Message in a Bottle.

What do you want to say? Who do you want to tell? Why at all? Hook your reader. Chop out the extraneous. Have you made a Dog’s breakfast of it in the end?

Tidying up my computer recently I found a wee set of web-pages I made in 1995 dedicated to helping people successfully communicate their message through the Internet.

I’ve now re-read them 25 years on and they seem OK to me so here’s a link.

Message in a Bottle.
Notice the revolutionary design of the all in one multi coloured iMac in the bottle.

Competition Winner.

The pages were made for a competition to design an on-line magazine. A competition that (memory fails me here) either Future PLC or Dennis Publishing ran and my entry ended up among the winners.

I’ve left the content of the Message in a Bottle pages exactly the same as it was in 1995. It’s not been changed or updated.

Wysiwyg Web Design 1995.

The coding has however. Following modern 2021 practices I’ve removed the use of tables for layout, introduced a basic style sheet and removed most of the propriety markup and embedded styles. Some of those old ways do still remain in the code however – purely out of historical sentiment and laziness. The whole thing was originally made in Claris Home Page an early true WYSIWYG HTML editor on the Macintosh.

Dial up Internet.

Back then it was all dial up slow modems at 54kbps and if you were so bold as to download a small photograph you were as well going off and making a cup of tea while it was progressing line by line.

Because of those treacly Internet speeds I so compressed the GIFs back then that they were transparent with only black as a colour and so pixelated that saying they were jaggy is an understatement. The smallest image file size was 3Kb and the largest 9Kb. Now the largest is 975Kb and only twice the width it was originally. I redid them to make them look a bit better on modern Hi Res screens.

The iMac in the Bottle?

I was puzzled as to why I have one of the multi coloured iMacs inside the bottle. The Apple all in one computers were released in 1998 but all the old message in a bottle files I have have a creation date of 1995.

With patience I solved it. I found an original 1995 low res GIF that has my work Mac in it. A Quadra 700 as featured in Jurassic Park. I still have that Mac and it still works. I must have updated the bottle image later adding the iMac but I don’t recall why or when.

Mac in a Bottle.
Original compressed image of 191px by 158px at 5Kb pixelated to hell containing only black and transparency.

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