In the mean time I discovered Geocities, and decided to set up a small personal website to play around with. I'd discovered Photoshop 4 while at the FSN as well as a group of 3D artists who were using it and other tools to create some pretty exciting fan art for both Star Trek and Star Wars (which is how I wound up with the Borg cube below). I also learned nascent CSS 1 and XML (msxml version 0.8!) programming, as well as Microsoft's dynamic HTML (DHTML) extensions in Internet Explorer 3 and 4. I tried to make a lot of that work with Netscape Navigator at the time, but NN was just pure crap, especially by the time NN 4 was rolled out.
In the end Geocities was purchase by Yahoo, where I had my email account, and it was made free to use. Then, about teen years later in 2009 Yahoo shut down Geocities and told us all that if we wanted any of the content in our old sites to come and save it, or else it would be lost forever. I'd pretty much stopped working on the site by 2002, having started to blog with Blogger in 2005. In fact, because of Blogger's limitations about graphics at that time I was using Geocities to store heavy images and then linking my blog postings back to them. By 2007 or thereabouts Blogger stopped downsampling images, and I started storing images to support my blog directly with Google. I still link back to my Flickr photography to this day.
Today I found the material I'd pulled off back in 2009 and moved it to the MacBook. I then dropped a copy of Tomcat 7, moved the old Geocities site under webapps/ROOT/Geocities, started Tomcat and finally pointed my browser at localhost. I had to clean out some HTML frame cruft that the old Geocities servers injected inline with my HTML content. As I was looking at the old HTML code I realized just how old and moldy it was; the HTML is littered with font tags, instead of using CSS to define the fonts. That's funny, considering I was beginning to use some CSS in the HTML as well. I suppose if I'd kept it up I would have transitioned everything to "proper" HTML.
I guess maybe I'm deluding myself thinking I can build something out of all this that's unique and contributes back to the greater whole. But I can at least try. And have a little fun in the process. I spend too much time behind the camera as it is, for somebody who isn't a working pro.