mailto: blog -at- heyrick -dot- eu

Changing my homepage, and a trip down memory lane

Back in 1997 I created a website. It was part of Argonet's user pages, and it looked something like this:
My site in 1997
My site in 1997
My site in 1997.
There is more, but I clipped that. You get the idea.

It was functional, but not terribly interesting. Written in glorious HTML 2.0 it even worked on ArcWeb and Webite!

In 1999 I got a domain, the infamous "heyrick". With that in mind, I decided to revise the layout of my homepage, using RISC OS style icons and a grid layout. My HTML had been upgraded to cutting edge HTML 3.2 (which was basically 2.0 with tables).

My site in 2001
My site in 2001.

I left Britain (for good) in May 2002, and from that point on I was mostly disconnected from the internet. I had access, from time to time, using the dial-up of a friend and also extremely erratic ISDN access at a local library. So I could update my site and send/receive emails, but by and large that's all I did. A lot of post-Acorn RISC OS history passed me by. Probably just as well, frankly. :-(

A casualty of this was that my website was updated in a rather ad hoc manner with bits being shoved into all sorts of weird places. This probably explains why the Bush Internet box stuff is mixed in with the assembler stuff. Probably something dumb like "it saves the time changing directories". That sort of rubbish matters when I have a librarian giving exactly thirty minutes of time (including waiting for the machine to boot and the router to wake up) before she kicks me off so her teenage son can play games for the rest of the morning on computers provided for paying library subscribers.
So my index page got... a bit messy. Here it is in 2005:

My site in 2005
My site in 2005.

It was about this time that I stopped developing for RISC OS. I was given an old half-dead laptop running Windows 98SE and while it was fairly basic it could do two things that my RiscPC couldn't manage. Play MP3s (I only have an ARM710) and play DVDs. So I used to power that up a lot to watch bargain-bin and borrowed DVDs. Somewhere along the way I dig out an old book I had about learning Visual Basic. It came with the "Visual Basic Learning Edition" development environment, so I installed that and ended up writing several programs for Windows.

In 2009, roughly coinciding with when I got myself broadband and back online, I changed the entire look and feel of the index page - to make it look like a Windows window. This was actually created by making the window in the VisualBasic editor, and the text effects (like the smaller captions) were created by editing the bitmap in a photo editor. The entire thing was an imagemap, so just click on the button of interest.
There was also a text menu for non-graphical browsers. This didn't need much other than support for PNG and imagemap.

My site in 2009
My site in 2009.

That's how it's been ever since. Because mostly I update this, the blog, and don't pay too much attention to the index. There have been a few tweaks, but nothing big.

Until now.

My homepage has been completely redesigned, and I'm going right back to basics. The only graphic on the entire page is a little logo at the bottom in support of Scottish Independence. Otherwise, it's a simple text-with-links page. No JavaScript, no Flash, no fancy whizz-bangs. Just some extremely sarcastic descriptions. I believe you come to my site because you want something. Some information on an ancient processor or an even older networking system? Some bit of software? Or just to marvel at the dribble that passes for my blog (and how many bread makers I've taken apart!). In each and every case, you're there for something, and that something isn't being wowed by my leet web design skillz. To be honest, on most of the sites that I visit, that sort of crap (and all the obligatory advertising and tracking) actually makes the site harder to use and slower to load.
Screw that. Here's some text. Content is King. If you want pretty pictures, go watch kittens on YouTube.

My site in 2021
My site in 2021.

You'll notice some things are no longer listed. This content will be retained for now, for those who may have links pointing to it. But in time, these older things will be deleted, because I don't imagine anybody is interested in looking at low resolution (generally 360×254) pictures of Alyson Hannigan created using an analogue video digitiser with software decoding when you can instead watch the entire series in HD on various streaming services (Prime Video here in France).

One of Alyson's first appearances in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
One of Alyson's first appearances in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.



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Rob, 7th June 2021, 16:42
Ah, I had wondered what had happened to your homepage... 
Taking inspiration from mine? :-p
Robin, 8th June 2021, 09:55
This kind of reminds me of that Action Retro on YouTube put together. Really simplified and nostalgic lens through which to see the web. Like the new layout though, it's clean and I was instantly able to see the acorn pocketbook stuff which was originally how I stumbled onto your blog a few years back.
Mick, 8th June 2021, 23:17
I prefer the old home page. Bah humbug!;)
Pieter, 11th June 2021, 04:09
Well done! I found your website through Frobnicate in 2007; a latecomer in the series but I still like it.

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