Beginning01 May 2013
When you don't know where to start, you start from the beginning. In this case though everything before 1994 would probably be mostly useless, even if it would occasionally be amusing. Thus, let's start in 1994.
In 1994 I entered the University of Miami as a freshmen with my major as Music Composition. I can't recall why I chose to go to college - I suppose that's what a kid from a middle-class family is supposed to do, so I did it. I was very fortunate in that my father worked for the University of Miami for many years and essentially provided a means for me to go to U of M for free. No doubt that's another reason I went: it was essentially an extension of my parents taking care of me. 4 more years of fun and frolicking, right?
Anyhow, back to the story. As a freshman I lived in the dorms, had a meal plan, and essentially didn't need much money, but a little wouldn't hurt. My brother (@dje) was already a Sophomore and was working in the computer labs. The labs always needed lab techs to sit at the front desk and give students access to machines, so he hooked me up with a job doing just that. Other duties included running back to the printer room to grab printouts for the grad students who used the line printers, rebooting machines that failed (this was back in the Mac OS 8 days) and trying to keep from being bored. About the best part was shutting down the labs at the end of the day and then having LAN parties playing Marathon.
One day Darrin comes to me and says he wants to show me something on his computer. He pulls up this application and tells me that this is the future. The application was Mosaic and Darrin was showing me the world wide web. Mosaic had been released in 1993, so this was really the early days in the history of the web. None the less, I was interested in understanding how I could make something with it right from the beginning. I decided that I would make a web site where I could put up my music along with photos of artwork from a friend and written works by another friend. I can't remember what the name of the site was, but I do recall it was pretty awful. The thing is: it didn't matter that it was awful, all that mattered was that I could build it using nothing more than View Source and a few tutorials. About the only programming experience I had at this point was some Basic.
In short: the web was an amazing, open environment that has been central in my life for almost 20 years now and I am truly thankful for all of the people who have contributed to make it what it is over that time.
Next up: Hacking my Way Through CGI and Perl