Geocities was one of the most popular web hosting service in the mid-to-late nineties. Yahoo! bought over Geocities in 1999, and the service went completely downhill after that. Yahoo! finally decided to shut it down for good on 26th October 2009. Thus I spent quite some time last month salvaging what remained of my old page on Geocities, last updated in 2001 (!). I had to download each file by clicking on them one by one, thanks to Yahoo! discontinuing their FTP service on Geocities for non-paying members. These files include some lovely MIDIs and animated GIFS!
(Geocities in early 1999, as taken from Internet Archive)
The purpose of my post is just to take a walk down memory lane... through the times I've spent with Geocities :( It felt a bit nostalgic when I was downloading my files, and I was laughing out loud reading my old Guestbook entries.
I built my very first webpage some time at the end of 1997. I was quite proud of this since I was just exposed to the Internet just one or two months before! This was after my parents decided to obtain a new desktop and get connected to the Internet. Although I have been using my dad's trusty 486 since young (yes I've used MSDOS, Norton Commander, Wordstar, Lotus 123, Windows 3.1, etc.), I was completely ignorant of all the new technology cropping up between 1995-1997 as I was quite focussed on my studies at the time. Thus it was quite a feat to be able to figure out how to use Windows 95, grasp the concept of the Internet AND build a "homepage" within one or two months!
I think my dad was the first person to put up a homepage on Geocities. Everybody else in the family then followed suit. Geocities was divided into "neighbourhoods" where you build your "home". Mine was at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Estates/5606/.
My first webpage was built using Netscape Composer. I still think it's an amazing piece of work for someone who has just dabbled with the Internet, let alone web page designing! Some of the animated gifs were missing but I somehow managed to remember what they were and found them on the Internet!
I still think these little angels and devils are amazing! Especially when you hover your mouse over them -- angels will turn to devils and vice versa! :)
Shame that the main page is the only page I have with me. I think there were some very interesting things in the other subpages but I guess I didn't know enough about backing up back then :(
Less than half a year later, I decided to completely redesign my page. The new homepage used frames, and was brighter, happier, with lots of animated gifs, and even played a background MIDI! (Note the angel and devil balls! I liked them too much to be able to rid of them!) I still like the design even after all these years, and I think it actually withstands the test of time... well to a certain extent! Even the animated gifs were used quite tastefully :P
And yet half a year later, I suddenly fancied something more simple and elegant -- so gone were all the fancy animated gifs and graphics. I also changed the name of my homepage because I thought (and still think) the word "homepage" sounds amateurish (^,^). SkY-dOvE was the nick I was using at the time if you haven't yet figured it out.
Again, I think this design also withstands the test of time. Although the page was a bit plain, it actually does look quite tasteful. I'm still amazed at how I actually managed to create the circular menu thing!
The page was then abandoned for some time as I focussed on developing various different webpages at different places. When I finally came back to this page, I thought it was a little too plain and decided to update it. I launched the new design around New Year's Day of 2001, and rebranded it as the "Millennium Edition" after the lovely Operating System (I now think that was a bad idea ^^;). Background MIDIs (bubblegum pop music from the 90's!) and some brighter colours returned!
And the page stayed that way ever since. I attempted to create a new design some time in 2002 but ended up not launching it (it looked great by the way!). There were a few more attempts for a complete redesign but I've never managed to finished any of them. Until I was forced to whip up something before I left for the UK in 2006 ;)
So if you managed to read through all that, thank you for joining me in my nostalgia :P
I have found a website called reocities.com which attempted to salvage EVERY Geocities web page out there one week before its closure. This was a very noble project! *salutes* My page seemed to be tracked, although I guess it didn't help that my index.htm page there redirects to my new website, and so the crawler did not manage to save anything else. I might just send the files I've backed up to the author just for completeness sake! ;)
9 November 09
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