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My First Blog: ILikeLasagna.com

After my first experience creating a website on Geocities, I decided to buy my own domain name and start a blog.

A screenshot of my first website, on Geocities hosting. Created with the drag and drop WYSIWYG Geocities editor of the day.
A screenshot of my first website, on Geocities hosting. Created with the drag and drop WYSIWYG Geocities editor of the day.

Back then, in the year 2001, the most prominent blog platform was the freshly released Blogger. It was in competition with a few other platforms such as LiveJournal, but seemed to me like the one with the most promise. Additionally, Blogger allowed users to not only publish to Google’s servers, but also to publish blog posts to your own web server. Back then the technology was pretty basic – blogger would make a simple FTP connection with a remote server, and then publish the entire blog as flat HTML pages. Every time a new blog post was published, Blogger would go back and re-make every page of the site that changed as a result. This method made publishing to a remote server take forever, and also made the system prone to random FTP issues. Additionally, if you tinkered with the file structure Blogger created, it was necessary to republish the entire blog from scratch – luckily a process Blogger made fairly simple. The system was rudimentary, but it worked, and the flat HTML publishing method made web host page serving overhead minimal. Back then I had hosting through Netfirms, which at the time was fairly prominent.

The Jeff-Itinerary (20140729)

The design of my first blog – “ILikeLasagna.com”, was adapted off of a standard blogger template. This was really my first experience with coding HTML and CSS, and was an excellent learning experience. Since blogger didn’t use PHP, and the pages were structured with both tabular design and CSS, learning how it all worked was straightforward – and unlike today’s PHP-based WordPress, was almost impossible to completely break. With Blogger you just had to insert a few tags telling it where the blog post and other dynamic elements should show up, and the system would take it from there. Today, WordPress operates on the same principles, but with so many different elements, modifying a single character can bring the whole thing to its knees.

In the early days, my blog was an experiment. Actually, it still is today. But back then, I used it as an announcement board for my friends, a place to talk about various things in my life, and a place to write about what I was working on. It’s come a long way since then, but I’m essentially still using it for the same purpose – although now, hopefully, it’s been refined just a bit.

Migrating all of my old blog content has been an involved task, and it’s still not complete. But most of the posts are moved over, and I’m slowly going through them, editing a little bit, and putting the most relevant ones online publicly. For every one original blog post I share publicly, there’s about 15 other ones that I’m keeping private, but still integrated into the overal content mass.

Listed below are a couple of blog posts from my original blog that I feel represent significant events, or are somehow still relevant today.

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