Building the Site

How Do I Do It?

When I started the site in 1996, I was trying to create a site that would tell the story of the Western Pacific Railroad. In the beginning I had very little material to work with and there were more questions than answers. Today the reference library is well stocked and still growing, although at a slower pace. I truthfully never imagined the site getting as large as it has. I hope when I can no longer maintain the site that my oldest grandson will take over. Hopefully that will be a few more years being as he just graduated from high school.

In 2001, with the closure of McClellan Air Force Base, I retired from the fire department. Since that time I have worked as a service writer/manager for two auto repair shops. I am now officially retired and am enjoying spending time with my family, enjoying hobby pursuits, and tending to the many chores of home ownership.

I have also been spending more time working on the site, typically two to four hours a day and much more on the weekends. I have a Epson V750 Pro flatbed scanner for paper and large negative scanning, a Microtek 9800xl flatbed scanner for large format paper scanning and a Nikon 4000ED film scanner for 35mm slides and negatives.

Documents are OCRed with Omni Page and saved as Microsoft Word files. Slides, negatives and photographs are scanned at the highest resolution possible and saved as TIF files which are then converted to JPG or GIF files for inclusion on the site. After the material is placed on line, I back up all material to multiple portable hard drives and regularly create DVD's for safe keeping of the material.

The Site

The site is built using Microsoft's Expression Web 4. It is sized for 1024 x 768 screen resolution. I settled on this size as being the best for presenting the material and the many graphics that are included on some of the pages. Java script is also used so you should have Java enabled for your browser. Some pages may be graphically intense so a fast internet connection is suggested.

The Hardware

Computer: Custom built, by me, based on a MSI 970 Gaming motherboard with a AMD FX-8350 Multi-Core processor, 32 Gigabytes random access memory, NVIDIA GForce GTX 950 video card with 2 Gigabytes of GDDR5 memory with output to a HP 27” monitor, and saved on a Western Digital hard drive. Data is written to DVD’s with a LG M-Disk Blu-Ray writer and also backed up to a home server nightly as well as an external hard drive.