Jan 222000

A brief history about the site

Prior to the new launch, The FreeBSD Diary shared the http://www.dvl-software.com/ website along with http://www.racingsystem.com/ and http://www.freebsdiary.com/.  People have often asked why the Diary didn’t have it’s own website.  The reason was simple: money and knowledge.  Or more precisely, lack thereof.

Long before I had ever heard about FreeBSD, I started a website for my company, DVL Software.  On that site I also had the race timing software which I had developed for friends and their mountain bike races.  That website was hosted by a commercial web hosting company (Web Farm), mostly because I didn’t have a webserver here.  Remember, I didn’t know about FreeBSD then.

When I was introduced to FreeBSD, I did the Right Thing (TM) and started keeping notes about what I was doing.  There was so much to remember that I had to write it down as I would not be able to remember it all.  When I ran into problems, as so often happens with newbies, I started to transcribe my notes into my messages which I sent off to the -questions mailing list.  I eventually started to type my notes into my computer to make things easier.  I then started to place parts of my notes on my websites when they were too large to include in a mail message to the list.  I called that section of my site "FreeBSD Notes".  As my experience grew, I was able to answer other questions posted to the mailing list.  When I saw a question which dealt with a topic I had written about, I directed the people at my notes.  As the number of notes grew, I started to call it the FreeBSD Diary.  I eventually went out and registered the domain name.  Unfortunately, I selected freebsddiary.com, instead of freebsddiary.org.  It wasn’t until a few months down the track that I realised the error of my ways and registered the .org domain.

The concept of a diary was obtained from a log book kept by a person I’ve met who is building an airplane.  It is a requirement of aircraft license that a full log book is kept.  Tony choose to do this on a website.  It’s actually quite interesting.   His log book is at http://www.kaon.co.nz/europa/index.html and it’s worth a look.

Over time, the popularity of The FreeBSD Diary increased and the content has grown to cover a huge range of topics.  I can now afford to give the Diary its own website.  This move is only possible through the generous sponsorship of companies like Telenet (who produce high performance internet servers).  That’s right.  It’s the ads which allow me to keep this site going.  I certainly could not host the site at home given is traffic volume.  Not to mention that I think the readers of this site deserve a better quality service than can be provided by myself at home.  The Diary is hosted at a huge webfarm in Chicago.  If something breaks while I’m at work or on holiday, Web Farm will fix it faster than I ever could.