A few random facts about me

I learned HTML long before I got on the Internet for the first time

I upgraded my Pentium 100 MHz PC to Windows 95 in the Fall of 1995. One piece of software that I installed on the new OS had that cool looking HTML-based hypertext help system — it was launching Internet Explorer 1.0 on F1 key press. I can’t remember what exact software it was. Probably, some part of the Microsoft Plus! package. But I was fascinated by the idea of hypertext and quickly learned all the basic tags the help system utilized by looking at the source code.

I was able to buy my first modem (a 14400 bps US Robotics Sportster) in the middle of 1996. My first Internet provider gave me UUCP email address and a Megabyte or maybe two of disk space for a personal homepage on their server at /users/~username/ URI.

I visited entire Internet once

Towards the end of 1996 I had a full list of the country’s second level domains (domain.tld) printed out and posted on the wall just above my 15″ CRT monitor. They all fit on six sheets of A4 paper, in three columns. In a few months I have visited them all on a 14400 bps dial-up connection, both ways uphill.

I published my first article in 1996

In a computer hardware magazine distributed in the entire country, no less. School newspaper, for which I was writing weekly columns about music and computers, doesn’t count.

Fun fact, I posted my text to the magazine on a 3.5″ floppy in a simple envelope and it got to the editors all right. “Floppy-net” was a thing back then.

In 1997 I was running a weekly web-column on a popular website

Every week that year I was posting online my website reviews and curious Internet discoveries, practically, doing what has become known as “blogging” a few years later.

The oldest equipment I have ever worked with was from the year 1913

In my life I have worked for quite a few newspapers and magazines as a web-master, but one time in the early 00’s I was a designer for a small regional print house, making travel magazines and catalogs in QuarkXPress 4.0, creating film negatives and transferring them onto aluminum plates for offset printing.

One night, after particularly large and urgent order I had to also work with the equipment down on the printers’ floor. It was a massive floor-mounted folding and stapling machine with obscure German name and “1913” as a manufacturing date. Probably, close to a hundred kilos of pure cast iron. No electricity involved, 100% mechanical and oddly satisfying lever action.

I use Linux, by the way

First started using Linux on webservers since I got on the Internet, even-though it were basic commands to move files around at first, but only in 2003 I tried it (RedHat 9 it was) on my desktop PC for the first time. Hardware compatibility was a big issue back then, and searching for the right drivers on the dial-up connection was a pain, especially when it was the modem driver that was missing. Later, in 2006–2007, it was much smoother experience: hardware support got miles better, getting drivers and software over PPPoE connection was fast and easy. I was using Ubuntu for two years before having to return to Windows again.

In 2008 I got MSI Wind netbook (these cheap little laptops were all the rage that year!) which allowed me to use Linux alongside my main Windows PC.

In 2010 I replaced my Windows PC with iMac and ditched Windows for good. Since 2016 I ditched Mac OS too and now using Linux exclusively on all my PC’s. It didn’t stopped me from working as a system administrator in 2010–2013 or using a company issued Windows 11 laptop on my current job, though.