Cidu Bill on Nov 22nd 2012
Archive for the 'Doctor Fun' Category
Cidu Bill on Nov 24th 2011
Funny how something that seven years ago was a legitimate CIDU is now not only common knowledge, but a fad that’s had its moment. Please click the thumbnail to view this Thanksgiving memory.
Depending on your browser, you might have to click it a second time to get a version large enough to read easily)
Cidu Bill on May 9th 2011
A few months ago, I wrote that the CIDU page was almost 15 years old. That was incorrect. CIDU “went public” in May of 1995. I was thinking of my site at About.com, which began in spring of 1996 and continued in one form or another — with an average of maybe a dozen posts a week — until the end of 2008.
One of these days I’m going to sit down an estimate how many individual posts I’ve put online since 1994, and I’m going to be quite shocked.
Not-so-much-fun fact: when I started CIDU, an update could take 20 minutes or more to upload.
How this site came to be: I had — and still have — a friend named BJ who lives across the country. We wrote to one another frequently, and in years past we’d sometimes mail one another comic strips we didn’t understand. By 1994 we both had computers, and comics strips were starting to come online, so we were able to e-mail one another the comics. Brave New World!
But then she has to switch ISPs and could no longer receive e-mail attachments (this was back when ISPs had their own e-mail systems, Netscape was just starting out and wasn’t compatible with all ISPs, and IE and Firefox were many years in the future). I was already running a couple of web sites, and it occurred to me that if she couldn’t receive comics in the mail, I could start up an ad hoc web site just for the purpose of showing her the comics. Seemed like a weird sort of workaround, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t work.
So I began a page with the address (as I recall) http://www.concentric.net/pages/~bbickel/bj.html.
I’m not really clear what happened next. I’m pretty sure she passed along the address to some friends, who gave it to other friends, and at the same time I mentioned what I was doing to a kinsman and he passed along the address, and before long I was getting e-mail and comics from complete strangers. I still didn’t have a name for the page, and after a few false starts I finally settled on CIDU and changed the file name to cidu.html.
Then David Farley (whose “Doctor Fun”strip appeared frequently here) gave me a plug, and soon afterward the site was mentioned in the New York Times, and then in Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” page (the same place my brother’s book Creepiosity got listed 14 years later, oddly enough), and we were off to the races.