It's probably August or September of 1997. I'm sitting in my office at Armigeron Information Services, Inc. (there used to be a page there, and quite possibly there may be a page there in the future, but for now, there really isn't anything there) on the second floor of an office building in Boca Raton, Florida. I'm nominally the Vice President of Research and Development for the firm, and my office is the “Cold Room” where all the servers are stored. It's not that bad of an office really, since I have the largest window of our office (one entire wall is nothing but glass, and I have the largest “office” space there). It's early evening and I'm browsing the web (as usual) when I come across Ceej's black book and I'm hooked.
That was my first exposure to the online journaling phenomenon and it's something I want to do. But I never got a good angle. In March of 1998 I thought of one angle, the Programmer Skeptic but it didn't gell—the main problem was the idea was too limiting—nothing but programming related topics, rants more like it. I dropped it after one non-published entry.
Then in September of 1998 I found myself working in downtown Boca Raton, Florida at The EmiNet Domain (now Atlantic Internet), an ISP in downtown Boca Raton, Florida. The downtown area of Boca Raton is very quaint (well, as quaint as South Florida can ever get) and since I had aquired a digital camera I thought I could do a journal about downtown Boca Raton, called Eminently Boca. But like The Programmer Skeptic, it too was quite limiting and in November of that year, we had moved offices across town to a not quite so quaint area of Boca Raton. And by September of 1999 I found myself no longer working for The EmiNet Domain (by then, Atlantic Internet). So it was probably a good thing that I didn't start then either.
During October, my friends in Cambridge, MA, found a possible temporary job in Boston. I decided to visit them and at least interview for the job. After a two weeks I headed back to South Florida to wait for the responce to the interview.
In November if 1999 I worked on the Electric King James Bible, an experiment in document storage and retrieval via the WWW. By December I figured out what I wanted to work on next was a way to organize, store and retrieve an online journal (or weblog) using the same (or similar) technology. And this time, I had a hook (a programmer from South Florida living for a few months in Boston, a city he doesn't like) and a name, The Boston Diaries. My thought was that it would be a good way to keep my friends in South Florida (and elsewhere) up to date on what I was doing. So on December 4th I started designing the software to manage my online journal, and making entries.
It turned out that I didn't get the job, but I liked the name that I kept it as a joke. I had wanted to finish the software by January 2000, but a trip out to Palm Springs, California to visit Dad pushed the date back. I then had February 2000, April 2000, December 2000, January 2001, May 2001, then sometime in 2001 as a date to go live, as it were.
The reasons for slipping so much? Oh, general procrastination is the number one reason. Getting a job-job is another. Technical issues kept coming up and I would have to think long and hard about how to handle certain issues. Meanwhile, I kept making entries.
It's still not quite where I want it to be—it was originally to be an Apache module, but the desire to actually get this out there forced me to make it a CGI program, but by using mod_rewrite, I was able to make it appear as an Apache module (or at least hide the fact that it's an external script, as well as satisfying my goal of making the URL easy to remember and use in selecting entries.