Saturday, 09 April 2011


15 Years? You don’t say!

Charles G. Hill tells all:

This site went live on 9 April 1996 with seven pages...

The domain was obtained in March 1999.  At the time, the counter service I was using had recorded 6,444 visits; I then switched to Site Meter, and set the starting number to 6,445.  The count is currently a bit over 2.1 million.
and what’s more...
Originally everything here was hand-coded.
Why, back in my day, we had to write out our posts on Western Union forms, then hand-carry them down to the telegraph office.  In the rain.  Uphill.  In both directions.

Seriously, in any terms (not just “internet years”) 15 years is a long time!  I don’t doubt that among Dustbury’s readers are one or two who weren’t even born when Charles put up his first post. 

15 years is (almost) longer than I’ve been on the internet.[1][2] (I arrived later than many, but in the mid-90s I was trying to build a business, and viewed the internet as a dangerous distraction. (I was right.))  Once online, I spent most of my time hanging around Slashdot[3] and some of the commercial sites; personal spaces like Geocities, AOL, and LiveJournal didn’t interest me.   But 9/11 changed my habits: My search for news that day led to discovering  Instapundit (probably via a Slashdot link), and, through him, the whole world of (what were then called) warbloggers.[4]  Someone along the way pointed me to Dustbury,[5] and I finally got around to adding Charles to my bookmarks on June 1, 2002.[6]

So congratulations and happy anniversary, Charles, and so much for all those whippersnappers who think they’re cool because they’ve been on the web for all of 10 years.

(And as this post turned out to be as much about me as about Charles- but isn’t that the usual way the web works?- I’ve moved most of the personal stuff into the footnotes, and slated the whole thing into the “Geezering” Dept.)

[1]  When I tried to determine a date, the earliest document I could lay my hands on was a July, ’99 printout I made of a web article by Tomi Engdahl about how to use a PC’s parallel port for I/O control.  (That was for a never-really-started project to assemble  some remote-control CD players.)   I know I have some earlier Usenet threads somewhere in the archives...

[2]  Using Netscape something-or-another on a Windows 95 PC, via a 25-(on a good day with the wind behind you)-K dialup pirated from a friend’s Ameritech account.

[3]  I posted there for several years under the nick Old_Grouch, but declined to sign up when they got around to offering memberships (thereby missing the chance for a coveted 3-digit registration number).  The advent of  “moderation” made it increasingly difficult for the non-registered to be heard; I gave up posting there two redesigns ago.

[4]  Where I was gratified to find common ground with such mugged-by-reality former liberals as Bill Quick and (pre Pajamas Media) Roger Simon.

[5]  The details having vanished into the mists of history- and crashed hard drives.

[6]  I finally got myself into the blog business in April of 2007, when Ambient Irony’s Pixy Misa posted an offer of beta subscriptions for a new blogging service called (Get Yer Own Blog here!).  My very first post went up April 10th (“now let's see how much software I can break”), but I consider my real start at blogging came two days later, with a “Dear Diary” post about April weather, followed by my first Review the next day.  (Hey, I need to do more of those...)

Posted by: Old Grouch in Geezering at 15:53:08 GMT | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 This is probably the oldest set of pages on the Internet that I wrote code for.  I wrote the originals in 1995 but seems like the oldest grab has is from June of 1997.

Posted by: Nathan at 04/10/11 02:04:45 (cBrDo)

2 Come to think of it, I also wrote gopher pages back at IUPUI for the Student Activities office, around 1992-1993.  Unfortunately those are long gone.  And I started running LISTSERV mailing lists back in 1986, also at IUPUI.

Posted by: Nathan at 04/10/11 02:07:07 (cBrDo)

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