A Tragic History

Unlike real pubs, I can’t blame the economy for the fall of Kevin’s Pub. First of all, sometimes, pubs benefit from a down economy, since if people are depressed, nothing helps quite like a pint or three of your favorite malted beverage. Also, Kevin’s Pub has fallen so often (with so few noticing), that is really isn’t that big an issue. It’s still here, in a relative sense, since if you go to the web site, you see this page. Also, we never actually sold anything, real or virtual, so it’s pretty difficult to go out of business with a hobby. (Although your hobbies could probably bankrupt you, if you choose unwisely.)

I think the first version was hosted on The World (which I’m pretty sure doesn’t exist anymore), and I would dial in to a machine in Massachusetts from Dallas to update my personal web site, after annoying the sysops so often, they finally told me where the HTML pages should be placed. I wrote everything for the original site by hand with Notepad or vi – this was before the days of easy website creation!

After that, I moved to a number of hosting services, long departed. At one point, I had multiple pubs in multiple locations because FortuneCity used a “city” metaphor, so I just had multiple locations, all linked together. (This was an excellent metaphor, since I’m pretty sure the London, Dallas and Chicago locations of Kevin’s Pub were all on the same datacenter in Silicon Valley.)

The upgraded version of the website (mainly because I had better tools to create the pages) had a pints page with links to every beer I could find that I would actually drink, so basically, anything not from the US. It was quite a busy page. I got a very nice note back from a couple of breweries when I emailed to ask permission to use their logos, which was probably strange in those days, and unheard of today (asking permission to use someone’s intellectual property, that is.) I miss that page, because I did a lot of searching (pre-Google) to find all of the web sites.

After I finally got a local ISDN connection at the house, I paid extra for static IPs, and then went on a quest to find a decent mail server, so I could run my own mail server. It finally occurred to me that Lotus Domino provided SMTP, POP3 and IMAP support, so I put up a Domino server as a work-related exercise. (I still work for IBM and I’ve actually spent a lot of time in Lotus technical sales, so my playing with Notes and Domino has always been work-related. I can’t use the software for production use, but this is as non-production as you can possibly get. I’m also one of the few people who thought of using Domino for mail only after I was using it for applications development, contrary to most of IBM Sales.) I created a bare-bones database to use as a web site. That machine crashed, and I lost the database. So, I moved to another machine. That machine crashed. And so on. Eventually, we moved, and I switched from ISDN to DSL. All the machines survived the move, after I managed to get all of the DNS configurations updated. Some time after that, the machine crashed. And so on. So, now, Kevin’s Pub is in the cloud and Lotus doesn’t exist any more. Also, IBM laid off my entire team in 2017. We live in interesting times.

Someday, I really will learn to do backups. Someday. If it’s a production environment.

Somewhere along the way, I also registered kevpub.org as an extra domain, in case the problem was that people didn’t like typing “kevins-pub.org”. I just had it forwarded to kevins-pub.org so I didn’t have to maintain two sets of HTML pages. Traffic to the original site didn’t change. So, the name was not the issue. Sigh.

The most popular part of the original Domino-based Pub was the “occupant” email address. I created it to use for mailing lists, to separate that mail from my personal account. However, I signed up for one or two bogus offers or put it on one or two unfortunate web sites, and eventually, it was completely overrun with spam. I finally deleted the account, but I check the spam filters every now and then, and people are still trying to send mail to it. So, let me remind everyone, “occupant” is dead.

The last actual date of a crash I have is Friday, June 20, 2008 – since that was documented in this database. Before I added the history and further adventures of the Pub above, there was just a sad message displayed (as part of the About document.) Also, this database was in a subdirectory reserved for files copied over from a deceased machine, so this was yet another emergency recovery.

Here’s the message:

After serving virtual pints to our band of regular customers since 1994, Kevin’s Pub suffered a virtual fire this afternoon – the hard drive crashed. We’re here in temporary quarters, and e-mail is flowing in (I hope.)

If you sent any messages on Friday, June 20, 2008 and you haven’t received a reply, you might want to re-send it, since it was probably lost. My apologies.

We hope to have the Pub rebuilt and back to normal (or as normal as it has ever been) soon.

Almost four years later, on February 8, 2012, I realized that the pub website was down – mainly because yet another server had crashed and I had never updated the configuration in the Lotus Domino server. Since I had patched the mail interface, I didn’t really check the website- which I guess shows how critical this site truly is. (From that dark day in 2008 to today, I have had exactly no complaints about the lack of web site.)

On November 19, 2012, I moved the pages that were left to a GoDaddy site in the cloud. So, I can’t crash at home any more.

On August 11, 2015, I moved to WordPress, which is my new favorite place for hosting content. This seems a much better place than the GoDaddy site, which tended to disappear every time they upgraded the hosting or design software.

On November 11, 2019 (I have to find the dates), I consolidated a bunch of websites under the Italian Fish main site on GoDaddy – which is a managed WordPress site, so everything just moved over (mostly.)

On June 7, 2020, the Pub was moved back to its own site on WordPress, so it is not part of the ItalianFish conglomerate. This is the Pub’s current home. All pages have been updated to practice social distancing. 

On July, 7, 2021, the Pub moved to its final (so far) home at NameCheap, on a hosted WordPress site. All the pages will be updated, eventually. Plus, I’m combining some of my other random sites under this one.

Thanks for your patronage throughout the years!