The Big Bang

Diogenes's picture
fireworks2011 (47K)

This is the first update to this site in over 10 months but it's a big one!

This web site is now managed by Drupal, a "content management system" or CMS. It's a program that helped me organize a very messy garage. Pardon the mangled metaphor, but the old website was a garage that was so filled up with junk that there was no room to park a car. was born soon after after I registered the domain name in 2007. I'm a Canadian, so I have a right to a .ca internet domain name. I'd been meaning to register for a couple of years, like a friend had done, but registering a domain name without having an actual web site is a bit like getting a drivers license before you own a car. Why bother?

Since my last name is not all that common or useful in Canada, wasn't registered by anyone during that time.

Having your last name registered as the domain in your own country (Canada) was like getting a vanity plate for only $22/year. What - 33 million people and nobody registered that name yet? Sign me up!

HomerSimpsonPontiacAztec (17K)

I had been fooling around with web technology for about a year and had built a couple of silly web pages just for fun. Once I had registered an official domain name, I needed a car to drive, so I built my own. The first edition looked something like this.

I had no vision or long range goal in mind, just to get something on the road. Then I started to add things. A page here and there, many with pictures and sounds. Then I began to rant about events that were happening in Canada.

messy-garage (37K)

Like some crazed trailer-park boy upgrading his '82 chevy camaro 20 years after it rolled off the factory floor, I began adding stuff to the web site until it became impossible to drive anymore. My garage was filled with half assembled components and various tools scattered around god knows where. By April 2010, the web site had almost 100 pages in total. Some of this was in a database but most of it was in a cluttererd closet on a hard drive.

I installed a sound system, called Jukebox, that I built myself, but then I buggered it up when I deleted the library it in a moment of stupidity, only to discover that my library backup was only partial. In Feburary of 2009, I learned of the importance of backups when my 2 year old HP lapdog suddenly blew a disk drive.

Last year around this time I was obsesssed with the Facebook group Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament. Through contacts I made there, I learned about this thing called Drupal. I downloaded the software, and within a week I had constructed a really bad web site but it did really impressive things.

drupal-web-developer2 (9K)

It has taken 9 months, 2 books, and a whole lot of dickin' around to figure out how to get this Drupal thing to work, and though I am no wizard yet, at least I can drive this contraption around the block now.

It took a whole week to move all the old pages into a database. That was a massive cut and paste operation. Then more work was needed to get all of the features to work. And as soon as I had started the project, Drupal itself went through a major upgrade (to version 7) which added a whole new twist.

The upgrade was a bit messy and quite painful, but I suppose it's a bit like giving birth - once it's over you love your new baby.