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: : Turnpike420.net History : :

This history has been written as time has passed. Not all opinions about software or operating systems are necessarily how I feel today. It is also apparent that some of the old images have a few glitches (depending on your choice of browser). It is funny to see my progression through time though!

Turnpike 420 began as a way for me to learn about creating and managing a website sometime during my 5th semester (fall of 1996) as a student at Appalachian State University. The computer I had at the time was a MacIntosh Powerbook 520c. For that particular time, it was OK. I hadn't ruled the MacIntrash dead yet. My first pages were created with Adobe SiteMill. That program was just a pure piece of crap. Very shortly thereafter, I was using Claris Home Page. Not too shabby, but hey, I didn't know about Frontpage and the power of the PC yet, although, I was lucky enough to be in a dorm with an ethernet port. Woo-Hoo!! At any rate, made my download rate a good 10kbps which was quite good. I used a freeware web server which literally did nothing more than make my page accessable via HTTP. That was quite alright with me. I had it all... I thought.

This is the first official symbol of my site. It was created sometime in the later summer of 1996.
Turnpike420 Original

The next image came after a short period through which Turnpike420 did not exist. I had saved my original site, knowing that sooner or later I would get back to it. Now is about November of 1996, a time when I decided I was not going to attend college anymore. I catch a break. I find a job within the month. By December 9, 1996 I started working for a computer training company called Computer Decisions, Inc. I was basically a pawn with some techical knowledge. About this time, I had given up the MacIntrash for an IBM ThinkPad 750c. My surge forward into Windows 95 began then. I was so low in this company, I didn't even have a computer at my desk or an email address. Beginning January 11, 1997, I began taking night courses to get my MCSE, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certification. Boy did my brain suck in a lot. But to continue with Turnpike420, after a few months and lots of learning, they realize the potential of my brain and I finally get a machine and an email account. Immediately, I had a break. Turnpike420 could finally go back online. At the time, this office was using static IP. My address was (comp155.cditrain.com). I took full advantage of this and immediately installed Frontpage 97 which has just recently made its final release not too long before. Wow!! Now the power of the web was at any intelligent persons' fingers. I rebuilt everything I could, transferring all of my images over from the Mac to the PC. From there it was just easiest to rebuild the pages with Frontpage. As we all know, Frontpage shipped with the Microsoft Personal Web Server which was fairly easy to use. At this point I just play and play until one day, I thought, hey, I'm pretty good at this stuff, why don't I think about being a web designer?

This little image was created as a thought towards promoting a professional appearance. The idea was for this to be used onsite, as well as a header to letterhead and the sort. The image was created on 6/28/97.
Turnpike420 modernized

So the thought lingered. Very soon after that, a wonderful product was introduced to me called Adobe Photoshop 4. Wow!! With the help of Font FX (http://www.dcsifx.com), Photoshop 4 (http://www.adobe.com ), Image Composer 1.0 and Microsoft GifAnimator (http://www.microsoft.com/imagecomposer), I successfully completed the image below on 7/28/97. (Of course, this was on an nice computer at the office because I didn't have mine until August, 1997.)
Turnpike420 in motion

July of 1997 rolls on by. I have been working for Computer Decisions, Inc. for 9 months and have finally decided it was time I caught up with the world and got myself a good computer. So, I did. Not so long after that, my Dad picks up the Eye Candy 3 software for Adobe Photoshop 4 from the wonderful people at Alien Skin. These plugins are great! At any rate I also got hold of another piece of software, somthing I thought I would never get my hands on. It was 3D graphics and animation software, but not anything crappy like Adobe Dimensions. I got Ray Dream Studio 5 made by the wonderful people at MetaCreations (http://www.fractal.com ).

This image... my favorite... was the first I ever created with Ray Dream Studio 5 but, believe or not, there was a small glitch. I also had to use Microsoft GifAnimator to animate my dream. Ray Dream had a bug dealing with animated gifs. It could process the entire file, meaning all the different images that made up the animation were created, but It could not save the final version as a sequenced GIF. I had to go to where Ray Dream placed the temp files in Windows Explorer, copy them to another directory to save them, then return to Ray Dream to cancel the failed save. After that is was just a matter of putting all of the files into GifAnimator in a sequenced order. Not too hard to do since Ray Dream at least gave the temp files a sequenced number at the end of the name of each file.

Created on 9/14/97 with Ray Dream Studio 5, Microsoft GifAnimator.

Created on 1/18/98 with Ray Dream Studio 5, Adobe Photoshop 4 and Microsoft GifAnimator

Here the story somewhat fades from Turnpike420 to TurnpikeCam, a period where I strayed into the integration of a webcam into my website. There was never any obscene material on the site, just a look into my life. A Journal was kept there for a while, sort of a replacement to this page. I eventually left the novelty webcam idea behind and have come to design what you see here today, 03/25/2002.

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