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History Behind High Sierra Topix

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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History Behind High Sierra Topix

Postby maverick » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:39 am

Let's have a so called interactive interview, if Eric feels like answering our questions
about HST.
I think very few folks here know the answers to the history about HST.
Everyone is allowed to ask one question, and please keep technical questions for the
appropriate forum "Technical Problems and Questions" above, these should be
the how's, when's, where's, and why's behind HST & Eric the developer of HST.

My question is the following: How did the idea of HST come about?
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Re: History Behind High Sierra Topix

Postby BSquared » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:13 am

Who were the first twenty or so members? Since the hack of a few years ago, everyone who was a member before then has been designated a "founding member" (including me, and I think of myself as a fairly recent addition), but who was there at the founding?
—B²
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Re: History Behind High Sierra Topix

Postby ERIC » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:25 pm

maverick wrote:My question is the following: How did the idea of HST come about?


I believe the earliest ancestor of today's HST was launched in mid 2000 after I discovered there really weren't any Sierra Nevada-specific forums on the Web (at least none I found that were very active or worth a damn, and I believe this was well before the beginnings of the Whitney boards and others, with the exception of maybe some of the Yahoo! groups). So, in an effort to find people who shared my interest in the Range of Light, I decided to create my own Sierra Nevada backpacking forum. It's first version was an old school thread-style bulletin board hosted by a free service; but it's been so long that I've forgotten the name of that service (ezboard, maybe?). The original board was fairly successful, but lacked character and it was lacking in flexibility to modify or customize the way I wanted. So, I proceeded with move #1....

In early 2003, the message board was moved to it's new home at ProBoards. ProBoards allowed me to customize the board the way I wanted. It was leading up to the launching of the new board that the name "High Sierra Topix" was first coined by yours truly. (No, I didn't steal the Topix.com idea...I thought of it first! Proof: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topix_%28website%29 ) I attached the new board to another site I was working on at the time for our family friend's pack animal business out of Florence/Blayney Meadows. Some of you are probably familiar with that site; sierrapacktrip.com Unfortunately, I've kept that one up about as well as I have this one... :p

The old ProBoards HST still exists today, with approximately 350 members, 500 topics, and 5,000 posts - although it is locked from any future activity. I always thought ProBoards would delete it after it was abandoned, but they never did, and I've never had the heart to do so myself. So, it remains...
http://sierrapacktrip.proboards.com/index.cgi

It was in late 2003, after the ProBoards concept proved relatively successful, that I decided to register the domain highsierratopix.com and move HST to a new home (move #2) where it could be independently hosted, as well as completely separate from sierrapacktrip.com
After accumulating more than 1.000 members and nearly 20,000 posts, in 2005 it was hacked by some Russian a-hole and we lost nearly everything. Backups of the database were stored on the server, and the hacker had root access. He/she accessed my account on the server and deleted everything, including the database backups.

I was pretty tied up with "life" at the time of the hacking attack, and as such, it was more than half a year before finally relaunching HST as you see it today.
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
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Re: History Behind High Sierra Topix

Postby ERIC » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:30 pm

BSquared wrote:Who were the first twenty or so members? Since the hack of a few years ago, everyone who was a member before then has been designated a "founding member" (including me, and I think of myself as a fairly recent addition), but who was there at the founding?


Good question. See my previous post to this thread. You can access the old ProBoards site and take a look at the member list. Those are the members I consider to be the TRUE founding members, especially those who first registered for that forum.
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSierraTopix
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Re: History Behind High Sierra Topix

Postby quentinc » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:34 pm

That old board looks so familiar but I can't find my name on there. I had a different user name before the 2005 hack-attack, which I couldn't remember so I had to reinvent myself as a different Faulkner character.
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Re: History Behind High Sierra Topix

Postby Troutdog 59 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:01 pm

Thanks for the link Eric. I wasnt aware how long you had had the site in one form or another. I saw some familiar names. You, Snowy, and Hikin Mike are listed as mods and I saw some others I recognized like Mountaineer and ski bum. I really didn't look that hard, but one poster in the Fishing Hole caught my attention. I didn't recognize one name, but I recognized the style. Sure enough, clicked a link to some pics and there was John (Giant Brookie) and his wife holding huge trout. Guess some things should be expected!!!

Back to Mav's original thread, I don't have any questions to ask, but would like to express my gratitude for your having this fine site and for your cool level headed approach into moderating whats going on within it. I enjoy the threads here immensely and look forward to actually being able to contribute with a post rather than just lurking and enjoying the threads.
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
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