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Building this website

I have started building this website back in September 2020. At the height of lockdown and working from home, unable to go anywere and with a broken car, it felt like the right time.

Partial screenshot of my WinHTTrack root folder

I set myself one goal: to make a simple website, which would not only look like proper old web stuff, but built to the constraints of the time. 100% accessible to a machine running, at the very least, Internet Explorer 4 or Netscape 4.

A cut of the Internet Explorer 4 'About' infobox

I am very rusty. Haven't done any real web development work in ages.
Once you also account for the deprecated tech and the lack of good references of how we used to do stuff back in the day, it gets quite hard.

The plan was not to go for a super plain 1994 web look. That I can manage using only notepad. Even Word.
I wanted to make a nice-looking website, but it had to be compatible with old systems.

Then my first solid idea came about: Why don't I just copy and old site from Archive.org, and then edit it to fit my needs?
The victim? None other than Internet Explorer itself.

A screenshot of the Internet Explorer 3 website

A screenshot of the Internet Explorer 4 website

I sourced both Internet Explorer 3 and 4's websites, and went to work on editing them.

ie3-edit.jpg (105829 bytes)

Took me way too long to rebuild that logo with my URL on it.

ie4-edit.jpg (225900 bytes)

I quickly gave up on the IE4-based version. It was too bland.

Still, I kept experimenting over the IE3 site template until around November/2020. Not much was going to my liking, so I shelved the project.

Repurposed that edited IE3 logo, centered it on a white page as a placeholder and called it a year (or so).

mjd-fp-video.jpg (144570 bytes)

That was until MichaelMJD released a video exploring FrontPage 98, as he got a copy of it in one of his viewer donations.

Of course I knew about FrontPage and FrontPage Express. I had used both of them back in the day.
It just hadn't occured to me using it as a development tool/CMS for this project.

I tried running FrontPage 98 on my main system, but Windows 11 refused to launch it.

dimension-broken.jpg (85097 bytes)

So I dug our Dimension E520 out of storage. My plan was to install Windows 2000 or XP and then run FrontPage in it.
The machine powered up and complained about no fan activity.

I took out the fan, tested it on my Optiplex (which uses the same fan header), and it spun.

dimension-broken2.jpg (154560 bytes)

Upon further inspection, I found some oxidation right by the Dimension's fan header.

vmware-post-inception.jpg (358734 bytes)

With that machine out of order, I had to resort to VMware.

But here we are. :)

Friday, March 11, 2022 01:44:56 AM



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