It’s bloo!

For the first time in 6 years, my personal site has gotten a makeover.

In 2004, pretty much directly after graduating, I felt I needed a presence online which wasn’t defined by my education – especially since my old ecs.soton.ac.uk address was gone, and using the alumni zepler.net domain seemed like a cop-out. I spent a few days pondering a nice, new, unique name for my site, equal parts enigma and stupid, and settled on APEBOX.NET. And in order to flex my newly graduated programmer muscles, I spent time creating a design from scratch, on top of a very simple Java Server Pages platform of my own design.

The observant amongst you may have noticed a discrepancy in the TLD, and you’d be right – I had some disputes with my web host over the topic of “blithering incompetence”, and ended up jettisoning the entire APEBOX.NET domain (which it appears had been registered in someone else’s name) and moved the whole shebang to the only slightly different APEBOX.ORG, a mere 6 months after starting up. With the change of domain and change of webhost, I found myself unable to find an affordable JSP host, so ported the whole effort to PHP instead.

Around September 2007, I made an executive decision that running my own publishing platform was silly – that I was relying on security by obscurity, and that needing to edit text files via SSH was an annoyance for posting new material. Subsequently, I settled on the much-maligned WordPress platform as a new way to run things, transplanting all the existing content into WordPress posts and pages, and recreating the original design as pixel-perfect as I could manage moving from <TABLE> and HTML 4.01, into CSS and XHTML 1.0, and growing fancy-pants things like comments boxes in the process.

Now, jump forward again to 2010, and I’ve run out of scope for the site’s old “grey on brown” style. The last 2.5 years have really been using WordPress in ways it wasn’t designed for – and attempting to shoehorn my 2004 approach into a modern web. This is especially visible with the old “RANTBOX” and “PENGUINBOX” links, which provided an un-dated list of blog posts, in an effort to mimic the old “which .blog files are in this directory” approach – I found myself avoiding blogging about other topics of interest such as politics or games, purely because I could see neither how to shoehorn them into an existing category, nor how to extend the list of categories without making compromises in my never-to-be-questioned new-graduate aesthetic.

So here we go, a new post in a new category, something which I would never have gotten away with under the constraints of the old “this is a site not a blog” blog. The theme, for the curious, is a wonderful happy-feeling creation called Monkey Island, which I’ve mildly tweaked to accommodate the width of images in existing blog posts.

A dull post on a topic nobody gives a shit about – and it feels great!

2 Responses to “It’s bloo!”

  1. Screenshots!? 🙂 I like before and afters…

    [Reply]

    directhex Reply:

    @Brett Alton, http://web.archive.org/web/20061012141830/http://apebox.org/ is close enough (that’s the version)

    [Reply]

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