I first started using the internet in 1998 using a dial-up modem and at the time there were just 2 and a half million websites. After a while I decided "I can do that" and this site was first written in May 1999 and first uploaded in June to Freeserve, which itself only became available in 1998. The original site URL was manworthy.freeserve.co.uk. It was called that because I used to live in Manworthy Road, Brislington, Bristol. Shortly afterwards I uploaded it to members.tripod.co.uk/brisray/. Tripod had been around for a few years and was owned by Lycos. I also had own domain name pointing to that, brisray.co.uk. There's a copy of the early website on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
Patty helped with a lot of the inspiration of the web site and there was a great book by Mac Bride that helped a lot with the technical stuff.
In 1999, I was using a PC with a Cyrix 486 DX2 100 processor and 16Mb of RAM. Images were scanned using a Mustek 12000SP scanner. The computer was upgraded in September 1999 to an AMD K6 II 450 processor and 64Mb of RAM. In November 2000 this was upgraded to 182Mb.
After moving to the US in September 2001, the computer has become an AMD 1.5GHz processor with 256Mb PC2400 DDR SDRAM memory on an Abit KG7 motherboard. The system also has a Diamond Monster Sound MX400 sound card, with cheap Labtec speakers as I don't need sensoround sound etc. A Leadtek WinFast GeForce MX video card driving an Envison EN-5100 15" LCD monitor. Pioneer DVD 116. Logitech keyboard and Microsoft IntelliEye optical mouse. Logitech QuickCam and best of all a Verizon DSL connection. I'm using a HP Deskjet 812C printer attached to Patty's Mac for printing also a Microtek Scanmaster X6 on the Mac for scanning.
Finally got fed up of transferring files backwards and forwards to the Mac, so in April 2002 went on another spending spree. Video capture is now done by a Belkin USB VideoBus II. Scanning is done using a Visioneer USB 8920 and printing is now done by a Lexmark Z45. As these are USB devices they are joined to the computer via a Micro mobile USB hub.
In 2014, I have all sorts of computers but most of the editing for the site is still done on an older Toshiba Satellite P205-S6337 laptop. I use a Epson Artisan 810 all-in-one printer/scanner, which, of course, was discontinued a couple of weeks after I bought it. Any external video I need is captured using a Hauppauge HD PVR.
It's now January 2016 and nearly all the computers at home are now Intel i5's with 8Gb RAM and 1Tb hard drives running Windows 10. That also includes the web server, this version of which went online on January 16, 2016, and uses Apache 2.4 that was installed with WAMPServer. It replaces the Dell with Fedora Linux I've been using since 2005. It had Fedora 11 installed on August 28, 2009 and Fedora 13 on August 28, 2010 running Apache 2.2. That computer was later updated to Fedora 15.
The main editor I use is still Microsoft's SharePoint Designer 2007 which is older, but still a decent editor.
Image editing is done using Photoshop CS5.
Xenu Link Sleuth is still one of the best link checkers around.
In the past I've used all sorts of software, some of that is listed below:
Alchemy Mindworks GIF Construction Set - some of the earlier GIF transparencies
Corel Draw 3 and Corel PhotoPaint 3 - Graphics processing
JASC Paint Shop Pro 3 - Graphics processing
Lemke Graphic Converter v3.6.2 - Mac graphics processing
Micrografx Picture Publisher v6 & v8 - Graphics processing
Microsoft Frontpage Express - HTML editing and layout
Microsoft FrontPage 2000 - HTML editing and layout
Microsoft GIF Animator - Producing GIF animations and transparencies
Microtek Scansuite v1.02- Mac software for image scanning
Microsoft's SharePoint Designer 2007 for editing a layout
Microsoft Web Publisher - FTP, used to transfer files from my PC to the server
Netscape Communicator v 4.6 - used for testing these pages
Smart FTP - used to transfer files from my PC to the server
Websites that provide functionality :-
Google Webmaster Tools - It's almost inevitable that the site use things like Google Analytics, google Site Search and other tools from Google.
Gostats - Free site statistics.
Is It Up - Useful for checking if my site is reachable by other people.
Lycos Tripod - The people that hosted my site and provided the page counters.
PicoSearch - Free site specific search engine. These stopped the service in June 2014.
ProBoards - Provider of the message board
RingSurf - Provider of the RingSurf webring system
WebRing - Provider of the WebRing webring system
Background JPG - copied from the backgrounds supplied with Microsoft Office 97 Professional. This was the original background to the site pages.
The images in Optical Illusions are from various sources, some have been drawn in Corel Draw 3. Most are GIFs, the main ones being saved at 100dpi and 3" and 100dpi and 1" for the thumbnails.
The images in the War Stories and my dads Navy Days section are from my collection of photographs. These were scanned at 300dpi, reduced to 100dpi and resized to 3" for the larger photos or 1" for the thumbnails. They were retouched in Micrografx Picture Publisher before being resaved as JPGs with 20% compression.
Banner GIFs - the first ones were produced in Corel PhotoPaint and then the transparencies added in Alchemy Mindworks GIF Construction Set. Later ones were produced in Micrografx Picture Publisher and the transparencies added using Microsoft GIF Animator. The newest pages in 2014 use CSS for styling text.
The text is all mine (including any spelling mitsakes).
All the updates to the site can now be found on the Latest Updates page.
Sources and Inspirations
One of my favourite sources of general information is Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable published by Cassell. The Pears Cyclopaedias published by Pelham have also been used extensively.
HTML and the Web
Teach Yourself HTML - Mac Bride - Hodder and Stoughton
PC Plus and PC Pro magazines - Articles and features
Thanks to an email from Peter Shearn, a fellow Bristolian, who reminded me of the cafe at the bottom St. Michael's Hill.
Thanks too to Patty Waltermire, Mark Griffiths, John Mitchelmore, Pat Boggs and Ken Slayton who sent me more material for these pages.
The Day the Universe Changed - J Burke - BBC
Eyewitness Art - Perspective - A Cole - Dorling Kindersley
Illusion in Art and Nature - R L Gregory & E H Gombrich - Duckworth
The Magic Mirror of M C Escher - Bruno Ernst - Tarquin
Optical Illusions - Bruno Ernst - Taschen
Optical Illusions and Other Puzzles - J Slocum & J Botermans - Books UK
Visual Allusions - N Wade - Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Visual Magic - Dr. D Thomson - Breslich & Foss
You Won't Believe Your Eyes - National Geographic Society
Ryanbut - now gone, but it was the first optical illusions website that I found.
Palmyra - another early site.
The Gang of Four (even though there were more than that) from 266 OP Bty and other friends.
Mr. Robert Goddard for allowing me to use some of his programs on the site.
Dads Navy Days
There were two official photographers on board HMS Warrior, Kingsley Jones and Norman Ford. I should imagine that many of the photographs of Warrior on this site were taken by these two men. As the original photographs are not marked with the photographer I can't say for sure who took which photograph, but for the ones I do these are credited alongside the photographs.
I would like to thank the following people for contacting me about the site and providing me with some very useful information :-
Mr. Ignacio Amendolara - for sending me a photo of ARA Independencia
Mr. John Birch - for information and photographs about the collision with HMS Phoebe
Mr. Ken Booth
Mr. Don Cruikshank - for information on the collision with HMS Phoebe
Mr. Victor Pedro Driussi - for sending me a photo of ARA Independencia
Mr. Vic Flintham - for information on the planes carried by HMS Warrior
Mr. Geoff Flewitt - for information on the collision with HMS Phoebe
Mr. Albert Gauthier
Mr. John Hake
Mr. John Harris - for information on the collision with HMS Phoebe
Mr. Bill Hartland - writer of the HMS Gambia Association web site
Mr. Ray Holden
Mr. Les Jefferies - for the photograph taken just after the collision between Gambia and Phoebe
Mr. Des Johnson
Mr. David Killelay
Mr. Steven McAllister
Mr. Bernard Mouzer OBE RVM
Mr. Jorge Nu?z Padin - for information and photographs of ARA Independencia
Mr. Tony Pearce
Mr. Will Porrio
Mr. Jerry Proc
Mr. Carlos Rufino - for information and photographs of ARA Independencia
Mr. Tom Spowart
Mr. Paul Stanley
This started off from dads collection of photos and documents but for background information I have also consulted the following people and sources :-
Aircraft Carriers - An Illustrated History - A. Preston
This started off when some American friends asked me about where I came from. Having always enjoyed living in Bristol and being interested in local history I decided to write these pages. Most of the photos I have used come from my collection, but I have also consulted the following sources :-
Mr. Will Fancy of the Bristol Labour Movement History Group
Mr. Vic Flintham - for information on Vampire jets
Mr. Keith Hallett
Katie Jones - for the photo of the Vampire jets
Mr. Nick Richards - who helped with information about Tom, St. Mary Redcliffe's church cat
Mr. Paul Stanley
Mr. Michael Synge
Mr. William Wood - for the photo of the Vampire jets
Various leaflets and publications from the city museums, tourist information offices and sites of interest. Our local paper - the Bristol Evening Post. These publications are from my own collection apart from those marked.
Adams's Chronicles of Bristol - This was written between 1623 and 1648 (Bristol Central Library)
Archive Photographs ~ Bedminster - A Bantock - Malago Society / Tempus
A Survey of Parish Boundary Markers and Stones for Eleven of the Ancient Bristol Parishes - Temple Local History Group
Bedminster Between the Wars - L. Vear - Redcliffe Press
Bristol - P. Macdonald - Petmac Publications
Bristol and its Adjoining Counties - C M MacInnes & W F Whittard - British Association for the Advancement of Science
Bristol as it was in the 1890's - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone
Bristol as it was 1874 ~ 1866 - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone
Bristol as it was 1914 ~ 1900 - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone
Bristol as it was 1939 ~ 1914 - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone
Bristol, England - H. G. Brown & P. J. Harris - Burleigh Press
Bristol ~ Historic and Flourishing - R. Bailey - Jarrold Colour Publications
Bristol in the 1850's - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone
Bristol in the 1880's - R. Winstone - Reece Winstone
Bristol Observed - J. H. Bettey - Redcliffe Press
Bristol ~ Official Visitors Guide - City of Bristol / British Publishing Company
A Bristol Panorama - D. Street - Redcliffe Books
The Bristol Riots - Susan Thomas - Bristol Branch, The Historical Association
Bristol: Sea-Port City - M. Ballard - Constable Young Books
Bristol's Historic Inns - H. Eason - Redcliffe Press
Bristol's History (2 volumes) - C. Wells & R. Winstone - Reece Winstone
Bristol Suburban Walks - Bristol City Council & City Line
Cathedrals, Abbeys & Famous Churches of Bristol, Bath & Malmsebury - G. Home & E. Foord - J. M. Dent & Sons
The Clifton Guide - M. Pascoe - Redcliffe Press
Curious Bristol - R. Clinch - Bossiney Books
Domesday, A Search for the Roots of England - M. Wood - BBC Publications
Heroes and Hotheads - P. Macdonald - Petmac Publications
A Higher Form Of Killing - R. Harris & J. Paxman - Hill & Wang
Historic Towns ~ Bristol - E. A. Freeman & Rev. W. Hunt - Longmans, Green & Co.
History of Bristol's Suburbs - F. C. Jones & W. G. Chown - Reece Winstone
History of Railways in Britain - F Ferneyhough - Osprey
Home Town - J. Dodgson - Drive Publications / AA
In & Around Bristol - Unichrome Publications
Man the Builder, An Illustrated History of Engineering - J P M Pannell - Thames & Hudson Ltd
Memories of Bristol - Mail Marketing / True North Books
More Offbeat Bristol - J. Belsey - Redcliffe Press
Offbeat Bristol - J. Belsey - Redcliffe Press
The Oxford Popular History of Britain - Ed. K.O. Morgan - Parragon
Parish Church of St. Mary Redcliffe - Judges Limited
People in Camera - C Ford & A Porter - National Portrait Gallery / Granada Television
Phenomena, A Book of Wonders - J Michell & R J M Rickard - Thames & Hudson Ltd
A Popular Retreat - D. J. Eveleigh - City of Bristol Museum / Kingsmead Press
Redcliffe Caves Guide - Axbridge Caving Group
St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol - A Scott - White Line Press
Secret Underground Bristol - S. Watson - Bristol Junior Chamber
Set in a Silver Sea ~ A History of Britain and the British People - A Bryant - W Collins Sons & Co
A Shocking History of Bristol - D. Robinson - Abson Books
A Social History of England - A. Briggs - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
SS Great Britain - N Fogg - SS Great Britain Project
The Story of Bristol - B. Little & J. Sansom - Redcliffe Press
A Study in Democracy - E. Jackson - Co-Operative Wholesale Society
A Survey of Parish Boundary Markers and Stones for Eleven of the Ancient Bristol Parishes - Temple Local History Group (Bristol Central Reference Library)
A Taste of the West Country in Food and in Pictures - Theodora Fitzgibbon - Pan
Under the Black Flag - D. Cordingly - Harvest / Harcourt, Brace & Co
The Very Bloody History of Britain - J. Farman - Red Fox / Random House
West Country Place Names - C. Davey - Abson Books
Riot - The 1831 Reform Riot
Riots - Up to the Bristol Bridge riot
Mr. Steve Caldwell for information on Steve Martin
Country Magazine (Feb/March 1999 issue)
A Higher Form Of Killing - R. Harris & J. Paxman - Hill & Wang