There is a reason why this website looks like it's straight out of the 1990's. It is! Those were the good years. Who among us can criticize an era that produced Hootie and the Blowfish, Green Day, and No Doubt? Think of this web page as an homage to cable television, global economics, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Dot Com boom and bust,Y2k, the PC/XT, and of course the World Wide Web. No distracting multi-mediocrities. No invasive scripts, tracking cookies, and web bugs. Just the simplicity of the original vision of HTML and HTTP woven into an eternal digital fabric.
So, forget my promise of January 5, 2007 to overhaul this website. Exaggerated claims and fabrications were in vogue in those days. And so it goes.
I just noticed that I haven't updated the credits page since 1996. Time flies like horse flies. One of these days I'll overhaul this website. For the moment, however, I'll just comment on the hieroglyphics, because that seems to generate most of the questions.
The idea of using hieroglyphics for my splash page and business cards came to me one day while I was living in Christchurch a few years back. It may have been the ozone hole - or one too many Pavlova. In any event, I sent my crude script to Jiang Hong Song who was working in one of my research centers in Las Vegas, and asked her to wax artful!
Jiang rendered that hieroglyphic characters from a crude mock-up of www.berghel.net that I provided. The symbols are faithful, if not literal, representations of the Pharonic originals. Egyptologists will note that I took the liberty of adding vowels and the triple-w to avoid confusion. Symbol isomorphism makes it easier for people to recognize the correspondence between hieroglyphic and English transcriptions. Before I did that, some would suggest that the transcription didn't look right.
The GIF animation atop each page is a product of indecision. I couldn't decide which background I liked the most, so I just animated all three with the idea that sooner or later I would prefer one to the other two. Several years later, I still can't make up my mind. Incidentally, the Berghel.Net "globes" pre-dated the hieroglyphic theme. I just couldn't bear discarding them, so I left them on. Such attachment is the stuff of which Web page gumbo is made.
To finish the story, shortly after the hiero-theme came to me, I shared my epiphany with friend and bone carver par excellance, Ben Te Karu in Christchurch who immediately took to the idea and carved several variations of my hieroglyphic transcriptions in bone. As I type this I'm looking at one of Ben's hieroglyphic carvings on my desk - doubly valued. In the true Maori spirit of conservation and resourcefulness, Ben made the carving out of a lamb bone left after our dinner. If you're ever in the Christchurch Arts Center, look Ben up and have him knock one out for you.
My homepage cybersphere is so complex at this point, that I can no longer identify the source of some of the icons and imagery. Here is an attempt to do justice to the sources. This material is scattered throughout the cybersphere.
1. The image on my digital business card is Renoir's painting entitled "Alfred Sisley". This was digitized from a postcard printed by Dover Publications [undated].
2. The Technology Outreach Program Globe is a screenshot of display produced by PM Globe, an OS/2 utility marketed by IBM (1991).
3. The painting of Blaise Pascal surrounded by a red border is actually a digitized image of the cover page of the ACM Lectureship Program Guide. Copies of this image may be obtained from the ACM by contacting "firstname.lastname@example.org".
4. Most, if not all, of the screenshots come from articles of mine in various magazines and journals. Additional information may be found under the "columns and editorials" and "publications" links.
5. da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper", and Edouard Manet's "Luncheon on the Grass" are bit images by Ruediger Schuetz. These and other digitized masterpieces are contained in the Abacus Art Masterpieces on Your PC collection, Abacus, 5370 52nd St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512, USA. This is a neat collection to have - highly recommended.
6. "Book and Glasses" and the "Bridge" are clipart and photo, respectively, included with HiJaak Pro, version 2, by Inset Systems, 71 Commerce Drive, Brookfield, CT 06804.
7. "ASCIT" is the ray-traced, chisled logo of the Arkansas Society for Computer and Information technology (ASCIT) (c) 1984 by ASCIT. url=http://www.uark.edu/ASCIT/.
If I've left anything out, mea culpa. hlb
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