“The Lands of 50mph Fog”


The Aleutians website began in late 1996 with me having discovered the presence of the “Internet” one day while trolling around looking for dedicated online connectivity found through publications such as “Internet Yellow Pages” and magazines with connectivity adds, all accessible via 56kB telephone modems. Typical offerings of the day were links to libraries, Dow Jones, etc. Then, I believe it was through one of the early online services (AltaVista, Yahoo!, etc.) it was made known that there was now online connectivity through a place known as “The Web.” The installation of a NetScape “browser” was in order, and we were off and running! I started building our Aleutians website in 1996 using now antiquated techniques and applications such as NotePad and Microsoft Word keeping a copy of “WEB Authoring-Desktop Reference” on hand at all times. Dedicated webpage authoring products began hitting the marketplace, and I ventured into using HoTMetaL, HotDog, Netscape Composer, FrontPage, Dreamweaver, and eventually Expression Web to author my pages. Microsoft’s “Expression Web” led to the creation of databased web applications utilizing their Access database application, hosted by some websites offering the use of Access database table files. It wasn’ long however, that Expression Web also fell by the wayside, no longer supported or updated by Microsoft, which makes Expression Web available to the public free of charge. I still use Expression to update and tweak my old web pages! With advances to the HTML language, including of course the inclusion of Java Script capabilities within a webpage, new turf was being created in the web page authoring community. More “eye candy” was now available for inclusion on webpages giving them an enhanced “look and feel” above and beyond our original creations over 20 years ago. My original webpage creations were getting a little “long in the tooth,” old- fashioned. I had concentrated over the years on a webpage’s CONTENT, and had not fallen in line with the eye candy crowd. Eventually, however, I came to realize the time had come to not only update, but to upgrade all of my old website pages. It is amazing to look back at our original productions, and compare them with equivalent pages created today using current web authoring tools. I’ve elected to use the Xara products, currently using Xara Designer ProX to author, update, and upgrade our websites. Works for me! Amazing! No need to any longer write a single line of code…it’s all done with graphic interfaces…a truly WYSIWYG interface. Although, there are special instances when it comes in handy to know a little about either creating your own code (HTML or Java Script) or using someone else’s in order to create special page content, easily injected onto a graphic webpage through Xara’s special tools for doing so! Our first website upgrades came by experimenting with our Agora website, which provided our new footing for these efforts. Next, I upgraded one of our first websites dealing with Jupiter missiles in Turkey. Feeling good about the process, I then undertook to upgrade our 500MB Shemya website. Having completed the Shemya site, it became apparent that I had to work on the Aleutians’ Home Page, the interface to all the Aleutian Island websites constructed over the years. Thus, this webpage was re-born, keeping the links to the original Aleutian webpages…which will be upgraded one at a time until all of them have been completed. Our first link from this page to a completed upgraded site…is to “Islands -> Shemya.” Thank you for visiting our websites, hope you enjoy and take away from this experience a newfound knowledge of a time and place pretty much foreign to most who live in the “lower 48.” This part of America was deeply involved in the tragic events of WWII, with American soil being invaded for the first time since the early 1800’s. There remains to this day a presence in the Aleutian Islands in the form of Military and Civilian occupants and activities, as well as remnants of the Aleut population which had occupied this area for over 9,000 years! George L. Smith Shemya, AK Resident April 1975-April 1976
Last Updated: 8/19/2016, 12:08