I have always been sort of a technophile/tinkerer, probably starting when I was a wee lad and took apart a telephone answering machine and then couldn’t get it back together. My first dabbling with computers came in the early ’80s when I received a Commodore VIC-20 as a Christmas gift. By the time Christmas day had come to a close, I had already accomplished all the programming labs in the VIC-20 manual and was thirsty for more.
That thirst resulted in the acquisition of a Commodore 64, the VIC-20’s big brother. By the time I relinquished the whole of my Commodore gear to move on to other things, it had expanded to include a 2nd 64, three 5 1/4 floppy disk drives, as well as several games and memory expansion cartridges. A buddy and myself even stood up a local BBS using one of them.
In the late 80’s, I purchased my first personal computer – a HeathKit IBM compatible PC that came in kit form and that I literally had to assemble out of the box. That experience gave me vast knowledge from the very beginning regarding what’s in a PC, what is the purpose of each card and component, etc.
In the early 90’s, I somehow became aware of the existence of the Mosaic web browser; this was before I knew what the World Wide Web even was, but I quickly found out. It was obviously nothing compared to what the web has become today, but it nevertheless fed my desire to learn about it, starting with programming HTML for web pages.
Very shortly thereafter, I became aware of the Linux operating system. Via the internet connection at my workplace, I downloaded several images that comprised the Slackware Linux distribution, placed them on 3 1/2 inch floppy disks and installed it on a secondary partition of my computer. I used Slackware for years – even going so far as to purchase their full distributions on CD/DVD by mail – until I decided that I had grown tired of Slackware’s upgrade paths/methods. I ended up in the land of Red Hat, and I have been running that flavor of Linux – or one of its derivatives – ever since.
On March 23, 1996, I created a “home page” on a site called GeoCities, and The Godwins Web Home was born. It was very rudimentary compared to the web sites of today, but it was pretty good for its time. I coded everything by hand in Notepad or a similar text editor and, when we finally had a digital camera in our hands in the late 90’s, I began posting photos of my new daughter and our daily lives for viewing by family members.
Later in 1996 or 1997, I signed up for home dial-up internet service with an ISP who also offered space for a home page, so I moved “TGWH” there for a time. However, it was in January, 1999 when I took what I would consider the bold (if not insane) step of registering a domain name — www.godwin.org.
The site went live at that domain name in March of 1999, and we’ve been here ever since. Throughout the first 15 or so years of its life, the site was used to post photos and such of our goings on so that Grandpa and Grandma Godwin and other relatives and friends could keep tabs on us. Updates to the site started trailing off in 2012 due to a lack of time and material after becoming a single parent, and the site kind of languished until…
2017! I finally decided to resurrect the site and see what happens. I spent considerable time learning WordPress and trialing theme after theme after theme until I found one I could live with.
So now, here we are! Enjoy the ride as we see what the future brings!