midrange.com is the creation of David Gibbs and started as an exercise in enlightened self interest.
Back in the mid-90’s, the News/34-36 magazine started an online service called “NewsLink”. It was offered for free, initially, but eventually charged a fee. Being a rather junior programmer, the cost of the service was beyond Davids means.
David was, however, quite familiar with dial up bulletin board services (BBS). He downloaded some BBS software and ordered a 2nd phone line for his apartment and created “The Midrange System BBS” with message boards for System/34, System/36, & System/38 users. When the AS/400 was announced, he created a board for those users too. He spread the word about the new BBS to various other online services.
The BBS became quite popular … necessitating the purchase of a 2nd phone line and upgrading the computer the BBS was running on.
The BBS joined the FidoNet BBS network (as 1:115/439.0) and he created the MIDRANGE echomail board, merging the individual boards into one that was then shared among many other BBS’s in the FidoNet network. Most of the traffic on the echomail board originated from the Midrange System BBS.
The internet was beginning to gain traction so David purchased the ‘midrange.com’ domain and started gating the MIDRANGE echo mail board to the internet as the MIDRANGE-L mailing list.
As all hardware eventually fails, the Midrange System BBS suffered a catastrophic failure resulting in the loss of just about everything.
Not wanting to completely abandon the concept, it was decided that the BBS implementation would be abandoned and all the interaction would be exclusively via email on the mailing lists.
David installed Linux on a new computer (with proper backup’s), setup mailing list software, and relaunched the concept as ‘midrange.com — Online Resources for S/36 & AS/400 Professionals’.
As technology advanced, the dialup nature of the internet connection wasn’t feasible, so a dedicated broadband connection was acquired and the mailing lists were now live on the internet.
Recently the threat of hardware failures prompted the move from internally hosted servers to virtual servers hosted on the Amazon Web Services infrastructure (using the Lightsail framework).