I’ve had several inquiries as to what I was going to do for my 10,000th post from friends, acquaintances, and strangers. I’ve been thinking about it for the last few months actually, but if no one had mentioned it, I probably would have blown past without really noticing. As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been quieter over the past few weeks. A big part of that has been real life, though I’d be lying if I said this had nothing to do with it. Not that most of you care, but I’m a chemist in real life; I don’t just play one on the internet. It’d take too much explaining as to the how, but I was invited to give a talk on my research in a very prestigious symposium at the American Chemical Society conference last week. Things were very stressful in the weeks leading up to it, and not everything went according to plan, but I think everything turned out for the best. Not to toot my own horn too much, but I killed it.
Anyway, I was playing with a lot of ideas of what to do or what to say. The number really doesn’t matter to me, and is honestly artificially inflated a bit due to the administrative side of things. APC has grown into something really nice and quite valuable in my opinion. I didn’t do it alone. I felt the best way to crack the 5 digit milestone would be with a little history, and a lot of thanks you’s.
APC started on another website actually (www.xinventions.com) probably around 1999/2000, but I didn’t become involved until around the end of 2001. There used to be a pyrotechnics subsection, as well as a forum hosted there. I had however spent plenty of time reading prior to this. The forum was not of the highest quality at this time, though was improving. After about 2 years of being a member on this forum it became apparent that Andy, the owner of xinventions, really didn’t care about upkeep or moderation, and the forum was sort of on a downward spiral. Myself and three other members (Mr. Yuk, EP, and Blindreeper) decided to split off to our own thing, around December 2003. I still have an archive of the XInventions forum somewhere at home actually, if the hard drive still works. I suppose this is the official birth date of APC. While the four of us did the official split, there were a lot of members who greatly assisted with the move, and more importantly stuck with us.
This forum was hosted on xsorbits, the link for which is dead but still in my signature. During this time the forum really grew, and many more members joined. About a year into this venture some of the other founders were starting to become more scarce and I was promoted into an administration role, and several more members were brought in to help with moderation (Rooster, Nesler, Chaz, Andyboy). Together we guided the forum into a more respectable online community. There really isn’t a whole lot to say here, as this location honestly only lasted for about 2 years. This was certainly part of the formative years of APC however. We became too large for a free forum website, and the necessary tools just weren’t available for what we wanted to do.
After much discussion, we decided to move to a new paid host. For the first several years myself and the other 3 or 4 mods/admins at the time split the cost of hosting and the domain amongst ourselves, which clocked in at around $20 a person. I’d be afraid to tell you what we’re paying now by comparison. This is when the current incarnation of APC was born. Over the years many good friends have come and gone. Several more members came in and helped out with running things (Al93535, Andyboy, amongst others in less official roles). Most importantly, I met a very generous guy here who also happened to a member of the Wisconsin Pyrotechnics Arts Guild with me, that you probably know as TheSidewinder.
I honestly cannot emphasize how much all of the above people have helped shape what APC has become. I’ll be eternally grateful for all that they’ve done. I wish I could list all of the non-moderators/admin who have also played an influential role in helping to develop this website. There are honestly too many to list, and I’d be afraid that it’d be woefully inadequate. They haven’t just helped shape the forum, they’ve also helped shape me as a person, pyrotechnician, chemist, and administrator.
I know I already mentioned him, but TheSidewinder deserves his own special thanks. He is the ideal person to be my co-administrator. His technical knowledge and care for the forum is amazing. While he works mostly behind the scenes, I cannot begin to explain what he means to the forum and what he means to me, or how many times he’s saved the forum from almost certain destruction. His handling of the technical details, allows me to focus on just talking about pyro and trying to shape the forum into something I love. He really makes my job really easy, which is a big part of why the two of us can run the forum by ourselves. He’s been beyond generous with his time and knowledge. You probably never knew it, but we’ve migrated servers several times in the last few years. One of these moves recently has resulted in a large cost increase, which he and I are now splitting. He also cooks a mean steak.
Mostly I’d like to thank all of the current members for sticking with us, and really producing beautiful fireworks and an abundance of knowledge. I’ve always thought of APC as more than a community, but also as a living reference document. While I know I post a lot, this place really wouldn’t be the same without all of you. A hearty thank you to all members past, present, and future. I’ve made more friends through pyro than I can begin to count, and many start from here. You all were extremely supportive and comforting after my accident as well.
If you made it through all of this, I commend you. Now that you’ve heard me ramble on for the slightly over 1000 words, here’s to number 10,000 and hopefully many more. Now I can get back to post whoring my way away.
(P. S. Through all 3 incarnations, my real post count is probably around 13,000 but who’s counting? )