The Museum

Museums contain exhibits for one's entertainment and edification. There are musems for all fields, many for art, science, and history; this one covers the art, science, and history of ARUGGERI.COM. I've yet to make any real progress with Princeton's computer science department to come up with a degree program on it, so for now, this page will have to do.

Remember the "old days" when being on the net meant only that you had a university email account? When the World Wide Web was actually a new idea? When Mosaic was the hottest piece of software around (being much better than gopher) and people still used Lynx to browse web pages? When you actually needed a phone to use a modem, and you actually needed a modem to get online? Probably not, since those days have long since passed.

I had a web page back then. I also had a T1 connection to the Internet, and a web server running on my PC.

For the sake of historical accuracy and the good of posterity, I have brought this first site and all of its descendants back to life for your viewing pleasure. Why I am engaging in this masochistic exercise in public humiliation is a good question. I do think it's pretty cool to look back at the evolution of web technology, or perhaps more accurately, the evolution of my web design aesthetic. I also have a somewhat obsessive-compulsive pesonality that hates to throw anything away, like notebooks, email, source code, and old bread (I know it expired, dear, but I can still eat it). The archivist (hoarder?) sense is strong in my family.

I am now up to the ninth(!) major revision of my personal web site, and below are links at conveniently spaced intervals to the previous versions. The interesting old sound samples have gone from being useless because nobody had the software to hear it, to useful because everybody had the software to hear it, to pointless because they are the digital equivalent of parchment paper: sure, you can read it, but it's a bit yellowed and crisp and prone to fall apart at any moment. In a world of instant gratification for any kind of music on just about any platform, to say they are unremarkable is an understatement.

I'd like to see anyone else even try to match this for self-indulgence and decadence on a personal web site. Not gonna happen!

You will note that many of these sites themselves also have a museum or history section, starting in 1999, pointing to the earlier versions; yes, I've been at this for a while. You will also note the existence of both aruggeri.com and anthonyruggeri.com. The anthonyruggeri.com domain was my attempt to get spam under control, before there were better ways of controlling spam.

Ironically, the earliest versions of the site contained the simplest form of HTML, and still work fine today. As things progressed, I began using server-side programming to make things more structured and "easier," and databases to manage content, but of course those approaches have compatibility and maintenance pitfalls. I still have the classic ASP and ASP.NET versions around, but I've converted them to plain HTML to avoid having to actually run server-side code and maintain MySQL or SQL Server databases. It won't be long before there aren't any web servers that run classic ASP at all. The latest version of the site is back to plain old client-side HTML, with a limited dose of Javascript to automate things a bit (but nothing like the monstrosity that is full-blown modern web technology, with its never-ending cascade of frameworks). Once Javascript is defunct, well... then we're all f***ed, except that the browser of this hopefully-not-so-distant future will probably translate Javascript to something else on the fly.

Enjoy...