History of The Technical Geekery

The Technical Geekery has been something I’ve done since I was in about fifth or sixth grade, when I started writing and sending the “Windows Tips” newsletter to my family. Windows Tips ran on and off for a couple of years. During this time I had a personal website hosted at an ISP (you can still get to it at this moment). My favorite part of that website was the page which I made when I was about six or seven (Soren Miscellaneous), which gave you an alert box that said “The page has finished loading” every time you went to it.

In the middle of my seventh or eighth grade year, I found a special at eHost that sold a domain and hosting for two years for $95. It was here that I came up with the name The Technical Geekery, as I needed something to call my domain. I redesigned my website and started the Technical Geekery Tips newsletter, which was basically a reincarnation of Windows Tips. At the beginning of 2009, a friend (Chen Ye) redesigned my newsletter page in PowerPoint.

At the beginning of 2010 I had what I unofficially termed the ‘eHost Saga.’ I wanted to switch to hosting my own site, because I didn’t get all that much traffic and didn’t care to pay the full rate of $90 a year to keep hosting my site with eHost. I signed up for a domain transfer, but then I waited a bit too long and I could no longer sign into my old account in order to complete the transfer. After several annoying exchanges with technical support I finally managed to transfer the domain. A little while later I tried to go cancel my account, as I was told I should (and I didn’t want to be billed for it), and I found that the account had simply disappeared. To this day I don’t know if they’re waiting for me to call them to retrieve my data (I had a full backup, of course, so I don’t care).

Anyway, I got the site running on my media server in the basement. The last issue of the Technical Geekery Tips was labeled “January 2010,” but it really was not released until September. This meant I was so far behind that I decided to discontinue the newsletter (besides that, I was getting a bit tired of doing it and running out of easy tips that would fit well into the format).

For around a year the Technical Geekery was pretty much dormant. I had the archives and my original Technical Geekery Blog as the only ongoing features. In August 2011, I started the current newsletter/blog.

I went through several incarnations of the website design, ranging from using Netscape Composer to using frames (ugh) to hand-producing HTML and CSS (without knowing any CSS; I simply copied and pasted a tutorial file and hacked it until it sort of worked).

In April 2012 I began the process of switching the website to WordPress, which I am so far extremely happy with. I found that my home DSL connection was a bit too slow to upload the more complex WordPress sites in a reasonable amount of time (it was actually rather slow even inside my home network, and outside it was intolerable).

Therefore, the server is now hosted as an Amazon EC2 Cloud Micro instance (which is a not-very-powerful virtual server that you can rent online). You can get this free for an entire year as long as you don’t use too much bandwidth, so this will give me a chance to see if it does what I want it to.

I’m a terrible system administrator (last week I accidentally shut down the server, lost data, and had to rebuild seven weeks of blog posts by copying and pasting from Google’s cache of my website), but that’s because I’m still learning. This website is a good opportunity for me.

And there’s plenty more new stuff—it’s all on this website.

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