15 years of web development! (Bloor & Bedford)

I was reading Mark Pilgrim’s Post on the history of the <img> tag & realized that yesterday (November 1st) marks the 15th anniversary of the very first web page I ever wrote! In Fall 1994, I was in grade 13, and the only student in my school to be taking OAC Computer Science. Earlier, my teacher had introduced me to this thing called the “World Wide Web”, and were playing around with this software called “Mosaic” that allowed us to look at sites on the web. We bought a book called “The Whole Internet User’s Guide” and were using to look at what people were doing online.

As usual, I got sick near the end of October (traditionally, I’m always sick either on my birthday or halloween). I’m fairly certain Halloween was on the weekend, and so, being stuck in the house, I took a poem I had to hand in the next day to my creative writing class, and marked it up in HTML to create my very first web page, hosted on a computer at the school. I’m fairly certain that for at least a year if you went to my high school’s website, this is what would have shown up for you. Please don’t judge me on the poetry, but as the page itself is long since gone, I’m reposting it here in a wave of nostalgia:

Bloor & Bedford

It’s Bloor & Bedford
at 3 a.m.
We drive your old Fords
to bring you them

15 stacks on the curb.
Snow’s still falling.
Outside the Reverb
taxis are stalling

Back in our warm homes
we’ve left our wives.
We hand out these tomes
that rule our lives.

At home asleep
you dream of cake.
We deliver, without a peep,
try to make sure you’re not
awake

There’s a small envelope
tucked in the door.
$55.50 you hope
will help feed the poor.

It’s Bloor & Bedford
for 15 years.
You’ve grown old & bored
yet we’re all still here.

I can see from the yellowed paper I got an A for the poem – not sure how I feel about it now, but there you go. If you couldn’t tell, it’s about newspaper delivery-people, and really, all those working while we sleep or stumble home from clubs & whatnot. I don’t recall if I got an A for building a website out of this, but this was the start of the site that would eventually become this very website, although it has changed domains, names, designs & servers numerous times since then. Sadly, when I left Smartt Net as an ISP in the late 90’s I somehow lost my site & all documents on it at the time, so I can’t simply re-print the original HTML itself, which I’m sure would be interesting.

Within 6 months of this inauspicious start I completed my first paid website, a further year after that my first commercial Web App, and well, the rest is history, as they say.

(Final useless/interesting tidbit: This post is apparently #1900 on this site, which feels a significant number too.)