HKPA - The First Ever Archive of Hong Kong Related Images on the Internet

History of the HKPA, From the Day it was Founded
By Alan Yim, the Co-Founder of the HKPA

In a usual mid November 1991, when Web was still non-existant, a small group of net fellows tried to post celebrity images as an article on the Usenet. Unfortunately, Usenet was a distributed text based newsgroup network. Many Usenet servers around the world were not sized for storing images in special encoded text format. Some local system administrators even restrict Usenet "articles" from flooding into their servers. To the enthusiasm Thomas Wong and I came up to the only Hong Kong newsgroup of that time (soc.culture.hongkong) suggesting the idea of picture mailing list server and even public ftp server to hold the contributed pictures. After a few days we were so lucky to get our first generous ftp site providers: Kauto Huopio of and William Ang of (this site is not there anymore) to hold our collection. In 27 Nov 1991 we had the first picture put in the ftp site and the name Hong Kong Popstar GIF Collection Scheme (HKPGCS) had been given birth.

Later on in January 1992, an idea of Hong Kong scenic GIF collection was raised by John Ho. However, there was no official archive name for this collection until September 1992, when we visualized the potential of adding more picture categories in the future, we decided to re- structure the 2 collections into one big archive called HKPA. HKPGCS became HKPA.POPSTARS, while the scenic one became HKPA.SCENIC. Thomas Wong acted as the maintainer of HKPA.SCENIC and HKPA.MISC, while I was the maintainer of HKPA.POPSTARS and other general HKPA matters, such as the FAQ: the biggest documentation project ever for the HKPA in 1992. Thomas, John and William had also participated on the FAQ reviewing, editing and formating process.

When HKPA celebrated its first anniversary, the ftp site got cuts in government funding and started to cut off the access from non-Northern Europe countries. We can only decide to abandon this mirror ftp site. However, we had got over 100 pictures for HKPA.POPSTARS alone in less than 1 year.

In the first quarter 1993, I graduated from the university and about to lose my Internet access. This was the first time I called for the retirement from the HKPA.POPSTARS. I indeed elected a person to take my role. Unfortunately, he failed to show up on the coming months and until June/July 1993, I returned and take up the role once again but with a less ideal access to the Internet. HKPA.POPSTARS had been very little administration activities for a quarter.

Fran Kan was a very active person and started a new HKPA sub-archive HKPA.COMIC in January 1993.

In April 1994, William Ang could not look after We had been in a hard time looking for a new ftp site for our archive. We actually had expected the worst: terminate HKPA. Fortunately one of the HKPA fan Ronald C. Knight found the new public ftp site for HKPA's new home. This is the, the globally famous Sun support site maintained by Jonathan Magid.

Soon after this in-search-of-a-new-home event, I decided to retire as the daily business workload was getting heavy. Luckily we have Fran, who has shown his greatest support to HKPA and continued the work on raising HKPA.POPSTARS from then on. His work was even more revolutionary such as the html home page project for the HKPA.

Actually the rise of HKPA is by team work. Finally I'd like to acknowledge the following persons whom I admire once again: Thomas Wong, William Ang, Jonathan Magid, Fran Kan, John Ho, Charles Chan, Sandra Chan (although I haven't had any chance to interact with the last two persons I have mentioned), and of course, every single contributor of pictures around the net.

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