About Me and the Site


Hello and welcome!

I’m a web developer located in Baltimore, Maryland who started back in the early 90s running a BBS system (eze.gun.de) in Germany, with gateways to the Usenet, Fidonet, Zerberus and some other networks. I actually created versions of this website since 1996 when I first transitioned from Usenet to Compuserve and had a provider in the US.

It first started in HTML with tables, image maps and graphics in a 3D-look when I learned Photoshop and played with Kai Krause’s tutorials.

In late 90s I learned and experimented with PHP and MySQL and created a simple database driven version of this site with a more minimal, flat design.

In the early 2000s I added a webcam to this site and showcased a few Java applets I created in college, and the site was more of a portfolio, resume, business card site. Being busy with college and freelance work I stopped working on it.

But inspired by what I’ve learned when I worked with Java, Visual Basic and C++ I eventually started to rework the site again with the idea to use Javascript and PHP to create a flexible framework that allowed me to reuse components and turn this site into a more of real application.

I’m not sure exactly how I got involved with WordPress. I think it must have been at work. When I learned about WordPress, my site had to pay for my curiosity with various phases: first with a standard theme, then with my own theme, then a K2 based theme. More design ideas, more focus on frontend. For a while I was happy and started writing and publishing blog posts more regularly.

But then I felt the itch again to tweak this and try that. A few years ago I thought this site doesn’t really need the WordPress and database-overhead. As little content as I had it would be much more efficient to run a static file-based site instead. Already in love with Markdown I had to try Grav when I heard about it, so born was the next generation.

As I continued taking some online courses in Calculus, Complex Analysis, Machine Learning, Statistics and Data Science, I thought the best way to learn is to try to explain it to someone else and wanted to use this site for lecture notes. When I learned about Hugo and Blogdown integrated with RStudio I thought this is it! The perfect platform to write simple Markdown content, or enhanced R-Markdown content with plots etc.

Now I see Gatsby at the horizon, but I’ll keep that for work and leave this site to Blogdown! Although… I do love Jupyter notebooks as well. Hm… :)

So far the story of this website. When I’m not wrestling with the web, I’m particulary interested in computer graphics and animation, virtual/augmented/mixed reality, fluid dynamics, complex and dynamical systems, mathematics and physics, really the entire scope of natural sciences from the micro- to the macro-cosmos.

With every year it’s becoming more important to me to truly focus on these main interests and less on things that may be passé in a year or two. I’m optimistic that this site will not undergo any more drastic changes anytime soon, but instead document my journey in the years to come. I have a lot of notes to add to this site.

You’re invited to join me in this journey. Thanks for visiting!

Gerrit

PS: Here’s a list of the libraries and tools used to build this site: