This story is written in 1998 by, for, and about computer geeks (or geek-wannabes). It represents a fairly near-term future, perhaps 20 years from now. Maybe less. Although techno-geeks are my primary audience, I hope I've written a story that can appeal to the general science fiction reader.
The story was written on an interactive message board ("bbs"). I posted the story in fragments and the other participants would often times post responses. As the author, I can tell you that having some interaction with the reader made the process of writing the story far more enjoyable.
For the web-based version of the story, I cleaned a few things up and removed some of the chatter. But I also left some of the comments in.