Pop the champagne and blow out the candles. This week ADCook.com turns 17.
Launched on October 23rd, 1996, this domain has undergone many design iterations and grown over the years, but its primary purpose has always been art and design.
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Looking back, creating the first ADCook.com web experience brings back a lot of fond memories. The Internet was new – brand new. My team and I were doing graphic design in Portland, Oregon, and in 1996, all the talk was “www-this” and “www-that”. It was an exciting time with new possibilities. It was challenging, too. Everything was so new that there were no real standards and even fewer resources to find answers to important questions, like “What is a GIF?” and “How do we make this whole internet thing worthwhile?”.
Fortunately, we had a design client who was very Internet savvy. WebTrends software was on the bleeding edge of the World Wide Web. We designed most of their packaging and collateral at the time. Then, one day, they asked if my design team could create graphics for their site. It was an interesting transition. Up to that point, we were designers focussed primarily on print, and the files were huge in comparison to what they needed for their site. We were used to talking in terms of megabytes (MB), where bigger is better, and they wanted files in kilobytes (KB) – and the smaller, the better. Most of our files were created to go to print shops and pre-press service bureaus by way of large portable hard drives. Remember, we were all running with simple 56 kbps connections via dial-up modems over phone lines at the time. So, quite different from what we were used to, small file-size graphics were essential for websites back then to even work. Even a few KB made a huge difference. If they were too big, you would wait all day for even the simplest of sites to launch.
Curious how my site has changed over the years? Go Wayback…
Oh, how things have changed over these past 17 years. According to Google Answers, there were a mere 600,000 websites globally back then ( http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=172378 ). Now, there are an estimated 187,000,000+ ( 187 million ) active websites as of April 2013. ( http://techlogon.com/2011/11/15/how-many-websites-are-there-in-the-world ). Now, I’m referencing active sites only, which has more than doubled in the last two years alone. Additionally, there are around 462 million inactive sites. Yikes, that’s a lot of websites.
Back then, you also had to be a coder of sorts. Most everything was created in old-school HTML (Hypertext Markup Language, a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages). Learn more about HTML here > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML. We didn’t have the cool WordPress templates and shortcuts we have today.
Anyway, enough of the geek talk. Damn it, Jim, I’m an artist, not a web warrior — ha. It was all so science fiction back then. And in many ways, it still is. I’m constantly amazed at how the World Wide Web has grown, not only in size but in terms of capabilities. And in regards to options too. Today, almost anything can be found or learned online. Want to learn how to play the guitar?… YouTube (since 2005). If you need to know anything about anything – visit Wikipedia (since 2001). Want to travel the world from your desktop?… Google Earth. Want to learn more about my art?… You’re in the right place.
So, with all those websites populating this vast Internet highway, I’m honored that you’ve chosen to visit this one. Because, like the Internet, we’ve grown too. Live since 1996, this version of ADCook.com currently features hundreds of pages of art and articles with pretty much my whole creative art life on display. This site is, and shall always be, about art — specifically A.D. Cook art.
Thank you, and cheers to another 17 years!
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