My own personal AWS S3 bucket

I’ve just rediscovered two digital assets that I’d forgotten about.

1. The Reddit username judell, which I created in 2005 and never used. When you visit the page it says “hmm… u/judell hasn’t posted anything” but also reports, in my Trophy Case, that I belong to the 15-year club.

2. The Amazon AWS S3 bucket named simply jon, which I created in 2006 for an InfoWorld blog post and companion column about the birth of Amazon Web Services. As Wikipedia’s timeline shows, AWS started in March of that year.

Care to guess the odds that I could still access both of these assets after leaving them in limbo for 15 years?

Spoiler alert: it was a coin flip.

I’ve had no luck with Reddit so far. The email account I signed up with no longer exists. The support folks kindly switched me to a current email but it’s somehow linked to Educational_Elk_7869 not to judell. I guess we may still get it sorted but the point is that I was not at all surprised by this loss of continuity. I’ve lost control of all kinds of digital assets over the years, including the above-cited InfoWorld article which only Wayback (thank you as always!) now remembers.

When I turned my attention to AWS S3 I was dreading a similar outcome. I’d gone to Microsoft not long after I made that AWS developer account; my early cloud adventures were all in Azure; could I still access those long-dormant AWS resources? Happily: yes.

Here’s the backstory from that 2006 blog post:


The name of the bucket is jon. The bucket namespace is global which means that as long as jon is owned by my S3 developer account, nobody else can use that name. Will this lead to a namespace land grab? We’ll see. Meanwhile, I’ve got mine, and although I may never again top Jon Stewart as Google’s #1 Jon, his people are going to have to talk to my people if they want my Amazon bucket.

I’m not holding my breath waiting for an offer. Bucket names never mattered in the way domain names do. Still, I would love to be pleasantly surprised!

My newfound interest in AWS is, of course, because Steampipe wraps SQL around a whole bunch of AWS APIs including the one for S3 buckets. So, for example, when exactly did I create that bucket? Of course I can log into the AWS console and click my way to the answer. But I’m all about SQL lately so instead I can do this.

> select name, arn, creation_date from aws_s3_bucket 
| name  | arn                | creation_date       |         
| jon   | arn:aws:s3:::jon   | 2006-03-16 08:16:12 |         
| luann | arn:aws:s3:::luann | 2007-04-26 14:47:45 |         

Oh, and there’s the other one I made for Luann the following year. These are pretty cool ARNs (Amazon Resource Names)! I should probably do something with them; the names you can get nowadays are more like Educational_Elk_7869.

Anyway I’m about to learn a great deal about the many AWS APIs that Steampipe can query, check for policy compliance, and join with the APIs of other services. Meanwhile it’s fun to recall that I wrote one of the first reviews of the inaugural AWS product and, in the process, laid claim to some very special S3 bucket names.

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9 thoughts on “My own personal AWS S3 bucket

  1. I just spent 8 years in jail for a crime I didn’t commit. I’ve been heavily involved in the ‘Net since 1994. I have (literally) thousands of accounts. Can you guess how many I could log into when I was released?

    Exactly two: Wikipedia and eSnipe.

  2. I stumbled across this blog on Hacker News. And while I appreciated the walk down memory lane, it was the reference to Steampipe that really blew my mind. I was not familiar with it but I am already thinking of how useful it could be in day to day automation tasks. Thanks again!

  3. Ah,… proof you’re not always a trailing edge person. But sometimes, occasionally front-running too (which is different from bleeding edge). I attempted playing with AWS “free” in the early days when Dave Winer had a PC desktop image hosting “River of News” for people that didn’t like the fact RSS aggregators were dropping away (Bloglines and Google Reader). I tried it out for a while, but didn’t like the monthly charges for connectivity. It was kind of amazingly sophisticated/daunting. But it did give me some exposure to the “cloud” prior to the containerization/automation nowadays with Kubernetes/Docker.

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