It all started with train sets...

Retro

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My hobby days started with train sets as a kid. These were the good old days when they ran on DC power and no computer control. Yup, just one engine on the track at a time. ❤️

I had a handful of HO gauge locos as a small child and carriages and enough tracks to make a small layout. Then, I moved to the tiny Z gauge and was able to have a much "bigger" layout, but in a much smaller space. Those tiny trains made by top German brand Marklin were beautifully made and a sight to behold! I had a couple of locos and quite a few carriages for that and I built a custom track with my dad. It was epic.

Marklin still make Z gauge trains among other sizes, which all look great. Check them out:



I was introduced to my first computer in 1980 at a class for kids and was hooked immediately. It fascinated me just how they functioned and their absolute precision, being digital. They all share this trait, from the lowliest 8-bit to the latest supercomputer and is what I love best about them. I had my first computer a couple of years after that, an Oric Atmos, and that fascination has never left me.

Nowadays, I build and maintain my own gaming PCs and my latest project and hobby is this website. You wouldn't believe what it takes to get a site like this up and running when done properly from the ground up and the amount of stuff needed to learn to do it. Loved all of it and of course, I'm still learning.

It's had a bit of a rough start though causing the goal posts to move at various times and it's had to change domains twice, ie on its third one now, all of which has held back the forum's growth unfortunately, but hopefully NerdZone will be the final one now. The process of changing domain is interesting from a technical perspective as there's a lot of things to configure.

Did you know that you can have two domains work with one site? I'm not talking about a simple redirect either. I didn't know until it came time to do my first domain change and wanted to minimise the disruption. For a short while it was possible to enter either domain into the browser and the site functioned fine with both of them, either domain remaining in the address bar.

It's still very quiet here at the moment, however, there's a significant plus in that I can tweak and adjust it anytime I want and don't have to give any notice of closure. I've just done a significant restructure too, so I simply closed the forum and just did it, no interference. I'll start marketing the forum soon to grow it.

Finally, I've been on forums for 20 years now, even entering into a partnership with another forum owner several years ago where I was an admin until the owner didn't want to do it anymore and the site closed down. However, there's nothing like the feeling of owning your own one that you built from scratch on a domain that you chose and bought. And, especially so in that there are no dodgy, infuriating, mods to push me around here. I so hated that.


I'm very much into science and technology too and watch a lot of educational sciencey YouTube videos - check out my video posts on here to see what I mean.

So, what are your hobbies?
 

Philistine

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I had a train set when I was a kid. I think it must have been Hornby. I wasn't that into it. My grandad got it for me and I think he probably got it for himself really. I think trainsets are more a hobby for adults really. To get the best out of it you need space to set it up and disposable cash for all the accessories. Do you like real life trains now?
 

Retro

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Yeah, I was quite into my trains as a kid, although all I ever had was just a basic track, no scene built around it.

I still like trains as they're machines, a piece of technology, but I'm not into them and don't miss playing around with my model trains. I like aeroplanes a lot more.

Train sets are indeed an expensive hobby.
 

Tiffany

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Trains were part of my childhood Christmas tradition. My dad built a huge platform, where the Christmas tree would sit in the middle, the town was built around the tree and the train tracks would go around the whole display. We had lots of happy holidays with our trains. I have a wide range of hobbies and favorite subjects. On the sciences; meteorology, geology, volcanology.

Thank you for all of your hard work to put together NerdZone. It's a great concept, fun name and nice people!:)
 

Retro

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That layout sounds like a lot of fun. What gauge were the trains?

Thanks for your kind words. Putting NZ together was certainly a learning experience and a very satisfying one at that. :)
 

secretprojects

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In my spare time I run a forum which is primarily about aircraft designs which never made it into production. Secondarily, its about aerospace and military technology. I've also written a book (about a British plane which was cancelled when the prototype was only 50% completed) and am working on a second book.
 

Retro

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Sounds epic. :cool:

I had a look at your forum yesterday and am interested in joining. Looks fantastic.

Feel free to link to your forum in your siggy and also to write about it in an article if you wish. I'll enable your account for article writing later when I get a chance.
 

Tiffany

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That layout sounds like a lot of fun. What gauge were the trains?

Thanks for your kind words. Putting NZ together was certainly a learning experience and a very satisfying one at that. :)
I think they were 1.25" gauge. I had to look it up on a chart, lol!! The train wasn't too big or too tiny. I wish I had a picture!

I actually prefer a forum setting over the social media template setting. like your design here at NZ. It's much easier to keep up with a conversation. You did a great job creating NZ! :)
 
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