This page describes how the Ziring web site was constructed, and explains some of the goals behind its design.
Our web site is hosted by Erols Internet, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) headquartered in Maryland.
These web pages are intended to introduce our family to you, to provide some information and links to other resources, and to share our interests with the web community. These pages are intended to be acccessible to anyone, using any web browser software. With these goals in mind, I made up a few simple design rules:
At the time we started creating these pages, a fair percentage of web browsers were not table- or frame-capable. This has been changing over the last few years, so I may start using more complex HTML on some of the pages to add visual impact.
The last and most important design goal was: every page should be a thread in the World Wide Web. Essentially every page in this little web space has links, sometimes lots of links, to other web sites. I am aware that few surfers will come to this web space with the intention of reading it all. If you stop by, well, I want to give you lots of choices of where to go next. This is one simple way to thank you for visiting.
A broad array of tools were used to build this site. Some of them are listed below.
The first PC I used to create some of the original pages in this web space was a Compudyne 486/33DX. The bulk of the pages were created on my reliable Micron Millenia P166. The current computer is a MidWest Micro PRO-450.
Many of the photos and art images on these pages were captured with my ENVColor24 hand scanner. Sure, it works, but hand scanners are terrible - never buy one!. For a good deal on flatbed scanners, check out the Envisions home page.
Nowadays, we use a UMAX S-6E 24-bit flatbed scanner. It works very well, and all the pictures on the newer web pages (e.g. Saucy's page) were captured with it.
Some of the photos on this site were taken with our Olympus C-450 digital camera. It is a very nice camera, and holds a lot of pictures on its memory card.
We use a Motorola CyberSURFR cable modem to connect to the ComCast @Home service. The bandwidth is great, the reliability of the service has been mediocre so far.
CorelDRAW 5.0, 6.0, 8.0
I use the CorelDRAW illustration program to draw all the marquees for these pages, as well as some of the other pictures. It is a very nice drawing package, and 6.0 is especially nice. Learn more about it from Corel's home page.
Corel PhotoPAINT 5.0, 6.0,
7-Plus, and 8.0
We use the Corel PhotoPAINT image editor to edit and adjust many of the images on these pages. The wonderful Kai's Power Tools plugins (versions 2, 3, and 5) were also used in some cases. Many of the tiling images on the background sampler were created with Kai's, or with the XAOS Tools terrazo plug-in.
PaintShop Pro 3.12
This wonderfully flexible image manipulation tool was used for much of the format and palette conversions for my images. Version 5.0 is now available. Learn more about it from the JASC home page.
Much of the HTML code for these web pages was simply coded by hand, most recently using that most capable of all text editors, GNU Emacs! I've used Emacs, in various flavors but mostly GNU, since 1983, and I was even a contributor to GNU Emacs at one time. For making these web pages, I use Emacs for Windows95/NT.
HTML Assistant Pro
This is the HTML editor distributed with the book Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 3.0. It is a fairly good editor (for a gimme), and starts up quickly.
Gold, Netscape Composer
Since Netscape Navigator 3.0 became available in beta form, I've been using it as my main browser and occasional HTML editor. You can download a Netscape Communicator/Composer from Netscape's download area.
All CGI scripts for this web site were developed using Perl 5, that incredible interpreted language.
To learn more about programming languages, visit my Dictionary of Programming Languages. or the Perl home site: www.perl.com.
On June 18, 1998, all the pages at this site were changed to reflect our new email address of email@example.com. This change was performed with a Perl script, but since the content of the pages was not changed, the 'last changed' date on each page were left alone.
Pages on this site used to be rated with RSACi system, but we have changed to the ICRA system. Pages on this site are rated "(cz 1 lz 1 nz 1 oz 1 vz 1)" - no sex, violence, or offensive language.
In the near future, I hope to do the following things for this small web site:
Eventually, I'd like to add some VRML to this site, but I haven't had a chance to learn VRML 2.0 yet.
Killer Web Sites
An excellent set of pages about the principles and mechanics of page and site design, by award-winning designer David Seigel.
HTML Developers Jumpstation
A thorough collection of WWW and HTML development resource, nicely organized by category. Hosted by OneWorld.
D.J. Quad's Ultimate HTML Resource
A very helpful site with extensive information about HTML and related technologies. For beginners, it has some nice tutorials, too.
Web Site Design Resources
Tutorials on general web page design and on incorporating special features into your pages.
Page Design for Designers
An excellent introduction aimed at graphic design artists, by Joe Gillespie of Pixel Productions, London.
W3 Consortium HTML Area
This page has links to extensive technical resources related to HTML and official HTML standardization efforts.
Web Design Group - HTMLHELP
This site has reference materials, style guidance, and other HTML resources.
Free Art Web Site
Laurie McCanna's art site has free images, graphics tips, and links to other HTML resources. It is also a pretty good example of "artsy" site design.
This is the site for Dev-Com, an association for professional web site developers.
Has lots of tutorial and support information.
Cool and trendy magazine about web issues, site building, and architecture.
Also includes a neat "cool animation of the day".
WEBLint - HTML Checker
A web checker program can be used to debug your pages and find HTML syntax or standards conformance problems. This one seems especially picky.
Reptile - Tiling background generator
This cool program (for Win32 only) allows you to create new tiling images easily.
A+B+C Graphics - Free web graphics
Custom graphic design, web page graphics - Free gifs, backgrounds, icons, buttons, bullets, arrows, & more.
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This page written by Neal Ziring, last modified 3/12/01.