The Router Design Project (RDP) was a website designed and administrated by me from 2001 until early 2006. Before the popularity of the common SOHO router you find in many homes today, there was a niche market of DIY router/firewall software and hardware. RDP was aimed at being a central place for this niche community.
When I first started to learn about Linux based routing software, I used Coyote Linux and built my own custom router from an old PC. Later I came up with the concept of the Router Design Project as a place for people to “show off” the routers they had designed.
As time went on RDP expanded to become an all around custom router information site. Some of the things that could be found at RDP included:
- Daily news updates from 44 different router/gateway and firewall centric OS distributions (Windows, Linux, and BSD based).
- Help on building routers and where to get started.
- Ability to showcase what users had built and even the ability to have designs voted on by the community.
- Many how-to guides about networking, including a couple of Coyote Linux administration guides.
- Our “in house” software known as Coyote Package System to compliment Coyote Linux.
- Community forums and various user surveys.
- Many related downloads and external links.
In 2001 Router Design Project started as a very simple website with a small user base. It was a static page, hosted on a free provider. In March of 2002, the website’s free hosting provider shut down and as such it was the perfect time for a major overhaul. The design and backend of the website changed significantly as I moved it to a PHPNuke CMS which used PHP & MySQL to provide dynamic content.
At this point in time I was paying out of pocket to host the website. I also registered the routerdesign.com domain and later the routerproject.org domain.
In September 2002, Joshua Jackson of Vortech Consulting graciously offered to host the RDP website at no cost. I am forever in debt to Mr. Jackson for providing his services and expertise as this was the new home of the website until its final days.
In mid 2006 the website was taken down by me due to excessive abuse of the website during my absence. Spam, outdated code, lack of free time, and a diminished passion for the project led to its eventual demise. I had planned to rebuild a new site for 2007 but it never came to be and in March of 2008 I let the domains expire.
At the peak of the website’s activity there were 1,317 registered members; 1,264 forum postings, and 38 router designs submitted (with more awaiting approval).
From 2003 until 2006 there were approximately 1,263,875 page views. The most active year for the Router Design Project was in 2005. Earlier statistics were lost as a different tracking engine was being used at the time.
While running and administrating the RDP website I learned a lot about software, websites, coding, and design. I created 33 custom PHP-Nuke & many matching phpBB themes for the site’s design. I also created a few PHP-Nuke modules such as AmCE, RouterScript, QScroll Blocks and ToDo List. Below you can see various screenshots of the website in no particular order.
Below you can take a look at the demo site. This demo is not the original site and is only a static copy of the main page (no php/mysql backend running). Most links will fail to work on this static copy. I can’t run a proper demo as that would cause to many security exploits as php-nuke is quite dated.