Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


One key thing happened before I started working at the little PR agency. I was still at IBM twiddling my thumbs for (very good) pay. It happened one Friday night.

It was 1995 and I was still active on electronic bulletin boards and Prodigy and Compuserve and in my free time, I was playing bridge on OK Bridge (at that time it was an independent server that served up excellent players from around the world). Each of these services required a separate dial in. Thinking back on it now, it was ridiculous. At the time, it was miraculous.

Then, one day, I signed up with something called an Internet Service Provider. Yet another number to dial into. Only this time it offered a bunch of different services. Gopher and IRC and email and web pages. It was very cool.

I subscribed to a magazine (the kind with pages brought to me via the USPS mail carrier once a month) called Internet World. I gobbled up every single word in every single issue. At IBM, I had massive free time but no internet. (I know, a crime, right??)

One Thursday night, I found the latest issue of Internet World in my mail and did not read it. I saved it to take and read at work on Friday. One of the articles was "How my son and I built a web site in a weekend" ... I read it very carefully and took copious notes at work that day. If some dude and his 7 year old could build a website, I sure could. And I had a weekend. Step back.

I did it. Trial and many errors. Many. I just looked in the wayback machine and they have a version from 1997. It's bad enough. The 1994 version was way worse.

Ok, here, you can see it. There's a midi file that tries to download just hit cancel. Judge, judge, judge away.

There was only one browser that had any kind of range - Netscape. I think if I remember correctly, you had six font sizes to chose from but it was all the same font. There weren't tables yet OR background colors - those came with Netscape 2 (that was a big day). Web pages themselves were very simple to do because there weren't a lot of options. Websites were a bit trickier because there were no tools. But mainly I was clueless. I took a photograph and a floppy disk to the copy shop to get it digitized. The guy asked what format I wanted. I had no idea. He did not know what a web page was. We were a pair. He finally gave me a gif copy and a jpg copy so it worked out. I had that picture on my website forever and even used it for LJ when I first started this journal.

Anyway... by Monday, I had a website and it was fab.

Tuesday, I got a call from the guy who would soon be my boss and he said - I kid you not - "Do you happen to know anything about something called web pages?"

Seriously, Forest Gump ain't got nothing on me.

I left IBM and walked into his office a couple of months later as his Web Advisor. hahahaha

To be continued
Tags: tbc
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