Another First Post

In the ongoing struggle of existence in this modern world, I have been slowly moving my life over to the cloud: I’m now hosting this blog on Windows Azure. Azure actually offers BlogEngine.NET as a one of the packages you can automagically set up in a few clicks. Plus you can’t really beat the price of free. Of course, if I want a custom domain I can always scale up to a more expensive plan.

The catalyst for this move was simple, the previous host was in my friend’s basement and he’s scaling down the amount of servers he owns to zero. The process of decommissioning the servers I ran in his basement has been a walk down memory lane. The oldest server was configured 1/17/2004 and is running Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. This server has been online for just over nine years. Nine freaking years.


This server hasn’t has a single hardware issue the entire time it’s been online. And we beat the hell out of this server. It was originally supposed to run a digital photography application but ended up doing so much more. It hosted community sites for internet ratio stations, commerce applications for artists, custom game servers for open source server emulation projects, communication applications, guild homepages, countless blogs, the list goes on.

The server has been moved around a few times too. It started out in a nice colocation facility. When that place moved, the server moved with it. Then to cut costs, it was moved onsite and a custom closet was built around the rack it ended up in. Finally it moved to a basement where it spent the last few years serving up a handful of mostly static pages. None of this caused a single hardware failure in the entire time the server has been in production.

This server, along with the blog server, hosted my Subversion repositories as well. So much history and code and ideas went through those servers it’s almost hard for me to shut them down. Some of the code will live on in current projects, some of it went into other projects scattered all over the internet and some of it will be archived for historians to wonder what we were thinking.


The blog server had Team City installation and was briefly used to build nightlies for Media Browser. The build engine could generate binaries for both Vista and Windows 7. It’s almost a shame we’re shutting it down, then again, it’s built from spare parts and sounds like a wind tunnel. We can easily gain all lost functionality in a VM via Disk2Vhd.

As the sun sets on these old servers, I’m reminded of one of the reasons they existed in the first place. The functionality I wanted is basically what we have now when you combine Microsoft’s services like Hotmail,, Messenger, Skype, SkyDrive, Azure, etc. and your Microsoft Account with other services like Facebook and Twitter.

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