on this day, 30th november, 2007 – three years ago – i officially moved this blog to its current location and gave it a new name, which is Scab of a nation, driven insane – i’ve debated about whether or not to have a contest to see how many people who read this blog actually know where that phrase came from, but i haven’t been motivated to do so, yet. prior to 30th november, 2007, it was called non plaudite, modo pecuniam jacite (don’t applaud, just throw money) and it was located at LiveJournal, which had just been consumed by SixApart. i was fed up with the shenannigans that 6A had been up to, and the fact that LJ was implementing all of these changes that they had told me when i signed up that they would never do (advertising on livejournal, for example*), combined with the fact that i had recently changed host providers and was feeling good about my newly aquired web abilities, i dumped LJ and adopted wordpress on my own server, thus conveniently eliminating all of the things i absolutely hated about livejournal, while enhancing the things that i liked about it. RSS is a good example of that: when i was on LJ, i had a “friends” page, which displayed my friends’ LJs, but if they didn’t have an LJ, the technology made it impossible to display their blogs on my LJ friends page. RSS changed all that. now i use an aggregator (i use Akregator, a part of the Kontact suite of applications), which includes all of my LJ friends, but also has feeds from blogspot, and tumblr, and typepad, and wordpress, and things like metafilter, and disinformation, and alternet, and raw story and every other list, blog and news source in existence! it’s what the LJ “friends” page was probably originally intended to be, before someone discovered that they could use it to line their pockets… and at this point, wordpress mostly takes care of itself, and i don’t have to worry about things dramatically changing (with a few minor exceptions) without my having a say in the matter.
i originally started blogging… well, i’m not exactly sure why. it was a technology thing, and i was working in a print shop at the time, which wasn’t exactly satisfying my desire for technology. but, as now, i was somewhat suspicious of getting involved in a technology that was resident on other peoples’ computers, so i didn’t use it for much. then i had my brain injury, and everything started to change. still, i didn’t have more than one entry per month until june of 2004.
i remember when i lived in bellingham, in 1993 or 1994, and i was riding my bike somewhere and i saw an advertisement on the side of the bus that included what i now know was a URI (Uniform Resource Indicator, also mistakenly called a Unform Resource Locator, or URL), and wishing that they wouldn’t put such confusing things on advertisements, when nobody knew what they were anyway.
it was not long after that that i connected my computer to a LAN (Local Area Network) for the first time. before then, in spite of the fact that i had been working with computers for almost 20 years, i had never connected to another computer. if there were files that had to be shared, as the files were that made up the many real estate and used car magazines that i was a part of creating during that period, that was accomplished via what i now would call a “sneaker net”, which was a 3½" floppy disk that was passed from one computer operator to another.
i had heard about networking, but didn’t think i would like it: i found it way too invasive… at the same time, by 1994 i was very much in to the “BBS” scene, where a number of users could log into a server, browse files, leave and respond to messages, and so forth.
in 1995 i moved from bellingham to seattle, and very quickly discovered that there was an entirely different world of networked computers that i couldn’t even imagine. i signed up with CompuServe and didn’t even last 6 months with them before i was on to greater things. i got a job at microsoft, as a technical support engineer about a year before the word concept virus was first discovered.
again, i had known about viri, but i also knew that there was no way of transmitting a virus: it had to be deliberately installed on a computer. the “word concept virus” changed all that. all you had to do to infect a computer was to open a MSWord document, and that could come from anywhere.
about the same time, i first encountered what, at the time, was a very strange web site indeed. it didn’t have a name that i can remember, but it appeared to be a list of rants by this guy, who updated it fairly frequently. i figured there was an “about” page, or something like that, that would tell me about the author, but there wasn’t (which is why i try very hard to put the bare essentials about me in a public place that you don’t have to login to in order to see, on my own blog). i tried to “login”, but it didn’t know my password (which isn’t surprising), and all of the rants were obscure enough that i couldn’t quite understand the purpose of such a site: it seemed to be more of an online diary than anything else. about the same time, i first heard the word “blog” (a portmanteau of the words “Web Log”), which was described to me as a sort of online diary. i was very familiar with “journalling”, but my impression is that journals are to be kept more or less private, and even then i was aware of the fact that if you want to keep something to yourself, putting it on internet is not the way to do it. i was actually repelled by the idea of keeping a blog, in the same way that i kept my sketchbook/journals – the artwork is the public part, the journal parts are still for the most part private and not available anywhere on internet.
at this point, i use this blog as a way to remember stuff, like fishtown, that i probably wouldn’t remember any other way. i use it primarily as memory, the connections for which were screwed up in my brain when they were poking around in my skull. i realise that a few people (and maybe more than that, but that could also be my paranoia talking) use this blog as a way to keep up with what i’m doing, but my guess is that i’d keep blogging even if there was nobody there to read it… that’s the way i started. 🙂
* i realise that it’s pretty pointless for me to expect that a “community resource” like livejournal would remain without advertisement indefinitely, but if that was the case from the beginning, then they should NOT have said “WE WILL NEVER HAVE ADVERTISEMENTS ON LIVEJOURNAL” when i signed up… and they definitely did say that. so i feel somewhat justified in my righteous indignation.