History of Stargate

Sometime around 1993, Marie Matthews and a student employee from the law school, William Morse, under the guidance and direction of Jim Kruse, put up the very first web server at Emory on a NeXT machine in Cox Hall. Pretty soon thereafter, Marie and William kept bugging me to put up a “home page.” A home page was a page where a person posted contact information, some personal information, and frequently a list of favorite links.

Marie did an ad hoc HTML class in the Wizard conference room that lasted 45 minutes or so. I sat in on the class, learned basic HTML, and cobbled together my first page. I probably gave the HTML to Marie and William to put up on the server.

It wasn’t long before I installed the NCSA server, which is the predecessor of Apache, on Monolith, which was my desktop NeXT machine at the time (That’s a BSD 4.3 system to you and me).

In the old Cox Hall offices, the original Monolith, a NeXT slab. (I think this photo is by Marie Matthews)

Since all of my desktop machines followed a naming scheme based on 2001: A Space Odyssey, (Monolith, Discovery, Moonbus, HAL9000, XRay-Delta-One, TMA1—and note that Monolith, the NeXT, was a flat, black slab) it seemed fitting that this web server, that provided links to sites all over the Internet, should be named Stargate.

Over the years the look and feel of Stargate has evolved. It continues to house a list of links that I frequently use.

At one time, the pages were generated by a Perl script I wrote called Webgen2 which made page generation (and in fact, a whole web site) pretty easy. A few years ago I moved Stargate to Google Sites.

As of this update, 2013-08-24, I’m converting the site to Markdown and Octopress and will probably host it on Github.