Doejo staffers geek out over first web sites

This week we asked the Doejo staff about their first blog or web development memory. 

This could be Geocities/Angelfire sites, punk band music forums, or MP3 file sharing sites that got a recording industry cease and desist letter—Yeah, that really happened. For many aspiring techies, early PHP adopters and Cisco 1 nerds, these sites were ahead of their time… back in 2005.

While many Doejoers were a bit embarrassed by their flippant use of Flash software back when it was the latest in site dev, most look back at these designs with pride. Take a stroll down memory lane with us (back in the Neanderthal Pentium 4 days).

Adam Kois – Motion Graphic Video / Designer

“The first one was on if you remember that. It was the original (make your own) website thing before Geocities. It mostly included lots of animated gifs of stars, rainbows and what not. The second website I ever made in high school was for Prospect Knightline (the school band’s drum line) from Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect, IL. It’s still up.”

Rachel Vorm – Designer

“[My portfolio site] was my first full website I made was in Flash! (Whoop!), I don’t really look back on it with embarrassment as much as thinking, ‘Awesome I’m learning and growing but still have much to learn.’ I hope I can always look back on any aspects of life and say this.

Kristina Zmaic – Designer

“I remember having to take a basic computer literacy class in college, which was supposed to be teaching the basics of word, excel, etc., except that my instructor was a teacher who taught computer science at a nearby technology school. So what was supposed to be a “fun” extra-credit project ended up being a mandatory 5 page website that we had to construct in html.

“I ended up just pulling different pictures from the internet and putting them on a Pepto-Bismol-pink background; my “About” page was some small info about me and a hilarious screen-shot illustration of a girl sitting on top of a car. Tried finding the link, but I think it’s been wiped from existence years ago…”

Seamus Leahy – Web Developer

“For fun, I started playing around making webpages when I was fourteen. In the first month, I was using CSS for layout because that was what made sense to me. I ran into an issue, so I asked an “expert” for help. She’d ridicule me for using CSS instead of tables for layouts. :(“

Darren Marshall – Creative Director & Co-founder

“When I got my first mp3 player, the iRiver IFP-180T (which had a whopping 128mb of flash memory) I was so stoked. iRiver was well known for their quality supporting free/open source audio codecs OGG/Vorbis, and was great at releasing solid firmware updates on the regular. One feature I really geeked out on was support for the .snc file embeds in the id3 tag. This meant that their mp3 players could read timestamps, and display scrolling text on the screen, great for audio books and lyrics. 

“I had picked up an old copy of Dreamweaver and Paint Shop Pro, and had been screwing around with small sites that I could get up fast… which were a Tomb Raider fan site, and cheat sites for my A+ certification and Cisco 1 classes that I was taking in high school.

 “Anyways, the first real site I made was called, which I started in 2002 with a couple of other iRiver enthusiasts. It was essentially an international community of iRiver fans supporting a database of synchronized lyric files (.snc or .lrc) that you could merge with mp3s to create a sort of ‘karaoke’ on your mp3 player. We had dozens of contributors, thousands and thousands of lyric files, and even had some contributors build software written (iLyrics Pro) to help users with the embed process.

“Eventually the Harry Fox agency scared the pants off of us with letters about lawsuits from the RIAA in 2005, so we pretty much shut down the project.”

Daniel Ksenofontov –  Web Developer, Doejo Russia

“My first site unfortunately was not finished, It was a collection of the worst of hell that I could find to simulate Flash: the scroll was terrible, iframes, funny gallery and almost no knowledge. I redid everything several times.

“In those days the Internet was very slow and I had to optimize each image by hand! There are more than 2000 photos! Damn! In Photoshop I clicked Ctrl+Alt+I then Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S again and again …

“Sadly, I never happened to finish this project. I was so upset that I dropped the web for several years.”

Roman Efimov – Sr. Software Engineer

“Electronic Brain, AI, human-computer chat app (like Siri, lol). I worked on this project when I was 15-17 years old.”

Noah Rothschild – Account Director

“Back in middle school I was a huge nerd (I know, can you believe?!?). My friend Noah Ellis and I made Windows programs in Visual Basic and launched a site for our “bootstrapped startup,” Noah Inc. At the same time, I used AOL’s MyPlace to explore web design.”

Rinat Khaziev – Sr. Software Engineer

“It was a Russian fan site for [the band] Bad Religion in 2001. I translated a lot of content.” 

Garrett Galayda – Interactive Director

“ was my first website back in 2000—We’re talking junior year of high school. It was for my rap/rock band. We were sooooo cool. The logo was made in Microsoft paint. … Also my first ecommerce site was in 2003. PayPal buttons and shopping cart.”