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How This Site Evolved

It began when I looked at a page on the web owned by a company I'm familiar with. I saved the main page as a file on my Windows 95 Desktop. After I had saved it as a file I found that when I double clicked on the page it automatically was displayed using Netscape (my home browser). This was true even when I was off-line. Even more interesting is that when I opened the file using Notepad, I could see the code that actually made the page work.

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Most of that page was pure text which is very easy to recognize. I started changing text and then some of the codes that did things like mark paragraphs, bolded and underlined text, etc. The code, called HTML (HyperText Markup Language) code is really quite simple compared with most programming languages. I rather pleased myself that I could change, or even create an actual page just like they are on the World Wide Web.

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Since my original venture was a rather simple, text-only page, I soon grew anxious to create pages like some of those multi-media showcases I had seen containing a plethora of graphics and sounds. I was able to glean quite a bit of information from other web sites I visited by pressing VIEW, DOCUMENT SOURCE from the Netscape menu. This showed me the code behind any page I was currently viewing.

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Knowing that what I was working with was HTML code, I went to the Excite search service. By typing in "http", I found a site that has a wealth of information for beginners and was created by UIUC (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign). This site told everything I wanted to know about lists, paragraphing, proper coding, establishing links (to your own pages or others), including graphics, etc.

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I was soon on my way to creating my very own site on my very own computer. One page had an interplanetary theme using a space graphic downloaded from a government site and playing the "Star Trek" theme as the page was loaded. Another page used three stooges wallpaper downloaded from somewhere and a dozen pictures as well as text, links and sounds. Yet another page used a ghostbusters motif. Nearly all my resources came from the Web and were downloded from other sites for inclusion on my original site.

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During the process of creating these initial pages, my son showed a great interest in this and created several pages of his own. He taught me many shortcuts including right clicking on an image or wallpaper to save it to a local disk. He went on to teach himself how to create and maintain pages using Netscape's EDIT button (the pencil) on the tool bar.

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I wish I could share my initial, personal site with you but I fear there may be copyright considerations. Since it was a satire on the company whose page I originally downloaded I suspect it could also cause some hard feelings.

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After I had spent all this time learning how to develop HTML documents it seemed only natural that I take advantage of the INS offer to host my web site at no cost other than the monthly subscription cost I was already paying.

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First you'll want to order permission to have a web page. This consists of printing a form, filling it out, and mailing it to INS.

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While you are waiting for approval from INS via e-mail, you may as well find FTP client software on the web and download it. I use FTP Cutie at work but INS recommends using WS FTP so that's what I use at home to maintain this web site. You might also look through the FAQ's and other areas of the INS Basic Showcase area. These pages contain some very important information and had I been inclined to read them while I was setting up my site on the INS server I would have saved many hours. (Case sensitivity and a writeable area called "Webstuff" were my major problems.)

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I have to say that I have enjoyed each step of learning HTML and setting up the family web page. I think it was challenging though not too difficult. I intend that it will continue to be fun as I enhance the page and try new things.

I'd be glad to hear from you regarding your web page development efforts. Thank you for reading.

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Netscape Navigator Gold v 3.03 - Web Page Editor


My son has been using the editor included with Netscape Navigator with good success.  I don't want to take time to learn it so I'm still using NotePad and HTML code.

11/13/97 FrontPage98

We have the FrontPage98 Beta Web Page editor but it requires some learning time. I thought it would include some good graphics but have yet to find any. There are about a half dozen decent wallpaper selections. I think I'll take it slow and be sure that I can still maintain the Web page after the FrontPage 98 Beta expires on 12/31/1997. I'd hate to have to be obligated to spend next New Years day 1998 trying to re-create the Web Page because it was created using Front Page and uses HTML functionality that I am unfamiliar with. I may spend New Years Day working on the Web Page but would prefer that the time spent was for improvement rather than remedially trying to catch up to where I was several months ago.

11/30/97 FrontPage98

The biggest challenge to FrontPage98 is figuring out where things are stored.  I   am still using FTPCutie to transfer my files up to the INS site.  As you can probably see by the links included on the left margin.  I am beginning to use Front Page. My son has been using it for some time.  Since we had trouble with covering up each other's files I had to start doing it his way or veto progress by requiring him to do it the old way.

12/11/97

Changed the background color to red on 12/11/97. It looks bright, though readable using Netscape.  I wonder what it will look like using Internet explorer. I guess I'll check tomorrow.  Yep. The background color looks similar to the way it looked using the front page editor.

5/1/98

Happy New year. I guess I've neglected the site for a while. Sorry.

The FrontPage trial ended at midnight, 12/31/97, as promised. We were back to using HTML code. Little Chalmie was dissappointed but I felt releived. It's true that FrontPage helped us do some good things such as common first lines on each page and the links listed at the left of all the pages. It would have taken a lot of time to research how to do this with HTML. Front Page showed us the way how to do it using HTML. I chose background colors while editing the pages using FrontPage and they are now royal blue. The background color shows up in Internet Explorer as well as Netscape.

We have downloaded Netscape Communicator 4.04 and are using that now. (I use Internet Explorer 4.0 at work). As with any new product, including Front Page, there is a learning curve.

One problem is that editing the page with Communicator has been a real challenge. Little Chalmie finally figured out how to use it and told me, but I still don't remember how, and being old and impatient, will continue to use HTML code (as I am now). There remain other glitches that I won't enumerate.

On the positive side we've added a few more pictures and the site has improved. The Gumby page was created sometime in February and has been a hit with people who knew him in the sixties and seventies.

We ordered a new hand scanner in November and received it in January. It cost $20, it's color, and only four inches wide. The price was the biggest attraction. The Gumby pictures as well as the 1984 picture on the home page were scanned using the new scanner. Sometimes the scanner works, and sometimes it doesn't. It takes time to mess with the software to make it work -- each time we use it. But, it scans pretty well and the color seems very good for $20. It was ordered from http://www.surplusdirect.com/

We wanted to do an image map for the pets pictured on the home page and I just couldn't handle it using HTML. Using the search service Lycos we found a shareware product called Mapedit. Once the short learning curve was over, it greatly simplified the image map process.

Go to the Chalmie Town, the Calhoun Family Home Page

Go to "Dad's Page"

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