Chaos Node: The End of an Era

Dying dinosaurs (from Seto no Hanayome)

I have my doubts about this, you know.  The original Chaos Node has always been handcoded – well, except a few experiments with using MS Word to generate the code, and it was unwieldy and bloated.  I used to put every tag in by hand; the most advanced technology I used was search & replace for the dates.  Every page was stored on my harddisk – and backed up from time to time – as well as on the website.

This is not so strange: The oldest entries are from November 1998, but the journal started in late spring or early summer that year. I just did not think of giving the files unique names until late fall.  Actually, I did not think they would be worth reading after more than a week.  I was probably more right about that than I like to think.  But these days, storage space is exploding, faster and faster, much like real space out there.  So why not keep them all.

The Chaos Node actually started quite a bit before that, but it was a mostly static page with a couple sub-pages, listing my interests and favorite comics and such.  The daily journal came in 1998 as I said.  By then I was already used to coding HTML by hand, having learned it from a girly girl magazine back when HTML was still considered a boy thing. The habit of adding a picture each day has its own history.  While reading a computer magazine (actually named Komputer, I believe) I came across the new phenomenon of webcams.  One of these was installed in New Zealand, in the home of a girl named Debra.  When technical difficulties stopped her from being able to run the webcam day and night for a while, she posted a picture each day instead.  That was the inspiration for my “JPG Diary”, as I called it. At the time, we Norwegians paid per minute for being connected to the Internet, so I would not have been able to afford running a webcam even if anyone had been curious enough to watch it.  I could easily afford uploading a picture each day – although eventually my storage space on my homepage ran full, and I had to move my journal.

Even after I learned there were other journals, mine was unique in at least one way:  I had color codes for different types of entries, so different types of readers could avoid those that did not interest them.  (Or even scared them, I suppose.) This was all before the blog was invented even as a concept, and my color codes were the primitive seed of what one day became tags and categories.  I have long wished to be able to use more than one label for one entry, since many of them moved from one category to another while I wrote.  For me there is no clear line between my personal life and the world, or between religion and science.  All things are connected, to put it mildly. So being able to tag my entries with better descriptions will be very welcome.

In other ways too the world moved on while I stayed behind.  The whole “blogosphere” exploded into being. Where there had only been a few thousand journals in the world, there are now millions and millions of blogs.   This means that once again, I am unlikely to be read by people who don’t know me – unless I have some really unique phrase to google.  I hope it will be possible to subscribe to my journal more easily now with RSS, although I am still not sure how that works.  If it is not enabled automatically, it may take some time before I find out.

Not least it should be easier to comment now.  While I love getting email, I am aware some people want to be seen by the other readers as well, not just by me.  Of course, some of these people are spammers. But rest assured that as long as I live and am able to use eyes and hands, spam won’t live long here.  We shall see exactly how strict I will have to be, after this journal has been discovered by the spammers.

Oh, and there will probably be less pictures eventually.  I have this strange feeling that there won’t be many complaints over that…