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Site Use and Navigation Philosophy

This site was designed for proper viewing in a minimum browser window 800 pixels wide. It is Dexter's belief that the majority of computer users are now running monitors of at least 17 inches viewable diagonal measurement in size, at a resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher. This site was designed to accommodate users with smaller monitors running at 800 x 600 resolution without sacrificing size to those with larger monitors running at higher resolutions. All photo layouts and images should be accommodated within the browser window comfortably. Several photo pages created earlier in this site's history have pixel dimensions designed for smaller monitors and will appear smaller on screen.

As of December 2003 several changes have been incorporated to facilitate navigation and viewing of photo albums. When this site was first created, slow modems were common and broadband access was not available to the typical consumer. Dexter's preferred method of viewing photos was to have them open in a separate window, so that larger images could download while the user returned to the main page to explore further. Now that broadband access is common and modems are faster, this philosophy has changed. The redesign of this site will now focus on images opening on a new page within the same window, allowing the user to use the browser "back" button to return to the original page, reducing the amount of open windows cluttering the screen.

For users who prefer to have the images open in a new window, this option is available as a feature in most browsers, simply right click or option-click on the link to the image and select "open target in new window" from the resulting context menu. Alternately, select the command "new browser window" from the file menu and then click on the link you wish to open. The original page will remain in the window behind the new one.

In most cases, links that direct the user off site (i.e. links to theme park pages, service provider pages, etc.) are designed to open in a new browser window, so that the iDexter website is still available in an underlying window.

This site was originally designed using frames extensively to enhance the viewing and navigation of photo galleries with the use of stationary thumbnail images. The use of frames in the construction of websites has been largely discouraged, therefore the redesign of this site uses "flat" pages exclusively. Photo galleries are being rebuilt to allow manual "slideshow" type operation for those wishing to page through an entire gallery, with thumbnails on a flat initial page for those interested in a specific photo. It is hoped that this change in functionality will be offset by the removal of frameset use. The faster connection speeds (allowing images downloading to complete very quickly for most users) and better layouts enabled by larger monitors using higher resolutions makes this redesign an attractive alternative to the use of frames.

The redesign of this site has been checked using current versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer on both Macintosh and PC platforms. Please email Dexter at webmaster@idexter.com to report viewing, loading, or navigational errors.


Site Construction

This web site was created entirely on Dexter's PC, a self built 2.26GHz Pentium 4 computer with 512MB of RAM running Windows XP Professional Edition. Internal storage is provided by two high speed IDE Western Digital "Special Edition" hard drives of 80GB and 120GB capacity. System display includes two CRT monitors, a 21in Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2060u running at 1600 x 1200 resolution, and a 15in Sony Trinitron Multiscan 110GS running at 1152 x 864 resolution for display of software palettes and extra tools or windows. Both displays are driven by an AGP Matrox G550 Dualhead videocard. Input is via an Acer ergonomic keyboard and Logitech optical mouse. The system contains a Creative Labs Soundblaster Audigy Platinum soundcard with LiveDrive and two internal Linksys ethernet adapters for home networking and broadband internet connection via Comcast Digital cablemodem service. Removable storage duties are served by a Plextor PX-W4012A (Plexwriter 40/12/40A) high speed CD burner, Pioneer DVR-104 (DVR-A04) DVD burner, Iomega internal 250MB IDE Zip Drive and one standard floppy drive. A Maxtor UltraATA/133 PCI Adapter is used to provide connection for 5 IDE devices. The system is built on an Asus P4T533/R-UAY motherboard, the first commercial motherboard to use high speed RDRAM memory. The motherboard features the Intel 850E chipset which offers a 533MHz frontside bus, 2 RIMM for RIMM3200 or RIMM4200 memory, 6 PCI slots/1 4xAGP Pro slot, and onboard USB. Firewire support is included on the Soundblaster soundcard. The system is housed in a high quality Lian Li PC65B black anodized aluminum case with side window. An Antec TrueBlue 480W Power Supply provides interior blue lighting and temperature sensitive fan control.

Dexter currently uses Adobe GoLive version 6.0.1 for site construction and management. The site was originally created using Microsoft Frontpage98, and was reconstructed in GoLive after upgrading.

All graphics, except for trademarks and logos of other companies and sites, were created using Macromedia Freehand 8, Adobe Illustrator 10.0.3, and Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1 with Adobe ImageReady 7.0.1.

The Taz graphic was originally created in MicroGrafx Designer 3.1, but has been modified after importing into Freehand 7. Subsequent changes and colors were added using Illustrator 10.0.3.
The Taz animation was originally created using GIF Construction Set 32, but has been altered and maintained in ImageReady.

Scans of Dexter's photos are a service from PhotoWorks (formerly Seattle Filmworks). For a small fee they will supply a disk of scanned images along with your regularly processed prints from film sent for their developing service. You are notified via eMail when your scans are ready, and are able to download them from their secure website for a first look, several days before you receive your prints in the mail. The quality of their film and print services is very good. You can find info for them on the web at www.photoworks.com.

You can eMail Dexter at dexter@idexter.com if you have any comments about the design of this site, to ask permission to use any of the info or artwork found herein for your own purposes, or if you just have a need to share your love of information, cinema, or speed.


All pages, images and info © Copyright 1997 - 2009 David W Creighton.
All rights reserved.