Pete's Log: A Brief History

The log was started towards the end of 1998, as an attempt to keep track of my wacky adventures. It was slow going at first, with entries being relatively short and rare. At this time the log was simply a set of html files, updated by hand. Hardly ideal. It looked like this.

In October of 1999, something was done about the situation, and a mysql database was created to hold all the log entries. There was a php front end for viewing entries, which even included a (very limited) search interface to the log. And there was a perl script for adding new log entries. And life became much better. Log entries increased in quality and length and frequency. But life was not entirely perfect. The search feature needed improving. The keywords system I had decided to use for searches proved to be something I disliked. And I wanted to add more features, such as user comments, an improved mailing list, entry topics and titles, etc...

So, when, in August of 2000, the newest version of mysql decided to no longer accept a column called "when", I found myself in need of updating my log scripts simply to keep it functional. And thus the third version of my log was born. Enhancements were added whenever I get bored or really wanted them. Thus comments, ratings, graphs, random entries, and much more found their way into the code. It's a good thing most readers received Pete's Log via email in those days, because looking back, the color scheme is not one I'm proud of.

In 2006, email was disabled and replaced with an RSS feed.

Now fast forward to 2009 and the realization that the code base is now 10 years old and showing its age. For the first time in the history of the log, I set up a test server and began work on refactoring the code. The code was streamlined, some security improvements made, yet another new layout designed, and various other fixes, features and tweaks added.

That version served me well until sometime in 2018 when a PHP upgrade broke everything (i.e. the original MySQL extension was removed). It took until July 2019 before that got fixed.

In August and September of 2020 I put in a major redesign of as a whole. Until that time, Pete's Log had mostly existed on its own without consistent navigation and style between it and the rest of That changed with this redesign. Pete's Log also finally became mobile friendly. This is the fifth and current design of Pete's Log.

More details can be found by viewing entries tagged with the meta topic. What does the future hold? Stay tuned to find out!