We at OpenCaching North America turn three years old on Sunday, August 18th, 2013, as our official public launch was on that date in 2010. Although we were founded as OpenCaching.us, which is still our primary domain name. We re-branded ourselves as OpenCaching North America in 2011, after “merging” our site with the then new domain name owner of OpenCaching.ca (more on that later) and purchasing the name OpenCaching.mx. Go ahead and try those two, they work also. Since this is the first anniversary date since the Blog was founded, we figured a little history on our founding/about us post was in order. It’s also interesting to note that Geocaching.com has arbitrarily assigned the third Saturday in August as International Geocaching Day. So, (and the Blogger had to do a little math here) our anniversary can never fall more than 3 days from International Geocaching Day. As a matter of fact, the 2nd annual IGD fell on August 18th itself.
We were founded by Jerry, AKA RVRoadTrip (that’s a link to his personal website). We did not want to pester him for this blog post though, as he is recovering from a July 16th Motorcycle accident. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers, and wish him a speedy recovery! However, most of our history is well documented in the “announcements” section of our forums, and we were able to contact Paul, AKA Lord Darcy (link is to his Google+ page) from our sister site www.opencaching.org.uk to fill in the holes on the founding of our site.
|Original Opencaching.us logo|
It has already been documented on this Blog that the world wide Opencaching Network was founded by “some guy named Hank” in 2004, and his dream became reality with the launch of Opencaching.de in 2005. It is also well documented throughout the network that if you have the ability, time and resources to open your own National OpenCaching node, contact someone about doing so. Jerry did just that, contacting Paul from Opencaching.org.uk, seeing as that was the only English language node. Paul even had the original inquiry from Jerry in his email archive; it was dated July 25th, 2010. Paul had launched Opencaching.org.uk on August 17th 2009, after painstakingly translating Opencaching.pl (Poland) to English.
This is not to say that Opencaching.us wouldn’t have been possible without Paul’s translation work, I suppose Jerry could have done it. But it sure made things a lot easier! Say’s Paul “I had been translating the pages for a couple of months previous to this date. translate.google.com (Polish to English) got some pretty heavy duty use during this time.” In fact this made things so easy, that Opencaching.us was launched just 3 1/2 weeks after Jerry’s original inquiry email. And it was “up an running” even sooner, as can be seen from the 45 or so people on our members list in our forums who were invited to join before August 18th. We very much appreciate the work of Paul and Waldemar (Username SP2ONG) from Opencaching.pl in getting the site up and running so quickly.
It is documented in an August 24th, 2011 post to the Announcements section of our forums that our username Coffee Peddlers (George) obtained the domain name Opencaching.ca (it was registered by someone else, but never used), and came on board with his domain name in hand to become the new lead Admin. Two days later, the purchase of the domain name Opencaching.mx was announced, as well as the rebranding as OpenCaching North America, which is where we are today.
The OCNA website is hosted by Rackspace.com in their Chicago Data Center. A single server hosts our website and fourms, and an image is taken every night at Midnight, Chicago time. Of course an image can be taken on demand before we do any tinkering on it! This server runs Apache web server software on the Ubuntu Operating system (a Unix-like, Linux-based operating system). As previously mentioned, it is, in layman’s terms, Opencaching.pl translated to English, and was written in PHP by the OCPL development team. Many of these PHP files have commented text (that only a person with Server access can see) that release them under a GNU General Public License in 2004 and 2005 by the mysterious Hank, founder of the Opencaching concept.
Oh, and we just thought we’d mention, we are not affiliated with The Garmin Opencaching website!