About MSEnet (1)

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What was MSEnet (1)? The first version of my website was hacked together from stolen code and half-original ideas during my freshman year at the University of Southern California School of Architecture. Specifically, it was assembled for the Advanced Computer Applications in Architecture course, taught by Karen Kensek and Doug Noble.

Needless to say, there wasn't much there to write home about.

I put it together near the beginning of October (the year was 1995). By December, it was undergoing massive changes and additions, not the least of which was a pet project called The Inner Sanctum. (By that point, I had adopted a "screen name," Flieghund, and he was the High Lord of the Inner Sanctum.)

The Inner Sanctum -- a rather cool name, a bit too popular I was to discover -- was an imagemap-driven interactive "building" that you could navigate through. Essentially a long hall with rooms branching off the the side, you could walk down the length of the building and even turn around and "look" from different directions. That's when I learned what bandwidth was.

Each view was a full-color 600x400 JPEG. Add to that bandwidth-hog the fact that client-side image maps had not been developed yet and it was taking nearly an entire minute to navigate between views... FAR too long, even for the lax "standards" of the time.

The following spring semester (1996) I took a "Freshman Seminar" course on the Internet. (I kind of felt bad that I almost knew more about it than the teacher.) The final project was to create a web page depicting life on the internet from different countries' points of view. Having taken a few courses in German back in high school, and with several German censorship issues in the media, I chose Germany. To make a long story short, the Germany site was voted the best in the class and MSEnet had real content for the first time!

Alas, the good times would not last. Later that spring, Netscape released its 2.0 browser. Now you could have colored tables! And, perhaps the coolest feature was this nifty thing called JavaScript that allowed you to dynamically change the content and/or appearance of stuff on the page. With something that cool on the horizon, I knew that the present condition of MSEnet would not remain acceptable for long.

It was off to work on MSEnet v2.0.