I’ve pretty much always had a website of some sort that I maintain, but recently there have been some several-month gaps. I was thinking about the past and I’ve actually come quite a long way with my different pages.
Version 1.0 — Angelfire! — HTML — My first website was hosted on a free hosting service called Angelfire. I don’t remember exactly why I picked that host, but it was free and easy to use. It was very, very basic HTML but was a great learning experience. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand that saving a backup of code is a good idea so I have no record of this webpage. Probably a good thing because it was pretty bad by today’s standards. Also for some reason, I settled on a black background. Guess I was a pretty dark person back then (?), but that stuck with all the early version of my personal webpage.
StixLAN/Stixlife/SCC — PostNuke with PHPBB and some ASP forum for a period — While I was in college, we switched to a different church. Around my senior year at Purdue, I started impromptu LAN parties with a couple guys at the church… which eventually turned into a pretty big event. During this time period, I was helping (a little) with the Church’s website but mostly the youth group’s website, stixlife.com. Since the youth group at the time was called Stix, we called the LAN Parties “StixLAN”. We created a sub-page for StixLAN, so we could have our own place to share links, schedule events, and discuss other gaming-type things. Eventually we out-grew this space and wanted a place of our own. This was when I got the idea to create a gaming network for Christians.
Christian Gamers Network — e107 CMS — I’ve had a lot of big ideas in the past, but CGN is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, it was a little before its time since it never really seemed to take off. The basic idea was that gamers of any genre could mingle and find other gamers to play with — in a Christian environment. Over the years, we hosted some dedicated game servers here and there, but they were short lived. Our most popular servers were Killing Floor servers that I ran from a friend’s internet connection. At one time I think we had 3 running and they were almost always full. Later on, the wife and I started playing a game I never thought I would play… World of Warcraft. We joined a Christian guild called The Fish and Bread Trick that had a webpage hosted on a free guild host site that was on the verge of shutting down. Seeing an opportunity to grow CGN, I worked with the guild leader to form a partnership of sorts and carved out a section of CGN for TFABT. I even helped them set up a legitimate domain. This cohabitation worked very well for a while, but CGN was suffering and was just slowly dying. It was time to shut it down and give the space to TFABT.
The Fish and Bread Trick — e107 CMS — After CGN closed, I converted the site over to work for TFABT. My involvement went from making weekly news posts to simply maintaining the website, patching, cleaning, etc. Eventually another officer in the guild decided the website needed to be spruced up since the guild was not only featured in World of Warcraft, but had also branched out to Star Wars: The Old Republic. This begins the dark part of the history. I remember seeing emails and questions and then changes on the site that went live without going through the test environment. Changes that remained un-fixed or un-finished for years. Try as I might, the person taking control had the ear(s) of the right people and my voice went un-heard. My involvement in the website ceased at that moment and I turned over control to someone else. I’m intentionally not naming names here. I’m not holding a grudge, but I’m trying to speak of the events without sounding like I am. During the months following these events, we eventually left TFABT and formed our own guild. This doesn’t really have anything to do with websites, but fills in the timeline.
DHAJ Engineering – Google — Prior to my downfall as TFABT webmaster, I started up a Google site for my personal ramblings. I never really liked the layouts or templates much, but made a small effort to put something up. It was pretty basic. This is actually when DHAJEngineering.com was born.
DHAJEngineering.com — WordPress — Well here we are. This is the latest version of my website.