I'm not a believer in having sample pages of the various 'versions' of
my website online, but these notes describe the way my site has developed
gradually. I carry out regular 'style' updates and parts of the site are
updated very frequently so tend to reperesent later stages in my web-development
skills. Some parts of the site, however, have hardly been touched since they
were first uploaded so represent a much earlier stage of the site's development
(for example, parts of my photograph album and some pages in the the 'Interests'
My online presence ('pretentious', no?) started in late 1998 with a very
sketchy site on the 'Compuserve' server, using a very basic HTML editor.
As I didn't have a scanner or a digital camera then, there were no images
apart from some very basic graphics. Early in 1999 I acquired a scanner and
soon after that began to use a slightly more sophisticated HTML editor, in
fact the same one I still use (March 2003).
By about mid-1999 I had added quite a large number of photographs to an
'album' within the site, but because these were all scanned from prints (of
varying quality) and because the webspace available to me on 'Compuserve'
was quite limited, the size and quality of many of the images is not too
good - sorry about that. The first scanner proved pretty unreliable (UMAX),
so after about a year I had great pleasure in dumping it and acquiring a
more reliable and flexible model (Hewlett Packard), which allowed me to make
the best of the photgraphs taken in more recent years.
As I decided to move home in early-2000, development of the website slowed
until after the move happened in September 2000. Soon after that I started
the 'Comment' section of my website; this is now, I suppose, the most important
section of my website. It is updated almost every week and allows me to 'blow
off steam' about subjects that matter to me.
The webspace available on 'Compuserve' used very cumbersome URLs,
so I decided a way around this was to register a 'domain name'; the first
one I registered in late-2000 was in fact the same as that used for this
website (www.billcameron.net), but the firm I registered it through offered
no 'domain forwarding' service so although I now 'owned' the domain, it was
of no practical use at all. My own ignorance, at the time, of how these things
functioned led me to fall into the trap laid by the company in question,
whose only interest it seems was to charge a fee for registering names -
without offering any practical means of using them.
And so it remained until the Autumn of 2001, when I registered
'billcameron.info' through a firm which offered both a domain- and
email-forwarding service, although it does not offer a 'hosting' service.
It was really designed for people like me who had access to 'free' webspace,
by virtue of the ISP used ('Compuserve' at first, and later 'AOL' - I still
use both, mainly because of the email addresses, which I don't want to lose).
So from late-2001 the cumbersome URL on my 'Compuserve' space was accessible
by using 'www.billcameron.info'.
Soon after this, and after a number of abortive attempts, I managed to
transfer my domain name 'billcameron.net' from the firm it had originally
been registered trhough to the same firm I had used to register
'billcameron.info' as they seemed to be easy and straightforward to deal
with. I vow NEVER to have further dealings with the firm I dealt with before!
It took a few more months for me to identify a suitable host so I could start
to make practical use of 'billcameron.net' and I began to use 'Bravenet'
in about March 2002, upgrading it to a 'paid' (i.e. 'ad-free') hosting
arrangement soon after. In general I have found 'Bravenet' satisfactory,
specially as they have a wide range of useful add-ons (hit counters, guest
books, discussion forums, etc.), although they seem to experience recurrent
periods of 'down-time' and these seem to occur in 'waves' - at the time of
writing (May 2003) this seems to be a particular problem, but I continue
to hope this will resolve itself - meantime I have been actively investigating
other hosting options in case I decide I need to move.
Despite the sporadic 'down-times' experienced with 'billcameron.net',
hosted by Bravenet', I decided that after one year in reasonably successful
operation I would discontinue maintenance of the website hosted on 'Compuserve'
(accessible using 'billcameron.info') and effective mid-March 2003
swtiched the domain re-direction for 'billcameron.info' to re-direct to
'billcameron.net'. Whilst I have for the moment left the 'Compuserve' site
on-line, all the main pages now re-direct automatically to the same page
on the 'billcameron.net' site - my current plan is to discontinue my 'Compuserve'
account toward the end of this year (2003), at which time of course i will
lose the 'Compuserve' webspace and the e-mail address there, but the latter
is now never used by me to initiate messages. Whilst I continue to consider
'billcameron.net' as my main website, I began in early-April 2002 to post
'comment' to a blogger site
in addition to the comments posted in my own website
- some of the articles were repeated in both websites,
but some were unique to one or the other; however, this whole
thing was becoming quite cumbersome so effective 31 March 2003 I now
post ALL new 'comment' to the blogger site, although comments posted
to 'billcameron.net' remain online for archive purposes. This will make
'billcameron.net' easier to update and avoid duplication of effort.