Happy Birthday to the Linux kernel, Poodle Scout, and The Wayward Word Press

Today is a day of birthdays to many, and to me in more than one way.

I see by And so it begins that Linus wrote his famous post, the text of which can be found in this post, on September 17, 1991, marking the start of the great adventure that has resulted in the Linux kernel that is now the bedrock of open-source and free software.

Happy Birthday to the Linux kernel programmers who have labored so hard over the last sixteen years. We all know they will continue their labors for many years to come.

This week also marks the fourteenth birthday of our family dog, a poodle we call Scout:

Our poodle ScoutScout resting, as he is wont to do.

Today also marks the birthday of this blog, The Wayward Word Press. Though I began it earlier in 2006, I have retained only one post from the early days. After that my first post appeared exactly one year ago today,
Hopes dashed by the WordPress Dashboard

This post will be #315. The previous post was #314, so without realizing it when I began this blog I have created in it my own approximation to “pi,” 3.14…

You can find a list of all my posts (except for the posts tagged by del.icio.us that appear as daily “links) in the order written, in Posts.

These posts have resulted in 34,000 views, with 451 views on my “best day ever.” I have received over 300 comments and extend my thanks to all the readers who have taken the time to post a comment. I also thank WordPress and their use of Akismet for automatically deleting almost 34,000 spam comments.

Viewed as powers of 340 I see I have

  • 340 posts
  • Just over 340 views on my best day
  • 300+ user comments
  • 34,000 spam comments deleted by Akismet

So on average I have written one post a day, each post has been viewed one hundred times, has resulted in one user comment, and has drawn 100 spam comments.

I used to maintain a single “giant” page with the text of all my posts. As I recall it ran to about 150,000 words before I stopped compiling it about six months ago, so it’s fair to say these posts, including the tagged links, total about 300,000 words, giving an average post size of over 2*340 words. This is longer than most posts I have read on other blogs, but I know this comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever heard me speak … on and on and on.

I’ve had a lot of fun writing this blog and have learned a lot writing it. Writing it has led to starting new relationships and has enriched the ones I had when I started this writing.

Most of the submitted comments, even after Akismet has filtered out the obvious dreck, are spam, I once thought of turning off comments, but I left them on, as to disable them would also disable the collaboration on which open-source is based.

I’m damn glad I did leave comments enabled, as through one of them my family was reunited with an old friend we hadn’t seen in decades, Riet Tims. We had a wonderful visit with her while she was in New York a couple of months ago. Through another I was reunited with a cousin I haven’t seen since I was five years old. Those reunions alone more than paid me back for the hundreds of hours I have put into this blog.

So Happy Birthday to the Wayward Word Press from its author, with special thanks to all who have read one or more of my posts, and an additional thanks to all who have taken some of their valuable time to share their thoughts as comments.

Though I have said one should write a blog only if you can find pleasure in the writing of it, it is the knowledge that people will read you what you write that keeps you going, on and on and on. (I mentioned some of my posts in an e-mail to some colleagues recently, and one of them responded that I must be one of IBM’s most prolific bloggers.)

So I’ll keep writing, in the hopes you’ll continue to find some of them worth reading.


Postscript: The 314th user comment, from “Mike’s Musings,” was submitted an hour or so after I published this post, providing yet another approximation to “pi.” I also have 104 views so far today as I write this, and 3*104 is 312, yet another approximation. Perhaps pi is rational after all, even though it’s been proven it is not.

One Comment

  1. Posted September 17, 2007 at 19:11 | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for your posts, Dave. … And for Jikes 😉

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