The puffster recently posted about the inspiration behind the title of her blog. A couple of days before her posting, she’d asked me why mine is called The lost outpost. I figured that it would waste a little more digital storage and bandwidth to explain. Something to pass the time…

First of all, I’ve run an internal blog at IBM since August 2005. That blog is called Notes from the front line. It was inspired by the idea of “war stories” – that I’m able to share my experiences at the “front line” of technology, frequently working on first-of-a-kind projects or “edge cases” where the performance of a particular product is being pushed. I’m writing bulletins or short reports on my experiences, or just noting down a solution to a technical problem that I can come back to later. That title has held up well. I like it. My colleagues have responded well to it, too.

When I was tempted outside of the firewall, I had to come up with a title of some kind. Longer-term readers may remember that I started off over at Blogger. The weekend I set up my external blog, I spent some time typing variations of “Notes from the front line” into the Blogger URL chooser, but everything similar was already taken. I had to choose something else.

Well… it’s kind of a weird and pretty geeky story. I’m a huge fan of Babylon 5 – in my opinion it is the greatest science fiction series that has been made, bar none(although I’m told that the new Galactica is good, too, but I’ve never seen any of it and I don’t know that the writers have the kind of grand vision that Straczynski had). For a while, the PCs on my home network were named after ships from that series… that got terribly convoluted as hostnames came and went, though. My short-lived home webserver was called The Jumpgate. It all made sense at the time…

So The lost outpost is kind of two things – a riff on the idea of B5 (the last outpost, if you will); and a very oblique reference to being a consultant, an outpost of an organisation (although to be fair, hopefully not a lost one). Oh, and of course, it was a URL that was actually available on Blogger at the time. And it turned out that my pictures of disused tin mines in Cornwall fitted the theme.

Sorry, it’s a very uninteresting story.

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