Q: What is your real name? The title above says "Wil" but your résumé says "Will"
A: How much confusion a single "l" can cause! My legal full name is Will Reilly Cooley, so my given name is not William, Willem, Wilbur or any other variation. When I set out to make myself, I had fewer options than a person with a longer name. A William could become Will or Bill or a number of other variations. Alas, I had fewer options. I chose, instead, simply to drop an "l", which I preferred the written shape of and which, over the years, has saved me a good deal of typing.
Q: I tried to friend you on MySpace/Orkut/Friendster/LinkedIn/etc and you never responded! Why?
-OR- I sent you e-mail and you never responded! Why?
-OR- I called you and left voicemail and you never returned my call! Why?
A: I apologize; it got lost in the flood. I am so inundated with junk and I am usually so pressed for time that I have a hard time filtering the good things that I want to read from the things I want to throw away. Consequently, it tends to expire or build up to a point where I cannot process any of it and end up having to throw it all away. My habits in this regard are very poor. I have been promising myself to finally get on top of some of these things, but I have been doing for several years now. At times it seems like the most sensible thing to do would be to simply withdraw--close my accounts on social networking sites, de-list my telephone number, etc--but for the same reasons that I haven't processed the messages in the first place, I have not.
Q: But I see you hundreds of messages from you on mailing lists and websites and all over the Internet!
A: I know, but those discussions are almost always technical in nature. Writing about abstract or technical things is fairly easy for me, especially when it is factual in nature, and the audience is usually broad. Writing about personal matters is considerably more difficult, so even a few short sentences can take 20 minutes or so.
Q: I have received an e-mail from you that contains an attachment I do not know how to read; is it a virus?
-OR- I would like to send you something via e-mail that is very sensitive. I know that e-mail is not secure, despite appearances. How can I do that?
A: The e-mail attachment is a detached PGP signature. It is not a virus. The signature itself is plain-text, like e-mail, but it carries a type that your mailer may not recognize. If you had appropriate software, you could download my PGP public key and use this signature with the public key to verify that the message you received from me was authentic. That is, you can rest assured that, if the message passed verification with the signature, I sent the message.
With the same software, you could use my public key to encrypt files or messages that can only be decrypted by me. Such software includes Enigmail for Thunderbird, GNU Privacy Guard (for command-line use), and built-in to some mailer like Evolution.
Q:Who the hell are you, and why are you so damn vain?
Ha! That used to be a question worth asking, but with MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, Orkut and all the other social networking sites, nearly everyone is vain enough to believe he warrants his own page!
And anyway, who I am changes too often. I used to put my age here, but on the date that I am editing this page, it is 5 years out of date. I used to put my work here, but that too, was 5 years out of date. Instead, I am just going to include links to a few bits of relevant information that my not be too far out of date.
Here is my résumé.
Other ways to find out about me: