While checking some very old backups of mine I stumbled over some really old HTML files. Turns out they are old websites of mine – including my very own that apparently went live on the 23rd June in 2000 on the free hoster FortuneCity.
For a quick recap: In 2000 WordPress didn’t exist yet, webspace and bandwidth were costly and a database was an extra you had to pay for. People wrote their websites in very unique styles and ways and many started out doing so at all. SelfHTML was my browser “home” for months.
Back then I went with the nick
Duke for short. It still shows in various domains and mail addresses of mine but was soon replaced by
beko, that was not only shorter but also way less popular and also holds parts of my real name (and that was actually never a secret by the way).
While learning more and more on HTML I also started with Warhammer 40k tabletop and LARP. As a student I obviously had all the time of the world. The website changed a lot in appearance during the early days and yes I had it all, animated gifs, blinking text, under construction signs and… browser requirements. Here some more screenshots for [y]our amusement from 2000 to 2002:
Hosting changed also all the time. There was a brief episode with Crosswinds but the roundtrip was awful and the website was slow to a point that images stopped loading so I was quite happy when my school started to offer some tiny amount of webspace that I used to offload most of my images – mostly drawings – as some sort of handicraft content distribution system. I had also various domains pointing to intro and landing pages. It was a huge mess and most are dead by now and I only kept the current .net domain.
This was also about the time when I came in contact with Linux, as you can guess from the next screenshot showing a design I was quite happy with and went with for years to come.
While most of this is offline nowadays some of the LARP articles survived but I had no desire to migrate ~400 hand written HTML files (no frames) about Warhammer into a CMS some years later. My drawings are also best forgotten 😉
In 2004 I migrated to 1&1 hosting with a database. That was a goal for years and I could finally afford to pay for this. Soon I discovered this brand new content management system called WordPress and started learning PHP.
This changed everything since the idea of dynamically assembled website code was totally new and alien to me. I dived into what is nowadays known Full Stack Development and as usual my own website and various projects became the playground.
A lot has happened since the early beginnings. I finished formal education, ditched Windows, became that Linux Jack, started working on T3 vans, emigrated to sweden [and back 🙁 ], visited places with my van, worked as driver, distributor and postman until I eventually went back into tech settled down, married and forked/got two children. Who would have guessed.
I never stopped programming, gaming, tinkering, trying and gathering know-how.
And it’s all here – mostly. There are some holes thanks to social networks and forums that raised and vanished again taking heaps of bits written with them.
I got takeouts of most of such silos before they vanished but sorting this and migrating it back into my own blog is quite a burden. Still I do so on occasion and on days like this I’m happy for the extra work. It’s the satisfaction of looking back on my own life, having it all in one place. Like a diary. It’s just not as private as a diary but it brings back the memories just the same.
This blog survived twenty years unlike e.g. Google+ and there is still the occasional visitor sent here by an old forum article or by search engine looking for some info or image. And I happily serve. Fixing dead links or wrong wording and re-uploading articles and images in better resolutions as I find them.
Blogging ain’t dead.
Evaluating micro.blog finally myself. All I know of it before was from presentation or FAQ and I recommended it a lot already as your one-stop #Indieweb solution. Time to take a closer look myself. My first trial expired because I never finished the sign up process when confronted with adding credit card information upfront. I hear this is not or no longer required and @manton, creator of all this, kindly reset my trial.
So far I’m pretty impressed. Oh and it’s also powered by #Hugo – my latest favourite toy I started playing around with 😀
Visited Berlin / Germany for the #IndieWebCamp to learn more about the #IndieWeb. We changed plans last minute and went by train to the camp when we found out about the new and kinda cheap #FlixTrain from Stuttgart to Berlin.
The group was a very mixed bunch from various places. Some even took planes over the ocean to visit the camp on the continent. It’s nice to put faces on people I only knew from reading so far and I’m grateful for this chance.
The first day was all about getting to know the people. Organizer Tantek Çelik invited everyone to speak up and introduce themselves and their websites so we got a lot of examples of itches already scratched with #IndieWeb principles.
We also learned about the OptOutTools project from the keynote speaker Teresa Ingram with the bold claim to work on AI capable of detecting misogyny online. It’s browser extention is designed like an ad-blocker or personal firewall where the user can decide how much of offending text may be displayed (or even none at all). Undetected phrases can be added to the filter to train it even more as well.
This resulted in a lof of discussion about intented and unintended side effects and how and in what ways speech will change and how people will try to break it. Detecing e.g. hate speech by AI is a goal even FB was (officially) not able to tackle so far. I’m very curious if and how this succeeds so I’ll keep an eye on their GIT repositories.
Parallel other talks were held in various rooms. This way I learned about the proposed RFC 6920 on Naming Things with Hashes or a quick introduction to #microformats held by David Shanske. There were also some less technical discussions. Two teenagers attented to the camp as well so we had a talk about what’s in for them on the #IndieWeb and we learned about TikTok dances. Some did their very first TikTok dance this day. So perhaps we’ll soon see a #POSSE or #PESOS provider for #TikTok.
The evening was all about finding food for a group of ~15 people. That wasn’t an easy task. Berlin is an ever changing city and all restaurants were packed or gone for good. The online informations are sparse on this and way to often badly out of date. We were about to give up on this when we found a really small store that switches to some sort sort of food place in the evenings usually only visited by the local neighbourhood. They threw a bunch of tables together for us and somehow we all squeezed into it. Such a cozy and friendly place. I loved it and that night became a really short one for us.
The next day was about getting things done – a hard task beeing sleep deprived from the travels and short nights before.
While some just offered assistance others had more pratical goals in mind. This ranged from setting up a new #IndieWeb enabled blog to hacking on gallery systems, location visualisation or in my own case on my #POSSE provider for Okuna.io.
It’s really nice to see how other people work and get their projects done. Everybody has some very personal workflow here and I enjoy peeking over people’s sholders and catch a glimse of this.
In the end everybody got a chance to show what was achieved or learned. I got my prototype for backfeeding reactions going and used the chance to show this to the audience off the record without the cameras going. Okuna is still in closed beta so I’m sensitive on this topic. As mentioned I always have some invites to give away. I’d love to see more IndieWeb users on Okuna as well. I’ll need
lab rats testers for my bridge soon anyway 😀
That was a great weekend and we met some awesome people at the camp. Of course we also snatched a bunch of new stickers and we ate as much candy from the stashes @MozillaBerlin as we could. Always fun to let the inner Geek run wild on such events 😉