Today we celebrate a very special anniversary. On the 6th of August 1999, 5 years ago today, I officially joined Airliners.net! Who would have guessed back then that we would still have the same top-of-page logo as today? Fascinating stuff....
That date might sound a bit more interesting when you consider that on the 6th of August 1999, there were only 331 other members of these forums, and many of our junior right wing extremist friends (not mentioning any names!) were only 10 years old... but I suspect even younger.
For the benefit of the 13,210 users who were not there in the early days, you will be happy to know that it took only 9 topics for the Civil Aviation forum to get into an Airbus vs Boeing war, 17 topics for the Non-Aviation forum to get into a religion war, but more than 500 to have our first Israel vs Palestine shouting match.
I admit to being one of the site's most boring users, making an average of only 0.756 posts per day, or 1384 in total. According to my records, 14 of those posts have been deleted, and only 4 for any reason other than "The referred to post has been deleted", which don't really count.
On the positive side, the highest RR I achieved was a lofty 64. wow.. how cool am I? only 29 places from top spot!
One of the few useful things I have contributed to this site was the audio of the last Concorde takeoff. You can listen to it here in MP3 format. Right-click the link and select 'Save Target As'. (The "American 137" comment is at 2:12, and the emotional bit is at 2:59). I can supply it as a 7MB .WAV for anyone who wants better quality.
...and of course I uploaded the odd picture:
© Big Ben and his Big Zoom Lens
Now for the interesting bit...
As some of you suspected, http://www.eurowhiners.net was my doing.
I acted completely alone, so nobody else should get the blame. All hate-mail to me, please.
It was done as a bit of a joke, mostly to amuse myself (small things amuse small minds.....) but it has been a bit more popular than I thought it would be.
Just the main site, not including the forum, has received more than 20,000 hits and 4,000 unique visitors in the last 3 weeks. Therefore, to offset Airliners.net's loss of advertising revenue by losing all those hits, I have made an appropriate donation to this site which takes into account current advertising payment rates. It was never supposed to get that popular and take traffic/advertising revenue away from this site.
Among those 4000+ visitors, I have had 2 of particular interest from a small town somewhere in Northern Europe. At least we now know that Johan's computer is called 'Joey' (or at least his proxy server is) . I hope he got a laugh out of the site. Adding a link to eurowhiners and airwhiners at the top of the Non-Aviation index page was a great move! Thanks Johan!
I promise I will get the Singapore_Air section online soon. I haven't had even one free second to upload it in the last 2 weeks.
Now, getting way too serious, we move on to...
Having said all of that, the time has come for me to move on, so I shall (etc..) now bid you all farewell.
Before I go, I will leave you with one very important piece of advice for the future: If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of hearing First Officer (or even Captain?) Ben welcoming you aboard your CharterScumAirways flight to Ibeefa, I urge you to think up a reason to get off. Anything.. feign a heart attack, a horrible illness, sudden fear of flying (very justified), whatever... it's not worth risking your life with a cowboy like me at the controls (that explains the four red PAPI lights all the way down final approach to MAN, as Leezyjet's video shows).
Cheers everyone, and goodbye...