This is the "My Two Cents Web Site."

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History of CharlesWorks

Charles's roots in the computer field go back to the 1970s when he wrote a program that ran on a Radio Shack TRS-80 Level II microcomputer called Access-80. The system was jerry rigged to answer a 300 baud modem (that's 0.3k as compared to 56k today). Such systems were referred to as a computerized BBS (Bulletin Board System). A novel function on the Access-80 system was available to the caller that offered a relatively new concept. That function was delivered by another program Charles wrote that he called "email." There is more about Access-80 on Charles's personal page at

Based in Massachusetts, The Internet Access Company (TIAC), was Charles and Susan Oropallo's personal Internet Service Provider (ISP) from June 1998. TIAC provided 56k dial-up Internet access. With their Internet service came a five megabyte personal web space. This was the first Internet space that Charles managed. He created personal web pages on a machine in his home using Microsoft FrontPage Express software and uploaded them to the the Internet using a file transfer program (WS_FTP). He had placed some personal information and photos on web pages that were online for family and friends to view. He also experimented with the Personal Web Server (PWS) that is part of Windows 95 and Windows 98. He had overcome the five megabyte space limitation by putting his own pages online over a modem connection. This was before the days of the ISPs blocking port 80.

In April 1999, Charles put forth a proposal at an Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) of New Hampshire meeting he attended. He proposed that a web site be set up so the AVP workshop scheduling could be accessible twenty-four hours a day to facilitators (or anyone) desiring to participate in an AVP workshop. Charles volunteered to manage the site as part of the Oropallo's personal web space.

In June 1999, TIAC agreed to provide hosting for AVPNH at no charge as long as the site space did not exceed the five megabyte limit that was available through the Oropallo's personal TIAC account. On July 6, 1999 the domain name was purchased and Charles began managing it.

The Maine AVP organization was equally interested in a web presence and hired Charles to create their web site. On August 24, 2000 he began managing the Maine AVP site,

Over time, TIAC was gobbled up by a larger ISP. Their service worsened to a point where Internet access was terrible. For days on end one could not dial in. Charles experienced intense frustration and wanted to change to a different Internet Service Provider ( ISP) but felt locked into TIAC because they continued to allow free web access.

During this time, Charles also started doing web services for a professional speaker in NH.

It was not until July 2001 that Charles found another company willing to make available at no charge, provided he kept a personal or business site with them. It was on that date that the domain was obtained and the personal space from the old TIAC space was now available under its own domain name. was moved to the new company as well. The new company also allowed space for and along with now Charles was managing four web sites on the new company's servers.

Before long, Charles managed about a dozen sites on the new company's servers. The management was soon happening under the name of CharlesWorks, which consisted of a series of domain names Charles had purchased. Service was inexpensive, but, as it turned out, increasingly unreliable. As if it were not bad enough that the server down time was worsening, there was no way for Charles to ever speak with a person about the problems. As the service worsened there was less communication from those managing it.

Charles would leave messages and return calls were never made. He vowed he would not do that to folks if it were up to him.

The CharlesWorks internet web presence provider was getting so unreliable that it disappeared at one point for in excess of three weeks. Free for non-profit organizations or not, CharlesWorks had to find another company to provide web services. There were important schedules and information on the non-profit sites that many folks relied upon, as well as email, that became increasingly unavailable.

The next hosting company CharlesWorks used was much more expensive. Their service appeared to be very reliable. However, after only a couple of months with them, a bug surfaced in the operating system of the server CharlesWorks was on. This bug made it impossible for CharlesWorks clients to update their own sites and inadvertently opened private areas of sites to public access (although there was no breach of security as the problem was discovered immediately). The company CharlesWorks was dealing with unsuccessfully endeavored to resolve the problem.

This problem went on for a number of weeks, costing CharlesWorks several hundred hours of additional work. CharlesWorks was forced to explore a more reliable solution.

Operating its own servers had been a goal early on for CharlesWorks. So that's exactly what happened in August 2003.

CharlesWorks then operated its own servers across Southern New Hampshire in Nashua, Peterborough, and Keene. CharlesWorks has had no major disruptions in service since that time. In fact, the worst problem that has arisen to date was a backup hard disk failure resulting in less than ten minutes of actual server down time.

CharlesWorks was pleased to report that its servers were handling Internet service traffic for over 70 domains during 2003. Some were mentioned on what used to be our information site, That site now resolves to our newest site.

Since that time, CharlesWorks continued to expand, taking on its first employee, Robin Snow, in 2004. CharlesWorks also upgraded its internet connectivity numerous times since then. In 2008, a dedicated gigabit service was run from the local telephone substation to the CharlesWorks facility. This provided extremely reliable, robust service that suffered little or no down time. The number of websites handled by CharlesWorks over the years exceeded 5,000.

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