there's the pop culture bit...

alf the warthog

As it happens, alf (short for alien life form) was the name of a popular character in a US television show in the late 1980s. The main character is a being from outer space, and it looks like a warthog, which is not what I look like, in case you're wondering - look at us side by side and see if you can spot the difference. I actually have much shorter hair, these days.

This looked like a "kewl" thing to have in a newtwork moniker, which reinforced my sick affection for it, and explains why my incarnation on IRC is "al_Form" ("alien_life_form" is too long, darn).

alf in think3

Things change. Upon my arrival in think3, I found different naming guidelines - which make me "alfo" instead of simply alf - and a shiny new email address:

Well, "alfo" and "alf" being quite similar, it's no wonder I still refer to myself - on the net, at least - as alf; besides, my private email still is (and will be for the foreseeable future)

And that's all, folks.