AboutPosted on July 24, 2023 (Last modified on August 15, 2023) • 5 min read • 1,008 words
Myrthos is a personal site devoted to my electronics and software projects, photography and other tech stuff
This site is named after a nickname that I have been using since the year 2000. How I got from that year, to where we are now is explained in a lot more detail below, if you happen to be interested in stuff like that.
In real life I am named Joost Mans and I work as a project manager and agilist. Skills that are not that useful in creating this site, so I’ll just have to manage with the other skills I have taught myself over the many years since birth.
From here onwards, we get into the lengthy bit.
Myrthos is a nickname that I have been carrying online since the year 2000 onward. At that moment I had made my first site, named “The Locus Inn”, which offered information about Infinity Engine games (like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape:Torment). At that time I was looking for a place to get hosted and settled on blinkingdot.com (which is defunct right now, but someone thinks the domain is worth $5000 😄). That site was owned by Rendelius, who also owned rpgdot.com (of which the content is now hosted at RPGWatch). He offered free hosting and that was the point in time where I had to think about a nickname to be used on the forums. For a reason I can’t recall anymore, I came up with Myrthos.
After some time, I got more involved on the technical side of RPGDot and redesigned the RPGDot site, using a LAMP stack, together with someone else from the forums, named Stijn. After working with that design for some time, I came to the conclusion that it did not support hosting other sites very well. Especially when it came to syndicating a specific selection of the the news posts on RPGDot to those sites. So, I started another redesign, and this time I used the Model-View-Controller paradigm, although I didn’t know it was named like that at the time. That redesign served RPGDot quite well for some years.
Then, in the year 2005, Rendelius decided to sell RPGDot to Jolt (which is a different company now than it was then). Jolt wanted to earn lots of money with the site and decided that it should be plastered with ads. I made the changes for that, even if I did not like them, and we went live with that site in 2006. After a couple of months I figured this was not what I signed up for and decided to leave RPGDot. You should know that all the work for RPGDot was voluntary work, for me and the other staff members. RPGDot was going in the wrong direction as far as I was concerned, so I decided to start a new site, focussing on the same thing as RPGDot; Reporting news about games.
I discussed this with the other staff members and all of them thought it was a great idea and would join me once the new site was live. The only thing that was left to do is to make that new site. I started that, together with Arhu from the RPGDot forums. We created a new site from scratch. He did the front-end and I did the back-end. That is how we created RPGWatch and went live in October 2006, with a first version.
I never made any money on RPGWatch. The ads were not paying much, so I was actually loosing money. At a certain point I decided to drop the ads completely and to go to a donation model, where visitors of RPGWatch donated money that would keep RPGWatch running. That worked and I went on with RPGWatch for a lot of years after that.
Somewhere around 2017-2018, I found myself spending less time on RPGWatch. there was still some technical stuff that needed to be done, but I lost interest in doing that. I also found myself playing less games, which was the core focus of the site. Besides that there were also personal changes that drifted me away from RPGWatch.
As a result I went back to photography as a hobby. Something I had spent a lot of time with when I was a lot younger. A while after that I also went back to designing electronics. A hobby which I spent a lot of time on until I was about 30 years old (which was in the previous century 😉). And to get that electronics to work I also got back into software development (for something else than a site), which was what I had been doing a lot earlier in my professional career.
In the year 2022, I found myself very disconnected from RPGWatch and decided to stop. The site was handed over to someone else, so that the visitors and staff members could continue with the site.
After that, I spent a lot of effort on a variety of things and at some point in time I figured I should make a site about it, for those who might be remotely interested in any of the things I came up with. For this new site I figured it would be a static site. After quite some reading up on Jamstack and what was and what was not possible, I came to Hugo as a candidate. There were others I considered as well, but for some reason Hugo ‘felt’ like a match. After that I checked the different templates that existed and finally selected Hinode as the one to start with, because it offered blogging, projects and documentation. Which again felt like a match.
While working through a book on Hugo, I wondered about what to name the site. I could not think of anything that resonated, until I thought of naming it after my nickname. It felt a bit odd at the beginning, but I got used to it. Besides, I already had the domains for myrthos.nl and myrthos.net, so I could use those.
And this is where we are now.