Since I’ve become an internet user – i.e. since the age of 12, and that was 1996, when internet, at least in Poland, wasn’t considered "the new TV – I wanted to have a “homepage”. A typical one, with a photo, bio and a few liked links. Remember, it was 1996 and back at the time no-one heard strange names like “google”, “e-bay”, “web 2.0” etc. Since I started doing web development – when I was in elementary school and around 14 – there was always something more important and interesting than having website about myself. My first own site was about Starcraft and included original content (that was pretty common amongst websites back in 1998 (sigh)), copied later by some polish Starcraft-oriented sites. It was written with a poor and pretentious language, but I guess it filled some gap left by poor documentation of Starcraft Campaign Editor.
I’ve just found a still-alive copy of the content around which that website was centered (complete SC Campaign Ed. tutorial). It’s here (in polish language only, sorry).
Back to the point. I even had a homepage sometime at the end of high school, around 2002. Different times (php started to gain popularity etc.), same simple need: to have a small corner of internet just for myself and just about myself. The site was hacked pretty quick, using tables for layout and reflecting my then-current interest in chinese culture with old chinese paintings used for virtually every part of the site. Yeah, the website was basically crap and didn’t have any interesting content: just some bio and photos of band I’ve played with back then (called Nightrain, because we all were big fans of Guns n’Roses – that was high school, right?).
Fast forward to december’2004, I’m now on the second year of studying physics on Warsaw Technical University. After admitting no idea for a personal site, I’ve started a blog, in polish, which I didn’t dare call “blog”. These were the times before embracing blogs by “serious” writers and businesses, when blogging was something associated with who we call now emo kids. Not a blog, it was my “jogger” – a jabber-integrated blog. It was cool (jabber and opensource, fuck yeah!) and I even carried it with passion for quite some time, but being not a “thoughts trash” nor “sophisticated articles blog” I quite lost some interest with that. Besided I realized that while a blog itself is OK, not having a central place for my links, photos and other stuff (static content anyone?) pretty much sucks. My jogger is still online, though, and I may be even posting some more stuff when I feel I have something to say that’s specific to Poland. I was still without a page, actually.
The shoemaker always goes barefoot.
I wanted to have a blog in english, mostly programming-oriented, to participate and put my small contribution into worldwide programmer’s community To make things funnier, I’ve even started and lead two programming-oriented blogs on Mephisto engine: a blog of Aenima (a company I’m working at), centered around plugins released by the company, and Warsaw Ruby Users Group site (for everything of interest to WRUG in terms of our meetings or other activites).
I still didn’t have my own. But it started to clarify what I want: a website in enlish to put all my shit on, with some blog. I was actually inspired by Zed Shaw’s site (the previous “Zed’s Fucking Awesome” one, not the mild crap it’s currently), so I started to seriously think about something in this manner. Zed also inspired the thought of having a set of old-school static html files, but simply generated from content I write (to remove all the burden of repeated tasks) and uploaded — that’d be very hacker-like, doing all I want, how I want, without consuming 40+ MB of RAM (that’s what one instance of rails application with mephisto-powered blog takes), requiring database backend and being prone to melting down my VPS at SliceHost. Becuase, well, this VPS already hosts popular Warhammer forum, my rails-powered e-store and aforementioned WRUG website. What can I say, I like doing lots of different things. Anyway I started looking for some “dynamic content to static site generator” to use.
OK, I have to admit – I wanted to be a bit like Zed, because he’s, well, fucking awesome. He sucks at guitar (as we all guitarists did during our first months), but he’s a great hacker I’m really looking up to.
So here it is. My website. With blog. To put all my shit onto.
Powered by Jekyll, which is double awesome, because one of the founders of Github wrote it and it’s actually fully integrated with Github-pages. While I probably won’t put this site into Github (it’s versioned with git (of course!), but on my private remote repository) in the nearest future, it only adds to the coolness.