Creative Nostalgia and Hand-crafted HTML 1.0

January 24, 2023
I'm beginning to notice a back-and-forth between how I move around on the command line in Tilde.Club and on my desktop at home. A couple of months ago, if you asked me if I spent most of my time "in the command line" I'd have said yes. But in reality, I use a lot of command line programs inside terminals inside a window manager, so no, not really. But TC has forced me to up my tmux game and now I'm finding myself using it inside of a single terminal at home, rather than using multiple terminals. My home use is getting more TC-like.

January 18, 2023
I don't work with computers in my day job, so HTML and Linux are my hobbies. I studied the Great Books at school and one of the oft-used terms was "ad fontes:" go to the source. Read a book. Then read the person who influenced the first person to write the book. Then read the person who influenced the second person to write the book that the first person read. (This always seemed to lead back ultimately to either Plato or Aristotle for some reason.)

I like to do something similar for computer-related stuff--go back to the basic, foundational sources. Bash, sed, AWK, and grep. Text files written in vim. I use mutt to read email on my laptop and now find myself idly wondering if I could do the same with fetchmail/sendmail and mailx. Lowest-common denominator computing. Of course, this sometimes complexifies things that could be simple. But to be honest, I *like* spending hours figuring out how to write a shell script that hammers RSS feeds into text, even though I know newsboat does it better. For me, though, it's ad fontes--going to the source--even if it's not the most efficient way.

January 13, 2023
It's amazing to me to read the early HTML documents at CERN and see how little there was in terms of structure and scale. A dozen basic tags. A web server written in three lines of shell script. A list of every computer connected to the World Wide Web (less than 30) as of late 1992. Here are the mud-brick, walls-of-Uruk foundations of the internet as we know it today. Yet even now, those dozen tags are still recognized and rendered by modern web browsers. (Just have a look at the source code for this page to prove it.) Out of curiosity, I decided to see what I could (and couldn't) do within the constraints of the earliest HTML. Here are the results of my experiments, along with links to the CERN documents.

And just for the heck of it, here's the code for the web server:

#! /bin/sh read get docid echo "<TITLE>$docid</TITLE>" echo Here is the data
January 10, 2023
Getting settled in to my new account. This is going to be interesting, educational, and fun.

January 6, 2023
The web of the early- to mid-1990's was much smaller and messier; finding something new meant you had to read about it on someone else's page or in a text-file you downloaded via gopher. You could spend hours going from page to page or file to file and each visit online was an ephemeral, idosyncratic web-ring. God, I miss those days.