www.cosmos-monitor.com - Site History

About the Site

Version numbers may indicate too much of a bookkeeping mentality on my part. But I didn't let that stop me before, so let's proceed with a thumbnail version of the history of this site. The version numbers up to version 8 refer primarily to the Missouri Highways portion of the site.

Version 0

No, your eyes do not deceive you. I'm referring to my time in Kansas City, where I published a site about radio stations in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia.

All of that started out as a finger .plan file in 1993.

As for the rest of it, let's just say that Kansas City is a great place to raise a family.

Versions 1 through 4

The Chicago years, or to be more precise, the Chicago year. I didn't expect that 1998 would be my last year living in Chicago, but it was. Even with a bunch of turmoil going on, this site quickly evolved from its origins as a simple little route log.

The site's "birthday" is March 4, 1998. If you believe in astrology, that makes it a Pisces. Fishy.

Version 5

The San Francisco treat. New city, new love, new job, new ISP. All of those were great moves. New site design. Not such a great move. Why did I ever think frames were such a good idea?

Dates: July 18, 1999 to May 13, 2002.

Version 6

No more frames! Gradually added features and improvements to the Route Log. Lots of little changes but not much big stuff.

Dates: May 13, 2002 to January 19, 2004.

Version 7

The first modern version, with XHTML and CSS being used on all pages except those showing individual signs in the sign galleries. Time to add some more features:

Dates: January 19, 2004 to May 25, 2006.

Version 7.5

I created search pages for the Sign Galleries covering Missouri, California, and US highways. I also started up a site journal featuring news about changes to the site. That's just a pretense; the real reason for having the site journal is to have a syndication feed. It was either that, or I would spend another couple of years just programming it.

Dates: May 25, 2006 to March 4, 2007.

Version 7.6

A tenth of a version and six times the maps. Lots of good old stuff, and we do mean old with the addition of official road maps from 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1932, and 1957. The 1929 map came a little later, as did a unique 1935 map of weekly road conditions.

For you font fanatics (yes, I'm one of you!), this was also the version where I changed the site fonts to Luxi Sans (for Linux platforms), Lucida Grande (for Macintoshes), and Lucida (for Windows).

Dates: March 4, 2007 to March 4, 2008.

Version 7.7

Seven for seventy years, which means 1938, which means including an official road map from 1938, as well as one from 1948-1949. I also removed the 1947 Kansas City street map, which didn't seem to fit in with the site's statewide focus. I also needed the disk space.

Dates: March 4, 2008 to August 8, 2008.

Version 8

In honor of 8-08-08, I've declared the entire site to be Version 8. This one merges the Missouri Road Signs and Sights Gallery into the Missouri Highways section of the site. Also, every URL that contained /road and /road/sign changed. I eliminated those parts of the file tree, making for shorter URLs. One more thing: I changed the fonts for the site. Paragraphs are mostly in Georgia (the TrueType font). Captions and headlines are in Trebuchet.

The version number bumped up to 8.1 on September 8, 2008 with the addition of scans of the 1958 official Missouri highway map. This was the last official map published that did not show the Interstate system on the main map. I also made changes to the map galleries for the 1956 and 1957 maps; reviewing the 1958 map helped correct errors in my description of the 1957 map scans.

On December 28, 2008, for version 8.2, I added scans of the official Missouri highway maps from 1936 and 1937. The 1937 map was the first printed in full color. I also changed some of the descriptive text for the 1938 map, based on a comparison between that map and the 1937 map.

On March 1, 2009, for version 8.3, I added scans of the official Missouri highway maps from 1959 and 1969. I previously had displayed scans of the inset maps from the 1969 edition of the official map, because was the last year when many Missouri cities had dedicated coverage with their own inset maps. But the front side of the map was in a condition too poor to be scanned. I obtained a better copy of the map; the scans added in this version are from that map. The 1959 map was the first to show completed segments of the Interstate highway system.

On May 29, 2009, for version 8.4, I added a narrative of my trip to Australia. Version 8.5 came along quickly on June 2, 2009, with the addition of scans of the official California highway map from 1936. Most other changes in 2009 were to the California Road Signs & Sights Gallery.

In Version 8.6, December 22, 2009, I added search functions to the New Mexico Road Signs & Sights Gallery, and improved city and county searches for all the other galleries.

For Version 8.7, March 5, 2010, I added two more historic Missouri map scans, from 1940 and 1950.

For Version 8.8, December 3, 2011, I added historic California map scans from 1961 and also included links to my blogs (now mostly no longer in use or available).

Version 9

After more than five years, the design began to look dated. We all get old. So I gave the site a facelift, using Google Fonts (once called Google Web Fonts). See the colophon for more details about the fonts. I also recovered articles about my radios from blogging sites that I had used but which either shut down or had other problems.


Since 2015, almost all updates have focused on radios, in a section of the site that I started calling Radios I Have Known, including reviews and pictures. Entering into retirement in 2020, I expect that I can work on more parts of the site. I also made some adjustments to the site's font styles. See the colophon for more details about those changes. I don't expect huge changes to the overall site design. It seems to have held up very well over time.

I'm also giving up on incrementing version numbers. Just as Windows 10 will always be Windows 10, Version 9 will always be Version 9.

The Gory Details

If you want all the details about changes to the Missouri Highways site, beginning in 1999, the old version page is still available. Probably not great party entertainment.

You can also check out the "To do" list (a text file).

If you want to know more about how this site is put together, read all about it on the Site Information page.

Questions, suggestions, or comments are always welcome at the e-mail address listed on the site's Contact Information page.

Mark Roberts
Oakland, California
E-mail: Please see the Contact Information page.
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