Chat Room 501
Well, this page should really be called "About Me" because there's only one person that updates the Chat Room 501 page. There's a couple other people that I'd like to say "Thanks!" to at this time as they offer alot of suggestions (namely Jojo and Snowee).
My nickname is Vooch and I spend my free time at Chat Room 501. I got started with computers in 1982 when the brand new $495 (US$) Commodore 64 hit the market. I had a cassette tape drive and a 300-baud modem (which is almost 200 times slower than today's 56K modems).
Back in the old days, people used BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems) to communicate with one another. I ran a BBS during the evenings when my parents were sleeping and no one was using the telephone line. We had message boards instead of chat rooms. If we wanted to chat, it could only be one-on-one.
A couple years later, I signed up with Compuserve. I think they had about 40 chat rooms where people could go and talk to one another. It was really cool and was the first time when I was exposed to acronyms and emoticons.
Then I went to college and didn't spend much time online at all. The university had UNIX servers and the Internet stuff was very hard to use and was extremely boring because everything was just text.
In the early 90's, I moved and signed back up on Compuserve. This time, Compuserve was a long distance call and they still charged by the hour. I spent alot of time chatting with people. After spending way too much money, I quit Compuserve. When the phone company called me to say "Are you really making all these long distance calls?", I knew it was time to quit.
I also signed up with America Online once or twice, but basically, just used it for their free hours.
In April of 1995, I signed up with IBM's Advantis network and got on the Internet. This was also a long distance call, so it became another problem. I used it for about 3-4 months. At that time, the WWW was still in it's infancy. There was alot of grey background pages with alot of text. Graphics were used sparingly and it wasn't too exciting. There wasn't alot to do on the net.
In October 1995, I signed up with a local ISP. There I was able to use the net for an unlimited amount of time for only $19.95 per month.
I also signed up with another ISP a few months later because I spend ALOT of time online (in excess of 150 hours per month) during the evenings and weekends.
In September 1997, I purchased the www.Lawrenceburg.com domain name so I could start writing web sites for local businesses. By this time, alot of companies were going online. After a month or two, I set up something called the "Lawrenceburg Chat Room". At first, like most chat rooms, no one ever came in.
Then, in early February 1998, I ranked #1 (out of 1.7 million pages) on Alta Vista's Search Engine for the term "chat room". The "Lawrenceburg Chat Room" got flooded with over 1000 hits per day for several weeks. Since then, there's been alot of "regulars" that frequent the room and share their stories.
Some time in 1998, I changed the name from the "Lawrenceburg Chat Room" to "Chat Room 406" to give the room a little more world-appeal.
After a while, people started using search engines and searched for "Chat Room 406" - the term became synonymous with a cool chat room for friends to meet. Thousands of chatters from around the world have come in for nice chat.
On September 3, 1999, we changed our name from "Chat Room 406" to "Chat Room 501" because a company named "Cupcake City" bought the chatroom406.com domain name in an attempt to hold us hostage. Apparently, Cupcake City goes around buying popular search terms (eg. as of 9/1/99, they owned the rights to brittneyspears.com).
Well, I wasn't about to play by their rules, so I bought up chatroom501.com, chatroom501.net, and chatroom501.org and changed this chat room's name.
Presently, this chat room can only be found at: www.lawrenceburg.com/chat , so I would recommend that you bookmark that page.
People ask me "Why did you create a Chat Room and spend so much time designing it?". The answer is simple: Chatting is something I enjoy. You get to meet alot of cool people!
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