In anticipation of Ev giving up the Pyra office, I fetched the last of my things from the space. Part of what I grabbed was a box of various things that I’ve saved over the past few years, and I never got around to opening it even when I was at Pyra. So today, while going through it, I found a CD backup of my 1996 desktop computer, complete with early (terrible) web design works. Back then, I was a busy grad student, playing around with the web at night.
I had to do a bit of tweaking to get them to work, and I couldn’t find all the images but here is the earliest copy of my 1996 home page that was hosted on a college server in my lab. A few months later I discovered 3-D apps, and since two dimensions are pretty good, one more dimension must be better, right? right? It was still 1996, and I even discovered java (though i couldn’t find the original ticker tape applet class). The only page that works off that second one is the links page (called The Lounge, because, y’know I wanted to be different and all).
I hope everyone that looks at these pages gets a good laugh, because they are pretty funny. Some people might be embarrassed of their earlier work, but I was ecstatic to find these pages this morning. Not only is it a snapshot of my early development, back when I was playing with new technologies and testing new techniques, but it’s a good example of learning in action. These are rife with mistakes, bad choices, and bad judgements, but I’m glad I made them five years ago (as opposed to still making them today). It also helps ground me as a designer to see that once, not so long ago, I was creating garbage much like you see in classic geocities-style homepages of new designers today.
(My 1995 stuff was last saved on floppies, which are probably in a landfill now after having moved in and out of several apartments between now and then. Believe me when I say the 1995 stuff was even worse. I can’t believe I used to get so many emails about the 3-D graphics, people seemed to absolutely love them. Oh, the “@ web design” was what I called my own fictitious consulting company. Most of the links on the old pages are dead because the server they were hosted on was an old IBM AS400 workstation that completely died several years back. The older homepage links to the Soil Science Department at UCR, which is still using the site I designed for them in early 1999.)