LMB hack days: Martin Akolo Chiteri

An interview with hack days participant Martin Akolo Chiteri. 

Martin Akolo Chiteri at the CERN hack days (Image: Anna Pantelia/CERN)

Name: Martin Akolo Chiteri
Nationality: Kenyan
Travelled from: Nairobi, Kenya
Profession: Freelance web developer

Why did you come to the CERN line-mode browser hack days?

I've come to help in the project for the restoration of the first website at CERN.

Why is the project important?

The web is important in our lives today. But we seem to forget where it all started. It's important for us to bring it all together for people who never had the experience of the web in the first days.

Do you remember your first experience of using the web?

Yes, I remember: It was in 2001. Connectivity in Kenya is a more recent thing compared to Europe. It was also very expensive back then. I went for classes – computing basics and internet-based communication classes. We visited sites such as Yahoo, we created email accounts, and did small searches. I think it was AltaVista we used. Back in the day! The first website I must have used was Askjeeves.com.

What are you focussing on in these two days?

I am on the side compiling the stories about the first website, the early web and the digital preservation effort. It's a really big honor for me to be here – I'm a big fan of CERN. I've read about it in books and on websites. The Science hack day in Nairobi, Kenya, was my first hackathon, where we used the data from one of the larger experiments here at the Large Hadron Collider: CMS. So it's a dream come true for me to be here.


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