Friday, October 13, 2023
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
This is the post I teased. ;)
Methos is a bit younger than myself, having stated that his first computer as a kid was running Windows 95, but I believe he has a history degree, or was at least a history major, and is a civil war re-enactor. At ahcapella's suggestion, I started sharing some of my interest in computer history, and my collection, and how my goal is to open a computer museam and such, and Methos is apparently also into the retro-futuristic aesthetic, personified by r/cassettefuturism, which is not a Reddit I was aware of, so thanks for the link ;) There are also sites like the Vault of VHS tumblr, which are interesting in certain circles, I suppose, but not something you're likely to stumble upon unless you know exactly what you're looking for or, in my case, provided a link by someone whose interests overlap my own. (Also, there's a guy who does videos like this one where they watch and review mystery VHS tapes. The YouTube algorithm likely never would have put it in front of me, and I never would have known to look. But it's fascinating.)
He started bemoaning the fact that the Internet is dying, partially due to link rot, but also partially due to the commecialized nature of it, instead of the "wild west" that it used to be. Used to be that everyone end their mother, brother, uncle, etc, had a personal website somewhere, either on Geocities or some other free space, or with their ISP under their ~username folder. You could get lost for hours down one rabbit hole or another, just following links from someone's personal website. Some of those pages still live on the Wayback Machine at archive.org. The problem is, while sites like TheOldNet make it easy to access those old pages, if they exist, the search engines don't exactly show results for personal pages these days so there's no longer an easy way to just stumble across them.
I mentioned tilde club to him, which he found very interesting, and we discussed webcomics (thanks for the index, Methos!) as well, and conventions and fandoms and such. If it's packaged up as a nice, shiny commercial project, it'll rank on searh engines. If it's on a personal website, unless there are few other hits on the specific search terms, the algorithm which once saved us from blackhat SEO has made things worse for the rest of us who are not commecial entities.
Maybe this is why I'm so interested in resurecting the old ISP I used to work for, at least to some extent. There was such a wealth of information of the ~user sites on it which have been lost to time. I would love to recover what I can and restore the long-dead links. The current world wide web feels sterile and corporate. I miss the days where you could spend hours exploring links off of some randome page you stumbled upon. I want to restore at least a small slice of that.
Monday, October 9, 2023
Every Saturday night, there is a gathering of Cassie's Watchers near the church in Second Life. Normally, there are only a couple of people on at a time, and I don't make it nearly as often as I like, so it's been awhile since there have been six of us on at once. Modelmotion also joined, but not before someone else had jumped off. In case you cannot read, the people who joined were:
- Jupiter Vale
- Pizza Gator
- myself (Wintermute)
As I tend to do, I either stay quiet or talk about old computers, or the Cassie Is Watching ARG itself. Mostly I stay quiet and talk about the game, because many of my interests are somewhat niche, but apparently Methos is a history buff and civil war re-enactor, so we got into a discussion with him about not just old computers, but also the current state of the Internet, link rot, and associated subjects. We shared some links, and it has given me an idea for a post. This is just a teaser for it, to set the stage a little bit ;) More to come...
Friday, October 6, 2023
I may be leasing some office/retail space coming soon, in part because my vintage computer collection is overwhelming my home, and in part because my wife needs space for her craft business. Just storing my collection in an environmentally-controlled environment would cost more than this lease, so it will be a really good thing. It also allows me to do restoration work on items in my collection, a place for my 3D printers (yes, plural. I got a larger-format one, and may add a resin one at some point). Finally, since I am 100% work-from-home, it gives me office space to work out of should I need a little separation in order to concentrate.
In other news, I am looking to obtain the greenapple domain from its current owner, but I am not 100% certain if anyone is even monitoring the email address I sent my message to. From my understanding, the people who bought it are no longer maintaining a website for it, and the site they were forwarding it to appears to be down at the moment. I believe there may be maintaining an email server for the domain, but I would be able to maintain one for any former customers or employees that which to continue using them. If I get the domain, I don't have any contrete plans, other than to possibly pull some specific content from the Wayback Machine to make it live in it's original home. I may do some limited web hosting under the brand, or even set up an extremely small-scale dial-up ISP under the brand, just for kicks. Nostalgia. It's a helluva drug. ;)
The office that I'm hoping to lease also gives me plenty of space to set up for video production to launch my own retro YouTube channel, and maybe even a small vintage computer museum.
More to come.
Thursday, October 5, 2023
I can't believe I haven't posted this here yet, but I odered a PiDP11, built it (with one switch that is either faulty or has a bad solder joint. I'm guessing the latter.) and installed BSD 2.11 on it, which includes a minimal web server. I'll build out the website on it a little more soon, but it was a fun little project, which I continue to work on whenever I have a few minutes.
I came up with a way to make "~user/" spaces work in the web server, but it's a kludge which requires at least the / at the end (if not the index.html too), so I plan on adding the capability into the server itself instead of doing stuff on the OS to make it work. (My technical-minded friends have probably already figured out how I made it work. lol) I've also compiled a minimal irc client, but it requires that the server and nick be hard-coded into the source. I plan on using the username as the nick, which would resolve that issue, and I'm thinking of also building a minimal irc server, so I can hard-code localhost into the client and use it local-only.
I'd like to build it out into a tilde server, but it only supports telnet at the moment. A friend gave me an idea on how to secure it, and based on that idea, I may be able to (sorta) enable ssh via keys, then telnet to BSD automatically upon connection . I'd have to do some security testing to make sure that the users couldn't gain access to the ssh endpoint. There are also a ton of other services which would need built out, but maybe if I get a minimum-viable system in place, the users who join may help built it.
The web server currently resides at http://pdp11.nitemarecafe.com/, but that may change based on some other projects I'm working on.