So it appears I’ve been doing this blogging thing a while

Time’s a funny old thing. I was looking back over my blog and was shocked how much of it there is: 131 pages at the present time, stretching back to 3:58 pm on October 21, 2004. Actually I had been blogging since 2002 (11th July 2002, to be exact) but that particular blog was an emotional release for me at the time, so will remain incognito forever. But as if proof were needed here’s the very first thing I blogged:

Breath deeply and relax (11/07/2002)

Well now we’ve got that little lot sorted out, maybe I can start to write something.

As if I have anything to write.

(There’s a bit more to the post than that, but those were my very first words sent into the blogosphere). I think “that little lot” was a reference to the blogging system I’d just written.

Ah, you need some historical context. OK, bear with me while I wander down memory lane. Back in mid-2002 my very good friend Dave said he’d heard about this blogging lark and could we offer blogs to the good parishoners at the community site we ran (and still run, in a fashion). I said of course, and proceeded to write a system to do it. Why I didn’t look around at what other systems (ahem) were available at the time I have no idea.

Actually it was, I recall, an opportunity for me to get into some more serious PHP which I’d been dabbling in for a couple of years before that. My day job was building sites in classic ASP using VBScript, so perhaps PHP was a way to escape that world. At any rate, I embarked upon this quest with my usual gusto – and devotion to inventing new wheels. The fact I built a multi-user blogging system *without a database* shows I didn’t really know what I was doing. It’s true, the original Wiblog site was a flat-file system which used XML files to store blog posts. Hardly cutting edge, even for the time.

It’s pretty interesting to note this all happened was about a year before WordPress came into being as a fork of b2, probably around the time Donncha was working on the b2++ project which became WordPress MU. Sorry the links for that stuff are a little squiffy, Donncha’s personal site seems to be down tonight.

So in the summer of 2002 you’ll have found me either spending time with the beautiful Katharine (who is now my wife, we just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary) or coding the Wiblog system far too late into the night. I “officially” started blogging about tech stuff on October 21st, 2004 with a post about Firefox – which, according to Wikipedia, was just before version 1.0. That makes it all the more amazing that I wrote:

On the auspicious occasion of my company disabling web access for Internet Destroyer Explorer and instead promoting the use of Mozilla Firefox I thought I’d finally start the techy blog I’ve been threatening people for ages about.

Reading stuff like that makes me wonder if my dates are correct. I even checked the archived Wiblog site, and the date is correct. Sheesh, I must be old.

I moved the site over to WordPress, importing my geek blog post from, on 23rd January 2007. That means I’d have installed (again, according to Wikipedia) version 2.0 or possibly 2.1 of WordPress. A couple of years later, on 8th November 2008, I moved all the other Wiblogs onto WordPress 2.6, onto the site we’re still using today.

So, 653 posts later, I’m still here. Blogging has been, in roughly equal parts, self-therapy and self-flagellation. Long may it continue.