Digging Deeper in the Dirt

I did a lot of digging this past week.

I was feeling nostalgic for our old user group/proto-hackerspace, The Thugs, so I meandered over to our old website.  It has been dormant for a number of years now, since the relative dissolution of our group.  After spending some time browsing, I decided that I needed to archive the site for posterity… after all, Tripod won’t be around forever, and with services like Geocities folding and taking user data with them, it made sense to save what I could while I could.

Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten the password to the site, and also which email address I had tied to the account.

No big deal,” I thought, “I can always rip each page manually.”

As my decision to archive the page was a spontaneous one, and the fact that I was at work and on my company laptop, I opted to save everything to my SDF account rather than storing everything locally.  A few wgets later, and the whole mess was in my SDF home folder…

… and what a mess it was!

Thankfully, The Thugs’ site wasn’t extensive, and the makeshift index page still made some degree of sense after all this time.  I figured I’d spend a bit of time planning a new, hierarchal layout for the site, to attempt to clean it up a bit.  In so doing, I decided to change formats… the Thugs’ site was written in basic HTML 3 in predominantly text format, so it could be viewed in ANY browser, optimized for quick loading on ancient computers.  With that in mind, rather than simply moving the HTML pages over to my SDF website, I rebuilt The Thugs’ site in gopher format and amalgamated it with my main gopher site, The Backroad to Civilization.

As I’d already resurrected two of my Thugs projects, The Model 4P and 100 Diaries, on the gopher site already, transitioning the rest of The Thug’s website to gopher just made sense.  It took me a few hours to make the change using html2text, then pico to strip the tracking/ad-server code (that Tripod inserted into our HTML code) and to re-justify the text.  It took me another hour or so to decide on a hierarchal structure and layout, and to write the intro blurb.  By Saturday morning, the transition was complete!

As I write this, the Thugs’ gopher archive has been up for a few days.  I finished writing the “About” page this morning and, while writing it, I began to feel as though we’d left so much undone… so many projects unfinished.

Thus, I’ve decided to continue on under The Thugs banner.  Back to my roots, as it were.