Sudden flashback to hosting a bunch of websites out of our old apartment on a rickety old Mac via symmetrical fixed-IP DSL. My ISP allocated an improbably large set of addresses at first, possibly a full 255. Good lord. I think it may have been a Mac II with an Ethernet card running System 7. I ran a Mac-only server application (which was developed independently of Apache) and Mac ports of DNS and sendmail. Then eventually I put it on a series of parted-out Powerbook 540c machines which I had somehow figured out how to run a full Apache stack on. Not LAMP exactly but something like MacAMP, some sort of Unix-like environment running within System 7. I think. Possibly Apache came in with Mac OS X, but I have pretty clear memories of editing Apache config files on that Blackbird. I definitely remember the first time I started digging into Mac OS X and realized all that stuff came built-in and I could cut it out, more or less, with pulls and builds.

I finally moved to remote hosting when Gallery, an open-source PHP-based image-management web application, began to bog down on back-end tasks when my image base exceeded a couple thousand pics. By then the local hardware was out of spec for the app simply based on processor speed. Let’s see, I started running the Perl-based Movable Type around six months after 9/11 on that laptop setup, so I must have retired the local rigs after another couple years. So I’d guesstimate that stack lasted from around 1996 or 1997 until around 2003 or so.

I still have many of these machines, including the Blackbirds (such great axes!), stacked up awaiting my inner eBay daemon. Seems to me I probably have some old blog posts still up from the era, for that matter.

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