Pull up a chair, I'll put on a pot of coffee...
Can you smell the aroma? :)
If you did, be sure to leave an entry in the Guestbook!
Me & the WWW: A Brief History
I first connected to AOL in 1992 or 1993. I was 7 years old, but intuitively grasped the weight of what the WWW would bring.
It was also a simpler time for the WWW, don't you think?
A time when you weren't retargeted with ads everywhere you surfed.
No constant notifications (except the welcome, "You've got mail!")
No social networks (Tons of awesome sites, though... all forgotten :( )
A simpler time, most definitely.
Do your ears remember the hopeful sound of dial-up? (The initial dialing beeps, the electric clinks and dings, the distortion and the white noise... and behold, you're connected!)
And the delight of upgrading your clunky 14.4kbps modem to the blazing 56kbps?
You'll recall that porn was a lot harder back then, wasn't it?
Leaving "slow dial-up" porn alone for a moment, and back to the story...
Can you picture the first day you got online?
My mind vividly remembers the day my father told me that he had connected to the World Wide Web. It was spooky and awesome all at once (and I believe we ordered KFC that night... yum!). He described it as, "Hundreds of people scattered in random chat rooms, reaching out into the vast new frontier... grasping for a connection... and their only words: 'Is anybody there? Can you read this...I am here.'"
When my folks split up, I had just turned 8 years old.
Mother and I stayed in SoCal, while my father picked up and moved back to the Midwest.
I'm not going to dwell on the sappy details... BUT, one cool thing my dad did for me before he left, was give me his computer.
Now if I remember right, it was a 386 PC that ran Windows 3.1 and MSDOS. What did a computer like that look like?
How powerful was that PC? Well, think of it like this:
Upgrading your RAM by 1MB would set you back about $100... (imagine what suckers we'll feel like in 20 years! Or perhaps not)
In any case, I dicked around a lot on Paint, weird MS-DOS games (The Lost Vikings, Wolfenstein 3D, DinoPark), and of course became a auto-didactic expert on creating bad-ass Windows screen savers.
Enter the cyberpunk dystopia of GeoCities
There were some hazy online years after that.
All nighters playing StarCraft on Battle.Net... slow to load dial-up porn... and lots and lots of fuckery on AIM, YIM, and MSN Messenger (you kinda had to be there).
I made my first website on GeoCities in 2001. It was my first attempt to "leave a digital footprint" of any substance. I think I put up some poems, observations about society, philosophical musings...
All told, I ended up making at least 3 or 4 Geocities sites. They were unique and fun and kind of hokey. The almighty $$$'s cold hand had yet to sweep through and disrupt the patchwork of cozy little online bergs that formed the GeoCities network. Netizens carved out their little slice of the digital landscape on the GeoCities frontier. These pages were nothing more or less than the home of the unique personalities and interests of the original settlers of the Digital Age.
I'll be honest with you here:
There is a very particular nostalgia I have for GeoCities pages. A nostalgia that nothing online today, in its infinite variety, can quite satisfy.
The Library Burns to the Ground
You might be wondering:
Why isn't Geocities talked about much anymore?
I can't claim to be able to answer that. But here is what I briefly know:
Sadly, Yahoo! (who bought Geocities in 1994), erased all of Geocities in 2009. There are some archival efforts, but largely, that record of Internet history has been lost forever. For shame. (Helpful tip: you can still download the entire GeoCities archive via Torrent)
The Phoenix Rises from the Ashes
It's 2016 now, and I'm a webmaster. I operate a dozen + different websites. But something inside me yearned for a simpler time.
This site will be a simple effort that allows me to focus purely on HTML design (a little .css sprinkled in), with a journal of what I'm up to and interesting things I like to share. All of it will be in the spirit of GeoCities, which is why I chose the "NeoCities" platform.
I will do my best to update this page daily, or close enough.
My central interests are: food/cooking (dining out, trying new recipes, cocktails, coffee), entrepreneurship (digital and otherwise), history (Roman, Mongolian, American), politics (always up for healthy debate!), writing (genre fiction, copywriting, non-fiction essays), technology (especially technology that will change civilization's course), financial markets and economics (currencies, commodoties, stock indices... taxes!)
If we share any of the above mentioned interests, you'll be right at home! Be sure to leave a note in my Guest Book, link to your page, and check back frequently!
One of my favorite pictures of the Roman Colosseum!