History of the Slacktub-Pub

In February 1998 with the launch of anvilfire.com the design for most of the site was set, including a "chat" using software that was undetermined at the time. On June 9 of the same year Bill Kendrick of sonoma.edu finished his last version of "Free Chat" a two year project. Around that time one of our early members Kiwi (Andrew Hopper or New Zealand) volunteered to work on setting up our chat. Kiwi had the free time to work on our project, and he did.

Free Chat was written in C and required compilation on the server. This made it a job for a geeky hacker type and Kiwi was the right person for the job. The overall operation of Free Chat was relatively primitive using a timed refresh on the HTML end and only displayed 10 or 15 lines of double spaced text. Kiwi added various features and a system to save the full day's posts so that they could be reviewed or so that one could get "caught up" on the conversation. The guru (Jock Dempsey the creator of anvilfire) did the HTML and setup the frames pages to allow reviewing the day's logs.

iForge: The following spring Kiwi and Bill Epps (a Texas blacksmith) came up with the idea of LIVE on-line demonstrations using the Slacktub-Pub and a system to include images. In May 1999 Bill did his first on-line demo in the Slacktub-Pub. The images were drawings made by Bill's son and processed by Kiwi. Due to the low memory's in PC's of the time and slow dial up connections the images were made to be 130 pixels square, hardly a thumbnail size today. This was before inexpensive digital cameras. For about a dozen demos Kiwi produced beautiful color computer graphic illustrations. At the end of each demo there was a question and answer period. The archival page was titled iForge. Later the guru wrote a new system using him modified guestbook forum system to generate better formatted HTML so that the demos were nearly ready to post as soon as they were over. This became the iForge Classroom.

iForge and the Slacktub-Pub were very popular during these years. But the work of having images processed and the demo setup had its toll and the guru ran out of energy to produce the weekly series and the demos ended after 4 good years.

The day I brain stormed the "Pub" I immediately thought of the theme song from the movie "The Sting" staring Paul Neuman and wanted a short sampling of it as the Slacktub-Pub theme. . . continued . . .

Return    About the NEW Slacktub-Pub II     Slacktub-Pub Rules