Oriscus Home

Evolution of Oriscus.com

Oriscus.com emerged as a development of my diverse interests, especially in areas of the arts, musical instruments, and nonprofit arts technology planning. This was to function as an online résumé, an organized collection of my favorite websites, and a personal expression of my interests. Some areas, especially the Musical Instrument Information pages, have evolved into serious public information resources and may eventually spin off into their own domains. Your comments are welcome. See also my summary of web development projects I have done for others. See my About page for more information about Oriscus.com.

-Dwight Newton/Oriscus.com

Click images for full-size screen shots.

Version 2.0 - 01/2001
I have had personal websites since around 1995. From the beginning I provided lists of useful Internet resources in my various fields of interest. The first formalized version was under the rubric of Mind's Ear and emphasized music as a means of personal enrichment. I used the profile silhouette with the Orion starfield for several years. I used a stock line art profile, superimposed the star image and added a drop shadow. The image of Felix the Cat was an animated GIF I got from somewhere. My version numbers begin at 2.0 to reflect the fact that I had a number of previous catch-all personal sites before formalizing it in this way.

Version 3.0 05/2001
Around March 2001, I decided my Mind's Ear website needed to grow beyond the space allowed by my Internet service provider. I searched for an appropriate domain name and was astounded at how difficult it was to find one. See my About page for information about the name. I kept the Mind's Ear profile image and added a simple text logo device. At this time I began to add brief editorials and reviews.

Version 3.1 01/2002
By January 2002, my site was developing some real depth. A created a new animated Flash text logo, which I liked, but was not universally supported in browsers. I also added a nifty site search engine.

Version 4.0 - 11/2002
By the end of 2002 I had made some dramatic changes, especially in the Musical Instrument Information (MII) pages. I put the annotated links into a database that could now be searched and accessed in several useful ways. About this time I began to generate some respectable traffic, especially to the MII site. Inevitably, people began to ask questions about musical instruments, which it was my pleasure as a librarian and musicologist to try and answer. There is still an echo of the Mind's Ear log, but I wanted to make it look more professional.

Version 4.1 - 03/2003
The beginning of 2003, I started to publish the Questions and Answers about musical instruments I had gotten from users, and to actively solicit questions. These are managed in a database that can be sorted and searched. This resource has turned out to be quite valuable to my users from around the world.

I had mixed reviews on the red color scheme, so in this version I just changed everything to a deep blue-grey.

I had developed the logo header in Photoshop, and I use cascading style sheets on all my pages, so making a major change like this was relatively painless. Took less than an hour to implement and check on the site.

Version 4.2 - 05/2003
I wasn't delighted with the heavy blue bars in my section headers, so I just changed those to regular header text in my CSS.

Version 5.0 - 08/2003
In August 2003, I created a new logo header, which I'm much happier with. It's a lot cleaner and clearer. See my About page to read about the origins of the kithara (Greek lyre) logo. I originally had it entirely in blue, but it looked awfully monochromatic, so I just added the green line, which made a huge difference.
As the site has diversified, the home page has lost most of its text content and serves primarily as a portal to the various areas inside the domain and to the other sites I created and/or manage.