Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

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I guess you want to know more about this site, eh?

So, what is this site about? I think that my elevator pitch for this site would be that it's a site for experimentation, for sharing things I like (or dislike sometimes), and a place that serves as a home for the various places I am on the web. Like most things, this site has gone through several periods and distinct phases, depending on what else was happening in life...

When the dinosaurs roamed the net...

I think the alpha versions of this site didn't have much - they weren't even on the web itself! One day I walked into the office of the director of computing at my high school looking for the computer club, and I was given a CD with instructions on how to code HTML 2, as well as Netscape Navigator 3.x for my 68k Performa, and a few other programs (I think a gopher client, an ftp client?) that I never used. So, I started marking up some text in HTML, using headers, paragraphs, lists, and the all impressive BLINK tag. Of course the problem wasn't the coding - it was the content. What should I create? And, why does it look so plain, when in comparison Microsoft Works had so many formatting options?
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Joining a neighborhood...

When I started college I spent a lot of time at the computer lab. This is when Yahoo Messenger was first out, Java-based anything were all the rage, and free online hosting via sites like Geocities and Angelfire. With my friends also heading off to college, and no new physical addresses for snail mail, I thought that an opportunity for experimentation was again available. I created a geocities account and started playing around. I dusted off my HTML skills, picked a neighborhood, and started creating pages. If I remember correctly club-admiralty was parked at geocities.com/Area51/Matrix/#### (Area 51 being the Sci-Fi neighborhood). I don't remember my number. I wanted to pick 8472 (for species 8472, from Star Trek Voyager), but that wasn't available. Funny thing is that a year after I joined geocities Yahoo bought them out. Eventually the URL became geocities.com/username.

So, what did my geocities site include? Well, at first it was the digital equivalent of two printed pages stapled together. One in Greek, one in English. Both had the same content, which was a brief, montly, update on how things were at college. How classes were going, what courses I was taking, and general "AHA!" moments. Think of this as a proto-blog. Sadly, each month I just deleted the old text, and added new stuff, so a lot of that old stuff does not exist any more. I also had a song of the month. In MIDI format. It autoloaded. It was annoying as hell ;-)

As I learned how to mix audio, how to encode in Real format, how to design in Flash and code in ActionScript, and how to use photoshop, I added more things to my page including a monthly mix of real music (eh...let's just call it fair use since I was learning how to do do things with audio editors...), Flash-based menus, Java-applets, a page of links with things I liked, a guestbook (another thing that was all the rage at the time, along with page counters...)

Eventually the localization bug bit me, so I used my website as a means of connecting with friends through these proto-blogs, but I was also translating my blogs to the languages I was learning in college (Italian, German, French, etc.). There was a perpetual "under construction" sign on the site (also, quite indicative of the time period)...
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Turning to iTools…or was that dotMac?

Time progressed, and Geocities hosting wasn't allowing me to do FTP uploads. Since I wanted to experiment with something called rapidweaver on my mac, I moved over to dotMac hosting. I was already subscribing to dotMac for addressbook, calendar, and bookmark syncing, why not use the "free" hosting on there by putting my rapidweaver exports into my web folder? At this point I was blogging in English with Rapidweaver's tool, I was using Blogger, and WordPress, and Posterous, and a few other services. On the microblog side of things, I was on twitter, on plurk, posterous, pownce, and jaiku. I used a service called HelloTxT to cross-post. This was a time period of lots of experimentation with various (and similar) Web 2.0 services.
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Hey, it's an actual web host!

After a while I wanted to consolidate a bit of my online blogs. I could use WordPress - but integration with rapidweaver was a bit of a pain at the time. However, there was an easier way. Bring over my old blog posts from wordpress to blogger, still use blogger to compose and post, but funnel everything to this site. What did I need? PHP! What did dotMac not support? You guessed it! PHP! So, I moved my site to an actual web host, with cPanel and PHP. I still continued to experiment with new features, create some graphics, and mess around with different features, but it was mostly all done through rapidweaver and a traditional web hosting now.

But…why "Club Admiralty"?

Well, back before I started on my current career path, I wanted to have a small sea-side social hub in the village I grew up in. By day the place would serve coffee, cold and warm beverages, and some basic food items (paninis, croissants, etc.). Later in the day it would also serve up grown up drinks. The name of the place? Club Admiralty! It fits with the sea-side location, and for the longest period I've used the nickname "Admiral" (comes from Star Trek). In any case, so many years later, no sea-side social hub yet, but the URL and site exist. Maybe that's a project to do when retired ;-) The logo I created (a long time ago) was based on the Flat Planet Cafe logo (from the TV series Earth: Final Conflict). I wish I could find my original photoshop files - the logo for Club Admiralty is a globe with headphones…