Relics from the Boneyards

There was a season, long ago, when I started multiple blogs at MovableType, Typescript, Serendipity, Drupal, Blogger, Bloxsom, and some very very early versions of WordPress! Some of these still function, others can be read (only in part) via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. But most are dead and inaccessible, as are most of your 15+year-old blogs…unless you still own the database and are willing and able to painstakingly reconstruct your old site.

WordPress is the winner and perennial champeen in the blogware/CMS stakes, no doubt about it. However, 15-16-17 years ago it was about as secure as a papier-mâché bank vault. That’s one of the reasons why there are so many security plugins for it today.

Updates to PHP versions constitute the main reason old WP sites no longer work. For a few years you might have been able to view your old 2005 site, but with a lot of database and program errors logged at the top of the screen. Now you probably can’t see it at all. Your URL simply gives you a blank.

Coming across old blog posts might therefore be a rare treat. From a version 1.2 WordPress site set up in early 2005:

From a simple Blogspot site a few years later, 2010. Being from Blogger, and therefore not self-hosted, this site is still functional:

That’s Ella King Torrey in the photo. I think she’d recently died.

Moving on, these old MovableType blogs (early 2005) still work for some reason:

Serendipity, or Sy9, was one of the many also-rans in the blogware survey of 2005. It was just prominent enough for me to read about and install. Down near the beginning there, I x’ed out somebody’s surname because the late, lamented Sharlene Spingler did a Google search and found him there. Doubly embarrassing for me, because in addition to discussing his mutilated foot and life, I included a photo of him with his demipod. Ouch.

It appears I followed up that Serendipity blog with a new one in 2014, at almost the same address: http://nbnm.net/drood/s9y/ :

These old versions of Sy9, both v1.7.8, still work although Serendipity’s PHP versions are now 7 and 8. I suppose this is due to the simplicity of the platform, and the lack of plugins, which are what makes WordPress fall down, usually.

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