I heart script kiddies
“Hey, Wil! Where’s your burrito?” was the subject of an Email I got today…well, my burrito was haxxored.
But thanks to the efforts of the greatest webhosts, EVER, Josh and Loren, I think we’re back on track, now. Josh spent the day on a plane, got home, and helped get the servers back together. Loren spent his entire day off getting the servers back up, and restoring all the sites.
I think now is as good a time as any to give a little history on how this lame site came about…
Last year, at comic-con, I met this really cool guy named Ben. Ben is an artist, and had drawn some of the coolest little comic books I have ever seen.
Fast forward to about 2 months before comic-con. I am spending quite a bit of time playing Diablo 2, and surfing the net. One Saturday, while my wife is out of town, I decide to spend the entire day at the computer, and you know what that means…no, not that…I decided to spend the day making a website.
I have wanted a presence on the web for a long time, but I just never got around to it. I was offered, many times, the help of professional designers, but I wanted to do the whole thing myself, for better or for worse. I didn’t want this to be just another lame celebrity website. I wanted to have a website that looked more like one of your friend’s sites, and less like some Big Hollywood Jackass. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I need to back up to that Saturday.
I went to Yahoo! Geocities, and made that “tvswilwheaton” account. Yes, I did that because I thought it was a very cheesy name, and kind of silly, and plain old “wil wheaton” was taken. I had absolutely no idea how to write/*.phpL, I knew nothing of tables, CSS, or anything, so I used the Yahoo! Pagebuilder, to do a sort of WYSIWYG page design. Oh, it was lame alright. Mucho lame. But I did it to see if I could, and to see if anyone even cared.
So, speed ahead to this year’s Comic-con. I made some really silly flyers that had the address of my website on them, and passed them out to anyone who came to see me.
TANGENT: I *LOVE* comics. I have over 5000 of them, much to my wife’s chagrin. I love comic-con, too, because it’s just so magnificently geeky, and good things always happen to me there. Here’s how it works: I can go, and sign autographs for people, sell a few things, and pay for the trip. Now, here is a warning to all current and future (and past) celebrities: The Autograph Area is where careers go to die. It can be really cool, and it can be really sad. Just know why you’re there…it’s like they say about poker: if you don’t know who the sucker at the table is, it’s you. Dig?
So it’s the Saturday of comic-con. I have talked my friend Kevin (who isn’t an actor, he’s just graduated Art-freaking-Center with HONORS as an illustrator…yet he has, through all sorts of crazy circumstances, mostly involving me, gotten TONS of work. You’d totally recognize him if you saw him) into coming with me for the day. We’re planning on me signing from 11 until 5, having some dinner, checking out the guests, and heading home.
Well, we get there at 11, and at 2, when we’re planning on taking a little lunch break, they give us the boot, to make room for someone else. Since our train doesn’t leave for like 8 hours, we head downstairs, to see what we can see.
A few hours later, as we’re getting ready to leave, I see Ben. I know it’s him, because of his unmistakable, ever-present hat. Ben is with some people, one of whom is Loren. I am really excited to see Ben, because I really, really liked his comics last year, and I wanted to see some new ones…problem was, he hadn’t made any, yet. But I gave him the address for my lame website, and asked him to take a look.
A few days later, I got an email from Ben, saying that he liked my site, because the content was cool, but the design was lame (which I’d known all along, mind you, so just get off my back, monkey!). He suggested that I check out this site called Killoggs, that he started with some of his friends. He said that I should write stuff there, because I’d fit in. Shortly after that, I got an Email from Loren. He said that he did hosting, and if I wanted hosting for a website, they’d help me out.
So I thought about it:
“I’ve always wanted to have a presence on the web…but they all hate me in internet land…but having a presence on the web is cool…but they’ll all laugh at me….I’ve got to concentrate…concentrate…concentrate…..I’ve got to concentrate…concentrate….concentrate…Hello? Hello? Hello? Echo! Echo! Echo! Now batting….Manny Mota…Mota…Mota….”
I had registered wilwheaton.net some time ago, just so nobody else could get it and make it into a something stupid, and I was just sitting on it…so, with Loren’s help, I got in touch with this girl Ashley, who had helped me park the domain when I’d registered it.
This story gets cool, I promise. And if it doesn’t get cool, I’ll add some stuff to it, to MAKE it cool, dammit.
Loren and Ashley helped me move the domain from it’s parking space, over to logjamming, where it lives today.
Now, I spent nearly 10 hours a day, over the next 6 weeks, learning/*.phpL, figuring out Dreamweaver, and getting things going…because I really was happy with the content that I had, I mean, it’s just me, you know? But I didn’t like the look, at ALL. It sucked balls. I mean, holy dogshit, did it suck balls.
While I was working out the look and feel, and the design of the site, I became a member over at Killoggs, and began participating in their discussions, and even wrote what I think is a pretty funny first post.
Somehow, during this time, I asked Loren about keeping an online journal. I don’t even remember how it came up, which is too bad, because I bet it’s a cool story. Maybe I’ll make something up when I’m older. I remember telling Loren that I was thinking about making an Open Diary, and he mentioned to me that there were these two things that I may want to look at: Blogger, and Greymatter. Since I was running the lame old site at Geocities, I wasn’t allowed CGI access, so I used Blogger. But I wanted more. I wanted comments, and I wanted direct links…in short, I wanted something cool like Underachievers or Killoggs. So Loren told me that I wanted Greymatter.
I gotta stop for a second here and say something about Loren: He is one of the coolest guys who I’ve never really met. I mean, he has held my lame hand every step of the way as I made this site. He answered all my stupid newbie, RTFM questions, and never was impatient, or condescending, or anything. He was really, really helpful, and I have come to think of him as sort of a friend of mine. I can totally understand how people become friends over IM and stuff, because that’s the only way we talk. Loren could call me, and I wouldn’t know his voice from Adam (mostly because Adam doesn’t call too much anymore, since I told his mom to stop hitting on me).
So, if you enjoy reading this weblog, you should take a second out of your day, and shout a big “Thanks” skyward, and direct it towards him, because I never would have known about this without him. And if you have a lot of money, you should give him some. Like have logjamming host you, or something. Because they’re cool. So there.
End of Tangent.
So, during this 6 weeks of/*.phpL learning, I am a little bitch. I am whining to Ashley, Mae Ling, Ben, Loren, and Josh, and they’re all being really supportive, and cool.
Then, one day, it hits me: the design I want. 6 weeks, to the day, after I launched the lame, old site, Anne goes away for the weekend. I put Underworld Live in my CD player, fire up Dreamweaver, and get to work. I work all through the night, and, by morning, I have the design I want. I sleep for a few hours, get up, and populate the site with the content that I want, which should explain all the spelling errors and broken links when I launched.
I get everything going, it’s all working out okay, but the only thing not working is Email…for some reason, I can get it, but I can’t respond. So I set up a .forward to my old yahoo address, but that’s just not very cool, you know? So I ask Loren and Josh if they can do anything, and Loren totally hooks me up. He figures out what is wrong, and makes it go.
Then, today, the site goes boom, and these two guys do everything they possibly can to make it work again. Which is cool, because I just look for things…things to make me go.
I guess the whole point of this little history is to stand up, and say that I couldn’t have done this without the help of these people, who hardly even know me. And I wanted to publicly say thank you, and give them what the kids call “hellamadprops”.