What's New at anvilfire!

Almost every day we are adding new items. In order to help you find the newest additions we have added this page. Here we will try to log changes and additions by date as we make them. There will always be daily changes in the Virtual Hammer-In and the Guru page.

Last year we launched the following new features:

  • iForge
  • Web-Ring Nexus
  • Emile's Hot Links
  • AnvilCAM
  • International Registry of Blacksmith Touchmarks
  • ABANA 2000 JYH Event
  • ABANA-Chapter.com

  • What's New archive I (12/98)
    What's New archive II (6/99)
    What's New archive III (12/99)
    What's New archive IV (1st Qtr 2000)
    What's New archive V (2nd Qtr 2000)

    Summer of 1999 we reported:

    "anvilfire! had 5,500 hits to the main page in May (a slow month). That's some 12,650 hits in aggregate . . ."

    At the close of the 1st Quarter of 2000:

    Our aggregate hits were up to an average of 22,150 per month. Total traffic has been doubling every six months. We are archiving over 400Kb of Q&A from the guru page every month. Double what it was in 1999. We now archive it every 7 days. The Slack-Tub Pub logs must be cleared every 24 hours. There are now 45 iForge demos, 14 posted this Quarter.

    This page is now being archived every 3 months (down from 6).

    We adopted The Blacksmiths Ring and Steelworkers webrings.

    July 1, 2000 @ 319,000   Continue posting the NEWS in spurts.
    July 2, 2000 @ 319,610   Posted the long delayed book review of Jim Hrisoulas' The Pattern Welded Blade, Artistry in Iron. Review by Patrick McGhee.
    Key Resource
    Links2Go Key Resource
    Blacksmithing Topic
    July 7, 2000 @ 322,000   anvilfire is now a Links2Go Key Resource!
    July 9, 2000 @ 324,390   Posted a new home page with link to the AnvilCAM We will be netcasting nightly video from the ABANA 2000 Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona!

    July 9, 2000 @ 324,390 - 19,416   Archived this page for the second quarter of 2000. Getting ready for ABANA 2000!
    - @ 324,589 Posted 8 page NEWS article on the AFC Batson Blade Symposium in Vol. 20 of the anvilfire NEWS by James Wolfe.
    July 10, 2000 @ 325,393   Posted a review of Dona Meilach's new book The Contemporary Blacksmith and have the skeleton of the ABANA 2000 edition of the NEWS posted. We will be posting photos from the conference as fast as possible!
    NOW I have to get ME ready for the conference! Look for our AnvilCAM netcasts starting Tuesday Night!
    July 11, 2000 @ 326,159 3:00 EST   We are officialy "on the road" to Flagstaff!
    July 24, 2000 @ 336,227    Wow! I have been busy and overlooked updating this!
    We have posted SOME of the news and the NEW pictures of the "gang" are posted. . . I'm sorry I posted the frames and forgot the pictures! Lots more to come.
    The AnvilCAM has been running but on an irregular schedule. We have a KA-75 slide show posted but it is very slow loading. I'm looking for ways to speed it up short of converting it to a Flash movie or other format that requires and updated plugin.
    August 5th, 2000 @ 344,343 Updated page 8 of the news identifying Tedd Harris's son and grandaughter. YES, we have lots more photos to post! Will try this weekend.
    August 7th, 2000 @ 345,700 Updated the NEWS adding the iForge abana2K slide show and correcting the navigetion links. . . LOTS MORE to come!
    Wallace Metal Works
    Now has an ALL NEW web site! Includes a new KA-hammers page.

    August 8th, 2000 @ 346,483 Updated our LINKS page. Added the Art Gawk website Peter Fels and Pheobe Palmer. AND a link and Damasteel AB. A very educational Damascus site. We also removed the "new" designation from a dozen or so listings. . .
    August 13th, 2000 - 350,000 Visits to anvilfire!
    Performed the weekly archive of the guru page. Finished the Used Equipment Log on the Wallace Metal works site and made numerous minor updates.
    August 14th, 2000 @ 351,000  Added photos of Peddingell Hammers from John Buchtenkirch on the Power Hammer page.
    August 18th, 2000  Added NAZEL hammer listings and icons to Wallace Metal Works page. Added NAZEL and Kalgoorlie photos to the Power hammer Page.
    August 20th, 2000 @ 354,950  Finally posted 6 out of 10 of the last iForge demos. More to come!
    August 21th, 2000 @ 355,420  Updated Touchmark Registry adding Historic Bethbara Park touchmark and Glenn Connor's address. Removed non-working URL submit entry from i.Forge.cc web submiter page. Updated NAZEL 6-B data page and added metric units.
    August 24th, 2000 @ 357,111  TONIGHTS WEDNESDAY DEMO, SAFETY - I:

    In the NEW prototype iForge classroom!

    iForge Room 101

    Currently the Slack-Tub Pub chat is the "Bull Pen" for the classroom. There will be a seperate one in the future. The demo goes on in the top frame and the bull pen in the bottom.

    There is a box for you to ask questions seperate from the Bull Pen chater which does not go in the demo. Same rules apply to questions. Please wait until the demo is over.

    Tonight the system is at about 50%. In the future there will be a help file and more sucinct instructions. The reason we are going ahead with the incomplete system is that when the demo is over it will be ready to post and review immediately!

    August 25th, 2000 @ 357,555  Well. . The system was less than 50% (lots of refresh problems) but the final demo WAS generated in real time.
    August 31th - Sept 1, 2000 @ 363,739 
      Another month gone by!
    • Distinct hosts served: 38,940
    • In August we had 23,146 counted visits (many still get by our counters as evidenced by the hosts served)
    • We had 4 iForge demos but missed the last one of this long month. This is only the second demo we've missed in 18 months
    • Total iForge demos = 65
    • Archived 382K of the guru page, HALF the last ten days of the month.
    • We added SIX new sites to the Blacksmith's Ring (TOTAL = 85)

    September 6, 2000  Posted Collaring demo minutes after completion, the second demo generated by our new real time HTML generation system.
    September 9, 2000 @ 370,135  Posted 3 more past iForge demos. The first of our BASICS serries, Punches, Punches II and Matrix Punches.
    September 28, 2000 @ 385,868  This has been the longest gap in updates of this file since I started it almost three years ago. Why?

    Webring: Ringmasters Revolt!:

    On September 5th (Black Tuesday) Yahoo Inc., launched its new version of the Webring system. The new Y/ring system has a completely different phylosophy of operation than the original Webring.org system created by Sage Weil. The key changes made in the design (all to the perceived benifit of Yahoo Inc) follow:

    • All Ringmasters and ring members had to register for a Yahoo ID, giving Yahoo Inc their age and place of birth.
    • Ringmasters no longer had access to the ring records they had created and maintained (even with a YID).
    • All registration processes were moved to the Yahoo system abandoning 80,000 ring home pages.
    • Ring navigation code and the many unique ring logos and icons are being abandoned and replaced by a dull grey Yahoo "nav-bar"
    • The new centraly served nav bars replaced the "ring home" link with three links to Yahoo.
    The sum of all of this is that the new system is designed to take the Ringmasters "out of the loop", mold the look of the rings to the "Yahoo style", and direct more traffic to Yahoo and off the ring. It is also designed to keep detailed tracking records of users by their YIDs (with demographics) and the centrally served nav-bar which gives Yahoo a traffic report on every one of the millions of sites on the system. Besides the intrusive nature of the new system, all the perks of setting up and maintaining a webring were taken away from the Ringmasters. On top of all this the new system had hundreds of bugs and glitches and more are being found every day.

    The result is that Ringmasters by the tens of thousands are moving their rings to other services or installing their own ring servers. The Ringmaster Revolt has been felt by Yahoo and they have reacted the way corporations and politicians do when caught with their pants down. They have been defensive, incommunicative, censored the primary webring forum, looked for scape goats and made meaningless concessions.

    Our solution to this was to setup our own ring server and move the Blacksmiths Ring and Steelworkers Web Ring to our system. We are taking Y/ring out of OUR loop! This was not an easy decision.

    The solution has been expensive. Practicaly all that has been worked on at anvilfire for the past 20 days is setting up the new ring system, editing the ring home pages and moving the ring data. Yesterday the Blacksmiths Ring members were contacted and today I hope to get mail to the Steelworkers Ring members.

    Hopefully we will be able to continue to operate these rings and host a few more as part of an on-line community the way the web-ring system was originaly envisioned.

    October 1, 2000 @ 388,000  Our NEW web ring server system is finaly up and running. Rings @ anvilfire.com.

    If you are a member of one of our rings please pickup and change your code. If you have a blacksmithing or metalworking web site or page please join our one of our rings.

    We are also the new host of The Country Life and Heritage web ring.

    Voting on the Anvilfire support group name is in progress. About 60% of the vote is in.

    Stats - 24,270 recorded visits in September.
    October 4, 2000 @ 391,200  Posted a new edition of the NEWS with the letter from FABA to all Chapter Presidents. Article about the Webrings in progress.
    October 9, 2000 @ 391,200  Posted a rebuttle letter from ABANA in the NEWs. Posted the minutes of the July board meeting since they were not posted such that chapter members could get to them. Also corrected a bunch of bad links in the news.
    October 11, 2000 @ 396,755  The ABANA vs. FABA saga continues. Posted a response to ABANA's rebuttle in the news.

    Posted a letter and link from Radek Prochazka of the Czech Republic in the NEWS. Radek is looking for work in Ireland (I don't blame him). A very creative fellow.

    October 15, 2000 @ 400,000! 

    In our first year (1998-1999) we had 50,000 visits. In the recent calandar year we have had 300,000 visits and are still growing!

    This past month we setup hosting a number of webrings. The 'LIST' page gets about 10% to 15% of the ring traffic. As soon as all the members move to the new system there will be 2000 hits a month to the list page. We also host the ABANA-Chapter pages which currently see 1,000 visitors a month.

    In aggregate anvilfire hosted pages should see a half million plus visits in the next year!

    October 25, 2000 @ 405,000  Posted a banner and order form for Carl Sharp's anvil belt buckles.
    October 25, 2000 @ 409,500  Tonight's iForge demo, Tannis on a 5 way hook based on a Claydon knot. Archived the guru page at 101K. Posted two CSI graphic on the members forum.

    Have added 7 NEW sites to the Blacksmiths Ring and one new site to the Steelworkers Web Ring since moving to our Ringlink hosting service Rings @ anvilfire.com. We also adopted the Country Life and Heritage Webring and will soon be launching the Architectural Metals Web Ring. Currently sites are slowly moving and we have taken some losses. However, the new sites and rings are making up the slack. Our ring system should be stronger than ever in another month!

    October 26, 2000 @ 410,500  Posted last nights iForge demo by Tannis (his second), and the Wizard Letter Opener by Bill Epps and the Fresia bloom deom by James Joyce. I've still got two VERY old demos to get posted. My apologies to NTech and JJ. . .
    October 27, 2000 @ 2:00AM EDT  Posted Glenn Conner's (Ntech's) July 12th demo, Photographing Ironwork. My most sincere appologies again.

    Glenn noticed his demo number was duplicated so all the demos following it have been renumbered. If you use demo numbers they are no longer the same from #61 on.

    One more demo to do. . . 3:00AM EDT. . .ALL the iForge demos are now caught up!
    Posted James Joyces June 21st TOOL demo. JJ's tools are most imaginative. His two tooling demos together make a great set of those odd tools that are just about impossible to buy.

    November 2, 2000 @ 417,000
    anvilfire! Store

    The anvilfire store is now on-line and running. The CSI members store is also on-line!
    Check out the new listing of prints of The Last Anvil Makers from Anvils in America

    November 6, 2000 @ 423,000  Updated our ringserver to Ringlink 1.10. Our Rings @ anvilfire.com now is now testing the built in ring checker. Last Friday we added a pull down menu of anvilfire pages to the Rings menubar. This is a prototype for other pages and may soon be used throughout anvilfire.

    We also added several new sites to the Blacksmith's Ring to bring the total up to 95. Although we have dropped a half dozen sites we still have a net gain of 10 in the past two months. Our rings are healthy and growing on our independant system.

    November 25, 2000 @ 425,500  The Ringlink webring checker is now running so we can properly manage our webrings. We have lost a few ring sites that have been abandonded and have given final notice to the few that need to update their ring code. Our goal is to have the rings at 100% functionality (no broken links, no free loaders) by the end of the year.

    Launched a new index of the mailing list "theforge" on ABANA-Chapter.com at www.abana-Chapter.com/theforge/mail/index.htm. After setting this up we discovered it was duplicating the archive at qth.net. However, it is much easier to get to and has some other convenience features. We haven't decided if we will keep it running. Let us know is you use it.

    November 27, 2000 @ 449,565  Archived both the guru page and the Virtual Hammer-In.
    November 28, 2000 @ 450,444  Launched a NEW page the Anvilfire Armoury. As an opener it has an all new article by armorer Eric Thing about Making a Norman Helm.

    We also launched an new redesigned Links page. It uses a new pulldown menu system. This new menu system is also being used on the new Armoury page and a number of other new pages in the works. Eventualy most of the pages on anvilfire will have this common menu to make it easier to navigate our rapidly growing sites.

    December 7, 2000 @ 462,710  We have posted four out of five ALL of the past iForge demos. This includes two similar methods of making shovels.

    Several days ago we shut down the "theforge" archive. We may do something with this again at a later date.

    December 21, 2000 @ 478,500  Welcome two advertisers! Hot Iron Technologies importer of the Wolf Self Contained Air Hammer. And Centaur Forge, Ltd. is back.

    We posted this week's iForge demo, "Brass Candlesticks and More".

    December 22, 2000 @ 479,500 / 70,574 (iForge)  Posted Glenn Conner's Celtic Cross iForge demo.

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