The masthead above was originally designed by Hercules Gunter in the 1990s. At the time, the internet was received via the phone network at speeds of a few kilobytes per minute and was charged at the same rate as phonecalls. Due to the cost, and the time it took to download pages, it was normal practice to use very compressed .jpg images and this was acceptible since all other images were usually of similar quality.
In these days of high-speed connections I wanted a larger masthead but attempts to resize the original were thwarted by the limitations of the image file. Under the circumstances I had no option but to recreate the image. It was a simple matter to identify the source images but I was unable to match the font. After searching for a while I'd found a number of self-similar fonts and eventually chose BorisBlackBloxx Medium because of its name.
For those that want to know, the source images are as follows (some span more than one letter:)
I have used the colour balance/contrast of my thumbnails rather than try to match those of Hercules' original images.
As can be seen, the background image has evolved from one using the stylised signature of some early publications to one using the actual signature from the Pandora painting of 1990. The lighter colour and smaller size are intentional.
That same signature also provided the letter B used for the Borisography icon.
I do have access to some highend graphics programs but I generally use an old version of PaintShop Pro from 2003 (version 8.10, if you're interested.) It is not as powerful as more modern programs but it has all the functionality I need with the advantage of a simpler interface, and a nice image browser.
I do not use any commercial programs to write my HTML. Where progamming and web pages are concerned I am a great believer in smaller is better. This was particularly important in the days of dial-up connections where it effected download times and, therefore, the cost too. I quickly learned that HTML writing programs at the time were very verbose producing far more code than was necessary – in one extreme case I was able to reduce a 300kb page down to 100kb, a very significant saving. Being parsimonious by nature (and, probably, something of a curmudgeon too) I didn't want to pay the phonebill for such engorged code so I have always coded by hand using a series of templates to create the pages you see here. I know that direct connections mean that file size is no longer an issue (unless you're using a phone or have a really slow connection) but old habits die hard. I will, at some stage, get round to automating the generation of pages (but don't hold your breath!) Also, please don't write to tell me that programs have improved in the intervening years – I have no doubt that it is true but I am quite happy here, in my own little world.