Pete vs. The Internet

PeteCahill.com as it existed in October 2001

I started this website back in 2000 as the internet continued to push and shove its way into the public consciousness.  Back then, dial-up services like AOL and Netcom were rapidly tumbling toward the ground in favor of broadband. The sharing of information flowed freely and seemingly without end in this new frontier.  PeteCahill.com was my humble footprint in the sand and a way to express and share in that movement.  Having a web presence — and this was largely before the concept of social media — was something that appealed to my creativity and provided a convenient way to share what was happening in my world.

Prior to this website, I’d hosted several dial-up computer bulletin-boards (BBS, for those who remember) way back in the 80’s before moving on to both PC Pursuit and GEnie online services at the start of the 90’s.  While those services provided access to user communities in the US and Canada, it soon became clear that the party had moved to the internet.  I subscribed to Netcom as my internet service-provider and then Cox broadband as my “on-ramp to the information superhighway” – cringe absolutely permitted.

My wife and I were married and our son was born a few years afterward, and this small site of mine hosted the pictures and stories around those life milestones.  Meanwhile, my videogame hobby and subsequent collection began to flourish and this site reflected that interest, too.  Yet, as life got busier and placed increasing demands on my time, updates to the site slowed and then stopped altogether.  Something that once provided an easy creative outlet to me became an annoying source of frustration and I avoided it purposefully.  In retrospect, it’s amusing to me that my ability to write and share creatively fell off a cliff at around the same time that social media began to flourish with sites like MySpace and Facebook leading the charge.

Create. Evaluate. Simplify.

So, you’ve read this far and you’re no doubt curious it there’s a point to this tale.  For me, anyway, there are a few objectives I have in-mind as I settle into 2022.  First, I want to re-establish a regular rhythm to create and publish content to this site; I’m curious if I can still do it in spite of being in likely the busiest time of my life.  Internet: you’re here to hold me to that task.  Second, as a collector of vintage technology and pop culture, I want to reconnect with, evaluate, and publish to this site what those relics from the past mean to me today.  Would I be willing to shed things that no longer hold any personal meaning?  I’d like to know.  Finally, as I recently passed my fiftieth birthday, I want to simplify and declutter.  Not just things, but ideas.  In my career, there’s a concept called “technical debt“, and I want to excise things I no longer need, shed goals that I will never pursue, clear up some mental clutter, and be at peace with those choices.  Let’s go!

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