It All Started
With Breakfast

[IMAGE: Friendly BHS Lion]

@Baker (pronounced at-Baker) is the Internet presence of the alumni of Baker High School, a "virtual high school," if you like. Read on to learn more about Baker High School, how we got on the Internet, and what this is all about.

[IMAGE: Baker
High About Baker High School. Baker High School was built in the shadow of Fort Benning, Georgia near the end of World War II and named for Newton Diehl Baker, Secretary of War during World War I. The first graduates received their diplomas in 1945. Baker High served Columbus and Fort Benning for nearly fifty years, producing graduates who excelled in scholarship, athletics, and the arts. There's a time for everything, and Baker's time was the post-war baby boom. Baker hung on for a while after the baby boom ended, but there weren't enough students to continue the synergy of the boom years. The last class of seniors graduated on June 6, 1991. It was barely a fourth the size of Baker's largest class. Now the buildings are empty. The Baker name lives on at Baker Middle School a few blocks east on Benning Drive, and Baker High lives on in the hearts and minds of those of us who loved our years there and still love the friends we made there.

It all started with breakfast. If you're a member or friend of the Class of '65, you know that a key part of the reunions has been the Sunday morning breakfasts. Although some of us are a little bleary or moving a little slow, we relish the last chance to get reacquainted with our classmates. One of those breakfasts took place on the last Sunday in July, 1995, in Columbus. The hostess, also a Baker Lion, had set aside an area of the restaurant for us and we were sitting around chatting. Someone said, "Do you have an e-mail address?" Several of us did, and in the enthusiasm of the moment somebody (I don't remember who) decided Baker should be on the Internet. We were originally thinking of just an electronic mailing list, but Jeannie Penny Sewell wouldn't settle for anything less than a Web page. She even wrote about it in her newspaper article. Jeannie got her Web page, but we have electronic mailing lists, too!

One member of the class volunteered to look into an Internet domain name. It turned out that all the "Baker" names were taken, but "HS" wasn't, and the way Internet names work, it's easy to add a prefix, so we registered as The .org means we're a non-profit organization. Boy is that ever true! Classmates scrounged around for equipment and computer programs, wrote the words you're reading now, scanned in pictures, and generally began putting together what you see today. By the first week in December, 1995, it became possible to surf the web at One of us (BB) wanted to call this the "On Lions" but everyone else said, "EEeeeeyew! That's disgusting!" so we're playing this straight. Mostly. We finally settled on @Baker for the name of the project.

Well, that was the beginning of @Baker. We hope the end is far in the future.

Our vision for @Baker. When this was written (December, 1995) we had the names of most of the members of the Class of '65 on our world wide web server, and we had pictures of many of them. Our goal was to have all the '65 senior pictures scanned in. [UPDATE! By the end of January, we had the names of over half the Baker graduating classes, and by the end of June we had class rolls for 44 of the 47 graduating classes. Are Baker Lions good or what?!?]

That's not nearly enough! We want this to be much more than an electronic annual. We want it to be a living record of the lives of all of us who ever attended or taught at Baker. Toward that end, we have a mailing list, Lions-L, which we can use to exchange information. We're ready to start a mailing list for any class who can find a volunteer listmaster. We also want to get much more information on the web pages. We can't do this without help from everyone.

How you can help. We need e-mail addresses of anyone who ever attended Baker or taught there. If you know the e-mail address of any of our classmates, please send them a note and tell them about Baker on the Internet. If you know Baker Lions who aren't on the Internet, but might want to be, help them get signed up with your Internet provider or another one.

We need writing, we need pictures, and we need help from other classes. If you'd like to run a mailing list or Web page for your BHS class, let us know... we need your help. If you've written something about Baker, either recently or in the past, please let us use it. Send it by e-mail to Postmaster at Baker dot H S dor O R G or by postal mail to Bob Brown, 1595 Emory Road, Atlanta 30306.

We also want writing about you. Please take the time to use the "Sign-In" function on the Baker Home Page (or hotlinked from here!) to tell us how to get in touch with you, and include a paragraph or two about yourself and what you're doing. If you have an e-mail address, please give us permission to put a "mail" button on your Web page. If you have a Web page elsewhere, we can put a "link" button on your BHS Web page if you give us permission.

We especially want pictures of Baker people. We're trying to get a current picture of everyone who's signed in. You can upload these to your own @Baker web page yourself. If you have pictures of general interest, please contact the @Baker Webmaster.

Just what is, anyway? It's people; the people who had the ideas and took the time to make them work. What? Oh, you meant the computer! Well, we're on our fourth incarnation of computers. We started with a cast-off 486 PC and ran with it for six years. Then, in November, 2001, the Class of '65 donated a Dell PowerEdge 2450 server. It was a beauty, but after four more years, we were evicted from the data center that had provided a free home for our servers. We changed over to a paid hosting service in February, 2005. The database-driven Web site we use turned out to be too complicated for Assorted Internet, our first provider. We had frequent downtime and unexplained crashes. We moved to a new hosting provider in August, 2006.

Throughout, we've been using the Linux operating system, and the Apache World Wide Web server. Thanks to Linus Torvalds and countless volunteers for Linux, to the NCSA and the Apache Group for the Web server. Baker Lion volunteers perform testing, system administration, postmaster, webmaster, and listmaster functions. Someone from the Class of '65 talked his boss into housing the computer in a real data center and providing access to an Internet connection that served us for almost ten years. Internet domain name services are provided by OIIT, the information technology arm of the University System of Georgia. Name services are important because that's how your browser can find the Baker server. Thanks, OIIT folks! Costs of equipment, registration fees and services were raised by members of the Class of '65. Thanks, Class of '65! NVTech has provided some of the seasonal clipart that decorates our pages. Thanks, NVTech!

We'd also like to thank Dr. Philip ("you can't call me Dr. Greenspun") Greenspun, who gave one of us the idea that @Baker could be made much more interactive.

How much will it cost me to participate? Absolutely nothing! All the services of @Baker are free, supported by LEO and the the Class of '65, and the volunteer labor of Baker Lions from many classes. In fact, you can't even donate money to @Baker unless you're in the Class of '65, so just sit back and enjoy. (Thanks to those from other classes who did donate before we changed the policy.)

Why did you change the donation policy? Running @Baker isn't particularly expensive, and we didn't anyone to feel even a tiny bit pressured to pay for the services @Baker provides. @Baker was financed by the Class of '65 until February, 2005, and by LEO and the Class of '65 going forward.

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Revised: August, 2006
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Revised: May 1999
December, 1995