In honor of the 20th anniversary of Return of Jetman, we look at the history of the project on the internet. Sadly, all older versions are currently defunct.
Part II: Return of Jetman
The very first Return of Jetman page was actually done on a lark. I made a gallery page for the initial four pictures of the revival (before it was a "revival") and uploaded it to my GeoCities site. Those four pictures were: Jet Phoenix, Green Wyvern, Toranza, and Red Kestrel. The page itself was about as basic as it could be - a title, red background, and the "thumbnails" were not even thumbnails but the main images displayed at thumbnail dimensions. I am not sure I ever showed this page to anyone beyond co-creator/artist Lewis Smith, and I don't remember if it was ever linked on the index page.
I have no memory of how long this page lasted or even the url. It was surely deleted by November 2002. I may still have a copy of it hiding in a folder somewhere, but if there is a cache of it, I have not found it.
1) http://home.centurylink.net/owari/roj.html (cache)
Launched August 20, 2002, this was the site of the entirety of the first 14 episodes of Return of Jetman. It was a sub-section of my ISP webspace, and the only thing of any value I did there. Somewhat surprisingly, it was not the primary home of ROJ for very long. The last known update was November 29, 2004, but the whole project was moved to its own site earlier than this.
The original ROJ homepage lasted for many years in static form, directing visitors to check out the new site. Alas, sometime late last year or early this year, my old ISP webspace finally disappeared.
2) http://www.geocities.com/celamowari/roj-dx.html (cache)
Often forgotten even by me, the original ROJ DX Gallery appears to have launched on March 23, 2003 as a supplement to the main site. You see, my ISP webspace was only 5 MB and wow that is crazy to think about now. I created this extras page on GeoCities since that account had more room. The last cached update is June 2, 2007, though I am sure the page had been largely dismantled prior to that date. With the GeoCities shutdown, it's all academic.
As an aside, GeoCities also seems to be the original home of the ROJ Japanese page. The address was http://www.geocities.com/celamowari/roj-nihongo.html, but there is no cached version of it.
3) http://www.freewebs.com/returnofjetman (cache)
I had purchased the www.returnofjetman.com domain early in 2004, but Freewebs was the actual original home of the site. In fact, the domain usually redirected visitors to the above rather than being locked, for reasons which I am sure were terribly important at the time. The "official launch" announcement was August 24, 2004, but there is a cached version of the index from earlier. I could probably find my Freewebs registration e-mail, but I doubt anyone cares.
Freewebs was the home of ROJ until June 2007 when a culmination of things led me to abandon it. A recent check of the url indicates it is "frozen" and what content I had left there is gone. I wonder if this is due to inactivity or if it got hacked one last time? Regardless, I don't remember my Freewebs password and am not sure where to find it. Again, no one cares - least of all me.
4) http://www.returnofjetman.com (cache)
Circa June 2007, I transferred ROJ to Dreamhost and www.returnofjetman.com finally became a "proper" domain. Dreamhost treated me well and I had no complaints with their service. However, times were gradually changing and my ability to maintain a website was becoming more tentative with all sorts of advances I hadn't studied. Plus, financing the operation was getting to be a drag. In April 2010, the ROJ blog was launched with an eye toward it eventually becoming the main site. "Eventually" turned out to be the next month, and the blog and the site officially "merged" on May 21, 2010.
The biggest change since that time is the www.returnofjetman.com domain was allowed to expire in January 2014. This was simply a cost-cutting measure. It had served its purpose well, but with the site mostly in archive mode now, there was no reason to continue paying for it. It was picked up by someone briefly, but currently appears to be unregistered again.
The current home of ROJ, where we continue the good fight. It was briefly active in April and May 2010 when the blog was created and still a work in progress. It became the (hopefully) permanent home of ROJ in January 2014.
6 months ago