Blast from the Past

Nostalgia sucks. It sucks you into a steaming pot of “oh my god I remember that site…”. Here are some of the web pages that opened my eyes to the potential of this internet thingy.

I am better than your kids

ugly drawing of a face by a kidPossibly the first and best troll on the internet. No kid’s artwork is safe from Maddox’s curatorial tongue. The page also has an appropriate URL: TheBestPageInTheUniverse.Net

I hate clowns

One of my first emails addresses was I had the tshirt and sticker to match. I still hate clowns.


Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of a doodie cartoon in the morning. It smells like… Internet Gold. Doodie delivered a fresh poop-toon every morning.
drawing of man on toilet writing you're stupid on the bathroom stall in 1993. The same guy doing the same on a forum in 2013 Now they’ve expanded to non-poop cartoons.

The Steakhouse Incident

Apparently, early internet pages were filled with potty humor. The steakhouse incident is the finest example of splattering the walls.

Paris Street View

Google made street view maps famous, but Pages Jaune provided street view photos of all Paris addresses way back in the early 2000s. You can still catch a glimpse of the images in the Immersive view.

My first web site

I built my first web site in 1997 and it was a real beauty. Enjoy the awkwardness of By Business Page Maker-built web design: Ted Drake.

Hack Event Survival Guide

I get to attend a lot of hack events as a Yahoo!  Developer Network Evangelist. These marathon coding sessions are a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, and build something cool. I’ve seen some common problems and solutions appear at these events and this post will help those going to their first (or next) hack event.
Team Drop2Drink
Continue reading “Hack Event Survival Guide”

Why I stick with Dreamhost

Shit happens, servers die, web sites go down. Life goes on. I wasn’t too upset yesterday when all of my blogs stopped working due to database issues. I checked the Dreamhost support site and they had notices of major disruption, probably caused by a DDOS attack.

Today I sent a message to find out how I should fix my sites and got this great response within 15 minutes. This is the hands on support that I appreciate from Dreamhost.

> Hi

Hi There,

> I know you’ve been hit by a bunch of problems. However, I’ve been patiently
> waiting for my sites to come back and I keep getting database connection
> errors. This is occurring on many different domains.

First off, I’d like to thank you on your patience with these matters,
we’re attempting to get everything sorted as quickly as possible.

> Do I need to do anything to get them back online? Or will this happen when
> you get the servers fixed?

I’ve gone ahead and checked each of your sites, the issue here was caused
by a problem with the database permissions on the MySQL server. I’ve gone
ahead and corrected these permissions for you and everything is now
running as is expected with your sites and their content being properly
delivered. If you happen to need anything more please let us me know.


Thanks JJ and Dreamhost for making the personal commitments to getting sites back online.

Preparing for the FCC

I’m heading to the FCC next week for a developer event.

On Monday, November 8, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission will sponsor an Open Developer Day event at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC, to promote collaboration between Web developers in the public and private sectors, in furtherance of FCC goals to further innovation in accessible technologies and foster citizen participation in open government.

This will be a public, single-day event that prioritizes accessibility goals, though other Web solutions are also of interest. The event will feature guest engineers from the Yahoo! Developer Network and Yahoo!’s Accessibility team, and will have a component addressing the requirements and opportunities in the new Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.

FCC Hosts Open Developer Day: Accessibility Innovation – Yahoo! Accessibility Lab

I’ve been playing with government data to make it ready for quick mashups. I threw a challenge to some other developers for creating a quick map mashup with a series of map points generated by a spreadsheet on Data.Gov. This is what Anthony Ettinger put together with Yahoo! Pipes:

It’s great to see how you can grab a spreadsheet from the government’s repository, convert it to CSV format, upload it to your server, and quickly parse that data for mashups. It would be easier if had the file in csv format instead of xls or zip. I could have saved the first few steps.

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