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Dr John Hawkins

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Maison de Stuff

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

Posted on 2006/06/16 07:01:24 (June 2006).

[Wednesday 14th June]
There were a number of apocalyptic descriptions of today's events, and I rather liked Travis's "We have glimpsed armageddon", which I may now be paraphrasing slightly.

On my way into work in the morning the 'Maison was fine. I think it must have been around lunchtime when I went to check again, and there was that heart-stopping "under construction" message. The whole site had disappeared off the face of the earth. Well, I won't go through what happened in minute detail as most of the people who are likely to read this were there at the time. Basically the domain name registration lapsed, but to begin with this wasn't apparent, and also given that Jon Ellis owns the domain name, and I didn't have any recent contact details for him, a certain amount of panic ensued. I had dark thoughts that today could have spelled the end of the 'Maison as we knew it. If we couldn't keep the domain name the site would never be the same again. Even if we could get FTP access to the files via some backdoor, it would have been no small undertaking to download the whole site and then re-upload it somewhere else. Then we'd be faced with the problem that none of the links on the site would work properly on a new domain, not to mention lots of the behind-the-scenes scripting stuff.

The prosect was, quite literally, nightmarish, and I am not ashamed to admit I was struggling to draw breath as the full horror of the situation unfolded.

Luckily, disaster was averted, I managed to get in touch with Jon Ellis, and like the star he is, he dropped everything and got on the case straight away. In the end we were barely even offline for a full day, but it was, nonetheless, a time fraught with worry for me!

Well, they say every cloud has a silver lining, and today did at least make me sit back and realise just how precious this little corner of the web is to me.

You know, in the aftermath of the near disaster, I was thinking about the 'Maison a bit. Whilst talking to Jon, he'd mentioned something about ten years, which didn't really sink in at first. Then after giving it some thought I remember we started university im 1995 - I think my first experiments with web pages were around the end of that year, or the start of 1996. I can't remember exactly when it was, but it may well have been some time during 1996 that the term "Maison de Stuff" first came into being. It is now 2006 - so that is ten years ago. Ten years!

The site was located on my university home page to begin with. In fact two different university homepages - one I had as an undergraduate, and another as a postgraduate. Then eventually (in 2000 I think) it got it's own domain name. Even that was six years ago now - today's expiry of the annual registration is a good reminder of that!

Thanks to the magic of, you can actually see a fairly early incarnation of the 'Maison from May 1997. So we have documented proof - at the very least the 'Maison is nine years old, but I reckon the name goes back at least a few months further than that.

Well there you have it. If it's not ten years old, then it is as near as dammit.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I ask you, wherever you are, to raise a glass. To the 'Maison!

Comment 1

To the Maison !!!

Posted by Sheri (raising his glass) at 2006/06/16 07:23:50.

Comment 2

MY EYESS!!! MY EYES!!!! I cannot see anymore, the shock was too much!! I cannot feel my belly!! OOOOOOHHHH.... Ah... is back online.. good now I am going to sit down and have an heart attack.

Posted by Lox at 2006/06/16 08:43:38.

Comment 3

Yesterday I have had a nice beer... TO THE MAISON!!!!

Posted by Lox at 2006/06/16 08:44:12.

Comment 4

# They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot ... la la, la-la lala #

Posted by Kev at 2006/06/16 20:49:20.

Comment 5

wow thats just so weird that actually happen....well i would raise a glass but im at school but if i did i would!!!!

Posted by Nikki at 2008/10/20 13:30:14.

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