Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bugbones and LView Pro

Making little red balls was an amusing distraction, but soon the new wore off. Besides, the little red balls looked spiffier than my logo! Surely I must rework my logo, in keeping with the three-dimensional sophistication and fine resolution of little red balls. Regrettably, the freeware wouldn't do my Bugbones. It would only do balls. For my next free trial, I muddled through a sea of convoluted and conflicting advice and settled on LView Pro.

The perils of Bugbones.

Little Red Balls

Little red balls took up several weeks of my life. I kid you not. It wasn't just having to make them. It was having to place them on the page. Placing those red balls took a whole extra line of code and some knowledge of tables. You had to know how to make an image link to make them effective. I had to buy a book for that. But adding red balls to my page was a case of pride, of self-respect, of keeping up with the Joneses. Now, I was flying with the best of them, using freeware to make red balls. Before long, my Bugbones site was covered with them. Surely I was the red-ball queen!

The perils of Bugbones.

Stars Upon Thars

'Stars upon thars' ~ to borrow a phrase from Dr. Seuss. His Sneeches with stars were the crust of the upper crust. Sneeches without stars were nobody. They might as well go out and eat worms. Stars upon thars is the practical philosophy of web design, and I swore by it. Whatever was the going thing, Bugbones would have it. Bugbones wasn't going to be left out. It wasn't just a case of copy-catting. It was a case of learning by imitation. Nobody really knew what the Web was then, except by looking at what the big guys were doing. I looked at other sites. I read the Webmonkey tutorials. I read a 'Dummy' book. If Dummy said do it, I did it. It's as simple as that.

The perils of Bugbones.

Freeware and Red Ball Gifs

Freeware! What a concept! The Artist's Exchange, collectively, was my mentor back then. Artists on the Exchange were free with tips, techniques, and advice, and they were all enthusiastic about freeware. They pointed me toward several good programs. One of them featured Vector resizing. It let you make a big, shiny ball. Everybody who was anybody had a shiny red ball on their site in those days. About.com's ball was very prominent. If your links didn't sport 3-D shiny red balls, you were nobody. Well, they didn't have to be red. They could be blue, green, pink, or ~ if you were very edgy and wild ~ purple. Plain-text links? How dull!