Welcome back to Serendipity

Posted by in Website

Welcome back! I am now live on WordPress 1.5. Yes I need to get back all my stuff from the previous version – but thats now lying locked in another database in another server. Hope to retrieve it soon. Meanwhile let me (for myself – if not for anyone else) recall the life of Serendipity.

It all I should say started out around 1997 – 1998 (correct me, can’t really remember the year when they started off!) when I discovered Geocities.com, offering free webhosting. It conicided with me starting to learn HTML as a way to keep in touch with programming, but not as complex as C or C++ that I used during my engineering school days. I was then using the editors provided by Geocities. Don’t ask me what I was putting up there – nothing really – just experimenting with tables and various other forms of presentation. It was just fun to see my work live on Internet. I am pretty sure no one else ever saw what I put there!

When I went to France in 1999, of course I was taking loads and loads of photographs. And I was getting shouted down from home (Kerala, India) by my parents who found it too expensive to develop them, and I am pretty sure boring. That’s when I started using Geocities to host selected photos.

Soon, it was placement time. I was working on my CV and found that MS Word could turn the file into HTML. That went straight to my Geocities site. That was a rather good move. I also put a copy of my CV for download online, and the site was mentioned on my CV as well. (I think this was the time when the new redirection sites like www.go.to came into existence. I had the address pramod.go.to. I just tried it – and yes with all the redirections it still works.

Putting CV online, with some extra information that I could not present on a one pager did become a talking point during many of my interviews. And after starting to work wit Air Liberté, I continued to use my site for posting photographs.

In 2001, I moved to Zurich, Switzerland. It was here that I registered the domain pramod.ch (.CH for Switzerland – from the original Latin name for the country – Confoederatio Helvetica. I found a hosting company in nearby St. Gallen. I got the tool Fusion by Netobjects. Another new era for me. Moving from textbased HTML coding to WYSIWYG editors. I still kept it as a very personal site – with lots of info about myself (even included a Psychology test showing my character!)

Then I discovered the need for moving from a design editor like Fusion to something that helps me manage the content and let the design management be left out for days when I am more creative! This search led me to the world of CMS – Content Management Systems. Most of the Open Source CMS I found required MySQL and my host company did not offer MySQL support intially. Finally when I managed to get MySQL support – I started experimenting with various CMS solutions. I can’t really recall all the names of systems I have tried – but it included Typo3. I played with for sometime. Even got myself a bound copy of the user manual. But it was rather too complex for my requirements. I was also then experimenting with blogging at www.blogger.com. The first entries of my current blog are from those days!

Finally I ended up installing Movable Type. And I was really happy with it and. That also triggerred the move from a private website to a more blog site. Removed almost all personal info – especially worried about privacy issues. In fact I don’t see any benefits of putting all my private info online really – address and phone number and all. But yes lots of my friends still visit this site to search for my contact info. Perhaps I should add some basic contact information (I guess I will.)

Soon though I got hit with comment spam. Not thousands yet, but nevertheless a huge number or spam comments. And I was frustrated. While searching for a solution for that – I came across WordPress. I was impressed by what I saw – and I had to change. The simplicity, elegance and the fact that there was no need for rebuilding – help me make up my mind rather fast!

Until the recent change in my host, I was using WordPress. I had not updated my blogs for sometime already. I thought may be its time for a new change. Perhaps time to experiment and take a new track. And I had recently seem some installations of Mambo – and I wanted to try! Well, that’s precicely what I did! Last two months or so I have had Mambo on my site. While its a beautiful tool, I just couldn’t use it. I think I have become too much of a blogger already to change for now!

And yesterday WordPress released WP 1.5. And here it is. I am back to a happy cat. I need to try and get my past posts. But meanwhile a new start – with an old tool.

Don’t tell me you actually read the whole thing – I am not really sure I am impressed – you certainly seem to have lots of free time in your hands! Anyway thanks for reading this. I will be posting regularly from now on. So come back and read more. Do leave your comments – it’s more fun if this can be a little more than a one way channel.