Archive of rajiv.com Home Pages

My History with the Web

In August 1994, I created my first home page to be an electronic photo album of family and friends. I placed some information about me for my new friends and so that people who knew me but were in universities in distant towns could look me up.

Soon I began using it as a notice board for others as well as myself. I posted my Fall ’94 schedule with contact numbers so that my friends in college could find me. I also placed my phone/address book at an unlinked-to URL so I could easily get it if needed. (You can see what the schedule.html page looked like after it became my Spring 95 Schedule.)

Then, as the web started getting popular, I created the first Humor from India Site and a sister site on useful information about India containing a list of Indian Holidays, and lots of frequently requested information on India. It also became the Web home of the soc.culture.indian FAQ. This site was among the very few sites on India linked to by major sites including The Washington Post and Discovery Channel Online. It got a good review on Excite.com and another great one in the printed book version of Yahoo.com and in several other places. My site started getting over 10,000 hits every weekday and in those days that was a lot.

Then as the web showed early signs of becoming commercial, I started using my site as a showcase of the technology I learned each day. I posted several CGI/API and other Internet related programs, library modules and information ranging from tips and security alerts to lengthier tutorials on my site. My technical notes and programs appeared on some prestigious sites including help.netscape.com (Browse the technical notes there on their Commerce Server product.) and the Microsoft IIS and ASP FAQs. Some of my programs were firsts on the web. I developed the first (and for a long time the only) solution to enable multiple default documents on IIS which still applies all the way up to IIS 3.0 and CGI/API programs to make URLs on a Unix server case insensitive like they are on Windows NT.

I also started working at Philadelphia Newspapers Online which was among the first 5 newspapers on the web. Parts of the paper went online in June ’95 and the full papers in September ’95. There I designed and programmed the system that for over a decade daily posted the two newspapers automatically on the Web. Before the term “shopping cart” appeared on the web, I developed the Planet Jobs Help Wanted Job Search which not only let you browse and search through thousands of ads that went online automatically. You could check-mark the ads you liked as you browsed and performed different searches (You could even save your current position as a bookmark and continue another day). After you were done, you could get all the ads you had selected on a single page to print out. This became very popular for Job searches as well the other classifieds like Automobiles for Sale and Apartments/Houses ads that the same program handled. Among many other programs I also wrote the first CGI based interactive crossword puzzle you could not only play on the web, but even save your position as a bookmark and play later. This was long before the time of cookies and other state saving techniques.

I did lots of other work with Java and ActiveX which is described in the free & commercial work sections of my site.

Victory is winning people, not defeating others.

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