The Doctor

Dr Bandwidth's Guide to
The Seven Deadly Sins
of the Internet

Dr B and his Guide came into being in 1997 while I was a student in the Electronic Design & Interactive Media course at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Having done my graphic design training in the pre-computer era, I'd learned to set type by hand, paste up artwork with rubber cement and letter with a #00 sable brush. The finished design then went through a long process before the original idea appeared in its final form.

Like many of my contemporaries, I put off dealing with computers for as long as I could, but the opportunity to "upskill " eventually presented itself and I went back to school.

One idle afternoon I found a stray folder on the school network that contained some HTML files. I started tinkering with them, viewing the results in Netscape (version 1.1, as I recall). Suddenly things started happening! I changed the text in the file and it changed in the browser! I changed the color tags and the color changed in the web page!

Wonderful! Instantaneous! Being so used to that long production chain between original concept and finished product, HTML was a revelation. Instant publishing!

Another revelation was the Internet. Student access provided me with command-line surfing (via Lynx) and I clocked up hundreds of after-midnight hours. Then came a commercial ISP and graphical browsing and thus did I first encounter the Seven Deadly Sins. Dr Bandwidth first appeared in one of my course assignments.

Leaving college, my graphic design business became entirely digital. My 'studio' was online, my product virtual and the delivery electronic - a far cry from those days of hand-etched line blocks, presses and printing inks and those long, long waits.

A few months ago I discovered Doctor Bandwidth still valiantly preaching his sermon from some long-forgotten RMIT server. Long may he continue to do so, but with education budgets in Australia shrinking so fast they might soon have to sell off the server, I've posted him here as well - a little security for him in his declining years.

I've resisted the urge to tinker with the design and, apart from a tidy-up and an extra link, the pages look pretty much as they did in 1997.

Not much has changed on the Internet, either. You'd think these 'Sins' would have long since been expunged, but they're still being committed. And there's a whole new batch of 'Sins' as well, with pop-ups and pop-unders and more java distractions and flashy splash screens and streaming this and streaming that...

Maybe it's time the good Doctor came out of retirement and enumerated Seven More Deadly Sins of the Internet? Anyway, I hope you enjoy...

Dr Bandwidth's Guide to The Seven Deadly Sins of the Internet

james dot corless at gmail dot com

copyright © 2013 all rights reserved