*DocOpsMessBo

*DocOpsMessBo

Once I ran an emergency messageboard site, a back-up for the Starlightlines Employee Forum, which at the time had a tendency to crash unexpectedly. The Forum has been running for a good ten years now and charts the extend story of the passengers aboard the Starship Titanic and what happened to them after the Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure that made the vessel’s maiden voyage so memorable. For Adams, the Starship Titanic represented an aside in one of the Hitchhiker’s books, which went on to become a game, a book and a web site or two. For the people on the Employee Forum it has become a way of life. Not a moment-by-moment engagement, by any means, but many of the participants from the very early days remain and post on a daily, or least weekly, basis.

Anyway, Blerontin.com became the back-up – and I created a few static pages of additional backstory, with various thoughts on key events, locations and mad scrambles for key numbers (the forum posts currently stand at more than 46,000 and, in the past, people have made a big deal about catching the posts that have identical number strings, like 6,666). The forum never got especially busy and I never minded that – it had a purpose and that sufficed.

When I changed my hosting package, Blerontin.com fell off the radar. I had used a messageboard that no one supported any more and I needed to get some Perl sorted to make other bits work. Nine months down the line I had a domain name with a parking page and nothing more – so, something had to be done. Yes, a domain doesn’t cost much to maintain, but why waste it.

So, I spent last weekend finding a new simple discussion board, built a page, and then used some pictures taken from an outing to a local cotton mill to create some industrial-style graphics. The site theme recalls the Yassacan dockworkers and the facility on Blerontin where they constructed the Starship Titanic; and, I added some journal entries from the Architect, Leonvinus, and the Project Manager, Brobostigon. I suspect I could very well be the only regular poster on the site, but I enjoy the act of simply creating. Playing with Photoshop and reworking images for a specific purpose allows me to try new things – like turning a photo of a mesh floor plate into a seamless background tile!

All good fun – and nice to make progress on a website. Sometimes, the need for something to be done doesn’t coincide with the opportunity to do it. Mind you, I probably shouldn’t be staying up to 0.30AM worrying about why I can’t get a Perl script to work… I’m sure I can sort that kind of thing out at a more socialable and reasonable hour!

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