My sites

I first learned to programme (forgetting an unconsequential flirtation with BASIC in the early 80s on the Vic 20) in 2000.  I had been working on websites for the last 5 years and I could deal with HTML but the actual programming and interaction of forms and data seemed beyond me.

In the autumn of 2000, almost by accident, I came up with an idea for a website and decided to learn PHP so I could build it.  While I don’t regret doing that, the standard of my coding left something to be desired.  I actually learned how to do it (wrong) from a particular book.  This was the one.  Even the front cover is evocative to me now.  I remember that $29.99 seemed a lot to pay for such a thin book. But then again, if such a thin book could teach me how to do this, wasn’t that a good thing?

It actually took many nights of staying up learning stuff and plugging away.  I’m still not sure if my partial programming knowledge (I had worked among programmers) was a help or a hindrance.  Anyway, in March 2001 my site was ready and I unleashed it on the world.  Incredibly people actually went to it!  I announced it on a music mailing list of which I am a longtime member.  The nascent blogging community picked it up and I probably had about 50 people linking into it within a week, and member numbers grew dramatically.  And the site was kind of cool. Basic, but kind of cool. There wasn’t so much of this around back then remember.  I then started this very blog just a few weeks later.

Anyway, as I said, my code seriously blew chunks. I had been putting off fixing it properly for many years (and this is in spite of having become a reasonable programmer in the meantime). Now in 2011, my programming career having pretty much come and gone, I have gone in and fixed it up? Why? Because the number of bots trashing my server pushed me over the edge. I have hardened the settings and had to reprogramme a bunch of things to get them to work at all.

Now, what I really need to do is update the whole concept of and remake the whole thing for the modern world. But one step at a time! In the meantime, touch wood, the thing is safe and will stay up there for a bit.

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