In times of yore, my friends gave their computers cool cyberpunky names so that they sounded cool at LAN parties: “Hey, can you toss me an Ethernet cable for suntzu?” “Sure. Here’s the switch I’m using for chaosium.” My Amiga had a few hard drives to store all the, ahem, public domain music files that we traded around. I don’t know what prompted me to think of it as the honeypot full of music, but it stuck, and I christened it honeypot to be one of the cool kids.

I was working at an ISP and handling domain registration tasks for our customers. It struck me as a great idea to one-up my friends and turn my computer’s name into a full-blown domain name. The .org TLD didn’t feel right because I wasn’t an organization, and definitely didn’t identify with .org’s non-profit connotations. .com also felt wrong because I wasn’t some boring company that had decided to hop on to the Internet to see what the fuss was all about. .net had just the right about of geek cred, so it was.

It was the custom to have a cool and vaguely menacing desktop wallpaper to go with our cool and vaguely menacing handles. If you’ve seen “Hackers”, you’re familiar with those ideas. Here was my background:

How cool was I, right?

That wasn’t good enough to show off my new domain, so I replaced it:

Obligatory Nine Inch Nails-style backward n.

I needed to change things a bit when I acquired a second computer. Instead of using the whole domain name for a single host, I decided on a whim to give each one a name from A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories. First, Pooh was my childhood stuffed animal best friend, and I still like him. Second, Pooh loves honey, as in a pot of it – a honeypot. Finally, it was an ironic pushback against the scary hacker imagery that was common at the time.

When I registered, about 2 million domains existed. Today there are about 700 million. I wish I’d gotten on the Bitcoin or Apple stock bandwagons that early.

Happy 25th birthday, We’ve had fun.