Originally created 17 May 1997, the site was re-launched with
frames on 9 June 1998.
The original site contained Hot Off The Press,
The Sinatra Sleevenotes, Games for You to Play, Rogues Gallery,
Software to Download, Poetry
Corner, and Where Do You Want To Go Today?
The re-launch introduced Feedback and Response forms, and Links
Centre replaced Where Do You...? At the same time, The Fly, and
Notebook were added to the software library, joining the legendary
Reminder 97, and Quick Currencies which had been written in Autumn
On 9-10 July 1998 I decided to redesign the site once again. This
time it was just the navigation that I focussed on. Making better
my site an even greater pleasure.
A week later I had a look at the pages with Netscape
Navigator and had a shock! I'd only been testing it with Internet
and the whole thing was a mess in other browsers. Well, I worked
out how to get it looking good in both, and then put more cosmetic
changes into the main navigation, replacing text with images so
that they wouldn't be affected too much by people using different
18 July 1998 the site was
christened "Come Browse With Me!" It
was a tribute of sorts to the great Frank Sinatra, and appropriate,
I think, to the general scope of the content.
A major change occurred in
January 1999. The site was moved from Virgin Net to Freeserve.
The design was
streamlined into five "channels" -
Software, Entertainment, Information, Gavin and Feedback. Content
was subdivided into those channels. A java menu applet was installed
but was unsuccessful, being slow to load and awkward to navigate
(serious disadvantages for a menu!). A redirection facility was
used to make it easier to remember my address: welcome.to/gjrcomputing.
The title GJR Computing Online was resurrected.
In August 1999, Cascading Style Sheets were introduced
to the site. At the same time, The Sinatra Sleevenotes and Links
Centre were added to the list of channels. This was partly because they
had their own folders in the site structure, and partly to encourage
visits to those areas. The Feedback channel was improved, with
Feedback, Bug Report, and Software Suggestion forms. Task List
was added to the Software channel. Fast Launcher had been introduced
earlier in the year. As if that wasn't enough, a search engine
from FreeFind was added to the site.
On 3 September 1999, an Active Channel was created as an experimental
Early in 2000 my music database was web-enabled, and placed on
the server of a new (for me) ISP - UK Online.
Another re-launch occurred on 2 July 2000. At this
point the new domain name www.gjrcomputing.com was
introduced. The name pointed to my Freeserve pages. At this stage,
complaints about the lack of colour on the site were addressed.
I also removed frames from the site, after finding a way to mimic
their functionality with tables and Microsoft FrontPage features.
Frames can be incredibly useful but I ditched them
for two main reasons. First, because a significant number of the
that expect their page to be full-window, or their page layouts
are too wide to comfortably fit in a frame. Second, frames made
direct access to many pages difficult. You can now bookmark any
of my pages without any problem, and the FreeFind searches will
also work much better.
Yet again, my channel organisation was modified.
The Active Channel was scrapped as I can't really make good use
of it. The new channel
list became this: The Sinatra Sleevenotes, Poetry Corner, Press
Office, Free Software, Games Room, That's Entertainment, The
Library, Your Computer, Travel Agency, Shopping Bag, Good Things,
Meet Gavin, Feedback, and Help. Most of the contents remained the same, but
this format allow some more room for expansion. No doubt yet
another relaunch will be due by Christmas 2000!
Slightly later than expected, in August
2001, the site was moved to 1&1 WebHosting. For the right price
they hosted my domain name and gave my sufficient space to include
all the content from
both my old locations, with plenty of room for future expansion.
Over the next two years worryingly little was done
to the site, and it began to stagnate. This was due in no small
part to new
demands of family life and increased pressures of work.
But in June 2003, invigorated and refreshed, I started to give
the site another massive makeover. I created a clean, fresh design,
and incorporated content from partner sites such as Amazon to make
a visit to GJR Computing Online an even richer experience. At the
same time, I converted the site to ASP, and made use of dynamic,
database-driven pages to add flexibilty both for myself in creating
content and for viewers reading it.
The main channel line up was reconfigured as usual. In line with
the clean look, the list was reduced to Links Library, Sinatra
Sleevenotes, Press Office, Poetry Corner, Free Software, Games
Room, Music Room and Meet Gavin.
June 2003 also saw the demise
The name may be unfamiliar to you, but this character had watched
site, and indeed had been the emblem of GJR Computing from day
one. Six years, one month and eight days later, his presence started
to slip as the new logo - ironically more animated than Animan
had ever been outside my imagination - started to make its way
onto the site. Fear not, Anifans. Animan will return - somehow,
In April 2004, QuizBank was introduced. A novel
'community' quiz concept, that has yet to catch on, but is definitely
worth investing some time in.
January 1st 2005 saw some slight refinements to
the site. First I limited the width of pages to 760 pixels, ensuring
that anybody with an 800x600 or better screen resolution (virtually
everyone nowadays) would be able to see the whole picture as intended.
To prevent this from squeezing my content, I moved the main menu
to the top of the page from the side. More navigation options and
information were placed at the bottom of the page.
A link was also made at this time to a new Weblog
- The Slug Trail - that I created on MSN Spaces at the end of 2004.
It was hoped that this would provide a more regularly updated 'annexe'
to the main site.