My how time flies! It seems like only yesterday...well, enough with the corny opening line. Let's see just how this website has CHANGED in the past 365 days:
From its humble beginnings in address 5515 of the Academy subdivision of GeoCities Hollywood neighborhood, "Dave Andrews' Home Page" has taken on a new name ("Dave's Place") and has gone from one site to three different servers! Click here for some insight on just how and why that happened!
Despite problems and limited promotion, the GeoCities Dave's Place site alone has logged (total hits on all pages) 346 hits just since the end of 1997! Nothing to brag about, you say? Consider that when my Cyberramp site went up, I cut off links to (and almost DELETED) my GeoCities site, but changed my mind when I noticed it was still getting hits. My other two sites are being more aggressively promoted now, plus there's at least one known link to my GeoCities L.A. Radio site from someone else's page!
Dave's Place initially began with just two features: L.A. Radio: the Way It Was! (the anchor of the site), and a links page for sites devoted to the television show SLIDERS. A third feature, The Winslow Saga: 1981-1996, was actually the first one planned but wasn't launched until October 30, 1997 (a date which had special significance.)
Since the early days, four new features have been added to the site and the Sliders page has become two pages. And on that note, let's look back at . . .
DAVE'S PLACE: THE FIRST YEAR
September 12, 1997: It began in a small cubicle in a library on the
U.S. Navy base in Chinhae, South Korea. I
had prepared nine small files for a site on Los Angeles radio of the past,
and I proceeded to upload them after staking out an address. I wanted something
that reflected my personal tastes or the motif of the site, and I checked out
the "Hollywood" neighborhood at GeoCities. One choice for an address was 8888,
as eight is my favorite number. But I also liked the address 5515,
because of a radio station I grew up with: KHJ. (They were located at 5515
Melrose Avenue in Hollywood).
Because the main feature of the site was to be Los Angeles radio of the past, the number 5515 took priority. I looked in various "subdivisions" of GeoCities' Hollywood neighborhood until I found one with a vacant 5515 site: Hollywood/Academy. I had duty the following day, so I staked my claim but didn't upload everything until September 14. On that day, "Dave Andrews' Home Page" was born.
Things went along okay for the first couple of weeks or so. I had a basic knowledge of
HTML and I knew how to put links on a page. I started a Sliders Links page, at
first solely devoted to links to websites of my favorite TV show,
a few tricks up my sleeve, I was able to ultimately add 146 links to the page.
A lady who was also stationed at the base, Betty Borni, told me how to get my
site listed on Alta Vista and other search engines, and on October 3 I did just that.
How One Web Site Became Two, And Eventually Three
But then, problems arose. I began to notice that while I could still get in to
File Manager to edit my page, I couldn't just call the page up like a regular
user. I went to the help forum but the problem was a mystery to them.
On October 11, the 222nd Annual Navy Ball was held at Duffy's Club on base. I ran into Carolyn Merrill, who worked at the library. She told me about a rumor she'd heard that the Korean phone carrier DACOM was cancelling access to GeoCities because of a purported North Korean home page. The troubles I was having lent much credence to this rumor.
Three days later, I reluctantly removed everything from the site and moved it all to Tripod, leaving only a brief message that the GeoCities site "may return at some time in the future." The Tripod site purred along with no problems.
October 30, 1997: It was a date I had long anticipated -- the first
anniversary of the end of the
Winslow Saga. At 4:30 pm (12:30 am Winslow time) I linked my home page to the
Saga pages, which I had quietly snuck on to the site three nights before.
Thirty minutes later, a Web Page Dedication and Barbecue was held in a picnic area on a grassy knoll between the galley and Carl's barracks room. Attending the barbecue with Carl were Larry Cessna, Ken Norris, John Garn, Mr. and Mrs. David Ritchie, and Carl's replacement Gerry Dean, who did most of the cooking. The home page said "GO MARLINS" in big letters because they had just won the World Series and who knew when a Marlins fan would stumble across my site.
Soon Tripod started experimenting with pop-up ads that came up on every page on a site; I was beginning to get very annoyed and I started looking for a pay service to put my pages on. I found a free service called Sure-Site that specialized in one-page websites; I started a page there but soon abandoned it. As time passed, I noticed I was still able to access Betty's GeoCities site and could even access mine occasionally; getting into File Manager was still no problem. In mid-November, deciding that the DACOM story was just a myth, I moved everything back to GeoCities except the Sliders page, which was now well- established on Tripod as I had submitted the URL to various search engines.
Because we had cable on the base in Korea, we got CMT's Australian feed. What was nice about this was that they would cut in with a video by an Australian Country artist whenever the US feed went to a commercial. Eventually Tripod toned down their pop-up windows and I added a new feature to help give the Tripod site its own identity: Carl's Australian Video Reviews.
With the addition of the video reviews page, I decided to leave The Winslow Saga up at both sites (GeoCities and Tripod), and "Europeanize" (or rather, "Australianize") the Saga pages on Tripod. I used few alternate spellings but made extensive use of the metric system (i.e. stating that Winslow is 235 kilometers from Prescott, etc.) This further helped the Tripod site come into its own.
Still, there was the matter of the Welcome window (which covered up my page entirely on some browsers), and the access problems with GeoCities. Apparently, the "page doesn't exist" problem was not confined to Chinhae (as Sal Garcia let me know). Finally in May, I decided to try out a pay service called Cyberramp. Based out of Dallas (I'm probably the only out-of-state client they have), they provide 20 MB of space at an affordable fee. Best of all, no banners or access problems! My site was launched there on May 19, 1998.
Early in June I bought my first scanner. On June 5, a new feature went up at my Cyberramp site: The Chart Room, with images of various Top 40 charts I had acquired. Soon I realized that people could confuse the name of the page with CHAT room, so I changed it to Hitlist Haven. I didn't really care for that name but it was just something that came up in my head one day. It stayed about a month before I changed it to the more sensible House O' Charts. The page serves as a companion piece to L.A. Radio.
Being that I hadn't heard any innovative radio for a few years I decided to start up a KUKQ Tribute Page on the Tripod site. KUKQ was an alternative station (on AM!) in Phoenix from 1989-1993. Promoting this page on the Phoenix Radio Message Board, it garnered quite a few hits in its first week.
Now that Arizona has its own major league team, a Matt Williams page is in the works and should be up soon.
At first, I was going to gradually dismantle my GeoCities pages and take it completely off line on October 30, 1998 (the second anniversary of the end of the Saga.) But as I checked the counters of those pages, I noticed that they were still garnering a significant number of hits. Also, the fact that some of the URLs were still in various search engines also helped save that site from extinction. On September 14 I added the GeoGuide to the home page and LA Radio main page on GeoCities, to mark the first anniversary of the site's startup. The GeoCities site will still be there on October 30 -- and far beyond that date I hope!
Saluting those visitors who made the most contributions to this site
NOTE: These gentlemen all have their own web sites. Click on one of the names to see the person's work.
KTVK newsman (and erstwhile DJ), this man's immense knowledge of radio helped my site enormously. Thanks to his input, I was able to add two additional stations to my catalogue of "yesteryear radio", and also beefed up some pages of stations I had limited knowledge of (KKHR, KIQQ, KROQ AM). (Watching Seventh Heaven one night I noticed the name Michael Hagerty in the credits, and posted this find on the Phoenix Radio Message Board. It wasn't him, but it was a great conversation-starter.)
If you've been to the L.A. Radio main page (and some of the station pages) you've no doubt seen those nifty images of station bumper stickers. Well, those were sent to me by Mr. Garcia. He has been much help in improving the appearance of these pages. The 100.3 timeline at the bottom of the KIQQ and KQLZ pages was supplied by him also.
This man has a nostalgia site of his own! It's all about Southern California drive-in theaters and there are many nice photographs. He has recently expanded his site to include drive-ins of the southwest. (Saga fans take note: the photo on the bottom of his "southwest" page is of a now-closed drive-in near Winslow! Click here for that page)
A computer consultant (and somewhat technical guru), he has been mostly behind the scenes giving me technical advice and some moral support. He's got website knowledge superior to mine -- a quality I respect in a person. You should visit his site -- there's lots to see.
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