The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

An electronic archeological dig

An essay by Mark Pilgrim on the history of the tilde got me interested in figuring out when I first put up my homepage, (don't even bother trying to go there—it's long dead link; I don't even think exists anymore). I still have a copy of that site, but the earliest timestamp in that site is 1995, and I know I had it prior to that. I think I used the NCSA server, which means I could have had the page up as early as the summer of 1993, but 1994 sounds right to me.

A bit of digging in the archives reveals this email message I sent:

From: (Sean 'Captain Napalm' Conner)
Subject: Re: Lunch …
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 94 16:16:42 EST

A long long time ago in a network far far away, The Great Hanh Vu wrote:

-spc (Installing httpd on pineal … yup … I … broke down I'm gonna have a home page … )

Et tu, Sean …

Yea, well … you know … gotta keep up with the times …

-spc (but you can check out what I have with … )

The surprising thing is that it was late 1994, not early 1994. Slap some CSS on the pages, and it wouldn't look half bad these days. I also found the following gem (which wasn't carried over to the current site):

The Atlantic Sun was the FAU school newspaper for many many years, from the mid 60's (when the university was founded) to about 1990. At this time, the paper was completely student run (there was not facaulty or staff supervisors).

In that year, the paper was very critical of the Administration (so what else is new). In order to strike back, the Administration looked at the academic records of each of the editors and found that most of them technically could not work for the newspaper with such abysmal GPAs. The editors of the newspaper where outraged and shouts of “Censorship” were heard about the campus.

In a very bold move, the newspaper persuaded the Student Goverment to give them several thousand dollars (on the order of about US$50,000), plus all the existing equipment to form a newspaper off campus and become completely independant. So, the old staff left campus with mucho dollars and all the equipment and set up shop about a mile off campus, and thumbed their noses at the Administration (as well as various other body parts).

One year later the Independant Atlantic Sun (as it was called) went bankrupt and folded operations.

It only took about three years for a new student newspaper to form.

Ah, politics. Ya gotta love it … (don't even ask about the Student Goverment here … )

If I remember correctly, the Student President and Student Senate Speaker had resigned due to rumors of suspicious activities, and the quickly held elections were declared invalid by the Student Judicial Branch. That caused the Student Senate to start impeachment proceedings against all the Student Justices. Had everything gone down, the Student council would have consisted of a Vice President (as acting President), three Senators (whose positions were not up for re-election) and no Judicial Branch. It didn't end up that way, but such was the politics of FAU in 1995.

But I digress …

Oh, and yes, I do have email going back that far, possibly a bit further in the past—hard to say when exactly I started saving all my outgoing email. Why I remember—self preservation. A friend of mine was having problems with one of the facaulty and felt it best to keep a copy of all correspondence, just in case. So I started doing the same as well.

And this whole pile of textual bits is courteously of ever increasing densities of harddrives (link via 0xDECAFEBAD).

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