History of the TIG

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In 1991, the thought arose that using the internet for communication betwen colorists and engineers could be effective. This was before the commercial internet, and having been on the net since 1987, when it consisted mainly of UUCP (unix-to-unix copy) phone polling, I set up a mailinglist using "SmartList", which used shell scripts to create and maintain a mailinglist. Some of the contributed code for SmartList came out of this effort. This was v. 1.0 of the TIG, and was on a 386 PC running Interactive Unix.

The UUCP connections at that time, as I was located in Los Angeles in the Hollywood Hills, were to the machine denwa, the machine Celia at Rhythm and Hues, and to bongo; my machine's hostname was xyzoom. The net was small enough at this time that all one needed was a unique machine name. To see xyzoom on the internet of the 1980s, go to telehack.com and "traceroute xyzoom" or "ping xyzoom" or "finger rob@xyzoom" .

The UUCP connections were all local calls and updated the outgoing and incoming mail every hour. In turn, I provided for these machines ongoing links to other sites that were also local. This was one of the original ideas of the internet, to bounce traffic (mail) between machines that didn't have a .gov or .edu Top Level Domain Name. The only hosts that had direct connections (non-dialup) to the net were at educational institutions and government sites in the US. Luckily a friend Jim at denwa was a student at UCLA and had a direct connection to the net, so my mail via his machine went out very quickly, though to node sites off the "main" net it still took roughly an hour or two to propagate the traffic.

Seminal Members

the earliest TIG postings

The TIG homepage on November 1, 1997

The TIG homepage on December 1, 1997

In addition to internet mail, Usenet News was an important conferencing system for quick answers to configuration or programming problems, and functioned at local, regional, national, and international levels. Each host decided which newsgroups to carry and in the spirit of the community provided feeds for other hosts. There were always influential programmers and authorities available. With the explosion-expansion of the internet this community feeling has almost disappeared.

Logo1 tig.jpg(Logo used 1994-1996) ca. 400 mailinglist subscribers

In 1994 the TIG website was created, containing an interface to the TIG mailinglist. At that time a migration began from Interactive Unix (ISC) to Solaris, which had bought Interactive, in order to incorporate System V features into their Berkeley-oriented OS. Soon thereafter I hosted the first Aaton.com site. All this was taking place at my Hollywood Hills home, on a 56k dialup connection first to Netcom in San Francisco, and then later that year via Earthlink. This was one of the first permanent, dialup connections with Earthlink. The upstarts at Earthlink were considerate enough to give me a tour of their operation, which was based in Los Feliz (Hollywood) and consisted of 3 servers and an office at around 700 square feet with perhaps 10 employees, including an engineer Jay, with whom I was to participate in further experiments. Earthlink now is somewhat larger. In 1995 or so I was at the maximum speed of earthlink: 56kb per second to the net. This new web-based TIG started as v. 2.0.

Julien logo non trans.jpg(Logo used 1998-2003)

In about 1997, because I'm more a Unix sysadmin than a web designer, I asked Julien Sorel (closely connected with Aaton) to help me design a new TIG site. He and I went through various iterations and finally came up with something that lasted a couple of years, and seemed ahead of its time. It can still be seen at http://www.colorist.org/tig3/ but is completely inactive, only there for historical reasons. v. 3.x

Tiglogo 2b.gif(Logo never used ca. 1997)

Over the years, Dave Tosh was instrumental in helping develop the TIG via the wiki and other interfaces.

In 2000 or so I was in transit and Rich Torpey took over the mailinglist for a few months from his site in New York City; this involved considerable work on his part. When I returned to LA we relocated the TIG and changed it from SmartList to GNU Mailman, very superior, except: SmartList allowed a high-level interface to the mailinglist that I was able to program; now with GNU Mailman I had to learn Python.

Tig logo non trans.jpg(Logo created 1995, by Dave Tosh and Rob Lingelbach; used 1997; again 2003-2005)

In 2003 or so, after various experiments with groupware on the TIG (including a few months with TWiKi), I decided to install MediaWiki, which enhanced tremendously the ability of the TIG to allow for user edits and various blog/announcements. Since then it has undergone several upgrades and is in version *(see below). see DoneLog for information.

In 2004 I was without a host for the TIG and Mike Orton and James Braid of Oktobor graciously offered their bandwidth and a machine to host the TIG. For about one year, James and Mike were saviors for the TIG.

In 2006 I was able to procure, after a system crash, a new host in Los Angeles, on a good connection, to run the TIG and its wiki counterpart, thanks to Julian Macassey. Thus the requests then for contributions on the TIG.

New tig logo smallest wheel.jpg(Logo used 2006-2009) 1500-2000 subscribers for the mailinglist

In November 2006 I explored every CMS (content management system) existing, to see if there were a system that could work for the TIG better than the wiki we have had (the wiki as well went down for a while due to a heat problem in LA that corrupted the database). I built, installed and configured XOOPS, Joomla, Drupal, and Wordpress, and they all were excellent, with perhaps the nod going to Drupal. However the wiki remains (in my humble opinion) the best web-based interface for the TIG, and is coupled with the TIG for blogging, editing and user contributions.

Tig new 2008s copy.jpg(Logo never used circa 2008)

Did you know that the NAB convention was actually held in Baltimore? http://colorist.org/NAB_2008.txt

The TIG conference area, which appeared in July 2008, was undergoing re-evaluation as of August 2008, and has been dropped as of January 2009. The wiki and the mailinglist proper have seemed to provide all functions needed.

The group and almost all the wiki have been ported to a new OS and server, much faster than before (perhaps up to 20x more bandwidth) (making it v.6.0) and emerged as a streaming site for colorist reels (v.6.1) as the wiki allowed file uploads in sizes to support streaming.

Tig complete lithos black 14.jpg(Logo, 2009-2012)


Logo gerta screenshot rough.png(Current Logo, 2012- ) 2000+ subscribers to the mailinglist


some historical TIG logos

As of late 2010, the TIG is in v.8.0, having had the Colorist Directory added, and the Colorist Anthropology Project. Ratings code added, Calendar fixed, wiki itself upgraded, GoogleMaps bug fixed, Mailman upgraded, Posting Stats added, php and mysql upgraded, phpMyAdmin fixed and locked, Photographs feature added to the Facility Table, and Semantic Wiki/Maps in development, especially for the Facility Table. A new logo, with a subtle name change for the group, and some css changes for the monobook skin. Logos now dissolve to each other randomly on the main page. 2031 subscribers as of the beginning of November.

April, 2012: TIG v 8.1 (new logo).


Host maps:

World Map of hosts receiving the TIG as of September 2009

Map of hosts in Europe receiving the TIG as of September 2009

Map of hosts in the U.S. receiving the TIG as of September 2009

Map of hosts in Australia and New Zealand receiving the TIG as of September 2009

Subscriber posting statistics for the TIG mailinglist, a 20-month snapshot Aug 2008- April 2010

See the TODO log and DoneLog for more information.

20130608: incorporated new social media tagging on all pages.

--Rob Lingelbach (talk) 01:56, 12 July 2014 (UTC)