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A Short History of Virtual Vairs

by Bryan Blackwell, January 5, 2006

From bryan@thunderbolt.mitre.org Fri Aug 25 15:55 EDT 1995
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 1995 15:42:32 +0500
From: bryan@thunderbolt.mitre.org
To: corvair@shadow.mitre.org
Subject: List history

Anil asked about a history of the group. Here's a short version, I'm sure Ken Rolt (and others) can add to it:

Ken actually started Group Ken, er, Virtual 'Vairs. When he came across a posting of mine, he forwarded to me a list he had of folks on the 'net who were also into Corvairs. Each of us could set up a group in our mailers and
send off a note to all the others.

Since I had root access on a Unix machine, it was a fairly simple matter to set up an alias so that only one person (me) had to keep a current list. Since it was my first Unix box, there was a fair amount of teething involved, but after a couple months we got it operational, though the list part was pretty easy, the rest of the box posed some problems. I guess this was in 1992.

Sometime thereafter, that machine (lapetus.mitre.org) suffered a disk crash, and having no maintenance, now the list had no home. So, back to the individual list, which worked pretty well anyway (we had about 50 members, as I recall).

About this time (spring '93), I started a new job, and once again had a Unix box at my disposal, so I moved the list over to shadow, where it's been ever since. The list now numbers about 150 members, representing most of the U.S., Canada, and England (anybody I'm forgetting?).

The next big step for Virtual 'Vairs is chapterhood, which is being pursued by Tom Suter. Our FTP site and Web page was created and is maintained by Matt Mashyna.

[end original note]

December 1998

This brings us up to August '95, when it was written. Back then we used to use the term Group Ken on occasion, since there were an inordinate number of members named Ken. Shortly thereafter, Tom Suter finished the paperwork and we became a chapter. At about the same time, I made another move within Mitre and in late '95 moved the list to thunderbolt.mitre.org, where it would stay for the next three years. There were a few changes to the server along the way, but the official address was located there, with the request address on cyclone.mitre.org, for that whole time. For most of the period where we were a chapter, Kent Sullivan was president, Tom Suter Secretary, and I was Newsletter Editor. The vice-president position was often open, being mainly the person who was the point of contact for an in-person meeting at a Corvair event.

In Oct '98 I left Mitre for a new job. Since I could no longer guarantee a free home to the list, there would likely be some costs associated with keeping things going. On top of that, there were always some problems with
having VV as a Corsa chapter - we never fit really well in the mold of a chapter. The list members contributed enough to cover the ongoing operations for many months to come, and we were made a Corsa committee at the same time. Dennis Pleau was named chairman, with an advisory group known as VairOrg and a web group known as VairWeb. Dennis and Harry Jensen moved the list to a hosting provider named Hostway, the hostname was corvair.hostway.com.

The plans are for a new server dedicated to Corsa/VV activities, which means there will be one more move for the list sometime in '99, but that should mean that VV will again have a stable home, including resources for archives, web pages, etc. Oh, the list numbers ~625, as of a couple weeks ago.

[end Dec 98 entry]

February 2000

On September 10 of 1999, we moved the list over to the new server, tiger.skiblack.com, located in my climate controlled computer facility (with, I might add, overnight staffing), AKA the dining room. Then, in January 2000,
the official Corsa web site, http://www.corvair.org, also took up residence following the efforts of Harry Jensen in making the site compatible with the new server's software. The latest addition is the new and improved Virtual Vairs website, http://www.vv.corvair.org, authored by Gary Aube with contributions from the VairWeb group (especially the registration section by Mark O'Neill) which went live on February 16. Overall membership remains at ~625.

[end Feb 2000 entry]

January 2006

During 2004 I solicited donations from the Virtual Vairs members for new hardware, the result was a brand new server with a variety of speed and quality enhancements, along with an OS upgrade. Cutover to the new box was complete in Jan 2005. The lists on the server are now run by Mailman software, replacing Majordomo, which has a nice web interface and built in archiving. Another archive was built by Joe West at virtualcorvairclub.com which has VV posts back to about 1998. Membership is now ~930, with some additional users viewing VV using the web archive interface.

[end January 2006 entry]
Bryan Blackwell bryan@skiblack.com
Corvairs: '61 Lakewood, '64 Greenbrier, '65 Corsa, '66 Corsa
'69 Road Runner, '97 Ford F-150, '99 Neon R/T
"Why do something if you're not going to obsess about it?"

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