Taking a look back through designs this place has had

After a relatively brief lapse the site still accommodates 800x600. As will quickly be apparent, my approach to 'design' tends to be to latch onto a few visual elements and build everything else around that.

September 2013

We are here, more-or-less.

February 2012

Wider design in neutral colours, using PT Sans Caption for body text. As always this was a late reaction to changes in real-world browsing habits, which were beginning to see a shift back to simpler layouts to welcome tablet users rather than targeting by-now-common large monitors. Complete code rewrite.

October 2009

The final evolution of the black/blue/red style before I considered a rewrite. With even most netbooks being 1024px (and me using 1680x1050 most of the time) the framing felt cramped... plus the backend code had evolved into a mess of hacks, to the point it was putting me off updating.

February 2009

Tweaked on an ongoing basis. The background started off grey, the sidebar flirted with being a solid fill, various shadows were tried to add definition and even an underwater effect background at one point. The main constant was the stylised lettering on the logo, which this screen grab records.

April 2006

This one lasted less than a year. All of the design elements got packed into a free-floating vertical rectangle, and I started using more graphics.

August 2004

A minimalist phase that lasted a couple of years. For the follow-up I decided to mix in more colour.

May 2004

My first attempt at a column-based design, bogged down visually with a lot of lines. The navigation improved a bit, though, and more feedback features were added. The (recurring) tagline is part of a favourite Hunter S. Thompson quote, and probably the nearest thing to a purpose this site has.

March 2004

The site got its own domain and a new name about a year before this, but the same basic layout was kept for a long time.

Behind the scenes the site was mostly converted to PHP.

June 2002

Flames still in the new notebook style and a rather crowded front page, but navigation bars scripted in Javascript are in place.

November 2000

Flames combined with a notebook style and quite a bright colour palette, mostly due to the links drawing people immediately away from the site.

It was also painfully variable width. Most content just doesn't work that way.

April 1999

This is the earliest version of the site I can find on disc anywhere, which was based on some simple fixed-width table code initially done on an Acorn A3020. I managed to avoid the put-everything-in-a-frame craze.

Whilst reasonably attractive for the era, the white-on-black was hard to read, and the static code hard to update. It wasn't until 2001 that any automation came in... even the gimmicky pop-up site map in this version was hardcoded.