gor[b] Paul Gorbould: Words and Pictures

13Jul/060

Ye Olde URL

One of the reasons I'm comfortable with creating a blog and website with my own name is that it can't be worse than what people will find without it.

It's almost beyond belief, but the very first web page I ever built is still online. And it's the first thing you'll find if you do a Google search for "Gorbould".

How on earth can this ugly thing - constructed circa 1995 - possibly still exist online? Not my doing, I assure you. Though it amuses me immensely.

I came to CBC Radio in 1995 to work for the CBC Radio program IDEAS. Being the youngest person there (by quite a margin) they figured I must know computers, so I was immediately conscripted to build their website. CBC webmaster Joe Lawlor told me to buy an HTML book and Unix For Dummies, and come back to him after I had played around a bit.

This page is what I came back with.

A few notes on this quirky artifact:

- The photo of me was taken by Dean Reeds, then of the Toronto Star website, using the first digital camera I had ever seen. A mighty 640x480 resolution, and yes, I look about 12 years old. We were on the way up to a cottage for a long weekend. (I looked a lot older on the way back.)

- The links section is entirely out of date (only Grange is still working at the employer listed). I once got a call from some flack in CBC communications, wondering if there were commercial ramifications associated with posting links and logos to our competitors. I told them no, and never heard from them again.

- 11 years later, that e-mail address still works. Hmm, maybe that's even more amazing.

Dig that textured background! The horizontal rules! The hit counter! (Still, it's not the ugliest web page I've ever seen.)

I point this page out only because I'm floored that this page has survived more than a decade on the CBC site. It has somehow been ported over from server to server, hard drive to hard drive, and nobody has noticed. There are no links to it, but if you do a CBC.ca search it's the first thing that pops up.

It's a little symbolic of my time at CBC: keep your head down and see how long you can survive.

Shhhhh, don't tell.

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