Friday, July 07, 2006

Memoirs of a BUsha: Ten Years of the URI! Zone

1998 - 1999

1998: The year of Monica Lewinsky, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Google, and Windows 98. Also my junior year of college, Kim's freshman year of college, and Anna's senior year in high school. The year I first had a car on campus (a problem-plagued 1994 Dodge Spirit) and the year I started pulling out of all my online circles and actually going outside.

Now that the novelty of having a website had worn off, the URI! Domain became a big landfill of creativity, a dumping ground for all my music and artwork. Every new composition, short story, MIDI theme, and funny article I happened to read ended up somewhere on the site to be read or ignored by the Internet populace. The Llama Fanfare was also rearranged, reflected two obviously-effective years of state music education .

Having studied HTML and web design for two years and figuring that I was God's gift to JavaScript, I started creating web sites for other people and organizations, always with a smug link back to my own page for credit. I had a couple thousand visits per semester back then which was small potatoes since I couldn't get my site (which was only up when school was in session) to appear on a search engine. I branched out and taught myself UNIX, a little bit of CGI through C++, a little bit of Perl, and a little bit of rock and roll.

After a summer session of Extreme Makeover: Asian Edition, I returned to Tech in 1999 with hair and no glasses, lacking the MEMBERS ONLY jacket and blue Crew cap that defined my outward appearance for the past three years. Being a super fly Asian man and also a Trumpet Section Leader meant that I spent most of the day fending off randy ho's or eating steaks at Jason Chrisley's house, and lacked the time to keep up with my site. In fact, I actually posted a notice at the end of my fourth year at college that said, "The URI! Domain will be closing for the summer in May. This is probably the final year of its existence."

My decision to stop the site was based on the fact that I no longer really kept in touch with anyone that wasn't a five minute walk from wherever I happened to be. Why maintain a site that no one visits? It was also a matter of pride -- every single aspect of the site had been built up from scratch over the past four years, from guestbooks to counters to online video games. Knowing that I was finally moving off-campus for my fith year with the ineluctable Rosie and Anna meant that I would have to relinquish control of the site to a third-party host, where I couldn't just tinker around on a whim. I didn't relish the job of replacing all my custom-coded handiwork with off the shelf scripts and CGI programs provided by any normal web host.

What happened next? Did I bring the site back, or was this the end? You'll never know for sure unless you tune in on Monday!

To be continued...

Happy Birthday Doobie!

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