By Peter Kelly
When the VSA was organized in 1985, the internet was barely in existence. We started of with a bulletin board, but only a few people had computers at the time, so it could hardly become “popular”. Tim Taylor, then a graduate student at UCD was the first to set up the bulletin board, installing the operating system into the computer at the airport at Lagoon Valley, Vacaville, California.
After the operation at Lagoon Valley glider port was moved to the Vaca-Dixon Airport in 1991, and subsequently moved to Williams Airport in 1993 I began posting stories about gliding on the internet. I had a personal email account (sonic.net) and was allowed to post web pages. At first I would write articles and later, I maintained a Soaring Diary, soliciting inputs from members of VSA to use as content. The Diary and articles continued to be published on that site for the next five years.
In 2002 Milt Hare and Brian Choate set up a web site called “soaringnet.org” and I was allocated a section on that site on which I was allowed to post my Soaring Diaries.
In 2003, Phil Henry was president of VSA and together we worked with Brian Choate and we established a domain name of valleysoaring.net, and the server operated by Brian began to host our web pages. That continued through the end of 2011.
Since 2009 I have been experimenting with on-line services provided by large companies such as Yahoo and Goggle, but after months of effort, those services were either discontinued by the provider, or became impractical for our purposes.
In late 2011, I was encouraged by Brian and also Larry Roberts, now the manager of the PASCO web site (as well as many other sites), to upgrade the VSA web pages from static HTML web pages to a content management system (CMS). In January 2011 and again in December of 2011 I learned a system called joomla and built a temporary web site on a server operated by Phil Henry, our previous VSA president from 2003. I found the system to be effective, but it was too complicated to expect other members of VSA to input anything other than Blog entries on that site. We needed something far simpler, so I elected to transition to Word Press, which we now use exclusively.
The VSA is now hosted by a widely popular and reliable company called DreamHost, and they will keep the Word Press CMS up to date on our server.
The VSA has purchased a second domain name of valleysoaring.com, which has allowed us to set up our new web pages on our new server at DreamHost.
Sometime in the near future the web address of /valleysoaring.net will display the same pages as /valleysoaring.com.