The history of Marshfield.net...Tuesday, 11-Mar-2014 06:53:26 EDT
It all started back in the '70s when I was working for Bolt Beranek & Newman in Cambridge. I was a field service representative, installing nodes of what was at that time the Arpanet, and ultimately became today's Internet. The 'net became a big part of my life.
After I left BBN, I went to work for other companies that had Internet connections of one sort or another, so I was able to stay connected.
In 1993, I went to work for a company in Boston that had no Internet connection whatsoever. I felt badly disconnected, and needed to do something about it. Consumer Internet connections were rare and fairly expensive. Online services like Compuserve, Genie, Prodigy and newcomer America Online were self-contained and offered no connection to the Internet.
I built a DOS-based BBS in my basement with a couple of dial-in modems. It was no different than a thousand other online bulletin board services that were all the rage at that time, with the exception that I had a connection to the Internet. It was a simple dial-up connection to a provider in Wellesley.
This connection merely transferred email and Usenet news, but at this point the World Wide Web was still a curiosity populated with nerds and geeks.
The term "Information Superhighway" had just recently been coined, so I registered the domain ssih.com (South Shore Information Superhighway).
After a year of this, I discovered another provider, Xensei, in Quincy. Jeff Morris, owner of Xensei, convinced me to move my DOS BBS to his facility and convert it into a "real" UNIX server. This worked well. Great connectivity, and a server that had a lot of higher-level Internet applications.
Like a web server.
With a little spare time on my hands, I taught myself the basics of HTML website design. I also taught myself some rudimentary Photoshop. The next step was to find a subject for my web page.
Why not Marshfield?
So Marshfield's first website began as www.ssih.com/marshfield in 1996. The following year, I registered marshfield.net.
The site contained a lot of photos that I'd been snapping around town, some basic town information (phone numbers, town hall department reps, etc.), a Restaurant Guide, and a little online bulletin board that I called the "Marshfield Forum".
In August of '06, I turned the forum over to Ian Dashner for several reasons. This has given me some extra time to do things that I've wanted to do for some time - such as redesign Marshfield.net!!
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