Tribute thread - 20 years ago today!

On this day 20 years ago, September 8, 2001, the actuarialoutpost was born!

…then it died in 2020

happy birthday ao!!!


oh, feel free to post something in this tribute thread that’s more inspirational than I did. I just thought it should be commemorated, but couldn’t think of greatness to say.

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Ah, yes. I remember that like it was 20 years ago. I was in college at the time, still thinking I wanted to be a high school math teacher and had no clue about actuarial stuff.

Of course, I had time to do the college thing since I was no longer practicing law since … well, I think I’ve told that story.

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I officially joined the ao in December, 2001, but lurked on the prior version of the ao, and then on the ao (then rebel outpost or something like that) for those few months. I’m old. I was out of college in 2001 working as an actuarial.

I don’t recall a prior version. I thought the prior version was the “watercooler” at the CAS website.

no, pretty sure the watercooler had nothing to do with the actuarialoutpost. I think it was a coincidence that people from the watercooler needed a place to land after the CAS decided to require real names or something to be there and the ao happened to exist. There was a different platform that glenn and traci used briefly prior to the actuarialoutpost platfom that I think was invaded by space loster and thus they had to move platforms. Traci is on the SOA side, not the CAS side, so I doubt the creation of the ao had anything to do with the watercooler.

hmmm. That’s not how I remember it. I clearly even recall a watercooler thread about what to call the new forum, and the one that was selected from those offered was “actuarialoutpost”

I never was a member of any other forum (actuarial wise) I don’t recall what my watercooler handle was, but it wasn’t DeepPurple

There were plenty of SOA people on the CAS watercooler.

maybe @Serena or @SpaceLobster can tell the story of the background again. I didn’t think that the actuarialoutpost’s formation had anything to do with the watercooler on the CAS site, but i was not on the watercooler.

Also, actuarialoutpost was not originally called actuarialoutpost. It was something like It was later changed to actuarialoutpost I think maybe to appear more professional? not sure.

I wonder just how many first came to the AO for the Exam support and then migrated to the non-professional areas (e.g., “NAT” (Non-Actuarial Topics), Political, etc.) and the professional areas.

I assume that’s what most people did. My first post was about exams.

The AO and the WC ran concurrently for a bit, and independently.
Serena stared a BB on AOL or something, then went to a free forum hosting site that was limited to 100 threads (when I started participating). Someone called space lobster kept coming on board and posting 100 blank threads,effectively wiping the forum.
I had an online actuarial bookstore at the time, so I offered to host the site on my servers, sometime 99-2000’ish. I don’t recall the domain but I know the first iteration of the forum software wasn’t phpbb.

I tried to get the domain rebeloutpost but the starwars nerd wouldn’t sell it to me :). so we ended up moving to actuarialoutpost. At about the same time I snagged the domain so we had both of those pointing to the same site.

The WC was running for some of that time, but it eventually imploded. So in short order a lot of CAS people migrated over to the AO. I recall a huge influx of CAS participants all coming on board at once.

Sometime later the SOA IIRC required posting using your full name. that killed their forum and earned the nickname the desert.

That’s my recollection.

I think maybe to appear more professional?

Not until 2020 was any decision on the Ao based on being more professional :).


There was the ooooold Allaire version that helped keep me sane at a previous employer.

I’m not entirely following. So, you had at some point even though they wouldn’t sell it to you, but then had to switch to Can you have a domain temporarily that you don’t own? I don’t understand website domain stuff.

Sadly, I believe there was a really good history thread at the AO.

Anyone remember Actuaries Online on Compuserve, was it?

There were places prior to the SOA starting their own.

The SOA desert was an attempt to make a community but they split it into credentialed and non-credentialed sides and then also banned anonymous aliases. Which pretty much doomed it.

Then the rebeloutpost was set up. I want to say that it changed software along the way then was hacked by SpaceLobster (not the current one, I hope) and then they set up the AO to replace it.

Concurrently with the SOA’s attempt, the CAS set up a forum which was widely used until they decided it was getting out of hand. IIRC it was at least partly the Haiku thread that doomed it but might have invovled other issues as well. That was when they invaded the AO.

Initially on the rebel outpost and then on the AO the exams section was one section and Dr. T (Traci) refused to split it, thus giving us the infamous @dr_t_non-fan. Eventually, Dr. T relented and the exam sections were split into the various sections but DTNF was so famous by that time, he couldn’t retire that.

The forum eventually got sponsored/bought by DW Simpson and eventually they shut it down for reasons that I still don’t understand. And now here were are.

I vaguely remember the rebel outpost. 20 years ago was not the best time of my life.

I’m not sure anyone understands it. :frowning:

it is really disappointing because I found myself occasionally searching the professional sections for answers to questions I had in my work that I remembered had been discussed. Those were used directly in my work numerous times.


I believe the changes in the CAS Water Cooler were a reaction to the infamous Thanksgiving Morning Spew. I was one of the former Water Cooler denizens after the CAS put the hammer down on anonymous chatting in the Water Cooler.

Yeah, that’s familiar. What was the deal with that thread on Thankgiving? What happened there?

Remember PIP? He was the big poster on the Watercooler.