Drezn is a blog and repository for miscellaneous blatherings. That seems redundant but not all the blatherings are sequential or temporal, you see.
I started Drezn.net in 2001 or something. Its name was originally derived from an e-mail zine I’d send to friends as a university student doing co-op, called Drooznooz. My co-op terms were always out-of-town, as were many of my friends, so these described my job and out-of-work life in a new town. There were five issues, all from Yellowknife, if I recall correctly, which would date them around 1994-1995.
Around the turn of the millenium I decided to start a blog and registered drezn.net. The name is a refinement on “Drooznooz” which is pretty annoying and also better describes the site as a place I dump my writings and other stuff—“resin” in terms of my essence seeping out of me. Yeah, it sounds gross when I write it out. Anyway, I got an account at a local hosting service for something like $40/month but elected not to pay the extra $5/month for database access, but I had access to Berkeley DB. (SQLite was pretty new at the time and I don’t recall if it was available in the PHP runtime.) It didn’t occur to me at the time to use some sort of static site generator. I don’t know if they were a thing at the time (years later for work I implemented a basic static site generator based on a Subversion repository).
I must have implemented some sort of jankety indexing mechanism and some pagination and basic functionality such as comments and a random snippet thing that randomly loaded what appear to have been a collection of haiku. (Haiku are fun.) I kept this up for a while. I can’t remember for how long but eventually let it go dormant once I was at a new job, starting a family, etc.
I have the archives and I’ll look at bringing them back. That’ll be fun. I will probably find that my random patterings from 18 years ago are remarkably, disappointingly consistent with my more mature 40something self.
The rise of social media
After drezn.net, I stopped blogging. At some point I tried out Facebook and Twitter, both of which were new at some point, but they weren’t really my thing. Eventually, I had to start using Facebook because my ninjutsu school was using it to stay in touch and schedule classes, because everybody else was on it. Sometime around 2010, the ninjutsu school petered out and by 2011 I’d had enough of Facebook and closed my account.
In 2016 or 2017 I signed back on. I can’t remember why. Facebook somehow remembered my account though I was pretty certain I had deleted it. In the fall of 2016 I decided to try Twitter for reals, partially to know what my kids would be dealing with. I slugged it out for three months before I had had enough and deleted my account, replacing it with an empty one.
Now, at the end of 2018, I’ve had enough of Facebook. I don’t get much out of it—certainly not enough to justify what they’re doing with my data, and what they’re doing with everybody else’s, and it’s not a company I want to support in any way. I won’t really miss all the shared notes of inspiration or videos of somebody running themselves over with a lawnmower that’s been shared more than eleven million times. I’ll miss the rare updates from friends, but we’ll have to find another way to share photos.
So back to the old blog and the old site.
Drezn.net is based on Hugo, a static site generator with a custom theme based on the old site.
The commenting system is a homegrown thing called Commentry. I didn’t want to use publicly available commenting platforms and I probably should have used an open source alternative, but I didn’t because programming is fun. It’ll definitely break if you try to leave a comment.
Drezn.net is hosted on Netlify and Commentry is hosted on Heroku. These are great because apart from being easy to use, my level of traffic makes use of their free tiers and their service levels haven’t disappointed so far.