Happy Web Anniversary

Posted on 12/30/2004 in misc

Ryan notes that this month marks his 10th year on the Web. Tomorrow (12/31/2004) marks the beginning of the 9th year online for O'DonnellWeb.

It was a cold and windy one, that night of Dec 31, 1995. OK, actually I have no idea if it was cold or windy. What I do remember is that my wife was 7+ months pregnant with out daughter, so we weren't going anywhere to celebrate the passing of the year. She retired to bed well before midnight, leaving me alone with a computer and a lot of beer. That is never a safe thing to do.

Being the geek that I am, building a web page seemed to be a great way to spend the night. In fact, I decided that I wanted a page online that year. Obviously, I foresaw that I would be writing this missive 9 years later ;) Armed with nothing more than Notepad and Netscape 1.0 on a Windows 95 machine, I set off the figure out how to build a web page. It really wasn't that difficult. The number of HTML tags back then was very limited, and I was able to look at the code on IBM.com and a few other sites to figure out how it all worked. Several hours later it was nearing midnight and I was ready to launch my first site. I read the scarce documentation available and deduced where exactly on the server I needed to FTP my file.

It didn't work. The file was there, but I got a You are not authorized error where trying to access the page on my 14.4 modem. It was about 3 AM when I finally figured out the arcane syntax of the Unix CHMOD command and made the site available to the world. However, technically I was online by midnight. This would not be the last time I spent 3+ hours figuring out one silly computer command.

The URL for that site was http://www.america.net/~greenegg. That page has been lost to the mists of time, or something. However, it did look a lot like this.

I bought the ODonnellWeb domain in 1998. I'm not the digital pack rat that Ryan appears to be. I don't have copies of all the old sites.If you are interested, Archive.org seems to have me covered from early 1999.

Here is my very first blog post.

That first silly web page is directly connected to my decision to find a job in technology. In many ways, that night sitting up alone drinking homebrew and learning HTML has had a very significant impact on my life. If it wasn't for the Internet, I never would have met my wife moved to Virginia. I'd probably still be in GA in the printing trade.

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