Screenshot of a personal website from 1996 called “PUNCTURE YOUR SOFA.” Watermark is stylized atom. Hand drawn alien in a spaceship cartoon. Distressed typewriter font. The website sections are “words & pictures / launchpad / cybertourist / information / research tools / curriculum vita / feedback”

Puncture Your Sofa

Published 2013-01-28

Just-slightly-more-than 17 years ago, during winter break of my first year of graduate school, I designed my first website. In early December 1995 I kinda sorta knew some computer and Internet stuff but I didn’t know Unix or HTML or Emacs or shell scripting or web server configuration or Perl. But it was winter break and I was bored and lonely and a little motivated. So in a few weeks — days, more likely — I learned all of that. I bothered because building things is fun.

I called my first website “Puncture Your Sofa.”

I learn how to build things by breaking them over and over. Drupal — which powered my website until, um, now — made it hard to break things in such a way that I could put them back together again. This is good for business but lousy for MAKE WEBSITE GO SMASH.

Today at, eh, midnight?, I’m pulling the curtain back on my latest personal website thing. It’s my old website, but all new underneath. I won’t get into how I did it, yet. But, importantly: this is built in such a way that I’m closer to the metal than I was before. There’s more room to tinker.

I know it’s ugly; it’s ugly by design. The edges are rough so I will be forever tempted to polish it and make it shinier. (I also have set for myself the career goal of never giving a shit about fonts ever again and this website is as good a place to start as any.)

I know it’s primitive. It has no archives by date or search or tags. Again: it’s crude by design. I’ll build all this or maybe I won’t.

I know it’s broken. Links and images, mostly, maybe. Hopefully you can find what you want on my big list of everything.

Anyway, here it is. I’m going to bed now.