10 Years of WordPress

wp10logoWow, has it really been 10 years?

Yes, it has – officially 10 years ago, on May 27th, 2003, WordPress was released.

As part of the WordPress 10th Anniversary Blogging Project, I figured I would  I’d share some of my memories of using WordPress over the years.

Back in 2003, when WordPress was first released:

  • I was still using Windows 2000 on my home computer (I did use XP at work – cutting edge at the time!)
  • We were only on the 2nd Matrix movie, “The Matrix Reloaded”
  • I was still using the “Mozilla Suite,” the descendent of “Netscape Communicator.” (It wasn’t until next year that it was split into Firefox & Thunderbird)
  • We had just lost the Space Shuttle Columbia a few months prior
  • The iPod was only on its 3rd iteration, and the iPhone was still a distant dream
  • Slim flip-phone cell phones were all the rage
  • The Concorde made its last commercial flight

I didn’t start using WordPress myself until a little bit after its release – until around December 1st, 2005, in fact.

When I started using WordPress in 2005:

  • We were just starting to lament that schools were switching to using Java (the horror!) to teach programming
  • I still had a CRT TV in my living room (and on my computer – though I had just gotten an LCD display at work, and I’d soon get one at home as well)
  • Digital Rights Management came into the spotlight with the discovery of Sony’s rootkit that silently installed when you inserted a music (!!) CD in your computer.
  • This was the year I took down my old hand-coded personal site (which was old, dated, and not really very good) in favor of this blog.
  • And, of course, 2005 is the year I unexpectedly found myself living with my two wonderful rabbits

In all that time, I’ve switched WordPress themes more times than I can count – and upgraded and installed numerous useful (and sometimes silly) plugins.

Still, it’s amazing to see how far WordPress has come. It’s been a great 10 years, and I’m looking forward to 10 more!

Happy 10th birthday, WordPress!

Looking Back at “Desktop Madness”

Looking back at one of the longest running features here at StarKeith.net: Desktop Madness.

It’s the 10th anniversary of the registration of the StarKeith.net domain today, so I’m doing a little bit of looking back over the history of the site.

One of the longest running themes here has been my Desktop Madness series, where I post interesting wallpapers that I usually find around the Internet. This “series” didn’t start right away – in fact, the first post only dates back to November 30th, 2004 – but it’s still the longest running recurring “themes” on my site.

Desktop Madness started as just an amusing title for a post with a picture of my computer’s desktop – icons and all.

My, how times have changed.

Not long after that, I stopped posting pictures of my desktop, and instead just posted the actual background picture itself instead.

The Desktop Madness section of my site has consistently been one of the most-visited sections of my site, in terms of raw views – after all, lots of people search Google (or whatever) looking for desktop backgrounds/wallpapers.

I have a neat utility – John’s Background Switcher (I highly recommend it) – which randomly switches my background wallpaper every 15 minutes from my very large library of pictures, and I’m always finding more pictures online. At the time of this post, there are 1,303 individual pictures in my collection, which I could theoretically cycle through in just over 13 days. (Amazingly, this only takes up a measly 709 MB of space on my hard drive – most of my pictures are highly compressed PNG files.)

Of course, one downside to a popular wallpaper series like this is that people tend to download the files quite a bit. I have a great hosting provider, but I only have so much bandwidth to spare, which is why I don’t necessarily post updates as frequently as I used to. While I’d love to be able to share all these files, it’s just not economically feasible for me to host every single one of them online for anyone to download (and thus, suck up all my bandwidth).

Still, I love finding new and interesting wallpapers, and I will continue to do so – maybe not as often as I used to, but I don’t think I’m going to stop any time soon.

The Evolution of StarKeith.net

Looking back at the history of StarKeith.net.

It’s been 10 years since the domain StarKeith.net was registered, so let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at how the site (or the home page of the site, at least) has evolved over the years.

Way back in November of 2001, not long after my domain was registered and my hosting set up, StarKeith.net was little more than a “coming soon” page.

You can see the logo I had created for the site – both the text (in a futuristic/computer-y style font) and the round StarKeith logo I had invented as a kid. Back then, I had envisioned using the domain to build upon the fictional world I had invented for some stories I wrote as a kid. In a way, this was sort of a variation on the modern websites that spring up around popular science fiction shows – for example, Memory Alpha, a wiki for Star Trek. My original idea of StarKeith.net was similar to what Memory Alpha became years later.

By 2003, the site had begun to take shape:

You can see the design influences that Star Trek had on me back then. I deliberately patterned the site’s layout and style on the LCARS style from Star Trek: The Next Generation (of which I was – and still am – a huge fan).

By 2005 however, the main landing page of StarKeith.net had changed to be more of a “portal” for the various web projects I had hosted here. By this time, I had my own blog, my old personal site back from when I was in college, as well as a short-lived attempt at forums!

Eventually, I decided to move away from the fictional part of the site – I had not updated it in quite a while, and my enthusiasm for it was fading. At the same time, my own blog – as well as the blog for my pet rabbits – were becoming quite popular (well, sort of) and I wanted to bring attention to them. Also, I was tired of the black background, so I went with something much simpler and lighter, which leads us to the way the site appears today:

The current site works a bit better as a landing page, as well as a general place to point people who are interested in me. Online identity has become much more important these days, and I wanted the main page of StarKeith.net to reflect me, rather than the fictional worlds I had created as a kid.

And there we have it – a brief look back at the evolution of the main page of StarKeith.net over the last 10 years. It’ll be interesting to see where we go in the next 10 years!

Ten Years Ago

This September 12 is the 10-year anniversary of StarKeith.net!

It’s been 10 years – but it’s not what you might think it is.

In a bit of a cosmic coincidence, the domain registry entry for my site (starkeith.net) was entered into the domain registry exactly 10 years ago, on September 12, 2001.

There’s not really any significance to this – I ordered the domain much earlier than this; it just happened to get entered into the database on this day.

Regardless of the proximity to another historic date, it’s still been 10 years since I finally got my own domain (I’d had other web pages of my own since almost 1997) – and after the rather somber mood of yesterday’s 10th anniversary, I think I’m going to try to have some fun with this one.

With that in mind, here’s some links to help celebrate the 10th “birthday” of StarKeith.net!