Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2018 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

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$1.30 an hour, I am raking it in!

20 September 2017

I was looking for a particular edition of Aardvark this morning and unfortunately, Google hasn't done a good job of indexing this stuff so I had to manually trawl through the pages.

Wow... talk about getting distracted.

Until today I never realised just what a fantastic archive this column has become. So many quite important milestones in the industry and the evolution of the internet are contained within those pages.

After a couple of hours of nostalgia, I finally found the page I was looking for but I also reminded myself just how many hours of my life have gone into creating the "daily dose".

Since January the 3rd, 2001, I've been storing the daily dose using this format: /daily/yyyy/mm/dd.shtml so it's pretty easy to work out the URL for any specific day from that point forwards. You can go backwards from that point by clicking the "previous edition" link.

At times in the past I have attempted to maintain a master-index of these columns but unfortunately the time involved in keeping that index up to date was just not always available to me.

However, if you want to take a trip down memory lane (as I did) you're welcome to pick a random edition (some may give a 404 if that date falls on a weekend) and then just click that backwards link to engage in a bit of time-travel.

It was interesting to note that a number of topics resurfaced time and time again -- partly because they have had continued relevance and importance and partly because I'm old and can't even remember what I had for breakfast, let alone what I wrote about 17 years ago :-)

Perhaps, if I can ever find the time, I might do a "best of" publication -- taking the most interesting (aka: least boring) columns of the past 20+ years and consolidating them into a "brief history of the NZ Net and computer industry". Such a work would no doubt bring fond (and not so fond) memories to those of us who've been involved for so long and may be an eye-opener for those who are noobs.

Using some quick "back of the napkin" calcs, I have written around 5,200 editions of the daily dose. Each of those probably has about 4,000 characters or so of commentary so that's a sobering 21 million characters of so of typing, and of course, the thought that's gone into working out which button to press next whilst doing so.

Since each column takes about 45-minutes to an hour to research and write, that's (conservatively) about 4,000 hours of my life -- or 166 days, which is 23 weeks without stopping, or almost half a hear of continuous writing without stopping for food, drink sleep or a pee.

When I reflect on the amount of money this column has earned me over that 20 year period I think the hourly rate comes to about $1.30 or thereabouts. That figure continues to fall because unlike the early days, today the only advertising I carry are a couple of Google AdSense spots which generate just a couple of bucks a month.

Now that's highly-paid work!

But hey... Aardvark was never started with the intention of being anything other than a way to keep others informed as to what was going on in the tech world so I think it has and will continue to fulfill its purpose.

Anyway... I'm going to upload this and then carry on reading that old stuff. Even though I'm the guy who wrote it, I still find it fascinating!

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