History of the Universe

Fall, 1972 – Ravenwood was born.

circa 1980 – Ravenwood’s family purchases PONG, one of the first video games.

Fall, 1984 – Ravenwood takes an interest in computers, but
cannot figure out exactly why it is necessary to type ‘,8,1’

August, 1990 – At the tender age of 17, Ravenwood enrolled in college and purchased his first Intel based personal computer. Shortly thereafter, he becomes very active in trolling the Bulletin Board System’s (BBS). For lack of a better alias, Sir Meathead was used, in honor of my friend Chris, whom we actually called Meathead.

September, 1990 – Ravenwood, tired of defending ‘Sir Meathead’, changes his online persona to Ravenwood.

October, 1990 – Ravenwood begins his online reign of terror – his own BBS. For lack of a better name, it was called ‘HuH!’, and ran on the ‘Quick BBS’ platform. The BBS consisted of Doors (online games), File-swapping, and Message boards. The BBS ran on an IBM PS/2 30, with a 80286 8 MHz processor, 1 MB RAM, and 20 MB Hard Drive. The on-campus PBX allowed blistering connection speeds of up to 19,200 baud. Off-campus callers were limited to 2400 baud, both technically and financially.

December 1990 – After a few weeks of retooling, ‘HuH!’ was re-branded as ‘The Round Table BBS’. Complete with ANSI graphics, the BBS re-opened it’s phone line in January, and ran on the ‘Telegard BBS‘ platform.

June 1991 – Ravenwood, out of college for summer break, helps Gib and Lope set up their Free BBS. He maintains guest SysOp status until it goes offline.

August, 1992 – Ravenwood lives off campus, and his BBS flounders as money for a modem and separate phone line is very scarce.

November 1993 – Ravenwood joins AOL for $9.95 for 10 hours per month, and enters the ‘online community’. Ravenwood thought it’d be a good idea to invest in AOL stock, as well as Intel, and Microsoft, but has no money to carry out his wishes. The decision would leave him penniless for years to come.

December 1993 – Ravenwood takes a semester off from college. It was the University’s idea.

May 1994 – Ravenwood returns to college for summer session, and purchases a new computer. The machine was an IBM clone running a 80486 33 MHz processor with a VL Bus and 4 MB RAM. As processor technologies were believed to have topped out at 33 MHz, the high speed local bus promised to be the next best thing to sliced bread. The upgraded 200 MB Hard Drive cost an extra $200.

July 1994 – Ravenwood archives the BBS to a single 1.44 MB floppy disk, and shelves it for good.

August 1995 – Ravenwood dumps AOL for an unlimited ISP. Ravenwood’s mom takes over his AOL account and keeps it active. Grand-fathered in, she keeps the account active until April 2002 paying just $9.95 a month.

September 1995 – Realizing he has 10 MB of web space, Ravenwood starts crafting the second coming of his online presence.

August 1996 – Ravenwood begins posting pictures of family and friends online, but ‘Ravenwood’s Page’ still lacks direction. Many years later a Harvard dropout would rip-off Ravenwood’s idea and call it “The Face Book”.

October 1997 – Ravenwood begins to play Quake Team Fortress. More and more web space is devoted to Quake and online gaming. Pictures of family and friends start to be removed to make room.

January 1998 – Ravenwood quits his job to play Quake full time. He becomes one of the founding members of Clan TFB. To celebrate the founding of the clan, Ravenwood, Lope, and MonkEspank take an impulsive trip to Pittsburgh to attend the AFC championship. Ravenwood’s family is upset at his unscheduled, last-minute, week-long disappearance.

April 1998 – After realizing that playing Quake doesn’t pay very well, Ravenwood goes to work for a local internet provider. The ISP provides him with free dialup, free web space and a high speed internet connection from work.

June 1998 – Broadband @Home becomes available. Ravenwood’s Page spreads over several different domains to use all available web space.

December 1998 – After several attempts at advancement, Ravenwood quits the ISP for a more lucrative career. In retaliation, the ISP begins to charge for web space, and Ravenwood is limited to 10 MB once again.

April 2000 – Ravenwood advances within his company, and is relocated to Atlanta, GA. The web site is moved to a local ISP in Atlanta.

January 2001 – Ravnwood.com is registered. Although the domain points to the ISP provided web space, moving it around is no longer much of a problem.

February 2001 – With layoffs increasing at work, monthly updates are provided to let friends and family know how things are going.

January 2002 – Ravenwood increases web site updates from monthly to weekly. The Third Reich..er..instantiation – ‘Ravenwood’s Universe’ – is officially born.

February 2002 – After more than a year of violating his terms and conditions, Ravenwood’s Universe is once again constrained to the dreaded 10 MB limit on web space. Ravenwood springs for a professional host with 50 MB of space.

April 2002 – Ravenwood increases web site updates from weekly to daily. The update process begins to take up lots and lots of time.

June 2002 – Ravenwood starts using Blogger software to automate the update process. Official automated web-logging begins.

September 2002 – Blogger Pro was dumped, mainly due to posting limits. Movable Type is installed, and all posts are migrated over.

November 2002 – Ravenwood’s Universe relocates to a more blogger friendly host. It is not only faster, but it provides 150 MB of space. Ravenwood thinks, “We’ll never need more than that.”

September 2003 – After a busy year of posting, the site is upgraded to 500 MB of space. Ravenwood thinks, “Woohoo! We’ll never need more than that.”

February 2005The Big Bang.

July 2005 – Space once again becomes an issue. The site is upgraded to 4 GB. That should last a while. Ravenwood thinks, “Woohoo! We’ll never need more than that.”

January 2006 – After nearly 4 years of consistent posting, the stress of maintaining daily updates becomes too much. Ravenwood takes a 10-week hiatus to concentrate on offline life.

March 2006 – After a 2½ month silence, sporadic weekly part-time posting resumes. Ravenwood’s webhost generously upgrades the site to 15 GB of space.

(c) Ravenwood and Associates, 1990 - 2014


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