Wasn’t the Site Once Owned By…?
SimHQ has had six owners since it was started in 1997. They are:
Frank “Crimson” Morissette, Founder (1997-1999)
Robert “Baron” Litchfield (1999-2000)
Dan “Crash” Crenshaw and Pete “Pygmy” Marone (2000-2001)
Bubba “Masterfung” Wolford (2001-2004)
Doug “guod” Atkinson (2005- )
During this week of SimHQ’s 10th Anniversary celebration we will hear commentary and reflections from most of them. Each owner of SimHQ has had a unique challenge (or challenges) to deal with. During this week you’ll learn some of those challenges for the first time, and maybe remind you of events long forgotten.
We will start off with an email provided by the man himself, Frank “Crimson” Morrissette, the founder of SimHQ. John “Spoons” Sponauer provided this email which is circa 1999. it describes the early years in getting the site going, and keeping it going. Sadly we have been unable to reach Frank himself. Frank if you read this please get in touch with us! We’d love to hear how you’re doing.
From: “Frank Morissette”
To: “John Sponauer”
Sent: Friday, January 08, 1999 11:09 AM
Subject: History of SimHQ
Well…. it all started back in Sept of 97. I made a little page called Crimson’s Sim World. It was basically a page so my friends could keep up with the news about sims. Since I always kept a sheet of paper with release dates and updated it constantly (for the past 5 years), I decided to place that on the net too. I was using my ISP for the web page which only allowed 50MB / month of transfer rates. This moved up quickly in Oct97 to 150MB / m at a costs of $50 more per month. I was a frequent user of the I-Magic msg boards so I started putting my link there. There were many people there that knew each other well. I met John “Outlaw” Miller, Eric “The Bad Lieutenant” Berns, and Rattler (name escapes me). Many there started look at my page. After talking to Outlaw and Bad on ICQ, I told them to call me at my work on the 800 line (previous job). We talked about stuff and they suggested I start doing reviews…. which many people asking if I was going to do any.
After many talks with my new friends, SimHQ was born in Nov 97 with a new look and 4 guys ready to start something. I got the url and moved the site to a web hosting place for $35US / month at 1000MB / month allowed. John had and still has deep contacts at Janes so he was an asset to me. Berns was good at reviews…. and Rattler, well he was just an F-14 Tomcat pilot and just fit in. He wasn’t originally going to be on but since he was all in part of the talks, why not. He’s the one who did the circular part of the logo with some 3D program. I put in the pics and look.
At the start in Nov 97, SimHQ was getting about 100-150 hits a day. My transfer were now hitting at near 440MB / month. Near the middle of Nov 97, I-Magic closed their boards. Since I had mentioned that I may put some up at SimHQ, many emailed me asking if I was going to have them on SimHQ. I took the opportunity and many of the people from the IM boards came to SimHQ. It was a nice site to see really. Made me really happy that I found people a home. Some people were on the GSC board for the moment but news was posted there too that I had my boards up. Dec 1st, 97 was when I put them up. The stats for Dec 97 went through the roof and I had to upgrade to the next plan of my Web host which cost me $50 US / month and allowed 2000MB / m transfers. I was getting about 1200MB. Hits started increasing fast especially after the reviews of Hornet and LB, which Andy Hollis saw. 🙂 I realized the site was growing fast so I looked into web hosting companies. BTW, at this time, neither CSIM or PCME had msg boards or news.
I started posting my site sometimes on the newsgroups and Jan started getting real good. The transfer for Jan 98 were now at 2100MB. I had to pay the extra amount for over bandwidth. This continued until I moved the site to Dynamic Web in June. At that point, transfers were hitting almost 6000MB / m. This was costing me almost $200 US per month. 🙁 That’s why I changed ISP. BTW, after a few months, Eric Berns got a big promotion at work and he resigned from SimHQ since he felt he couldn’t contribute enough. He was our quarterback in a sense and it was a tough blow. Rattler before that disappeared. Our guess is he’s on some special ops duty. He and his wife were both in the Navy. Never heard from him since.
All along the way, Rod used to always ask to link to his reviews and he would link to ours. I always tried to be respectful of other sites. Eventually, CSIM and PCME both added message boards since they saw how popular ours were. I’m sure CGO will try. I guess you can say I was the innovator of all this. I guess I was a little slow with all my ideas. Had I pushed real hard, I might have been on top. Oh well. SO is the brief history. 🙂 Wake up damnit!
Below is the news from September – December 1997. It is available as a Microsoft mht file. You’ll notice the red “x’s” because those pieces are gone from the source file at archive.org.
Ironically, the oldest daily news post we have is dated September 7, 1997. Frank writes, “Going to spend more time working on this site… I promise. :-)”
Do things ever change?