Hello. It has been a while. I’m sitting at my screen waiting for files to migrate to a new server. Snow is falling outside and its covered the garden and the fields immediately opposite, a few hungry sheep are staring in the front. I can’t do ‘work’ as everything is metaphorically up in the air. What a good opportunity, I thought, to reinstate my blog. My name is Callum and I’m an internet user like you.
I made my first webpage using Microsoft FrontPage in 1998 with help from our formidable music teacher Mr. Carr. He was the first real life computer geek I ever met and although I had an inkling that I might like meddling with the internet he was instrumental in actually showing me how to log-on and get with it. I was 12 years old and it was during our School‘s ‘three day event’ when classmates could opt for mountaineering, horse riding, extra rugby or an educative trip that I chose to sit in front of a computer screen. Mr. Carr gave us a basic introduction to FrontPage’s WYSIWYG interface and then in a very hands-off way, let us get to it. He quietly sat behind a bank of monitors and punched away at the keyboard, no doubt updating the school’s website, offering limited design advise from time-to-time and outlining the process of publishing to a server. At the end of 72 hours I had published my first webpage online. The webpage was #ca0000 red and had a visit counter, that’s all I remember.
It was that summer that our family upgraded from a Macintosh IIGS to an internet-ready windows desktop. It was shaped like a stumpy, beige rocket. I cried real tears in the computer shop as they also stocked the brand new iMac in its delicious semi-transparent flavours, the sales person advised my parents’ that Apple was obsolete, where is he now? Nevertheless I was obviously very lucky that my parents splashed out on a multimedia PC, built in speakers, CD-ROM and wonderful dial-up capability. Wonderfully annoying dial-up; I can still hear my mother screaming from down the stairs, finding time-and-time-again the line engaged as I’d logged-on to update Encarta, download 4MB film trailers or surf altavista.com. I would continue to update my website too, picking up a little CSS and HTML along the way for the next five years. With my second paycheque I would buy a (already a modern classic) Bondi Blue iMac. My introduction to blogging was in 2003 with the software iBlog, later WordPress and the wonderful Kubrick theme by the ever helpful Michael Heilemann. His own blog was an inspiration and seemed to lead me into an internet of nice folk, people who cared and shared (mainly code and star wars). I sat in my bedroom in Aberdeenshire behind a bank of monitors, still living with my parents, published a plugin for WordPress (Starred Review), wrote film reviews and posted hundreds of photographs of me and my pals doing silly things. Now I feel nostalgic.
Back to today, migration complete. I’ve been using SSH to connect to my old host via FTP and despite occasional network outages today in the frozen Highlands of Scotland it has been a success. Back to work. I’ll just write a quick introduction here. The snowing has ceased here, its a winter wonderland outside. Across on Skye I can almost distinguish the mountains behind more incoming white.
With this new iteration of my weblog I intend to write in a personal way about where my real life intersects with things I do here at the computer. The title of my previous blog was Meta Comment, expect more of the same. Here I’ll occasionally dump some code, link to something I think is clever, share some photography (which I create but ironically never print) and talk about myself. Welcome to my website.