So this marks the return of North Star Highways. I’ve been active on the old usenet group misc.transport.road for a number of years, and it’s spiritual successor AAroads.com. At the height of people having personal web sites in the early 2000s, I had one too, devoted to roadgeekery with a Minnesota focus. Pages on such topics as abandoned highways sign shield galleries. However , there were several problems that I was never able to resolve.

First of all, it always looked like something someone threw together in Netscape Composer, because it was. I never learned how to program html, much less java. It was kind of OK in those days, but the look rapidly became dated.

Second, on my Earthlink free web site, I was limited to 15 MB of file storage. That didn’t go very far even back then and even with reducing images to the minimum size I considered acceptable. Finally I split the more  more historical aspects of the site from the others into
“North Star Highways II” which I never liked and didn’t ultimately solve the problem.

Thirdly, people did some key areas of my site better than me. John Weeks with his bridge photography, and “Deadpioneer” with historical context. One of my plans was to photograph as many Mississippi River bridges as possible, but with John having more resources and wherewithal doing so myself would be superfluous.

And fourthly, film photography was expensive and time consuming, and I was involved as a photographer for a church group, which took up much of my time and wherewithal.

Although the site languished for years with little attention, it persisted until it was time to switch the cable and internet account from my father’s name to mine. He had moved out years ago and it was an issue every time I needed to contact Comcast about something or other. Effectively the account was terminated and a new one was made in my name, and Comcast no longer offered for web storage with new accounts, so that was the end.

In the meantime I finally switched to digital and started loading photos on the Flickr. This increased once they removed their limit on the number of images for free accounts. This solved the lack of web space, and was fine for certain things like shield galleries, but created a new problem in that there was no real way to present them in the context of an article. Then I started reading articles on streets.mn, a local transportation issues blog. Although having no official site opinions, it was heavily slanted towards urban viewpoints. When I complained, they suggested I write for them myself, which I did, for 48 articles.

Aalthough I pushed as hard as I could into roadgeekery, streetlights, and traffic signals on that site, I still had to hold back in some ways due to the general nature of the site. It is my intent to update, revise, and repost some of my articles, some of the old North Star Highways pages, make articles out of some of my Flickr galleries and of course fresh new content, both of the type I wrote on streets and of the type from the North Star Highways of old. Ultimately there will be challenges adopting a web site into a blog format and well as a cohesive theme with my new emphasis on suburbia as well as hardcore roadgeekery, but we’ll see what happens.



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  1. I want to know how to remove the password acces is disabled or how the firmware can be loaded

    • If your speaking of traffic signal controllers, generally there is no mechanism for disabling the password like there is on a PC. If you got one where you don’t know the password you will need to replace the firmware. Some newer models have a USB port for that purpose, but in most cases you must physically replace the PROM chip inside. You need to see the local distributor who will give or sell you a new chip.

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