This week was an interesting one as we really delved into the culture and activities of the internet near the beginning of its original gain in popularity. The main interesting thing we looked at were GeoCities. I listened to the 420th episode of 99% Invisible podcast which was about GeoCities and it was very interesting. I didn’t know that it was basically the first website creating service and was really the source of a lot of types of websites I used very early on in my life when I was looking up Legend of Zelda walkthroughs. Looking back on that era of website design is kind of funny since a lot of them had the loudest themes someone could create but in the podcast I heard a perspective I never thought about. At the time creating a website was so cool and so new that it felt like the sky is the limit. People would put yellow text over a pink background just because they could and honestly I probably would’ve been in the same mind frame in that position.
Searching through Oocities.org I found a lot of cool and a lot of funny websites. I tried searching a lot of topics that were popular around the time frame in which GeoCities was popular. I searched about for some bands and groups and I found a cool website dedicated to Nirvana where they post lyrics, pictures, and links to buy the albums. I also found a website dedicated to The Wu-Tang Clan which was very extensive. It contained all the discography of The Wu-Tang Clan and all of it’s members as well as every song in which a member was featured. It was clear someone really was dedicated to this site. Finally I found the original website that I used to beat Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask when I was probably 7, Zelda Master. I found this very funny and cool since I had no idea at the time that this was made using GeoCities. I remember printing out pages of tutorials when I was a kid from that website. I guess that shows how popular and common GeoCities was at the time.
BBS systems was something I was confused about at first but I quickly figured out what it’s deal was. Originally after setting up telnet I tried using blackflag but for whatever reason it didn’t seem to be working correctly. After giving up on that I tried out heatwave and had good luck with that. I made a username and opened up the game doorway. I started by playing golf. At first I thought it was kind of stupid since it was a text operated luck based game where you play golf by just picking clubs and seeing how far your got, but I soon started getting into it a little. I ended up 2 over par and felt proud about it. After that I played Troll’s Lair which was actually very cool from the start. I tried multiple times to try and slay the dragon. I died the first time but then I figured out where to get the sword and also to drink the strength potion. Even doing those two things I died in a fiery crisp to the dragon but I plan on revisiting that and beating him for good. At first these text operated games seem simple and lame but they are quite entertaining and made me feel like I was in War Games (1983). I can understand why this was something people would look forward to playing when they got home back in the day.
HyperCard stacks were interesting because there were a lot of cool art based presentations and a lot of my classmates found some cool games but there were also a lot of basic little presentations made by people just trying to figure out the OS. The one I found that I found hilarious initially was dinosaurs! It’s basically just a little project from 1995 that presents a couple of dinosaurs from different periods. I found it funny because the drawings of the dinosaurs aren’t very good but looking into it a little further I found that the author made it for a school project in 1995 so I imagine he wasn’t that advanced and if you think about that it’s kind of more impressive about what he was able to do.
On Wednesday, I looked at Project Xanadu and it was quite intriguing. A lot of the ideas expressed with this hypertext seemed like very good ideas and concepts but also seemed very hard to implement. The creator, Ted Nelson, set 17 rules for his idea many of which with good intentions but there does not seem to be a clear plan on how to follow through with them. The royalty concept would give writers royalties of their choice when their articles are accessed which sounds like a good idea for small writers but how would he actually implement this. He also has a page that show how it would look to navigate an article using Xanadu and it seems like a decent idea in terms of organization and showing full sources but the more you look at it the more busy it feels. In theory we found this idea to be a good idea but not put together as well is it sounds like it would be.
Finalizing this week, we started a little bit of html and I had a fun time testing out that. We only really figured out how to write body text and edit the heading, but with my own research I found out how to add gifs and images to the page. I think I want to make a webpage similar to those of the early 2000s that I found on GeoCities. The goal is to make it really busy and bring some nostalgia to the user. The theme I committed to is early 2000’s nostalgia so it’ll be dedicated to movies, music, and videogames from my early childhood. I want to add some funky backgrounds, maybe some cool background music, and add that to my page on my new subdomain. Currently nothing is on my subdomain but soon I hope to be updating it with my html progress.