I've had websites online since before I even had an Internet connection at home. The first webserver I put online was a Pentium at 100 Mhz running Windows 95 with a whopping 32 Megabytes of RAM and almost a whole gigabyte of harddrive, and of course the Win95 version of the Apache webserver, it hosted some static pages, I used virtual hosts. It lived in a closet at the local youth club, in that closet was the cable modem and switch which served the netcafe of the club. My, at that time, 13 year old self had contacted the headmaster and proposed the deal that I provided the "server hardware" and administered it, so that they youth club could host their website, in exchange for me also hosting my own stuff on the machine. He agreed. I didn't know anything about Internet technology at the time.. I didn't even know that there were public and private IP addresses.. Boy did I learn! Headmaster was kind enough to arrange for the ISP to provide a static public IP, and I figured out the routing stuff, which.. someone, I don't know who, implemented in the router at the time, probably it was administered by the ISP too, but I digress! The point I'm so long windedly trying to make is, that I've "always" been a "hosting stuff on the Internet" guy. I've always felt it a privilege, and in some sense, a duty, to participate in this amazing international marvel that is the Internet, with a capital i! It's always provided me with some sense of belonging, of participating in human society.. It's allowed for me to exist in the world with other people. I still host my own website, and email, I programmed an imageboard in the same style as the old 4chan which ran for many years before I shut it down, I programmed many weird things.. At one point I had a website that was sort of like ebay (I didn't know of ebay back then) where people could buy/sell/swap computer hardware.. I've always done stuff online, and never with any particular success.
Fast forward to 2019, pre-covid. It was a day like any other, more or less, except I got a call when I was at work, that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer. Intellectually, I was prepared for this, because he'd been a longtime smoker and overall life-enjoyer, but emotionally, it still weighed down on me, enough that I decided to drive home, I couldn't continue the day at the office. Sitting in the car, driving home, I felt at the same time, an intense desire to be among people, among fellow human beings, and at the same time, be isolated from them, and have room to be alone.. This dual longing.. I don't know why, but I felt I needed to immerse myself for a little while, to distance myself from the bad news, and at the same time, create connection. It was there in the car, feeling sad, lonely and wanting to be isolated and among people, that geeking materialized, pretty much all at once.. Somehow, I thought "this might amuse some of the people on hackernews"... I wanted this little slow thing that I could tend to, like a garden.. It shouldn't scale beyond what I personally wanted it to.. It should be the simple, old, raw web. When I arrived home, I had the program worked out in my head, I sat down and wrote it, hooked it into nginx and I've not changed it since then.
My dad passed away earlier this year, this is not the place for that story.. But in a weird sense, this silly little thing, it came to be because of that drive home from work.
Coding and tending to this site helped me deal during a difficult time, I want to thank everyone who's signed up, and participate in this amazing international community that is the Internet, I continue to enjoy the weekly ritual of looking through new submissions, and even accepting some of the into them ring ;)
- DusteD 2022