Dogod had it's humble roots at the onset of the internet as we now know it. It took root back in late 1993 or early 1994. It is debatable if, back at the time www.bigdog.geo.cornell.edu was the first web server in the Cornell geology department but there is a very good chance it was. The hardware for bigdog was mine. A SUN 4/110, and I often times used it to prototype things I would roll out to the geology server. We had heard of this new CERN httpd thig and decided to build it and "kick the tires" so to speak. You also had to build the browser to use with it. There was some debate back in those days if it was going to take off, but it seemed to be gopher made easy, and gopher was getting to be popular. I do recall the first images served were some gif's I got of beavis and butt-head, probably from a BBS, which were still popular back in those days. In fact, I ran not only a bbs, but the areas first BBS with a taste of the internet, at home I had a Sun 3/60 that run the affair and a USR HST (later dual standard, once V32 was settled) for people to dial in on and a Telebit Trailblazer to call out and swap news and mail vis UUCP. We were a few years before broadband came to our house.

The site initially had a very simple photo gallery of my dogs and birds. I was one of the first in my area to get a digital camera, a Kodak DC-40 that I got inexpensively inexpensively off of the local trading BBS. I was surprised when I got it to be honest. The first web site used client side image scaling for a while. It took me a long time to get the pbm utilities and libjpeg and figure out the plumbing to scale images. That became a decades old relationship with netpbm.

Sometime in the late 1990's we got into web hosting and site design, and that is when dogod.com was born, we moved from my office at Cornell to a colo cage at a now defunct local ISP, lightlink.com. I had an interesting setup in the cage. UNIX machines were not super reliable as far as starting back up after an unexpected power loss. Small bit of humor, but on Christmas day of about 1995 I got a panicked call from one of the professors at Geology that the campus had a power failure and all of the systems were down, even though the power came back up. He actually came down to my house in the middle of a blizzard, I did not have a car back in those days, and I got everything sorted out so he could work. Anyway, lightlink had some UPS but it did not last for long, and after having a couple of incidents, I got a really crappy 386 based "laptop" that someone had dropped and smashed the screen and hinges on. I installed Linux, which I had been using at home on one of my pee cees since the very first public release (the old two funny formatted floppy days), and some kind of a network adapter for it, I do not recall what but I do remember that I glued the thing with the network connector to the back of the case. The serial port on that connected to the serial port on the old Sun, and that would run for an hour or more after the UPS gave up. That also had nothing being written and in fact logging was turned off on it, so it stood a very good chance to booting clean if it lost power. If bigdog went down I could ssh into smalldog and reboot bigdog via the serial port. I also had a CDROM drive hooked to bigdog with the SunOS cd in it, so I had some rescue options with that as well. "almost as good as being there".

A lot of things changed over the next few years. I got a new job at a tech spin off start up. It kept me very busy. We got out of the web hosting thing and mostly just had a few mailing lists and personal web pages going. I was able to move bigdog out of lightlink and into the server room at work, where it sat for quite a few years, and even at the new job, was something I could safely prototype things on. This was now closing in on 2000, and I was doing half days at work in the day, and much later on at night, I had always been a night owl, me and the big dogs would head back to work and room by room we did all the computer patching for the big Y2K event. There was fear the world was going to end. In retrospect, we had exactly two things go south and none of them were mine. The first one was the phone system that had a computer that let it do voicemail and what not, that was the phone guys baby and that kind of freaked out. If I recall right it ran interactive UNIX and that came on a giant pile of floppies. (as a historical note, I used to, and my still have the floppies, I got them when we were bought out and they brought on their own phone hardware. In fact I got the whole old system. The other thing that went south was this thing called swish thar the webmaster used to create an index of the web site with every night. And he was able to get a new version of that and we got it built and installed. Overall Y2K was pretty uneventful for us. We went out and watched them change the lights in the IC towers from 99 to 00 and went back home and logged into work and made sure it was still more or less there and called it a night.

A few years later, a bigger commercial company came and bought us out. Overall this was good as we all had some equity in the little startup and it was a nice payday, and they wanted to keep almost all of us, and at better pay and benefits. There were some changes and it was a much more corporate vibe. There was no mention of my little machine in the machine room doing totally non business business, but the vibe was it would not be a good thing to have discovered even thought it had historically been there from back before they bought us. A few things all overlapped, we got broadband at home, I wanted something to do nat so we could have all of our computers on the new network, and Linux had reached a point of being quite stable, so I picked up a computer, installed the CentOS single disk server on it, got the web and mail going and brought dogod home.

Over the years the hardware morphed a few times. The next big upgrade was to an old dual 1Ghz PII. That had mirrored disks in it, and a DVD writer, it was quite the machine for it's time. It had a lot of fan's in it. Over the years the website grew stagnant as other interests too precedent and bit by bit the old machine started to show it's age, most notably when the fans started to die, spinning up and down and heterodyning with each other, sounding like we had a wombat in heat in our back closet. Eventually it got to bothering me enough to want to do something, but I was not quite sure what.

The answer to that, and the web server of today, now lives in an old Wyse thin terminal. No fans, very low power consumption. I often joke the new server takes less power than the fans on the old server. This seems to have enough power and speed for the typical loads we get, and I see no new hardware in the web servers immediate future.

On the software side, around 1998 I came out with V1 of the Xindexer, which was really cool for it's time. It created web pages from libraries of images. It made thumbnails and backgrounds etc. It has tons of options, often fueled by my girlfriend saying "Oh, it would be cool if we could add this.." and two days later it would be there. It had an image viewer written in java that let you zoom in and out and pan around. It was pretty cool, too bad most of the computes back in those days were too slow to really see how cool it was, and now that computes are easily fast enough to run it in real time, java for home use is pretty much a thing of the past. At some point in the 2020's I wrote some scripts to take out the old java and just display the base images. More recently I have been rolling out a new page look and feel, this time with some java script. Hopefully it will be intuitive once you get the feel of it. I like it, for whatever that counts for... And bit by bit, new things are coming. Probably not as fast or prolifically as in the old days, but still, things are being looked at once again.