Two events from earlier this week ended up sending me on an digital archeology quest.
First, I was talking to a co-worker about the challenges of mobile development and I casually mentioned that it used to be much, much harder 20 years ago when I firtst worked on it this kind of thing. For a second she didn't believe me and I had to dig the great Psion Series 5 and its EPOC32 Operating System) as reference points.
The second event was when my son and I were listening to music and I remembered that a certain song that was playing was popular precisely 20 years ago - exactly when I had my son's present age. He found it amusing and we went online to search for the background of the song.
The thing is: 20 years is a considerable amount of time. A lot of things change in that period of time. For a second I looked back and, despite being glad of everything I've accomplished, I noticed I haven't really left many breadcrumbs for others to follow if they so want - for one reason or another.
During the period of 2005 to 2009 I was pretty active journalling and writing for a series of blogs. The great majority of the articles were in Portuguese but I knew I could harvest a great deal of material in English if I spent the time navigating through 10+ years of technology changes, exports, imports, and re-imports - sometimes mangled up in arcane systems of a long-past age.
So here it is. After a whole day of copying, pasting, adapting, filtering, and judging, I've recovered 95% of my old posts of that period. I limited myself just to the ones in English. Some posts are quirky and weirdly relevant like my take on Imagination. Others are surprisingly defining to some of the stuff I love nowadays like my comparison of Java and LISP - the two languages I was juggling projects with back then.
They cover a time when I lived in Finland, Germany, and China and some of those locations sip in some of the posts even if accidentally (like this one I wrote after drinking a Red Bull in China. At the time I was writing about cultural experiences virtually 100% in Portuguese.
Most of the posts come from a long mangement and business series that I was sponsored to write back then. Lots of piecemeal insights that ended up out of fashion when Twitter and its 140 characters picked up pace. Back then the one on Cargo cult and the one about Pyschopaths at work had a considerable amount of traffic.
In retrospect it's interesting to notice the drastic and immediate end of this active period of writing. I've stopped writing practically cold turkey. In the following years of "darkness" a lot happened: the Ruby on Rails years, the few startups, a total life style change, England and USA, a crazy Executive MBA that took me all over the globe, more startups, and finally here. I'm not going to be precise on this one but I'm pretty sure I've lived in at least 6 different places during this "dark" period.
Journalling is a great practice. Lately my journals are pretty abstract and rushed thoughts on paper. I'll try to transfer some of them to a longer form. Even if no one finds them useful - it's a good personal exercise at least.