Picking up the computing bug again

There was once a time – 15-20 years ago – when I was always fiddling with a computer in my spare time. I was heavily into Fidonet, and an early adopter of the internet. To my pride, I designed a little bit of software that was quickly picked by others in the UK wishing to bridge between Fidonet and the internet (the actual programming was kindly done by John English); and my old Fidonet system, Minstrel’s Hall, provided many of my friends with their first internet address.

Then a little later, I taught myself php and perl (in that order, strangely), and went to work designing modifications for systems like phpBB and WordPress, not to mention the now-long-defunct Filklore Music Store.

That all slowed down when my work became more IT oriented, and it more or less stopped when I became a full-time consultant. Time was that I would think nothing of spending a whole week of leisure time working on web code; but once computers were my day job, the novelty quickly wore off. After sitting in front of a screen all day, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of one on my evenings. Coincidentally, and for the same reason, that is when I stopped playing computer games.

But recently, on a needs-must basis, I have been getting back into it again. In particular, my board-game group’s forum, Posh Games, is still running on a long-deprecated version of phpBB, because I had written custom Calendar modifications for it, and had lost the enthusiasm to rewrite the whole darned thing when phpBB changed its structure – this would have been about 6 years ago. A recent outage made me re-evaluate, and I found that in the last year, a couple of other guys had started similar Calendar/Scheduler projects. Neither worked exactly to my liking, but there was a lot I could learn from their code (and a lot I could lift!), and I have been playing with it for a couple of weeks. Surprisingly, I am quite enjoying myself.

So once I get Posh Games working on a new release, I may turn to this blog and revive it – I think it could do with a new look, and perhaps a new focus.

We’ll see.

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