Hi there! I’m Trever Fischer. This is my website. I built it with my bare hands using nothing more than a PHP manual and Notepad. Eh, well, a while ago I did. But now wm161.net (thats me!) is powered by WordPress. I assume that there are only two real reasons why you’d be at this page. For one, you might want to know who I am. I’ve got a separate page about me there. The other reason might be that you are interested in this site’s history. Thats what this page is for. As with most insane people, I’ve presented my website’s history in the form of a Q&A session with myself.
What does ‘wm161′ stand for?
Well a simple explanation is ‘short for workman161′, but that doesn’t explain anything. You see, back when the earth started to cool there was this thing called ‘Yahoo’. It was a portal to wonderful things like chatrooms and meeting friends.
Trever: Dad, can I set up a Yahoo account?
Trever: Ok, I need a screen name it says. What should it be?
Dad: How about motox161?
My dad (and the rest of the Fischer family) is absolutely fanatical about motorcycle racing. The AMA Supercross event in Detroit is our Mecca. When my dad raced, his number was 161. No real reason, but it was his number. Sadly, motox161 was already registered. At the youthful age of eight, I had yet to understand why motorcycles were so cool and hip. I thought my dad was cooler than those silly two-wheeled annoyances, so I named the account after what I knew most about him: he works. workman161 was registered and thus began an era and a legacy.
Years later (around when I was 14) I discovered IRC through the Game Maker Community. Somewhere around two years later, a fellow named Tyson Collins changed his name from ‘Strongbad’ to ‘Null’. I thought that was weird, just adopting a new name like that and calling it a done deal. Somehow though, this got to me. I wanted a cool name. Numbers were a relic of Ye Olden Days of AOL. I just couldn’t bring myself to change my nickname. It’d be like ‘workman161′ dropped off the face of the earth. Around the same time, my friends on IRC got into the habit of shortening ‘workman161′ to ‘wm’. Thats a lot shorter to type. But ‘workman’ didn’t suit me either. I still wanted those all-important numbers (they were my dad’s after all…). ‘wm161′ made sense. For about a year, that was my ‘new’ name. Later on, my misguided 17 year old self thought that when I turned 18, changing my name to “LocusSolus” would be a really great idea. Seems I don’t learn too quick.
So that must be when this website comes into play, right?
Not exactly. I registered the domain wm161.net around that time (shortly beforehand, I also ‘owned’ wm161.tk). My website started back in 2001. I was really into Game Maker. The popular fad back then was to form imaginary ‘companies’ where a bunch of friends collaborate online to create good games. Most of them were failures. My failure was named ‘Fishead Studios’, after my last name of course. I was totally into the ‘my own corporation’ mindset back then. So naive. I didn’t want to clutter up fisheadstudios.com’s stuff with my own personal desires, so I created fisheadstudios.com/workman161. That directory was later shortened to ‘wm161′ when I registered wm161.tk, but nonetheless I had my own website. Mine.
Ok, but now when does all this wordpress/PHP/oranges stuff come into consideration?
Much, much later. At first, my website was what you’d expect from your average 1990′s idiot with a web server. Silly stuff. I was excited that I was on the web. I considered myself on equal footing with Yahoo, Google, or the GMC all because I could put what I want out there however I wanted. Woo! Then, it happened. The event I have dubbed ‘Hello World’. I discovered PHP. Wow, what an event. My knowledge of the language grew in leaps and bounds. Soon my website was serving up dynamic banners and had a game review system. Impressive, for only a week of work. Still though, I wanted fisheadstudios.com/workman161 to only hold my ‘stuff’. None of my ‘content’, like writing or news.
I was one of the first Blogger account holders. Way back before they were acquired by google. When they were acquired by google, I was among the first to get a gmail account as well, but thats besides the point. Blogger was a simplistic thing back then. You essentially had only three important pages: your front page, writing a new post, and editing your template. Even then, those pages were very rudimentary and basic. I wanted my blog to do more things. I wanted efficiency. I wanted to be able to both manage my website, and my blog. All at once.
Directly from my homebrew administration interface I built for the original incarnation of /workman161, I invented PHPBlog. I changed the name to ‘FlexiBlog’ because someone already claimed the name on sourceforge. FlexiBlog became my claim to fame, even if it didn’t always work. It had just about everything that I wanted in a blog platform though. BBCode, themes, and most importantly, plugins. Plugins were what gave FlexiBlog the Flexi. A basic install of FB only managed blog posts. Other plugins I wrote did things like add commenting, user account profiles, a navigation bar, and even an advanced filesystem editor. Looking back, FB’s algorithms were remarkably similar to WordPress’. It was impressive. My crowning achievement back then.
One day, I got frustrated with maintaining my own confusing code (I said “Screw comments!” in my early days and regretted it now). I wiped my FlexiBlog install and installed WordPress. I hacked the default theme to duplicate my current design and was quite happy with my work. I still had other parts of my site that depended on some custom FlexiBlog modules to have an administration interface, so those places were slowly forgotten to the world (they are still active on my site, but get zero visitors). One section I couldn’t afford to loose was Quiffle, my QDB. Quiffle was the first plugin I made for WordPress as part of the ‘wm161.net administration suite’ plugin. In doing so, I learned a lot about WordPress and how its simple and straightforward design was superior to FlexiBlog’s convolution of objects, introspection, and PHP hacks.
Well, what about those oranges?
I like oranges.
Yep. Thats it. Don’t bother asking more. I just gave you the whole answer.