about professorguy.com

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history of professorguy.com

I've been posting information on the internet since 1984. In 1993, I created my first web content.

In 1997, I was given a public IP address which I could apply to my office desktop computer. I immediately loaded up some web software (IIS on Windows) and my machine became a web server. I used it to publish my class schedules, course information and assignments.

At that time, I was too cheap to purchase a domain name (they were $70 then). My machine was accessed by typing the IP address into a browser like so: Not easy for humans to remember. But for me, those 4 decimalized octets still roll off my fingers after 15 years!

In 1998, I bought my first domain name and I switched from IIS to Apache. I also installed a simple mail server (to replace the IIS mail function). All mail for the professorguy domain was handled locally on my server. I created and maintained the DNS zone files using a free public DNS service.

The domain I settled on was professorguy.org. Since I was using the site for student info without any commerce, this seemed appropriate. However, I discovered that .com is always assumed so I had to continually remind my students it was the .org they were looking for.

At the same time, Joe, a colleage, bought professorjoe.org. He discovered the same problem: his students would first try the .com address. Then, sometime in 1999, someone started an adult site selling pornographic videos and it went up at professorjoe.com. You can imagine the problems. I immediately bought professorguy.com to prevent having the same problems. I bought both the .com and .org domains for a few years. Being cheap, I eventually let the .org go. My site has been at professorguy.com since January, 2001.

I hosted professorguy.com on my own server until 2005. It was eventually moved to a hosting service thanks to Coos Riviera.

2011 redesign

For most of the first decade of professorguy.com, the home page had links to class info laid out according to my class schedule, like this:

That design was my own. I built the entire site using Windows Notepad.

The new design is very simple, but stylish. I jettisoned much of the clutter since many elements, important to web newcomers in the 1990's, are no longer necessary.

Some of this site's sophisticated features are revealed when the browser window is resized very narrow. The navigation elements all continue to work and be attractive! The elegant layout of the entire site is acheived with only 14 lines of CSS definitions.

I created the navigation graphics in Microsoft Paint using the 16-color default palette. I created the css file and all the html files using Windows Notepad. Really.


Coos Riviera

My wife has been selling peonies field grown in Northern New Hampshire for 15 years. The hosting plan for criv.com, her business website, includes hosting for up to five (update: now 20) separate domains. Professorguy.com is actually piggy-backed in a subdirectory under criv.com The entire sponsorship consists of using up one of the four (now 19) spare hosting slots on the server paid for by her company.

PDQ Instant Egg Nog

This is a fake ad and no actual sponsorship is involved. I created the PDQ Instant Egg Nog ad page with artwork scanned from an actual ad in the May, 1966 issue of Family Circle. The text is verbatim from that ad. I composed this banner (right) with artwork scanned from a shampoo ad in the same magazine.

I thought it would be funny to try to get the page listed by search engines as the oldest ad page on the web, since this ad is from 1966. Also, this exact fake ad has been on my site since 1998.

Wondering where you can get some instant egg nog? Good luck. PDQ Instant Egg Nog was made by KRIM-KO Corporation until the company folded in the 1970's. The PDQ trademark was then taken up by Ovaltine, but they gave up on the brand in the 1990's.