Truck Stop: About this web page.

Evolution of a web page.

They say that a web page should reflect one's personality - It is fitting that this one is a mess.

Back in the late 80's and early 90's I was running a system called Hicom which was a joint venture between Loughborough University, DEC, BT and various other Human Computer Interaction based people. Hicom was based on VAX Notes but we were also running Archie based systems. In the early 90's the concept of HTML and the World Wide Web was starting to be talked about and being within Hicom's research area, we installed what was probably one of the first hundred Hypertext servers in the world, I wrote some small pages, and then told anyone who'd listen to me that HTML was a flash in the pan and nobody had computers good enough to display the pages anyway so we were best off sticking with Archie and NOTES to present our information. I am not overly sure that I disagree with this statement to this day, but the world seems to have ignored me and gone ahead anyway.

I originally started writing this page when HTML browsers first started to take off to learn a little about HTML and generally to have a play. I based it on the first of the Hicom pages and to this day a lot of the pages still use a template that would work on the first ever Mosaic browsers. This page started to actually get some content back in about 1992. At the time I wrote it there weren't many other pages except "My name is John and here are my cats" type ones written mostly by academics and students in an attempt to learn HTML. This one was meant to be a pisstake of that sort of page but I think, somewhere along the line, it became one of them.

These pages probably don't really conform to any HTML standards and they don't look very flashy; when the bulk of it was written there weren't any proper ones anyway because Netscape was busy breaking them all. I don't expect any high marks for good HTML or good spelling. If anything is obviously wrong then if you'd be so kind as to mail me, I shall fix it. These pages look their best in Netscape version 1.2 and even provide a download of it. It's amusing to try it sometime, it's a lot faster!

This thing has also moved around a lot. It started life on "" and then moved to Neil McRae's "" box. Shortly after it moved to Ade Lovett's "" box and when he moved to Texas it sort of split into other pages and eventually came to roost on for the forseeable future.

In June 1998, after 5 years or so of it being an ever expanding mess with none of the outdated stuff removed, I decided to gut it and try and make it easier to find things. Saying that, out of order comes Chaos and all that nonesense.... So what you see is what you get.

Incidentally, the page background to this page is the original little pink Landrovers. I have no idea why they were pink, they were meant to be a nice subtle purple originally but I got so used to it that it grew on me. This had the disadvantage that I had to make all the text bold so you could read anything but, what the hell. I finally put up a new background in 2002 that was pretty much how I originally wanted it, but I thought I would leave this page with the old one.

The web counter isn't very good and I keep meaning to mend it, it's accurate ish but seems to reset occasionally.

In April 2002, as well as changing the background, I decided to go through the page and work out what worked and what didn't. I went slightly against my "has to work in Netscape 1.2" ethos by making external links open in new windows. I am sure I will grow to hate this. I also for the first time used an external guestbook but I was intrigued by why so many people were turning up so it seemed like a good way to possibly find out.

Michael Lawrie's 'Lorry' homepage. Email: