Eric Rist from the SMS Trading Post was the first person who e-mailed me about my site, sent me Miracle Warriors and designed this cute banner for his links page. Thanks for the past, Eric, I still keep it! :)
The Ela Fountain
I guess you´ve come to this section wondering "what the hell this might be?". Well, this is the little story of The Ela Fountain, something like a memorial page. I will tell you how this web site was created, why, and the evolutions it has gone through. If you´re interested (I doubt it), keep on reading :)
...discovered a place called The Ela Fountain, which was a peaceful fountain of clear and fresh water, with orange fruits, the most beautiful place he had ever seen. He wanted to drink the water and taste the fruits, but he couldn´t. He knew that if he drank only a bit of that heavenly water, he would need to stay by the fountain´s side forever, and the fairies didn´t want him there, so he would have to leave the fountain, living...
-Thöja´s alternate story, from 'Dreaming Awake'
First banner ever! Nice or what? :)
It all begun in October 1998. I had just rediscovered the SMS, started collecting, and my list of games was slowly growing. These were the best times, when there was so much games I still had to try and find, and when so much memories came back while I organized my long lost and forgotten stuff, like games, catalogs, magazines...
I had visited nearly all the websites about the SMS I´d heard of, and there were lots more than there are today, besides they were updated often (a hard thing to do, as I discovered later). I was amazed by the content of some of them, especially the Sega Notebook and PAF, and I realized that setting up a web site was one of the best ways of letting the world know about you, your hobby, and meet people from around the world that shared your gaming and collecting tastes. The problem was, I didn´t know a thing about HTML, web pages, image formats...nothing. I was sure that making a web site was only for internet gods. I put the idea aside for a while, until January 1999.
I was still in the exciting first stage of rediscovering the SMS, and I could even wake up on Sunday mornings, after a killing party the previous night, and go to the flea market to get games (it´s been a long time since the last time I did that, the flea market in my city is only on Sunday mornings, and as years have passed, I´ve became more and more "bed-lover"). I think it was January the 1st. I was still recovering from the end of the year party, which involved a lot of tequila that was really killer, and I thought I should surf the web for a while and try to figure out how to make a web page.
The second banner!
I had heard that a place called Geocities could give you space for storing your web site for free, so this was the first place I visited, I thought there was plenty of time to learn how to actually make a web page later. I became a member, and was given 11 megabytes of free space, and a long URL. Ok, I had enough space, but no web pages to upload... No problem. First I needed some images, but I discovered that Windows "Paintbrush" was really miserable. I took a look at my magazine bonus CDs, and found something called "Picture Publisher v6.0". Hey, it looked quite professional, so the following five minutes were spent in installing the program and trying to figure out how it worked. I took some pictures here and there, made a banner, some other little pics, and I was ready! At Geocities, I saw something called "Geobuilder", that claimed to let you build web pages without HTML knowledge, and in five minutes, so I thought it was my thing. My first index page, and several others, were made with this "incredible" (as I first thought) tool. But it was actually very slow (you had to build your pages online), limited and...crappy. I said to myself: there must be some program like Geobuilder that lets you design web pages offline, and then upload them to the server. I took another look at my magazine bonus CDs, and after trying some of them, I decided to use one called "Web Express". It was called meSMerizeS, since I wanted to make a funny(?) trick with the SMS word inside the name (anyway, that name was a bit -too much- for the actual quality of the site). I installed a counter, a guestbook, and also people could send me e-mails, but no feedback was received in the first month or so. I can totally understand it, since the site was something like: "About me, history of the SMS, my favourite games", read: totally useless.
What I have, what I want...why can´t I make decent banners...
It wasn´t nice looking either, so something had to be done. I designed some more cheesy banners, made some more sections, and e-mails started arriving at my mailbox. People was actually visiting my site! I was amazed, so this motivated me to try to improve the quality of the site (that was low, by the way). I made my first worldwide trades, I got some games that I thought I would never have (Phantasy Star or Miracle Warriors), and I made another redesign. This time the index page had six or seven sections, each one dedicated to a specific game or series, featured a fake (obviously) interview with the main character, and he was supposed to talk about other topics like faqs, favourite games, and so. This layout was never finished, so it became boring and I changed it again. The site name was changed to "The Ela Fountain", it was a name that had nothing to do with SMS at all, but I like it :) It happened in around May 1999, and I included a lot more sections, some of them non-SMS related. I kept on receiving feedbak, e-mails, and with Meetholas, my first Spanish SMS friend, I discovered I wasn´t alone in the Spanish SMS world. The counter reached almost 4000 hits in the last stage of this layout (in around early December 2000), and I thought once more it was time to redesign and make a big update. During the summer of 2000 I went to some classes to learn how to use Photoshop, that happened to be way better than the program I was using for graphics, and I discovered a nice program to make web pages called "Cool Page", that had all the features I needed. I still didn´t know too much about HTML, so it was the best WYSIWYG program I found. With a new scanner, more knowledge of the various programs, and even more faith than in the beginning, I´ve been designing this new look of The Ela Fountain since October 2000, in my spare and free times that are very few. So, I hope you´ll like the new design and contents of this site. I´m always open to comments, suggestions, submissions or whatever, so I´ll appreciate your e-mails a lot.
I hope you´re not about to turn off your computer due to boredom, so...keep the SMS alive!
Believe or not, this was
my first background...
In case you care, this web site has been made listening to a lot of music and radio, inccluding Stormwitch, Lee Aaron, Stryper, Cyndi Lauper, A-Ha, Queen, Police, Pretty Boy Floyd, Warrant, Steelover, Yes, Genesis, Alice Cooper, Supertramp, Stranger and lots more!
Software used: Microvision Web Express v3.0, 3Dize Cool Page v2.5, Dutch´s HTML Frames v1.1, Xat Jpeg Optimizer v3.15, Adobe Photoshop v5.0, Micrografx Picture Publisher v6.0, Macromedia Dreamweaver 4.
Drugs used: Looots of cigarettes and a few hundred beers. Uh, I should give up smoking already...
Doro Pesch, one of the "silly sponsors idea"