SimHQ’s 2008 Overhaul

-or- Alligators and Swamp

by Tom “20mm” Hayden

Doesn’t Time Fly…

One year ago to the week SimHQ was celebrating it’s 10th anniversary. A stellar event if for no other reason than announcing the site’s survivability over ten years. We were not alone. Mark Bush’s Frugalsworld and Doug Helmer’s Combatsim also hold records for Internet longevity. We wish them the best, and believe each site brings a positive contribution to the simming world as do newer sites likeCombatAce.

Now it’s time for us to unleash some changes. Changes that have been needed for quite-a-while, both to keep the site interesting and to adjust to the 2008 simulation world.

First, thank you for being a part of SimHQ. We genuinely appreciate your participation and your support. We know you have a choice of sites on the Internet, and we’re very pleased you’re here.

I have said in years past that SimHQ will always be a work-in-progress. That means we will evolve, change and revise plans, push to meet the expectations of our members, then attempt to exceed them. Our goal was to put a process in place, a process which would adapt as we strive to meet our mission: to be the very best simulation web site on the Internet. So let’s explore the “Changes of 2008”, point out some things you may still not be aware of, and highlight the important changes.

OS Deja Vu

First are some things you won’t actually see because they’re truly behind the scenes. Things like server relocation to a new hosting facility, software and hardware upgrades.

For the first several years of it’s existence, SimHQ survived on a Linux-based platform. In 2005, guod decided to try the Windows environment. Bad move. The epic struggle  is chronicled here for those who like to read how a person can grow old prematurely operating a hobby web site. After the years of frustration (and frankly, some real bad luck) SimHQ is back “home” again on a Linux server. And what a server it is. Quad Xeon dual-core processors with lots of oomph hooked-up to a nice big Internet pipe and lots of RAM. It is sincerely hoped and believed “powered by penguin” will provide stability the site has been lacking for the past few years.

I said software upgrade and that’s important. We’re catching up in leaps and bounds, as we should, but you have to understand some things. Our database is one of the largest on the Internet. And that’s just the forums. The forum archives size is huge! The history of SimHQ and much of the history of simulations (other than article content) is in those archives. It’s all there, going back many years.

Consider this composition that makes-up SimHQ at the time of this writing:

  • html pages: 11,088
  • jpg images: 22,155
  • gif images: 1,220
  • zip files: 710
  • wmv files: 96
  • download files (.com + .tv): 4,823 files
  • A bunch of html article pages unfortunately not reformatted yet from when guod bought the site.
  • Current members with updated database (pruned annually): 10,256
  • Members over 10+ year history: more than 60,000
  • Forums: 105 (including the archives)
  • Forum Topics: 267,875
  • Total Forum Posts: 2,551,862
  • Database size of the forums: over 2.5GB

So now let’s address the new features of the site. We think you’ll learn about some that you didn’t know existed.

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