Technical details

The history

This domain started life in 1999, hosted by Pair Networks. In 2001, I got a small SDSL connection with fixed IP and started serving from "qbrick", my very first PC, a 486 DX100. It sits under my desk and runs a comfortable mess of a system based on Linux 2.0.36 with a low humming sound (on the right). It ran the web server, ftp, email, DNS, everything. And I could log in directly with a clunky keybard and 80x24 characters on a pre-VGA screen with afterglow effect.

[The servers: hal and qbrick]

In 2003, after repeated freezes of qbrick, I moved the hosting duties to "hal", a younger and stronger machine running OpenBSD (on the left). SDSL got replaced by ADSL. But Hal and me never really became friends, and the sound got as annoying as the limited bandwidth of the uplink and the maintenance of bad spam filters.

Since 2007, hosting is moving step by step to HostEurope, a practical solution with no romantic appeal. Sigh. (The freezes turned out to be bad IP packets, not hardware failure. Qbrick is still under my desk and working fine.)

I provide email addresses to my family, and administer a few domains for them. Here are the web sites:

The web site

I believe, more and more, in simplicity. This web site is written in a text editor with simple <p> and <a> tags. My graphical intentions are gathered in the CSS style sheet.

To avoid copy-paste and maintain a somewhat coherent look, the pages are run through a small preprocessor written in Perl that does stupid, repeatable tasks like providing the header and the change date or calculating image sizes.

I always liked the approach of the AnyBrowser campaign and history has shown its value. No reasonable web author writes "Internet Explorer Only" pages in the era of Firefox and "smart" phones. The trendy web pages tuned for IE6 now fall apart in ugliness, while Dennis Ritchie's homepage for example can be read by any old or new browser and is worth it.

I still check sometimes that my site works and looks good with the Lynx browser.