I’ve been blogging in some form or another since the middle of 2002. The site has changed several times throughout the years, as has the content within. This page is a pretty deep-dive into how the blog has grown and changed over the years, preserved here mostly for the author, but also for the curious. The information below was adapted from descriptions of various site redesigns and upgrades over the years, mostly preserved (though recently spell-checked…):
(Before July, 2002)
I was always fascinated by the internet. Since the 7th grade I’d been making simple websites, predominately classifiable as fan-shrines, with basic features (links, images, tables, etc.) and virtually no original content. I’m sure that somewhere there’s a slew of Geocities, Angelfire, 50Megs, and Homestead sites with my name on them, and there’s only one decent one.
One such fan site that I put a ridiculous amount of effort into was Classiz Zelda. I look at it occasionally and it wasn’t a half bad site. And to be perfectly honest, after 4 years of blogging (Ed. Note: this was originally written in ’06), I sort of miss that reporter-esque “This Is What’s Going On; Allow Me to Explain it to You” style of website. Having something to focus on rather was convenient, as opposed to me trying to connect the scattered occurrences of my own life through some sort of underlying and nonexistent thread. In any case, I became interested in blogging during the summer of 2002 and soon I had one to call my own.
Brak’s High School Blog/Braker
(July 24, 2002-July 21st, 2003)
I was in the midst of my ‘Adult Swim’ Phase, and having been a fan of the Brak character for some time, I decided to name my blog after him [v.1.0]. What motivated me to do that, I never will understand, but as a result I was bound to him for the next four years. The initial idea was to chronicle high school from a Brak-oriented-perspective, but I quickly realized I wasn’t clever enough to maintain such a parody-facade for very long at all. As a result, that aspect was dropped, but I stuck with the name. Being young, and having a short attention span, I changed the name to ‘Braker’ [v.1.1]. This was a play off the blogging service I was using at the time, Blogger.
Probably the most notable feature at this time would have been .brak//SIGN: my content repository at the time [v.1.1+]. I needed a place to keep all my images and extended rants that I’d created over time, and so I fired up an Angelfire account and started up loading all my stuff. This setup sustained itself for quite some time, until I was made an offer that I couldn’t refuse.
The Brak Blog
(July 23rd, 2003-January 26th, 2004)
A friend of mine, Isaac Ahloe, who had recently purchased the now-defunct LandingClouds.com, offered me a subdirectory on his server. I jumped at the opportunity to finally distance myself from the advertisement-riddled world of free hosting, and become the proud webmaster of LandingClouds.com/m30. As a courtesy, Isaac set up a /blog folder where he installed the Greymatter Weblog Software, which I would come to know, love, hate, curse, love, hate, and love again (in that order) [v.2.0].
In addition to perl-driven blogging, I also had the ability to mess around with CSS (cascading style sheets), which allowed me to do some things, mostly orienting images, that would have been impossible with standard HTML alone. I was also able to run (I still can’t write them, embarrassing as that is…) small JAVA programs that allowed the random-refresh banners at the top of the page. The server space was also more than adequate to house .brak//SIGN side-by-side with the new blog [v.2.0+].
Saddly through, this arrangement was not to last. Despite my enthusiasm for the project and uncharacteristic tenacity in updating, fate would not allow me to continue. Through some hiccup in the system I corrupted my archives index in Greymatter, which is responsible for storing all of the old entries. Isaac said he could fix this, and to some extent did, but soon after all of LandingClouds was shut down due to a bandwidth limit being exceeded. Even after this was corrected, a security hole was discovered in Greymatter that could be exploited by hackers (most likely the cause of our bandwidth issue), and so the core of Greymatter had to be removed from eveyone’s site, mine included.
With no solution in site, and Isaac pulled away from webmaster duties by other, far more important things (he was, that’s not sarcasm!), The Brak Blog stood in jeopardy. I (correctly) assumed that LandingClouds would never fully return to it’s former glory (may it rest in peace!), and decided it was high time I stopped freeloading and get my own website. With Sean’s help, we found MidPhase hosting, and I quickly ordered the cheapest package and began work on the new Brak Blog.
During this time I had to operate out of an Angelfire account, posting not only the occasional ‘real’ blog entry, but also updates on the new site as well [v.2.1].
The Brak Blog Dotcom
(March 23rd, 2004-July 24th, 2006)
After a harrowing few months spent on the Angelfire temp. account, The Brak Blog with it’s own ‘.com’ extension opened for all to see. Already integrated was the .brak//SIGN content along with, after a frustratingly long manual transfer, all the entries from not only LandingClouds, but the Braker Year too. The format was largely unchanged from the LC versions, but everything was stable, for once. Things stayed this way for more than two years, the longest period the Blog had ever had without transition or re-design. This was good, as well as bad.
The fact of the matter was I simply wasn’t focusing on blogging as much, and when I did it was something of a hassle. For a more in-depth look at this period of blogging, check out [Hey Buddy: A Retrospective]. In truth, the Brak Blog [v.3.0] wasn’t much of a development or an advancement, but simply me getting everything in one place where I could easily manage it.
The only real development came at the end of the Brak Blog’s tenure. I went through and redesigned the main menu, adding the ‘anthology mix’ link, making an ‘about’ portal, deactivating .brak//SIGN, and revamping the Archives page a bit [v.3.1]. This marked the end of a long journey for the Brak Blog, but the site has been retooled in such a way that it will serve as a permanent archive, and won’t be going anywhere for a long time.
(August 14th, 2006-July 15th, 2007)
Anticipating the Brak Blog’s eventual close, I began work in June on The Elevator Blog, an ambitious project that would chronicle my journey through college just as Brak had done for high school [v.0.1]. I had some sketches from the previous October of what I wanted it to look like, but upon execution, I didn’t like what I’d made. Plus, I began to feel, like others I got feedback from, that the name was cumbersome and just not very good. I really tried to make this idea work, but it still ended up having a rather sloppy and forgettable feel [v.0.2].
So I started again. A huge brainstorming push yielded one promising result. I mulled it over for a day or so before realizing I loved it. The next day I registered SchrodingersBlog.com, and began my work. Some tedious days and nights were spent physically moving the entire Brak Blog to a subdirectory without damaging the files in order to make room for the new blog that would occupy the index. The other major task was to build a content portal for new images/sounds/articles/etc., but also port in everything from .brak//SIGN. That being finished, the blog was nearly complete [v.1.0].
I spent a lot of time getting the new blog up-and-running because of some trouble with Greymatter. It was not cooperating. After a few discouraging nights though, headway was made, and I was able to post small filler entries to check entry-appearances, as well as program the archives page [v.1.1].
(July 15th, 2007-Present Day)
[ver. 2.0] (c. 07/2007)
Onward and upward! I’d like to say that the first major improvement came in the name of the betterment of the blog, but it did not. Greymatter crashed in some sortof freak accident, wiping out the core files that allowed me to update, but thankfully leaving the archives intact. Worried that this would happen again, even if I preserved the archives, wiped the old blog, and started new one, I decided it was time for a change.
The transition to the WordPress engine took only about 3 days total for most of the major work, which is saying something. Granted, the stylesheets were already put together for the most part, but learning a bit of PHP and constructing a custom theme was no small feat. Now it’s up though, and running fairly well. I’m sure it’ll be tweaked some more over the next few weeks, but with an engine-change, some bandwidth-light nav. buttons, and a new banner set, I’m comfortable saying we’ve officially progressed to Schrödinger’s Blog, 2.0.
[ver. 2.5] (c. 10/2008)
Took some time during the summer of ’08 to do a little work on the site. The ‘pages’ linked to the buttons at the top were, until this point, static HTML documents sitting on the server. I integrated all of these (Rooftop withstanding) into the WordPress software, so they’re a little easier to update now, if need be. I also launched the official weblog for the [defcon5] radio program. Pretty technically sophisticated, this new install has integrated podcasting, so users can listen to the show on the site, or download it from iTunes, all from an XML Feed tailored by the highly useful ‘podcasting’ plugin.
This update also included the much-anticipated (see: long-promised) YouTube Compendium, which at the moment is run with the shoddy ‘TubePress’ software that has given me more trouble than it’s worth. But it functions for now, and serves its purpose. The M30 Productions videos (at least the shorter ones) were also added to YouTube for better ease of viewing. This version update was mostly back-end stuff, but a new banner set freshened up the look in leiu of a full design overhaul, as was initially planned.
[ver. 3.0 – 3.2] (c. 08/2009)
This update [3.0] to the blog marked the first major aesthetic change in the history of Schrödinger’s Blog. By modifying an existing template, a far more stable theme was created with support for sidebar widgets as well as being more compliant with evolving modern web standards. This was done following the format change to a music blog in the summer of ’09 in order to accommodate some features such as a calendar of album release dates. Navigation was further simplified, and the “random refresh” banners were replaced with a quote-cycle plugin which can be controlled from the back end of the WordPress software [3.1] (c. 06/2010). Subsequent back-end changes briefly enabled a (now depreciated) subtitle feature [3.1] (c. 05/2011).
[ver. 4.0] (c. 09/2017)
Even as my graduate work began to ramp up, content kept popping up well into 2013. Past that, however, the blog went into a stasis, but I continue to have it hosted. I would check in about once a year, but that was it. Eventually I started listening to more music again, and I thought I could maybe start posting. What I found was that the infrastructure of the blog had not aged well in my absence. Plugins were breaking or broken, and the theme really needed a refresh to work on variable screen sizes. I made the decision to depreciate nearly all of the old Legacy Content and the ‘Calendar’ functionality. An existing theme was adapted for a visual update, prompting a reformat of existing entries for purposes of future-proofing (featured image, audio embeds). This was imagined as a type of re-launch for the blog.