Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Time Capsule: January 20, 1996

Let’s say you’re an undergraduate education major – tech-savvy, too – and you want to contribute something new and unique to that World Wide Web thing all the kids are talking about. How does one go about that? First, boot-up the dial-up modem. Next, use Netscape Navigator or American Online ("Welcome!") to search the 100,000-or-so pages that exist to figure out whether someone else has anything on that topic. If you find something interesting, make sure your mouse trackball is clean so you can roll the pointer into place and click the image that appears on your 640x480 resolution monitor.

It seems an archaic ritual but that’s how it was 20 years ago when the CompleatBellairs first went online and helped bring the books of John Bellairs (...and this Brad Strickland guy, too) into the digital age.

For the uninitiated, the CompleatBellairs was the first major presence on the Internet to celebrate John Bellairs, created and maintained by Jonathan Abucejo from its inception on January 20, 1996, through its demise in 2004. There was a little bit of everything for us fans: synopses and character biographies, lists of the talismans, communities, and jargon from within the novels, and other cool features such a member reviews and accolades, illustrations, polls, and a forum.

On its twentieth anniversary we take a moment to tip our hat to the defender of the faith for bringing all of us fans together in the first place.

Cheers, Jon!

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