Author Topic: How did GMG begin?  (Read 35935 times)

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Offline Opus106

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How did GMG begin?
« on: January 30, 2009, 08:17:55 AM »
I know the story behind all the forums I have participated in except GMG. They range from commercially-backed-by-big company to a high-school computer science project that saw success beyond what it was designed for. So what's the story behind GMG? :)

Is there a GMG History thread that I could refer to?
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline aquablob

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 10:07:57 AM »
I know the story behind all the forums I have participated in except GMG. They range from commercially-backed-by-big company to a high-school computer science project that saw success beyond what it was designed for. So what's the story behind GMG? :)

Is there a GMG History thread that I could refer to?

In the beginning, there was Rob.

greg

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 12:44:55 PM »
This is Rob.


Offline Brian

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 02:28:17 PM »
a high-school computer science project that saw success beyond what it was designed for.
:o my little brother runs a forum like that! What's it about?

Offline B_cereus

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 06:23:02 PM »
i vaguely remember it started as a little board with a rather garish blue & orange skin  :)

Lilas Pastia

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 09:33:50 PM »
I remember the "little board", but I can't recall blue and orange. But then again, Rob has always kept the place up to date. He's our benevolent deity.

Offline Opus106

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 05:27:38 AM »
:o my little brother runs a forum like that! What's it about?

Primarily physics. But it also has a respectable maths section and smaller places for other branches/aspects of science and philosophy, career guidance in the sciences, etc. And a really fun general area.

What about your brother's?  :)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 05:30:31 AM by opus67 »
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Herman

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 06:32:06 AM »
Rob's original GMG was mainly a board for newbies, as I recall. Then -   I'm not sure whether it was 2003 or 2004  -  a whole bunch of refugees from CMG moved to GMG. (Gurn, Todd, Lilas, Tony / Ezodisy, DavidW, me, many others) Since these guys were a little more sophisticated GMG changed a little, and the board got subdivided into the three or four sections of the Music Room, as I recall. There was a huge increase in traffic, too. There were enormous threads on Haydn, Chopin, and of course Beethoven, with a very high level of information and (kindly) passion. A bunch of guys from the NYT music forum joined (Karl among others), upping the chatter level and the Diner was created. There was a brief period ACDouglas graced our boards. Eric, at that point was a psychotherapist with a peculiar sense of smell, I seem to recall. (And a love of Debussy's Faun, obviously.) After long debates moderators were instituted, which only seemed to make matters worse. I think it's fair to say GMG is a much more peaceable kingdom now than three years ago.

Please feel free to correct me when I'm wrong.

One unfortunate thing was that virtually every one or two years new software was implemented, wiping out all the previous posts. Apparently there are some members who have archived some material from way back, but there's no institutional memory, and that's too bad. I think that changed (and ultimately hurt) GMG as much as anything, including the intramural conflicts. GMG is fun and friendly enough AFAIC , but it's very hard to ask people to write the kind of long and considered threads there used to be when you're sure they'll be destroyed sooner or later.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 06:38:04 AM by Herman »

Offline Opus106

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 06:56:00 AM »
Rob's original GMG was mainly a board for newbies, as I recall. Then -   I'm not sure whether it was 2003 or 2004  -  a whole bunch of refugees from CMG moved to GMG. (Gurn, Todd, Lilas, Tony / Ezodisy, DavidW, me, many others)

Thank you, Herman, for that look back. I too have been a part of a forum which was created by a refugee and soon joined by other refugees, although I wasn't one myself; I got invited early on by another member. But it's one of the friendliest places I've been to. I still am a registered member there, but I don't have the time to visit it as often as I used to.

Quote
One unfortunate thing was that virtually every one or two years new software was implemented, wiping out all the previous posts. Apparently there are some members who have archived some material from way back, but there's no institutional memory, and that's too bad. I think that changed (and ultimately hurt) GMG as much as anything, including the intramural conflicts. GMG is fun and friendly enough AFAIC , but it's very hard to ask people to write the kind of long and considered threads there used to be when you're sure they'll be destroyed sooner or later.

That is unfortunate, indeed. I sometimes run across links to threads from the older forum and am disappointed to end up at 404.

There is this website called the Way Back Machine, which saves pages from the sites in the internet every (few) month(s), but I just saw Google warn me against visiting it due to possible malware attacks!
http://www.google.com/interstitial?url=http://www.archive.org/



EDIT: Re: Google tagging the site as malware. It appears to have been a glitch on their end. In fact, they had tagged every website including their own, according a Slashdot story, that way. Things are back to normal and archive.org is apparently safe to visit again.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 07:46:20 AM by opus67 »
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Herman

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2009, 07:15:19 AM »
Thank you, Herman, for that look back. I too have been a part of a forum which was created by a refugee and soon joined by other refugees, although I wasn't one myself;
http://www.google.com/interstitial?url=http://www.archive.org/


let's be 100% clear: GMG was created by Rob. Only he (probably) can tell you about GMG's first year, before the incursion of the above mentioned.

Offline Opus106

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2009, 07:18:28 AM »
GMG was created by Rob. Only he (probably) can tell you about GMG's first year, before the incursion of the above mentioned.

I don't deny that. :)
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Brian

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2009, 08:44:10 AM »
Primarily physics. But it also has a respectable maths section and smaller places for other branches/aspects of science and philosophy, career guidance in the sciences, etc. And a really fun general area.

What about your brother's?  :)
Uh, physics, math, other sciences ... oh boy.  ;D

Is it ScienceForums.net?

Offline Dungeon Master

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2009, 09:22:25 AM »
let's be 100% clear: GMG was created by Rob. Only he (probably) can tell you about GMG's first year, before the incursion of the above mentioned.

Stay tuned for a book to be released soon about this very topic!

 ;)

cheers
Rob


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Offline Opus106

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2009, 09:52:07 AM »
Uh, physics, math, other sciences ... oh boy.  ;D

Is it ScienceForums.net?

Nope. physicsforums.com.

Stay tuned for a book to be released soon about this very topic!

 ;)

cheers
Rob

All hail the Great Cat-that-inhales-the-dust-from-what-appears-to-be-a-proto-planetary-disk! :D
Regards,
Navneeth

DavidW

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2009, 10:01:43 AM »
Nope. physicsforums.com.

Really?  He did that as a high school project?  I post on that forum, and it's easily the best forum to discuss physics, math and engineering online at any level. :)

Offline Opus106

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2009, 10:11:38 AM »
Really?  He did that as a high school project?

I hope you didn't fall for that trip through the Amazon river story. ;D ;)

Quote
I post on that forum, and it's easily the best forum to discuss physics, math and engineering online at any level. :)
HA! I know another GMG'er who used to post (still posts?) there, but I wasn't aware that you also took part in the discussions. :) That's good to know.
Regards,
Navneeth

DavidW

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2009, 10:16:03 AM »
I hope you didn't fall for that trip through the Amazon river story. ;D ;)

Oh sneak!  I'm just too trusting! :D

Quote
HA! I know another GMG'er who used to post (still posts?) there, but I wasn't aware that you also took part in the discussions. :) That's good to know.

Ah must be Daverz, I've seen him there.

Offline Dungeon Master

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2009, 11:29:11 AM »
GMG started in 2002, as a beginners guide to classical music.

Here are some screenshots of the early days.

The forum was very rudimentary, with very few features. It had a single "board" and members of guests could post a message and get replies, but that was about it. No PM's, no images, no moderators, and a very garish colour scheme (hey, I still like it). It got about a post every week or two.

Then, all of a sudden, there was a sudden influx from CMG. The software had to be updated a few times to cope with the huge increase in traffic. One of those software upgrades went very badly - the database got muddled up. I struggled to keep it afloat and running with a corrupted database for a few months, but it was clear that sooner or later it was going to crash and not be recoverable.

So I warned everyone to copy the posts they wanted to keep, and started a new forum with a fresh database and a fresh install of the software. This is the forum we have now. With a few minor glitches, this forum has been crash-free for over a year now. And, as expected, the old forum finally became inoperable. The database still exists (and the data is still there), but I do not have the database skills to repair it. (anyone??)

cheers
Rob
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George

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2009, 11:48:25 AM »
GMG started in 2002, as a beginners guide to classical music.

Here are some screenshots of the early days.

The forum was very rudimentary, with very few features. It had a single "board" and members of guests could post a message and get replies, but that was about it. No PM's, no images, no moderators, and a very garish colour scheme (hey, I still like it).


Great story Rob!  :)

Any chance we could get some color options with the current software? I am mostly interested in getting a darker overall back ground.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: How did GMG begin?
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2009, 11:49:22 AM »
Ha, I remember that scheme all too well. It was hideously ugly, yet with a certain charm... :)

We were still very small when I came here but the growth rate was stupendous. I really don't know how you managed to keep it running in those days. Clearly though, the biggest advance came when you made alternative color schemes available...   ;D

8)

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