December 2004 marks the ten-year anniversary of something very near and dear to my heart.

My first web page.

At the time, I was a freshman at MWC and had spent my first semester adapting to college life, getting mono, and putzing around on the school’s computers (which, as a CS student, I had pretty frequent access to). The web browser of choice was NCSA Mosaic (version 1.0, I think). HTML was in its infancy… I don’t think you could even specify background colors or images. It was all black text on gray backgrounds and, if you were lucky, some spotty GIF images. My first page said “Laze’s Home Page” across the top in big letters (Times New Roman, of course, because there was no choice) and had an image of Grover sitting on the toilet. There was one other student who had his page up a few weeks before me, so I was the second student to have a web site at the college. Three years later, my main page was getting more hits than the front page of the college’s site. Yowza.

Ernie Ackermann was a big help in getting me started with my site and acting as an advocate. In 1995, a state politician in Richmond complained to the school because I had a link to the infamous Butt Page on my site and he didn’t think it was “appropriate” to have such a link on school servers. Ernie had my back (bad choice of words)… Ernie supported me, though, and allowed me to make the decision about whether or not to remove the link.

By the time I graduated in 1998, I had launched several new sites of my own (most of which are still around), registered laze.net (August of 1997), teamed up with Half Pint, started what could be considered my first blog, grown a shitty beard, and landed a job as a webmaster (still here!).

Here it is, now, ten years after my humble first web page went online. I still get my kicks out of producing content, coding, and making connections through the web. I look back at the last ten years and all of the projects I’ve been involved with and realize that life would have been very different without it. I would never have met all those people that visited my site through the years, I would never have been mistaken for Maury, and toilets around the world would still be clogged. I love the web for what it was and what it’s become and for all the wonderful people that are moving it forward. Sure, it’s way more commercial now than it ever was before, but it’s also become a central part of our lives. We made it through the period of stupid growth and are now beginning to see a resurgence of great ideas. The road ahead looks bright.

Who knows if I’ll still be making my living on the web in another ten years, but you can rest assured that I’ll be around and making noise on laze.net as a cranky almost-40-year-old. Thanks for reading! I hope it hasn’t been too painful.

I was going to try and plan some massive change to laze.net in celebration of ten years on the web, but it didn’t quite happen. However, here’s some assorted miscellaneous et cetera for you to waste some time with:

  • Though my original web page is probably lost to the winds of time, here’s a version of my page from September 1995.
  • Just for kicks, I’ve added all of my pseudo-blog entries from 1998 and 1999 as well as links from my pita circa 2000 into Movable Type. All old Blogger entries were moved over earlier this month. See the sidebar for more.
  • Archive.org: http://www.mwc.edu/rmacmich/ and http://www.laze.net/ through the years. Make fun of anything you find and I will hunt you down.