Cornell University Division of Biological Sciences

In 1994, my first job out of college was creating educational videos for the Division of Biological Sciences at Cornell University. It was toward the end of the year when I was talking to my boss about this thing called The Web because it seemed that a number of other academic departments had web sites (that is why the Web was developed in the first place, after all). I suggested that we should have one, too.

He said, “Good idea. Do it.”

I didn’t know anything about what to do, but there was literally a pile of Sparc Alpha workstations in one closet and I took one to be the server.

The IT guy set up the domain. We were already under “bio.cornell.edu” and he … Read the rest

PC Magazine

My first job in New York City was as ‘Content Editor’ at PC Magazine in 1997. That meant I hand-coded all their articles, sometimes up to 200/day. The idea of a dynamic, database-driven site was still new and there were no good solutions at the time. The best was to use Microsoft Word’s mail-merge function, placing all the content in an Excel file and opening the HTML template in Word, then merging them together to generate the static pages.

When I was there, Bill Ziff still owned Ziff-Davis and ran the show. It was a privately-held company in a boom time and things were good. Once each year the entire staff (150 or so people) would be sent to a tropical island (a different one each … Read the rest