Jobu's - A 10 Year Retrospective

Somethin' on dis here forum site dat just ain't kosher wit you? Think of some new dope-ass color scheme? Gots an idea fo' a sweet new forum? Den dis here be da place to post all o' dat shiznat! Word is bond.

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Jobu
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Jobu's - A 10 Year Retrospective

Post by Jobu » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:45 am

Yes, as I mentioned to some of you a couple months back - this year marks the 10th anniversary of these forums being active. If you look at the profile of my normal account, you'll see:

Joined: 04 Oct 2001 07:31 pm

For some reason it lists this admin account as joining in July of 2001, which is completely untrue. I remember very distinctly the circumstances surrounding the origins of these forums...

It was fall 2001. I was still going to CSUN working towards my Bachelor's, and taking an upper level database class (or "databay" as my professor would say it. He had a pretty hardcore accent...but I digress). September 11th had just occurred and turned America upside-down, which is why I know I started things later than July of that year. In this database class we had a semester-long group project that involved setting up and hosting a forum software called Snitz (and holy shit it doesn't look like that website has changed at all in the past decade). I decided that it'd pretty cool to have a forum site of my own, so I went ahead and set up my own over on the free servers at Brinkster (apparently they are charging these days :( ).

And so, "Jobu's Supafly Forums" was born! But it wasn't called "Jobu's" at first. Nope, back in the early days it was "Abdul's Supafly Forums." I must've been on some sort of middle eastern/African kick in the wake of the events of September 11th - that's the only reason I can think of as to why I named it what I did. But I'm pretty sure I named the admin account's name Jobu so...ya it doesn't make much sense does it? Those decisions were probably made in a matter of seconds, so it's doubtful I put much thought into them. I didn't rename the forums to "Jobu's" until, oh, maybe 2005-ish? I honestly can't remember anymore.

Also at the time when I fired things up, I was going through something of a fascination with Ebonics. I have vague memories of news stories about people fighting to get it taught in academic classes...something along those lines. I remember thinking it was completely absurd and had to be a joke. I remember going so far as writing a program that would take English text and "Ebonicize dat shit!" - much like any other language translating program would do. It wasn't very original (numerous similar programs were available on the web at that time) and it didn't work that great, but I thought it was funny regardless. Anyway, the point of this bit of rambling is to illustrate why the individual forum descriptions are...the way they are. Again, the decision to do that was probably made in a matter of seconds. I always figured I'd change them all to something more appropriate/tasteful eventually.

Aaaand here we are 10 years later. :D I've added new forums over the years and every time I do I make the description "jive" with the other original ones. Just a force of habit anymore. Besides, any new forum description would stick out like a sore thumb if they were in regular English. Gotta keep consistent!

The forums remained on the Brinkster servers for a couple of years. Eventually, I got a hair up my ass to get my own domain name and pay for hosting on a "real" server, as the Brinkster ones had become slow and unreliable. This would've been circa 2003 or so. So what to choose as my domain name? I remember that being a really tough decision. I remember lots of different ideas floating around in my head. Lots of different song titles came to mind (I remember seriously considering Baluchitherium.com, after the title of the instrumental track on Van Halen's 1995 album "Balance"). I was also a big X-Files fan at the time, and they had a lot of really cool episode titles (Apocrypha, Piper Maru, Darkness Falls, Excelsis Dei, just to name a few). But these were all just random words, and they didn't really have anything to do with the forums. I remember thinking it'd be kind of dumb to type in Baluchitherium.com and getting a forum named "Abdul's Supafly Forums." It just wasn't cohesive at all.

So I could've went ahead and just snagged abdulssupaflyforums.com, right? I'd considered that, but around this time I had started to have bigger plans with the site as a whole. Perhaps you remember back in the early 2000s, a phenomenon known as "blogging" was becoming all the rage. It's still around today - people still have blogs, but things seem to have evolved more toward social networking sites. Well back in 2003 all the cool kids were blogging (actually by 2003 I was a little late to the party, but it was still going strong) so I decided if I was gonna go through all the trouble of setting up my own domain and paying for my own web hosting, that I was gonna use the new site to not only host my forums but to host a blog as well. So my goal with choosing the domain name was to pick something that would kind of unify the two. Actually I had even grander plans in my head at the time - where you'd go to mydomain.com and there would be a link to the forum, a link to the blog, and link to various other things (maybe a resume, an "about me" page, shit like that). I was still only in the "kicking around ideas" phase for the site as a whole, but I knew I wanted to have the foums and the blog. So I needed a name that would kind of tie the two together.

Eventually, I settled on what you see today - abstract-thought.com - registered in April of 2003. I thought it was a cool name for a site I'd be using as a platform to give my thoughts on random nonsense. In the end, the blog didn't survive long (I don't think I even got it rolling until 2005 - almost 2 years after registering the domain), but the forums did! Even 10 years later I still like this domain name. It's a good thing I didn't go through with abdulssupaflyforums.com tho, since I ended up changing it to "Jobu's" years later. I still occasionally consider snagging jobussupaflyforums.com and having this site forward to it - it just makes more sense right? Maybe the next time someone has a fire sale on domain names.

Oh, and if you ever wondered where "abstract thought" comes from - it's part of a line from this song. I was really into that whole album for a while in the early 2000s. I still fire it up from time to time.

Around the same time I got my own domain name and web hosting, I noticed the Snitz software becoming less and less reliable when hosted on linux servers (the only kind I ever chose while paying). After getting fed up with it all I decided to move over to a more popular forum software called phpBB - the same software I run today. phpBB ended up being way more reliable with way less stupid bugs and a larger community base to ask for help from. I remember it was also around this time that I was getting into server-side programming, and I liked PHP way more than ASP (Snitz was ASP based - bleh!). I don't forsee changing the forum software anytime soon.

So yeah, 2003 was a pretty big year - new domain, new host, and new forum software. If you dig back deep into the archives of the forum, you'll notice it only goes back to 2003 when I switched forum software. That's because for some reason the converter I used to go from Snitz to phpBB didn't convert all the older posts properly. The old Snitz-era posts are still in the database, they've just never displayed on the phpBB software before. Occasionally I think about going in and looking through some of those ancient postings - figure it'd be good for a laugh to see the kinds of things we were discussing pre-2003. "Hey you guys should watch this cool new show called 24?" or "Hey when's a good night to play Baldur's Gate again?" - shit like that. :lol:

Ever since I got my own domain and switched forum software, not a whole lot of interesting stuff has happened. We did get hacked once back in 2005 - thankfully it was harmless and easily fixed. We don't get spammed very often since I disabled posting from guest accounts, and the site is pretty low-profile. We used to get quite a few bots that tried to create new users, but you never see those accounts because of a mod I installed years ago that puts the kibosh on that shit. Things have always been pretty quiet around here - our "community" has only maybe a dozen total users, 5 or 6 of which visit on a regular basis anymore. But I like it that way. I never wanted this to become a huge public site that I'd have to work at to moderate/keep people in line. Just simply a place for a small group of friends to share funny/interesting news articles, organize LANs, rant about shit, etc. And over the years it has served that purpose quite well.

So happy birthday to Jobu and his Supafly Forums! Here's to another decade of wacky shit - as long as it's cheap and I'm still gainfully employed. :lol:

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Devil's Child
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Re: Jobu's - A 10 Year Retrospective

Post by Devil's Child » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:57 am

Hooray and congrats to Jobu and the forum for reaching it's deca-milestone. Hard for me to imagine a daily routine without logging in and getting updates on the latest "word on da streets, yo!" ;) Certainly been entertaining.

Here's to 50+ more years!

:twisted:
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Asshander
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Re: Jobu's - A 10 Year Retrospective

Post by Asshander » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:32 pm

So I meant to respond to this, but with being out of town and not by a keyboard (not necessarily in that order), I didn't feel like taking an hour to type on my phone. I digress. Some random thoughts:

Has it really been 10 years? I remember the early days on Brinkster and the Snitz software. Eesh. Though they're an important part of the history, they're perhaps best forgotten as I remember both being kind of shitty (though they were usable enough back then). It would be funny to dig some of those old posts up, though. Hell, I should go check out some of the old random ones still accessible now. I bet they'd be worth a laugh.

It's interesting that a lot of the initial "settings" have survived as long as they have (I'm thinking descriptions and such here, minus Abdul). I thought for sure they'd change at some point, but it'd be weird to see anything other than that now.

Was the forum always installed on the root? I'm trying to remember where the short-lived (comparatively, at least) blog was. Did you end up archiving that stuff as well?

Beyond that, we're all still here. Well, most of us. Who would have predicted that as well? This is precisely why I don't need or want anything to do with Facebook or any other cesspool of internet humanity. Sure, perhaps we're all (or just me) a little more distracted by other things these days, but damn it, Jobu's is where it's at.

So here's to a happy (belated) ten, and to ten more as well!

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Gomer
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Re: Jobu's - A 10 Year Retrospective

Post by Gomer » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:52 pm

Asshander wrote:Was the forum always installed on the root?


Yep. I remember at one point I was considering putting it on its own subdomain (i.e. forums.abstract-thought.com) but without anything else present on the site it seemed unnecessary. If I ever go through with another blog, or start using this domain for other web projects (fat chance) I'd likely go that route.
Asshander wrote:I'm trying to remember where the short-lived (comparatively, at least) blog was. Did you end up archiving that stuff as well?
I had a directory for that: abstract-thought.com/blog (long gone now). Again, the subdomain idea would've been good while that was up and running. blog.abstract-thought.com, forums.abstract-thought.com, etc. I still have all the blog posts archived as well, tho I shudder at the thought of reading them. I probably said some stupid shit way back then. :lol:

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