How this web page was created

I first created this page in August 1996. April 2006 I converted it from HTML to ASP.NET using C#. Back then I was a using 90 MHz Pentium running Windows 95. That was a FAST machine in 1996! I now have a 2.8 GHz Pentium D running Windows XP Pro. Back then I probably had 64 MB of RAM. I now have 1 GB. Back then I probably had an 120 MB hard-drive. I now have an 80 GB hard-drive with two 300 GB backup drives.

Back in 1996 I was using IE3. I now prefer Mozilla Foxfire 1.5 but I also have IE 6.0, Netscape 8.1 (based on Firefox), Opera 8.54 and AOL Explorer (based on IE 6.0). I need many browsers to test my site on. I'm glad the days of coding for Netscape 4.0 are gone!

This page was created using Visual Studio.NET 2005 Pro using Master Pages. I've been waiting a long time for Master Pages. They allow you to seperate your page template from your content so you can have one template for all of your pages. The funny thing is that I wrote X-Merge back in 1995 that does the same thing!

I coded ASP pages since it came out in 1996 but you couldn't create one page template for all of your pages. I feel like the world finally caught up to technology I created back in 1995! Of course ASP.NET pages are far more complex, powerful and dynamic than anything I created.

Below is what I wrote in 1996 when I first created this page
This web page was created on a 90 MHz Pentium running Windows 95. I don't use any Web Authoring tools except an ordinary text editor. I've tried about five or six Web Authoring Tools, but found them all to be lacking in some way. There's nothing like working at the text level! It allows you maximum flexibility.

Since I'm a programmer, I write many of my own programs to help me in creating this web page.

  • Web Lint - This is a Perl script I found on the web. It checks the syntax of the HTML for correctness.
  • X-Merge - This is a tool I wrote. It creates web pages based on a Template. If I want to change something, say the background color, on 100 web pages, I just change it once in the Template and re-generate the pages. I use 4 Templates to create the 4 Flavors of pages for this web page. They are: Graphics ON Tables ON, Graphics OFF Tables ON, Graphics ON Tables OFF and Graphics OFF Tables OFF.
  • Swap String - This is a tool I wrote that can search-n-replace across multiple files.
  • Link Checker - This is a tool I wrote that searches the links of a web page looking for broken links. It also identify files that are not linked to by any web page.
  • Internet Explorer 3.0 - Since I work at Microsoft, I use IE3 to view my web page offline as I work on it. I have accounts on MSN, AOL, GNN, Prodigy and CompuServe so I check out my page in their browsers to see what the differences are. My goal is to make it look good on all browsers.
I always trying new tools. I'm currently evaluating Web Analyzer from InContext. It's pretty good.

The art work: If you are looking at the Graphics ON and Tables ON page, you should be seeing a Tower That looks like it came straight out of the game! If you paid attention while the page was loading, you could see that the tower is not one large image. Each floor and each I-Beam is a seperate image. Actually there is one image for the office floor and one image for the hotel floor and one image for the I-Beam ... and they are just repeated and stacked. Each page has it's own custom building to match the height of the page.

My friend David John helped take my screen captures and turn them into the tower you see before you. David also did the logos and banners.

This Web Page was created by Patrick Coston August 5, 1996, Last updated April 21, 2006