Closing time

I started in September 2001. I was a young single mother with a background as a dancer, staggering out of the dotcom meltdown, with a tiny grant from The Prince’s Trust and a belief that my ability to sniff out and fix problems in code might just pay the bills. I didn’t know what I was doing, but no one else did either, and if I was left alone for a while I could usually get broken stuff working again.

On my way back from my first meeting of my new tiny business, terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers. I learned what was happening from a taxi driver as I raced to get back to my pre-schooler. I figured that this would not help, but people would probably still have broken Perl.

I fixed terrible Perl. I became a decent sysadmin. Once people needed new things again, I built custom content management systems in Perl, in Classic ASP, and then in PHP. I recreated Photoshop files in HTML and CSS, and I never did build a table-based layout for a client (a reasonable feat in 2001). I wrote everything down as I learned it, and started to turn that into articles and then books.

With Drew joining the company we launched Perch, the really little CMS. It paid the bills for almost ten years. I learned what it was to run a product business, and how hard it is to sell things to web developers who believe everything should be free.

The business hasn’t actually traded for a couple of years. We sold Perch, and Drew took on our more recent product under a new company when I left self-employment to join Google. However, I’ve just completed the paperwork to officially close the Limited Company, now all the loose accountancy ends are tied up. I’m writing this little post to just mark that ending. Fare thee well edgeofmyseat, we did some cool stuff together.



Scott Jenson March 23, 2024 Reply

@rachelandrew FYI, that link is displaying as JSON for me. When I go to and click on the “closing time” link, I get the same thing. Running Chrome 123 on a Mac.

Rachel Andrew March 23, 2024 Reply

@scottjenson I’ve had people report this before and I have no idea why, it’s just WordPress.

Rachel Andrew March 23, 2024 Reply

@scottjenson I’m also running Chrome 123 on a Mac, and I’ve never been able to reproduce this.

Scott Jenson March 23, 2024 Reply

@rachelandrew Figured it out?
Tried Safari: same JSON issue
So tried webpagetest and it renders it properly

So it’s me.

Realized I had a VPN connected (I’m in Italy, Connected through LA)
Turned it off, now it works fine.

Not sure WHY a VPN would do this…

Rachel Andrew March 23, 2024 Reply

@scottjenson That is weird, but explains why I only occasionally have someone report this. Thanks for figuring it out!

Lewis Cowles March 23, 2024 Reply

@rachelandrew I’ve tried Safari, Chrome and Firefox on a mac and this renders just fine.

Having interacted with Perch when a client was sold a site built with it by a designer; it was interesting, but Drew was at least part of the problem, what-if’ing folks that found gaps.

Still glad it enjoyed success and that the closing was for positive moves. It’s quite impossible to make everyone happy, but you both gave it a shot.

Christoph Freyer March 23, 2024 Reply

@rachelandrew I β€œgrew up” in webdesign-world with your tipps and tricks, the 24days and also the original perch which I still use at some sites with joy.

roadie March 23, 2024 Reply

@rachelandrew Hi there and thank you so much for css-grid πŸ™‚ – is that pale purple in the favicon of the closing time page identical to the 2001 background color of the site?

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ Anna Filina March 24, 2024 Reply

@scottjenson @rachelandrew The VPN might be injecting an Accept header with a different order of MIME types, and WP might automatically respond with JSON if that’s the first one it sees. Just a theory though and I don’t have access to a computer to test it by sending my own Accept header.

Craig Grannell March 24, 2024 Reply

@rachelandrew I remember that chair graphic well.

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