10 Years

Today, exactly 10 years ago, I published my first blog post here.

Since then I found love, got married, had a son and a daughter (not blogged, sadly, since the site was un-updateable for a few months) and a divorce. All more or less chronicled here, alongside lots of random nerdery.

Reading back through the archives is quite an emotional roller coaster, triggering all kinds of memories of the times when I wrote the posts. Including all the stuff I didn’t write about. It’s very cool having a written record like that, I can only recommend it.

I started writing short but frequent posts, but as the years went on, posts got longer but less frequent, with long breaks of several months a few times. I think the longest was just over 6 months.

The historical size of posts

I couldn’t figure out how to make the post sizes appear on the x-axis according to the dates in that graph, but if you can make Numbers do that, I’m all ears how. Pretty sure Excel can do it, but there are limits to how far I will go to produce eye candy. Here’s the raw data if you want to play along.

Let the long boring tl;dr part begin…

The Early Years

The very first website I had was pc89225.stofanet.dk, which I hosted on my own first PC I had bought in late 1998. I think I might have started fiddling around with a website somewhat earlier, but I’m not sure, I have no record of it, or any accurate recollection.

Then, after having moved to Copenhagen I also moved my site to a commercial hosting company, and one day I was hanging around in #BSD-DK, as usual, and discussed anti-spam filtering and setup, bitching a bit about the lack of good solutions with my current hosting (remember, this was before GMail), and Alex Holst kindly offered me an account on mongers.org. And that was just what I needed. (Thanks a lot Alex.)

So from late August 2002, and for the next few years, I had m.mongers.org and my blog got started.

1st Generation Blog

In the beginning, being a complete beginner in web development, I went for the minimum viable solution with static HTML files generated with a mix of a Makefile, shell scripts and M4 macros.

I had hacked it together mostly over christmas, finally deploying a little past new year.

It was primitive as hell, even by the standards of the day, but I liked it, because I had made it myself. Remember that back in the day there were very few ready made solutions for blogging, and I also wanted to make my own, just for fun.

2nd Generation

It wasn’t long before the M4 macros showed their inadequacy, there are way better HTML templating solutions out there.

I ended up throwing everything into a super simple single-table PostgreSQL database and pull it all out with some Python and Cheetah Templates to generate HTML, that I would then rsync over ssh to the server.

That worked well for quite a long while.

And no, the database part was not necessary. I just wanted to try out using a database as backend.

3rd Generation

I was unhappy with not having comments, at least sometimes, and I wanted to experiment with the other blog features that were common with ping backs etc., so I moved to blogger.com, keeping the archive of the old blog running on m.mongers.org.

4th Generation

After a while, I think almost 2 years, I grew tired of Blogger.com, mostly because I wanted to do my own thing. I didn’t know exactly what, but I ended up not blogging for quite a while, except migrating everything from Blogger.com into my own system.

After a while, I can’t remember if it was immediately after Blogger.com, og if I had a while on my old Python Cheetah based platform, I changed to the excellent jekyll platform, what powers GitHub pages.

This allowed me to keep deploying just simple static webpages as always, keeping the server side lean and mean, and I moved it around a bit among different servers. I even hosted it on my home ADSL on my soekris net4801 for a while, and it worked great.

For comments I started using Disqus, it provided all I needed without needing anything running on the server side. I like to avoid that.

Then came another big break.

5th Generation

I grew tired of maintaining my own site, so I generated a static version once and for all and deployed one last time, and then I put it behind a simple one page front page linking to everything else I do online.

Then I started blogging on liebach.posterous.com — and then Posterous got bought. I think Posterous is in technical decline now, and probably will not exist in a few years time, so I decided to leave before I was forced to it.

6th Generation

So I am now back on jekyll again, by way of Octopress, and loving it, so far.

Through all the changes in platform I have been very careful about keeping everything in place as much as possible, because cool URIs don’t change. Mostly — but I’ve done my best to have the correct redirects in place.

I love writing posts in Markdown—no dumb web interface—with $EDITOR (that means vim, of course) or iA Writer, using Marked for previewing. All great tools.

I’ll stay with this for a while, and I hope I’ll be blogging right up until the time when I die. And still have everything in one place, of course.

Thanks for reading.