About the Fifth Imperium

      I started this site back in late summer of 1999 (see the FAQs page for a bit more info).

      Originally, pages were hand-built on a Windows Personal Web Server running on Windows 98 on my personal PC in my basement office over a cable-model connection.

      Over the years things morphed to a more stable Windows 2000-box and most importantly, to a script-based system, when I offered a friend some server space and she requested PHP and MySQL for it.

      I started playing with PHP and fell in love with the possibilities.

      I bought the domain "thefifthimperium.com" back in late November 2001 and used a dynamic DNS service to route people to the basement server.

      By spring of 2005, I decided to bite the bullet and pay for off-site hosting and went with Dreamhost. For the most part, I've been happy with their service (i.e. for all intents and purposes, it's been zero maintenance), despite the fact that as I sit here and type this, the server's just recovered from a 90 minute outage. The site now runs on an Apache server under Debian Linux.

      This version of the site is a not meant to be a change in basic functionality, but a complete back-end rewrite.

      I am still using PHP as the scripting language, but I've decided to use the lightweight programming framework called CodeIgniter External link.

      Another goal of the re-write was to make the site standards-compliant as XHTML Transitional.

      For the most part, that goal has been achieved, but a few issues arise from odd scripting from Google and Amazon that I haven't completely ironed out and a couple of snippet collections whose internal HTML is malformed. I have no intention of revisiting those older, badly behaving pages, since file datestamps play an important part in ordering the site material and at the moment, I don't want to play games editing file datestamps locally.

- Joe Buckley, October 2009