History of the Hole

I think it is probably useful to mention a little history of Thomo and the Web. Thomo’s first Hole in the web appeared in October, 1996, created when the family and I were living in Norway and hosted on Scandinavia Online. It was brief, consisting of about 10 pages in total, and most of those pages are still embedded away here in the current Thomo’s Hole (the Sumerian Army one is one in particular and some of the discussion of why Australia is on Top is another).

After Norway, the Hole moved back to Australia and was hosted at Bigpond (some errant pages from that site are still sitting on Bigpond’s Servers). This was in January 1998. It resided there for some time until it was moved to Compuserve in March 1999 when I started travelling more again and we were living in England. It resided on Compuserve until 2002. By then I was working and pretty much living in Korea (along with number one son and main technical genius in the household) and so we hosted it locally – in a PC in one of the bedrooms. The reason for local self hosting in Korea was that we had a permanent 24×7 connection to the Internet (unlike Senator Richard “It’s all done for the pornography” Alston’s ill-educated thoughts, the Broadband connections to the population of Korea are a government sponsored move and more Koreans have access to Broadband Internet connections than Australians have ANY connection to the Internet).

The move to coldie.net is the most recent, having occurred around September 2002. Jeffro has space on a server in the States and so the Hole was hosted from there. March 2003 is when the site was first moved from an HTML type page with lots of work for maintenance to a PHP based Content Management System PostNuke. This made it much much easier for me to manage the content and was reflected in the amount of content that was added between then and early 2005.

More importantly, there was a framework set up where I could hang up my ftp client and do everything through a web-based interface.

The Hole throbbed and thrived!

Then blogging really became popular. In late 2004 I started playing with Microsoft Spaces and later Live Spaces. In early 2005 I was in Korea, Kazakhstan and then took a job in Mongolia. I used that blog to let my friends know what I was doing and that version of Thomo’s Hole developed a wide readership, covering as it did, the life of a foreigner in Mongolia.

That version of Thomo’s Hole remained in parallel with the older Hole until 19 January 2006 when I had moved sufficient of both that blog and the old Thomo’s Hole across to here. Now I am using WordPress as a combined Blog and Home Page and continuing Thomo’s Hole. The only issues that I can see at the moment is that using WordPress, a wonderful blogging tool, I am a little more restricted in providing Page access. I think I just need to think that through though and maybe hack some PHP to acheive the result. Really, I want some static part on the Home Page AND the blog there as well. We shall see.

Microsoft’s browsers seem to have some issues with the PHP in WordPress as well, especially Internet Explorer 7 (IE6 does as well but by and large it is not too bad). All other browsers tested work fine. I also experimiented a little with Blogger as a replacement. It was nice but I still prefer WordPress. All Blogger entries have been migrated to here.

So now, at the time of updating this (19 February 2007), I have had a piece of the Internet for coming up to 11 years. Thomo’s Hole will continue to be updated. In the meantime, look around and enjoy the Hole.

Update on 26 September 2013:

I just noticed that it has been 6 years since updating the History of the Hole. Jeffrey moved servers a few times in those six years and so the Hole moved locations. All moves were fairly straightforward and generally resulted in a blanked our period of only a few hours. This last move resulted in no blanked out period at all.

Thomo’s Hole has now moved into WordPress.com. Jeffrey is terminating the server contract. With the cloud these days it really is becoming less practical to have your own servers on the Internet, better to rent space in Amazon or similar.

The moved to WordPress was not straightforward. I have grown to like Blogger as a tool more and more and to be honest, WordPress has become a little less easy to customise and use. WordPress however made it a straightforward process to migrate into that universe and that  is what eventually won the day.

So, the new Hole is up containing all the old material. It’s hard to believe sometimes that I have been on the Internet for 17 years now (and connected through dial-up modems and bulletin boards for three or four years before that).

The Hole moves forward.

Update on 12 April 2020:

In keeping with the apparent six year cycle of updates to the Hole, it is time. Currently I am now living in Manila and have been for five and a half years. In addition, we are in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic so I am locked up in the condo under what is described here as the enhanced community quarantine.

Not a great deal has changed in Thomo’s Hole over the last six years. It is still in WordPress and annually I pay for the URL https://thomo.coldie.net as the access to the Hole.

Early this year however I started to run out of space in the free wordpress.com site – I was approaching three gigabytes of storage so I bit the bullet and paid for a personal space. This gives me 6 gigabytes of storage and a lot more freedom in changing the appearance of the Hole. Now I just need so time to do that.

I am hopeful of having life better organised by the end of this year to be able to spend some more time writing, and painting, and reading, and gaming, however, at the moment, I need to make do with snatched periods of freetime when I can find them.

In the meantime, staff safe, maintain your social distance and wash your hands!

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