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[Ben]:Brief history of Discuss This [0 comments so far] View Comments has been alive for a long time by internet standards. Today doesn't mark any specific anniversary that I can think of, but I thought I'd cover some history.

I first started this site sometime in late 2002 with a webserver running in the background on my home computer. The IP address was, and for a time that was the only way to access the server. Things developed, crashed, died were reborn and eventually that home computer became a dedicated Linux server for hosting my website.

I wrote the forum software that is still in use today from scratch. That forum saw some brief activity but quickly slowed down. Due to lack of interest, things dried up for a long time. It wouldn't have taken much to kill off the idea completely, but because it gave me the ability to share photos and store files, it was just too handy and I kept it alive.

After a while, I decided that a domain name was a worthwhile expense, and on February 13th, 2004 at a little after 2:00pm I registered the domain. It is said that strange things happen on Friday the 13th and is one of them.

For a long time, the front page was hand-coded. In 2004 I developed a format that would serve for more than a year.

While I liked the format, administering it manually was a chore, so I developed the basic content management system used now, and granted access to Michael and Nate. I also gave them administrative capacity over the Picture of the Day tool after Nate complained that I wasn't updating it enough.

On November 16th, 2005, suffered the server equivalent of a stroke. I managed to rebuild it better, stronger and faster than before. Just before leaving on a trip for Virginia, the server died again, and again I repaired it.

In early 2006, I developed the format in use today.

Today, we've still got the first images that were posted (the series of Nate hiking through the woods with his lever-action .22 and the one with Jon taking photos). I've added more features and programs than I ever even considered when I began this.

There is still much that I'd like to do, but hopefully I'll be around for another four years to get that stuff done.
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