Upcoming Anniversary

The public archives of tumbledry go back to my embarrassingly rudimentary scrawling in October, 1999. By that calendar, we’ll turn 10 in October of this year. However, I only registered the domain tumbledry.org on July 22, 2003. At the time, I was smack in the middle of leaving high school times for college life. My intensely narrow understanding of the world around me expanded agonizingly slowly; however, something during that time made me think it would be a good idea to hop on the evolving internet and get a proper website going. Before that, this space was called “Alex’s Website.” I’ve some mortifying splash pages from that era. Perhaps I’ll share those if I get time. Before that, dating to sometime around the beginning of 1999, I put together a site called TI Chip. It was mostly an archive of 1200+ calculator programs. I loved piecing together websites on Angelfire and Tripod, two free hosting sites of the day.

A calculator-carrying geek was I.

Computers were a domain exclusively talked about with my close friends, and I tried hard not to talk to my classmates about my love for programming. This tendency persists to this day, and it gets rather lonely sometimes. I wish I had a peer group (Justin only has so much free time) with whom I could discuss different caching systems for database driven websites, the challenges of non-greedy regular expressions, or the merits of different languages. With my near total immersion in dental school, I know my knowledge about these topics will be hopelessly out of date when I finally have the time to reconnect with any community like this. Oh well, eh? The time just isn’t there.

I will, however, always look back fondly at redesigning and/or recoding this website about 17 times, learning HTML by trial and error over winter break in 1998, getting hacked by a Russian computer gang, and so on. I look forward to many, many more years online. I wonder, nearly 10 years into this endeavor, what life and this space will be like in another 10 years… in 2019.

5 comments left


Dan McKeown

Unless the world ends in 2012 of course.

In all seriousness, when did you get hacked by Russians? That sounds like a story worth retelling!


I did not know TI Chip still existed. I’m impressed. I remember the page that had all the splash designs from the prior sites. I thought those were the greatest things in their day, and they were.

I could be a computer geek buddy, trust me a lot of my very own conversations with Justin mirror yours. Of course, I’m always several years behind.

Either way, congrats Alex’s Blog. On evolving from just a “Website” to an every day cycle.


Just reformatted my hard drive and re-installed my OS. It’s like getting a brand new computer! Don’t worry about the “Library of Alexandria” though. It is safe and sound on an external hard drive donated temporarily by Daniel S. Mckeown.

P.S. The coolest thing I ever did with a calculator was write boobs and hell and then giggle like a little girl.

Alexander Micek

Haha, oh man. Well, Justin kindly hosted me for free for a long time. And some issues came up wherein hackers (who were, I presume, using some sort of auto-scanning program trolling the web for weaknesses) were able to drop index files onto the server. So, my page pulled up this black background with crazy red Russian text, presumable outlining how I’d been thoroughly pwned and how my mother was a hamster and my father smelt of elderberries.

Justin, I’m sure, can give you more details. Of course, he’s exploited holes in my code numerous times; the experience made me a much more defensive writer. Nothing makes you try harder to write secure code than seeing what happens when you don’t.

And thanks, John! I still remember pulling up TI Chip after some games of summer basketball on the good ol’ Dell at your house. Those were good, good times.

You’ve still got that, Markoe? Yes! I hope your reformat went well and that your computer is stoically trucking along. Is stoically a word? Is trucking a verb? Incidentally, have you upgraded your hard drives?


I vaguely remember TI Chip. Back in those days, I went through my own programming phase, except my programming knowledge remained limited to Basic and then a very rudimentary understanding of Assembly as I created by own mostly text-based calculator games. I still remember collaborating with Justin in 8th grade art class towards making a graphical, fantasy/RPG calculator game and it was my job to do some illustrations that would be converted into sprites. We never got very far on that pipedream. I also remember the humble beginnings of Alex’s Website and it’s transfiguration into TumbleDry, like the beautiful metamorphosis of a butterfly. I was there at the beginning and, damn it, I’ll be there through future changes until this thing dies. But I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Brief Notes Nearby