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Rocketry.org | Amateur Experimental and Model Rocketry!
Rocketry.org v3.0

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History of Rocketry.org

Rocketry.org v1.0 screenshot

It all started back in early 1995..

The domain name for “Rocketry.org” was originally registered with Network Solutions back on February 25th of 1998 when I decided to overhaul the original experimental rocketry website I had been running in my own web directory at the local Isp I had been getting dial-up Internet service from. I was working for a small local Isp at the time, so I could get the domain hosted for free.

The website originally started in my web directory at Primenet.com, a local Phoenix Isp, at the beginning of 1995. At the time Primenet was charging $150 per month to host a web domain. Being a hobby site I could not afford this, so I instead built the site in my personal account. The original URL was “http://www.primenet.com/~monoply” (the username “monoply” was originally for a business thing I was working on)

At the beginning of 1995 I originally used a cool photo of the Saturn V rocket (NASA moon launch vehicle) launching on a huge plume of smoke at the top of the page. And the site consisted of a large group of rocketry related links below. Netscape 2.0 had not yet been released (and the Mosaic browser was still popular), so the site was pretty simple and didn't even use HTML “tables.”

Later in 1995 (or early 1996) a great guy I met on the Usenet newsgroup "rec.models.rockets", who goes by “Dangerous Dave,” created a new logo for my website. It made the site look 100% better, and he donated it to me for free. I was blown away at the creativity, and very appreciative of his efforts and generous gift.

Rocketry.org v3.0

The website remained the same until I finally decided to purchase the domain name “Rocketry.org” on February 25th of 1998 and decided to redesign the entire site. For the 1998 redesign I opted to use “HTML frames” for the layout, with a black background, and some ASP code. And once again Dangerous Dave provided me a logo and a bunch of graphics for the various sections. I hope to locate a screenshot from this second version of the site and post it here in the near future. Check back soon. :)

In May of 2000, shortly after my move to Austin in late March, I again redesigned the site. This new design no longer used frames (they're bad for search engines) and instead used includes, PHP code, and a MySQL database to hold the content of the site. This proved to be much easier to maintain than hundreds of individual HTML web pages, and the site was optimized to work best at an 800 x 600 pixel resolution. Less maintenance work is a happy thing.

This site was live from May of 2000 through October of 2007. Then I created the standards compliant XHTML and CSS based layout for the new version in early- to mid-2005, and then designed and created the new database. I got sidetracked with some personal life and work issues, which delayed further development, and finally got back to migrating the old content to the new database and updating it all to make it current. This began in ernest in early 2007, and after a couple of breaks was completed in early October of 2007.

It now occurs to me that this site is actually “version 4.0”, so I'll have to update the page header logo to reflect that when I get time. Being a web standards based site it should last for a while until I overhaul the look again. Thank you for checking out the site, and please submit valid content if you like. :)