The other day I learned that there’s an archive of my very first homepage on the Wayback Machine!
I never thought I’d see this page again, and I don’t think 2006 me ever expected it to survive this long either. I just wish that it got to archive the Flickr photos, too. I was 15 at the time, and I was learning about Linux on a free shell account on anapnea.net. They happened to offer static web hosting as well, so I thought that it would be the coolest thing ever if I built my own homepage—especially since everyone else seemed to be on Friendster (the Myspace of Asia).
The auto-playing music is obnoxious and the multi-colored text is childish, but I was proud of this website. It was a way of showcasing my interests and I loved that I could do it outside the constraints of social media platforms. I learned how to use the command line, SSH into a server, and write some HTML to make this into a reality.
So I thought I could commemorate it by reviving it and giving it a proper place to live online.
I couldn’t find a clear way of downloading Wayback Machine archives, but I found this gem called Wayback Machine Downloader which did all of the work for me.
Most of the markup was generated by a tool called Nvu which was an open source clone of Adobe Dreamweaver. Back then I was big into open source software and I absolutely refused to use anything that’s proprietary. I also didn’t have the money to spend on software anyway.
But because the markup was automatically generated, things were smushed and hard to read. I thought I could at least clean it up before I uploaded the code to GitHub. Fortunately on VSCode you can easily fix it by pressing ⇧⌥F.
Wayback Machine wasn’t able to archive the Flickr photos that I embedded on the page so I had to swap them out with ones that I had taken recently. I hosted those on my Backblaze B2 bucket.
For hosting, I wanted the code to live on GitHub so the easiest way to host it was through GitHub Pages. I simply made a CNAME record on my DNS provider to point jagtalon.github.io to 2006.jagtalon.com. Done!
Fair warning that music might automatically play when you visit 2006.jagtalon.com. Embedded music was all the rage back then, so 15-year-old me thought he’d embed some MP3s in there, too.