Day 2: The story of a website

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I have been wanting to design a website for quite a long time now. It started out as a way to win favor from my advisor. That was when I had just joined the group and was eager to prove my worth. A full year and a half has g0ne by and I did nothing. Blame it on laziness or perhaps the crazy schedule of a grad student.

Anyhow, I stumbled upon something called Dreamweaver – which is somekind of tool that let’s you create webpages. Thing about like this: Microsoft page let’s you create pictures, photoshop creates images, Word creates documents; Dreamweaver creates websites. I never knew before that websites are loaded in something called a ‘server’. this is a fancy name for a computer that has all the data about the website. When I create my website, i store all the data on my mac – so my mac is the server for the time being. Later I’ll have it transferred to the Brown server – which is a bigger and better maintained server. But I am not there yet.

However, when i came home to India, I found that Dreamweaver does not work here. It’s some license issue that no one seems to be able to figure out. I looked around and stumbled upon something called ASP.NET which is yet another software tool to make websites. That looks cool – but I haven’t quite figured out that yet.

Then my friend S told me about some thing called WordPress – which is both a blogging site (this one) as well as something that helps you design a blog. The idea is that, though the website that I wanna create is not a blog – it’s my group’s home page – I can still start from a blog and make it into a conventional website. The highlight is that wordpress is both easy and offers a lot of cool stuff to go about designing a custom webpage. S showed me his companies website and that’s cool.  I’ll find out I guess.

But WordPress requires a server – that is you cannot simply install wordpress on your desktop and then design it from there. But I wanted to learn it before I upload my site – play around, get familiar and then advance ahead. Also, I don’t have a server available now. Then I came across something called a MAMP – which is an acronym for Macintosh, Apache, MySQL PHP. If you install this, then you can disguise your computer as a localserver and then built websites here (using wordpress). I installed this and it works! The online tutorials out there are great and I had wordpress running on my fictitious server in no time.

Now the task ahead is to learn how to design my cool custom site…

But I am already enjoying this, and I get the feeling that this is gonna be one of those chores that would be fun to do….

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