|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
in case anyone's interested in the origin story of a newcomer:
nicks have always been a big deal to me, not exactly sure why. real name is austin frank, and I take quite a bit of pride in it because of the family history behind it.
first nick was abo in some dungeon game that I would play sitting on my dad's lap in front of our old apple 2g when I was 6 or so (my dad had the same penchant for appending -bo to things as seanbo's, and so I went from austin to abo).
next nick was for when I first got on aol, which would have been in 95 or so. I tried to register nitsua knarf, my name backwards, and then botched it somehow, and had to come up with another, and so I became nitsuabo (probly my favorite handle to date).
then in 98 I got involved with theonering and wanted a tolkien-ish nick for their chatroom (which has since become barliman's). Enamored of willow trees, I kludged together Tintathar, which I actually meant to be Tirtathar as indicated by my usual tagline "Watcher of the Willows".
Later on, my friends were talking about how I was about to go through a transformation and become far better than before (consoling me after a breakup), and said "It'll be like you've gone from Austin to AustimusPrime", and so that stuck and is my current AIM name.
Finally I signed on in the network systems group at university, and while I was offered a vanity account, it had to be professional sounding (austimus was not acceptable). Some of my favorite people have called me just "au", and a bunch of friends had adopted the conventional of calling eachother by the first letter of their first names prefixed to their last names. I decided that afrank didn't have the ring I wanted, and so I chose aufrank. I've always pronounced it so as to preserve the first syllable of my name (and that's how it's been done by people who call me au), but a couple of french-speaking folk have pronounced the au as "o", which I prefer less.
The coolest extension of my adoption of au as my meta-nick was when I started on linux from scratch and decided to call my project audistro, which I think sounds mightily badas*.
Probly tons more than anyone cared to know, but like I said, the topics always mattered to me for some reason.