I am Ron Miller, and I been running the Stars!_AutoHost website since around May of 1997.
I've played several games in the past that are somewhat similar to Stars!, like Master of Orion, and Armada 2525, but just loved Stars!. In 1997, my friend Andre Noel and I played a lot of Stars!, and wanted to find a way to let people play it easily together. Thomas Tong was kind enough to let us use his Stars! XChange code and Stars! AutoHost was born.