Steam & Engine of Australia was started in 1995 and was one of Australia's earliest continuously operating websites.
Back in 1995 I was looking for information on the WWW, and noticed that there were quite a few good engine sites in the USA, and a couple in England, but nothing in Australia. At that time I decided to fill that niche as best I could. For some reason I decided that bright yellow text on a garish blue background looked good. The whole site looked like the historic header above!
At that time Steam & Engine was hand coded HTML and launched on a public access network called APANA. Although they provided a good starting point for very little money, the link was atrociously slow. After a year or so I moved to our sponsor of the time, WebMania. Then the site existed on its own dedicated server which I ran out of my own pocket (and the link was still too slow). In 2003 Steam & Engine moved to England thanks to the generosity of Paul Evans of www.semidiesel.com. Paul graciously allowed me to place S&E on one of his commercial servers - thanks mate. Around 2008 the site came back to Australia and was relaunched in Joomla. Over various hacking and upgrades Joomla lasted until 2019 when the site was relaunched again in Google Sites.
These days there are thousands of engine sites around the world, I still aim to provide one of the best with Steam & Engine. Rather than just provide dry information, I try to include a bit of human interest - I believe that the humans are more important to our hobby than the machines we struggle to bring to life.
My interests in steam and internal combustion engines started when I was around 6 or so. My father would "drag" me from exhibition to exhibition... back then I did not always want to go, but today I thank him for it. Although I have no formal mechanical or engineering qualifications I have built up enough skill to successfully tear down an engine and rebuild it.
One of the reasons I keep going in this hobby and maintain the enthusiasm required to keep this set of web pages up to date and growing is Mr Brice Adams. Brice started the Stationary Engine Mailing List and has kept his enthusiasm and good grace through out the trying times of running that list. Brice and I have become pretty good friends although we don't talk all that much now. On the days when I feel like simply deleting everything, his example keeps me going. Thanks Brice.
Steam & Engine has been selected to become part of the National Library of Australia Pandora project where it will be periodically archived in preservation accessible by the public. No matter what happens to me this site will live on.